Nondiscrimination Policy Statement
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, in all of its church schools, admits students of any race to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at its schools, and makes no discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnic background, country of origin, or gender in the administration of education policies, applications for admission, scholarship or loan programs, and extracurricular programs.
The Traverse City Seventh-day Adventist School is established primarily for the youth of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Other students may be admitted as openings are available and conditions for admission are met. The school, however, is not equipped to deal with academically challenged or behaviorally challenged students who require specialized instruction. All students requesting admission must meet the following requirements:
1. Students entering first grade must be at least six years old by December First. A certificate of birth (copy is acceptable) must be presented at registration.
2. A medical report from a physician must be submitted by anyone entering a Michigan school for the first time, with this evaluation being recommended at the start of grades 1 and 5.
3. Students transferring from another school must present a report card or transcript from the former school and request transfer of the student’s records.
4. A commitment to adhere to the school policies printed in this handbook, as well as well as any other policies approved by the Education Board, must be expressed by the signatures of each student and parent/guardian on the admission form.
Faithful attendance is imperative for success in school. State law requires that all students of school age must be in a school during the school year and that this is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. The excusable absences are illness of the student (see definition of illness on page 13), a medical appointment, or a death in the immediate family. Parents/guardians are encouraged to be models to their children by demonstrating punctuality and responsibility.
WRITTEN EXCUSES SIGNED BY PARENT/GUARDIAN ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL ABSENCES AND TARDIES. These are to be given to the teacher when the student returns to school. All missed homework must be made up. The Education Board (EB) will review the situation of any student with more than 3 absences during any calendar quarter. For the purposes of the EB attendance review, please note that 3 tardies will be considered the equivalent of one absence. Excess absences may be referred to the truant officer at the discretion of the EB.
If needed, the EB will set up a 3-member Attendance Committee to provide help and resources to parents whose children continue to have problems in the area of attendance. Although some children need more help and encouragement than others in order to be ready for school on time, the state of Michigan does ultimately hold parents responsible for their child’s attendance at school. Please contact the EB chairperson if you would like to set up an appointment.
The school day will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m., Monday through Thursday and on Friday, school begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 12:00 p.m. Students should arrive no more than 15 minutes ahead of starting time and attend to their personal needs before the start of school. Students need to be seated by the starting time to avoid being marked as tardy. The late arrival of a student is particularly disruptive in the first ten minutes of the school day when worship is held.
Students are to be picked up within 15 minutes after dismissal. The school day begins and ends with a quiet devotional. We request that parents arriving early for pickup remain quietly in the school foyer awaiting formal dismissal of students. On half-days there will be no lunch break and school will be dismissed at noon.
Students must present written parental permission to the teacher before leaving the school during school hours. This should include who is picking up the student, when, the reason, and whether the student will return the same day.
When it is necessary to be absent from school for the purpose of urgent family matters or travel, arrangements for make-up work must be completed prior to the absence. Written requests for such absences must be presented to the teacher at least one week before scheduled departure.
Parents are responsible for transportation of their children to and from school. Please be advised that students will only be allowed to leave the premises with pre-approved persons. At registration, the parent/guardian will provide a written list of approved people who may pick up their children. Other verbal/pre-written approval must be presented to teacher at beginning of school day. Any individual not on the list of approved individuals picking up a student must provide legal identification prior to the student’s departure.
Field trips and out-of-school activities extend education beyond the classroom. They complement class work assignments. Written permission is required for students to participate. A form will be sent home some days prior to the activity. Appropriate attire and regular school clothing should be worn unless designated otherwise by the sponsors.
Service projects may include sunshine bands, vesper programs, other religious activities, adopt-a-highway cleanup, and will present opportunities for students to gain experiences in sharing their faith with others.
PRINCIPLES OF CONDUCT
Use and Care of School Property
Students are expected to use equipment for its intended purpose only and to return what is used to its place when they are finished. Students shall be responsible for paying the costs of replacing or repairing all property which they damage.
School will provide books for students’ use. A portion of the entrance fee covers the rental charges for these books, covering a reasonable wear. No book that is defaced by vulgar or disrespectful messages will be allowed to remain in use in the school. If books are defaced or damaged, the student will be required to replace them.
