Raffles American School, Bangkok

C:\Users\LC\Desktop\Raffles\photos for the wall\1.4.JPG

Parent Handbook

Academic Year 2019 – 2020

A message from the Head of School

Dear Students, Parents, Guardians, and Friends:


Welcome to our new school year! As Head of Raffles American School, it is an honor and privilege to work with our outstanding faculty, and to serve RAS parents and students. We thank you for the trust and faith you have placed in us by your choice of education, and look forward to engaging with you to maintain and sustain our growing learning community. Throughout the school year, your child’s teachers and I will make an effort to stay in touch with you regarding your child’s progress and school activities. We hope that you will participate and engage in your child’s growth throughout this year and we encourage your attendance at school events.

Sincerely,

Dr. Thomas Hamilton, PhD

Head of Raffles American School, Bangkok

General

Thank you for enrolling your child in Raffles American School, Bangkok (RAS).  This Handbook contains general information about our academic program, as well as details of the procedures for parents to follow while their child is studying at RAS.  If you have any questions that are not answered in this handbook, please feel free to contact our Admissions Office at:

Phone: +66 02-0340 700

Email: info@ras.ac.th

The information contained in this Handbook serves as a guide regarding the school operation and expectations for attending RAS. Information regarding attendance, academic integrity and honesty, behavior, dress, health and safety, and all other expectations in the Handbook are our Policies as approved by the Board of Directors. These are the guiding principles for our learning community. Again, thank you for choosing Raffles American School. We will make every effort to provide an environment where students experience success in both the academic and co-curricular domains.

RAS Mission

Raffles American International School (RAS) is a learning community that empowers students to achieve their full potential, academically, as well as in life outside of school. Our rigorous and rich academic and co-curricular programs encourage student growth through a learning outcome approach that acknowledges multiple types of intelligence and paths to learning. We facilitate student success through collaboration with parents; a balanced focus on intellectual, emotional, physical, and social progress. Unlike many schools in Thailand, RAS strives to be truly student-centered. RAS facilitates and nourishes each students’ individualized learning path. RAS’s success will inspire more student-centered teaching practices in the region. As RAS grows, we will be serving students Preschool to Grade 12.

Our Declaration of Purpose:

1.The knowledge a student discovers is more valuable than the knowledge prescribed by experts.

2.A student’s motivation to learn can be enhanced through fun and engaging lessons which are applicable to their lives outside of school.

3.Students’ positive self-concept as a successful student is more important than test scores.

4.Themes can connect the subjects taught by different teachers to create a holistic and integrated curriculum.

5.Each student should be rigorously challenged with developmentally appropriate tasks falling within their proximal zone of development.

6.A carefully created and managed learning environment will facilitate authentic and personally engaging teachable moments.

7.Successful teaching leads to students developing autonomous learning skills and a lifelong love of learning.

Expectations

RAS expects students and adults to exhibit behavior in-line with our Character and Interpersonal Skills of our Learning Outcomes.

We expect students to:

Within each Advisory class, students will be guided to devise their own class expectations in line with these expectations. We understand that behavior contrary to these learning outcomes does occur and this is part of the learning process. These situations will be dealt with based on the severity of the occurring behavior, generally through conferences with students and teachers. The Head of School, and/ or parents may also be involved as needed depending on the nature of the circumstance. RAS will make every effort to have consequences that match the behavior, with the intention being student learning. These consequences range from a simple conversation to school suspension. Physically dangerous or illegal behavior will not be tolerated. A positive, collaborative, working relationship between RAS, the student, and the student’s parents/guardians is essential to the fulfillment of our Mission. This relationship represents a “good fit” for RAS and the family, and is based on mutual respect and trust. Therefore, RAS reserves the right to discontinue enrollment if it concludes that the actions of a student or parent/guardian make such a relationship impossible or otherwise seriously interferes with the accomplishment of the RAS Mission.

General Learning Outcomes

It is our expectation that all students, in all classes, at all grade levels will actively demonstrate the RAS Learning Outcomes:

Problem Solving/Thinking Skills:

Think analytically, strategically, critically, creatively, independently, and collaboratively.

Question themselves, others, and ideas, objectively and reflectively.

Problem solve through acquisition, integration, and successful application of content/learning.

Apply knowledge to real-life situations.

Take responsible risks and approach problems with creativity and perseverance.

Organization/Research Skills:

Efficiently allocate their time and energy towards prioritized tasks.

Use appropriate technologies, resources, and strategies to gain access to relevant information.

Logically organize information using appropriate strategies and tools.

Create finished products showing a high degree of content understanding, neatness, quality, and precision.

Communication Skills:

Communicate effectively as listeners, speakers, readers, and writers through auditory, visual, physical, or digital means to a range of audiences for a range for purposes.

Display appropriate presentation skills.

Demonstrate collaborative communication skills.

Character/Interpersonal Skills:

Demonstrate compassion, honesty, and integrity in dealing with others.

Show tolerance, understanding, empathy, and respect for other people and cultures within the school and the larger community.

Make appropriate choices to maintain physical and emotional health.

Show responsibility, adaptability, perseverance, and initiative.

Work effectively in group situations.

Dress Code

Raffles American School has a basic uniform policy that consists of white or orange RAS polo top. Formal navy blue, grey, or khaki pants/skirts/shorts should be worn with the RAS polo shirt. Dress should be for comfort and should not distract from the learning environment. Footwear should allow for movement and provide safe and healthy foot comfort. The Physical Education uniform for all grades consists of orange or white RAS T-shirt, sports shoes (any color) and grey, navy blue, or black.

Students in Nursery to G2 will take their shoes off and leave them outside of the classroom. This will help keep the floor clean.  This is important as children of this age group are often working and playing on the floor.  Children in G3 and higher grades will keep their shoes on during regular class time, as they will be spending most of their time working at their desks.  All age groups are required to remove their shoes before entering the Thai classroom, ensuring appropriate respect and familiarity with Thai cultural.

Personal Items at School

Because K1 and K2 students may experience emotional stress when separating from their family, they may feel more comfortable bringing one soft toy/possession to school with them. These items should soothe the child, not distract them. Other than these exceptions for young students personal items should not be used in the classroom. Candy, toys, electronic devices of all kinds (i.e., iPods, MP3, game consoles) interfere with the learning process and should not be brought to school without teacher permission. Weapons, including toy weapons are strictly prohibited.

For students in Grade 4 or higher, mobile phones may be brought to school for emergency use or as directed by a teacher for educational purposes. However, students should not use mobile phones during school hours or during participation in after-school activities. Students should turn off their mobile phones and store them in their book bags during the day. Parents should contact the main office if students need to be contacted during the school day. Students are encouraged to leave all money and other valuable property at home. RAS assumes no responsibility for the loss of such articles.

Health and Safety

Students’ health and safety is the school’s foremost concern. If your child has any specific health, safety, or security needs, please inform the school so that appropriate accommodations can be made. Our campus is secured by trained security personnel, and access to the campus is limited during the school day.

Student requiring medication during the school day are requested to register all medications with the office (Admissions). Students old enough to take medicine for themselves still need to have the medicine registered so the dosage stated can be properly monitored. A parent/physician note with reason for medicine, dosage, and duration is requested. Younger students will have medication monitored by the school nurse.

Minor injuries will be treated by staff in school. Parents/guardians will be notified if the student requires treatment beyond simple first aid (cut or bruise), so it is important to have contact information up to date. Thainakarin Hospital is next to the school, and should the situation warrant, students will be brought there. Parents will be notified, when possible, prior to taking a student to the hospital.

RAS has emergency procedures for fires, weather emergencies, and lockdowns. These drills are practiced regularly, at least once each term, and expectations for student behavior during these drills are clearly explained to students during advisory. Specific procedures are outlined in the RAS Safety, Security and Emergency Procedures Manual, available to parents in the main office.

Illness during the School Day

When students fall sick we work with them based on the severity of the illness. Following a conversation with their teacher, the student may take a brief rest to see if they feel better, or parents may be contacted directly to pick up the student as soon as is feasible.

Communicable Disease Prevention

1.          Medical Certificates should be provided immediately to the homeroom teacher or teaching assistant if a student visited a physician and infection of a communicable disease was confirmed.

2.          Three cases of the same disease in one week in the same classroom will immediately lead to the closure of the affected classroom. This classroom will be quarantined for three to seven days while classrooms are sterilized.

3.          If two, or more, classrooms in one section of the school need to be closed due to the same disease, that entire section of the school will be closed and quarantined for three to seven days while classrooms are sterilized.

-Note: If classes are canceled to protect the students from a possible disease outbreak, no make-up classes will be provided as long as the total number of school days that year remain within the requirements of the Ministry of Education.

 “Brain Break” and Lunch

Raffles American School has a morning snack time (Brain Break) and lunch built into the daily schedule (afternoon snack for Nursery to K3 students). Lunch, provided by Epicure catering, is required for all students unless they have documented medical or religious reasons for not being able to participate in the buffet lunch program. The lunches will offer Asian, Western, and Salad Bar options for children. Lunch fees will be charged to parents each semester with tuition. These fees are directly passed on to parents from Epicure catering; the School does not make any profit from the lunch service. Menus will be published and shared with families bimonthly. RAS tries to create a healthy diet environment for children. Please avoid sending your children to school with sweets or junk food.

Field Trips

Field trips may be planned throughout the year for various academic enrichment and co-curricular purposes. Parents may be asked to assist in paying for field trips. Parents will receive advance notice of all such trips and a permission slip must be signed by a student’s parent/guardian in order for the student to participate.


