Campus Policies

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CANYON CHARTER CAMPUS POLICIES

ABSENCES
The school office must be notified after your child is absent from school, verifying the reason for the absence and the dates the child did not attend. A child who misses one to five days in a row must bring a note from a parent/guardian to the office. Any child who misses more than five days due to illness must bring a note from a physician.

Please report prolonged illnesses to the school. We need your help in safeguarding other children, by informing the school of infectious diseases and by keeping your child at home while s/he is contagious. Students must be free of fever for 24 hours before returning to school.

Children returning to school following serious injuries, surgeries or conditions requiring hospitalization must present a written statement from their physician.  The note should state that the child has permission to attend school, and it should explain any special requirements regarding physical activity.  If your child is well, please help him/her understand the importance of attending school every day and of arriving at the classroom on time.

We want parents to work with us to reduce non-illness-related absences from school, since our funding is determined by in-seat attendance.  Vacations should only be scheduled when school is not in session!

Excused Absences: California E.C. 48205 provides that a student shall be excused from school when the absence is due to:

  • Illness
  • Quarantine
  • Medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic services.
  • Attending the funeral of an immediate family member e.g., mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, brother, sister, or any relative living in the immediate household of the student (one day within the state, three days outside the state)
  • Jury duty
  • Illness or medical treatment of a child of whom the student is the custodial parent.
  • Justifiable Personal Reasons is when the pupil‘s absence has been requested in writing by the parent and approved by the principal or designee. Absences that fall into this category include, but are not limited to:
  • Mental Health Day Treatment
  • Appearance in court
  • Attendance at a funeral service
  • Observance of religious holiday or ceremony
  • Attendance at a religious retreat (shall not exceed 4 hours per semester)
  • Revoked suspension through appeal‘s procedure
  • Attendance at an employment conference
  • Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Any absence for reasons other than those listed as EXCUSED ABSENCES are unexcused. The District is required by law to seek an explanation from the parent/guardian (a written note or verbal justification) regarding all absences within ten (10) days. The student may be classified as a truant (refer to Truancy section) and this could be grounds for referral to the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) and to the City or District Attorney‘s Office.

ABSENCES FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES
Pupils, with the written consent of their parents or guardians, may be excused from school in order to participate in religious exercises with prior approval by the school principal [Education Code Section 46014]. Additionally, students may be absent to attend a religious retreat [Education Code Section 48205(a) (7)], not to exceed four hours per semester. Such absences are considered excused absences, and pupils are responsible for making up missed work.

ATTENDANCE
The first requirement for learning is to be in attendance. Attendance is critical to both student achievement and the school’s revenue. Each child is expected to have an attendance rate of 96% (that’s seven absences per year). Every student counts!  Please do not schedule family vacations when school is in session. Our categorical funds that flow directly from the State of California to Canyon Charter School are based on the actual attendance. When your child misses school for vacations, the school loses money and your child loses valuable learning time. Please plan your family’s schedule accordingly.

AFTER DISMISSAL
Students in grades two through five may remain on the playground for after -school-supervised play until 5:00 p.m.  If the playground supervisor is absent, we will attempt to get a substitute.  If a substitute can't be found, the playground will close at dismissal time.  Kindergarten and first-grade students must leave the school grounds at dismissal time, unless they are enrolled in the S.T.A.R. after-school program.

Arrange to pick up your second through fifth graders before 5:00p.m, as there is no supervision after that time. If you need to communicate with your child about changing the pick-up procedure, please notify the office before 2:00p.m. The office closes at 4:30p.m.

The after-school-supervised playground is provided by the Los Angeles Unified School District as part of the community's recreational facilities. The program is designed to let students participate in organized games and activities. Children participating in the program must obey the rules and regulations of the school and those established by the after-school playground director and have an After-School Emergency Permission Slip on file.

