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PURPOSES AND USES OF THE HANDBOOK
PHILOSOPHY, OPERATION, GOVERNANCE AND ACCREDITATION
Philosophy and Aims
“To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the Divine purpose in his creation might be realized - this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life.” Education, p. 15.
Our teachers are credentialed educational personnel and are active members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They are employees of the Department of Education of the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The curriculum at Cypress Bend Adventist School is designed to prepare our students for further enjoyable learning all through life. Laying a solid foundation of the basic skills of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, computer science, fine arts and physical education is a priority at Cypress Bend Adventist School.
Governance and Accreditation
ADMISSION, REGISTRATION AND TUITION POLICIES
Admission to the school is granted by acceptance of an application and the fulfillment of the conditions prescribed by the board. Each new student must present evidence by -means of standardized testing, previous teacher recommendation, and/or personal interviews, of sufficient maturity, preparation (achievement), and motivation to succeed under our program. The ultimate match of student and school is accomplished when the candidate is able to meet a strong academic challenge, enjoys learning, and in turn will contribute to the overall strength of Cypress Bend Adventist School.
Cypress Bend Adventist School reserves the right to place students in the appropriate instructional levels as determined by test data and developmental maturity. Students are expected to meet the academic standard and to conform to the school’s rules in order to retain their places. The school also reserves the right to refuse admission and to require immediate withdrawal of any student whose presence is considered detrimental either to the student or to the school’s best interest and spiritual and educational objectives.
Cypress Bend Adventist School admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Nor does it discriminate in the administration of its education policies, admission policies, and other school administered programs.
To register your child in school you will need:
New students will also need:
A package of registration materials is available at the school.
It is recommended that in harmony with the instructions from the Spirit of Prophecy, supported by the findings of medical science and by leading educators, children should not be sent to school at too early an age. Parents are urged to accept this instruction and not enroll their children until they are at least seven years of age.
In harmony with the Texas Department of Education policy, children will not be admitted to the first grade under any circumstances unless they are six years old by September 1 (must be five years old by September 1 to enter kindergarten).
A medical history form must be completed for all students and presented with registration materials. A periodic physical examination by a physician is encouraged but is not required.
It is required that children entering school for the first time receive TB tests, DPT shots, and that all children receive immunizations against polio and Rubella. Records with this information must be presented at the time of registration.
Immunization requirements for all students entering, attending and/or transferring to public, private, or parochial schools in the State of Texas need to be kept in a current status. A shot record must be submitted at the time of admission.
Tuition and Registration Fee
Tuition is paid for 10 months, beginning in August and continuing through May. Payment is due by the 10th of each month. If your account is not paid by the 10th of the following month, your child cannot continue in attendance until appropriate financial arrangements are made and approved by the board or finance committee.
Tuition payments for all classes, pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, shall be made directly to Cypress Bend Adventist School and should not be presented on the Sabbath.
The registration fee and the first month’s tuition are due by the registration date or when registration occurs during the year. The registration fee includes book rentals, workbooks, insurance, library supplies, and testing for all grades and is not refundable. A list of student supplies will be furnished at registration.
If it is known that financial assistance will be needed when the student is registered, it must be made known at that time. This will allow appropriate arrangements to be made before school starts. If such arrangements are not made, it will be assumed that the responsible parent or guardian is pledging to meet all the financial requirements of attending the school.
It is the Conference policy that no transcript of grades will be issued for any student whose account is not paid in full. No student will be granted a report card or diploma until he/she has completed every subject and is clear of all financial obligations to the school incurred during the year. All financial obligations to the school must be paid in full before enrollment in the new school year will be permitted.
Tuition and registration fee amounts are specified in registration materials.
GENERAL ACADEMIC POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Grading System and Grade Reporting
Pre-K through Kindergarten
Grades 1 through 2
E = Excellent
S = Satisfactory
N = Not Satisfactory
Grades 3 through 8
A = Excellent
B = Good
C = Average
D = Poor
F = Failing
Cypress Bend Adventist School students in grades 3 through 8 are tested every fall using the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) testing program. The schedule for the testing is on the school calendar.
Parents are urged to have students arrive at school on time on testing dates. We encourage the students to get plenty of rest and eat healthfully, with very little sweets, during the testing week. Students are encouraged to put forth their best efforts during testing. Test results provide valuable instructional information to students, parents, and teachers.
Students may have homework on several evenings each week and are totally responsible for their own assignments. Homework not returned on the date assigned will incur a penalty of points off. In addition, any work not completed during class time is expected to be finished at home for submission on the next school day. The teacher will determine the point value for work completed at home which was not assigned as homework.