Textbooks constitute an important resource. Some of the curriculum used within the classroom is produced by Seventh-day Adventists. However, in some subjects, the church has felt they could utilize some of the excellent textbooks already available on the general market. Before allowing a church school to purchase such books, the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists’ Office of Education has a very careful process of evaluating and recommending approved textbooks. The evaluators include Adventist teachers and administrators who carefully study the books to determine their suitability for Adventist schools. Textbooks with a pervasive philosophical approach counter to Adventist teachings will not be approved. Other textbooks will meet the high standards required for approval.
Even the best approved textbooks sometimes contain inaccuracies. Some of these are factual errors while others represent differences of opinion on important philosophical or religious issues. However, a good class is not based solely on the textbook. If the textbook your child is reading has such problems, the Seventh-day Adventist teacher will make every attempt to point out the errors or differences, thus giving the teacher an opportunity to discuss with your children important ideas they will be confronting at the present time or in the future as they further their education. Students will be taught to read critically and thoughtfully every textbook, under the careful guidance of the teacher. As students then enter the broader world, they will be better prepared to deal with the many challenges their belief system will face, having been made aware of these potential areas under the thoughtful care of a dedicated Adventist teacher.
All pupils may use library materials and may borrow selected books. Reference books, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, may not be removed from the school. Magazines may be checked out on an overnight basis. All other books may be borrowed for two weeks. A charge will be made for books damaged beyond reasonable wear. A replacement fee must be paid for borrowed books that are lost, destroyed, or damaged beyond usefulness.
School Telephone/Cell Phones
Students are not permitted to place or receive telephone calls during the school hours, or use personal cell phones for phone calls or any other use. The teacher will relay necessary messages to the student. Students will not be allowed to make telephone arrangements for impromptu trips to others students’ homes.
Students using computers are not to enter chat rooms, must have permission to be on the computer, and must uphold Christian standards while communicating with others. Upon request, students shall allow faculty to view messages sent and received to verify that there is no use of vulgar language or other inappropriate practices. Under NO circumstances may a student give out his/her address, phone number, etc. while online.
The students’ hours at school are intended to be used in school related activities. Therefore, the presence of any books, materials, toys, or magazines that will be detrimental to their education will not be allowed in school. Such items are subject to confiscation.
Personal electronic equipment may be brought to school only if the teacher has granted prior permission.
Healthful Living at School
Recess and physical education are part of the curriculum designed to promote the teacher directed physical education of the students, providing the following:
1. Daily sunlight, fresh air, physical exercise and rest from academic studies.
2. Assigned games and activities that develop increased physical strength, endurance, and motor skills. At times, free play will occur.
3. The daily presence and participation of all students is encouraged during all seasons, weather permitting. Students will be outdoors except for rain or wind chill conditions. Students should be properly dressed for any weather condition.
4. Only safe equipment will be permitted for use in activities. Tools and toys shall be used only for their intended purpose.
5. Unsupervised outdoor play is not allowed after dismissal. Parents are expected to plan for prompt pickup (within 15 minutes AFTER DISMISSAL TIME) of their children.
6. Excused non-participation and/or limitations within P.E. will be granted if accompanied by current medical assessment from the child’s doctor.
7. Under no circumstances may any student hang or swing from the high horizontal bar on the Jungle Gym. Any student who observes such hanging or swinging must report the action immediately to the adult in charge.
Students need help in developing proper dietary habits. To neglect instruction in this area is to severely handicap the total learning process.
The differing stages of practice among Christian families in this matter of diet need not be a barrier to progress. We can grow together toward God’s ideal for us. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor.10:31.
To uphold the practice of healthful dietary principles all students will follow principles of healthful living as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and detailed below:
1. Students choosing to include flesh foods in their meals are expected to follow Biblical instruction found in Deuteronomy 14 and Leviticus 11 covering clean and unclean meats.
2. Caffeinated drinks are not acceptable.
3. Highly sugared foods are also discouraged. Birthday or other celebration treats shall be eaten at lunch time. Knowing the potential for too much sugar to hinder learning and increase irritability, we urge that low or non-sugar foods be used for such treats.
4. Lunches will be stored in areas designated by the teacher. Items that need refrigeration may be kept in the refrigerator. A microwave oven is available and may used to reheat items.
