PARADISE HIGH SCHOOL
Mac Edwards, Principal
Greg Fletcher, Assistant Principal
Peggy Kronenberger, Counselor
338 School House Road
Paradise, Texas 76073
Office Number: 940-969-5010
Office Fax: 940-969-5009
Table of Contents
To Students and Parents:
Welcome to school year 2012Ė2013!† Education is a team effort, and we know that students, parents, teachers, and other staff members all working together can make this a wonderfully successful year for our students.
The Paradise High School Student Handbook is designed to provide a resource for some of the basic information that you and your child will need during the school year.† In an effort to make it easier to use, the handbook is divided into two sections:
Section IóPARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIESówith information to assist you in responding to school-related issues.† We encourage you to take some time to closely review this section of the handbook.
Section IIóOTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTSóorganized alphabetically by topic for quick access when searching for information on a specific issue.
Please be aware that the term ďthe studentís parentĒ is used to refer to the parent, legal guardian, or any other person who has agreed to assume school-related responsibility for a student.
Both students and parents should become familiar with the Paradise ISD Student Code of Conduct, which is a document adopted by the board and intended to promote school safety and an atmosphere for learning.† That document may be found posted at www.pisd.net or available in the principalís office.
The Student Handbook is a general reference guide only and is designed to be in harmony with board policy and the Student Code of Conduct.† Please be aware that it is not a complete statement of all policies, procedures, or rules that may be applicable in a given circumstance.
In case of conflict between board policy (including the Student Code of Conduct) and any provisions of the Student Handbook, the current provisions of board policy and the Student Code of Conduct are to be followed.
Also, please be aware that the handbook is updated yearly, while policy adoption and revision may occur throughout the year. Changes in policy or other rules that affect Student Handbook provisions will be made available to students and parents through newsletters or other communication. The district reserves the right to modify provisions of the Student Handbook at any time, whenever it is deemed necessary. Notice of any revision or modification will be given as is reasonably practical under the circumstances.
Although the Student Handbook may refer to rights established through law or district policy, the Students Handbook does not create any additional rights for students and parents. It does not, nor is it intended to create contractual or legal rights between any student or parent and the district.
After reading through the entire handbook with your child, keep it as a reference during this school year.† If you or your child has questions about any of the material in this handbook, please contact the campus principal.
Also, please complete and return to your childís campus the following forms provided in the forms packet accompanying this handbook:
1. Student and Parental Acknowledgment Form;
2. Student Directory Information and Release of Student Information Form;
3. Parents Objection to the Release of Student Information to Military Recruiters and Institutions of Higher Education Form, if you choose to restrict the release of information to these entities; and
4. Consent/Opt-Out Form.
[See Obtaining Information and Protecting Student Rights on page 4 and Directory Information on page 12 for more information.]
Please note that references to policy codes are included so that parents can refer to current board policy.† A copy of the districtís policy manual is available for review in the school office [or online at www.pisd.net.
This section of the Paradise High School Student Handbook includes information on topics of particular interest to you as a parent.
In its efforts to promote nondiscrimination, Paradise ISD does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, or disability in providing education services, activities, and programs, including vocational programs, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
The following district staff members have been designated to coordinate compliance with these legal requirements:
∑ Title IX Coordinator, for concerns regarding discrimination on the basis of gender:† Director of Federal Programs, 338 School House Rd. Paradise, Texas 76073, 940-969-5000
∑ ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, for concerns regarding discrimination on the basis of disability:† Director of Federal Programs, 338 School House Rd. Paradise, Texas 76073, 940-969-5000
∑ All other concerns regarding discrimination:† See the superintendent Monty Chapman, 338 School House Rd. Paradise, Texas 76073, 940-969-5000
Both experience and research tell us that a childís education succeeds best when there is good communication and a strong partnership between home and school.† Your involvement in this partnership may include:
∑ Encouraging your child to put a high priority on education and working with your child on a daily basis to make the most of the educational opportunities the school provides.
∑ Ensuring that your child completes all homework assignments and special projects and comes to school each day prepared, rested, and ready to learn.
∑ Becoming familiar with all of your childís school activities and with the academic programs, including special programs, offered in the district.
∑ Discussing with the counselor or principal any questions you may have about the options and opportunities available to your child.
∑ Reviewing the requirements of the graduation programs with your child once your child begins enrolling in courses that earn high school credit
∑ Monitoring your childís academic progress and contacting teachers as needed.† [See Academic Counseling on page 26 and Academic Programs on page 18.]
∑ Attending scheduled conferences and requesting additional conferences as needed.† To schedule a telephone or in-person conference with a teacher, counselor, or principal, please call the school office at (940) 969-5010 for an appointment.† The teacher will usually return your call or meet with you during his or her conference period or before or after school.† [See Report Cards/Progress Reports and Conferences on page 48.]
∑ Becoming a school volunteer.† [For further information, see policies at GKG and contact the High School office.]
∑ Participating in campus parent organizations. †Parent organizations include:
∑ Parent Teacher Organization
∑ Athletic Booster
∑ Band Booster
∑ Serving as a parent representative on the district-level or campus-level planning committees, assisting in the development of educational goals and plans to improve student achievement.† For further information, see policies at BQA and BQB, and contact the campus principal.
∑ Serving on the School Health Advisory Council, assisting the district in ensuring local community values are reflected in health education instruction.† [See policies at BDF, EHAA, FFA, and information in this handbook at School Health Advisory Council on page 41.]
∑ Being aware of the schoolís bullying and harassment prevention efforts.
∑ Attending board meetings to learn more about district operations.† [See policies at BE and BED for more information.]
The Parent Involvement Coordinator, who works with parents of students participating in Title I programs is Patti Seckman and may be contacted at 940-969-5000.
Your child will not be required to participate without parental consent in any survey, analysis, or evaluationófunded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Educationóthat concerns:
∑ Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the studentís parent.
∑ Mental or psychological problems of the student or the studentís family.
∑ Sexual behavior or attitudes.
∑ Illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior.
∑ Critical appraisals of individuals with whom the student has a close family relationship.
∑ Relationships privileged under law, such as relationships with lawyers, physicians, and ministers.
∑ Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents.
∑ Income, except when the information is required by law and will be used to determine the studentís eligibility to participate in a special program or to receive financial assistance under such a program.
You will be able to inspect the survey or other instrument and any instructional materials used in connection with such a survey, analysis, or evaluation.† [For further information, see policy EF(LEGAL).]
As a parent, you have a right to receive notice of and deny permission for your childís participation in:
∑ Any survey concerning the private information listed above, regardless of funding.
∑ School activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information gathered from your child for the purpose of marketing, selling, or otherwise disclosing that information.
∑ Any nonemergency, invasive physical examination or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered and scheduled by the school in advance and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student.† Exceptions are hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under state law.† [See policies EF and FFAA.]
As a parent, you may inspect a survey created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed to your child.
You may request information regarding the professional qualifications of your childís teachers, including whether a teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction; whether the teacher has an emergency permit or other provisional status for which state requirements have been waived; and undergraduate and graduate degree majors, graduate certifications, and the field of study of the certification or degree.† You also have the right to request information about the qualifications of any paraprofessional who may provide services to your child.
As a parent, you have a right to review teaching materials, textbooks, and other teaching aids and instructional materials used in the curriculum, and to examine tests that have been administered to your child.
[Also see Removing a Student from Human Sexuality Instruction on page 7 for additional information.]
Teachers may display studentsí work in classrooms or elsewhere on campus as recognition of student achievement. However, the district will seek parental consent before displaying studentsí artwork, special projects, photographs taken by students, and other original works on the districtís Web site, on any campus or classroom Web site, in printed material, by video, or by any other method of mass communication.
You may review your childís student records.† These records include:
∑ Attendance records,
∑ Test scores,
∑ Disciplinary records,
∑ Counseling records,
∑ Psychological records,
∑ Applications for admission,
∑ Health and immunization information,
∑ Other medical records,
∑ Teacher and counselor evaluations,
∑ Reports of behavioral patterns, and
∑ State assessment instruments that have been administered to your child.
[See Student Records on page 10.]
As a parent, you may grant or deny any written request from the district to make a video or voice recording of your child.† State law, however, permits the school to make a video or voice recording without parental permission for the following circumstances:
∑ When it is to be used for school safety;
∑ When it relates to classroom instruction or a co-curricular or extracurricular activity; or
∑ When it relates to media coverage of the school.
As a parent, if your child is under the age of 14, you must grant permission for your child to receive instruction in the districtís parenting and paternity awareness program or your child will not be allowed to participate in the instruction.† This program, developed by the Office of the Texas Attorney General and the State Board of Education (SBOE), is incorporated into the districtís health education classes.
You may remove your child temporarily from the classroom if an instructional activity in which your child is scheduled to participate conflicts with your religious or moral beliefs.† The removal cannot be for the purpose of avoiding a test and may not extend for an entire semester.† Further, your child must satisfy grade-level and graduation requirements as determined by the school and by the Texas Education Agency.
As a part of the districtís curriculum, students receive instruction related to human sexuality.† The School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is involved with the selection of course materials for such instruction.
State law requires that any instruction related to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome must:
∑ Present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age;
∑ Devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior;
∑ Emphasize that abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity;
∑ Direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; and
∑ If included in the content of the curriculum, teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates.
In accordance with state law, below is a summary of the districtís curriculum regarding human sexuality instruction:
∑ Planned Parenting
∑ Child Development
∑ Anatomy and Physiology
∑ Personal and Family Development
As a parent, you are entitled to review the curriculum materials.† In addition, you may remove your child from any part of the human sexuality instruction with no academic, disciplinary, or other penalties.† You may also choose to become more involved with the development of curriculum used for this purpose by becoming a member of the districtís SHAC.† Please see the campus principal for additional information.
As a parent, you may request that your child be excused from participation in the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag.† The request must be in writing.† State law does not allow your child to be excused from participation in the required minute of silence or silent activity that follows.† [See Pledges of Allegiance and a Minute of Silence on page 47 and policy EC(LEGAL).]
You may request that your child be excused from recitation of a portion of the Declaration of Independence. State law requires students in social studies classes in grades 3Ė12 to recite a portion of the text of the Declaration of Independence during Celebrate Freedom Week unless (1) you provide a written statement requesting that your child be excused, (2) the district determines that your child has a conscientious objection to the recitation, or (3) you are a representative of a foreign government to whom the United States government extends diplomatic immunity.† [See policy EHBK(LEGAL).]
Teachers and other approved employees are permitted by the district to communicate with students through the use of electronic media within the scope of the individualís professional responsibilities.† For example, a teacher may set up a social networking page for his or her class that has information related to class work, homework, and tests.† As a parent, you are welcome to join or become a member of such a page.
An employee described above may also contact a student individually through electronic media to communicate about items such as homework or upcoming tests.†
If you prefer that your child not receive any one-to-one electronic communications from a district employee or if you have questions related to the use of electronic media by district employees, please contact the campus principal.
A noncustodial parent may request in writing that he or she be provided, for the remainder of the school year, a copy of any written notice usually provided to a parent related to his or her childís misconduct that may involve placement in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) or expulsion.† [See policy FO(LEGAL) and the Student Code of Conduct.]
Corporal punishmentóspanking or paddling the studentómay be used as a discipline management technique in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and policy FO(LOCAL) in the districtís policy manual.
If you do not want corporal punishment to be administered to your child as a method of student discipline, submit a written statement to the campus principal stating this decision.† A signed statement must be provided each year.
You may choose to revoke this request at any time during the year by providing a signed statement to the campus principal.† However, district personnel may choose to use discipline methods other than corporal punishment even if the parent requests that this method be used on the student.
As a parent, you may:
∑ Request the transfer of your child to another classroom or campus if your child has been determined by the district to have been a victim of bullying as the term is defined by Education Code 37.0832.† Transportation is not provided for a transfer to another campus.† See the campus principal for information.† [See policy FDB.]
∑ Consult with district administrators if your child has been determined by the district to have engaged in bullying and the district decides to transfer your child to another campus. Transportation is not provided in this circumstance.
[See Bullying on page 18, and policy FFI.]
∑ Request the transfer of your child to attend a safe public school in the district if your child attends school at a campus identified by TEA as persistently dangerous or if your child has been a victim of a violent criminal offense while at school or on school grounds.† [See policy FDE(LOCAL).]
∑ Request the transfer of your child to a neighboring district if your child has been the victim of a sexual assault by another student assigned to the same campus, whether that assault occurred on or off campus, and that student has been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for that assault.† [See policy FDE.]
As a parent, if your children are multiple birth siblings (e.g., twins, triplets, etc.) assigned to the same grade and campus, you may request that they be placed either in the same classroom or in separate classrooms.† Your written request must be submitted no later than the 14th day after the enrollment of your children.† [See policy FDB(LEGAL).]
Parents of students with learning difficulties or who may need special education services may request an evaluation for special education at any time.† For more information, see Special Programs on page 52 and contact the Director of Federal Programs at (940)969-5000.