The after-school program is not a childcare facility and on occasion it may be closed without prior notice. In this event, we will attempt to notify the children before the end of the school day and allow them to use the telephone to contact you. If your child participates in after-school supervised play, please make sure you pre-arrange with your child the location and babysitting plan for him/her, should the schoolyard be closed.

On occasion, a child may neglect to get consent from his/her parents before going to another child's home to play after school. If a child comes home with your son/daughter without the knowledge of the parent/guardian, please notify the school office or the caregivers immediately, as they may be trying to locate him/her. Please tell your child not to go to another child's house unless you have made prior arrangements with that child's parents.

BICYCLES
The entrance to the Bike Rack area is East of the main entrance of the school near Entrada Drive. Please have children who ride bikes to school:

  • Enter the Bike Gate to the rack area and park and lock their bicycle
  • Enter and exit school through the Breezeway gate

The Bike Gate will be locked at 8:30am each morning and reopened at the same time the Breezeway gate is reopened. Once the school day begins, access to bicycles is not available until the end of the school day. Please remember that bikes, skateboards, scooters, roller-skates and roller-blades are not permitted on campus at any time. Bicycles parked on school facilities are not covered by any District insurance. You need to secure your own insurance against loss or damage.

If your child rides a bicycle to school, she/he is responsible for obeying all laws and safety rules pertaining to it and also must:

  • Not ride the bicycle on school grounds, including the grounds in front of the school, except for instructional purposes or for activities approved by the school administrator.
  • Possess a valid license issued by the local law enforcement agency or other authorized agency.
  • Obtain a Bicycle Safety Registration Card through the school office and have it signed by a parent/guardian.
  • Wear a helmet while riding his/her bike.

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
The Governing Board established the following policy regarding birthdays:

Birthdays are not to be celebrated in the classroom in grades K – 5. This was established to be fair to all students and to limit distractions from instruction. The policy forbids bringing food, treats, or party invitations to school. The teachers and staff will enforce this policy.

BULLYING & HAZING
Canyon Charter School is committed to providing a safe and civil learning and working environment. The School takes a strong position against bullying, hazing or any behavior that infringes on the safety and well-being of students, employees, or interferes with learning or teaching. We promote mutual respect, tolerance, and acceptance among students and staff. All students and staff have the inalienable right to attend campuses which are safe, secure and peaceful. Bullying is defined as the deliberate antagonistic action or creation of a situation with the intent of inflicting emotional, physical, or psychological distress. The behavior may be a single or repeated act and may be electronic, indirect, non-verbal, psychological, sexual, social, physical or verbal. Cyber bullying is conducted via electronic communication technology (e.g., texts, e-mails, blogs, postings) and meets the impact of bullying. A person who engages in cyber bullying at school or school-related activities and events is subject to disciplinary action even if the bullying occurred on a personal electronic device. Cyber bullying that occurs off-campus but compromises the safety or instructional environment of the school may fall under District jurisdiction.

Hazing is any method of initiation, pre-initiation, or rite of passage associated with actual or desired membership in a student organization or student body, whether or not it is officially recognized by the educational institution.

CELL PHONES ON CAMPUS
Be considerate with use of your cell phone on campus. If you are volunteering, please keep your phone on silent. If you must answer a call, do so outside the classroom and out of earshot of other children. Children want our undivided attention, and a cell phone is a distraction for both you and our students. Students are permitted to bring cellular phones, pagers or electronic devices onto campus provided they remain off and stored in a locker, purse, backpack, pocket, or other place where they are not visible during normal school hours or activities. Students are permitted to use them only before or after school or school activities.

Students must comply anytime school personnel asks them to stop using a phone, pager or electronic device even before or after school. If teachers or staff see a student using a phone during school activities, they may confiscate it until the parent/guardian comes to retrieve it. The school or District is not responsible for students' lost or stolen cell phones or electronic devices.

CLASSROOM PLACEMENTS
At Canyon Charter School, we are committed to placing your child in the best academic setting. For this reason we have implemented the following policy to insure that your child has a happy and successful year.

No requests toward class selection will be granted.