Promotion and Retention
A student who has achieved an overall average of “D” or above and who has achieved an average of “D” or above in each subject in the English/language arts and mathematics is promoted to the next grade level. Final marks in language arts, mathematics, health/science, spelling and social studies are averaged to determine the overall average.
Failure in one subject results in conditional promotion. Each student subject to conditional promotion will be carefully evaluated by the administration.
Failure in two (2) subjects results in retention.
Field trips serve as an important part of the educational program. Field trips are planned and organized by the teachers and are mandatory. Missing a field trip is an unexcused abance. Only authorized adults will drive on the field trips or any school function off campus.
If a student fails to conduct himself appropriately during a field trip, he/she will not be allowed to go on the next field trip.
During such field trips, the following rules apply to each student:
Textbooks and library books are checked out to the students for their use during the school year. These books belong to the school and must be respected as borrowed property. The librarian will record the condition of the book when it is checked out and when it is returned.
Students will be charged for lost books or for excessive wear due to negligence. Examples of damage for which fees are assessed include writing in books, torn or missing pages, water damage, and broken covers.
REPORTING TO PARENTS
It is the policy of Cypress Bend Adventist School to require its teachers to communicate with parents about the progress of their students. Any student exhibiting poor conduct or unsatisfactory progress will receive a report from his/her teacher at the end of the first five weeks of each nine weeks grading period. The lower grade teacher will provide notice of progress to the parent or guarding of any student who has an ‘’N” in any subject. The third through eighth grade teachers will provide notice of progress to the parent or guardian of any student whose average in any given subject is lower than ‘D” or who has dropped a grade in a given subject. Teachers are encouraged to telephone parents, send notes, or arrange conferences to discuss the progress of any student whose work is out of the ordinary.
The School Board recommends that a parent ask questions pertaining to their children’s school activities at other times than on the Sabbath.
The report card is given at scheduled parent/teacher/student conferences following the close of each nine week period.
If a parent is delinquent in any account, no transcript or other academic information will be forwarded to any other school or agency until the account is cleared.
Conferences between parents, teachers, and students are offered at the end of each of the first three grading periods (quarters). Parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s progress with the teacher.
Daily notes give information on special events, unexpected or new events, homework, or just daily reminders.
Conference with the Principal
Parents are always free to bring any problem or question to the attention of the principal. However, it is the policy of the school to encourage parents to discuss any problem between themselves and a faculty member directly with that faculty member first. In almost every instance, frankness and consideration can bring a solution. Should questions still remain, the parents are urged to bring the question directly to the principal. All conferences should be arranged to fall outside of regular classroom hours.
ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
Mandatory Attendance Policy
Attendance at all school sessions is compulsory. It is expected that the parents will see that the students are in punctual attendance at all times. The parents of any student who is excessively tardy must meet with the administration.
The only valid excuse for absences from school is sickness of the pupil, or attendance at the funeral of a member of the immediate family. An absence will not be excused for such things as private music lessons, shopping, parent’s travel, or any other reason that could be handled outside of school hours.
If a pupil has been absent, he/she must bring to school when returning, a written note giving the reason for the absence and signed by his/her parent or guardian. Written excuses brought in later than the third day after an absence will not be accepted, and the absence will stand unexcused. When a pupil is absent he/she has as many days to make up his work as they were absent (see Make-up Work section).
When a student fails to arrive at school by 9:00 a.m., an effort will be made to contact the student’s parent or guardian. This is a protection for you, for the child, and for the school in the event that the student left home for school but for some reason failed to arrive.
Some school functions may be deemed mandatory. If a student fails to participate in such a school function and fails to provide a written note, signed by the parent or guardian, and giving the reason for the absence, that student may incur a penalty or points off from his/her grade. Acceptable reasons for not attending a mandatory school function are the same as for regular class attendance.
School begins at 8:00 a.m. for all grades. Dismissal time will be 3:00 p.m. for all grades.
Since the insurance of our students is only valid when a teacher is in a supervisory capacity, the following regulations will apply:
Children should not arrive before 7:45 a.m. unless special arrangements have been made beforehand with the student’s teacher. Children are not allowed on the playground before school in the morning or after school is dismissed for the day. Supervision of children ends 15 minutes after school is dismissed unless other arrangements have been made with the principal.
The campus is a ‘Closed Campus’. This means that once a student arrives at school, and during school hours, he/she cannot leave the school grounds without the permission of the parent.. Students will bring and eat their lunch in the school. Various forms of a lunch program may be available.
