Policy, Organization, and Rules

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Policy, Organization, and Rules
(Updated January, 2017)

What kind of students do best in our program?

Children who have been trained at home to do what is asked of them quickly, cheerfully, and completely, will be well prepared for a successful and happy school life. As parents and teachers, we are laying the foundations for our children’s relationship with God. It is important that they learn to respect those in proper authority over them, so that they may experience the blessing and protection of God throughout their lives.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Honour thy father and thy mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
Ephesians 6: 1-3

The A Beka curriculum presents a Christian perspective on all of life. Although it is an academically advanced curriculum, the teaching methods enable every diligent student to do well in oral and written communication, math, science, and the humanities.

The Grade 1-6 students receive an assignment sheet on Mondays outlining the week’s seatwork and homework. Students in Grade 7 and 8 learn to make daily entries of their assignments in an agenda. High school students will use their agenda to record their assignments.  Accordingly, parents are able to monitor homework and supervise preparation for upcoming tests.

Kindergarten: Among many other things, this is a wonderful time for learning language through stories, songs, Scripture memorization, and reading. The A Beka curriculum gives children a strong start in school by teaching them phonics and cursive writing beginning in Junior Kindergarten. Accordingly, those students who are ready to sit and listen, and then to practice and apply what they have been taught on their daily worksheets, are more likely to enjoy this program than those who still need to be in a play program.

Primary: In grades one to three, foundations are carefully laid in academic subjects, work habits, and Christian character. We expect our students to co-operate with their teachers, to be respectful and considerate of others, to be diligent and self-controlled in the classroom, and with God’s help, to be gentle and forgiving in their relationships. Every effort is made by faculty and staff to help the children through instruction, prayer, counsel and example, to abide by these important standards.

Junior-Intermediate: It is our hope that by grades four, five and six, students who have come up through the school will have learned the lessons necessary for a successful life and education. Newcomers sometimes need a period of adjustment, but we expect them to adhere to the same high standards required of the others. It is necessary for us to maintain a quiet learning environment where teacher and student alike can be listened to, and where concentration on individual work is possible.

Senior: By grade seven and eight, we expect students to have matured in their attitudes and behaviour, and to be setting a good example to younger students. The classroom atmosphere should be quiet, orderly, and productive. Students should be completing all homework and projects without incentives, and should be striving for excellence.

High School: Starting in high school, students are to be examples to elementary school students in attitudes and behaviour. The classroom atmosphere is respectful, orderly, and productive. Students are expected to take initiative and responsibility for completing all school work while striving for excellence.

Parents: We encourage parents to:

(1) train their children to be attentive, obedient, and respectful at home
(2) monitor their children’s homework
(3) co-operate with any disciplinary measure initiated by the teacher
(4) bring the student properly equipped with academic materials, gym clothes, and lunch
(5) support the Academy’s regulations with respect to the uniform and personal appearance
(6) arrive on time daily

Most families in the Academy are Christian, but we welcome others who do not mind their children being trained in an environment where they will come to know and experience God’s love for them, and where they will be required to co-operate with our rules and standards. The registration forms include a declaration that parents have read and will also co-operate with the philosophy and policies of the Academy.

With God’s help and co-operation from parents, most children are ale to adapt to our policies and standards.  In rare cases, students who resist our standards on a continuing basis are transferred to a more suitable school.

Admission Procedure:

Admissions are the decision of the Principal and the Administrator, and include the completion of the following steps:

(1) At least one parent (and preferably both) attends an information meeting and obtains a Parent-Student Handbook to be read carefully at home by both parents.

(2) Parents submit the Registration Form (Pages 1 to 4) properly filled out, together with a currently-dated deposit cheque as outlined in the gray Tuition Section. For a second application from the same family, we need only Pages 1 and 2. Include photocopies, not originals of Birth Certificates, Immunization records, OHIP cards, and Report Cards, and a snapshot of the applicant or applicant with parents.

(3) Both parents and the child attend an interview with the Principal and/or the Administrator at a mutually convenient time.

(4) Parents are informed by mail of the decision, some time over the next several weeks. They then have 10 days in which to submit the balance of the tuition by post-dated cheques.

Student Placement:

Much thought has been put into the composition of classes for September. We take many things into account including the load on our teachers, gender balance, and, sometimes, the need to move a student who would benefit academically from being with a different group of children. Your child will adapt quickly to the new teacher and make new friends. If you have a concern about the placement of your child, we will consider it in October.