Acceptable use of Technology at RAS

Classroom Technology

RAS provides technology resources for student use: 1) to promote educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, organization and research, and communication; and 2) to prepare for success in life and work by providing students with knowledge and skills regarding the safe and appropriate use of technology resources. Parents will be asked to pay a technology fee to cover the cost of acquiring, charging, and maintaining technology devices for the students. Additionally, parents of students in Grade 3 and older will be asked to supply a laptop for their child.

The policies, procedures and information within this document apply to all laptops and iPads, or any other IT handheld device used in school. Teachers and other school staff may also set additional requirements for use within their classroom.

 

Users Responsibilities

The screens are made of glass and therefore are subject to cracking and breaking if misused; never drop nor place heavy objects (books, laptops, etc.) on top of the devices.

Food and drinks must be kept away from school equipment and devices.  Food and drinks are not allowed in computer classrooms at any time.

Do not subject the devices to extreme heat or cold.

Users may not photograph any other person, without that person’s consent.

The laptops and iPads are subject to routine monitoring by the School. Devices must be surrendered immediately upon request by any member of our academic, administrative or technology staff.

Users in breach of the Responsible Use Policy may be subject to but not limited to; disciplinary action, confiscation, removal of content or referral to external agencies in the event of illegal activity.

RAS will not be held liable for loss of data nor consequences of such loss. Students are responsible to maintain a backup of all data.

 

Additional Responsibilities for Students

If a device is left at home or is not charged, the user remains responsible for completing all schoolwork as if they had use of their laptop or iPad.

Malfunctions or technical issues are not acceptable excuses for failing to complete schoolwork, unless there are no other means of completion.

In the event of any disciplinary action, the completion of all class work remains the responsibility of the pupil.

 

Safeguarding and Maintaining as an Academic Tool

Device batteries are required to be charged and be ready to use in school. It is a user’s responsibility to keep their device safe and secure. Devices belonging to other users are not to be tampered with, in any manner.

 

Prohibited Uses

Accessing Inappropriate Materials – All material on the device must adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy. Users are not allowed to send, access, upload, download or distribute offensive, threatening, pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit materials.

Illegal Activities – Use of the school’s internet/e-mail accounts for financial or commercial gain or for any illegal activity is strictly prohibited.

Cameras – Users must use good judgment when using the camera. The user agrees that the camera will not be used to take inappropriate, illicit or sexually explicit photographs or videos, nor will it be used to embarrass anyone in any way. Any use of cameras in toilets or changing rooms, regardless of intent, will be treated as a serious violation. Images of other people may only be made with the permission of those in the photograph.

Posting of images/movie on the Internet into a public forum is strictly forbidden, without the express permission of the subject or in the case of staff use; a member of the Leadership team.

Use of the camera and microphone is strictly prohibited unless permission is granted by a teacher.

Misuse of Passwords, Codes or other Unauthorized Access: Users are encouraged to set a passcode on their device to prevent other users from misusing it.

Any user caught trying to gain access to another user’s account, files or data will be subject to disciplinary action.

Malicious Use/Vandalism – Any attempt to destroy hardware, software or data will be subject to disciplinary action.

Inappropriate media may not be used as a screensaver or background photo. Presence of pornographic materials, inappropriate language, alcohol, drug or gang related symbols or pictures will result in disciplinary actions.

School reserves the right to confiscate and search a device to ensure compliance with the Responsible Use Policy.

Summary:

● Our school network (Internet) is to be used for educational purposes only

● Violation of the rules may result in the loss of the privilege of using the system as well as disciplinary action

● Using someone else’s profile information, bullying or harassment are not allowed and will result in the loss of the privilege to use the system as well as disciplinary action

● Usernames and passwords are yours and are not to be shared with anyone

● Vandalism to school or other students’ or teachers’ property (computers or otherwise) will not be tolerated

● RAS reserves the right to inspect emails and files on our servers and computers on our campus. We also reserve the right to inspect computers and other devices being used in our school

● All internet use will be monitored and abuse will result in the suspension of access, including disciplinary action if appropriate

 

Network Communications

The primary purpose of RAS's communications network is to support and enhance learning and teaching that prepares students for success. Providing access to the network is an investment in the future of both our students and staff.

RAS believes that electronic communication is a tool for lifelong learning and that access to our network is one of the resources that promote educational and organizational excellence.

We believe the responsible use of the network will propel our school community into the information age allowing students and staff to significantly expand their knowledge by accessing and using information resources, and by analyzing, collaborating and publishing information.

Students and staff should use the network in a responsible, efficient, ethical, and legal manner in accordance with the mission statement of the school. The use of the network resources is a privilege, not a right, which may be revoked at any time for inappropriate behavior. Users assume responsibility for understanding the agreement and guidelines as a condition of using the network. Use of the network that is inconsistent with this agreement may result in loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action.

 

Student laptop minimum specifications

·         Intel i3 or AMD processor, 2.3 gigahertz (GHz) with 2 cores

·         4 gigabytes (GB) RAM memory

·         128 gigabytes storage space

·         Windows 10 64-bit operating system

·         Wi-Fi adapter built in

·         Antivirus software (Kaspersky/Norton/McAfee)

·         Built-in webcam

·         Built-in microphone

·         3.5 mm headphone input

·         1920 x 1080 screen resolution

Recommended Laptops: Acer Swift, Asus Vivobook 15, Lenovo Ideapad L340

If using an older laptop, please update the drivers for Java, Google Chrome web browser, and hardware drivers.

 

Laptops for Upper Primary, Middle School, and Secondary Students

Students in grades 3 through 12 are required to provide their own laptop and will be responsible for purchasing and safekeeping of this device. The school will not be responsible for the loss or damage of student laptops. Minimum specifications for the laptops have been provided to parents.

 

Computers and Printers on Campus

The computer and printer resources are to be used for school purposes only.

 

Integration of Technology

It is a goal of the Technology Department to focus on integrating technology into the regular lessons. To that end, elementary teachers should collaborate with their team to integrate technology. Secondary teachers should also collaborate finding ways of integrating technology.

 

Terms and conditions:

● Acceptable Use – Access to the school's network must be for the purpose of education or research and must be consistent with the educational objectives of the school

● Privileges – The use of the school's internet is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of those privileges. The Head of IT, in conjunction with the appropriate administrator, will make all decisions regarding whether or not a user has violated this agreement and may deny, revoke, or suspend access at any time. In addition, additional disciplinary consequences may be applied

● Unacceptable Use – You are responsible for your actions and activities involving the network. Some examples of unacceptable uses are:

  1. Using the network for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other contracts or transmitting any material in violation of any national or international regulation
  2. Downloading of software without authorization by school regardless of whether it is copyrighted or free of viruses
  3. Downloading copyrighted material for other than personal use
  4. Using the network for private financial or commercial gain
  5. Using the network for entertainment
  6. Wastefully using resources
  7. Gaining unauthorized access to resources or entities
  8. Invading the privacy of individuals
  9. Using another user's account or password
  10. Posting material authored or created by another without his/her consent
  11. Posting anonymous messages
  12. Using the network for commercial or private advertising
  13. Accessing, submitting, posting, publishing, or displaying any defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, ethnically offensive, harassing, or illegal material
  14. Using the network while access privileges are suspended or revoked
  15. Using the network for plagiarism or academic dishonesty of any type
  16. Using the network for bullying or harassment of any kind
  17. Using email, web-boards, blogs, etc. to harass, defame, libel, slander, etc. any person for any reason

● Network Etiquette – You are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette.

These include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Be polite. Do not become abusive in your messages to others
  2. Use appropriate language. Do not swear or use vulgarities or any other inappropriate language
  3. Do not reveal your full name, addresses, telephone numbers or any other sensitive personal information, nor those of others on the world wide web. If you are not sure what information is safe to be posted on the internet, see the Head of IT for assistance.
  4. Recognize that electronic mail (email) is not private. People who operate the system have access to all mail. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities may be reported to the authorities.
  5. Do not use the network in any way that would disrupt its use by other users
  6. Consider all communications and information accessible via the network to be private property
  7. Use all capitals only to highlight a word. If you use them for an entire message, people will think you are shouting

● Security – Network security is a high priority. Keep your account and password confidential. Do not use another individual's account. This is the responsibility of the student and no one else. Attempts to log-on to someone else's account or as a system administrator will result in cancellation of user privileges. Any user identified as a security risk may be denied access to the network

● Vandalism – Vandalism will result in cancellation of privileges and other disciplinary action. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, the internet, or any other network. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creation of computer viruses

● Telephone and Credit Card Charges – RAS assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges for fees, including credit card charges, telephone charges, long-distance charges, per-minute surcharges, and/or equipment or line costs. Beware of any "free" offers. There is usually a hidden charge

● Viruses – Users are responsible for checking their own disks and downloaded materials for possible viruses. RAS assumes no responsibility for any damages caused by viruses which may or may not have been acquired on school computers. Computers found to have viruses on them will be banned from the network

● Connection of personal devices to the network – Staff can request to have their laptops or similar electronic devices connected to the network for the purpose of engaging in school related work. All devices connected to the school’s network will have to be registered with the IT office

● Personal Internet Connections - Staff may use their private connections to access the internet, the access on school campus is limited to educational purposes. Any violation can result in disciplinary action

● Inspection – The equipment and access to the Internet remains the property and responsibility of RAS which offers it to students for their convenience and educational use. The school reserves the right to limit use or inspect the contents of computers and files therein. All users are advised that they have no expectation of privacy in the information contained in school or privately owned machines

● Monitored Use – Email and other uses of electronic systems at school by students shall not be considered confidential and may be monitored at any time by designated staff to ensure appropriate use

● Email - The official communication tool of Raffles American School is the school provided email. Personal messaging applications are not to be used for official communication between staff and  students or parents.