5. Spoons, napkins, dishes, etc., are to be provided by the student to meet his/her individual need.
6. Drinking water shall be promoted during classroom breaks. Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle, marked with their name, to school. This way it is always available to them, indoors and outdoors.
7. Eating between meals and chewing gum at school shall be prohibited because of the detrimental effects upon healthful living and learning.
8. Flesh foods will be excluded from events where the school provides food.
In dress, as in all things else, it is our privilege to honor our Creator. He desires our clothing to be not only neat and healthful, but appropriate and becoming. A person’s character is judged by his style of dress. Education, p. 249.
All modest, neat, clean attire is acceptable. Jewelry and extremes in styles are not allowed. Medical alert identification is acceptable. Fads not in harmony with Seventh-day-Adventist principles are not permitted. When designated, attire other than regular school clothes may be permitted for announced activities and recreation.
Knee-length shorts may be worn to school when weather conditions warrant.
The school occupies one wing of the church facility. To reduce the wear and tear on the non-school portions of the building including the Sanctuary, Narthex, and Multi-purpose room, these areas are strictly off-limits to students unless accompanied by an adult or when one student is specifically assigned by the teacher to carry out an errand in one of these areas.
The privilege of participating in the care of the building deepens student appreciation and heightens personal regard for its proper use. Students shall aid in keeping the school an orderly, sanitary place of beauty by giving care to the following tasks:
1. Practicing good personal grooming.
2. Keeping the desks, coat areas, kitchen and bathroom facilities neat and clean.
3. Wearing different footwear to avoid tracking dirt onto the carpet.
4. Aiding in keeping the school property neat and clean.
5. Using the lost and found box. All items not claimed at the end of each grading period will be disposed of.
The goal of discipline is self-control. Not every misbehavior requires discipline. Teaching a better way is often sufficient and most effective. However, when discipline is necessary, it shall be chosen to aid in improving behavior. It will vary with the offense committed and the student’s need to learn.
Parents have a powerful influence in leading their children to cooperate with the teacher’s authority. Students learn best when parents and teachers cooperate directly in dealing with student’s misunderstandings and problems instead of drawing conclusions and taking action on the basis of the child’s eye view. “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good... The wise in heart shall be called prudent; and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.” Proverbs 16:20, 21
Despite the best efforts of parents and teachers to instill proper behavior in students, the student cannot be forced into true obedience against his/her will. When a misbehaving student fails to respond to correction or places the welfare of the classmates in jeopardy by his/her disruptions to the learning environment, the following actions shall be taken as necessary:
1. 1st WARNING: Give a verbal admonition to student.
2. 2nd WARNING: Parents are notified and asked to talk to student.
3. 3rd WARNING: Parents are notified to pick up student.
4. SUSPENSION: Exclude from school for a limited period. This action is taken by the principal in counsel with the Education Board Chair or the Committee.
5. DISMISSAL: The Education Board excludes the student from school indefinitely.
Causes for Potential Dismissal
Students who engage in any of the following practices may be asked to withdraw from school or may be denied readmission for the succeeding period:
1. Willfully undermining the religious ideals of the school.
2. Using profane language, indulging in lewd conduct or suggestions, or possessing or displaying obscene literature or pictures.
3. Gambling or possessing or using any type of gambling device.
4. Stealing, lying, cheating, willful deception and dishonesty regarding violation of school regulations or any other phase of school work or business.
5. Failing to completely comply with the stipulations of any discipline that has been administered by the faculty.
6. Setting off false fire alarms.
7. Failing to comply with the personal appearance code.
8. Destroying school property.
Causes for Immediate Dismissal
1. Willfully undermining the religious ideals of the school.
2. Possessing or using alcoholic beverages, dangerous drugs, or tobacco in any form.
3. Bringing weapons to school.
4. Threatening others with malicious intimidation or violence.
It is not the intention of this handbook to cover every detail of the academic environment. Written and verbal communication between staff, parents, and students will be open and ongoing. This communication will be considered as binding as any guidelines included in this handbook.
Parent and teacher communication is vital to the well being of every student. It is accomplished through regularly scheduled conferences during the school year, through report cards and interim grade reports, homework and classwork assignments, as well as visits before and after school and over the phone.
Guidelines for Parents
Cooperation between parents and teachers will help provide positive educational experiences. When students perceive a spirit of mutual support and cooperation between parents and teachers, they will display an eager attitude towards learning and achievement.
