Hemet Adventist Christian School
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Student Handbook
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HISTORY

While undergoing various name changes, Hemet Adventist Christian School has served the greater Hemet community since 1914. It relocated to its present location in the mid 1970’s.

MISSION

Believing God creates every child in His image; Hemet Adventist Christian School encourages each child to develop spiritually, mentally, socially and physically to his/her fullest potential. 

OBJECTIVES

I. To draw each child into a loving relationship with Christ, thereby enhancing a sense of self-worth.

2. To provide a variety of learning experiences designed to create in each child a thirst for learning as well as providing the knowledge needed to lead successful Christian lives. 

3. To enable each child to interact positively with others through Christian principles of relationship.

4. To assist each child in the formation of a healthful lifestyle. 

ACCREDITATION

Hemet Adventist Christian School is accredited by the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists offering a wide range of learning opportunities for Kindergarten through the eighth grade.

Our school is sponsored by the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Department of Education and constituent Seventh-day Adventist Churches.

PHILOSOPHY

By the power of God, Seventh-day Adventist education strives to restore in humankind the image of their Maker, to bring themselves back to the perfection in which they were created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul that the divine purpose of their creation might be realized.

God created perfect human beings in His own image who are “endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator - individuality, power to think and do.”  Sin diminished humanity’s capacity for free, creative responsible thinking and acting.  Therefore, the purpose of Christian education is to restore this power in each student by providing knowledge of God.  Such a transforming restoration involves the development of the whole person:  physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

We believe that our teachers are servants of God; and our students, children of God.  Therefore, Hemet Adventist Christian School’s education places a high estimate on the worth of every individual and seeks to provide a climate in which a positive self-image may be developed.  We provide opportunities for the students to live successfully and productively.  We encourage students to take an active interest in making the community a better place to live, to appreciate the cultural and scientific advances of the age, and to develop positive attitudes toward useful labor and toward humanity.

We challenge the students to develop a personal sense of mission for giving the gospel message to all the world in preparation for the soon return of Jesus.

Hemet Adventist Christian School’s education seeks to acquaint students with great literature, art, and music, and to develop appreciation for “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely . . . ” (The Book Education and Philippians 4:8)

ADMISSION INFORMATION

Studies show that the first years of school are the most important years in a person’s school experience.  It is during these years that a child develops a self-image as a student.  A successful beginning school experience is vital to the development of positive self-esteem.

The school may accept students to Kindergarten if they will be five (5) years of age on or by December 2 of the year they enroll.  First grade students may be admitted if they are six (6) years of age on or by December 2 of the year they enroll, or have completed a full school year of Kindergarten. Students applying mid-year due to age requirements are subject to admittance discretion by the school including but not limited to testing. Age must be verified by presentation of a birth certificate upon registration in kindergarten, and first grade. 

All students may be tested for readiness by the teacher (ie: previously home-schooled students or immigrant status).

The school reserves the right, after testing the child and counseling with the parents, to change grade placement of any child within the guidelines set forth in the Pacific Union Conference Education Code.

The Hemet Adventist Christian School, a Christian school, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, nationality, or ethnic origin in its educational policies, scholarship program, or other school-administered programs.

The school enrolls students (1) who are in harmony with the school's goals and philosophy, (2) who will abide by the policies and rules set forth in this handbook or in future supplements to it, (3) who have met the specified application, immunization, and medical requirements, (4) who will benefit from the school program, (5) who will not interfere with the attainment of the educational goals of the school or the education of other students, and  (6) whose parents or guardians pay their tuition and fees as arranged.

STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

Hemet Adventist Christian School may be unable to accept students who have educational, mental, physical, or social handicaps, which would require specially trained staff, equipment, and/or extensive modifications in order to meet their needs.

GRADUATING FROM 8TH GRADE

In order to be able to participate in the graduation ceremony, 8th grade students must have completed all end of the year testing and turned in all final projects. In addition, accounts must be paid in full. It is also desirable that students first enrolling at the school in the year they desire to graduate have attended at minimum one full semester at the school immediately prior  to graduation. The school reserves the right to make this determination.
Honors – to be able to graduate with honors, a student must have a 3.5 GPA or above for 7th and 8th grade year.