  1. Issuance: All staff will be issued a school email account for purposes of facilitating school communication and access to web-based educational sites. Email is a very useful tool when used appropriately; staff, students and parents must be proactive in following guidelines for appropriate and safe use
  2. Use – School issued email is for school related use only. School email should be used for communication with teachers and other members of the RAS community. A personal email account should be used for anything else
  3. Parental rights – Parents or guardians can allow their child to control their own school issued email or choose to have rights over their child’s school issued email.

If a parent/guardian selects to have control over email, the parent/guardian will receive the initial email invitation. It will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to share the email password with the student and to monitor the account

  1. Responsibility - RAS uses Google Apps for Education for our email service and, as such, is hosted outside of our campus. This service is available at school and at home via the web. Even though email from known inappropriate sites is blocked, there is always a chance students will be exposed to inappropriate content. School staff will monitor student use of email when students are at school.

Parents are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of email when accessing programs from home. Students are responsible for their own behavior at all times.

Do not store highly personal files, personal account information, or other irreplaceable data on school accounts as it may be deleted without warning during system maintenance.

  1. Misuse - If a staff member misuses their school email account, access will be revoked
  2. Account Ownership - The school is the owner of the e-mail account. After staff leave the school, it will be possible to set a forwarding address for emails so they can receive it at some other account. They will be able to access emails sent to their RAS account and respond from a private one

● Safety – RAS filters internet access for inappropriate content. Please contact the IT department to access sites that have been blocked.

Attendance

Students are expected to be at school every day. RAS understands that students will occasionally be ill, or that there may be circumstances beyond a student or family’s control that necessitate an absence. Parents are requested to contact the school when a student is going to be absent. Absences may be considered excused or unexcused. A student shall be excused from school when the absence is due to:

• Illness or quarantine.

• Medical or dental services.

• Attending the funeral of an immediate family member.

• Mandated court appearance by the student or parent/guardian.

• Observance of a religious holiday or ceremony.

• Other justifiable personal reasons that have been requested in advance and in writing parent by the parent and approved at the discretion of the Head of School.

Students who are absent from school due to the above excused reasons will be given an opportunity to complete all assignments and examinations missed during the absence for full credit, provided that all assignments are completed within the same number of days that the student was absent (up to a maximum of six days). It is the student’s responsibility to coordinate with his/her teachers regarding make-up assignments and examinations. All assignments due during the period of absence must be turned in immediately upon return to school. However, because of the interactive nature of learning at RAS, activities such as discussions, group work, labs, or presentations may be difficult or impossible to replicate and may affect the student's grade. For absences of three or more consecutive days, appropriate verification and documentation must be provided to the school for an absence to be considered excused. An absence request form should be submitted to the divisional office in these cases. This form should be submitted in advance whenever possible or immediately upon return. Unexcused absences may not be made up. RAS requires that students be present for 90% of a semester and year in order to receive credit for a course or grade level. This translates to nine absences in Semester 1 and nine in Semester 2 (18 total). This is especially important to note for high school students, as they need to earn credit for their classes in order to graduate. The Head of School (or designee) will contact parents and conference with a student if he or she is absent six times/semester in an effort to insure that the student receives credit.

Absences on School-Sponsored Trips

Teachers who sponsor school activities off campus must make sure that each participating student has a permission form signed by the parent. Students who miss a class as a result of participation in a school-sponsored activity are not considered absent for that day or part of the day. They are, however, still expected to complete make-up work for classes missed. A student may not participate in a school-sponsored activity if he or she is absent from school or misses the class leading up to the scheduled activity. For example, if the activity starts after 7:50 AM, the student is expected to report to school as usual until the start of the activity. Any student who is absent on the day following a major school event may be prevented from participating in major school events in the future. A student whose participation in a school-sponsored activity will take him below the minimum attendance level may not be allowed to participate. The Head of School and student’s teachers will decide whether additional absences are in the best interest of the student involved.

Tardiness

Students are expected to be at school and in class on time and to participate throughout the school day. Being late to a class or leaving class/school early is an absence for that class time and will be counted as such.

Preschool and Pre-K School Day Begins: 8:30am / School Day Ends: 2:30pm

Drop Off: 8:00am to 8:30am

Elementary School Day Begins: 7:50am / School Day Ends: 3:00pm

Drop Off: 7:30am to 7:50am

Pick Up: Students should be picked up within 30 minutes of dismissal from school or activity.

Late Pick Ups: If parents pick up their children more than 30 after dismissal from school or activity, a fee of ฿200 will be imposed to cover the cost of supervising the children.

In case of unavoidable delay, please contact the front office as soon as possible.

Students will be required to serve a detention on the third tardy per semester, and every one after. A letter will be sent home at the end of each month to inform parents whose child has been tardy 4 or more times. In the event of excessive tardiness, a conference with the class teacher will be held in an effort to remedy the problem. Should the pattern continue, a meeting will be held with the Head of School. A record of absences and tardies will be noted on the student’s report card. If a child is late for an individual class during the day, they must have a note from his/her previous teacher, the Head of School, Counselor, Secretary or Nurse in order to be excused.

Leaving Campus During the School Day

For security reasons, students are required to remain on campus for the duration of the school day. Failure to receive written permission before leaving the campus will be considered truancy from all classes missed. No student will be allowed to leave school before dismissal time without presenting a valid reason to the administration. Students leaving during the school day must sign out with Student Services and will be given a leaving pass. The security guards will not allow any student to leave campus during school hours without a written note from the administration.

We are a closed campus. For the safety of your children, students can only leave with adults that are supervised to pick them up. Students will not be dismissed without an authorized adult present to take responsibility over them. If you send someone to pick up your child that has not previously been given authorization, please contact the Front Office to authorize that adult.

Parent Teacher Conferences

A parent/teacher conference will be held twice a year in the first and second term to give parents a formal opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with the class teacher. For grades K3 and higher, students should be presenting their portfolios to parents during this meeting, so their attendance is important. In addition, further detail of each child’s progress is conveyed to parent thorough written reports at the end of the first and third terms. If you have additional concerns in regard to your child’s progress, the teaching staff and Head of School are available on an as needed basis. Please feel free to contact them to schedule a meeting.

Parent Involvement and Events

In order to promote good relationships with all parents, we provide opportunities for parents to become actively involved in the life of the school by attending and helping at the many events held during each academic year and volunteering to provide help where required.  We encourage all parents and their children to be involved in the events we organize each academic year, particularly those organized to celebrate Thailand’s national and cultural events.  Parents must sign up through Student Services if they would like to volunteer.  Moreover, any donations must be approved by Student Services before being brought to the school.

Birthdays / Celebration of Life

We will be delighted to acknowledge your child’s birthday in school.  This will be organized by the teacher to fit in with the daily routine of the class.  Cake or cupcakes with very little icing can be provided by parents and the school will hand out to children if requested.  If you do not want your child to have food provided for birthday parties, please notify the school.

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar is produced before the start of each academic year.  This provides parents with details of the year’s events.  This year’s academic calendar can be viewed on the school’s website: https://ras.ac.th/schoolcalendar/

Comments and Complaints

Any comments or complaints should be raised with the Director of Communications.  This can be done in person, via e-mail or telephone.  Alternatively, you may provide these in written form in our Parent Communication Books which will be sent home with students. There is also an anonymous comment box near the front office. An initial response to named feedback will be provided within 48 hours.  More detailed information, if required, will be provided within one week.

Student Drop Off/Pick Up/Emergencies

Parents should enter the school using the main entrance where the security gate is.  Parents are welcome to park their car in the lot provided and walk in with their child through the main entrance.  The children and parents will be greeted by teachers and staff at the main entrance.

Students will have their temperature taken to ensure they are not too sick to attend school.  If a student has a temperature over 39 degrees Celsius, their parents will be asked to keep them out of school until their temperature is lower.

Preschool and Pre-K parents are invited to walk their children into the school. If you would rather not come into the school, a teacher or staff member will help escort your child to the covered waiting area in front of the school. After the first semester we encourage parents to allow their children to be guided to class by staff members to help the students develop independence and prepare them for their transition into the elementary level next year. We request that you do not leave your car parked in the covered waiting area because it may cause congestion as the school grows.

During drop-off time students in K3 through Grade 6 should independently walk to the designated student zone where they will be monitored by school staff. Teachers will arrive to the zone at 7:50 for the morning flag ceremony and national anthem. Shortly after, teachers will walk their students to class. If you need to talk with your child's teacher, please schedule a meeting with the front office or directly with the teacher.

After school, students will be seated in the designated zone. Parents can walk up to the pick up area to sign their child out.

When you enroll your child with us, we clearly ask who will pick up your child after school.  If someone different is picking up your child, please inform us prior to pick up time.  

Students and Parents on Campus During Weekends/Holidays

Students and parents are only allowed on campus during weekends, holidays, and after hours for previously scheduled and approved school activities. All school rules apply, and students may not wander to unsupervised areas of the campus. The RAS faculty member who is responsible for the activity or event must be present at all times and will stay until all parents and students have left.

Transportation

RAS offers school vans for children. These vans currently run along Bangna Trat Road.  One route goes along Udom Suk and Srinakarin. The other route runs along King Kaeo Road and turns around at Thana City.  Van prices vary according to distance. The van arrives at RAS at 7:50am and departs RAS at 3:10pm when there are no ECAs, and departs at 4:00pm when there are ECAs. When more students enroll in the van program, Raffles will be able to offer more departure times and routes.

Security and Safety

Great care should be taken when escorting children from the car to the school itself and please ensure that a tight hold is kept on the children to prevent any accidents.