Parental involvement in the classroom is encouraged and appreciated. Please make arrangements in advance. This will enable the teacher to coordinate help offered with areas of need.
Following are steps to communicating effectively with staff:
1. Contact the teacher before drawing conclusions. Make sure you understand thoroughly - get the full picture.
2. Be sensitive to the personal needs of the teacher. Make your contact within reasonable hours; not during class time, during Sabbath, etc.
3. Expressing negative opinions or judgments about a teacher in the presence of your child undermines confidence in the teacher and affects your child’s relationship with the teacher.
4. Talk with the teacher about your problem in private. Generally, you should talk to the teacher before speaking to the principal, when that is possible.
5. Informal meetings to discuss your problem with other parents generally hinder the problem solution process.
6. Be patient. Allow some time for the resolution of the problem by the teacher, student, and/or principal. Establish with the teacher a mutually agreed upon time limit to review progress. Stay in contact.
Remember that during a conference with the teacher/principal, personal feelings tend to interfere with objectivity. Remember the teacher loves and respects your child, but sees them from a different perspective than you.
Problem Solving Procedures
The student is our prime concern. The following steps are offered with this in mind. It is recommended that the steps be followed in this sequence.
1. A parent-teacher conference should be held in order to identify the problem and isolate facts. This first step should resolve the majority of problems. Parents should not approach teachers during the school day unless prior arrangements have been made.
2. A parent-teacher conference with the principal may be held if the concerns remain unresolved. This will be combined with number 1 above when the teacher is the principal.
3. Problems not resolved in the above may be brought to a conference including the Education Board Chair.
4. If no solution is found; the problem is to be sent to the Education Board for a final resolution. Items need to be placed on the Education Board Agenda several days prior to the scheduled meeting.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Tornado and fire drills are conducted on a monthly basis.
To insure the safety and well being of students, the facility will be locked when occupied. Visitors are encouraged to use the doorbell.
A responsible person will administer first aid to injured students. A parent will be notified if the injury warrants it. Parental permission for this care will be given at registration.
Absence due to minor physical illness or injuries is not to be encouraged. Students who have a fever of 100° F. or greater, and/or are actively vomiting should remain home until danger of contagion has passed and they are well enough to engage in normal school work (approximately 24 fever-free hours).
The parent shall arrange for any administration of medication needed by a child during school hours (whether prescription or over-the-counter). It shall be transferred directly to the teacher by the parent and be labeled with directions for administration.
Parental permission must accompany these and the teacher shall administer the drugs as stated by parent in writing ONLY.
All must be in original container with current and valid prescription label, doctor’s number, pharmacy phone number, etc. Administration of these drugs will rely on written permission by parent and adherence to instructions on label.
All injuries at school are to be reported immediately to the teacher. Insurance forms shall be obtained from the teacher or principal and filled out by the parent within 24 hours of the accident. It is the parents’ responsibility to see that the completed form is submitted.
Ninth Grade Independent Correspondence Students
The Application Form and Waiver Form for ninth grade independent correspondence students must be submitted to the Office of Education by April 10 for the following school year.
Applications will only be approved for remote and necessary schools (further than 20 miles or greater than a 30 minute drive from an existing Junior or Senior Academy).
The teacher shall not have responsibility for direct instruction.
The parents and students will be responsible for developing a time schedule to keep the student current in his or her work. The original schedule and any updates shall be given to the Education Board and Teacher.
A ninth grade student will not be able to work at the school until all materials, including textbooks and assignments, have arrived.
Even though a student will not be entered in the daily register, s/he shall be included in the count for student accident insurance.
The Education Board will be responsible for setting a reasonable service fee taking into account student accident insurance, supervision, utilities, computer use, etc. The registration fee is $50 for accident insurance & misc. due at registration, and $1000 for the school year payable in 10 monthly payments of $100 each.
Correspondence students will be expected to comply with policies of the school and state laws. Disruptive students will not be allowed to continue in this program.
Students must take a Michigan Conference approved Seventh-day Adventist Bible class online and/or by correspondence.
The Michigan Conference K-12 Board of Education will approve or deny all submitted applications.
Any exceptions to this policy will be considered on an individual basis and must also be approved by the Michigan Conference K-12 Board of Education.