Students will be released only after contacting the parent. Please send written confirmation when your child is to be released to someone other than those named on the original application.
In the case of divorce and custody relationships, the school needs legal documentation to prevent a non-custodial parent from picking up his/her child or visiting his/her child on the premises. A written statement by the custodial parent is not adequate proof to restrict rights in such cases. All materials from the school - report cards, calendar, etc. - will be delivered to the custodial parent. Duplicate materials may be delivered to the non-custodial parent upon receipt of written instructions signed by both parents. Legal documentation (held confidential) will help us meet your needs and the needs of your child.
Absences from School
When your child is absent, please phone the school prior to 9:00 a.m. and send a note describing the reason for the absence.
Leaving Before Dismissal
If your child must leave school before 3:00 p.m., please send a note with him on the day he/she must leave early. If there is an emergency, please notify the school and make arrangements according to the need.
A student should talk with his/her teacher the first day back in class in order to avoid having the missed work count as being late. Students are given as many days to complete their assignments as their absences entailed. Parental requests for missed assignments should be made before noon. Make-up work is only issued in the event of an excused absence. Work missed due to an unexcused absence is late, any tests or quizzed missed are counted as a zero.
If, because of illness, a student has not completed sufficient class work to earn a passing grade, he/she may receive an incomplete. Period incompletes must be removed during the following nine week grade period or the grade automatically becomes an “F”.
Parents and others who are interested in the program of the school are welcome to visit school at any time. Children are not permitted to visit school unless previous arrangements are made with the administration. Whenever possible, it would be appreciated if visitors would announce their visit beforehand and upon arriving at the school, contact the teacher of the classroom they desire to visit.
General Code of Conduct
Effective teacher and student relationships are a common bond for proper classroom decorum. Discipline is one of the elements that aids the process of maturing and becoming a productive member of church, family, school and society.
Students are to conduct themselves properly in a manner prescribed by the teacher, and they must comply with the applicable rules and policies of the school.
The Code of Student Conduct below is in force during regular school hours from the time a student enters the school grounds or attends school-sponsored activities.
Students are expected to follow these guidelines as a Code of Conduct:
Students are to attend school daily and to arrive on time.
Students will use language that is representative of a Christian at all times and will converse in such a manner that they will rightly represent Christ. Profanity and vulgarity will not be tolerated.
Students are to assume responsibility for their own actions by:
Students must maintain a positive attitude by:
Respect is one of the fundamentals of our faith. Students will show proper dignity and respect at all times for God, for their teachers and aides, for civil law, and for each other’s rights, the same that he/she as a child of God expects to receive. Teachers are entitled to the same respect and obedience due parents. This is done by:
Students contribute to the classroom environment by:
Students are expected to take care of the school by:
School property that is misused, broken or destroyed will be charged to those responsible for the offense. Such charges will be added to the student’s account and must be paid before the student’s card is issued.
Students are expected to show reverence to God in worship and attitude by:
Students are subject to serious discipline if they are using illicit drugs, tobacco or alcohol in any form or having them in their possession.
“No education can be complete that does not teach right principles in regard to dress. Without such teaching, the work of education is too often retarded and perverted. Love of dress, and devotion to fashion, are among the teacher’s most formidable rivals and most effective hindrances.” Education, p. 246
‘There should be no carelessness in dress. For Christ’s sake, whose witness we are, we should seek to make the best of our appearance . . . our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity.’ Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 96.
No sleeveless, muscle, or body shirts are to be worn to school. Hoodies, jackets and sweat shirts should show no markings, inscriptions, or pictures that would be offensive to a high Christian standard. Offensive pictures include movie stars, unhealthful foods or drinks, etc.
The above regulations apply to all students and are for the purpose of honoring Christ. The safest guide to follow is to ask yourself this question, “Would Christ do what I am doing or wear what I am wearing?” Those who oppose such high standards will be asked to examine their motives, their ideals and their attitudes before being permitted to continue in school.
No motorized vehicles (cars, motorcycles, go-carts, etc.) are to be driven to school by the student. All bicycles are to be parked from the time a student arrives until the time the student leaves after being dismissed. Bicycle racks will be provided.
Electronics and Personal Items
Radios, CD players, MP3 players, recorders, electronic games or televisions are not to be brought to school by the students. Parents should put names in all coats, jackets and sweaters.
No cell phones allowed during school. They must be given to the teacher.
Chewing gum at school is not allowed.
The principal must approve any printed material (brochures, posters, and letters sent home with students, etc.. before it is distributed or displayed in the school or on school grounds. Printed °materials must be submitted to the principal for approval the day before they are to be sent home or displayed.
