2016-2017 Parent/Student Handbook
MT. PLEASANT CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
As a witness of God’s love in the world, Mt. Pleasant Christian School, in partnership with parents, is dedicated to the teaching of God-given truth, the nurturing of faith, and the development of individual learning potential.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
God, the creator of the universe, exists in three persons- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ died, shedding his blood for our sins, and was raised again from the dead. Our sin separates us from God, but all can become His children through repentance and acceptance of Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit lives in the believer and enables him to walk in submission to the will of God. The Bible is God’s truth and reveals the only way to know reality and fulfillment in life.
PHILOSOPHY AND PURPOSE
The educational philosophy of Mt. Pleasant Christian School is three-fold:
* Christian education starts at home. Our goal is to work with parents to lead children to a personal commitment to Jesus Christ and to disciple them in their Christian walk.
* All truth is God-given and needs to be taught from God’s perspective. He is Creator, Savior, and Lord. We seek to relate God and His Word to all areas of study and daily life.
* The school administration, staff, and students should seek to further God’s kingdom and to be a witness of God’s love in the community.
Mt. Pleasant Christian School admits qualified students of any age, race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the students at the school. MPCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of school policies or programs.
Our goal is to create an environment which will nurture the students’ spiritual, academic, and social growth. This includes daily worship experiences, instruction in the Bible, and regular chapel times. Our curriculum uses standard textbooks taught in the light of Biblical truth. Our teachers are academically qualified and, even more importantly, dedicated to Christian service.
Outdoor play and guidance toward healthy relationships with classmates are a part of the educational experience. Field trips, guest speakers, special projects, and presentation of public programs also provide learning experiences and educational enrichment. Each classroom has computers in them which are connected to the internet. These are used for Accelerated Reader testing, research and enrichment activities.
* Intramural Sports: Coed teams from grades 4-8 compete after school in soccer, basketball, and softball. Students may sign up for one or all of the sports offered.
* Musical Instrument Instruction: Music lessons are available weekly for those families interested. There will be an informational assembly early in the school year for the students.
* Praise and Worship Team: Students in grades 5-8 may join the team to lead in music during weekly chapels and to minister in churches when invited. Members are expected to demonstrate a consistent lifestyle and character that honors God.
* Sign Club- The Sign Club meets once a week to learn to sign with worship songs in Chapel.
* Run Club- The run club meets in January and February in preparation for the Shamrock Marathon Final Mile.
* Squire Choir- The students in Kindergarten through Grade 3 are a part of the Squire Choir. They sing at special events, Nursing Homes and other locations in the area.
* Cooking Club- Younger students experiment with cooking in the kitchen.
You can be a partner in your child’s education by participating in the following ways:
* Maintain a positive attitude toward school attendance.
* Communicate regularly with the teacher and principal.
* Assist with homework and look over completed tests and papers brought home by your child.
* Volunteer to help in the classroom, lunchroom, or library. Each teacher will have specific suggestions.
* Assist with fund-raising events.
* Attend school functions.
* Pray regularly for the students, and staff.
THE SCHOOL DAY
8:30 First Bell
8:35 Tardy Bell
11:25 -11:50 Grades 4-8 Lunch
12:00 –12:25 Grades Pre-K3-3 Lunch
ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL
Students should not arrive before 8 A.M or stay after 3:15 without prior approval. Students arriving before 8:30 will go to the activity room. Students will be dismissed from the activity room at 8:30.
In order to leave school before the dismissal bell, a student must submit a parent’s note to their teacher that morning. The note must have the time of dismissal, the reason, and the parent’s signature. Please avoid picking you child up early if at all possible, as it is a distraction for the teachers and students. The parent should come to the office and sign out their child if leaving before dismissal time.
Be sure your child’s drivers are listed on the registration form. Please send a signed, dated note in the morning if there will be any changes in transportation plans. We want to be sure we have your permission before we send your child with someone. Please be sure that any substitute driver knows the proper procedure for pick up so that they do not endanger students by driving where students are walking.