There are security guards permanently located on campus during all hours. The guards are responsible for locking and unlocking the premises and maintaining general order.  No trespassers are permitted.  The premises are equipped with closed circuit cameras to ensure students’ safety and security at all times.

All RAS parents will be given security badges with their picture on it.  Parents must provide the Admissions Office with a photo before these badges can be issued. If you require more than two badges for your family, you may purchase these for an additional fee at the Admissions Office. All visitors who enter the school must wear their badge.  If a visitor does not have a badge, they must exchange ID for a temporary badge.

Since RAS is a new school, all building codes have met the government’s current rigid requirements for safety. In the event of some sort of emergency, our staff has been trained in first aid and evacuation procedures.

For security reasons, students are required to remain on campus for the duration of the school day. Failure to receive written permission before leaving the campus will be considered truancy from all classes missed. Students leaving during the school day must sign out at school reception. The security guards will not allow any student to leave campus during school hours without a written note from reception.

Channels of Communication

In order to foster a professional, positive atmosphere on our school campus, it is important for all members of the school community to observe the proper channels of communication. Concerns should first be discussed directly and respectfully with the individual(s) involved. In any discussion, all participants are expected to maintain a calm demeanor and tone.

Parent-Teacher Communication: If a parent has an issue or concern regarding his/her child, the parent should speak directly to the teacher. If the situation cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the parent can bring the concern to the attention of the respective Lead Teacher.

Parent-Administration Communication: If a parent has a question or concern regarding the educational program or general administration of the school, he/she should speak with the respective Lead Teacher. Only if the issue cannot be resolved at the teacher level should it be elevated to the Head of School.

All parents will be asked to use the ClassDojo app to communicate with teachers. For safety reasons, LINE is no longer accepted as a form of communication with teachers.

Classroom Management

Our method of classroom management is based on respect: respect for self, respect for others and respect for our environment. Our classrooms have three common goals for all children:

Behavior/Discipline Policy

Our philosophy of discipline is based on the understanding of discipline as a positive internally motivating force. When allowed and encouraged to develop within a child, discipline is one of the single most important means that a child has towards making appropriate and correct decisions in his or her life. Our discipline procedures are therefore designed to encourage and assist children in developing their own internal discipline. We encourage appropriate behavior through the use of positive reinforcement techniques.

Behavioral Expectations

Student and adult behavior at Raffles American School is based on our Character and Interpersonal Skills of our General Learning Outcomes. RAS expects its students to exhibit and adhere to the following expectations:

• Respect for self and others: Students are expected to be polite and respectful to everyone on campus and to follow the directions of all school officials. It is a mark of courtesy to greet people and respond when greeted. Obscene language and gestures, racial comments, the use of any language or dialect in a disrespectful manner, and swearing are contrary to RAS’s Mission and GLO’s and will not be tolerated.

• Language use: English is the official language of the school and the language of Instruction. Students are required to speak proper English at all times in class unless teacher instruction requires otherwise. An exception is made for those students who arrive with limited English skills so they can communicate while they are learning the language. They are encouraged, however, to use English as much as possible as this will speed their learning of the language.

• Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive to school on time each day, as well as to all scheduled classes and activities prepared to participate.

• Care of property: Students should treat all property with respect— such as textbooks, furniture, walls, sports equipment, computers, and all other school materials, other students property, and facilities. Students will be required to pay for any lost, stolen or damaged property.

• Lost and Damaged Books: Students are responsible for returning library items checked out to them directly to the library. Students who lose or damage books checked out to them or under their care while in school are required to pay the replacement cost, plus shipping and handling, according to the schedule below. This applies to library or classroom books. Students will not be issued a new book or resource until the family has paid for the lost or damaged item. The staff member who checked out the book or resource to the student will inform both the Finance Office and the student, and the Finance Office will issue an invoice to the family. Payment may be made directly to the Finance Office.

• Lost and Damaged School Resources: Students who lose or damage school resources other than books are required to pay any repair or replacement cost as determined by the school. This applies to furniture, electronic equipment (including technology items), installations, etc. The appropriate faculty member will inform the Finance Office, parents, and student, and the Finance Office will issue an invoice to the family. Payment may be made directly to the Finance Office.

• Drugs: RAS is a drug-free environment. This means the possession, distribution, or use of cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs are prohibited at all times on the premises. All prescription drugs must be registered and monitored by the school nurse.

• Academic honesty: Behavior that is unacceptable includes, but is not limited to:

 Copying another students homework;

 Working with others on projects that are meant to be done individually;

 Looking at or copying another students test or quiz answers;

 Allowing another student to look at or copy answers from your test or quiz;

 Using any other method to get/give test or quiz answers;

 Taking a test in part or in whole to use or to give others;

 Copying information from a source without proper attribution;

 Taking papers from other students, publications, or the Internet.

• Theft and vandalism: Theft is a serious issue and any student who steals from another student or adult will be subject to disciplinary action. The school administration reserves the right to search lockers, school bags, and other personal belongings on campus or at school-sponsored activities if there is reason to believe a student may be involved in a theft.

• Noise during class time: Students moving outside classrooms during class sessions must have permission and should do so quietly.

• Public displays of affection: As a multicultural educational setting, RAS maintains a high level of cultural sensitivity and we desire to have all members of our community feel comfortable. Excessive public displays of affection are not appropriate on campus or at school-sponsored activities. Please refrain from hugging and kissing that could be perceived to be more than a brief greeting. Behaviors such as kissing on the lips, holding hands (except as instructed by a teacher for a class activity), and sitting on each others’ laps are not acceptable.

• Aggressive behavior, bullying, and cyber-bullying: Aggressive and abusive behaviors such as stealing, bullying, cyber-bullying, pushing, and fighting are not acceptable. Students shall not threaten others, strike others, extort from others, or in any way create or attempt to create fear in others. Students shall not cause, attempt to cause, or verbally (written or oral) threaten to cause injury or loss of any kind to any other person. Students who have knowledge of such actions or threats and fail to report them at any time are subject to the authority of school personnel. Cyberbullying is the inappropriate use of electronic communication, such as text messages, e-mail, or posting on social networking websites, and is unacceptable. Bullying and Cyberbullying outside of the normal school hours is also not acceptable as it interferes with the safety and well-being of members of the school community. Such incidents will be treated seriously, investigated thoroughly, and appropriate disciplinary measures taken if necessary.

• Objectionable literature: Students are not allowed to bring inappropriate literature to school, including pornography, and religiously or politically charged/fueled materials.

RAS Discipline Philosophy

Discipline at RAS is governed by the following principles and guidelines:

• All students are innately good and have the capacity to assume responsibly and make good choices.

• A school environment, in which appropriate behavior is consistently expected and recognized, creates a sense of security for all students that will increase their attention to learning and to self-responsibility.

• Adolescence is a time when students experiment and seek greater independence and autonomy while experiencing a tremendous amount of peer pressure. These forces may cause a student to periodically behave inappropriately, test boundaries, or to make a poor choice.

• Disciplinary consequences should be fair, productive, and related to inappropriate behaviors.

• Students benefit from the educational process best when students, teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents work cooperatively to ensure that students accept responsibility and learn from their mistakes.

The aims of discipline procedures at RAS are as follows:

• To help students recognize that freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand.

• To teach students how to learn from their mistakes.

• To help students develop effective communication skills, problem-solving skills, and other important interpersonal skills.

• To create the awareness of personal accountability.

Discipline Tier Consequences

A disciplinary consequence depends on the level of the offense and the student’s disciplinary record. Offenses are classified into 4 tiers: Tiers 1-4. The tier system allows the school to broadly categorize offenses of school rules and regulations, and the tier of offense determines the initial intervention taken by the school. The tiers are described below. Committing a documented offense at any tier for the third time results in the incident being elevated to the next tier, unless specific consequences for certain behaviors have been defined in other parts of this handbook.

• Tier-1 Offenses: These offenses are those that do not result in damage to property, do not jeopardize others’ safety, and do not offend or harm others.

• Tier-2 Offenses: These offenses are those that result in damage to property, insult to others, jeopardizes the safety of others without resulting in direct harm and any academic dishonesty. Any unexcused departure from school grounds is also considered a Tier-2 Offense.

• Tier-3 Offenses: These offenses are those that result in harm to other students and include the possession of illegal or dangerous items on school grounds. Committing a Tier-3 offense for the first time results in a minimum 2-5 day in-school suspension. A Tier-3 Offense warrants an automatic referral to the division Principal and a parent conference.

• Tier-4 Offenses: These offenses are extremely serious. They include physical assault of staff members and the use of dangerous items with or without harm being inflicted. Committing a Tier-4 offense for the first time will result in a minimum 5-day suspension to possible expulsion. A Tier-4 Offense warrants an automatic referral to the division Head, the Head of School, and a parent conference.

Examples of behaviors classified by tiers are listed below. This list is meant to serve as a guideline and the final classification of the infraction will be determined by the school administration.