All students are grouped into classes according to Canyon Charter and Los Angeles Unified School District guidelines regarding residence, ethnicity, gender and special needs.

Class groupings will be organized year-to-year according to the recommendations of teachers regarding academic and social levels and will take into account any personality concerns of which teachers are aware.

Parents are encouraged to communicate special needs of individual students with staff.

At Canyon, we encourage ongoing dialogue between parent and teacher from the first day of school.  However, if a parent is dissatisfied with his or her child’s placement, they may formally approach the teacher after the first three weeks of school. At this time an assessment of the placement will occur between teacher and parent.  The principal may be asked to attend this meeting.

In the event of irreconcilable differences between the teacher(s) involved and the parent(s), the final decision on placement will rest with the principal.

COMMUNICATION
Communication is very important to our community.  Please note that in an effort to save paper, our environment, and limited resources, Canyon Charter communicates primarily through email, our website, and our weekly newsletter, The Chronicle. We encourage open communication and ask you to contact either your child’s teacher or me directly with any matter or concern. Stay on top of what’s going on at Canyon Charter. Keeping informed is easy as well as important. Read the e-mails sent by the school, most of which are time sensitive, read The Chronicle, our school newsletter, e-mailed to you weekly, listen to messages called home, etc. Regularly visit the Canyon Charter website for updates on important school events. 

COMPUTER USE
Canyon Charter has been able to acquire technology in the form of laptops. In order to assure that students will gain the most benefit from these computers for a long time, the Technology Committee and Administration have come up with a policy for the use and misuse of the laptops.

Procedure for checkout from cart and use of laptop computer:

  • Once a student checks out a laptop from the cart, he/she is responsible for the proper case and use of the laptop.
  • Computer use, including all Internet searches, is for educational purposes only.*
  • Should a laptop become damaged due to student neglect, parents will be responsible for the market price of parts and cost of labor.

Discipline Plan and Code of Conduct
This school wide Discipline Plan has been developed to provide a safe and orderly environment where teachers can teach and students can learn. Our goal is to nurture our students and help them to make good behavior choices, become self-disciplined, tolerant, and responsible for their actions. The behavioral expectations are the following.

  • Be Safe
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Respectful

Parents are expected to be active supportive partners in their child’s educational program.

SCHOOL WIDE STUDENT RECOGNITION
Positive student behavior is recognized in the classroom and school-wide through praise, rewards, special activities, recognitions at monthly assemblies, certificates and notes to parents.

CLASSROOM DISCIPLINE
Each teacher will develop with his/her class a plan that clearly states classroom standards, rewards for positive behavior and consequences for negative behavior. Parents will be given a written copy of the standards by their teacher.

DRESS CODES
The objective of the Dress Code Policy is to maintain an appropriate dress code to ensure the safety of everyone.

Students must show proper attention to personal cleanliness, health, neatness, safety and suitability of clothing and appearance for school. This dress and grooming should not:

  • Cause distraction from or disturbance of any school activity.
  • Interfere with the participation of a student in any school activity.
  • Create a hazard to the safety of the student or to others.

Your child should wear shoes that give him/her the best possible protection and support. Our physical education program is very active.

Students will refrain from wearing the following articles of clothing:

  • Spaghetti straps
  • Short shorts
  • Open-toed shoes, backless shoes, or platform shoes
  • Bare midriffs
  • Dangling earrings
  • Excessively baggy pants – pants need to be secured around the waist.

Generally, hats are not to be worn in class but may be allowed at the discretion of the teacher.

If students wear inappropriate clothing, parents will be called to bring appropriate clothing. In the meantime, clothing will be supplied by Canyon until the parent arrives.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

In the event that there is an emergency, parents should remember that public schools are among the safest buildings in the community. By law, California public schools are built to a higher standard than other public buildings, as required by the Field Act; therefore, schools will generally have less damage than residential or commercial buildings. Schools also have extensive Fire Life Safety Systems that include fire alarms and sprinkler systems that are designed to protect students and staff. In general, schools will respond to emergencies by moving students to the safest possible location. During fires or earthquakes, students will be moved out of the classrooms to a safe assembly area away from buildings, usually the school field or play yard. During a lockdown or shelter in place, students will be moved indoors, to use the buildings as protection.