The lower parking lot is reserved for parents with children in the car in car seats, persons with a physical condition which makes walking unadvisable, and for the person who purchased a parking space at last year’s auction. All other drivers should use the upper lot when picking up their children. Please do not park in the driveway or in the grass around the lower lot. If you are eligible, please be sure to pull into a parking space.
Pre-K and kindergarten students are to be picked up in the activity room. Students in grades 1-6 will be dismissed under the portico and grades 7-8 will be dismissed from the front of the gymnasium. Please come to the area of your child’s class so that the teacher knows that you have your child. Please supervise your children and keep them with you as you return to your vehicle. Exit from the upper lot will be beside the gymnasium and out onto Berndale Road.
Safety and courtesy are the goals for the rules for arriving and dismissing at school. Please watch carefully for children at all times, and never leave your car where it will impede the flow of traffic. If it is necessary for you to come into the school in the morning, please feel free to use the lower lot. Don't park your car along the circle.
INCLEMENT WEATHER DISMISSAL
Cones will indicate if the rainy day procedure will be used. For rainy day pick up, drive into the upper lot on the right and circle around the back of the lot. Exit the upper lot, and drive to the front of the portico to pick up your passengers. Please display a sign in your car window listing the children you are picking up. For the sake of safety, do not pass another car in line. Please avoid having students load their gear into the back of a vehicle during rainy day pickup. Also, it is safer if all students can enter the vehicle from the passenger side.
BEFORE AND AFTER-SCHOOL CARE
Before school care is available beginning at 6:30 in the morning. The cost will be $4.50 if the student arrives before 7:00 and $3.00 if the student arrives before 8:00. After school care is available until 6:00P.M. on full days of school. This must be pre-arranged through the office. The cost is $3.00 per hour or portion of that a student is in after-care.
If a student arrives after 8:35, they should go to the office and get a tardy slip. If the student does not have a note, the tardy will be unexcused. The driver may come to the office to write a note.
If a student must miss school, he or she must bring a note which includes the date of the absence, the reason for the absence, and the parent’s signature. If a child arrives before 10:00 they are considered tardy. If they arrive after 10 they will have a half day absence. If they leave before 1:30, they will have a half day absence. If they leave after 1:30, they will receive credit for a full day.
Absences may be excused for sickness, medical appointments, deaths, family obligations where the child’s absence is necessary, or for any reason approved by the principal. If a returning student does not bring an excuse note, the absence will not be excused until a note from the parent is received. A note is needed even if the reason has been given by telephone or in person.
If 15 or more days are missed in one semester or 30 or more in one school year, the teacher and parent must make a plan for the work to be made up (not only homework, but class time learning as well.) Otherwise, it may be necessary to retain the student.
Students may be excused for trips in which their parents want them to be involved if the teacher is notified ahead of time. This advance notification should be equal to the length of the absence. Please give the teacher written notification.
Work missed should be made up as soon as possible, at least within twice the amount of time that was missed. Work or tests assigned prior to the absence which falls due on the date of the absence or the following day should be turned in or taken on the day the student returns to school. An exception to this can be made if there is a note from the parent stating that no studying could be done during the illness. A test could then be delayed at the discretion of the teacher.
Any student who has a fever (above 100), vomits, or has diarrhea must stay out of school. Please don't send your child back until they have been symptom free for 24 hours without medication.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
Students are required to wear athletic style tennis shoes for P.E. Shoes should be securely tied and stay on during activities. Girls wearing skirts or dresses should wear shorts underneath. Clothes worn on P.E. days should be comfortable and modest enough to be able to participate in a variety of activities. Belts are recommended for pants that have belt loops so that they will stay comfortably up. Students not following these requirements will not be allowed to participate.