A parent of a student who uses a service animal because of the studentís disability must submit a request in writing to the principal at least ten district business days before bringing the service animal on campus.
If a child is experiencing learning difficulties, the parent may contact the person listed below to learn about the districtís overall general education referral or screening system for support services.† This system links students to a variety of support options, including referral for a special education evaluation.† Students having difficulty in the regular classroom should be considered for tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students including a process based on Response to Intervention.† The implementation of Response to Intervention has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of school districts to meet the needs of all struggling students.
At any time, a parent is entitled to request an evaluation for special education services.† Within a reasonable amount of time, the district must decide if the evaluation is needed.† If the evaluation is needed, the parent will be notified and asked to provide informed written consent for the evaluation.† The district must complete the evaluation and the report within 60 calendar days of the date the district receives the written consent.† The district must give a copy of the report to the parent.
If the district determines that the evaluation is not needed, the district will provide the parent with prior written notice that explains why the child will not be evaluated.† This written notice will include a statement that informs the parents of their rights, if they disagree with the district.† The district is required to give parents the Notice of Procedural SafeguardsóRights of Parents of Students with Disabilities.† Additional information regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is available from the school district in a companion document, A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.
The following Web sites provide information to those who are seeking information and resources specific to students with disabilities and their families:
∑ Texas Project First, at http://www.texasprojectfirst.org/
∑ Partners Resource Network, at http://www.partnerstx.org/howPRNhelps.html
The designated person to contact regarding options for a child experiencing learning difficulties or a referral for evaluation for special education services is the campus principal.
A student may be eligible to receive specialized support if his or her primary language is not English, and the student has difficulty performing ordinary class work in English.† If the student qualifies for these extra services, the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) will determine the types of services the student needs, including accommodations or modifications related to classroom instruction, local assessments, and state-mandated assessments.
Children of military families will be provided flexibility regarding certain district requirements, including:
∑ Immunization requirements.
∑ Grade level, course, or educational program placement.
∑ Eligibility requirements for participation in extracurricular activities.
∑ Graduation requirements.
In addition, absences related to a student visiting with his or her parent related to leave or deployment activities may be excused by the district.
Additional information may be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=7995.
The Parent Involvement Coordinator, who works with parents of students participating in Title I programs is the Director of Federal Programs and may be contacted at 940-969-5000.
Both federal and state laws safeguard student records from unauthorized inspection or use and provide parents and eligible students certain rights of privacy.† Before disclosing any personally identifiable information from a studentís records, the district must verify the identity of the person, including a parent or the student, requesting the information.† For purposes of student records, an ďeligibleĒ student is one who is 18 or older OR who is attending an institution of postsecondary education.
Virtually all information pertaining to student performance, including grades, test results, and disciplinary records, is considered confidential educational records.† Release is restricted to:
∑ The parentsówhether married, separated, or divorcedóunless the school is given a copy of a court order terminating parental rights or the right to access a studentís education records.
Federal law requires that, as soon as a student becomes 18, is emancipated by a court, or enrolls in a postsecondary institution, control of the records goes to the student.† The parents may continue to have access to the records, however, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes and under limited circumstances when there is a threat to the health and safety of the student or other individuals.
∑ District school officials who have what federal law refers to as a ďlegitimate educational interestĒ in a studentís records.† School officials would include trustees and employees, such as the superintendent, administrators, and principals; teachers, counselors, diagnosticians, and support staff; a person or company with whom the district has contracted or allowed to provide a particular service or function (such as an attorney, consultant, auditor, medical consultant, therapist, or volunteer); a parent or student serving on a school committee; or a parent or student assisting a school official in the performance of his or her duties.† ďLegitimate educational interestĒ in a studentís records includes working with the student; considering disciplinary or academic actions, the studentís case, or an individualized education program for a student with disabilities; compiling statistical data; reviewing an educational record to fulfill the officialís professional responsibility; or investigating or evaluating programs.
∑ Various governmental agencies, including juvenile service providers.
∑ Individuals granted access in response to a subpoena or court order.
∑ A school or institution of postsecondary education to which a student seeks or intends to enroll or in which he or she is already enrolled.
Release to any other person or agencyósuch as a prospective employer or for a scholarship applicationówill occur only with parental or student permission as appropriate.
The campus principal is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students at the assigned school.† The campus principal is the custodian of all records for students who have withdrawn or graduated.
Records may be inspected by a parent or eligible student during regular school hours.† The records custodian or designee will respond to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of the records.
A parent or eligible student who provides a written request and pays copying costs of ten cents per page may obtain copies.† If circumstances prevent inspection during regular school hours and the student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, the district will either provide a copy of the records requested or make other arrangements for the parent or student to review these records.† The address of the superintendentís office is 338 School House Rd., Paradise, TX 76073.
The address of the principalsí office is the same as the superintendentís office.
A parent (or eligible student) may inspect the studentís records and request a correction if the records are considered inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the studentís privacy rights.† A request to correct a studentís record should be submitted to the campus principal.† The request must clearly identify the part of the record that should be corrected and include an explanation of how the information in the record is inaccurate.† If the district denies the request to amend the records, the parent or eligible student has the right to request a hearing.† If the records are not amended as a result of the hearing, the parent or eligible student has 30 school days to exercise the right to place a statement commenting on the information in the studentís record.† Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, contesting a studentís grade in a course is handled through the general complaint process found in policy FNG(LOCAL).† A grade issued by a classroom teacher can be changed only if, as determined by the board of trustees, the grade is arbitrary, erroneous, or inconsistent with the districtís grading policy.† [See FINALITY OF GRADES at FNG(LEGAL), Report Cards/Progress Reports and Conferences on page 48, and Student or Parent Complaints and Concerns on page 23 for an overview of the process.]
The districtís policy regarding student records found at FL(LEGAL) and (LOCAL) is available from the principalís or superintendentís office or on the districtís Web site at www.pisd.net.
The parentís or eligible studentís right of access to and copies of student records do not extend to all records.† Materials that are not considered educational recordsósuch as a teacherís personal notes about a student that are shared only with a substitute teacheródo not have to be made available to the parents or student.
Parents or eligible students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe the district is not in compliance with federal law regarding student records.† The complaint may be mailed to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
The law permits the district to designate certain personal information about students as ďdirectory information.Ē† This ďdirectory informationĒ will be released to anyone who follows procedures for requesting it.
However, release of a studentís directory information may be prevented by the parent or an eligible student.† This objection must be made in writing to the principal within ten school days of your childís first day of instruction for this school year.† [See the ďNotice Regarding Directory Information and Parentís Response Regarding Release of Student InformationĒ included in the forms packet.]
The district often needs to use student information for school-sponsored purposes as listed in FL(LOCAL).
This information will not be used for other purposes without the consent of the parent or eligible student, except as described above at Directory Information.
Unless you object to the use of your childís information for these limited purposes, the school will not need to ask your permission each time the district wishes to use this information for school-sponsored purposes.
The district is required by federal law to comply with a request by a military recruiter or an institution of higher education for studentsí names, addresses, and telephone listings, unless parents have advised the district not to release their childís information without prior written consent.† A form has been attached for you to complete if you do not want the district to provide this information to military recruiters or institutions of higher education.
State law specifically requires the district to provide the following information:
∑ What is meningitis?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.† It can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria.† Viral meningitis is most common and the least serious.† Bacterial meningitis is the most common form of serious bacterial infection with the potential for serious, long-term complications.† It is an uncommon disease, but requires urgent treatment with antibiotics to prevent permanent damage or death.
∑ What are the symptoms?
Someone with meningitis will become very ill.† The illness may develop over one or two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours.† Not everyone with meningitis will have the same symptoms.
Children (over 1 year old) and adults with meningitis may have a severe headache, high temperature, vomiting, sensitivity to bright lights, neck stiffness or joint pains, and drowsiness or confusion.† In both children and adults, there may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots.† These can occur anywhere on the body.
The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is based on a combination of symptoms and laboratory results.
∑ How serious is bacterial meningitis?
If it is diagnosed early and treated promptly, the majority of people make a complete recovery.† In some cases it can be fatal or a person may be left with a permanent disability.
∑ How is bacterial meningitis spread?
Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as diseases like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.† The germs live naturally in the back of our noses and throats, but they do not live for long outside the body.† They are spread when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, sharing drinking containers, utensils, or cigarettes).
The germ does not cause meningitis in most people.† Instead, most people become carriers of the germ for days, weeks, or even months.† The bacteria rarely overcome the bodyís immune system and cause meningitis or another serious illness.
∑ How can bacterial meningitis be prevented?
Do not share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes.† Limit the number of persons you kiss.
While there are vaccines for some other strains of bacterial meningitis, they are used only in special circumstances.† These include when there is a disease outbreak in a community or for people traveling to a country where there is a high risk of getting the disease.† Also, a vaccine is recommended by some groups for college students, particularly freshmen living in dorms or residence halls.† The vaccine is safe and effective (85Ė90 percent).† It can cause mild side effects, such as redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two days.† Immunity develops within seven to ten days after the vaccine is given and lasts for up to five years.
∑ What should you do if you think you or a friend might have bacterial meningitis?
You should seek prompt medical attention.
∑ Where can you get more information?
Your school nurse, family doctor, and the staff at your local or regional health department office are excellent sources for information on all communicable diseases.† You may also call your local health department or Regional Department of State Health Services office to ask about a meningococcal vaccine.† Additional information may also be found at the Web sites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov, and the Department of State Health Services, http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/.
Topics in this section of the handbook contain important information on academics, school activities, and school operations and requirements. †Take a moment with your child to become familiar with the various issues addressed in this section.† It is organized in alphabetical order to serve as a quick-reference when you or your child has a question about a specific school-related issue.† Should you be unable to find the information on a particular topic, please contact the campus principal.
Regular school attendance is essential for a student to make the most of his or her educationóto benefit from teacher-led and school activities, to build each dayís learning on the previous dayís, and to grow as an individual.† Absences from class may result in serious disruption of a studentís mastery of the instructional materials; therefore, the student and parent should make every effort to avoid unnecessary absences.† Two state lawsóone dealing with compulsory attendance, the other with attendance for course creditóare of special interest to students and parents.† They are discussed below.
State law requires that a student between the ages of six and 18 attend school, as well as any applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial session, unless the student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt.
A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 18th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year and may be subject to compulsory attendance laws, if the student is under 21 years old.† In addition, if a student 18 or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester the district may revoke the studentís enrollment.† The studentís presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing.† [See FEA.]
State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences if the student makes up all work.† These include the following activities and events:
∑ Religious holy days;
∑ Required court appearances;
∑ Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship;
∑ Service as an election clerk; and
∑ Documented health-care appointments, including absences for recognized services for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. A note from the health-care provider must be submitted upon the studentís return to campus.
In addition, a junior or senior studentís absence of up to two days related to visiting a college or university will be considered an exemption, provided the student receives approval from the campus principal, follows the campus procedures to verify such a visit, and makes up any work missed.
School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law.† A student absent without permission from school; from any class; from required special programs, such as additional special instruction, termed ďaccelerated instructionĒ by the state; or from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action.
A court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her parents if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school.† A complaint against the parent may be filed in court if the student:
∑ Is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, or
∑ Is absent on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.
∑ For a student younger than 12 years of age, the studentís parent could be charged with a criminal offense based on the studentís failure to attend school.
If a student age12 through age 17 violates the compulsory attendance law, both the parent and student could be charged with a criminal offense.
If a student is age 18 or older, the student may be subject to penalties as a result of the studentís violation of the state compulsory attendance law.
[See policy FEA(LEGAL).]
To receive credit in a class, a student must attend at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered.† A student who attends at least 75 percent but fewer than 90 percent of the days the class is offered may receive credit for the class if he or she completes a plan, approved by the principal, which allows the student to fulfill the instructional requirements for the class.† If a student is involved in a criminal or juvenile court proceeding, the approval of the judge presiding over the case will also be required before the student receives credit for the class.
If a student attends less than 75 percent of the days a class is offered or has not completed the plan approved by the principal, then the student will be referred to the attendance review committee to determine whether there are extenuating circumstances for the absences and how the student can regain credit, if appropriate.† [See policy FEC.]
In determining whether there were extenuating circumstances for the absences, the attendance committee will use the following guidelines:
∑ All absences will be considered in determining whether a student has attended the required percentage of days.† If makeup work is completed, absences for the reasons listed above at Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance will be considered days of attendance for this purpose.
∑ A transfer or migrant student begins to accumulate absences only after he or she has enrolled in the district.
∑ In reaching a decision about a studentís absences, the committee will attempt to ensure that it is in the best interest of the student.
∑ The committee will consider the acceptability and authenticity of documented reasons for the studentís absences.
∑ The committee will consider whether the absences were for reasons over which the student or the studentís parent could exercise any control.
∑ The committee will consider the extent to which the student has completed all assignments, mastered the essential knowledge and skills, and maintained passing grades in the course or subject.