Offense Level

Examples of Offenses

Potential Consequences

Tier-1 Offenses

● Disruption or interference with classroom teaching and learning
● Leaving the classroom without permission
● Dress code violations
● Disruptive and inappropriate behavior on campus or school-sponsored event
● Refusal to comply with staff instructions, classroom, or school rules
● Inappropriate/unauthorized use of electronic devices
● Failure to serve a detention
● Lying/dishonesty
● Sale or distribution of any item without authorization
● Tardiness to class
● Inappropriate use of technology
● Inappropriate personal displays of affection (one warning before becoming a Tier-2 Offense)

● Verbal warning by teacher
● Phone call, email, or note
home to parent by teacher
● Conference with teacher
● Conference with division
Lead Teacher (repeated
offenses)
● Removal of device from
student for the day or week
for continued offences.
● Detention
● Loss of recess

Offense Level

Examples of Offenses

Potential Consequences

Tier-2 Offenses

● Academic dishonesty (one warning before becoming a Tier-3 Offense)
● Plagiarism (one warning before becoming a
Tier-3 Offense)
● Intentional damage to school property -
less than $100
● Repeated disruptive and inappropriate
behavior on campus or school-sponsored
event
● Cheating
● Obscene/profane language or gestures
directed towards peers
● Providing false documents - forging parent
signature
● Damaging school property
● Repeated refusal to comply with staff
instructions, classroom, or school rules
● Disrespectful to others
● Verbal or written threats of physical
aggression or harm-doing, name calling,
insults, sarcasm, spreading rumors, teasing,
or graffiti, or unwanted touching
● Unauthorized leaving of school grounds

● Conference with teacher
● Conference with division
Lead Teacher
● Parent conference
● Detention (multiple days)
● Loss of recess (multiple
days)
● 1-3 days in-school
suspension
● 1-2 days out-of-school
suspension
● Loss of co-curricular Withdrawn
from one or
more sessions
● Letter in permanent file

Offense Level

Examples of Offenses

Potential Consequences

Tier-3 Offenses

● Physical aggression, pushing, kicking,
hitting, slapping, tripping, punching or
any use of violence.
● Posting or distributing material/literature
that is disrespectful, demeaning, humiliating, or damaging to students
and/or staff.
● Verbal assault of a student or staff member
● Obscene/profane language or gestures
directed towards staff
● Distributing test papers
● Fighting
● Extortion
● Bullying or cyberbullying
● Tampering with hardware or software that
threatens the security of the school
● Possession and/or use of tobacco products,
alcohol, or illegal drugs at school or any
school sponsored event
● Under the influence of illegal drugs or
alcohol at school or a school sponsored
event
● Unauthorized possession, use, or
distribution of over-the-counter
medication.
● Possession or distribution of printed or
electronic pornography
● Vandalism, theft, or destruction of
property - less than $500
● Gambling
● Trespassing
● Possession of dangerous or prohibited
items - includes weapons or explosives of any kind
● Repeated Tier-2 Offenses

● Conference with division
Principal
● Parent conference
● 2-5 days in-school
suspension
● 1-5 days out-of-school
suspension
● Behavioral probation
● Loss of co-curricular
-Complete Removal
● Letter in permanent file

Offense Level

Examples of Offenses

Potential Consequences

Tier-4 Offenses

● Physical assault
● Arson
● Vandalism, theft, or destruction of
property - greater than $500
● Persistent harassment, bullying, or
cyberbullying
● Possession, use, or selling of an illegal
substance on campus
● Jeopardizing the safety of others with a
dangerous item
● Any other intentional use of violence,
force, coercion, threats, intimidation, or
other comparable conduct which causes or
attempts to cause severe physical injury,
substantial disruption or obstruction of
any lawful mission, process, or function of
RAS
● Repeated Tier-3 Offenses

● Conference with
Superintendent and
division Principal
● Parent conference
● Minimum 5 days
out-of-school suspension
● Behavioral probation
● Expulsion
● Letter in permanent file

Discipline Committee

The RAS SST may be convened in conjunction with relative by the school administration. The Discipline Committee exists in order to consider discipline issues that have not been corrected by the usual classroom procedures that each teacher has in place, resulting in the child being referred to the administration according to the guidelines above. A student may also call the Discipline Committee to consider instances of serious violations of RAS’s expectations. The committee is made up of the Head of School, Division Lead Teacher, Counselor, and two other division teachers appointed by the Head of School. Referral to the Discipline Committee is serious and may result in short or long-term suspension or expulsion.

Behavior Probation

Students who commit Tier 3 or 4 infractions may be placed on behavioral probation. Behavioral probation is an official notification from the school in which certain privileges may be revoked and/or specific remediation measures required. Students on behavioral probation run the risk of expulsion or non-renewal of admission if behavioral issues persist.


Bullying

Statement of Intent

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly, and safe environment for all of our students, so that they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Raffles American School. If bullying does occur, all incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a telling school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.

Objectives

• Teaching and non-teaching staff, students, parents and community members must have an understanding of what bullying is.

• Community members and teaching and non-teaching staff must know what the school regulations are on bullying, and follow them when bullying incidents are reported.

• All students and parents must know what the school regulations are on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.

• As a school we take bullying seriously. Students and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.

• Bullying will not be tolerated.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person or the intentional harm-doing, carried out repeatedly over time and occurring within a relationship characterized by an imbalance of power. Bullying takes many forms. Bullying can be:

• Physical, i.e. pushing, kicking, hitting, slapping, tripping, punching or any use of violence

• Relational, i.e. being unfriendly, intentionally excluding someone from a group, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures, mean faces), causing embarrassment or shame, passing notes

• Verbal, i.e. name-calling, insults, sarcasm, spreading rumors, teasing, threats of physical bullying, graffiti

• Sexual, i.e. unwanted touching, obscene gestures or comments made about a person’s body type or physical features

• Faith-based, i.e. offensive or intentionally insensitive comments related to an individual or group’s religions

• Ethnic, i.e. cultural slurs, racial taunts, gestures

• Cyber, i.e. spreading harmful information or lies about others through email, online chats or blogs, Facebook, text messages, cell phones or cameras. Mobile threats by text message, BBMing, SMSing/calls, misuse of associated technology including the RAS network

• Passive, i.e. watching or laughing without trying to help the victim

Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?

Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. RAS recognizes it has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to bullying issues.

Signs and Symptoms

A child may indicate by signs or behavior that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and should investigate if a child:

 Changes his/her usual routine

 Is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)

 Begins to be absent from school

 Becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence

 Starts stammering

 Attempts or threatens suicide or runs away

 Cries her/himself to sleep at night or has nightmares

 Feels ill in the morning

 Begins to do poorly in school work

 Comes home with clothes torn or books damaged

 Has possessions which are damaged or "go missing"

 Asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)

 Has lunch or other monies continually "lost"

 Has unexplained cuts or bruises

 Comes home starving (money/lunch has been stolen)

 Becomes aggressive, disruptive, or unreasonable 31

 Is bullying other children or siblings

 Stops eating

 Is frightened to say what's wrong

 Gives improbable excuses for any of the above

 Is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone

 Is nervous or jumpy when a cyber-message is received

These signs and behaviors could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.

Reporting Procedures

All school employees are required to report alleged violations to the division Lead Teacher. Staff members are expected to immediately intervene when they see a bullying incident occur. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, are expected to report any act that may be in violation of these regulations. All reports will be taken seriously. The administration will conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident in order to verify the validity and seriousness of the report. Reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports a bullying incident is prohibited. Filing a report in good faith will not reflect upon the individual’s status, nor will it affect grades.

Steps:

1. Report bullying incidents to staff.

2. Incident will be recorded by staff and submitted to the principal’s office.

3. The bullying behavior or threats of bullying will be investigated.

4. Disciplinary consequences will be duly applied.

5. Parents will be informed and asked to come in for a meeting to discuss the problem.

6. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behavior.

Consequences for Bullying

RAS staff and administration will implement the Code of Conduct infractions and consequences that match the specific bullying behaviors to disciplinary and/or remedial action. The following factors will be taken into consideration when determining appropriate consequences: age, development, degree of harm, surrounding circumstances, nature and severity of the behavior, past or continuing patterns of behavior, relationship between involved parties, and the context in which the alleged incident has occurred. Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student who commits one or more acts of bullying may involve behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or a recommendation for expulsion. The hierarchy of consequences will be used as a basis for determining the disciplinary action.

Since bystander support of harassment or bullying can support negative bullying behaviors, RAS prohibits both active and passive support for acts of harassment or bullying. The staff will provide encouragement and support for students to walk away from acts of harassment or bullying, constructively attempt to stop them and/or report them to the designated authority. Students will be taught the skills to know how to intervene when they witness a bullying incident.

Remedial Action and Consequence

The appropriate disciplinary response(s) will be applied:

 The bully (bullies) and the victim will receive counseling services.

 After the incident(s) have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.

 Consequences, as per the RAS Code of Conduct, will be put in place. In serious cases or cases of persistent bullying, a recommendation to the Superintendent for long-term suspension or expulsion will be considered.

Prevention

We will use a variety of methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:

 Writing a set of classroom & school rules

 Signing the anti-bullying pledge

 Writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying

 Reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or at an assembly

 Role-playing

 Having discussions about bullying and why it matters

 Guidance lessons

Retention & Academic Probation for Elementary School

Retention Policy

For students in Preschool through Grade 2 retention will be considered if the initial grade level placement was not within the RAS age policy and/or the child is not meeting grade level standards in the core areas of English Language Arts or Mathematics. Students in Grades 3 through 5 will be considered for retention when grade level standards are not met in the areas of English Language Arts or Mathematics. A student is not meeting standards when a body of evidence (i.e. class assessments, standardized test results) shows lack of understanding and application of grade-level concepts, processes, and skills. Attendance, test scores, proficiency levels on report cards, and socio-emotional competence will be factors for consideration. Retention is considered when documented alternative educational strategies and interventions have not resulted in the expected student progress. If a student is not meeting grade-level expectations in English Language Arts or Mathematics at the end of the first quarter, the classroom teacher will refer the student to the Student Services Support Team (Student Services). The Student Services will make recommendations for the teacher and parent to support the student toward meeting grade-level expectations. During the third quarter, relevant members of the Student Services will meet with parents to provide feedback on the child’s progress. Any potential retention cases will be communicated by the Head of School in writing to parents by the end of the third quarter. Should a decision for retention be made, the parents of the at-risk child are required to follow the written recommendations of Student Services.