Grades 5-8 will receive a letter grade for P.E. based on skill, improvement, participation, sportsmanship, physical fitness, and written rules tests. The Presidential Fitness Test will be given in the fall and spring. The grade will be negatively affected if the student cannot participate because the shoe or clothing requirements have not been followed.
If a student needs to be excused from P.E. for health reasons, he or she must provide a signed note from the parent with the date and the reason. A doctor’s note is needed for an extended excuse.
The teachers’ goal is to prevent behavior problems by making rules and expectations clear and by keeping students actively involved and interested.
When a student has willfully violated school rules or defied the authority of the teacher, the student will be sent to the office. Any student sent to the office may be placed in time out for a specific period of time. Parents will be notified if the offense is a serious offense or if the student’s behavior does not improve. For more serious offenses or chronic misbehavior, in-school or out of school suspension may be necessary.
A student with severe or chronic behavior problems will be put on probation giving him/her the opportunity to correct the problem. If improvement is not seen, the student will be dismissed or asked to leave the school. A meeting with the parents and school staff, including the principal, will be held to state the reasons for the probation and the goals and length of the probation.
Mt. Pleasant Christian School does not tolerate bullying in any of its forms. We define bullying as:
· Any intentional written, verbal or physical act, when the act:
1. Physically or emotionally harms a student or damages the student’s property
2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education.
3. Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment.
4. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Harassment, intimidation, or bullying is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment.
If it is determined that a student is engaged in “bullying behavior”, discipline and counseling must occur. If the behavior is extreme, the student may be removed from class or suspended from school for a given amount of time without following the normal steps in the discipline plan.
Please note: Sometimes students, especially when they are very young, have not developed the interpersonal skills necessary to express their needs and feelings. Therefore, sometimes students will be mean to each other or physically hurt each other occasionally. We do not consider this occasional misbehavior “bullying”. In these instances, the teachers and staff will attempt to work with these students to help them express themselves with words and good choices when faced with an undesirable situation.
Students are to dress in a manner that is appropriate for a Christian school. Cleanliness, neatness, and modesty are the standards. Dress should not be a distraction to the learning atmosphere of the classroom.
*Athletic shoes are to be worn for recess and PE. Shoes should be secure enough that they do not come off in normal PE activities. Students without appropriate shoes will not be allowed to participate in PE or recess, and this will affect their PE grade.
*Students may not wear tank tops, sundresses, short tops that expose the midriff, low-cut tops, sleeveless tops or dresses, tight pants, flip flops or slip on sandals. The whole shoulder must be covered at all times. If the shirt is at all sheer, a tank top or t-shirt should be worn underneath.
*Hats may not be worn indoors.
*T-shirts with inappropriate pictures or messages may not be worn.
*Skirts or shorts must come to the knee. (Fingertip length shorts are acceptable in pre-K and kindergarten.) If skirts are worn, shorts should be worn underneath.
*Sweat pants are not appropriate for grades 4-8.
*Jeans that fit appropriately and do not have holes or fringes are acceptable. Pants must be high enough and shirts long enough that no back is exposed while sitting down. Form fitting pants (leggings or other tight pants) may be worn only with a dress or shirt that comes to the knees.
*Hair coloring that is not a natural color for hair is inappropriate for school. No irregular shavings are allowed.
Parents and visitors are asked to follow the student dress code when in the school building or at school events such as intramural games. This supports the students in respecting school standards.
BASIC RULES OF CONDUCT
· Teachers and fellow students are to be treated with respect.
· Name-calling, racially oriented jokes and disparaging racial comments are not allowed.
· No crude language or gestures.
· Walk and talk quietly when inside the building. When lining up after recess, get quiet before entering the building. Avoid yelling or loud talking beside the windows and doorways.
· Tripping, hitting, or kicking another student are not allowed.
· Respect and care for school property is expected. If a student intentionally destroys school property or damages school property through careless behavior or disobedience to school rules, that student will be expected to help repair or replace the property.