STANDARDS FOR STUDENTS
The Cypress Bend Adventist School expects to maintain the Christian standards of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. Students are expected to conduct themselves at all times as Christian boys and girls. Students who enroll in Cypress Bend Adventist School are expected to comply with the following standards both in and out of the school:
Pupils are expected to conduct themselves in harmony with the standards and spirit of the school at all times. This demands that a wholesome attitude be maintained toward the school. A student whose progress or conduct is unsatisfactory, or whose attitude is not in harmony with the standards or principles of the school, or whose influence is found to be detrimental, will be disciplined although there may have been no specific violation of any regulation or rule.
Places of Amusement
Students will be expected to attend only those places of recreation where Christ would be a welcome guest. Attendance at theaters and questionable places of amusement is discouraged, and the discussion of the same (including television programs) will not be permitted in schoolrooms or on the school grounds.
The school provides ample library material; therefore, students are not to bring books and magazines or other materials on campus without the permission of the teacher.
Health, Diet, and Leisure Time
Because the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy includes health, a balanced vegetarian diet is preferred. No unclean flesh food (Leviticus 11). No caffeinated drinks will be allowed in the student’s lunches. A diet high in sugar will lead to poor academic performance and poor behavior in the classroom, and thus should be avoided.
Parents are encouraged to help their students develop good personal hygiene habits, such as regular bathing, care for their teeth, being neatly groomed, and wearing clean clothes (see Dress Code, #1)
Adequate rest is essential for good performance in school. Wholesome leisure time activities and hobbies, those that challenge thinking and develop skills, will assist the lessons learned in school. Excessive time spent viewing television will generally detract from maintaining an interest in school. The reading of good, nonfiction books and magazines will develop abilities and broaden the student’s view of life.
Students will be expected to practice the rules of Christian temperance. That means they will not possess or use tobacco or liquor or drugs in any form. A violation of this regulation may result in the student being asked to withdraw from the school.
The expectations of students are outlined in this handbook, and minor day-to-day infractions are expected to be handled informally between the teacher and student. When the teacher identifies a persistent problem that must be corrected, the following formal steps will usually be taken:
In extreme circumstances, any of the above steps may be omitted in order to effectively and appropriately deal with the situation.
ACCIDENTS AND MEDICAL INFORMATION
All accidents, regardless of how slight the injury or damage may be, must be immediately reported to the teacher in charge of the class or activity.
Our school insurance covers all students against injury or death occurring while the policy is in force. This School Time Accident Coverage covers for the hours and days when school is in session, and while attending school sponsored and supervised activities.
No medication (including aspirin or Tylenol) of any kind may be administered at school without the parent’s written consent. The consent must specify the dosage, number of days, and time of day that the medication is to be given. Medications cannot be given by telephone approval. All medications must be in a labeled prescription or manufacturer’s bottle. The medication must be left with the teacher. Students may not carry medication with them while at school.
In case of illness or accident occurring at the school that does not require immediate emergency room treatment, the parent will be notified to pick the child up from school. At registration the parents signed a Consent for Treatment form authorizing the staff to obtain medical aid in the event of a serious injury or illness occurring at school. Parents will be contacted as soon as possible after the child’s medical needs have been met.
If a student becomes ill during the school day, his/her parent will be notified and the child will be cared for until the parent is able to pick him/her up.
A student who has been kept home or sent home with a temperature of 1000 or more should remain out of school for 24 hours after he/she is free of temperature.
It is the responsibility of the parent to inform the school if his/her child is out with a contagious disease or has been exposed to a contagious disease.
PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING CONCERNS
In even the best schools parents sometimes have concerns regarding the school’s operation or perhaps some action of an individual employee or teacher, The following steps should be taken when concerns arise:
Since such resolutions are sometimes of a sensitive nature. the principal (if not personally involved), the board chairperson and the superintendent (or associate) of school should share the board’s resolution with the persons involved. Every effort should be made to come to a caring, peaceful conclusion among God’s people.
STUDENT’S AND PARENT’S PLEDGE
It is distinctly understood that every student who presents himself for admission to the school, and their parents, pledge to observe willingly all of its regulations stated in this handbook, and to uphold the Christian principles upon which the school is operated. It is also understood that to break this pledge forfeits the student’s membership, and if he/she is longer retained in this school, it is only by the forbearance of the faculty and School Board. By enrolling their children at Cypress Bend, parents agree to support and act in accordance with the rules and policies explained in this Handbook.