 Promotion may be contingent upon documented completion of an approved summer program, psychoeducational assessment, or other Student Services recommendations. Relevant members of Student Services will attend the semester partnership conference to monitor the at-risk child’s progress and grade placement. A child who has been retained once will not be considered for a second retention and may be exited from RAS.

School Supplies

RAS furnishes most research materials and instructional materials, much of which remains as school property. Parents will be required to reimburse the school for lost or damaged books or IT equipment. Students may be asked to furnish limited personal supplies, and this will be communicated by individual teachers at the beginning of the school year.

Homework Policy

Our expectation is that students work hard during the school day, and thus, have completed necessary learning activities and processes at school. A purpose for assigned homework is to follow up on the day’s learning through independent reflection on current learning by the student.

Homework is a vehicle to deepen and expand a student’s understanding of, and appreciation for, a particular subject, and assignments are designed to encourage students to take responsibility for learning. Homework also encourages students to self-evaluate and reflect on their learning.

Another important purpose of homework is to help inform teachers as to how well students understand, what’s getting in the way of learning, and what should be done next. Homework time can also be successful if it helps a student better balance his or her life in terms of time management. Homework itself will not be graded; however, students are expected to come to class with the homework completed as the class will require students to recall homework efforts to demonstrate the learning that may have taken place. A successful homework assignment will find a student wanting to discuss what they are doing in school with their parents because it makes them think, wonder, get excited, or even struggle. We encourage parents to ask questions about their student’s work and projects, but parent interest in homework should be limited to questioning or listening; parents should resist any effort to correct or ‘do’ student homework.

Independent reading at home, however, is an expectation for all RAS students. Elementary school students should engage in reading at home through independent silent reading, reading aloud, or listening to another read. As students progress through middle school and into high school, the expectation for independent reading increases to an hour nightly. Our Learning Outcomes call for efficient allocation of student time and taking responsibility for one’s own learning.

Below is a guideline for homework for RAS students. Additional time should be spent on reading.

Grade Level(s) Recommended Amount

Grade Level(s)

Recommended Amount

Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten

No Homework

Kindergarten

Reading Practice

Grade 1

10-20 minutes

Grades 2-3

20-30 minutes

Grades 4-5

40-50 minutes

Grades 6-8

1-1 1/2 hours

Grades 9-12

2-3 hours (*AP courses will require more)

*The College Board recommends that Advanced Placement students spend one hour studying per day per AP course. This means dedicating seven (7) hours a week for each AP course.

Please note that students who are new to RAS and our academic program may need to dedicate extra time to homework at first as they are developing the study habits and laying the foundation for future success. As students move into higher grades and encounter more challenging material, the time needed to complete assignments will also increase and vary. While homework loads may seem heavy from time to time, teachers do assign what they believe is professionally and developmentally appropriate for the class as a whole in order to achieve curricular expectations for the course and grade level.

Furthermore, summer-enrichment activities may be requested by the school in order to better prepare the students for the upcoming year. Summer AP (Advanced Placement) work will be assigned in order to prepare students for the upcoming school year.

Teachers are responsible for:

• Communicating homework expectations to students and parents.

• Assigning, monitoring, providing feedback, and returning student homework in a timely manner.

• Providing a variety of authentic and meaningful feedback to students on their homework assignments (individual corrections, teacher comments, reviewing answers in class, peer review, etc.).

• Assigning homework that is meaningful.

• Differentiating homework assignments as mandated by a student’s learning plan.

Students are responsible for:

• Writing down the homework assignments for each class.

• Understanding the homework assignments before leaving school.

• Taking home all necessary materials to complete the assignment.

• Scheduling time for homework that is compatible with family and/or afterschool activities.

• Doing homework independently and neatly, with minimal parental/adult help.

• Completing the homework as assigned, and turning it in on time.

• Checking Google Classroom for updates (Grades 6-12).

Parents are responsible for:

• Checking the student’s assignment calendar to make sure that assignments are being written down each day and ensuring that homework is being completed (elementary students).

• Providing encouragement, support, and interest in the student’s work.

• Assisting students in developing good study habits by providing a comfortable, well-lit study area away from distractions.

• Encouraging students to set a regular time for studying and independent reading.

• Making sure that homework is packed into the school bag (younger students).

• Evaluating the student’s out-of-school activities to be sure that the student has sufficient study time.

• Conferring with teachers regarding any homework concerns.

Completion of Work

If a student fails to complete homework, projects, class work, or other assignments, the teacher has the right to ask the student to complete the work during recess, break, or lunch. In that event, adequate time will still be allowed for the child to eat before class resumes. A student will not be held after school unless the parents have been notified.

RAS students should continue their studies outside of the classroom, but not with repetitious worksheets that can cause a young learner to dislike academics. The traditional definition of homework is assigned activities by a teacher to be done at home that is either graded or considered for credit, “remedial” work to strengthen perceived deficiencies, or anything else assigned by a teacher for a student to complete at home.

At RAS, we believe that work at home should be the self-directed extension and connection of what is learned in school to students’ daily lives with the purpose of encouraging lifelong learning.

Rather than mandating specific assignments for children to do at home by specified deadlines, teachers will maximize instructional time at school; inspiring students to demonstrate enthusiasm in learning beyond the classroom into all aspects of their lives. We are saying “no” to homework and “yes” to managing time on other productive activities, especially reading, physical activities and spending quality time with family.

Our expectation is that students work hard during the school day, and thus, have completed necessary learning activities and processes at school. A purpose for assigned homework is to follow up on the day’s learning through independent reflection on current learning by the student. Homework assignments are designed to encourage students to take responsibility for learning. RAS homework encourages students to self-evaluate and reflect on their learning. Another important purpose of homework is to help inform teachers on how well students understand, what’s getting in the way of learning, and what should be done next. Thus, parent interest in homework should be to question or listen, but parents should resist any effort to correct or ‘do’ student homework. The homework itself will not be graded, however the next class students may need to recall homework efforts to demonstrate the learning that may have taken place. Homework is a vehicle to deepen and expand a student’s understanding of, and appreciation for, a particular subject. Homework time is also successful if it helps a student better balance his or her life in terms of time management. Again, parent involvement in homework should be limited to active discussion on current learning. A successful homework assignment will find a student wanting to discuss what they are doing in school with their parents because it makes them think, wonder, get excited, or even struggle. Independent reading is an expectation for all RAS students. Elementary school students should engage in reading at home through independent silent reading, reading aloud, or listening to another read. As students progress through middle school and into high school, the expectation for independent reading increases to an hour nightly. Our Learning Outcomes call for efficient allocation of student time and taking responsibility for one’s own learning. Students are expected to come to class prepared with homework completed. Parents are encouraged to discuss homework with their child, but students should be able to complete homework independently.

We believe:

Some “food for thought”:

There is No Homework in Finland by Danny Ashton

http://neomam.com/blog/there-is-no-homework-in-finland/

Forget Homework: It's a waste of time for elementary-school students by Emily Bazelon

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2006/09/forget_homework.html

Student Support Services

Raffles American School (RAS) accepts students who show the potential to be independently successful in a mainstream college preparatory program and whose academic and social development can be supported through differentiated teaching and learning, as well as a leveled model of interventions. RAS offers a wide array of support services including Learning Support, English Language Learning, and Counseling to help students master the essential elements of the required grade-level curriculum at RAS. Every effort is made to best match student needs with provided services. Prior to receiving services, all potential ELL and/or LS students must go through a rigorous referral process, and the school and parents must agree to a Learning Support Plan that will help guide the student’s learning at both school and at home. A Learning Support Plan may include push-in, pull-out, small group, 1:1 tutoring, study skills development, and classroom modifications/accommodations.

Counseling Program

 Our mission is to collaborate with students, staff, parents, and the community to maximize each student’s potential through the delivery of a developmentally and culturally appropriate program that is comprehensive and supports academic skills, social, emotional well-being and social responsibility.

Goal: To support a rigorous academic program that leads to admissions to top universities around the world and ultimately prepares students to have the lifelong skills that lead to a successful and happy life.

Tutoring or Private Lessons for Pay

RAS staff members are not allowed to tutor their own students for remuneration. Any payment for tutoring to an RAS teacher shall not occur during the school day or when it conflicts with any school meeting, event, lesson preparation, or professional responsibility. Our teachers are not allowed to accept any money directly from parents/students for school sanctioned activities.

Appointments with Teachers

Appointments with teachers should be made directly with the teacher. Please note that it is not possible for teachers to meet when class is in session. Meetings with teachers may be arranged for times before student arrival in the morning, during teacher planning times, or after student dismissal.

Lost and Found

The school maintains a Lost and Found section near the front office. Parents, students, and teachers are encouraged to check this area for any lost items. Lost and Found items will be organized by the week they were found and unclaimed items will be donated to local charity after a period of four weeks. To prevent loss of items, students should:

 Write their names inside the cover of all books

 Write their names on the inside of their polos, PE shirts, shorts, and hoodies.

 Label personal items such as wallets, purses, clothing, electronics, etc. with their name

 Add a passcode to any personal electronic devices

 Bring only necessary items to school and keep valuable possessions at home

Class Size

In order to maintain the quality of our educational program, class sizes are limited to a maximum of 22 students. Most classrooms will have a smaller maximum capacity. Teaching assistants are provided, as needed, in certain elementary classrooms depending on class size and educational need.

Academic Records

Parents have access to student records through the PowerSchool online portal using the login provided to them. These records are kept at multiple Raffles server locations to ensure that they are safe and always available to parents in the future.