· Healthful foods are recommended. No trading, giving, or selling of food is allowed. Chewing gum is not allowed. If you send microwave lunch meals, choose those with a very short preparation time. Make sure that your child can open and prepare the food himself.
· Students may not have weapons or simulated weapons at school.
If a textbook, workbook, or library book is damaged or lost, replacement at student cost is required.
REPORT CARDS AND CONFERENCES
Report cards are sent home one week after the last day of each 9-week period.
A+ 100 A 95-99 A- 94
B+ 93 B 87-92 B- 86
C+ 84-85 C 79-83 C- 77-78
D+ 76 D 71-75 D- 70
F below 70
O- Outstanding S- Satisfactory I- Improvement Needed U- Unsatisfactory
Teachers will schedule at least one conference with parents during the year. A parent may request a conference with the teacher or principal at any time.
K-5: In order to progress to the next grade level, the student must do passing work and be recommended by the teacher. If subjects are failed, and the teacher and principal think the student can go on to the next grade, the school will consult with the parents about any makeup work to be done.
Grades 6, 7, &8: A student who fails a subject may go on to the next grade if that course is made up in a summer school program. A student who fails three or more subjects must repeat the entire grade.
All medications (prescription or non-prescription) to be administered at school must be brought to the office with a parental permission note.
All prescription medications to be administered at school must be brought to the office by the parent. The medication must be in the original container and be accompanied by a Request for Medication Administration form.
The fee for books and supplies is a non-refundable fee. This is to be paid by July 15th. Tuition is to be paid by August 15 in full (for a 5% discount) or in 10 equal monthly payments, August to May.
If you choose to make payments, the first payment is due by August 15. Subsequent payments are due by the 15th of each month. A $10 late fee will be added if payments are more than 10 days overdue. A 2% monthly service charge will also be added to any balance which is more that 30 days overdue. If a contract is 90 days in arrears, the student may not be permitted to attend classes.
Monthly statements will not be mailed. You will receive a notice only if your payment is late. If a student is withdrawn from school during any given semester, full payment for that semester is still due. Report cards or records will not be released until all payments, including fees, fines, or late charges, are complete.
Post-dated checks do not constitute timely payments. Records or items associated with post-dated checks will be held until the check is valid.
Students will not be permitted to begin a school term until all fees for the preceding year have been paid in full.
PARTIES AND HOLIDAYS
A parent may bring in refreshments for a child’s birthday if planned ahead of time with the teacher. End of year parties and other social outings must be planned for after school hours.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter parties are traditional at MPCS. These are planned by the teachers with the help of room mothers. Halloween is not celebrated. The origins of holiday customs can be studied, but symbols such as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny should not be the focus of holiday celebrations or decorations. The holiday parties provide an opportunity to emphasize God’s goodness and love and his gift to us of His Son, Jesus.
At Christmas, students may exchange names for gift giving. The students will be given a price limit for the gifts. The gifts should be kept simple. We also have a Christmas project to provide a chance for the students to give to others.
For parties outside of school, invitations may not be handed out at school unless the entire class is being invited. Please be sensitive to the feelings of all students in the class. Transportation arrangements must be made ahead of time, not at school.
Volunteers are important and valued at MPCS. Volunteers always work under the direction of the classroom teacher. The teacher is always responsible for the volunteer’s schedule, the lesson plans and the grading. It is important for the teacher and volunteer to meet before the volunteer works in the classroom, to talk about what is to be taught. Continued communication is important.
We ask that volunteers adhere to the student dress code as a minimum standard. This sets a good example for our students.
Any person having a school related concern should always talk first with the person directly involved or responsible. (Matthew 18:15-17) Talking about a problem or person to others can be hurtful, spreads misunderstandings, and does not solve the problem.
If the problem cannot be resolved between the parties involved, it should be referred to the principal, or if the principal is involved, to the chairman of the Board of Directors. Problems which cannot be resolved by working with the principal should also be referred to the Board Chairman.