During an emergency, parents who want to pick up their children may be asked to go to the Request Gate located on the school‘s perimeter and show identification. This is a specific location that schools will use to release students. Please remember that students will only be released to a person whose name is listed on the student’s Emergency Card. Parents must make sure that the Emergency Card is current and correct. Please notify your child’s school anytime the emergency contact information changes. During a threat of violence, students will be sheltered in a locked classroom away from anything that can hurt them. During an emergency when the campus must be protected, parents will not be able to pick up their children until the school campus is declared to be safe by law enforcement.

FIELD TRIP POLICY
Field Trips are an important part of curriculum at all grades, K – 5. Visits to such places as museums, galleries, historical areas and neighborhood or community venues have a place in the ongoing activities planned by the teacher. They broaden vision, expand knowledge, and provide real life experiences to children as they develop the skills and applications in all areas of the curriculum.

Curricular trips are related to the standards-based instruction at each grade level and can be used to motivate, expand, enrich or culminate a unit of study, provided they are incorporated in a timely, meaningful manner.

The staff would like to expand on the guidelines recommended by the Charter School Safety Committee and adopted by the Governing Board on February 28, 1996. The purpose of this is to ensure that curricular trips are not only organized and safe, but meaningful and timely as well. Curricular trips must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Will originate with the classroom teacher and/or have his/her approval.
  • Will adhere to the safety policy approved by the governing board.
  • Any and all costs must be made known to the teacher and approved by the teacher or administrator.
  • Relates to the curriculum, be timely, be age/grade appropriate and have the approval of the teacher.
  • The teacher or the teacher’s designee will select parent chaperones/drivers.
  • Be within 25 miles from the campus, and not exceed the time allowed for the program or activity.
  • Be reviewed and approved by the administrator at least 3 weeks before scheduled trip.

The Safety Committee has approved the following policy to be used on all field trips.

Class Identification
Each class shall use one or both of the following for class identification.

  • Canyon T-Shirts
  • Large cards worn around necks or name tags with Canyon Charter School and telephone number.  

Names of students on tags will be used only if required by docent.

Parent/Driver Packet
Drivers will receive a packet containing information for their carpool group. Each parent and student should be instructed they are to remain as a carpool group.  If the class is split up for any reason on the field trip, the packet will contain the following to assist the driver:

  • Parent carpool code number or color;
  • Student information; and
  • Map, arrival time, departure time.

Attendance
Attendance must be taken before leaving school, at entrance of field trip and before exiting.  The teacher will have a list of carpool groups.

Restroom Breaks
An adult must accompany students.

Driver Responsibility
All drivers must have a valid driver’s license and insurance (may be checked by the office) and seat belts for each passenger.  Parents should remain outside the classroom until ready to leave, unless directed to do otherwise by the teacher.  This will assist in keeping disruption to a minimum.  All drivers should take the same route and stay as a group during the field trip.  Drivers should not make stops on the way to or from the destination (e.g. gas station, lunch, etc.).

Cell phone policy
Cell phones must not be used while transporting students on field trips. In the event of emergency, drivers must pullover, stop and use cell phones.

Return
Upon returning their group to the classroom, parents must wait in the classroom until all children and the teacher have returned.

Medical Identification, Medical Emergency

Each teacher will have a class list identifying children with medical concerns (asthma, allergies, etc.). The teacher will have needed medical supplies for these students. In case of an emergency, the teacher will make the decision as to need for medical transport, medication needs, first aid.

GRADE CHANGE REQUEST PROCESS
Under Education Code section 49066, parents have a right to request a change of a pupil‘s grade on the following grounds:

  • Mistake;
  • Fraud;
  • Bad faith; and/or
  • Incompetency in assigning the grade.