Our Teachers:

We recognize that the influence of a teacher is very great in the life of a child – greater by far than the material which is presented. Our teachers are chosen for their Christian commitment, their love for children and sensitivity to their needs, and for their proven ability to teach and train students. They must be born-again Christians, with a positive record of membership and service in a recognized evangelical church, school, or mission.

Most of our teachers have university degrees. New teachers or teachers changing grades are sent during the summer to Pensacola for training in the A Beka curriculum. We also conduct in-house training every year prior to the opening of school. In addition, our teachers frequently take Continuing Education Units offered by the Association of Christian Schools International, leading to the Teaching Practitioner Certificate.

All of our teachers follow a very detailed curriculum guide laid out for their particular grade level in every subject from day to day. In this way, they are not dependent upon themselves to write the curriculum, devise the daily lessons, compose the tests, or inquire as to what may have been covered the previous year. The wisdom and experience of master teachers who have developed this wonderful Christian curriculum over a period of 65 years is ours to follow.

As the philosophy and methodology of the A Beka curriculum are different from and often in opposition to those of the public schools, we do not require that our teachers be “certified” by the teacher union. Nor does the Ministry of Education, which has inspected us, require this.

Our teachers are very dedicated and hard-working, and regard their work as a ministry, not just a job. Be assured they will be regularly praying for your child, as well as looking after his/her best interests academically.

“Let the little children come unto Me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Luke 18:16

Parent-Teacher Relations:

We seek to foster a harmonious relationship between teachers and parents. Regular reporting through Progress Reports, scheduled parent-teacher meetings, and frequent informal contacts, are our hallmarks.

In case of a dispute, we purpose to abide by the principles in Matthew 18, in which a person with a grievance is encouraged to work out the problem in private with the person who caused it, rather than going over his head, or complaining to someone else. We trust that parents will also abide by this wise principle for good relationships.

If you have a concern, talk to the teacher first.

Discipline:

In our view, discipline should be focussed primarily on training. We spend a considerable amount of time helping the children to understand what is expected of them, practising it together, and explaining and applying the consequences of disregarding instructions.

Attentiveness to the teacher, co-operation with the rules, and respect and consideration for one another, are some of the things we work on from the very beginning. Because the curriculum is challenging and the children are meaningfully occupied throughout the day, there is little opportunity for misbehaviour. However, when it does occur, the child is corrected in a respectful manner. If this does not solve the problem, he will most likely be separated from the group for a short time, and/or will have a private conference with the teacher, perhaps involving prayer. In most cases, this is all that is necessary. In the event that inappropriate behaviour continues, some reasonable penalty or loss of privilege may be given. An on-going problem will be discussed with the parents.

It is occasionally necessary to send a student home for one day. This is done if a student deliberately hurts another, or if there is continuing disrespect or defiance of a teacher or teacher assistant. We regret that some parents may be inconvenienced by this, but it does allow a period of reflection on the part of the student, and also a time for the Academy and the parents to work mutually to resolve the problem.

No physical form of discipline is ever applied by the teachers or the administration.

School Classroom   Hours:

Pre-K, JK, SK       8:45-3:15

Grades 1 to 3         8:30-3:30

Grades 4 to 8         8:15-3:45

High School          8:15-3:45

Students arriving between 7:30 and 8:00 must be checked in to the Before-School Club (see below for fees).

Students remaining for more than 15 minutes after their classroom hours will be automatically checked in to the After-School Clubat the regular charge.

Usually, for the classes involved, we close at noon before the Junior Concert and before the SK graduation so that the children can have an afternoon nap. On the last day of school before the Christmas holidays, we also dismiss early, between noon and one o’clock.

Snow days:
In the event of a severe snow storm, we will post a message on our website not to bring your child(ren) to school that day.

Absences, Late Arrivals, and Irregular Departure Times:

Please telephone the Academy and leave a message if your child will be absent, late, or needing to leave the school during school hours for any reason. If this is a planned event, a note is appreciated. Also, please send a note to the home-room teacher if anyone we would not know will be picking up your child.

