Parent & Student Handbook
Faith Family Academy Parents and Students are expected to be knowledgeable of and follow all procedures in the Parent/Student Handbook and Student Code of Conduct.
Faith Family Academy ("FFA") complies with nondiscrimination provisions of all federal and state laws. FFA admits students without regard to race, religion, color, gender, age, national origin, ethnicity, disability, academic, artistic, athletic ability, marital status, political belief, limited English proficiency or the district the child would otherwise attend. FFA will deny admission to students with documented histories of criminal offense, juvenile court adjudication, or discipline problems under TEC Chapter 37, Subchapter A. If anyone believes they have been discriminated against, they should write to the Secretary of Education, Washington, D.C. 20250
Faith Family Academy Parent & Student Handbook Copyright © 2020. Unauthorized Reproduction is not allowed.
- Faith Family Academy - “Who We Are”
- About the Handbook
- 1.0 Parental Involvement
- 2.0 Student Rights and Responsibilities
- 3.0 Curriculum/Instruction
- 4.0 Attendance
- 5.0 Student Dress Code
- 6.0 Student Discipline
- 7.0 Procedural Information
- District Special Education Policy
Welcome, to a learning environment that is based on a belief that all students can enjoy learning and feel a sense of pride in personal accomplishments and expansion of knowledge.
Faith Family Academy ("FFA") educates, empowers and inspires every child for lifelong success.
FFA aspires to be among the best schools in the country – public or private. We are recognized for setting new standards in public education, and we measure our progress based on:
- Academic quality
- Student success beyond the classroom
- A positive campus and district culture
- A dynamic, creative organizational environment
Our school community consists of families who dare to lead and are actively engaged in the education of their children, teachers who are empowered and passionate about learning, and students who are caring, confident, accomplished and inspiring individuals.
Since 1990, FFA has offered unparalleled education at no cost to families in Dallas and Waxahachie. Today, FFA is setting new standards for public education by combining leading-edge learning, exceptional experiences and endless opportunities to grow, serve and lead for students from PreK through 12th Grade.
FFA is an "A" rated district, and we go beyond the classroom for students to learn, explore and express themselves.
This Handbook is prepared for FFA parents and students. It contains information about classes, school organizations and school rules. During the first days of school, FFA teachers will review this Handbook with students to explain school rules, expectations of each student and what parents can do to help in the education process.
It is recommended that parents read this Handbook to become familiar with FFA policies. However, no attempt has been made to include all aspects of the school’s procedures. Various situations may arise that will be addressed on an individual basis.
If this Handbook is lost, a replacement may be purchased for $5.00 in the office of the Campus Administrator.
Faith Family Academy recognizes the importance of parent involvement to support the social and academic development of students. The following opportunities for involvement are open to all parents and encouraged by the Administrators at FFA.
1.2 Site-Based Committee
This committee serves to advise the administration on items of curriculum, student activities, technology, budget, and other items that impact the lives of students. This committee, by law, is composed of 75% classroom teachers. Parents who are members of the PTSO and who are interested in participating on the Site-based Committee should contact the Campus Administrator.
- Parents may also serve on the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) which meets at least four times per year.
1.3 Very Involved Parents (VIP)
Faith Family Academy welcomes parents to volunteer their time to serve in their areas of expertise. To ensure the safety of all students, volunteers must follow all rules and regulations of FFA to the same extent as employees including a criminal background check. Volunteers must sign in at the office each day before beginning their assignments on campus. “Volunteer” badges will be provided. Please, contact the Campus Administrators or their designee with your areas of expertise and available times to offer support to FFA.
1.4 Parent/Teacher Conferences
Parents may request a conference by calling the Campus Administrator’s office to make an appointment. Every parent is encouraged to attend conferences with teachers in order to stay well informed. Parent/teacher conferences must be held at a mutually agreed upon time which does not interrupt instruction including but not limited to the teacher’s conference period, before school and after school. Documented parent/teacher conferences will be held twice a year.
1.5 FFA Website
The FFA website (faithfamilyacademy.org) may be used to gather current information regarding school activities and academic assignments. The current instructional focus will be posted on the website, as well as thematic units, homework assignments and test dates.
Faith Family Academy believes that in order to attain high learner outcomes, a safe and secure learning environment must be maintained. The School Board charges each administrator, staff member, and parent with the responsibility of establishing acceptable standards of student conduct that will ensure the rights and safety of all members of the FFA District.
These standards are guided by a philosophy that encourages students through positive student activities and programs. Students are responsible for their behavior and showing respect for authority and the rights, privileges and safety of self and others.
Students are expected to respect school and private property and behave in accordance with the rules, regulations, and guidelines established by the administrators and teachers. Violations of established standards will result in disciplinary action.
The curriculum of Faith Family Academy is the master plan for learning. The courses offered include all those required by the Texas Education Agency as well as a variety of electives. Research-based instructional strategies are included in each student’s daily learning experience. Teachers support student learning by providing appropriate challenges to develop thinking skills. The content of FFA classes is outlined in the State Curriculum Guidelines, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). FFA will follow the state recommendations for promotion and graduation as found on the TEA website.
Exams are given at the end of every six-weeks after a review of the material covered during the 6-weeks. Grades are calculated by counting 70% for preparation (class work, weekly quizzes & homework), 20% assessment (teacher-made tests, exams, & major projects) and 10% common assessments (at least two assessments per 6 weeks).
A minimum of 12 grades must be accrued for each subject each 6-weeks (at least 2 grades per week) including tests, quizzes, daily work and projects. Semester exams for Grades 6-12 will be 1/7 of the final grade with each 6 weeks average counting 2/7 of the final grade. Number grades will be used on report cards, permanent records and cumulative folders for students in Grades 1-12 as indicated below. Grades are given in each subject.