When grades are earned for any course of instruction taught in the public schools, the grade earned by each pupil shall be the grade determined by the teacher of the course. In the absence of any of the grounds listed above, the grade shall be final.

Any request for a grade change must start with the classroom teacher within 30 days of the date the grade report was mailed. The next step, if not resolved with the teacher, is a written request to the principal. If not resolved, the decision may be appealed to the Educational Service Center and finally, the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and School Support. At each step, the parent has the right to present information in support of the request. If you would like additional information, please ask your principal or contact your Educational Service Center for a copy of Bulletin No. 1926.1, Request to Change a Pupil Grade.

HOMEWORK
Homework is designed review and practice of skills taught in the classroom. It is meant to instill responsibility, independence, and time management. Homework will to inform parents about students’ academic skills and the classroom expectations.

Teachers assign homework on a Monday to Thursday schedule according to the following guidelines:

  • Kindergarten 15-20 minutes per day
  • Grade 1 30-35 minutes per day
  • Grade 2 30-35 minutes per day
  • Grade 3 35-45 minutes per day
  • Grade 4 35-45 minutes per day
  • Grade 5 50-60 minutes per day

No homework is given over weekends.

No homework is given over vacations but there may be optional projects/activities.

K-2 students do not stay in from recess to complete unfinished homework

3-5 students MAY stay in from recess to complete work. They will have time to use the restroom and eat a snack.

Parent role – check homework for completion and quality. Parents should support and encourage only.

All parents will be informed by their classroom teacher of the Homework Policy by one or more of the following: Back to School Night, parent letter, classroom website.

LEAVING SCHOOL EARLY
All early pick-ups must be processed through the main office. Any child leaving the school grounds other than at regular dismissal time MUST be picked up in the office by a parent or other representative as designated on the emergency card. Please send a note to the teacher in the morning if you know you, or any other person you designate, will be picking up your child during the day.

LOST AND FOUND
Please label your child’s belongings. We want to prevent any arguments regarding ownership of items. It helps to locate lost items as well. Expensive toys, iPods, and other electronic devices may not to be brought to school. Check the lost and found regularly for misplaced items.

PERSONAL PROPERTY
Personal items of value (toys, cell phones, iPods, cameras, electronic games, radios, CD players and computers, etc.) should not be brought to school since loss, theft, or damage is possible. Also, such items can be distracting to the educational process and may be confiscated by school personnel. The District is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Pets and Animals
District policy states that animals are not allowed on school grounds except for medical reasons. School grounds include access areas such as entrances and exits. Please do not bring animals on to the property or leave them tied up and unattended under any circumstances.

MEDICATION AT SCHOOL
Children may only receive medication during school hours with written requests from a parent/guardian and from the physician who has the responsibility for the medical management of the child. Medications will be stored in the school office in the original prescription bottle,, labeled with dosage instructions. No pupil may carry his/her own medication or take medication unsupervised. All requests for medication must be processed through our school nurse.

SECURITY & SAFETY
We need your help in assuring the security of our students and school property. All adults, without exception, must go to the main office to sign in before entering school grounds.  If you live near the school, we appreciate your watchful eye on the school grounds as you drive by.  If you observe any acts of vandalism, please telephone the Los Angeles Police Department at (213) 485-2681 or the Los Angeles School Security Section at (213) 625-6631. You are not required to leave your name or become further involved.

We hold fire drills and other emergency exercises on a regular basis, so students learn how to respond to emergency signals. Canyon continually reviews and reassesses the emergency preparedness plan.

We ask parents to provide each child with a "comfort kit" consisting of a sweatshirt, underwear, family pictures and maybe a letter of comfort.  The kit will be kept on school property to be used only in case of emergency.