ATTENDANCE

Regular attendance is required of all students.  State law requires that a parent fill out and sign an "absence notice," giving the dates and reason, every time the child is absent from school. These written "excuses" will be kept in the student’s file.  The only legal excuses for absence, according to the California Education Code, are a sickness of the child or a death in the immediate family.  Absences for medical appointments should be arranged with the teacher ahead of time.

Habits of promptness are very important to a student’s ability to learn and study.

Hemet Adventist Christian School recognizes 3 kinds of absences:

1. EXCUSED-work missed may be made up.

2. UNEXCUSED-work missed may not be allowed to be made up.

3. UNEXCUSED-(with no penalty)-this type of absence must be prearranged to the school’s satisfaction.

It is important for school officials to be aware of the reasons or extent of a student’s absence or tardy. Please call the office within 1 hour of the start of the school day if your student will be absent.  Please send your child with a note explaining the reason for the absence when they return to school.

GUIDELINES:

1. Medical and Dental appointments should, if at all possible, be scheduled outside of school hours.

2. Teachers are not required to permit students to make-up work missed due to an unexcused absence, especially when it’s multiple unexcused absences.

3. Absences are to be accompanied with a note from the parent to the teacher.

4. 3 tardies are equal to 1 unexcused absence.

5. Pre-arranged absences must be made well in advance with your child's teacher.
 

TRUANCY:

A student is considered truant if he or she is in a place that is not consistent with school regulations, during school hours. The school is required by law to report to authorities when a student has been truant more than 5 days.

Students are not allowed to leave the campus during school hours without written permission from the parent or guardian

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

Parents are expected to see that their child is at school on time every day.  When a student arrives late, he or she loses important time and disturbs the classroom.  Because students’ habits are being formed, we want them to learn the importance of being on time.

When school is dismissed, students who leave without an adult must have written permission on file, at the school, and should leave immediately.

Those students who do not have written permission to leave school independently will not be permitted to leave with anyone except parents/guardians and those adults designated by the parents on the Student Pick-Up Form.  If the adult is unknown, they will be required to show identification.

When a student must leave the school campus during school hours, permission will be granted by the teacher if previous arrangements have been made by the parent or the guardian.  Inform the office and the teacher of the departure and return of the child.

VISITORS

We welcome parents at Hemet Adventist Christian School and encourage you to visit your child’s classroom.  Some teachers allow drop-in visits.  However, as a courtesy to the teacher, please call a day ahead to schedule a visitation.  Before going to the classroom, all parents must check in at the office.

STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Hemet Adventist Christian School is committed to providing a school environment free from sexual harassment for all students.  Incidents of harassment should be reported in accordance with these procedures so school authorities may take appropriate action.  Students who sexually harass others are subject to discipline up to and including expulsion. Law enforcement may be notified prior to parent notification. Employees who engage in sexual harassment are subject to discipline up to and including termination.

Definition: Sexual harassment is any sexual advance, request or other conduct of a sexual nature, which is offensive.  It includes, but it is not limited to, spoken or written words, physical behavior, offensive pictures and/or drawings, graffiti, and jokes.  Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. 

Reporting Procedures: Students who have experienced sexual harassment should report the incident to school authorities as soon as possible.  School authorities include teachers, principals, and school board chairperson.

CUSTODY DISPUTES

In case of a custody dispute, the school will abide by the rulings of the court if there is a copy of the court document on file in the school office.  If there is no court ruling, or if there is no copy of the court document on file in the school office, the child may be released to either parent.

ILLNESS AND ACCIDENTS

A sick child should remain at home so that he/she can recuperate better and the infections will not be spread at school.  You should keep your child home for, but not limited to, the following reasons:

1. Fever within the past 24 hours;

2. Undiagnosed rashes (it should be evaluated by a physician before entering school);

3. Vomiting and/or diarrhea within the past 24 hours;

4. Asthmatic children who do not respond positively to their normal dose of medication (or having severe coughing) need to have an inhaler with prescription of doctor’s note;

5. Children in severe pain (i.e. after tooth extraction);

6. Uncontrollable coughing.

A child who is too sick to play outside is too sick to come to school.