Withholding of Student Reports

The Administration reserves the right to hold student records, which may include report cards, transcripts, transfer records and other formal school documents, in the event of any owed fees, unreturned texts, library books, team uniforms, other school property, or missing information in the Student Services Office, such as emergency contact information, student health forms and updated immunization records.

Please note that any outstanding balance from a previous semester will need to be reconciled before the next semester can be paid. Thus, if a payment is made for one semester, any outstanding balance for a previous semester will be deducted from that payment and the current semester’s balance will remain unpaid. Raffles charges late fees at 200 baht per day for fees left unpaid.

Withdrawal Procedure

If a student is withdrawing from RAS, parents must inform the Head of School in writing at least seven (7) calendar days in advance and obtain the withdrawal form from the Admissions Office. Requests for teacher recommendation letters or student records must be submitted to the Admissions office at least two school weeks in advance of the date needed. Transcript and report card requests can only be processed one week after report cards are issued. For any deposit to be returned, students must notify the school at least one semester in advance before withdrawing.

Early Check Out of Students Before the End of the Year

In the event a student must leave early at the end of the school year, the parents must fill out the absence request form. The final report card will not be given early and will be emailed to the parent when available. Report cards will not be issued for students with outstanding fees. The report card and transcript for high school students will not be available until at least five working days after the end of school. Students who depart early without the consent of the administration will receive unexcused absences and all work missed during those days will receive marks of zero (0).

Curriculum Overview
Curriculum and Assessment
The fundamental idea behind American education is the concept of educating the whole child for the successful realization of dreams and goals. Our curriculum is based on what we truly believe all students should know and be able to do, now and into the future. We have the opportunity and challenge to embed learning outcomes such as communication skills, organizational and research skills, and problem solving/ thinking skills into our curriculum at every level. We have the opportunity to model, and consequently, to give students the chance to grow in compassion, responsibility, integrity, and respect. Our faculty has been tasked to use formative and summative assessment techniques to have students demonstrate these attributes in meaningful ways so that students are able to apply, synthesize, and create in the real world. We hope to inspire students to pursue their passions and their dreams through a multiple intelligence approach to teaching and learning, and our efforts will encompass the curricular and co-curricular domains.

Assessment and Grading
Raffles American School students will be able to demonstrate intelligence and abilities that cannot be measured simply on a multiple-choice test. This research-based approach is intended to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of subject Content Standards and our Learning Outcomes, preparing students for entry into the most selective universities in America and worldwide. Furthermore, learning at RAS assists students to embrace and be successful in their next life challenge.


Comments are provided to explain the grades and to provide additional information to students and parents regarding progress, success, and ways to improve. Student-led conferences take place in the second half of the year to encourage students to demonstrate learning outcomes and to further the partnership between students, parents, and teachers.


The Preschool Curriculum Overview

Teachers plan hands-on, minds-on experiences inside and outside based on their knowledge of child development and best practices as well as the needs and interests of the children themselves. On-going assessment of children’s progress includes the gathering of anecdotal records, digital photographs, developmental checklists and work samples. All this information gives us a picture of a child’s development and alerts us if more information and support is needed to help a child reach his or her potential.

RAS uses a curriculum to support all areas of a child’s development: cognitive, social, emotional, physical and creative. Our curriculum meets or exceeds the American Preschool Learning Foundations and serves as the foundation for the RAS Kindergarten curriculum.

Learning in preschool is hands-on and integrated. A child’s time outside chasing insects in the garden, for instance incorporates all the ‘dispositions for learning’ as well as cognitive development: science (“What kind of bug is this?” “What do they eat?”); math (“Is it larger or smaller than the other one?” “How many did you find today?”); language (“Tiger Butterflies are orange and black.” “Let’s make up a poem about butterflies!”); social skills (“How can we all see?” “You can have a turn next.”); physical development (running after the butterfly, carefully stepping around plants, manipulating the butterfly net); and creative (painting a picture of the butterfly in its habitat. Dancing and moving like one.)

We try to avoid categorizing lessons as “math time,” “science time,” or “language time.”  Learning is everywhere and happening all the time supported by teachers skilled at looking for and creating moments of discovery and learning based on children’s needs and interests.  Although our schedule may be broken down into targeted learning topics, the actual lessons are holistic learning experiences where multiple intended outcomes are synthesized.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Before rigorous teaching of academic topics can be productive, your child needs to adjust to a social classroom learning environment.  Therefore, much of the Pre-K program is focused on socializing your child by teaching them good learning habits.  At RAS character matters.  That is why we believe a school should focus on more than just information.  The next generation needs to have social responsibility and judgment to properly use their knowledge to improve the world.

In addition to the everyday support for social/emotional skills from the teachers, we teach, a pro-social, anti-violence curriculum that teaches empathy, emotional management, problem solving, self-regulation and executive function skills through puppets, songs, role play and picture cards. Developing social/emotional skills is essential work for three, four and five-year-olds.  Teachers agree that self-regulation is critical for early school success.  Through building trust, interacting with peers and teachers, engaging in activities and games with their peers, creating scenarios through dramatic play and just by being part of a group, the children will:

Communication and Language literacy

Undoubtedly, language development and literacy is a momentous process for a young learner.  Language is the framework which shapes the way we think about and internalize the world around us.  In many ways humans are distinctive because of our inclination to communicate and understand through language.  For this reason, much of the intelligence that appears unique to humans is a byproduct of our brain’s language development mechanisms.

Learning multiple languages can be a confusing, frustrating process.  Fortunately, RAS teachers apply the latest research-based techniques to ensure your child’s language development will thrive.

Books (story books, non-fiction or poetry) are read to children each day at group time and one-on-one throughout the day both inside and outside. Children have flannel board stories to retell favorites or create their own.  Children make individual or class books to document experiences and celebrate the imagination. We provide children with opportunities for meaningful conversations with us and each other throughout the day.  Through dramatic play, tabletop games, group time activities and casual conversations with teachers and each other, the children will: 

Mathematical Development

Mathematics skills have traditionally been associated with intelligence.  Although at RAS, we believe that there are many different types of intelligences, the importance of math in your child’s life may have a strong impact on later academic success.  Therefore, it is advantageous to start developing your child’s logical and spatial reasoning skills at an early age.

Math is everywhere—inside and outside. Children love to count and compare things. Through blocks, science and nature activities, dramatic play, art, music and movement the children will build foundation skills in arithmetic, geometry and algebra.  In RAS Pre-K the children will: 

Physical Development

We plan fine and gross motor activities each day both inside and outside. RAS teachers set up motor experiences that stimulate the body systems to gain strength, balance and coordination. Activities such as using eye droppers and squeeze bottles to water plants, manipulating art materials to create a masterpiece, pouring and measuring for cooking activities and playing with playhouse people are the foundation skills that build strength in muscles used for writing. Through motor activities the children will: 

Music and Movement

Music is part of each day in the classroom and on the playground.  The children have music time with a Music Teacher on a regular basis.  Through listening and moving to music of various genres (classical, Latin, Asian, traditional folk music and nursery rhymes), singing familiar songs and making up their own, using basic rhythm instruments as a group or individually, inside and outside, the children will: 

Expressive Arts & Design

RAS offers creative art experiences for children each day in the classroom with a teacher-selected activity and are always available on the "help yourself shelf".  Art supplies are always available as an option on the playground (paint, markers, crayons, tape, clay, recyclables, paper, light table) and some rotating activities (including wire, pastels, collage, stamping or seasonal projects).  Through opportunities to explore chalk, crayons, markers, pencils, pastels, paint, clay, paper, wire, fabric, yarn, wood and recycled materials inside and outside, the children will: 

 

Dramatic Play

Our coming outdoor stage will be a catalyst for dramatic expression, we’re sure!  Children don’t need much encouragement to pretend and engage in dramatic play.  It is second nature to them.  They’ll create it in the playhouse (in or outside) in the sandbox, with unit blocks and animals and people inside, with the hollow blocks and hard hats outside, on bikes, in the garden... everywhere! In dramatic play, the children will: 

Preschool Hours

Normal timings for the Preschool are 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Children should be in their class by 8:25 a.m. dropping off after this time can be disruptive to the flow of the classes. Please pick up your child promptly at dismissal time.  Very young children gain security by being picked up at the same time every day.  An early pick up at 12:30 p.m. is recommended for our toddlers and younger students who are not ready for extended separation from their parents.  All children are welcomed personally by their classroom teacher and we encourage parents to allow children to walk to their classroom independently.  Parents are welcome to come into the classroom to talk to the teacher or observe the learning environment.  However, parents should try to be out of sight of the children when class starts.

Settling in Policy for New Preschool Students

Your child’s happiness and well-being is of utmost importance to us! Six hours is a long time for your little one to stay during their first few days at school, and many three-year-olds tire quickly with all the new experiences and activities.  So for our first week, we want our new students to feel safe, happy, and have fun in order to ensure that they will be excited about coming back to school for their second full week!  Therefore, we would like to use a staggered entry procedure for the first week of school to help our littlest friends get off to a good start to their first year of Preschool.

The staggered entry process encourages a gradual transition from home to school. Instead of all the children coming at once for their first day, it would be best if we orientate them in smaller groups. Moreover, it might be too exhausting for students if they come all day for the first week. The staggered entry procedure is designed to address both of these issues.

We will ask half of the new Preschool students to only come on Tuesday and Thursday of the first week.  The other half of the new Preschool students should come on Wednesday and Friday. For the first week, we will have an early pick up schedule so that the school day is not too overwhelming.  Please pick up new Preschool children at 1pm during their first week.