Los Angeles Unified School District Emergency Information

The LAUSD Board of Education requires that a child's parent or guardian keep current emergency information at the child's school. This information includes the home address and telephone number of a relative or friend who is authorized to care for the child in any emergency situation, if the parent or legal guardian can't be reached. In addition, we send home an Emergency Release Form, which authorizes release of your child to other designated adults in case of emergency evacuation. No child will be released to a person, unless the name of that person is listed on their emergency card.

Canyon School uses the three part Emergency Information Card that we distribute the second week of school only in the event of an emergency. All new and returning students must have their parents complete and sign both the front and back of the card. If there are changes in this information during the year, please send a note or update us by phone. If you are so inclined, please complete the Optional Section of the card because it helps the school maintain an accurate count of student ethnicity.  

STUDENT BEHAVIOR AND EXPECTATIONS
Our Governing Board Safety committee has created clear student expectations for behavior for all of our school’s common areas. Please take a moment to discuss these with your child. Behavior expectations are posted on the school website and will be reviewed by your child’s teacher. Your cooperation in our academic efforts and citizenship standards encourages your child to obey school rules and solidifies the partnership between home and school.

TARDINESS
The yard is open for students at 7:45am each morning. The first bell rings at 8:10am, when children line up and are escorted by their teacher to their classroom. The late bell rings at 8:15am. To be admitted to class after 8:15am, a child must be given a red admission slip in the office. Chronic tardiness will result in referral to the LAUSD Student Attendance Review Board.

TELEPHONE CALLS
We authorize students to use the telephone only in an emergency. This keeps classroom disturbance during instructional time to a minimum. Please make an effort to take care of lunch plans, after-school arrangements and other needs before your child leaves for school in the morning.

TRAFFIC SAFETY
In order to ensure that our students get to school safely and that families do not receive a citation, we are reminding everyone to adhere to the Canyon Charter Safety policies and signage. Please take a moment to review the Traffic Safety policies before school starts!

VALUABLES
The school is not responsible for valuables brought from home. Please do not allow your child to bring these items to school unnecessarily.

We are aware that sometimes children do not go directly to their homes after school and may need to bring items not normally needed during the school day. If your child must have these items at school, please be sure that s/he secures these items with his/her classroom teacher or brings them to the office for safekeeping. They will be returned to the child after the school day. If these items are in a student's desk, backpack, or on the playground, the school cannot be responsible for damage or loss.

VOLUNTEERS
It is the policy of LAUSD that all school volunteers must be approved by the District. This includes volunteering for classroom activities, driving on field trips, assisting with school events, etc. Volunteers are a vital resource for many schools. You bring much needed assistance, experience and knowledge to our school on a daily basis and we welcome you to be a part of our school community! All LAUSD volunteers must complete an LAUSD School/Office Volunteer Application. In addition, a tuberculosis clearance must take place prior to beginning a volunteer assignment. Volunteers must have written documentation of tuberculosis clearance on file at the school/office prior to beginning an assignment. All volunteers must sign-in at the school office when they enter the school premises and sign out when they leave.

VISITORS TO SCHOOL CAMPUSES
All campus visitors must have the consent and approval of the principal/designee. Permission to visit must be given at the time requested if at all possible or within a reasonable period of time following the request. Children who are not enrolled at the school are not to be on the campus unless prior approval of the principal has been obtained. Visitors may not interfere with, disrupt or cause substantial disorder in any classroom or school activity.

Visitors are expected to:

· Follow the established school policy in requesting a classroom visitation

· Complete a visitor‘s permit upon arrival at the site

· Enter and leave the classroom as quietly as possible

· Not converse with the students, teacher and/or instructional aides during the visitation

· Not interfere with any school activity

· Keep the length and frequency of classroom visits reasonable

· Follow the school‘s established procedures for meeting with the teacher and/or principal after the visit, if needed

· Learn and follow the school-wide behavioral expectations

· Return the visitor‘s permit to the point of origin before leaving the campus.

Any individual who disrupts a school site or fails to follow school rules and/or procedures is subject to removal from the school site and may be further restricted from visiting the school.