∑ The student or parent will be given an opportunity to present any information to the committee about the absences and to talk about ways to earn or regain credit.
The student or parent may appeal the committeeís decision to the board of trustees by filing a written request with the superintendent in accordance with policy FNG(LOCAL).
The actual number of days a student must be in attendance in order to receive credit will depend on whether the class is for a full semester or for a full year.
The district must submit attendance of its students to Texas Education Agency (TEA) reflecting attendance at a specific time each day.
Official attendance is taken every day during third period or 10:00 AM.
A student absent for any portion of the day, including at the official attendance-taking time, should follow the procedures below.
Roll will be taken at the beginning of each class period. A student will be counted absent if they are not present in the classroom at the beginning of each class. If a student comes to class within the first 20 minutes of that class, the absence will be changed to a tardy. All absences and tardies are unexcused until they have been cleared by the principal or his designee. Students have 3 class days upon returning to school to bring a note that will excuse their absence(s). At the end of the 3 day period the absences will be considered unexcused.
When a student must be absent from school, the studentóupon returning to schoolómust bring a note signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence.† A note signed by the student, even with the parentís permission, will not be accepted unless the student is 18 or older.
Upon return to school, a student absent for more than 5 consecutive days because of a personal illness must bring a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the studentís extended absence from school.
Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences, the principal or attendance committee may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the studentís absence from school.
[See policy FEC(LOCAL).]
For a student between the ages of 16 and 18 to obtain a driver license, written parental permission must be provided for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to access the studentís attendance records and, in certain circumstances, for a school administrator to provide the studentís attendance information to DPS. A verification of enrollment (VOE) form may be obtained from the office, which the student will need to submit to DPS upon application for a driver license.
The school counselor provides students and parentís information regarding academic programs to prepare for higher education and career choices.† [For more information, see Academic Counseling on page 26 of this handbook and policies at EIF.]
Students desiring to enroll in an Advanced Placement (AP) or Pre-AP course must receive a teacher recommendation from a previous teacher in the same curriculum area. Exceptions to this may be made by way of a conference between the principal, parent, and teacher.
Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic method, or physical conduct against another student on school property, at a school-sponsored or related activity, or in a district operated vehicle, and the behavior:
∑ results in harm to the student or the studentís property,
∑ places a student reasonable in fear of physical harm or of damage to the studentís property, or
∑ Is so severe, persistent, and pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment.
This conduct is considered bullying if it exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator(s) and the student victim and if it interferes with a studentís education or substantially disrupts the operation of the school.
Bullying is prohibited by the district and could include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name-calling, rumor-spreading, or ostracism.† In some cases, bullying can occur through electronic methods, called ďcyberbullying.Ē
If a student believes that he or she has experienced bullying or has witnessed bullying of another student, it is important for the student or parent to notify a teacher, counselor, principal, or another district employee as soon as possible to obtain assistance and intervention.† The administration will investigate any allegations of bullying or other related misconduct.
If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying has occurred, the administration will take appropriate disciplinary action.† Disciplinary or other action may be taken even if the conduct did not rise to the level of bullying. The district will also contact the parents of the victim and of the student who was found to have engaged in the bullying. Available counseling options will be provided to these individuals, as well as to any students who have been identified as witnesses to the bullying.
Any retaliation against a student who reports an incident of bullying is prohibited.
The principal may, in response to an identified case of bullying, decide to transfer a student found to have engaged in bullying to another classroom at the campus. In consultation with the studentís parent, the student may also be transferred to another campus in the district. The parent of a student who has been determined by the district to be a victim of bullying may request that his or her child be transferred to another classroom or campus within the district. [Also see School Safety Transfers on page 8.]
A copy of the districtís policy is available in the principalís office, superintendentís office, and on the districtís Web site.dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation may appeal through policy FNG(LOCAL).
[Also see Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 27, School Safety Transfers on page 8, policy FFI, and the district improvement plan, a copy of which can be viewed in the campus office.]
A student or parent who is
The district offers career and technical education programs in Agriculture Science, Business, and Home Economics. Admission to these programs is based on the aptitude, grade level enrollment, and degree plan.
Paradise ISD will take steps to ensure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in all educational and vocational programs.† [Also see Nondiscrimination Statement on page 3 for additional information regarding the districtís efforts regarding participation in these programs.]
The district has established a plan for addressing child sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children, which may be accessed through the Director of Federal Programs at 940-969-5000.† As a parent, it is important for you to be aware of warning signs that could indicate a child may have been or is being sexually abused.† Sexual abuse in the Texas Family Code is defined as any sexual conduct harmful to a childís mental, emotional, or physical welfare as well as a failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct with a child.† Anyone who suspects that a child has been or may be abused or neglected has a legal responsibility, under state law, for reporting the suspected abuse or neglect to law enforcement or to Child Protective Services (CPS).
Possible physical warning signs of sexual abuse could be difficulty sitting or walking, pain in the genital areas, and claims of stomachaches and headaches.† Behavioral indicators may include verbal references or pretend games of sexual activity between adults and children, fear of being alone with adults of a particular gender, or sexually suggestive behavior.† Emotional warning signs to be aware of include withdrawal, depression, sleeping and eating disorders, and problems in school.
A child who has experienced sexual abuse or any other type of abuse or neglect should be encouraged to seek out a trusted adult.† Be aware as a parent or other trusted adult that disclosures of sexual abuse may be more indirect than disclosures of physical abuse and neglect, and it is important to be calm and comforting if your child, or another child, confides in you.† Reassure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling you.
As a parent, if your child is a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment, the campus counselor or principal will provide information regarding counseling options for you and your child available in your area.† The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) also manages early intervention counseling programs.† To find out what services may be available in your county, see http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Prevention_and_Early_Intervention/Programs_Available_In_Your_County/default.asp.
The following Web sites might help you become more aware of child abuse and neglect:
Reports may be made to:
The Child Protective Services (CPS) division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (1 800-252-5400 or on the Web at http://www.txabusehotline.org).
PURPOSE:† The Paradise I.S.D. desires to develop a class rank policy that will support the Districtís goal of increasing the percentage of students completing the Recommended and Distinguished Achievement Programs, increasing SAT and ACT scores, and to take Level Four classes to promote academic success.
HONORS TO BE EARNED:† Valedictorian, Salutatorian, top ten percent for automatic admission to a State-funded institution.
Must be enrolled in the Distinguished Achievement Programs.
Must be enrolled in Paradise High School during their last four semesters before graduation.
No major violations (AEP placements, out of school suspensions, or expulsions) of the student code of conduct during the studentís final year.†† Violations would result in forfeiture of giving a speech at the graduation ceremony.
In cases of a tie in weighted grade averages among the top ranking students, the following methods shall be used to determine who shall be recognized as salutatorian or valedictorian:
Computing the weighted grade average to three decimal places.
However, if a tie still remains, the student with the most AP courses shall be considered first.
However, if a tie still remains, the student with the highest numerical grade average of all AP courses taken shall be the valedictorian.
In the event that the students are still tied after the above criteria have been met, the students will be named co-valedictorian, and there will be no salutatorian.† If a tie occurs for salutatorian, both students will be co-salutatorians.
Students choosing to graduate early must notify the counselor during their sophomore year and pass all aspects of the most recent TAKS test administration.† The student's ranking will calculate with the class of graduation.
Any grade received from an accredited institution will go towards the student's class rank.† Any grade received from a non-accredited institution will be accepted, but will not go towards the class ranking.
Will consider regular academic courses only:† all English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Business and Technology Education, Health, Vocational Ag., Consumer Economics, Computer Science, and Fine Arts.
Will not consider Physical Education, Athletics, Drill Team, Band, PALís, and courses of local credit, courses taken by correspondence, credit by examination with prior instruction, examinations for acceleration, or summer school courses.
A board of 5 faculty members (appointed by principal) will review any changes to this policy.
[For further information, see policiy EIC.]
Under the Texas Early High School Graduation Scholarship Program, eligible students may earn financial credits in varying amounts, depending on the number of consecutive months in which the student completed graduation requirements and the number of early college credits earned.† Students may choose public or private Texas higher education institutions within the state.† Except for ninth graders who entered high school in the 2004-2005 school year, these financial credits will be limited to students who complete the Recommended or Advanced (Distinguished Achievement) High School Program.† Exceptions will apply if necessary courses were unavailable at the appropriate times in the studentís high school years because of course scheduling, lack of enrollment capacity, or another reason outside the studentís control.† If the exception applies, the District will indicate the fact on the studentís transcript.† The counselor can provide additional information about meeting the programís eligibility requirements.†
Students who have financial need according to federal criteria and who complete the Recommended High school Graduation Program or Distinguished Achievement Program (Advanced) may be eligible under the T.E.X.A.S. Grant Program for tuition and fees to Texas public universities, community colleges, and technical schools, as well as to private institutions.† For information, see the principal or counselor and policy EJ(LEGAL).
All students are expected to attend school for the entire school day and maintain a class/course schedule to fulfill each period of the day.† Exceptions may be made occasionally by the campus principal for students in grades 9Ė12 who meet specific criteria and receive parental consent to enroll in less than a full-dayís schedule.†
Class schedules will not be changed after the first 5 class days except in extenuating circumstances and approval from the Principal.
For two school years following his or her graduation, a district student who graduates in the top ten percent and, in some cases, the top 25 percent, of his or her class is eligible for automatic admission into four-year public universities and colleges in Texas if the student:
∑ Completes the Recommended or Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program; or
∑ Satisfies the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks or earns at least a 1500 out of 2400 on the SAT.
In addition, the student must submit a completed application for admission in accordance with the deadline established by the college or university.
The University of Texas at Austin may limit the number of students automatically admitted to 75 percent of the Universityís enrollment capacity for incoming resident freshmen.† For students who are eligible to enroll in the University of Texas at Austin during the summer or fall 2013 term, the University will be admitting the top eight percent of the high schoolís graduating class who meet the above requirements.† Additional applicants will be considered by the University through an independent review process.
Should a college or university adopt an admissions policy that automatically accepts the top 25 percent of a graduating class, the provisions above will also apply to a student ranked in the top 25 percent of his or her class.
Students and parents should contact the counselor for further information about automatic admissions, the application process, and deadlines.
[See also Class Rank/Highest Ranking Student on page 20for information specifically related to how the district calculates a studentís rank in class].
Students in grades 9Ė12 have opportunities to earn college credit through the following methods:
∑ Certain courses taught at the high school campus, which may include courses termed dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP);
∑ Enrollment in an AP or dual credit course through the Texas Virtual School Network; and
∑ Certain CTE courses.
All of these methods have eligibility requirements and must be approved prior to enrollment in the course.† Please see the counselor for more information. Depending on the studentís grade level and the course, an end-of-course assessment may be required for graduation and, if so, will affect a studentís final course grade.
It is important to keep in mind that not all colleges and universities accept credit earned in all dual credit or AP courses taken in high school for college credit.† Students and parents should check with the prospective college or university to determine if a particular course will count toward the studentís desired degree plan.
Students are allowed to take college coursework during the school year.† They must have approval from the principal in advance to earn dual credit.† These courses can give dual credit if the college course meets all the guidelines set forth in the TEA Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.†
In order for a student to receive approval to take a college or dual credit course, they must have met the standards in all areas of the TAKS test and they must have made an 85 or higher grade in the class previous to the college course.†
Students who have previously failed a college or dual credit course will not be approved to sign up for another college or dual credit course.
Students will be required to meet entrance guidelines of the college through which the course is being offered. This may include the THEA test or other requirements listed by the individual college or university.
In addition to the programs offered by the district, Students in grades 9Ė12 may earn college credit from an accredited college or university.
Usually student or parent complaints or concerns can be addressed by a phone call or a conference with the teacher or principal.† For those complaints and concerns that cannot be handled so easily, the district has adopted a standard complaint policy at FNG(LOCAL) in the districtís policy manual.† A copy of this policy may be obtained in the principalís or superintendentís office [or on the districtís Web site at www.pisd.net].
In general, the student or parent should submit a written complaint and request a conference with the campus principal.† If the concern is not resolved, a request for a conference should be sent to the superintendent.† If still unresolved, the district provides for the complaint to be presented to the board of trustees.
As required by law, the board has adopted a Student Code of Conduct that prohibits certain behaviors and defines standards of acceptable behavioróboth on and off campusóand consequences for violation of these standards.† The district has disciplinary authority over a student in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.† Students and parents should be familiar with the standards set out in the Student Code of Conduct, as well as campus and classroom rules.
Disruptions of school operations are not tolerated and may constitute a misdemeanor offense.† As identified by law, disruptions include the following:
∑ Interference with the movement of people at an exit, entrance, or hallway of a district building without authorization from an administrator.
∑ Interference with an authorized activity by seizing control of all or part of a building.
∑ Use of force, violence, or threats in an attempt to prevent participation in an authorized assembly.
∑ Use of force, violence, or threats to cause disruption during an assembly.