Please call the school when your child will remain at home because of illness.  If the child has/had a communicable disease, please notify the school so other parents can be alerted.

If a child becomes sick at school, you will be called and asked to immediately pick up your child and take him/her home.  If a parent cannot be reached, the person listed on the application form as an emergency contact will be called to take the child home. 

If a child sustains a moderate injury during the school day, up to and including a simple fracture, school authorities will try to contact the parents immediately.  If the school cannot reach the parents, school personnel will try to contact those specified on the emergency form.

School authorities may administer first aid, call 911, or take other action at their discretion. 

If a child has a serious injury, 911 will be called first, followed by calls to the parent or guardian.  Serious injuries which warrant an immediate call to 911 include, but are not limited to, loss of consciousness, a seizure which is continuing, inconsolable pain, mental status changes, bleeding which cannot be stopped, amputation of any body part, or compound fracture.

SCHOOL ACCIDENT INSURANCE

All students enrolled in the school are covered by the mandatory student accident insurance that covers accidental injuries sustained on the school campus or on authorized field trips. Accidents should be reported immediately to the school office. Check your insurance packet for complete information. (NOTE: Parent insurance is primary and school insurance is secondary.)

MEDICAL INFORMATION

California’s Administrative Code requires that pupils entering a California school for the first time provide a written immunization record of receipt of each required vaccine dose. Parents must provide evidence of a physical exam for students entering kindergarten, 7th grade or transferring from another school and the following required immunizations: polio (4 doses), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella: 2 doses), DTP/DTaP/DT/Td [tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) 5 doses], varicella (chickenpox: 2 doses), and hepatitis B (3 doses).

Children entering Kindergarten or school for the first time are also required to have the Hepatitis B series as well as a TB skin test and a dental exam.

7th graders must have a booster of the Tdap before beginning the school year. If they have had a Tdap after their 7th birthday, the requirement has been met. It must be the Tdap, not the Dtap or any other form of the vaccine.

California State law does not permit students to administer drugs, either prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs, to themselves or others. Only medication in the original container with a prescription label, stating the exact dosage, will be given to a child by school personnel. The school’s medication administration form must also be completed. Parents should try to schedule medication dosages so that they do not occur during school hours (i.e. prescription that says 3X a day (tid) should be given every 8 hours, before school, after school, and before bedtime). A special medicine spoon must accompany liquid medications.

MEDICATION

Students prescribed medication for the purposes of conduct/behavioral actions are expected to comply with prescription directives. If conduct at school is affected by noncompliance with such directives, the school reserves the right to enforce the portions of the handbook pertaining to behavior by students at school.

LUNCHES, FOOD AND SPECIAL TREATS

Students should bring nutritious lunches for the noon meal and parties. Please do not send excessive sweets. Eating at times other than designated snack times and lunchtime is not permitted. If you want your child to have a snack, please supply one in your child's lunch box. Arrange with the teacher ahead of time if special birthday or party treats for the entire class are to be brought.

Students are not allowed to leave campus to go to homes, stores, or eating-places for lunch unless accompanied by an approved adult.

Please refrain from sending caffeinated and energy drinks with your children since this can interfere with their learning achievement in school.

In addition, while students are at school the support of generally accepted dietary habits of Seventh-day Adventist Christians is appreciated.

PARENT HELP IN THE CLASSROOM

Teachers, in consultation with the principal, may invite parents to participate in the classrooms. The teacher will assign and direct the parents; the teacher's leadership is always the final word in the classroom. Before entering a classroom, please stop by the school office.

SCHOOL TELEPHONE USE

Only emergency phone calls will be received by teachers and students during school hours. Anyone who needs to contact students or teachers may leave a message and number with the secretary or on the answering machine requesting a return call at the first opportunity. A student may use the telephone, with the teacher’s permission, for emergencies only.