Illnesses:

We need to minimize the transfer of illnesses to other students and to the teachers. We must ask parents to keep children with communicable diseases, fevers, coughs, colds, sore throats, ear infections, stomach flu, pink eye, head lice, etc. at home until they are fully recovered. Children who have vomited or who had a fever the previous night should be kept at home the following day, even if they appear better in the morning.

Children returning to school after an illness may stay in at recess (usually in another class) for one day only. We do not have extra staff to supervise indoor recess, and our teachers are either outside on duty, or attending to other important matters within the building during recess time.

If your child becomes ill during the day, we will call you and ask you to pick him/her up. If this is inconvenient, you need to have alternative care-givers on call so that your child can be looked after at home on short notice. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

We recommend that if your child must miss more than one day of school, that you make arrangements with the teacher for picking up any books that would be needed to keep up with assignments.

Gym Class Participation:

Gym class participation is mandatory.  For students attending Bayview Campus from Grades 2 and up, this will involve the use of a bus for transporting students to and from the athletic facilities – Bayview Campus Grades 2 and 3 uses the Bayview Hill Community Centre athletic facilities while Grades 4 and up uses RHCCC’s gym.  Students attending Hillsview Campus has access to RHCBC’s gym.

A few parents feel concerned about school buses because of their lack of seat belts.  If you are unwilling to allow your child to travel on a bus to and from gym class, please let the school office know.

Participation in School Activities:

When a class or all-school event (such as a visit to the Zoo) is scheduled, we expect all students to participate. This may involve the use of a bus. A few parents feel concerned about school buses because of their lack of seat-belts. If you are unwilling to allow your child to travel on a bus, please be prepared to provide your own transportation.

Transportation:

For car-pooling, please see under “Orientation Evening” below. Alternatively, you may wish to consider one of the companies specializing in transporting children, such as:
Kids Limo (905 771-9678); Kids Cabbie (905 508-1801) or Royal Taxi School Services (416 785-3322)

Before-School Club:

Before-school supervision is available starting at 7:30 A.M., at $.10 per minute ( = $6.00 per hour) up to 8:30 A.M. (Maximum charge is for up to two children per family.) Children arriving early may bring a snack-style breakfast such as a muffin, breakfast bar, fruit and/or drink, if they were unable to eat a full breakfast before leaving home. The children take part in supervised quiet activity indoors. At 8:00, they are escorted outside for some outdoor play and fresh air. (They must be suitably dressed for this.)

Children arriving before 8:30 must not be left unsupervised inside or outside the building.

Daily After-School Clubs:

We offer supervised daily After-School Clubs from 3:30 to 6:00 P.M. Clubs activities include crafts, drawing and colouring, table games, puzzles, construction toys, dress-up centre, dolls, field sports and courtyard activities in good weather or some gym time in bad weather, an occasional video, and a homework room. A healthy snack is served at 5:15.

Fees: Daily After-school Clubs is free until 4:00 for children who are picked up promptly. All students not picked up by 4:00 become automatically registered in the daily After-school Clubs with charges from 4:00. The fee is $.10 per minute (= $6.00 per hour) for each of the first and second child in a family (the third and fourth child are free).  Please pick up your child by 6:00 pm.  However, if necessary, we provide emergency service after 6:00 p.m. at a rate of $.75 per minute ($45 per hour) per family.

A small snack is provided in the daily After-school Clubs, but we recommend that children staying late be provided with an extra drink.

Daily After-school Clubs fees will be charged for students who are in our care while a sibling is attending a help class, a detention, or an activity. Students attending an activity for which there is no charge, or a detention or a help class and who would otherwise normally be in the daily After-school Clubs, will be charged.

You do not need to sign up for the daily Before or After-School Clubs; just use the service as you need it. We keep accurate records of your signing in and out, with a cumulative record of charges and payments. Payments are due at the end of each month. Receipts will be issued following the end of the year. We prefer that you pay by cheque (payable to Richmond Hill Christian Academy).  We do not provide receipts for payments of cash.

The Canada Revenue Agency recognizes Before and After-School Clubs fees as Child Care Expenses for all children of elementary school age; therefore, we receipt these payments as additional to the portion of tuition that is Child Care. Receipts are issued at the end of February in the following year.

Seasonal After-School Clubs:

From time to time (more in the winter and spring terms),we operate after-school clubs that appeal to a variety of ages and interests. Examples are: Crafts; Ceramics; Drawing; Chinese Art; Photo Album Making; Signing for the Deaf; Baseball; Volleyball; Soccer; Basketball; Cross-Country Running; Track and Field; Ballet; Choir; Mandarin (four levels); Checkers and Chess; and Computer training. There are modest fees for these additional optional activities.

Club members who are usually in the daily After-School Clubs will be charged After-school Clubs fees when the club finishes for the day. If a sibling needs to go into the daily After-School Clubs because a brother or sister is attending a seasonal club, normal fees ($.10 per minute after 4:00) apply for the sibling. If a seasonal clubber needs care while waiting for his club to begin say at 4:30, there is no charge for the daily After-school Clubs unless that child is normally in the daily After-school Clubs. If a seasonal clubber is not picked up on time at the end of a session, he will be placed in the daily After-School Clubs.

Dropping Off and Picking up your Child:

Parking Lot: When your car is stopped on school property, please turn off your car engine, whether you are in the car or out. This regulation is not only to keep the children breathing clean air, but also to prevent a potential tragedy if the car were to slip out of Park, and roll away. Please enter and leave driveways with extreme caution.

Please escort your child to and from the parking lot. If part of the lot is being used by the students as a play area, please avoid this area upon entering or exiting. Please do not park in the three spots reserved for the school administration.

Hallways: To keep order and to develop good manners, the students are asked to minimize talking in hallways. If you as a parent need to come inside, please help us in this training. The children need to be with you and as quiet as possible.

Outside Wearing Apparel:

Except on extremely cold and windy days, there is outdoor recess and sometimes outdoor physical education year round. For winter, the children need a warm jacket, snow-pants, mitts, boots, and a warm hat. (A hat is needed because the hoods on most snow-suits or parkas decrease safe visibility during active games). We recommend splash pants for Spring and Fall outdoor activities.

Clothes and boots that are easy for children to put on and take off themselves are appreciated.

Please help us by training the children to hang up all outside clothes carefully, and to put boots and shoes in pairs with the toes facing the wall. Hats and mitts should be put in coat-sleeves or boots unless they are wet and need to be dried.

Clothes should be taken home daily. It is specially important to remove all personal items on Fridays, as hundreds of church children and adults will be using the building on the weekends.

Sweaters are not permitted indoors unless they are uniform sweaters.

Lunch/Snack:

Please provide a nutritious snack for morning recess and a lunch for noon-time. Here are some ideas: a whole-wheat sandwich, pasta or rice in thermal containers, small containers of celery, carrots and cucumber, dried fruit, pre-cut fresh fruit, individual servings of puddings and applesauce, cheese and crackers, pretzels, fruit loaves, granola bars, milk and/or fruit juice. Please provide a serviette, and/or a plastic spoon, if necessary.

Unfortunately, we are unable to cope with foods that need re-heating, and do not have time to peel and cut fruit. Please limit the amount of sugar and avoid foods containing red dyes in your child’s lunch.

Please do not send boxed drinks or carbonated beverages, as they are often spilled.  We recommend that drinks be in hard plastic bottles with built-in straws that fold over and seal the opening. In addition, if it is possible, please provide food containers which are easy for your child to open by himself.

As we are unable to refrigerate food for so many students, we suggest that a little gel pack, kept overnight in your freezer, be tucked into your child’s lunch-bag in the morning, keeping everything fresh until lunchtime.

NO PEANUTS, PLEASE!

Due to a life-threatening allergy in quite a number of our students, we ask that no peanuts or products containing peanuts or peanut oil be brought to school. Please check labels of all prepared foods.

Toys and Games from Home are distracting in the classroom, and are permitted only for pre-arranged “Show and Tell” times, and for recess. They must be left in the child’s backpack until the appropriate time; otherwise, the teacher may need to confiscate them and return them to the parent at a convenient time.

Kindergarteners’ Nap-Time:

The Pre-Kindergarteners and the Junior Kindergarteners enjoy a daily nap-time after lunch. Sleeping mats, small non-allergenic pillows, and fitted pillowcases are supplied by the Academy at no charge. (These belong exclusively to your child and are to be taken home at the end of the year so that incoming new students start with brand new items.)

A small blanket which folds up easily to not more than 12″ x 12″ x 4″ and/or a favourite stuffed animal should be brought and left at the school for nap-time. Due to limited storage space, we cannot accommodate alternative sleeping materials such as sleeping bags or full-size pillows. Blankets and pillow-slips will be sent home periodically for laundering.

During the fall term, the Senior Kindergarten may also have a nap time, depending on their need as judged by the teacher.

General Appearance:

Hair should be neat. Haircuts for boys should be above the collar and graduated; mushroom and other unconventional cuts are not permitted. Girls’ hair should be styled so that it does not hang over the eyes. Except for a watch and/or a small, conservative ring, no jewellery is to be worn to school. All clothes, including uniforms and shoes, are to be clean. Uniform shoes, not stocking feet, must be worn indoors.

Dress Code: (See also Uniforms section)

The uniform is to be worn all day and every day at school, and for Academy events outside the school. The uniform must fit the child properly, and not be oversized or extra long to save money next year.

In the event that a uniform is not available, girls are to wear a conservative dress or a jumper, or a skirt of at least knee length, with a blouse, knee-socks, or tights. Boys are to wear navy or grey dress pants, a plain white or light blue dress shirt or white golf shirt and plain dark socks. No pictures or writing is permitted on any clothing.

Back-packs or wheeled suit-cases seem to be the best way for children to transport items to and from school. Up to Grade 1, please provide a clean “Pringles” potato chip can for the back-pack so that we can send work and notes back and forth in good condition. Grade 2 and up may use their three-ring binder to transport items.

Pencils, papers and books are supplied by the school from Pre-Kindergarten to up to Grade One. Starting at Grade Two, the Academy supplies books, but students need to supply their own three-ring binder, properly sectioned, and their own pencils, erasers, coloured pencils, sharpeners, etc. To minimize noise in the classroom, the latter items need to be in a soft-cloth pencil case. Further details will be provided in the Summer Newsletter.

Name Tapes: Everything worn or brought to school by your child should have his/her name on it. This gives the children a sense of security, and the teachers the ability to find and return misplaced items quickly. Thanks for your co-operation.

Summer Newsletter:

In late August, we will mail out to every family a Summer Newsletter containing details of class and teacher assignments, procedures for obtaining uniforms, and arrangements for the first day of school.

Orientation:

School starts on the first Wednesday after Labour Day, but on the previous day (the Tuesday after Labour Day) we have orientation.

The orientation event is from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Students and parents are welcome to visit their child’s classroom to meet the new teacher and to say hello to old friends.  Handouts will be given by the home-room teacher that explains some of his/her expectations and how parents can co-operate to assure a smooth start to the school year for their child.

Parents interested in car-pooling are linked to others via a large map where they can post their telephone number and make a note of others in their neighbourhood that are also interested.

General Matters:

It is understood that parents registering or re-registering their children give the Academy permission to use photos or videos of their children in school promotional literature and on the website, without limitation as to date.

In view of recent court decisions, and with the benefit of legal advice for member schools to the Association of Christian Schools International (from David Brown of Stikeman Elliott), our policies and regulations must regrettably include the following:

1. We reserve the right to make changes in and amendments to Academy policies at any time without prior notice.

2. We reserve the right to suspend or expel a student whose behaviour on or off campus is in our opinion, a bad testimony for our school, harmful to others, or illegal. This action may be taken at any time. Grounds for expulsion include but are not limited to the following: possession, use, sale or purchase of illegal substances; any other criminal activity; possession of any sort of weapon (including a knife) at school; physical or verbal abuse of school staff or students; malicious damage to property; truancy; use of alcohol or tobacco at school; drunkenness; theft; vandalism; repeated use of cursing or foul language.

3. In order to ensure safety, and to deal with health concerns or suspected violations of school rules, we reserve the right to search lockers, gym bags, back packs, brief cases and personal effects without notice.

4. We reserve the right to reject any new applicant on the grounds that he/she does not meet our entrance criteria.

Lawsuits:

Parents, students, and employees of the Academy are expected to abide by the principles stated in 1 Corinthians 6:1, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?” Accordingly, your application to register or to re-register indicates that you are in agreement with the following statement:

“If I, or any member of my immediate family, reach a point of disagreement on an issue of a non-criminal nature with the Academy or its Board or staff, in keeping with 1 Corinthians 6:1, I agree to submit to a board of conciliation, the members of which have been mutually selected by myself and officials of the Academy, rather than taking the dispute to a civil court. I agree that the procedure to be followed, including costs involved, would be that which has been established by the Christian Legal Society.”

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