∑ Interference with the movement of people at an exit or an entrance to district property.
∑ Use of force, violence, or threats in an attempt to prevent people from entering or leaving district property without authorization from an administrator.
∑ Disruption of classes or other school activities while on district property or on public property that is within 500 feet of district property.† Class disruption includes making loud noises; trying to entice a student away from, or to prevent a student from attending, a required class or activity; and entering a classroom without authorization and disrupting the activity with loud or profane language or any misconduct.
∑ Interference with the transportation of students in vehicles owned or operated by the district.
Possession of telecommunications devices, including mobile telephones is permitted at Paradise High School as long as the device is not visible, heard, or used at anytime or anywhere on school property during classroom instruction time or student assemblies. Classroom instruction time is defined as the time beginning when the tardy bell rings for class to start through the instructorís dismissal of students at the end of class. Classroom instruction time includes all areas of school property. Exceptions will only be made in cases where the instructor permits the use of these devices as a part of the educational process.
The use of mobile telephones in locker rooms or restroom areas, at any time while at school or at a school-related or school-sponsored event, is strictly prohibited.
Administrators have the right to prohibit the use of these devices anywhere or anytime.
First time offense, the item will be confiscated and the parent must come to the school and pick up the device.
Second offense, the device will be confiscated and the parent must come to the school and pick up the device.† A $15.00 fee will be charged each time the item is confiscated after the first offense.
Third and subsequent offense, the item will be confiscated and kept for 30 days.† At the end of this time period, the parent must come to the school and pick up the device. A $15.00 fee will be charged for the return of the item.
Confiscated telecommunications devices that are not retrieved by the student or studentís parents will be disposed of after the notice required by law.† [See policy FNCE.]
Any disciplinary action will be in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.† The district will not be responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen telecommunications devices.
Students are not permitted to possess such items as radios, CD players, MP3 players, video or audio recorders, DVD players, cameras, games, or other electronic devices at school, unless prior permission has been obtained from the principal.† Without such permission, teachers will collect the items and turn them in to the principalís office.† The principal will determine whether to return items to students at the end of the day or to contact parents to pick up the items.
Any disciplinary action will be in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.† The district will not be responsible for any damaged, lost, or stolen electronic device.
Students are prohibited from possessing, sending, forwarding, posting, accessing, or displaying electronic messages that are abusive, obscene, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, damaging to anotherís reputation, or illegal.† This prohibition also applies to conduct off school property, whether the equipment used to send such messages is district-owned or personally owned, if it results in a substantial disruption to the educational environment.† Any person taking, disseminating, transferring, possessing, or sharing obscene, sexually oriented, lewd, or otherwise illegal images or other content, commonly referred to as ďsexting,Ē will be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct and may, in certain circumstances, be reported to law enforcement.
In addition, any student who engages in conduct that results in a breach of the districtís computer security will be disciplined in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, and, in some cases, the consequence may rise to the level of expulsion.
School rules apply to all school social events.† Guests attending these events are expected to observe the same rules as students, and a student inviting a guest will share responsibility for the conduct of his or her guest.
A student attending a social event will be asked to sign out when leaving before the end of the event; anyone leaving before the official end of the event will not be readmitted.
To protect other students from contagious illnesses, students infected with certain diseases are not allowed to come to school while contagious.† If a parent suspects that his or her child has a contagious disease, the parent should contact the school nurse or principal so that other students who might have been exposed to the disease can be alerted.
The school nurse or the principalís office can provide information from the Department of State Health Services regarding these diseases.
Students and their parents are encouraged to talk with a school counselor, teacher, or principal to learn more about course offerings, graduation requirements, and early graduation procedures.† Each spring, students in grades 8Ė11 will be provided information on anticipated course offerings for the next school year and other information that will help them make the most of academic and CTE opportunities.
To plan for the future, each student should work closely with the counselor in order to enroll in the high school courses that best prepare him or her for attendance at a college, university, or training school, or for pursuit of some other type of advanced education.† The counselor can also provide information about entrance exams and application deadlines, as well as information about automatic admission to state colleges and universities, financial aid, housing, and scholarships.
The school counselor is available to assist students with a wide range of personal concerns, including such areas as social, family, or emotional issues, or substance abuse.† The counselor may also make available information about community resources to address these concerns.† A student who wishes to meet with the counselor should stop by the counselorís office and set up an appointment. [Also see Suicide Awareness on page 55.]
The school will not conduct a psychological examination, test, or treatment without first obtaining the parentís written consent.† Parental consent is not necessary when a psychological examination, test, or treatment is required by state or federal law for special education purposes or by the Texas Education Agency for child abuse investigations and reports.
[For more information, refer to policies EHBAA(LEGAL), FFE(LEGAL), and FFG(EXHIBIT).]
A student in grades 9Ė12 will earn credit for a course only if the final grade is 70 or above.† For a two-semester (1 credit) course, the studentís grades from both semesters will be averaged and credit will be awarded if the combined average is 70 or above.† Should the studentís combined average be less than 70, the student will be required to retake the semester in which he or she failed.
A student who has previously taken a course or subjectóbut did not receive credit for itómay, in circumstances determined by the principal, or attendance committee, be permitted to earn credit by passing an exam on the essential knowledge and skills defined for that course or subject.† Prior instruction may include, for example, incomplete coursework due to a failed course or excessive absences, homeschooling, or coursework by a student transferring from a nonaccredited school.
The counselor or principal would determine if the student could take an exam for this purpose.† If approval is granted, the student must score at least 70 on the exam to receive credit for the course or subject.
The attendance review committee may also offer a student with excessive absences an opportunity to earn credit for a course by passing an exam.
A fee will be charged to the student for this test.
[For further information, see the counselor and policy EHDB(LOCAL).]
A student will be permitted to take an exam to earn credit for an academic course or subject area for which the student has had no prior instruction or to accelerate to the next grade level.† The dates on which exams are scheduled during the 2012Ė2013 school year include:
November 13-16, 2012
May 28-31, 2013
A student will earn course credit with a passing score of at least 90 on the exam. Depending on the studentís grade level and course for which the student seeks to earn credit by exam, an end-of-course assessment (EOC) may be required for graduation.
If a student plans to take an exam, the student (or parent) must register with the principal no later than 30 days prior to the scheduled testing date.† The district will not honor a request by a parent to administer a test on a date other than the published dates.† If the district agrees to administer a test other than the one chosen by the district, the studentís will be responsible for the cost of the exam. [For further information, see policy EHDC(LOCAL).]
The district believes that all students learn best in an environment free from dating violence, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and that their welfare is best served when they are free from this prohibited conduct while attending school.† Students are expected to treat other students and district employees with courtesy and respect, to avoid behaviors known to be offensive, and to stop those behaviors when asked or told to stop.† District employees are expected to treat students with courtesy and respect.
The board has established policies and procedures to prohibit and promptly respond to inappropriate and offensive behaviors that are based on a personís race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.† [See policy FFH.]
Dating violence occurs when a person in a current or past dating relationship uses physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control the other person in the relationship.† Dating violence also occurs when a person commits these acts against a person in a marriage or dating relationship with the individual who is or was once in a marriage or dating relationship with the person committing the offense. †This type of conduct is considered harassment if the conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects the studentís ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or substantially interferes with the studentís academic performance.
Examples of dating violence against a student may include, but are not limited to, physical or sexual assaults, name-calling, put-downs, threats to hurt the student or the studentís family members or members of the studentís household, destroying property belonging to the student, threats to commit suicide or homicide if the student ends the relationship, threats to harm a studentís current dating partner, attempts to isolate the student from friends and family, stalking, or encouraging others to engage in these behaviors.
Discrimination is defined as any conduct directed at a student on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law, that negatively affects the student.
Harassment, in general terms, is conduct so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects the studentís ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or substantially interferes with the studentís academic performance.† A copy of the districtís policy is available in the principalís office and in the superintendentís office or on the districtís Web site.
Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to, offensive or derogatory language directed at a personís religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, or need for accommodation; threatening or intimidating conduct; offensive jokes, name-calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic, or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.
Two types of prohibited harassment are described below.
Sexual harassment and gender-based harassment of a student by an employee, volunteer, or another student are prohibited.
Examples of sexual harassment may include, but not be limited to, touching private body parts or coercing physical contact that is sexual in nature; sexual advances; jokes or conversations of a sexual nature; and other sexually motivated conduct, communications, or contact.
Gender-based harassment includes harassment based on a studentís gender, expression by the student of stereotypical characteristics associated with the studentís gender, or the studentís failure to conform to stereotypical behavior related to gender. Examples of gender-based harassment directed against a student, regardless of the studentís actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, may include, but not be limited to, offensive jokes, name-calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; threatening or intimidating conduct; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.
Retaliation against a person who makes a good faith report of discrimination or harassment, including dating violence, is prohibited.† Retaliation against a person who is participating in an investigation of alleged discrimination or harassment is also prohibited. A person who makes a false claim or offers false statements or refuses to cooperate with a district investigation, however, may be subject to appropriate discipline.
Retaliation against a student might occur when a student receives threats from another student or an employee or when an employee imposes an unjustified punishment or unwarranted grade reduction.† Retaliation does not include petty slights and annoyances from other students or negative comments from a teacher that are justified by a studentís poor academic performance in the classroom.
Any student who believes that he or she has experienced dating violence, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should immediately report the problem to a teacher, counselor, principal, or other district employee.† The report may be made by the studentís parent.† See policy FFH(LOCAL) for the appropriate district officials to whom to make a report.
To the extent possible, the district will respect the privacy of the student; however, limited disclosures may be necessary to conduct a thorough investigation and to comply with law.† Allegations of prohibited conduct, which includes dating violence, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, will be promptly investigated.† The district will promptly notify the parents of any student alleged to have experienced prohibited conduct involving an adult associated with the district.
In the event alleged prohibited conduct involves another student, the district will notify the parents of the student alleged to have experienced the prohibited conduct when the allegations, if proven, would constitute a violation as defined by policy.
During the course of an investigation, the district may take interim action to address the alleged prohibited conduct.
When an investigation is initiated for alleged prohibited conduct, the district will determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute bullying, as defined by law. If so, an investigation of bullying will also be conducted. [See policy FFI.]
If the districtís investigation indicates that prohibited conduct occurred, appropriate disciplinary action, and, in some cases, corrective action, will be taken to address the conduct.† The district may take disciplinary and corrective action even if the conduct that is the subject of the complaint was not unlawful.
A student or parent who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal in accordance with policy FNG(LOCAL).
[See Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 27.]
Distance learning and correspondence courses includes courses that encompass the state-required essential knowledge and skills but are taught through multiple technologies and alternative methodologies such as mail, satellite, Internet, video-conferencing, and instructional television.
The Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) has been established as one method of distance learning.† A student has the option, with certain limitations, to enroll in a course offered through the TxVSN to earn course credit for graduation. In limited circumstances, a student in grade 8 may also be eligible to enroll in a course through the TxVSN.
Depending on the TxVSNcourse in which a student enrolls, the course may be subject to the ďno pass, no playĒ rules. In addition, for a student who enrolls in a TxVSN course for which and end-of-course (EOC) assessment is required, the student must still take the corresponding EOC assessment and the requirements related to the incorporation of the EOC score into the studentís final course grade and the implications of these assessments on graduation apply to the same extent as they apply to traditional classroom instruction. [Also see Extracurricular Activities, Clubs, and Organizations on page 33.]
If you have questions or wish to make a request that your child be enrolled in a TxVSN course, please contact the counselor.
If a student wishes to enroll in a correspondence course or a distance learning course that is not provided through the TxVSN in order to earn credit in a course or subject, the student must receive permission from the principal prior to enrolling in the course or subject.† If the student does not receive prior approval, the district will not recognize and apply the course or subject toward graduation requirements or subject mastery.
Publications prepared by and for the school may be posted or distributed, with the prior approval of the principal, sponsor, or teacher.† Such items may include school posters, brochures, flyers, etc.
The school yearbook is available to students.
All school publications are under the supervision of a teacher, sponsor, and the principal.
[See Directory Information for School-Sponsored Purposes on page 13.]
Students must obtain prior approval from the campus principal before posting, circulating, or distributing more than ten copies of written materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, petitions, films, tapes, posters, or other visual or auditory materials that were not developed under the oversight of the school. To be considered, any nonschool material must include the name of the sponsoring person or organization.† The decision regarding approval will be made within two school days.
The principal has designated the windows in the main office as the location for approved nonschool materials to be placed for voluntary viewing by students.† [See policies at FNAA.]
A student may appeal a principalís decision in accordance with policy FNG(LOCAL).† Any student who posts nonschool material without prior approval will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.† Materials displayed without the principalís approval will be removed.