HOME-AND-SCHOOL ASSOCIATION

This parent/teacher association is designed to provide parent education and to unite the home and the school in giving a Christian education to the children. The Home and School Association often takes on fund raising projects that benefit the students and school. Students, parents, teachers, adult members of a constituent church, and patrons of the school are members of the Home-and-School Association.

FIELD TRIPS

Teachers plan occasional outings to enrich the instructional program. A parent must complete and sign a permission form before a child can participate in the field trip. Please state on the form if your child will need medication during field trip hours.

DRIVERS MUST:

1. Be over 25 years of age.

2. Have a valid, unrestricted driver's license.

3. Have Bodily Injury coverage of $15,000/$30,000 and Property Damage coverage of $5,000; changes in insurance requirements by the Conference or Pacific Union will be adopted immediately at the time they are implemented and approved drivers will be subject to any new requirements.

4. Have current copies of both drivers license and insurance coverage (Declaration Page) on file in the office prior to each trip.

5. Have a completed Transportation Information form on file in the school office along with an approved Volunteer/Background check form.

6. Adhere to all posted speed limits while on the trip.

7. May neither consume nor provide for another any alcohol or judgment-impairing drug substance prior to or during the event.

8. Follow the guidelines given per field trip.

9. Drivers are asked not to smoke in the presence of students while on the trip.

10. Ensure that each child and the driver have and use a seat belt. Drivers can only carry those they have seatbelts for, not to exceed 8 people, including the driver.

11. Must not make any unplanned stops - only those designated by the teacher.

12. Ensure that no child under 12 years of age sits behind an airbag.

REWARD TRIP

At the end of each year, there is a reward trip for students that qualify.  The requirements are as follows.  Cut off dates and the reward trip date will be in the calendars.

  90% attendance (no more than 18 absences excused or unexcused)

  (Also, 3 excused or unexcused tardies equals an absence)  No outstanding (missing) work as of the reward trip determination   cut-off date

  C (not C-) average in all subjects for  the entire year at the reward trip   determination cut-off date.  In addition, no grade below a “C”   in any subject area as of the reward trip determination cut-off   date.

  No suspensions for the whole year

All students who have acceptable permission slips from parents, meet the requirements, and are paid in full for the trip will be eligible to attend (trip is subject to adequate drivers and supervision).

  **Staff and administration reserves the right to determine final eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

MAJOR DISASTERS

In the event of an earthquake or other major disaster, children will remain at the school until a parent or an individual on the emergency list comes to pick up the child.  Anyone who picks up a child must sign the emergency forms of the children being taken because there may be no phone service to use to track down a child's whereabouts.  

UNIFORMS

The school has a uniform policy.  Requirements are outlined in the Uniform Policy Guide which is considered an addendum to the handbook.  By signing the school application, parents and students agree that they will adhere to the policy.  The school reserves the right to amend the policy on an as needed basis as determined by administration.

WHAT TO WEAR

In a desire to promote standards of modesty and in order to have a basic dress code for young people, rings, earrings, bracelets or chains (necklaces), are not to be worn at anytime. 

Nail polish should be limited to clear or earth tone (natural) colors when such tones have been approved by the school prior to the student wearing the polish to school.  The student is responsible for getting approval on an individual basis prior to wearing non-clear polish to school.

Students should dress neatly, modestly, and healthfully.  For safety, shoes or strapped-on sandals must be worn at all times, no flip flops.  On cool days, students should bring jackets or sweaters to wear outside.  Students should not wear shirts that expose the midriff, T-shirts with inappropriate printing, ragged clothing, or clothing with holes.  In addition, straps should be at minimum three fingers wide.

The faculty, in consultation with the principal, will determine what is inappropriate if a question should arise.  The school reserves the right to make individual case-by-case decisions in regards to all “What to Wear” questions. 

All Undergarments must remain covered at all times. Girls wearing dresses are encouraged to wear shorts under them to maintain modesty when playing.  Acceptable length shorts may be worn during warm weather. At minimum, shorts should be longer than the tips of the fingers when an arm is held straight down. 