Parents will also find it difficult to separate with their children for the first day of school. Although you may walk in the classroom with your child, the teachers will indicate when it is time to go. When your child is occupied in play, reassure them that you will return shortly and leave without alarming your child or hesitating.  

It is normal for Preschool students to cry on the first day of school, but usually this stops shortly after they realize their crying will not make their parents come back. If a students see ANY parents during this separation period, it will make them think that crying is a strategy that will make their parents come back.  Therefore, it is important that parents are not seen after this separation period.  Please do not peek in through the windows during this critical transition period.

If a child is not dealing with separation well, we do not want them traumatized by the experience.  Therefore, if you think your child might have difficulty with separation, you may wait in the front lobby area during the first morning of school. A teacher will come to see you if your child has not stopped crying.  If this happens, a plan will be arranged between teachers and parents to create a more gradual staggered entry tailored to your child’s needs.

Returning K1 parents should attend class all day for the full week. If new K2 parents feel like their child may be at risk of separation anxiety, please discuss this with your teacher before class starts to arrange a staggered entry schedule.

Elementary Curriculum Overview

Language Arts

Language Arts or the Art of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking is instructed through a balanced literacy approach. Reading, writing, listening, speaking, spelling, word study, and handwriting are studied in an integrated style through use of a variety of quality literature. Students work with leveled texts and learn to decode, develop comprehension strategies, and increase their independent reading level at an increasing degree of complexity. Students also focus on nonfiction texts as they acquire the skills to interpret information, research, and question material presented. Writing is focused on engaging students in meaningful context for the purpose of communicating their ideas on paper. Students are guided through modeling, reflecting on model examples, sharing their own work and peer editing the work of others. The 6 +1 Traits provides a consistent framework for student understanding of what good writing looks like through focus on ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation. Students are encouraged to publish their written work in various formats for the genre produced.

Mathematics

Students study mathematics through a focus on the Common Core 8 Mathematical Practices. The practice of ‘Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them’ as well as ‘Attend to precision’ are consistently emphasized as applicable to all areas of mathematical study. Students engage in critical thinking as they ‘reason abstractly and quantitatively’ and ‘construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others’. Problem solving involves the “use of appropriate tools strategically’ and ‘model with mathematics’. Strategic thinking also requires that students ‘look for and make use of structure’ while ‘expressing regularity in repeated reasoning’. These Eight Mathematical Practices, along with development of the four learner outcomes, form the backbone for the mathematics curriculum. Students learn through direct instruction, fluency practice, games, math investigations, and collaboration. Study in mathematics requires student generated problems, working with manipulatives, group investigations, and classroom discussion. The Common Core Curriculum emphasizes a firm foundation and fluency in addition and subtraction before formalizing the algorithms for multiplication and division. Rational number study follows multiplication and division fluency as students are prepared to take Algebra 1 in the eighth grade. Measurement, Data, Geometry, Algebraic Thinking, Statistics and Probability are integrated into each grade level with various emphasis.

Science

The study of science at RAS is focused on the use of the scientific method. From the early grades students are encouraged to wonder and question the world around them. Students learn Biology, Chemistry, and Physics each year as they investigate the many happenings within the world we live. Directed reading of factual, informational text provides the basis for vocabulary and concept acquisition. Teachers engage students in experiments while emphasizing research, observation skills, safety, recording tools, and communication of conclusions. Students are encouraged to interact with their environment, pose additional inquiries, research the library and internet and share their thoughts collaboratively.

Social Studies

The social studies program begins with the microcosm of self and family and gradually expands to the global world today. Young social scientists explore their immediate communities and beyond. As a student progresses from self and family to community to state to country to region to world they acquire the skills necessary for mapping, interviewing, film making, and documentation. Students deepen their understanding of government, conflict, change, technology, and culture in the Asian region ultimately leading to the study of the global order and issues of today.

World Languages 

The World Languages currently instructed at RAS include Thai and Mandarin. Communities, Connections, Cultures, Comparisons, and Communication are the focus of the language units. Students do not have to have a prior level of language for study in the World Language Class during the school day. Additional language classes are offered after school four times a week with teacher permission. These classes are instructed and assessed as a school day class. Students will continue to advance their knowledge in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in their target language.

English Language Learner 

RAS offers support for English Language Learners (ELL). Raffles American School provides English Language Learners with an enriched, language-immersion education in which English is the primary language of instruction. Our schoolwide instruction and assessment is designed to facilitate our students’ learning to meet our school wide Learning Outcomes.

English is taught as a subject and through subject matter content, thereby developing both basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiency skills. The ability to use English for social, intercultural and instructional purposes is our goal. ELL students are supported to reach a reasonable level of English proficiency by the end of the tenth grade as required by RAS’ Admission Policy.

Arts

Visual and Performing: Visual Arts Units include drawing and painting, ceramics, mixed media, and sculpture. Students are encouraged to research current and past artists, to become familiar with the principles and elements of design, and to communicate thought and expression through a variety of media. The music class engages students in the exploration of the elements of music, the components of performance, how music influences society, how we respond to music and current technology employed in the field of music.

Physical Education

Health, Fitness and Wellness is the focus of the physical education program. Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. The goal of physical education is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Students demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Students develop an understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. Participation in physical activities, development of social and personal respect for others in physically active situations and a lifelong enjoyment of physical challenges and expression are emphasized.

Middle School Curriculum Overview

Language Arts

The middle school language arts curriculum is thematically designed to support reading and writing across the core subjects with an interdisciplinary approach based on the Common Core ELA Standards for Literacy. Throughout the course of the year students acquire skills to interpret, research, and question information presented. At the beginning of the first semester an emphasis is placed on reading informational text, citing textual evidence, writing arguments, and conducting research. Students are later introduced to a wide range of enriched reading in world literature, drama, and poetry. Through participation in inquiry-based literacy circles, students practice listening and speaking while preparing for oral and written presentations. Independent reading is strongly encouraged in the classroom and at home, with students keeping a reading log with new vocabulary and reflections. The writing program is bridged with thematic readings to encourage students to find their voice and be creative. Students also learn to write increasingly complex sentence structures, apply new vocabulary, and self-correct repeated grammatical errors. There is a greater focus on expository essays and research writing as students learn to create outlines, refine thesis statements, write clear introductions and conclusions, and support their ideas/opinions with textual evidence. Throughout the year, students will present their ideas creatively through theatre, debate, and digital publishing.  

Mathematics

The knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for mathematics in college, career, and life are woven throughout the Common Core Mathematics Standards for middle school. These are organized into domains of: ratio and proportions; functions; expressions and equations; the number system; statistics and probability; and geometry. Students are prepared to take Algebra 1 in the eighth grade. By the end of eighth grade, students will have learned to solve linear equations in one variable and have applied graphical and algebraic methods to analyze and solve systems of linear equations in two variables. Students continue to learn through direct instruction, fluency practice, games, math investigations, and collaboration.

Science

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) identify what students should know and be able to do in science in order to be ready for college and careers. Students in middle school continue to develop understanding of four core ideas in the physical sciences through inquiry-based learning. The NGSS middle school science performance expectations build on the K-5 ideas and capabilities to allow learners to explain phenomena central to physical science, life science, and earth and space science. Students explore science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and cross-cutting concepts through models, experimentation, problem-solving, and collaboration.

Social Studies

The Middle School social studies program is built on the C3 Framework of College, Career, and Civic Life and integrated with the Common Core ELA Curriculum. Students study civics, economics, geography, and history, acquiring skills in the four dimensions of: developing questions and planning inquiries; applying disciplinary tools and concepts; evaluating sources and using evidence; and communicating sources and taking informed action. The social studies program begins with antiquity and the origin of civilization. As social scientists and explorers, students begin by examining the ancient river valley civilizations of the Middle East and Asia. As they progress through the past into the present, they will deepen their understanding of the forces that shape modern civilization today. Students middle school experience will close with focus on Southeast Asia and Thailand’s contributions and struggles throughout time.  Students will be engaged throughout the year with virtual and real field trips, games, rich texts, multimedia, and hands-on activities in map making and geography.

World Languages 

The World Languages currently instructed at RAS include Thai and Mandarin. Communities, Connections, Cultures, Comparisons, and Communication are the focus of the language units. Students do not have to have a prior level of language for study in the World Language Class during the school day. Additional language classes are offered after school four times a week with teacher permission. These classes are instructed and assessed as a school day class. Students will continue to advance their knowledge in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in their target language.

English Language Learner 

RAS offers support for English Language Learners (ELL). Raffles American School provides English Language Learners with an enriched, language-immersion education in which English is the primary language of instruction. Our schoolwide instruction and assessment is designed to facilitate our students’ learning to meet our school wide Learning Outcomes.

English is taught as a subject and through subject matter content, thereby developing both basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiency skills. The ability to use English for social, intercultural and instructional purposes is our goal. ELL students are supported to reach a reasonable level of English proficiency by the end of the tenth grade as required by RAS’ Admission Policy.

Arts

Visual and Performing: Visual Arts Units include drawing and painting, ceramics, mixed media, and sculpture. Students are encouraged to research current and past artists, to become familiar with the principles and elements of design, and to communicate thought and expression through a variety of media. The music class engages students in the exploration of the elements of music, the components of performance, how music influences society, how we respond to music and current technology employed in the field of music.

Physical Education

Health, Fitness and Wellness is the focus of the physical education program. Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. The goal of physical education is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Students demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Students develop an understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. Participation in physical activities, development of social and personal respect for others in physically active situations and a lifelong enjoyment of physical challenges and expression are emphasized.

A Final Note

This handbook is not meant to be a complete collection of all school policies, documents and procedures, but rather an overview of the information essential to a productive and rewarding experience at Raffles American International School.