Written or printed materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, films, tapes, or other visual or auditory materials not sponsored by the district or by a district-affiliated school-support organization will not be sold, circulated, distributed, or posted on any district premises by any district employee or by persons or groups not associated with the district, except as permitted by policy GKDA.† To be considered for distribution, any nonschool material must meet the limitations on content established in the policy, include the name of the sponsoring person or organization, and be submitted to the campus principal for prior review.† The principal will approve or reject the materials within two school days of the time the materials are received.† The requestor may appeal a rejection in accordance with the appropriate district complaint policy.† [See policies at DGBA, FNG, or GF.]
Prior review will not be required for:
∑ Distribution of materials by an attendee to other attendees of a school-sponsored meeting intended for adults and held after school hours.
∑ Distribution of materials by an attendee to other attendees of a community group meeting held after school hours in accordance with policy GKD(LOCAL) or a noncurriculum-related student group meeting held in accordance with FNAB(LOCAL).
∑ Distribution for electioneering purposes during the time a school facility is being used as a polling place, in accordance with state law.
All nonschool materials distributed under these circumstances must be removed from district property immediately following the event at which the materials are distributed.†
Paradise ISD has established the following student dress code to promote community pride and spirit, to promote self-discipline, to encourage proper grooming and hygiene practices, and to insure the educational efficiency of the school system.
Students at Paradise ISD are asked to have pride in their appearance at all times.
Students and parents may determine a studentís personal dress and grooming standard, provided that they comply with the below listed guidelines.
If a student is not within the guidelines of the Dress Code, the student will have two options.
∑ Have someone bring the student clothing that adheres to the Dress Code within a reasonable amount of time, or
∑ Spend the remainder of the day in ISS
If a student is not within the guidelines of the Dress Code regarding hair, the student will be given a suitable time frame by the administration to ensure their hair is within Dress Code. If the student does not comply, they may be placed in ISS or suspended.
The administration has the discretion to limit any other dress and grooming that is deemed inappropriate or distracting to the educational process.
See Course Credit on page 26, Grading Guidelines on page 36,Graduation on page36, and Standardized Testing on page 53.
Participation in school-sponsored activities is an excellent way for a student to develop talents, receive individual recognition, and build strong friendships with other students; participation, however, is a privilege, not a right.
Eligibility for initial and continuing participation in many of these activities is governed by state law and the rules of the University Interscholastic League (UIL)óa statewide association overseeing interdistrict competition.† If a student is involved in an academic, athletic, or music activity governed by UIL, the student and parent are expected to know and follow all rules of the UIL organization.† [See http://www.uil.utexas.edu for additional information.]
The following requirements apply to all extracurricular activities:
∑ A student who receives at the end of a grading period a grade below 70 in any academic classóother than an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course; or an honors or dual credit course in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, economics, or language other than Englishómay not participate in extracurricular activities for at least three school weeks.
∑ A student with disabilities who fails to meet the standards in the individualized education program (IEP) may not participate for at least three school weeks.
∑ An ineligible student may practice or rehearse.
∑ A student is allowed in a school year up to 10 absences not related to post-district competition, a maximum of 15 absences for post-district competition prior to state, and a maximum of 2 absences for state competition.† All extracurricular activities and public performances, whether UIL activities or other activities approved by the board, are subject to these restrictions.
∑ An absence for participation in an activity that has not been approved will receive an unexcused absence.
Sponsors of student clubs and performing groups such as the band, choir, and drill and athletic teams may establish standards of behavioróincluding consequences for misbehavioróthat are stricter than those for students in general.† If a violation is also a violation of school rules, the consequences specified by the Student Code of Conduct or by local policy will apply in addition to any consequences specified by the organizationís standards of behavior.
[For further information, see policies at FM and FO.† For student-organized, student-led groups, see Meetings of Noncurriculum-Related Groups on page 51.]
Materials that are part of the basic educational program are provided with state and local funds at no charge to a student.† A student, however, is expected to provide his or her own pencils, paper, erasers, and notebooks and may be required to pay certain other fees or deposits, including:
∑ Costs for materials for a class project that the student will keep.
∑ Membership dues in voluntary clubs or student organizations and admission fees to extracurricular activities.
∑ Security deposits.
∑ Personal physical education and athletic equipment and apparel.
∑ Voluntarily purchased pictures, publications, class rings, yearbooks, graduation announcements, etc.
∑ Voluntarily purchased student accident insurance.
∑ Musical instrument rental and uniform maintenance, when uniforms are provided by the district.
∑ Personal apparel used in extracurricular activities that becomes the property of the student.
∑ Parking fees and student identification cards.
∑ Fees for lost, damaged, or overdue library books and text books.
∑ Fees for driver training courses, if offered.
∑ Fees for optional courses offered for credit that require use of facilities not available on district premises.
∑ Summer school for courses that are offered tuition-free during the regular school year.
∑ A reasonable fee for providing transportation to a student who lives within two miles of the school.† [See Buses and Other School Vehicles on page 56.]
∑ A fee not to exceed $50 for costs of providing an educational program outside of regular school hours for a student who has lost credit because of absences and whose parent chooses the program in order for the student to meet the 90 percent attendance requirement.† The fee will be charged only if the parent or guardian signs a district-provided request form.
∑ In some cases, a fee for a course taken through the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN).
Any required fee or deposit may be waived if the student and parent are unable to pay.† Application for such a waiver may be made to the campus principal.† [For further information, see policies at FP.]
Student groups or classes and/or parent groups may be permitted to conduct fund-raising drives for approved school purposes.† An application for permission must be made to the campus principal at least 7 days before the event.† [For further information, see policies at FJ and GE.]
Certain criminal offenses, including those involving organized criminal activity such as gang-related crimes, will be enhanced to the next highest category of offense if they are committed in a gang-free zone.† For purposes of the district, a gang-free zone includes a school bus and a location in, on, or within 1,000 feet of any district-owned or leased property or campus playground.
[See Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 27.]
After the ninth grade, students are classified according to the number of credits earned toward graduation.
†††††††††††††††††††††† Credits Earned†††††††††††††††††††††† Classification
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Grade 10† (Sophomore)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 12††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Grade 11† (Junior)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 18††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Grade 12† (Senior)
Teachers follow grading guidelines that have been approved by the campus principal and designed to reflect each studentís academic achievement for the grading period, semester, or course. State law provides that a test or course grade issued by a teacher cannot be changed unless the board determines that the grade was arbitrary or contains an error, or that the teacher did not follow the districtís grading policy.
Questions about grade calculation should first be discussed with the teacher; if the question is not resolved, the student or parent may request a conference with the principal in accordance with FNG (LOCAL).
The grading policy for 9th Ė 12th grades will be as follows: daily grades 40% and tests 60% of each six weeks.
State law requires a studentís score on an end-of-course (EOC) assessment to count as 15 percent of the studentís final grade for the course.
Report cards are sent home with the student after each six week grading period. At the three week point of each six week period, progress reports will be given to each student with an average of 75 or below. All students are required to return his/her progress report, including a parent signature, within three school days of receiving the report. Students will be disciplined accordingly if the signed report is not received by the third school day.
The student will be allowed 2 days to make up work for the initial day absent. The student will then have one day for each additional day missed from the classroom.
To receive a high school diploma from the district, a student must successfully:
∑ Complete the required number of credits;
∑ Complete any locally required courses in addition to the courses mandated by the state; and
∑ Depending on the year in which the student is scheduled to graduate, pass a statewide exit-level exam or achieve the required cumulative scores on end-of-course (EOC) assessments.
The exit-level test, currently required for students in grade 11, covers English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies and requires knowledge of Algebra I and Geometry; Biology and Integrated Chemistry and Physics; English III; and early American and United States History, World History, and World Geography.Students in grade 11 during the 2012Ė2013 school year must pass the exit-level test to graduate.† A student in grade 12during the 2012-2013 school yearwho has not passed the exit-level test will have opportunities to retake it.
Also see Standardized Testing on page 53 for more information.
Beginning with students who entered grade 9 in the 2011Ė2012 school year, EOC assessments are administered for the following courses and replace the exit-level test mentioned above:† English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, World Geography, World History, and United States History.† Students graduating under the Minimum Program must take EOC assessments only for courses in which they are enrolled and for which there is an EOC assessment.† Each student will be required to achieve certain scores on the applicable EOC assessments to graduate, depending on the graduation program in which the student is enrolled.† A student who has not achieved sufficient scores on the EOC assessments to graduate will have opportunities to retake the assessments.
If a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an EOC assessment, the district will provide remediation to the student in the content area for which the performance standard was not met.
Also see Grading Guidelines above and Standardized Testing on page 53 for more information.
The district offers the graduation programs listed below.† All students entering grade 9 are required to enroll in the Recommended Program or Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program.† Permission to enroll in the Minimum Program will be granted only if a written agreement is reached among the student, the studentís parent or person standing in parental relation, and the counselor or appropriate administrator.† In order for a student to take courses under the Minimum Program, the student must be at least 16 years of age; have completed at least two credits each in English language arts, math, science, and social studies courses that are required for graduation; or have failed grade 9 one or more times.† [See policy EIF(LEGAL).]
Effective with ninth graders in the 2011Ė2012 school year and thereafter, in addition to the credit and course requirements for each program, performance on EOC assessments will be linked to a studentís graduation program.† To graduate, a student must meet a minimum cumulative score set by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for each content area:† English, mathematics, science, and social studies.† To determine whether the student meets the cumulative score, the studentís EOC assessment scores in each content area will be added together.† If the studentís total score on the assessments within the content area is not equal to or greater than the cumulative score set by TEA, the student may retake any of the assessments in that content area until the student achieves the cumulative score.† A student who does not make the minimum required score on any individual assessment will be required to retake that assessment.
To graduate on the Recommended Program, a student must perform satisfactorily on the Algebra II and English III EOC assessments, in addition to meeting the cumulative score requirements described above.† To graduate on the Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program, a student must demonstrate advanced academic performance on the Algebra II and English III EOC assessments, commonly referred to as college and career readiness standards, in addition to successfully meeting performance standards on the other EOC assessments.† If this standard is not met, the student will graduate under the Recommended Program, regardless of whether the student has met all other requirements for graduation under the Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program.
All students must meet the following credit and course requirements for graduation under the programs listed:
Number of credits Minimum Program
Number of credits Recommended Program
of credits Advanced/
Language other than English
1 (effective for grade 9 in 2010Ė2011 school year and thereafter)
7.5 credits (prior to 2010Ė2011)
6.5 credits (2010Ė2011 and thereafter)
Completion of 4 Advanced Measures**
* A student who is unable to participate in physical activity due to a disability or illness may be able to substitute a course in English language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies for the required credit of physical education.† This determination will be made by the studentís ARD committee, Section 504 committee, or other campus committee, as applicable.
**A student graduating under the Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program must also achieve a combination of four of the following advanced measures:
1. Test data where a student receives:
a. A score of three or above on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam;
b. A score on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) that qualifies the student for recognition as a commended scholar or higher by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, as part of the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) of the College Board, or as part of the National Achievement Scholarship Program of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.† The PSAT/NMSQT score will count as only one advanced measure regardless of the number of honors received by the student.
2. College academic courses, including those taken for dual credit, and advanced technical courses, including locally articulated courses, provided the student scores the equivalent of a 3.0 or higher.
Information regarding specific courses required or offered in each curriculum area, along with a description of advanced measures available to students in the Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program from the options listed above, will be distributed to students each spring in order to enroll in courses for the upcoming school year.
Please be aware that not all courses are offered at every secondary campus in the district.† A student who wants to take a course not offered at his or her regular campus should contact the counselor about a transfer or other alternatives.† If the parents of at least 22 students request a transfer for those students to take a course in the required curriculum other than fine arts or CTE, the district will offer the course for the following year either by teleconference or at the school from which the transfers were requested.
A certificate of coursework completion will not be issued to a student who has successfully completed state and local credit requirements for graduation has not yet demonstrated satisfactory performance on the state-mandated tests required for graduation.
Upon the recommendation of the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee, a student with a disability who receives special education services may be permitted to graduate under the provisions of his or her IEP.
A student who receives special education services and has completed four years of high school, but has not met the requirements of his or her IEP, may participate in graduation ceremonies and receive a certificate of attendance.† Even if the student participates in graduation ceremonies to receive the certificate of attendance, he or she may remain enrolled to complete the IEP and earn his or her high school diploma; however, the student will only be allowed to participate in one graduation ceremony.
Please also be aware that if an ARD committee places a student with a disability on a modified curriculum in a subject area, the student will be automatically placed in the Minimum Program, in accordance with state rules.
If a student receiving special education services is scheduled to graduate under the Minimum Program or in accordance with the provisions of his or her IEP, the studentís ARD committee will determine whether the general EOC assessment is an accurate measure of the studentís achievement and progress and, if so, whether successful performance is required for graduation,or whether an alternative assessment is more appropriate.† STAARModified and STAAR Alternate are the alternative assessments currently allowed by the state.† [See STANDARDIZED TESTING for additional information.]† If a student takes a STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate EOC assessment, the score on the EOC assessment will not be used as 15 percent of the final course grade, and is not required to be used toward the studentís cumulative score for graduation.