PERSONAL PROPERTY AND WHAT NOT TO BRING TO SCHOOL

The school does not assume responsibility for damage or loss of personal property left on the school premises.

Cell phones shall not be turned on or seen. If a student brings a cell phone it must remain turned off and put away to prevent from having it taken away. Personally owned radios, CD or tape players, television, electronic games, walkie-talkies, etc. are not permitted on campus during school hours or on school sponsored activities unless specifically approved for the event by a faculty member. Administration adheres to a three-fold approach to breaches in this policy. The item will be taken from the student after the first offense and given to  the principal. The student will have the item returned at the end of the day. At the second offense, the item will be taken and held until the parent comes to pick it up. Parents will be instructed not to permit the student to bring such items to school. If the student is found to be using one of these prohibited items a third time, the item will be taken away and may be held for the remainder of the school year. 

Mark all personal property with the student's name.  Students must not bring any of the following to school: matches, lighters, fireworks, firearms, knives, other weapons, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gum, electronic games, radios, tape recorders, toy guns, or war toys.  We also discourage students from bringing expensive or breakable items to school.  If inexpensive toys are brought to play with, they must be left with the teacher until allowed to have the item.  Students should check with the teacher and get permission before bringing sports equipment for P.E. 

No one is to ride a bicycle, skateboard, roller blades, motorbike, or roller skates on campus.  (These items may only be brought if there is written permission on file, from the parent, signifying that these are the student's method of travel to and from school.) 

SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION

Certain specific behavior is such a gross deviation from the standards of the school that immediate and certain action is automatically required. Immediate suspension including up to expulsion (law enforcement may also be contacted even prior to parents being contacted depending upon the nature of the incident) from school may occur due to:

Possession, use, transfer, or sale of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or drug related substances on campus or at school related functions.

Possession or use of dangerous weapons of any sort on campus or in relation to a school related activity.

The theft, removal of, or unauthorized use of property belonging to the school, a staff member, or student.

Any behavior which indicates a serious physical danger to a staff member or student.

Any vandalism of school property.

Any threats against persons and/or property.

Consistent or recurring attitude or behavior that indicates a resistance to the assistance given by the school in attempting to effect change.

Aggression, outright defiance, and/or disrespect toward staff members.

Behavior of such a nature that the atmosphere of trust and cooperation at the school and/or relationships with students and/or staff at the school has been harmed to the point that it no longer is beneficial for the student to attend the school.

The child may be given in-school suspension, or suspended at home until the child is ready to abide by the school rules.

A student not in harmony with school behavior expectations, on or off campus, may jeopardize his/her privilege of attending Hemet Adventist Christian School.

Behavior off the school campus, whether during school hours or not, that indicates an unwillingness to live a lifestyle that is supportive of generally accepted Christian principles for minors may result in the application of the Suspension and Expulsion Policy of the school.  For example, but not limited to: alcohol consumption, tobacco use, inappropriate sexual activities, theft or burglary, threats of violence, destruction of property, and arrest by authorities, etc.  The school reserves the right to use its judgment on a case-by-case basis.

A student may be suspended from class by the teacher in cooperation with the principal/administrator. A student may be suspended from school for up to 10 school days as approved by the principal/administrator. The principal/administrator, though not mandated, may seek input from a duly called teacher meeting and/or the Education Department of the Conference Office. Expulsion of a student is to be considered by the school board upon the recommendation of the principal/administrator. If an expulsion is appealed to the board by the parents/guardians of a student, the student is to remain under suspension while the appeal process takes place. The school board is the final authority for expulsions and its action may not be appealed.

A suspended student is not be on school grounds or at a school related function at any time during the suspension (during school hours or not). An expelled student is not to be on school grounds or at a school sponsored function for the remainder of the school year. It then becomes the prerogative of the school as to whether the student is permitted to be on school grounds or at a school related function after the end of the year the student was expelled.     

REGISTRATION POLICY

Registration for the next school year will begin after Spring Break of the current year and no sooner.