Late work will be discounted. Work submitted for an unexcused absence may receive no more than a grade of “70.” Semester grades will be averaged together to determine the grade average for the academic year.
Make-up work – The student is responsible for work missed when absent. As a general rule, when a student has an excused absence for a number of days, the student is given the same number of days to make up the work missed.
Pre-K and Kindergarten students receive letter grades that are derived from teacher observation and a standardized checklist of skills. Very young children progress at many different rates within a range of developmental timeframes. Pre-K and Kindergarten students are graded according to their individual progress. Indications of progress will be reported as:
|-||Skill Still Developing/Not Yet Acquired|
|N||Not yet taught|
Please Remember: Early Childhood grades are not an indication of whether a student is passing or failing. They are to indicate: 1) the child's progress on a developmental scale appropriate to his age range; 2) the skills the child needs more time to develop; and 3) the readiness skills the child has mastered.
Homework is essential in achieving high academic performance and reinforcing the lessons taught in school.
1. In grades 6-12, homework is assigned on a regular basis, but at least weekly, in each of the core subjects areas: Math, Reading, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. In grades 1-5, homework is assigned on an as-needed basis.
2. Homework assignments are checked and recorded in the teacher’s grade book. Students are responsible for completing and turning in all assignments missed because of illness or other absences. Faith Family Academy adheres to the policy regarding homework as ZAP (Zeros Aren’t Permitted). Any student who fails to turn in homework will be assigned detentions, until the homework is satisfactorily completed. In order for an absence to be changed from “unexcused” to “excused”, a note from the student’s parent/guardian must be obtained within 48 hours of the absence. Late homework will be deducted 10 points per day.
3. Missed homework that is not completed will result in disciplinary action or consequences. The consequences progress as follows:
a. School detention(s) including before school, after school and during lunch
b. Saturday detention
c. Mandatory parent/teacher/ and/or Administrator conference
d. Disciplinary action determined by the Campus Administrator.
3.3 Progress Reports
Grades and attendance are reported to parents once every six-weeks. Progress reports are issued to all students in Grades PK-12 in each subject at the middle of each six-week grading period. (PK will not receive progress notices for the first 6-weeks period.) These progress reports are considered a contact with the parent and are intended to help parents and students monitor progress before official grades are assigned. A signed Progress Notice will serve as a contact with the parent unless the student is failing in which case the teacher will contact the parent by telephone, email or in person. In Middle School and High School, the student will sign the progress notice as documentation they received the progress notice.
Students will receive Report Cards each six weeks. Distribution dates for Progress Reports and Report Cards are:
Refer to the FFA Annual District Calendar for Distribution Dates for all 1st through 12th report cards.
Report cards in Grades 1-12 will be sent via U.S. mail or available for pickup at the parent's request.
For PK-K, Report Cards will be distributed on the last day of school.
3.4 Special Populations
Faith Family Academy is ready, willing and able to serve the needs of students regardless of their learning style or difficulty. The following services are offered to eligible students:
● Special Education
● English as a Second Language (ESL)
● Bilingual Education
● Gifted and Talented
● Dyslexia Program
● Section 504 services
● Dual Language
For more information regarding these services, please make an appointment with the Intervention Specialist to discuss difficulties your child may be experiencing or notify the Campus Administrator of your concerns.
3.5 Honor Roll
Students will be recognized each 6 weeks, semester and at the end of the year for attendance, citizenship and achievement. Students will be recognized monthly for character. Recognition may be in the form of assemblies, photos, bulletin boards, certificates, prizes and/or announcements.
3.6 Class Rank and Grade Point Average
Class rank and GPA shall be determined by accumulated semester grade points divided by the number of courses for which final grades were given. Class standing and grade point averages (GPAs) shall include all coursework in grades 9-12, with the exception of correspondence credit, credit by exam (with or without prior instruction), summer school credit (taken for remediation or for advancement), credit for which only a Pass /Fail grade was given, credit for courses not recognized by the Texas Education Agency, and credit awarded for a non-accredited instructional setting. No credit earned as a teacher aide, office aide, or Intervention Specialist or library aide shall be included in the computation. These courses are labeled “Local Credit” on the transcript.
- In order to be Valedictorian or Salutatorian, a student must complete grades 10-12 of High School at FFA. Students who graduate prior to their designated class are not eligible for distinction of Valedictorian or Salutatorian.
Class rank will be calculated at the end of the junior year, the middle of the senior year, and final rankings will be determined at the completion of the second semester of the senior year. Numerical grades used for computing GPA shall be converted to grade points.
3.7 Guidance and Counseling Services
Guidance services are available for every student at FFA. These services include assistance with educational planning, interpretation of test scores, occupational and career information, study guides, family, school and/or social concerns, or any question the student may feel he/she would like to discuss with the Intervention Specialist. Parents should make an appointment with the Intervention Specialist before visiting the school to insure adequate time for the conference. An Academic Handbook also is available from the Intervention Specialist.
3.8 Classification of Students
FRESHMAN: 0 – 5.5 Credits
SOPHOMORE: 6 – 11.5 Credits
JUNIOR: 12 – 17.5 Credits
SENIOR: 18 or more Credits
Classification will be determined at the beginning of the school year and will not be altered during the school year. Classification will remain the same throughout a school year. All students are required to have a minimum of 24 credits for graduation.