Graduation activities will include:
∑ Graduation Breakfast
∑ Graduation Ceremony
Certain graduating students will be given an opportunity to have speaking roles at graduation ceremonies.
A student must meet local eligibility criteria, which may include requirements related to student conduct, to have a speaking role. Students eligible for speaking roles will be notified by the principal and given an opportunity to volunteer.
[For student speakers at other school events, see Student Speakers on page 54.]
Because students and parents will incur expenses in order to participate in the traditions of graduationósuch as the purchase of invitations, senior ring, cap and gown, and senior pictureóboth student and parent should monitor progress toward completion of all requirements for graduation.† The expenses often are incurred in the junior year or first semester of the senior year.† [See Student Fees on page 34.]
∑ Students who have a financial need according to federal criteria and who complete the Recommended Program or Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program may be eligible under the T.E.X.A.S. Grant Program for tuition and fees to Texas public universities, community colleges, and technical schools, as well as to private institutions.
∑ Contact the counselor for information about other scholarships and grants available to students.
[See Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 27.]
Hazing is defined as any intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off campus directed against a student that endangers the mental or physical health or the safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated to, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include other students.
Hazing will not be tolerated by the district.† If an incident of hazing occurs, disciplinary consequences will be handled in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.† It is a criminal offense if a person engages in hazing; solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in hazing; or has firsthand knowledge of an incident of hazing being planned or having occurred and fails to report this to the principal or superintendent.
[Also see Bullying on page 18 and policies FFI and FNCC.]
During the preceding school year, the districtís School Health Advisory Council held 2 meetings.† Additional information regarding the districtís School Health Advisory Council is available from the Director of Federal Programs at 940-969-5000.† [See also policies at BDF and EHAA.]
[See Removing a Student from Human Sexuality Instruction on page 7 for additional information.]
The district requests to be notified when a student has been diagnosed with a food allergy, especially those allergies that could result in dangerous or possibly life-threatening reactions either by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact with the particular food.† It is important to disclose the food to which the student is allergic, as well as the nature of the allergic reaction.† Please contact the school nurse or campus principal if your child has a known food allergy or as soon as possible after any diagnosis of a food allergy.
Annually, the district will conduct a physical fitness assessment of students in grades 3Ė12 who are enrolled in a physical education course or a course for which physical education credit is awarded.† At the end of the school year, a parent may submit a written request to the campus principal to obtain the results of his or her childís physical fitness assessment conducted during the school year.
The district has adopted policies and implemented procedures to comply with state and federal food service guidelines for restricting student access to vending machines.† For more information regarding these policies and guidelines see the campus principal.† [See policies at CO and FFA.]
The district and its staff strictly enforce prohibitions against the use of tobacco products by students and others on school property and at school-sponsored and school-related activities.† [See the Student Code of Conduct and policies at FNCD and GKA.]
The district works diligently to maintain compliance with federal and state law governing asbestos in school buildings.† A copy of the districtís Asbestos Management Plan is available in the superintendentís office.† If you have any questions or would like to examine the districtís plan in more detail, please contact Pat Sanford, the districtís designated asbestos coordinator, at 940-969-5000.
The district is required to follow integrated pest management (IPM) procedures to control pests on school grounds.† Although the district strives to use the safest and most effective methods to manage pests, including a variety of non-chemical control measures, pesticide use is sometimes necessary to maintain adequate pest control and ensure a safe, pest-free school environment.
All pesticides used are registered for their intended use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are applied only by certified pesticide applicators.† Except in an emergency, signs will be posted 48 hours before indoor application.† All outdoor applications will be posted at the time of treatment, and signs will remain until it is safe to enter the area.† Parents who have further questions or who want to be notified prior to pesticide application inside their childís school assignment area may contact Don Farris, the districtís IPM coordinator, at 940-969-5000.
For more information on services for homeless students, contact the districtís Liaison for Homeless Children and Youths, Robin Garrett, at 940-969-5000.
In order to achieve the highest level of academic success possible, students must often complete work at home. Homework will be evaluated by the teacher. Teacher discretion will be used on determining credit for late work.
A student must be fully immunized against certain diseases
or must present a certificate or statement that, for medical reasons or reasons
of conscience, including a religious belief, the student will not be
immunized.† For exemptions based on
reasons of conscience, only official forms issued by the Texas Department of
State Health Services (TDSHS), Immunization Branch, can be honored by the
district.† This form may be obtained by
writing the TDSHS Immunization Branch (MC 1946), P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas
78714-9347; or online at https://webds.
dshs.state.tx.us/immco/affidavit.shtm.† The form must be notarized and submitted to the principal or school nurse within 90 days of notarization.† If the parent is seeking an exemption for more than one student in the family, a separate form must be provided for each student.
The immunizations required are: diphtheria, rubeola (measles), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis (polio), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox), and meningococcal.† The school nurse can provide information on age-appropriate doses or on an acceptable physician-validated history of illness required by the TDSHS.† Proof of immunization may be established by personal records from a licensed physician or public health clinic with a signature or rubber-stamp validation.
If a student should not be immunized for medical reasons,
the student or parent must present a certificate signed by a U.S. licensed physician
stating that, in the doctorís opinion, the immunization required poses a
significant risk to the health and well-being of the student or a member of the
studentís family or household.† This
certificate must be renewed yearly unless the physician specifies a life-long
condition.† [For further information, see
policy FFAB(LEGAL) and the TDSHS Web site: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/
When law enforcement officers or other lawful authorities wish to question or interview a student at school, the principal will cooperate fully regarding the conditions of the interview, if the questioning or interview is part of a child abuse investigation.† In other circumstances:
∑ The principal will verify and record the identity of the officer or other authority and ask for an explanation of the need to question or interview the student at school.
∑ The principal ordinarily will make reasonable efforts to notify the parents unless the interviewer raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection.
∑ The principal ordinarily will be present unless the interviewer raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection.
State law requires the district to permit a student to be taken into legal custody:
∑ To comply with an order of the juvenile court.
∑ To comply with the laws of arrest.
∑ By a law enforcement officer if there is probable cause to believe the student has engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct in need of supervision.
∑ By a probation officer if there is probable cause to believe the student has violated a condition of probation imposed by the juvenile court.
∑ By an authorized representative of Child Protective Services, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, a law enforcement officer, or a juvenile probation officer, without a court order, under the conditions set out in the Family Code relating to the studentís physical health or safety.
∑ To comply with a properly issued directive to take a student into custody.
Before a student is released to a law enforcement officer or other legally authorized person, the principal will verify the officerís identity and, to the best of his or her ability, will verify the officialís authority to take custody of the student.
The principal will immediately notify the superintendent and will ordinarily attempt to notify the parent unless the officer or other authorized person raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection to notifying the parents.† Because the principal does not have the authority to prevent or delay a studentís release to a law enforcement officer, any notification will most likely be after the fact.
The district is required by state law to notify:
∑ All instructional and support personnel who have responsibility for supervising a student who has been taken into custody, arrested or referred to the juvenile court for any felony offense or for certain misdemeanors.
∑ All instructional and support personnel who have regular contact with a student who is thought to have committed certain offenses or who has been convicted, received deferred prosecution, received deferred adjudication, or was adjudicated for delinquent conduct for any felony offense or certain misdemeanors.
∑ All appropriate district personnel in regards to a student who is required to register as a sex offender.
[For further information, see policies FL(LEGAL) and GRAA(LEGAL).]
A student with limited English proficiency (LEP) is entitled to receive specialized services from the district.† To determine whether the student qualifies for services, a Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) will be formed, which will consist of both district personnel and at least one parent representative.† The studentís parent must consent to any services recommended by the LPAC for a LEP student.
In order to determine a studentís level of proficiency in English, the LPAC will use information from a variety of assessments.† If the student qualifies for services and once a level of proficiency has been established, the LPAC will then designate instructional accommodations or additional special programs the student will require to eventually become proficient at gradelevel work in English.† Ongoing assessments will be conducted to determine a studentís continued eligibility for the program.
The LPAC will also determine whether certain accommodations are necessary for any state-mandated assessments.† The STAAR-L, as mentioned at Standardized Testing, below, may be administered to a LEP student, or, for a student up to grade 5, a Spanish version of STAAR. In limited circumstances, a studentís LPAC may waive certain graduation requirements related to the English I and II end-of-course (EOC) assessments. The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) will also be administered to LEP students who qualify for services.
If a student is considered LEP and receives special education services because of a qualifying disability, the studentís ARD committee will make these decisions in conjunction with the LPAC.
For any class missed, the teacher may assign the student makeup work based on the instructional objectives for the subject or course and the needs of the individual student in mastering the essential knowledge and skills or in meeting subject or course requirements.
A student will be responsible for obtaining and completing the makeup work in a satisfactory manner and within the time specified by the teacher.
A student who does not make up assigned work within the time allotted by the teacher will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.
A student will be permitted to make up tests and to turn in projects due in any class missed because of absence.† Teachers may assign a late penalty to any long-term project in accordance with time lines approved by the principal and previously communicated to students.
A student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) during the school year will have an opportunity to complete, before the beginning of the next school year, a foundation curriculum course in which the student was enrolled at the time of removal.† The district may provide the opportunity to complete the course through an alternative method, including a correspondence course, distance learning, or summer school.† The district will not charge the student for any method of completion provided by the district.† [See policy FOCA(LEGAL).]
A student removed from the regular classroom to in-school suspension or another setting, other than a DAEP, will have an opportunity to complete before the beginning of the next school year each course the student was enrolled in at the time of removal from the regular classroom.† The district may provide the opportunity by any method available, including a correspondence course, distance learning, or summer school.† The district will not charge the student for any method of completion provided by the district.† [See policy FO(LEGAL).]
District employees will not give a student prescription medication, nonprescription medication, herbal substances, anabolic steroids, or dietary supplements, with the following exceptions:
∑ Only authorized employees, in accordance with policies at FFAC, may administer:
∑ Prescription medication, in the original, properly labeled container, provided by the parent, along with a written request.
∑ Prescription medication from a properly labeled unit dosage container filled by a registered nurse or another qualified district employee from the original, properly labeled container.
∑ Nonprescription medication, in the original, properly labeled container, provided by the parent along with a written request.
∑ Herbal or dietary supplements provided by the parent only if required by the studentís individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan for a student with disabilities.
∑ In certain emergency situations, the district will maintain and administer to a student nonprescription medication, but only:
∑ In accordance with the guidelines developed with the districtís medical advisor; and
∑ When the parent has previously provided written consent to emergency treatment on the districtís form.
A student with asthma or severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) may be permitted to possess and use prescribed asthma or anaphylaxis medication at school or school-related events only if he or she has written authorization from his or her parent and a physician or other licensed health-care provider.† The student must also demonstrate to his or her physician or health-care provider and to the school nurse the ability to use the prescribed medication, including any device required to administer the medication.
If the student has been prescribed asthma or anaphylaxis medication for use during the school day, the student and parents should discuss this with the school nurse and campus principal.
In accordance with a studentís individual health plan for management of diabetes, a student with diabetes will be permitted to possess and use monitoring and treatment supplies and equipment while at school or at a school-related activity.† See the school nurse or principal for information.† [See policy FFAF(LEGAL).]
A psychotropic drug is a substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication.† It is intended to have an altering effect on perception, emotion, or behavior and is commonly described as a mood- or behavior-altering substance.
Teachers and other district employees may discuss a studentís academic progress or behavior with the studentís parents or another employee as appropriate; however, they are not permitted to recommend use of psychotropic drugs.† A district employee who is a registered nurse, an advanced nurse practitioner, a physician, or a certified or credentialed mental health professional can recommend that a student be evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner, if appropriate.† [For further information, see policies at FFAC.]
[See Requirements for a Diploma on page 36.]
Each school day, students will recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag.† Parents may submit a written request to the principal to excuse their child from reciting a pledge. [See Excusing a Student from Reciting the Pledges to the U.S. and Texas Flags on page 7.]
One minute of silence will follow recitation of the pledges.† Each student may choose to reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity during that minute so long as the silent activity does not interfere with or distract others.† [See policy EC(LEGAL) for more information.]
Each student has a right to individually, voluntarily, and silently pray or meditate in school in a manner that does not disrupt instructional or other activities of the school.† The school will not encourage, require, or coerce a student to engage in or to refrain from such prayer or meditation during any school activity.
A student will be promoted only on the basis of academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency in the subject matter of the course or grade level, the recommendation of the studentís teacher, the score received on any criterion-referenced or state-mandated assessment, and any other necessary academic information as determined by the district.† To earn credit in a course, a student must receive a grade of at least 70 based on course-level or grade-level standards.
In grades 9-12, promotion is based on earned course credits. [refer to EIE(LOCAL)]
In addition, at certain grade levels a studentówith limited exceptionsówill be required to pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), if the student is enrolled in a public Texas school on any day between January 1 and the date of the first administration of the STAAR.