Currently enrolled students, siblings of students, and constituent Seventh-day Adventist church members get first priority, but all are welcome.  This is on a first come first served basis.

Once a class is full, a waiting list is prepared for that class and names are listed in the order they are received.

Registration is complete when all required fees have been paid and all paper work is on file in the office.  An early registration discount may be given at the discretion of the school.

FINANCIAL POLICY  

1.  Statements are available to parents on the first of each month and tuition is then due and payable.  Payment is due no later than the 5th of the month.  If the 5th falls on a weekend, the first weekday following the 5th is considered as the cutoff date.

2.  If payment is not received by the 15th of the month, then a $30 penalty is assessed per family.  If the 15th falls on a weekend, the first weekday following the 15th is considered as the cutoff date.  The account must be current for all previous months also.

3.  If payment is not made by the 15th, there shall be notification sent informing
the family that effective the end of the month the student will no longer be permitted to attend classes until the matter is resolved by full payment of all outstanding accounts or other arrangements approved by the school.

4. If payment arrangements become necessary in order to get current, the responsible party needs to honor those arrangements or the agreement will automatically become void and the student will not be able to attend school until the matter is resolved.

5. Discounts may be given for full-year or partial year payment at the school’s discretion.

6. Whoever signs the tuition/financial form is responsible for the payments.  If anyone would like to send a copy of their bill to someone else, it is their responsibility.  The school will only send the bill to the person who signed the form. 

ASBESTOS

In accordance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Act, this notification is issued to advise that asbestos is located in the rough white surfacing material on the ceiling throughout the school.  The triennial re-inspection of the asbestos containing building material at HACS was completed May 11, 2011.  None of the asbestos containing building material was judged to be a hazardous condition to building occupants at this time as long as it is left undisturbed.  If there are more questions, please see the office for more information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY

Hemet Adventist Christian School provides the following Academic Integrity Policy to assist both teachers and students in making decisions regarding breaches in honesty in a student’s educational experience while at Hemet Adventist Christian School.

Our policy is:

If a student is observed, according to the teacher’s judgment, in an act of cheating (plagiarism is considered cheating), during a test or individual assignment of any kind, he/she will be informed of the infraction. The assignment will be withdrawn and the student will receive a “0” (zero) for the test/project/assignment. The teacher reserves the right to apply the penalty to any other parties involved in the breach. A lack of academic integrity may result in suspension or expulsion from school based upon school discretion in regards to the nature of the cheating as well as the attitude of the student and any prior incidences. Receiving a failing grade for the entire course is also an option of discipline. 

DISCIPLINE

Discipline is designed to help a child assume responsibility for his/her own behavior.  It is a shared responsibility between the home and school with both working toward the best interest of the child.

CLASSROOM STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOR

Individual classroom teachers will be sending home their own classroom rules.

Students shall follow the established classroom rules which include respecting God, respecting all adults, respecting other students, and respecting school property.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE


Because communication sometimes breaks down and can result in misunderstandings, a grievance procedure has been established in harmony with the council of Jesus in Matthew 18. The student is our prime concern. The following steps are offered with this in mind. It is recommended that the steps be followed in sequence.

1. A parent/teacher conference should be held in order to identify the problem and isolate the facts. This first step should resolve the majority of problems. Parents should not approach teachers during the school day unless cleared through the office.

2. A parent/teacher conference with the principal may be held if the concerns remain unresolved at the first meeting.

3. Before further action is taken, a second parent/teacher/principal conference should be held with the problem area stated in written form. Only first hand information which is current for this year and which directly affects the individuals concerned should be considered.

4. Any unresolved problems should be brought before the appropriate school board committee, the board itself, or through the principal.

5. If any of the parties involved still feel that the problem is unresolved, they may request that it be brought before the Southeastern California Conference Board of Education. This is done by requesting that the matter be placed on the agenda for the Board of Education.

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 a more eager attitude toward learning and achievement.

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.

3. Avoid expressing negative opinions or judgments about a teacher in the presence of your child. This undermines confidence in the teacher and affects your child’s relationship with the teacher.