3.9 Community Service Hours
In addition to achieving the minimum number of credits for graduation, all FFA students must accrue a minimum of 25 hours of community service each year in grades 9-12 for a total of 100 hours during high school. Required Community Service hours for a total of 100 hours during high school. Required Community Service hours for students transferring to FFA will be pro-rated. Recognition of Community Service will be made during end-of-the-year activities.
Community Service activities must be approved in advance and documented by the Campus Administrator or their designee. Service hours may be obtained by students in the school, neighborhood, church or community but must be obtained outside the school day.
3.10 Procedures for Student Appointments
In general, conferences will be arranged at the student’s request. The appropriate request form, which is available from the classroom teacher, should be completed before school, between classes, at lunch, or after school in the counseling office. Tardiness resulting from waiting in the Intervention Specialist’s office will not be excused if this procedure is not followed.
3.11 Changes in Schedule
It is the student’s responsibility to enroll in the courses that will ensure graduation on time. Careful consideration should be given to course selections for the next year since the master schedule is designed to accommodate student selections. A student should select alternate elective courses in the event chosen electives are not formed because of small enrollment or a scheduling conflict. Some individual schedule changes may be made to balance class loads. These changes will be kept to a minimum. It is the student’s responsibility to make his/her parent or guardian aware of this information.
No student will be allowed to add/drop a class later than two (2) weeks after the beginning of the semester and must have written signatures from the teacher(s), the Intervention Specialist and the Campus Administrator on the appropriate form.
Students and parents need to be aware of conflicts that may exist when students choose electives that involve extra-curricular activities.
3.12 New Student Registration/Immunization
Students wishing to register for classes at Faith Family Academy after the school year begins should report, with their parent, to the Registrar’s Office. The parent/guardian must present appropriate identification and required documents within 30 days.
The student’s immunizations and grade level will be verified and a schedule will be formulated at the time of enrollment. If any additional immunizations are necessary, they are available at the nearest Public Health Clinic. Appropriate immunizations must be current or obtained within 30 days for the student to be permitted to remain in class. For additional information, consult the FFA Student Health Services manual. High School students must present a transcript to FFA in order to be placed in correct grade/classes.
3.13 P.E. and Athletics
The physical education program is dedicated to improving the health, fitness, and skill levels of students. Instruction is also provided in personal health, safety, and first aid.
Anytime a student needs to be excused from participating in P.E. due to illness or injury, he/she must have a note written and dated by the parent and submitted beforehand. Notes excuse the student for one day at a time. If the illness or injury lasts longer than one day, a doctor’s note is required stating, specifically, the length of time to be excused. Notes written by parents must include a working telephone number for verification.
- Grades K-5 grade will not be required to change from their uniform for their physical education class.
Attendance is an essential component in student success in school. Regular daily attendance is essential for a student to achieve his/her highest potential and master skills in math, language, reading and critical thinking.
Parents are expected to notify the Attendance Office each time a student is absent from school. In case of an extended illness, the probable length of absence should be indicated when the contact is made.
Middle School and High School students should be in class by 7:45 AM and ECC and Primary students must be in class by 8:00 or he/she will miss critical instructional time.
In Texas, a child enrolled in public school is required to attend school at least 90% of the time the class is offered. This includes excused and unexcused absences. FFA expects all students to be in attendance 100% of all school days.
To prevent a student from being counted as absent, students must return to school after personal medical appointments and will be responsible for any missed work. The student must have an authorized note from the doctor upon returning to school.
At the high school level, if a student misses more than three, six or nine classes per semester for any reason other than school-related absences, the student and parent will be notified by the administrative designee of an attendance/credit loss issue.
An attendance contract will be initiated with stipulations for “make-up time” to redeem credit. If this contract is not fulfilled in its entirety due to circumstances beyond the control of the student or parent, the parent may then request, in writing, that the Attendance Review Committee be convened to review the decision to deny credit.
The Attendance Review Committee, composed of teachers and administrators, will determine the impact of the absences and recommend promotion, retention or remediation. It is the responsibility of the student to provide documentation of their make-up time.
When a student returns from an absence, they must present a note to the Attendance Clerk. Within three (3) school days, the absence will be determined to be “excused” or “unexcused” using the State Education Code Guidelines. Parents are to contact the office of the school by phone or email each day a student is absent from one or more classes.
4.1 Excused & Unexcused Absences
Examples of Excused Absences include:
1. serious personal illness
2. death in the immediate family
3. medical appointments documented with doctor’s note
4. authorized religious holidays
5. special consideration for special family circumstances
6. late arrival or early dismissal with a doctor’s note
7. visitation to accredited college up to 2 days (Juniors and Seniors only).
Examples of Unexcused Absences include:
1. missing ride
3. hunting, fishing, ski trips, etc.
5. car trouble (one documented excuse per semester)
6. student organized “Skip Day”
7. paying or defending traffic tickets, unless appearance is ordered by judge.
Students are Unexcused if:
1. they leave school without signing out in the proper Attendance Office
2. they leave class without the teacher’s permission
3. they are absent from class without permission (skipping)
4. they obtain a pass to go to a specific place and do not report to that place.
Final determination of “excused” or “unexcused” absences will be made by the Campus Administrator.
Students are expected to be on time for all classes. A student will be considered tardy if he/she is not in the classroom by the time the tardy bell rings. Three (3) tardies per 6-weeks per class will constitute an attendance issue. Excessive tardies will lead to disciplinary action by the Campus Administrator.
4.3 Morning Arrival
Students may enter the cafeteria 7:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served either in the cafeteria or the classroom. Parents should drive to the front portico where a FFA staff member will greet the student and direct them into the building. It is vital for students to begin their learning day with the class to avoid missing instructions or introductions to new material. Students who arrive after school begins must report to the Attendance Office to sign in before they will be admitted to class. The student will be given a tardy slip stating the arrival time that must be presented to his/her teacher. Unexcused or habitual tardies may result in disciplinary actions. FFA follows the state guidelines for attendance.
At the time of dismissal, each grade level will gather in the designated area in the front of the building. FFA staff members will escort children to the front portico, supervise entry into parent vehicles and secure parent acknowledgement. Students will be released ONLY to the persons who have been designated to pick up the child. All designated pick up persons should be prepared to provide FFA staff with a picture ID (valid Drivers License or valid Picture ID Card). If a non-authorized person comes to pick up any child, the child will not be released unless we can reach the parent by phone to verify permission OR unless the student’s teacher receives a note granting this person permission to pick up the child. This note must bear parental signature, the date, and the pick-up person’s name and contact phone numbers. All children are to be picked up within 30 minutes of dismissal time. Police may be called for any student remaining on campus after 5:30 PM so that they can safely escort the child home or incur a charge per minute after 5:30.
For arrival and dismissal, Oak Cliff grades 2-5 uses a supervised drive line system. Families are assigned a number which must be prominently displayed. Students only will be released to a car displaying the corresponding number.
4.5 Early Dismissal
In the event a student leaves early for doctor appointments, family emergencies, etc., the parent must submit a written note to the Attendance Office with a working phone number for verification purposes. The parent must come to the Office to sign a release form for the child and the child will be brought to the Attendance Office. Teachers cannot release a student without this form signed by personnel in the Office. Excessive early dismissals or late arrivals (more than 3 per semester) will be considered an attendance issue.
4.6 Students Picked up by Childcare Centers
For students who may attend a childcare center before and/or after school, it is important the Daycare provider is on time and in the correct pick-up area. Please speak with the Director of the childcare center and request a once-a-year written verification letter (on their letterhead) stating they have agreed to pick up or drop off the child at FFA. If the designated pick-up provider fails to meet FFA requirements, the parent will be contacted for possible alternative solutions. The parent is responsible for tardiness of the pick-up designee.
If a student normally goes to a childcare center after school and there is ANY CHANGE to the arrangements, (i.e. you have changed childcare facilities, grandparents will pick up today, etc.) the FFA office must be notified in a written note from the parent in advance. This note must contain a current phone number. Otherwise, the child will be put on the daycare van, as usual. In the event of an unforeseen early school closure, the parent and/or the child care van will be contacted for pickup.
To help maintain the educational atmosphere of the school, students must present a personal appearance that supports academic achievement. The dress code of the Faith Family Academy teaches grooming and hygiene, instills discipline, prevents disruption, avoids safety hazards, and fosters respect for authority.
Faith Family Academy requires all students to wear school uniforms every school day. Parents are encouraged to purchase sufficient uniforms to allow the student to wear a clean uniform daily. A student will not be allowed into class without a uniform. The Faith Family Academy has adopted the colors of burgundy, navy and khaki/tan as school uniform colors. The uniform will consist of khaki or navy pants, shorts, skirt, or “skort” and a burgundy or navy polo shirt. Parents are encouraged to buy a burgundy or navy sweatshirt, sweater, or windbreaker for cold weather. Only officially branded Faith Family Academy hooded sweatshirts may be worn on campus. All other hooded sweatshirts are not allowed to be worn on campus. Only the khaki or navy style slacks are acceptable (no cargo pants). Jackets, coats, windbreakers, or any type of foul weather gear will be removed upon entry into the school facility. Undershirts should be school uniform colors or white. Socks should be solid color (black, navy, burgundy, white or neutral). No open-toed shoes, open-heeled shoes, slippers, or sandals are to be worn. Footwear can be loafer or lace-up. Black, brown or white sport shoes are permitted as part of the uniform in grades PK-12. Saddle shoes are allowed. Solid color socks (black, navy, burgundy, white or neutral) are permitted. Athletes must adhere to the dress code during school hours.
Uniforms must be clean and in good condition. A list of local stores at which uniforms may be purchased is available in the FFA Registrar’s office. The official FFA uniform should be worn to school every day. Students in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action as determined by the Campus Administrator.
The Campus Administrator, in conjunction with the sponsor, coach, or other person in charge of an extracurricular activity, may regulate the dress and grooming of students who participate in the extracurricular activity. The Campus Administrator will determine the appropriateness of any current fashion or fad for school purposes. Any exception to the dress code (example: wearing jeans) must be approved by the Campus Administrator in advance.
The following guidelines will be enforced at FFA (PK-2 standards may vary):
5.1.1 For boys:
- Pants must fit appropriately as determined by the Campus Administrator. No baggy pants will be allowed. No excessively tight clothes.
- Pants will be worn at the natural waist. No sagging will be allowed.
- Shirts are always completely tucked in the pants so the belt is visible.
- Belts are required and must be simple brown or black belts with no large belt buckles (Grades 5-12)
- Facial hair must be well groomed and meet the approval of the Campus Administrator.
- Hair will be clean and well-groomed. Hairstyles which disrupt the learning process will not be allowed (example: pink or green hair color). Hair must be of a color of natural human occurrence. The Campus Administrator will determine approved hairstyles.
- Hats or head coverings of any kind are not to be worn inside the building except as approved by the Campus Administrator for special occasions.
- Facial piercing ornaments (i.e., eyebrow posts, tongue posts, or nose rings) shall not be worn on campus or at any school-related activities. Simple stud earrings may be worn with the approval of the Campus Administrator.
- Jewelry is limited to a watch, simple rings, and a single, small neck chain worn inside the shirt.
- Mouthwash, nail grooming products, lotions and hair grooming products are not allowed on campus.
5.1.2 For girls:
Any other considerations fall under local guidelines and will be determined by the Campus Administrator.
Student discipline will be addressed by the Campus Administrator based on a Level System of intervention designed to correct the disruptive behavior.
6.1 Sexual Harassment
Students shall not engage in unwanted or unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward another student or school employee. This prohibition applies whether the conduct is by word, gesture, or any other sexual conduct including requests for sexual favors. Should a student be guilty and/or assumed guilty of such conduct, the parents will be notified immediately and must attend a parent conference with the Campus Administrator.
School administrators are required by law to document and report such accusations to the Campus Administrator unless the Campus Administrator is the alleged offender. If the Campus Administrator is the alleged offender, the report must be made to the Superintendent within 24 hours. Any such incident will be investigated by the District Title IX officers, Amanda Subjinski or Michael Dang, 1608 Osprey, DeSoto, Texas 75115, and action will be taken. Teachers should report these incidents to the Campus Administrator.
6.2 Sexual Misconduct
Students may not hold hands, embrace, kiss, or touch in an inappropriate manner. Students engaging in this type of behavior will be disciplined according to the Discipline Management Plan and parents will be notified.
6.3 Vandalism and Damage to Property
Parents or guardians of students guilty of damaging or defacing any property, including furniture and other equipment, will be liable for damages in accordance with the law. Students shall be responsible for the care and return of the state-owned textbooks or district-owned books or materials and will be charged for replacement of lost or damaged books or materials.
A student is not allowed on school property or at a school-sponsored function in possession of any article considered to be a weapon or a look-alike weapon. Faith Family Academy has a zero tolerance policy regarding weapons brought onto school property or to a school-sponsored event. Students in violation of this policy will receive immediate consequences.
Bullying is strictly prohibited at FFA. Consequences for bullying will be determined by the Campus Administrator.
6.6 Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco (including E-cigarettes) are prohibited on campus or at school-sponsored events. FFA is a “Safe and Drug Free School.” The FFA School Board is committed to creating a drug-free climate for learning and for general student health and welfare.
6.6.1 Awareness Education
Drug and alcohol education will be available for all students and their parents on all levels. Materials, activities and instruction will he provided to both campuses through the Intervention Specialist.
No students shall possess, use, transmit, or attempt to possess, use, transmit or be under the influence of any of the following substances on school premises during any school term or off-school premises at a school-sponsored activity, function, or event:
1. Any controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by law, including but not limited to marijuana, any narcotic drug, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, amphetamine, or barbiturate
2. Alcohol or any alcoholic beverage (legal intoxication is not required)
3. Any abusable glue, aerosol paint, or any other chemical substance for inhalation
4. Any other intoxicant, or mood changing, mind-altering or behavior altering drugs.
The transmittal, sale or attempted sale of what is represented to be any of the above listed substances is also prohibited under this policy.
Drug paraphernalia, defined as equipment, a product, or a material of any kind that is used or intended for use in packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, or concealing an above-listed substance or injecting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body an above listed substance is prohibited under this policy.
A student who uses a drug authorized by a licensed physician through a prescription specifically for that student’s use will not be considered to have violated this policy. Over-the-counter medications must be maintained in the Student Health Services office.
6.7 Investigations and Searches
A student’s person or property may be searched by authorized school officials if there is a reasonable belief the search will result in the discovery of evidence of a violation of the FFA Student Code of Conduct or of the law. When school personnel are conducting a search, an additional staff member must be present as a witness.
Any personal property which is brought onto school property or to a school-sponsored or school-related activity or event, on or off school property, may be subject to search (e.g., student cell phone, electronic device, backpack, personal computer, purse, car, etc.). Administrators and teachers have the right to question students regarding their conduct or the conduct of others.
Students should have no expectation of privacy in school-owned property including lockers, desks and other items provided by FFA. Students do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in personal items placed inside school property. Searches of student’s outer clothing and pockets may be conducted if reasonable cause exists (Doe v. Renfrow, 475 F. Supp. 1012 N.D. IND. 1979) and a witness must be present. If law enforcement authorities are involved in the search, the search shall be conducted under criminal law standards rather than under the provisions of this policy.
6.8 Physical Restraint
Any school employee may, within the scope of the employee’s duties, use and apply physical restraint to a student that the employee reasonably believes is necessary in order to:
6.8.1 Protect a person, including the person using physical restraint, from injury
6.8.2 Obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object
6.8.3 Protect property from serious damage
6.8.4 Remove from a specific location a student refusing a lawful command of a school employee, including from a classroom or other school property, in order to restore order or impose disciplinary measures
6.8.5 Restrain an irrational student
7.1 Directory Information
Parents/students who do not want personal directory information released must sign and return the appropriate form within the first 10 days of the beginning of each school year.
7.2 Emergency Information
For the safety, health and well-being of all students, the school staff must be able to reach a parent or guardian at ANY TIME during the school day or during any school event. Therefore, each parent will be asked to complete and periodically update an “Emergency Information Form” for each student enrolled at FFA. Please provide the FFA Attendance Office with any change in work, home, or cell phone numbers for each authorized pick up person listed on the “Emergency Information Form.” If there is no current phone number, please notify the campus office to delete phone numbers currently on file.
Parents are responsible for keeping FFA notified of all current information including home phone number, cell phone number and home/mailing address. Failure to provide and maintain accurate and current emergency contact information may be grounds for revocation of enrollment.
7.3 Visitors on Campus Including NMSCC
We welcome and encourage parents to visit FFA. However, the school retains the right to refuse entry into a classroom if the visitation would disrupt instruction, testing or any other activity. All visitors must schedule an appointment in advance. A visitor to the classroom may not engage the teacher in conversation during instruction.
Parents or guardians who are scheduled to visit are required to sign in through the Reception Desk to receive authorization to enter various areas of the school. For the safety of all students, no unauthorized visitors are permitted to enter the building.
7.4 Parent/Visitor Conduct and Dress Code
Parents and visitors conduct themselves in a manner conducive to a safe and orderly educational environment. Therefore, no threatening behavior or profanity will be allowed on school property or at a school-related activity. All parents and visitors must be appropriately dressed on school property and at school-related functions. Inappropriate conduct or dress will result in removal from campus or the school-related activity.
Every student is responsible for all of the textbooks issued to him/her. In the event a book is lost or damaged, replacement charges will be assessed to the student. The Campus Textbook Coordinator determines the replacement cost based on condition and price of the book. All monies should be paid to the Campus Textbook Coordinator and a receipt will be issued. If a textbook is lost, the student will not be issued another textbook until the book is paid for but the student may use a book provided in the classroom. If a library book or other district material is lost, the student must pay for the book/material before additional books/materials will be issued.
7.6 Field Trips
Field trips serve as a valuable extension to classroom learning, and may be taken periodically throughout the year. Parents will be notified well in advance of any scheduled trips. In order to participate in Field Trips, an official “Field Trip Form” must be completed, signed, dated, and returned to the student’s classroom teacher. Telephone calls or faxes from parents cannot be accepted as a form of permission to attend a Field Trip.
Many Field Trips may include an entrance fee. All Field Trip fees must be paid a minimum of 15 school days in advance of the trip. All monies are to be paid to the teacher and/or Campus Business Manager. If a parent or surrogate parent participates in a field trip as a chaperon, sponsor or attendee, a criminal background check will be conducted one month prior to the trip.
No staff member may transport a student on a Field Trip or provide transportation before or after school. Parents may not remove students from the field trip premises unless there is an emergency or medical assistance is required.
7.7 Telephone/Cell Phones/Electronic Devices
The FFA office telephone is used for school business. It may be used by students only in cases of emergency and with permission from the Administrative Assistant. Students are not permitted to make personal phone calls. Only urgent messages will be delivered.
Unless directly permitted by a teacher with prior written approval by the Campus Administrator, cell phones may be used by students for instructional purposes only.
Any cell phone being used by a student during school hours without teacher permission or for non-instructional purposes, will be taken up by the Campus Administrator and sent to Central Office. A collection fee of $15.00 will be assessed and the device will be released only to the student’s parent or the person whose name is on the account. All cell phones must be collected within 30 days or the cell phone will be given to charity. If a teacher suspects the student is using a cell phone during school hours without teacher permission or for non-instructional purposes, the teacher shall take up the cell phone and refer the student to a Campus Administrator. The school is not liable for loss, damage or theft of cell phones brought to school.
Students are not permitted to have cell phones or electronic devices on their person or within reach during testing. If a student has a cell phone or electronic device, it must be turned off and kept in a purse, backpack or locker that is out of reach for the duration of the test. Cell phone and/or electronic device usage during testing will be considered cheating and disciplinary action will be taken.
Breakfast and lunch are served in the cafeteria or the classroom daily. Students are expected to conduct themselves in an orderly manner when eating in the cafeteria. Any violation of proper behavior will result in loss of the privilege of eating in the cafeteria. Please try to send the exact amount for very young children. The students are required to pay for meals at the time of service or in advance. No provisions are available for charging lunches to an account or credit card. Free and reduced lunches are available for students who qualify. Applications are available in the cafeteria. Returning students on free and reduced lunch have 30 days to re-qualify for services; all new students must pay for lunch until they qualify for free and reduced lunch privileges.
Regulations exist for bringing food and refreshments to school for students other than your own. Consult with the Campus Administrator before purchasing or delivering food to campus for children other than your own including, but not limited to, birthday cakes, cupcakes and pizza.
7.9 Fire and Disaster Drills
Fire and disaster drills are conducted periodically to teach students the proper way to leave the building or to find an alternate route in the event of an emergency. Fire drill instructions are posted in each classroom. During disaster drills or Crisis Management drills, the school may be locked down to secure the perimeters. Parents who are on campus at the time of a fire or disaster drill will be expected to participate in the drill.
7.10 Closed Campus Policy
Faith Family Academy is a closed campus. Once students arrive on campus they may not leave unless they have signed out in the Attendance Office and are in the custody of a parent/guardian or on a school-sponsored trip. Leaving campus for whatever reason without permission will result in disciplinary action and truancy charges.
7.11 Academic Internet
The Internet is an important tool for providing information to students and staff. However, all the information and resources of the Internet are not appropriate for educational or student consumption. While rules are provided for Internet access, Faith Family Academy cannot guarantee that students will have access to only educational sites. The Faith Family Academy “Internet Use Policy” will be provided to all students. The students are required to review this policy with their parents and both parties are to sign and return the form to school before a student will be allowed to use the Internet.
Unacceptable use of the FFA Internet will include but is not be limited to:
- Transmitting, accessing, printing, downloading or uploading any material that might be deemed pornographic, obscene, sexually explicit, indecent or vulgar
- Transmitting, accessing, printing downloading or uploading any material which might be deemed abusive, hateful, degrading demeaning, derogatory or defamatory
- Vandalizing, damaging, disabling or gaining unauthorized access to another person’s property, files, data or materials
- Vandalizing, damaging, disabling or gaining unauthorized access to district or campus owned computer systems, files, data or programs
- Accessing, printing, downloading or uploading personal web pages
- Engaging in any commercial or business activity
- On-line game playing
- Printing, downloading or uploading information from personal disk without permission
- Chat rooms
- Personal e-mail or e-mail from an off-campus system
- Student/staff comments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or other current/popular web posting sites
Students are not to bring to school large sums of money, radios, cameras, CD players, electronic games, iPods, toys, etc. These items will be confiscated and returned only to the parent.
A collection fee of $15.00 will be assessed. Any item not picked up by the parent within 30 days will be donated to charity. Students are responsible for their personal property, and the school is not liable for theft or loss.
7.13 Complaint Resolution
A student or parent who has a complaint regarding Supplemental Educational Services or any other issue should bring the matter to the appropriate teacher. If the outcome of that discussion is not satisfactory, a conference with the Campus Administrator can be requested within ten (10) calendar days of the event(s) causing the complaint. If the outcome of the conference with the Campus Administrator is not satisfactory, a conference with the Superintendent or designee can be requested within ten (10) calendar days following the conference with the Campus Administrator. If the outcome of this conference is not satisfactory, the student or parent may appear before the School Board.
7.17 Student Health Services
A student who becomes ill at school should report to the nurse’s office. The nurse will assess the student and notify the parent or guardian if indicated. Any student with a fever of 100 degrees or higher, vomiting and/or having diarrhea will be sent home.
State law prohibits children with certain communicable diseases from attending school. Communicable diseases are those, which may be passed directly or indirectly from one person to another. The Texas Department of Health publishes a complete list of communicable diseases. That list can be obtained by contacting the school nurse or the Director of Maintenance and Operations. Common communicable diseases include but are not limited to:
- Lice (Pediculosis)
- Chicken Pox
- Scarlet Fever
- Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
- Strep Throat
- German Measles
- Worms or Parasites
- Staph infection
- Measles (Rubella)
- Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
- Common cold with fever
Students who have a contagious or infectious disease may not return to school until cleared by a physician. Parents of students who will be out for 3 days or more should contact the school office to discuss the student’s return. Faith Family Academy has a “no nits” policy in regard to lice. Students with an active case of lice shall be sent home.
The school requires that the child’s condition be treated with medicated shampoo or lotion prior to returning to school. The school nurse will verify no lice are present before the student may return to school.
7.18 The School shall conduct health screenings for the following:
Vision and Hearing:
- Children 4 years of age or older who are enrolled in any school for the first time, must be screened within 120 calendar days of enrollment;
- Children previously enrolled in a facility who are years of age on or before Sept. 1, must be screened by December 31;
- Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd,5th 7th and all new students to the school will be screened before May 31 of each year;
- 9th graders must be screened annually.
- All students in 5th and 8th grade (annually)
- All students in 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade. (annually)
All students are required to have current immunizations and have the record of immunizations on file in the nurse’s office. The school will submit annual reports on the immunization status of students to the Health Department. Any questions or concerns regarding the nurse’s office and health policies should be directed to the Chief Operations Officer.
7.19 Medication Guidelines
In order for the school to administer any medication, the medication must be in its original container, properly labeled and must be accompanied by a written request from the parent or guardian. The School Nurse’s office will only administer those medications that must be given during the school day. If the therapeutic use of a medication can be accomplished by dosage outside of the school day, the medication should not be given at school.
7.20 Self-administration of Asthma and Diabetes Medication
A student with asthma or diabetes may possess and self-administer prescription medicine while on school property or at school-related event activity if:
7.20.1 The medicine has been prescribed for that student as indicated by the prescription label on the medicine.
7.20.2 The self-administration is done in compliance with the prescription or written instructions from the student’s physician or other licensed health-care provider; and
7.20.3 A parent of the student provides to the school:
7.20.4 Written authorization, signed by the parent, for the student to self-administer the medicine while on school property or at a school-related event or activity; and
7.20.5 A written statement, signed by the student’s physician or other licensed healthcare provider that states:
- That the student has asthma and is capable of self-administering the medicine
- The name and purpose of the medicine
- The prescribed dosage for the medicine
- The times at which or circumstances under which the medicine may be administered
- The period for which the medicine is prescribed
The physician’s statement must be kept on file in the school nurse’s office, or in the office of the Campus Administrator. Within two (2) weeks of the conclusion of the school year, all medications must be picked up by the parent or the medications will be destroyed.
7.21 Inclement Weather Alerts
School closure due to inclement weather will be reported to local television (Channel 5) and/or local radio stations for broadcast as well as posted on the FFA Website. Each teacher also will receive notification of school cancellation via an FFA telephone-calling network.
7.22 Lost and Found
All articles found on school grounds must be delivered to the school office. Please permanently label any item of clothing or articles with the student’s name or ID label to help with identification.Unclaimed items will be discarded/donated at the end of each semester. Please check the Lost-and-Found for missing items.
The Campus Administrator must approve signs and posters that a student or outside organization wishes to display. Posters displayed without authorization will be removed. All posters should be placed on display boards; not on painted walls.
7.24 Student Parking
Student parking is a privilege and can be revoked at any time. Certain areas will be designated for student parking. In order to receive a parking permit, eligible FFA students must have on file a valid driver’s license, valid and current proof of vehicle registration and insurance, and the license plate number of any vehicle that may be driven to school. Parent permission for the student to have a vehicle on campus also must be on file. Students who do not follow the parking rules may have parking privileges revoked and/or receive disciplinary action.
Students who drive to school must park, come into the school immediately and cannot return to the vehicle until the end of the school day. No loitering in the parking lot will be permitted.
184.108.40.206 Identification of Eligible Students for Special Education Services
The School shall ensure that all children with disabilities enrolled in the School, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated. 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(A); 34 C.F.R. 300.111(a)(1)(i). The School may provide services to students with disabilities directly or through shared services arrangements.
Before the School conducts an initial evaluation, it shall make reasonable efforts to obtain informed parental consent. If the parent does not provide consent, or if the parent fails to respond to a request for consent, the School may, but is not required to, pursue the initial evaluation by utilizing due process procedures in accordance with the law. Parental consent to initial evaluation shall not be construed as consent for placement for receipt of special education and related services. 20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(D)(i)(I); 34 C.F.R. 300.300(b).
220.127.116.11 Determination of Eligibility
A student is eligible to participate in the School’s special education program if: (1) the student is between the ages of 3 and 21; (2) the student has one or more of the disabilities listed in federal regulations, state law, or both; and (3) the student’s disabilities prevents the student from being adequately or safely educated in the public schools without the provision of special services. 20 U.S.C. 1401(3); Tex. Educ. Code 29.003(b); 19 TAC 89.1035.
18.104.22.168 Requests and Referrals for Evaluation
The screening of a student by a teacher or specialist to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation shall not be considered to be an evaluation for eligibility for special education and related services. 20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(E).
Referral of students for a full individual and initial evaluation for possible special education services must be part of the School’s overall, general education referral or screening system. Students experiencing difficulty in the general classroom should be considered for all support services available to all students, such as tutorial; remedial; compensatory; response to evidence-based intervention; and other academic or behavior support services. A student is not required to be provided with interventions for any specific length of time prior to a referral being made or a full individual and initial evaluation being conducted. If the student continues to experience difficulty in the general classroom with the provision of interventions, district personnel must refer the student for a full individual and initial evaluation. A referral for a full individual and initial evaluation may be initiated at any time by school personnel, the student's parents or legal guardian, or another person involved in the education or care of the student.19 TAC 89.1011(a).
A reasonable time before a district proposes or refuses to initiate the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a student or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to a student, the School shall provide written notice to the student's parent or guardian. 20 U.S.C. 1415(b)(3); 34 C.F.R. 300.503(a)
The School shall conduct a full individual and initial evaluation before the initial provision of special education and related services. 20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(A). Upon completion of the administration of assessments and other evaluation measures, a team of qualified professionals and the parent shall make the determination of whether the child has a disability and of the educational needs of the child. The School shall provide a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of determination of eligibility at no cost to the parent. 20 U.S.C. 1414(b)(4); 34 C.F.R. 300.306(a).
22.214.171.124 Admission Review and Dismissal Committee
FFA shall establish an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee for each eligible student with a disability and for each student for whom a full and individual initial evaluation is conducted. The ARD committee is the individualized education program (IEP) team defined in federal law and regulations, including 34 C.F.R. § 300.321. The district is responsible for all of the functions for which the IEP team is responsible under federal law and regulations and for which the ARD committee is responsible under state law, including the responsibilities listed at 19 TAC § 89.1050.
For any student eligible for special education, FFA shall convene an ARD meeting at least annually to review the student’s IEP, make appropriate revisions to the IEP, determine the student’s placement, and, if applicable, review the students Behavior Intervention Plan as required by Tex. Educ. Code § 29.005(h).
126.96.36.199 Least Restrictive Environment
To the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities will be educated with students who are not disabled. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from the regular educational environment will occur only when the nature or severity of the student’s disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(5).
188.8.131.52 Parental Involvement
FFA shall establish and maintain procedures to ensure that children with disabilities and their parents are guaranteed procedural safeguards with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE). 20 U.S.C. 1415(a). These procedures shall include:
- An opportunity for the parents to review all education records and to participate in meetings relating to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child and the provision of FAPE to the child. 34 C.F.R. 300.501.
- An opportunity for the parents to obtain an independent educational evaluation of the child. 34 C.F.R. 300.502.
- Protecting the rights of a child when no parent can be identified, the School cannot locate the parents, or the child is a ward of the state, which may include the assignment of an individual to act as a surrogate parent. 34 C.F.R. 300.519.
- Prior written notice to the parents when a district proposes to initiate or change, or refuses to initiate or change, the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of FAPE to the child. 34 C.F.R. 300.503.
- Procedures to allow parties to resolve disputes through a mediation process. 34 C.F.R. 300.506.
- An opportunity for any party to file a due process complaint on any matter relating to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of FAPE to the child. 34 C.F.R. 300.507.
- Procedures that require either party, or the attorney representing a party, to provide to the other party a due process complaint (which shall remain confidential). 34 C.F.R. 300.508.
FFA will take steps to ensure that the parents or guardians of a student who is eligible for special education services are afforded the opportunity to meaningfully participate, including: (1) Providing the parents notice of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have an opportunity to attend; (2) Complying with all notice requirements applicable under 34 CFR § 300.322; and (3) Collaborating with the parent to schedule the meeting at a mutually agreeable time and place. If the parent refuses to attend an ARD meeting or collaborate to find a mutually agreeable time and date, FFA will keep detailed records of all attempts to schedule a meeting.
Beginning at least one year before a student reaches 18 years of age, the student’s IEP must include a statement that the student has been informed that, unless the student’s parent or other individual has been granted guardianship of the student under state law, all rights granted to the parent under the IDEA, other than the right to receive any notice required under IDEA, will transfer to the student upon reaching 18. The IEP must also state that the student has been provided information and resources regarding guardianship, alternatives to guardianship, and other supports and services that may enable the student to live independently. After the student reaches the age of 18 the School shall provide any notice required under IDEA to both the adult student and the parent. 19 TAC § 89.1049 (a)-(e).