If a student in grade 5 or 8 is enrolled in a course that earns high school credit and for which an end-of-course (EOC) assessment will be administered or in a course intended for students above the studentís current grade level in which the student will be administered a state mandated assessment, the student will not be subject to the promotion requirements described above for the relevant grade 5 or 8 assessment.† However, the studentís score on an EOC assessment will count for 15 percent of the final grade for the course in which the student is enrolled and will be used in determining whether the student meets the minimum cumulative score required for graduation.
If a student at any grade level is enrolled in a class or course intended for students above his or her current grade level in which the student will be administered a state mandated assessment, the student will only be required to take an applicable state mandated assessment for the course in which he or she is enrolled.
[See Standardized Testing on page 53]
Certain studentsósome with disabilities and some with limited English proficiencyómay be eligible for exemptions, accommodations, or deferred testing.† For more information, see the principal, counselor, or special education director.
A Personal Graduation Plan (PGP) will be prepared for any student in a middle school or beyond who did not perform satisfactorily on a state-mandated assessment or is determined by the district as not likely to earn a high school diploma before the fifth school year following enrollment in grade 9.† The PGP will be designed and implemented by a guidance counselor, teacher, or other staff member designated by the principal.† The plan will, among other items, identify the studentís educational goals, address the parentís educational expectations for the student, and outline an intensive instruction program for the student.† [For additional information, see the counselor or principal and policy EIF(LEGAL).]† For a student receiving special education services, the studentís IEP may serve as the studentís PGP and would therefore be developed by the studentís ARD committee.
Because class time is important, doctorís appointments should be scheduled, if possible, at times when the student will not miss instructional time.
A student who will need to leave school during the day must bring a note from his or her parent that morning and follow the campus sign-out procedures before leaving the campus.† Otherwise, a student will not be released from school at times other than at the end of the school day.† Unless the principal has granted approval because of extenuating circumstances, a student will not regularly be released before the end of the instructional day.
If a student becomes ill during the school day, the student should receive permission from the teacher before reporting to the school nurse.† The nurse will decide whether or not the student should be sent home and will notify the studentís parent.
Report cards with each studentís grades or performance and absences in each class or subject are issued to parents at least once every 6 weeks.
At the end of the first three weeks of a grading period, parents will be given a written progress report if their childís performance in any course is below 75, or is below the expected level of performance.† If the student receives a grade lower than 70 in any class or subject at the end of a grading period, the parent will be requested to schedule a conference with the teacher of that class or subject.† [See Working Together on page 3 for how to schedule a conference]
Teachers follow grading guidelines that have been approved by the principal pursuant to the board-adopted policy and are designed to reflect each studentís relative mastery of each assignment for the grading period, semester, or course.† State law provides that a test or course grade issued by a teacher cannot be changed unless the board determines that the grade was arbitrary or contains an error, or that the teacher did not follow the districtís grading policy.† [See policy EIA(LOCAL) and Grading Guidelines on page 36.]
Questions about grade calculation should first be discussed with the teacher; if the question is not resolved, the student or parent may request a conference with the principal in accordance with FNG(LOCAL).
The report card or unsatisfactory progress report will state whether tutorials are required for a student who receives a grade lower than 70 in a class or subject.
Report cards with any grade below a 70 and unsatisfactory progress reports with a grade below a 75 must be signed by the parent and returned to the school within 3 days.
[See Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 27.]
Student safety on campus and at school-related events is a high priority of the district.† Although the district has implemented safety procedures, the cooperation of students is essential to ensuring school safety.† A student should:
∑ Avoid conduct that is likely to put the student or others at risk.
∑ Follow the behavioral standards in this handbook and the Student Code of Conduct, as well as any additional rules for behavior and safety set by the principal, teachers, or bus drivers.
∑ Remain alert to and promptly report to a teacher or the principal any safety hazards, such as intruders on campus or threats made by any person toward a student or staff member.
∑ Know emergency evacuation routes and signals.
∑ Follow immediately the instructions of teachers, bus drivers, and other district employees who are overseeing the welfare of students.
Soon after the school year begins, parents will have the opportunity to purchase low-cost accident insurance that would help meet medical expenses in the event of injury to their child.
From time to time, students, teachers, and other district employees will participate in drills of emergency procedures.† When the alarm is sounded, students should follow the direction of teachers or others in charge quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner.
††††††††††† 3 bells†††††††††††††††††††††††† leave the building
††††††††††† 1 bell†††††††††††††††††††††††††† halt; stand at attention
††††††††††† 2 bells†††††††††††††††††††††††† return to the classroom
††††††††††† 1 continuous bell††††††† move quietly but quickly to the designated locations
††††††††††† 2 bells†††††††††††††††††††††††† return to the classroom
If a student has a medical emergency at school or a school-related activity when the parent cannot be reached, the school may have to rely on previously provided written parental consent to obtain emergency medical treatment, and information about allergies to medications, foods, insect bites, etc.† Therefore, parents are asked each year to complete an emergency care consent form.† Parents should keep emergency care information up-to-date (name of doctor, emergency phone numbers, allergies, etc.).† Please contact the school nurse to update any information that the nurse or the teacher needs to know.
You will be contacted by the schoolís Alert-Now service on your primary contact number to announce any school closings, delays, or early releases due to inclement weather or other emergencies.
Television ChannelsÖÖ4, 5, 8, and 11†††††††††††††††††
Radio Stations.....WBAP 820, KLTY 94.9, KTFW 92.1, and KPLX 99.5
See Standardized Testing on page 53.
Certain areas of the school will be accessible to students before and after school for specific purposes.† Students are required to remain in the area where their activity is scheduled to take place.
The following areas are open to students before school, beginning at 7:30 a.m.:
∑ Main lobby of high school
Unless the teacher or sponsor overseeing the activity gives permission, a student will not be permitted to go to another area of the building or campus.
After dismissal of school in the afternoon, and unless involved in an activity under the supervision of a teacher, students must leave campus immediately.
Teachers and administrators have full authority over student conduct at before- or after-school activities on district premises and at school-sponsored events off district premises, such as play rehearsals, club meetings, athletic practices, and special study groups or tutorials.† Students are subject to the same rules of conduct that apply during the instructional day and will be subject to consequences established by the Student Code of Conduct or any stricter standards of behavior established by the sponsor for extracurricular participants.
Loitering or standing in the halls during class is not permitted.† During class time, a student must have a hall pass to be outside the classroom for any purpose.† Failure to obtain a pass will result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
The district participates in the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program and offers students nutritionally balanced meals daily.† Free and reduced-price meals are available based on financial need.† Information about a studentís participation is confidential.† See Pam Jones at Central Administration to apply.
The district follows the federal and state guidelines regarding foods of minimal nutritional value being served or sold on school premises during the school day.† [For more information, see policy CO(LEGAL).]
The library is a learning laboratory with books, computers, magazines, and other materials available for classroom assignments, projects, and reading or listening pleasure.† Each student must check out his or her own library books and assume all responsibility for those books. Computers in the library are governed by the same usage guidelines as those in the guidance lab. Computers will be available on a space available basis and will be used only in accordance with the schoolís acceptable use policy.† The library is open for independent student use from 7:45-4:30.
Student-organized, student-led noncurriculum-related groups are permitted to meet during the hours designated by the principal before and after school.† These groups must comply with the requirements of policy FNAB(LOCAL).
A list of these groups is available in the principalís office.
In the interest of promoting student safety and attempting to ensure that schools are safe and drug free, district officials may from time to time conduct searches.† Such searches are conducted without a warrant and as permitted by law.
Studentsí desks and lockers are school property and remain under the control and jurisdiction of the school even when assigned to an individual student.
Students are fully responsible for the security and contents of their assigned desks and lockers.† Students must be certain that their lockers are locked, and that the combinations are not available to others.
Searches of desks or lockers may be conducted at any time there is reasonable cause to believe that they contain articles or materials prohibited by policy, whether or not a student is present.
The parent will be notified if any prohibited items are found in the studentís desk or locker.
Use of district-owned equipment and its network systems is not private and will be monitored by the district.† [See policy CQ for more information.]
Any searches of personal telecommunications or other personal electronic devices will be conducted in accordance with law, and the device may be confiscated in order to perform alawful search.† A confiscated device may be turned over to law enforcement to determine whether a crime has been committed.
[See policy FNF(LEGAL) for more information.]
Vehicles parked on school property are under the jurisdiction of the school.† School officials may search any vehicle any time there is reasonable cause to do so, with or without the permission of the student.† A student has full responsibility for the security and content of his or her vehicle and must make certain that it is locked and that the keys are not given to others.† [See also the Student Code of Conduct.]
The district will use trained dogs to alert school officials to the presence of prohibited or illegal items, including drugs and alcohol.† At any time, trained dogs may be used around lockers and the areas around vehicles parked on school property.† Searches of classrooms, common areas, or student belongings may also be conducted by trained dogs when students are not present.† An item in a classroom, a locker, or a vehicle to which a trained dog alerts may be searched by school officials.
[For further information, see policy FNF(LOCAL).]
[For further information, see policy FNF(LOCAL).† Also see Steroids on page 54.]
[See Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 27.]
The district provides special programs for gifted and talented students, homeless students, bilingual students, migrant students, students with limited English proficiency, dyslexic students, and students with disabilities.† The coordinator of each program can answer questions about eligibility requirements, as well as programs and services offered in the district or by other organizations.† A student or parent with questions about these programs should contact The Director of Federal Programs at 940-969-5000.
Many colleges require either the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for admission.† Students are encouraged to talk with the counselor early during their junior year to determine the appropriate exam to take; these exams are usually taken at the end of the junior year.
Beginning with ninth graders in the 2011Ė2012 school year, end-of-course (EOC) assessments are administered for the following courses:
∑ Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II
∑ English I, English II, and English III
∑ Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
∑ World Geography, World History, and United States History
Satisfactory performance on the applicable assessments will be required for graduation and will also affect the plan under which the student may graduate.
There are three testing windows during the year in which a student may take an EOC assessment, which will occur during the fall, spring, and summer months.
In each content area (English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies), a student must achieve a cumulative score.† To determine whether the student meets the cumulative score, the studentís EOC assessment scores in each content area will be added together.† If the studentís total score on the assessments within the content area is not equal to or greater than the cumulative score set by TEA, the student may retake any of the assessments in that content area until the student achieves the cumulative score.† A student who does not achieve the minimum required score on any individual assessment will be required to retake that assessment.
A student may choose to retake an EOC assessment in situations other than those listed above as well.
STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate, for students receiving special education services, will be available for eligible students, as determined by the studentís ARD committee.† These particular EOC assessments may have different testing windows than the general assessments, and the ARD committee will determine whether successful performance on the assessments will be required for graduation.
STAAR-L, which is a linguistically accommodated assessment, will be available for students who have been determined to be limited English proficient (LEP) and who require this type of testing accommodation.
Also see Course Credit on page 26,Grading Guidelines on page 36, and Graduation on page 36 for additional information.
TAKS is a state-mandated assessment currently being transitioned to the STAAR program.† However, depending on the grade level of the student, TAKS may still be administered to a student.
For a student in grade 11 during the 2012Ė2013 school year, the student will be assessed with what is termed the ďexit-levelĒ TAKS in the subject areas of mathematics, English/language arts, social studies, and science, for which satisfactory performance is required for graduation. Any student in grade 12 who has not met the passing standard on the exit-level TAKS will have an opportunity to retake the exam in accordance with timelines established by TEA.
Also see Graduation on page 36 for more information.
Prior to enrollment in a Texas public college or university, most students must take a standardized test, such as the Texas Higher Education Assessment [THEA]. The purpose of the THEA is to assess the reading, mathematics, and writing skills that entering freshmen-level students should have if they are to perform effectively in undergraduate certificate or degree programs in Texas public colleges and universities.† This test may be required before a student enrolls in a dual-credit course offered through the district as well.
State law prohibits students from possessing, dispensing, delivering, or administering an anabolic steroid.† Anabolic steroids are for medical use only, and only a physician can prescribe use.
Body building, muscle enhancement, or the increase of muscle bulk or strength through the use of an anabolic steroid or human growth hormone by a healthy student is not a valid medical use and is a criminal offense.
Students participating in UIL athletic competition may be subject to random steroid testing.† More information on the UIL testing program may be found on the UIL Web site at http://www.uil.utexas.edu/athletics/health/steroid_information.html.
The district strives to assist any student who has been placed in either temporary or permanent conservatorship (custody) of the state of Texas with the enrollment and registration process, as well as other educational services throughout the studentís enrollment in the district.
Please contact Patti Seckman, who has been designated as the districtís liaison for children in the conservatorship of the state, at (940) 969-5000 with any questions.
The district provides students the opportunity to introduce the school events listed in FNA(LOCAL) at INTRODUCTORY SPEAKERS].
If a student meets the eligibility criteria and wishes to introduce one of the school events listed above, the student should submit his or her name in accordance with policy FNA (LOCAL).† The names of all students who volunteered will be randomly drawn and matched to the event for which the student will give the introduction.† If the selected student speaker declines or becomes ineligible, then no student introduction will be made at that event.† The selection of students to introduce school events will occur at the beginning of each semester.
[See FNA(LOCAL) regarding other speaking opportunities and Graduation on page 40 for information related to student speech at graduation ceremonies.]
The district is committed to partnering with parents to support the healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral development of its students.† If you are concerned about your child, please access the following Web sites or contact the school counselor for more information related to suicide prevention and to find mental health services available in your area:
Summer school may be provided as an extended year district required tutorial program. Summer school attendance is required at 90 percent, the same as the regular school year. Students will be required to attend summer school at no cost to the parent for the following reasons:
∑ Failure of a course at the secondary level.
∑ Below standard score of a standardized test. (TAKS)
Students will only be allowed to earn credit for one semester at summer school.
Summer school is also used for students not meeting the 90 percent attendance standard.† (See Attendance page15).
1st& 2nd†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Warning
3rd& 4th†††††††††††††††††††††† 1 Hour Detention
5th&6th††††††††††† Monday/Thursday Night Detention
7th& after††††††††††††††††††† ISS
Starts over at Semester
Repeated instances of tardiness will result in more severe disciplinary action, in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
Textbooks and other district-approved instructional materials are provided to students free of charge for each subject or class.† Any books must be covered by the student, as directed by the teacher, and treated with care.† Electronic textbooks and technological equipment may also be provided to students, depending on the course and course objectives.† A student who is issued a damaged item should report the damage to the teacher.† Any student failing to return an item in acceptable condition loses the right to free textbooks and technological equipment until the item is returned or the damage paid for by the parent; however, the student will be provided the necessary instructional resources and equipment for use at school during the school day.
The principal is authorized to transfer a student from one classroom to another.
[See School Safety Transfers, on page 8, Bullying, on page 18, and Options and Requirements for Providing Assistance to Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need or May Need Special Education, on page 9, for other transfer options.]
Students who participate in school-sponsored trips are required to use transportation provided by the school to and from the event.† The principal, however, may make an exception if the parent makes a written request that the student be released to the parent or to another adult designated by the parent.
The district makes school bus transportation available to all students living two or more miles from school.† This service is provided at no cost to students.† Bus routes and any subsequent changes are posted at the school and on the districts web site.
A parent may also designate a child-care facility or grandparentís residence as the regular pickup and drop-off location for his or her child.† The designated facility or residence must be on an approved stop on an approved route.† For information on bus routes and stops or to designate an alternate pickup or drop-off location, you may contact the transportation director at 940-969-5000.
See the Student Code of Conduct for provisions regarding transportation to the disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP).
Students are expected to assist district staff in ensuring that buses remain in good condition and that transportation is provided safely.† When riding in district vehicles, students are held to behavioral standards established in this handbook and the Student Code of Conduct.† Students must:
∑ Be courteous and follow the driver's directions at all times.
∑ Enter and leave the bus in an orderly manner at the designated bus stop nearest home.
∑ Keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus. Do not hold any object out of the window, or throw objects within or outside of the bus.
∑ Upon boarding the bus, go to assigned seat, remain in your assigned seat and face forward keeping feet, books, and other objects out of the aisle.
∑ Upon leaving the bus, wait for the driver's signal before crossing in front of the bus.
∑ No eating or drinking is allowed on the bus.
∑ Animals, insects, or other pets are not allowed on the bus.
∑ The rear emergency door should be used for entry or exit only in an emergency.
∑ Use proper behavior at the bus stops; the principalsí jurisdiction extends to the bus stops.
∑ No excessive noise or yelling.
∑ No fighting - verbally or physically.
Misconduct will be punished in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct; bus-riding privileges may be suspended. The following rules and consequences will apply:
1. First violation:† Bus driver will contact parent.† Student will receive a warning.† Parents will receive written notification.
2. Second violation:† Suspension from the bus may occur (1-3 days).† Consequences other than suspension may be decided by the administrator.† Parents will receive written notification explaining the misconduct and future consequences.
3. Third violation: Student may be suspended from the bus for three to five school days, or other consequences as decided by the administration. Parent will receive written notification explaining the misconduct and future consequences.
4. Four or more violations: Student may be removed from the bus for the remainder of the semester unless the removal occurs during the last six-week period.† Then the suspension may be carried over to the following semester. The principal will have final authority in resolving the situation.
IMPORTANT:† Any time a student is suspended from riding the bus, PARENTS are responsible for providing transportation for the student to attend school. This is NOT suspension from class. If the student does not attend school when suspended from riding the bus, the absence is unexcused, and disciplinary action may result.
Misconduct will be punished in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct; bus-riding privileges may be suspended.
Vehicles parked on school property are under the jurisdiction of the school. A student has full responsibility for the security of his or her vehicle and will make certain it is locked and that the keys are not given to others. A student will be held responsible for any prohibited objects or substances, such as alcohol, drugs, or weapons that are found in his or her vehicle and will be subject to disciplinary action by the District, as well as referral for criminal prosecution. Searches of vehicles may be conducted at any time there is reasonable cause to do so, with or without the presence of the student.
Students who drive a motor vehicle as a means of transportation to and from school must observe the following regulations:
1. Students must have a valid Texas driverís license and are subject to the PISD drug testing policy [see FNF(LOCAL)].
2. Students must have proof of insurance on file with the High School office.
3. Studentís vehicles must be registered in the High School office.
4. Students must park in the student parking lot only.
5. Student must obtain a parking permit from the office before they are allowed to park on school property. Each parking permit will have a number that is unique to the driver of the vehicle. The initial cost of the permit is $10. If the student has more than one vehicle they drive to school, additional permits will cost $3.00 each. The cost to replace a permit during the year is $3.00.The permit will be a 3Ē diameter window sticker that is to be placed on the inside of the front windshield on the passenger side in the bottom right corner.
6. If the student must drive a vehicle other than the one registered for a limited time they must report to the office that morning to obtain a temporary permit at no cost. This permit is valid for one day only.
7. If a student parks a vehicle on campus without a valid permit they are subject to disciplinary action and may lose the privilege to park on school property.
8. All vehicles are to be locked and remain locked while on campus during school hours. Paradise ISD is not responsible for valuables left in a studentís vehicle.
9. Students will not sit in vehicles during the lunch hour or before school begins in the morning.
10. Reckless driving or speeding on or near the school is not tolerated and will result in disciplinary action and driving privileges can be terminated.
11. Any student vehicle is subject to be examined or searched if the school administration or canine unit of the local authorities has a reasonable speculation of illegal drugs, alcohol, weapons, or contraband within the vehicle.
The taxpayers of the community have made a sustained financial commitment for the construction and upkeep of school facilities.† To ensure that school facilities can serve those for whom they are intendedóboth this year and for years to comeólittering, defacing, or damaging school property is not tolerated.† Students will be required to pay for damages they cause and will be subject to criminal proceedings as well as disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
For safety purposes, video and audio recording equipment is used to monitor student behavior, including on buses and in common areas on campus.† Students will not be told when the equipment is being used.
The principal will review the video and audio recordings routinely and document student misconduct.† Discipline will be in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
Parents and others are welcome to visit district schools.† For the safety of those within the school and to avoid disruption of instructional time, all visitors must first report to the principalís office and must comply with all applicable district policies and procedures.
Visits to individual classrooms during instructional time are permitted only with approval of the principal and teacher and only so long as their duration or frequency does not interfere with the delivery of instruction or disrupt the normal school environment.
All visitors are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of courtesy and conduct; disruptive behavior will not be permitted.
On special occasions, the district invites representatives from colleges and universities and other higher education institutions, prospective employers, and military recruiters to present information to interested students.
A student under 18 may be withdrawn from school only by a parent. The school requests notice from the parent at least three days in advance so that records and documents may be prepared.† The parent may obtain a withdrawal form from the principalís office.
On the studentís last day, the withdrawal form must be presented to each teacher for current grade averages and book and equipment clearance; to the librarian to ensure a clear library record; to the clinic for health records; to the counselor for the last report card and course clearance; and finally, to the principal.† A copy of the withdrawal form will be given to the student, and a copy will be placed in the studentís permanent record.
A student who is 18 or older, who is married, or who has been declared by a court to be an emancipated minor may withdraw without parental signature.
Accelerated instruction is an intensive supplemental program designed to address the needs of an individual student in acquiring the knowledge and skills required at his or her grade level and/or as a result of a student not meeting the passing standard on a state-mandated assessment.
ACT refers to one of the two most frequently used college or university admissions exams:† the American College Test.† The test may be a requirement for admission to certain colleges or universities.
ARD is the admission, review, and dismissal committee convened for each student who is identified as needing a full and individual evaluation for special education services.† The eligible studentís and his or her parents are members of the committee.
Attendance review committee is sometimes responsible for reviewing a studentís absences when the studentís attendance drops below 90 percent, or in some cases 75 percent, of the days the class is offered.† Under guidelines adopted by the board, the committee will determine whether there were extenuating circumstances for the absences and whether the student needs to complete certain conditions to master the course and regain credit lost because of absences.
DAEP stands for disciplinary alternative education program, a placement for students who have violated certain provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.
EOC assessments are end-of-course tests, which are state-mandated, and are part of the STAAR program.† Successful performance on EOC assessments will be required for graduation beginning with students in grade 9 during the 2011Ė2012 school year.† These exams will be given in English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, World Geography, World History, and United States History.
FERPA refers to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that grants specific privacy protections to student records.† The law contains certain exceptions, such as for directory information, unless a studentís parent or a student 18 or older directs the school not to release directory information.
IEP is the written record of the individualized education program prepared by the ARD committee for a student with disabilities who is eligible for special education services.† The IEP contains several parts, such as a statement of the studentís present educational performance; a statement of measurable annual goals, with short-term objectives; the special education and related services and supplemental aids and services to be provided, and program modifications or support by school personnel; a statement regarding how the studentís progress will be measured and how the parents will be kept informed; accommodations for state or districtwide tests;whether successful completion of state-mandated assessments is required for graduation, etc.
ISS refers to in-school suspension, a disciplinary technique for misconduct found in the Student Code of Conduct.† Although different from out-of-school suspension and placement in a DAEP, ISS removes the student from the regular classroom.
NCLB Act is the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
PGP stands for Personal Graduation Plan, which is recommended for all students entering grade 9 and is required by state law for any student in middle school or higher who fails a section on a state-mandated test or is identified by the district as not likely to earn a high school diploma before the fifth school year after he or she begins grade 9.
SAT refers to one of the two most frequently used college or university admissions exams:† the Scholastic Aptitude Test.† The test may be a requirement for admissions to certain colleges or universities.
SHAC stands for School Health Advisory Council, a group of at least five members, a majority of whom must be parents, appointed by the school board to assist the district in ensuring that local community values and health issues are reflected in the districtís health education instruction.
Section 504 is the federal law that prohibits discrimination against a student with a disability, requiring schools to provide opportunities for equal services, programs, and participation in activities.† Unless the student is determined to be eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), general education with appropriate instructional accommodations will be provided.
STAAR is the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, the stateís system of standardized academic achievement assessments, effective beginning with certain students for the 2011Ė2012 school year.†
STAAR Alternate is an alternative state-mandated assessment designed for students with severe cognitive disabilities receiving special education services who meet the participation requirements, as determined by the studentís ARD committee.
STAAR Modified is an alternative state-mandated assessment based on modified achievement standards that is administered to eligible students receiving special education services, as determined by the studentís ARD committee.
STAAR Linguistically Accommodated (STAAR L) is an alternative state-mandated assessment with linguistic accommodations designed for certain recent immigrant English language learners.
State-mandated assessments are required of students at certain grade levels and in specified subjects.† Successful performance sometimes is a condition of promotion, and passing the grade 11 exit-level test or end-of-course assessments, when applicable, is a condition of graduation.† Students have multiple opportunities to take the tests if necessary for promotion or graduation.
Student Code of Conduct is developed with the advice of the district-level committee and adopted by the board and identifies the circumstances, consistent with law, when a student may be removed from the classroom or campus.† It also sets out the conditions that authorize or require the principal or another administrator to place the student in a DAEP.† It outlines conditions for out-of-school suspension and for expulsion. The Student Code of Conduct also addresses notice to the parent regarding a studentís violation of one of its provisions.
TAKS is the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, the stateís standardized achievement test currently given to students in certain subjects in grade 11 and is required for graduation for these. A student in grade 12 who has not yet met the passing standard on this assessment will have opportunities to retake the assessment.
TELPAS stands for the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System, which assesses the progress that English language learners make in learning the English language, and is administered for those who meet the participation requirements in kindergartenĖgrade 12.
TxVSNis the Texas Virtual School Network, which provides online courses for Texas students to supplement the instructional programs of public school districts.† Courses are taught by qualified instructors, and courses are equivalent in rigor and scope to a course taught in a traditional classroom setting.
UIL refers to the University Interscholastic League, the statewide voluntary nonprofit organization that oversees educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests.