Taos Day School Policies

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Academic Expectations
Taos Day School is an academically focused school with high expectations for our students. We believe that each student at Taos Day School can and should be successful.

We believe that each parent or guardian shares equally with the classroom teacher and student in the responsibility to support all efforts to help all students to do the very best they can.

Students are asked to come prepared with books, pencils, paper, and any other materials requested by the teacher throughout the school year.

Homework is an important part of the academic program at Taos Day School. Students may expect to spend time each evening completing homework. As part of every student's homework he or she is expected to read 20 minutes every night. Please help provide books by taking your child to a library.

Some homework assignments may be a long-range project with the due date several weeks in the future. Students should attend to these daily and not expect to satisfactorily complete them at the last minute.

Students who have been absent for any reason are responsible for completing and returning their assignments to their teacher. Parents can help children succeed by checking homework each night. Your signature in this Agenda on the appropriate date will tell the teacher you have seen your child's work.

Pupil's Progress and Report Cards
Report cards are issued every twelve weeks. Parent-teacher conferences are held at the end of the first and second twelve-week grading period. Additional conferences may be arranged with your child's teacher. While teachers are willing to arrange their schedules to meet parent and student needs, please don't expect unscheduled conferences while class is in session.

Student Records
Parents or legal guardians have the right to access any school records relating to their own children. To review your child's record, you must make arrangements with the office. Other individuals or agencies wishing to review a student's record must have written approval by the parent.

Promotion and Retention
The Taos Day School Board recognizes that the individual needs of each student must be met. For this reason, the Board adheres to the Promotion/Retention policies as stated in the New Mexico State Statue 22- 2-8.6 and will work closely with the staff of Taos Day School to insure that every student is given the opportunity to succeed. New Mexico State Statue 22-2-8.6 states:

A. At the end of grades one through eight, three options will be available, dependent on a student's attainment of the required level of proficiency established by the content standards:

1. The student has attained the level of proficiency required by the content standards and shall enter the next higher grade;

2. The student has not attained the required level of proficiency and shall participate in the required level of remediation. Upon certification by the school district that the student has successfully overcome his areas of deficiency, he/she shall enter the next higher grade; or

3. The student has not attained the level of proficiency required by the content by standards upon completion of the prescribed remediation program and upon the recommendation of the certified school instructor and school principal shall either be:

a. Retained in the same grade for no more than one school year with an academic improvement plan developed by the student assistance team in order to attain proficiency of content standards, at which time the student shall enter the next higher grade; or

b. Promoted to the next grade if the parent or guardian refuses to allow his/her child to be retained. This being the case, the parent or guardian shall sign a waiver indicating his/her desire that the student be promoted to the next higher grade with an academic improvement plan designed to address specific academic deficiencies. Students failing to attain proficiency of content standards at the end of that year shall then be retained in the same grade for no more than one year in order to have additional time to master the require content standards.

B. A parent or guardian shall be notified no later than the end of the second grading period that his/her child is failing to attain appropriate grade level proficiency in content standards, and a conference consisting of the parent or guardian and the teacher(s) shall be held to discuss possible remediation programs available to assist the student in attaining the required level of proficiency.

C. Promotion and retention decisions affecting a student enrolled in special education shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) established for that student.

New Mexico Law and Taos Tribal Code dictates that students between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age are mandated to attend public school, private school,home school, or a state institution.

Daily attendance is necessary for students to fully benefit from the instructional program. Taos Day School recognizes, however, that there are situations that dictate a student's absence, including doctor's appointment, diagnostic testing, cultural commitments, religious commitments, family emergency, extenuating circumstances, death in the family, educational activities or illness.

Whenever the student is absent for any reason, it is the parent/guardian's responsibility to notify the school as soon as possible when the student is absent. The Taos Day School telephone number is 758-3652. If the school has not heard from a parent or guardian on the day of absence by 9:30 a.m., someone from the school will call or visit the child's home to insure that the parent knows that the child is not at school.

Students are required to make up all work for all absences for any reason, and it is the responsibility of the student to arrange with the teacher(s) for make-up work, missed tests, etc. Failure to make up work will result in "no credit" for missed assignments.

After seven (7) days of absences, a written warning will be sent to the parents or guardians. After fourteen (14) days of absences, the principal will request a parent/staff conference. After twenty-one (21) days of absences, the student may be recommended for

Tardy Procedure
Students are expected to arrive at school by 8:00 a.m. If a student comes to school after 8:00, he/she must report to the office for a Tardy Slip before being admitted to class.

Truancy is a serious offense at Taos Day School and will be dealt with accordingly. The school Truant Officers have been given the authority to visit families if necessary, and/or to refer parents to Social Services.

Saturday School
Students who are deficient in the areas of academics, attendance or behavior are required to attend school on Saturday as required and assigned. Saturday School is scheduled at the same hours as regular school and is staffed by certified personnel.

Health Procedures and Policies
While regular school attendance is important to a quality education, it is sometimes in the best interest of your child and the other children if they remain at home. Please notify the school immediately in case of a contagious disease in order that the school may notify the parents of children who may have been exposed.

Student Medication
Since medical treatment is the responsibility of the parents and the family doctor, medication may not be dispensed at school. However, if a child needs to take medications during school hours, arrangements must be made with your doctor and the school office. A medication permission form giving school personnel authorization to administer medication must be signed prior to dispensing the medication. This form must be filed in student's school records and with the teacher.

Student Dress Policy
The Taos Day School recognizes that, within certain limits, each student's mode of dress and grooming is a manifestation of personal style and individual preference. The school will not interfere with the ability of students and their parents to make decisions regarding their appearance except when their choices affect the educational program of the school or the health and safety of others. Taos Day School personnel have the responsibility of protecting the health and safety of students and maintaining proper and appropriate conditions conducive to learning. The purpose of the Student Dress Code is to encourage students to come to school properly prepared for participating in the education process.

Taos Day School Board authorizes the principal/acting principal to enforce regulations prohibiting student dress or grooming practices that:
Present a hazard to the health and/or safety of the student or to others in the school.
Materially interfere with schoolwork, create disorder, or disrupt the educational program.
Cause excessive wear or damage to school property.
Prevent the student from achieving his/her educational objectives.
Obscene language or symbols, tobacco, alcohol, and other drug symbols, or satanic symbols on clothing are expressly prohibited.
Parents and visitors are expected to follow this dress policy as well.

Items Not Appropriate for School
Problems arise when students bring items to school that are hazardous or interfere with school procedure. Items such as CD players, pagers, toys, and computer games are not allowed and will be confiscated if brought to school.

Students, not the school, are responsible for their personal property. Personal property should be brought to school or left in the school overnight. Cash is not to be exchanged between students in payment for personal property.

Taos Day School Board recognizes that the presence of weapons in school not only creates unacceptable risks of injury or death, but also creates a climate that undermines the educational purpose of the school.

Accordingly, it is the policy of Taos Day School that no students shall bring a weapon onto school property, nor carry or keep any weapon on school property or while attending or participating in any school activity, including during transportation to or from such an activity.

For purposes of this policy, a weapon is defined as any firearm, knife, explosive, or other object, even if manufactured for non-violent purpose, that has a potentially violent use, or any "look-a-like" object that resembles an object that has a potentially violent use, if, under the surrounding circumstances, the purpose of keeping or carrying the object is for use, or threat of use, as a weapon.

This policy shall be enforced according to the Taos Day School Student Search and Seizure Policy.

Student Behavior
Unacceptable behavior is defined and the consequences of this behavior have been outlined in this document. The list is not all-inclusive; acts of misconduct not specified herein shall also be subject to discretionary action by appropriate school personnel.

The principal has the responsibility to take discretionary action anytime the educational process is threatened with disruption. Nothing in this handbook is intended to prevent a staff member, teacher, or principal/acting principal from using his/her best judgment with respect to a particular situation.

The provisions of the Student Behavior Policy are in force:
At all times on school premises
During transportation of students
At times and places where appropriate school
administrators and staff have jurisdiction
including, but not necessarily limited to, school-
sponsored events, field trips, athletic functions,
and other school-related activities

Additionally, the principal, any school official, or designated chaperone is authorized to take administrative action when a student's misconduct away from school during a school activity has a detrimental effect on the other students, staff, or on the orderly educational process.

Gang Activity
The Taos Day School works to create a safe and orderly learning environment for all its student. Further, the School recognizes that the harm done by the presence and activities of gangs in the school exceeds the immediate consequences of such illegal activities such as violence and destruction of property. Gang activities also create the atmosphere of intimidation in the entire school community. Both the immediate consequences of gang activity and the secondary effects are disruptive and obstructive of the education and school activities.

It is therefore the policy of Taos Day School that gangs and gang activities are prohibited in the Taos Day School.

For purposes of this policy a "gang" is any group of two or more persons whose purposes include the commission of an illegal act or acts in violation of disciplinary rules of Taos Day School.

No students on or about school property or at any school activity shall:

1. Wear, possess, use, distribute, display or sell any clothing, jewelry, emblem badges, symbol, sign, or other item that evidences or reflects membership in, or affiliation with any gang.
2. Engage in any act, either verbal, including gestures or handshakes, showing membership or affiliation in any gang.
3. Engage in any act in furtherance of the interests of any gang or gang activity, including but not limited to:

a. Soliciting membership in, or affiliation with, any gang.
b. Soliciting any person to pay for "protection:" or threatening any person, explicitly or implicitly, with violence or with any other
illegal or prohibited act.
c. Painting, writing, or otherwise inscribing gang-related graffiti, messages, symbols, or signs on school property.
d. Engaging in violence, extortion, or any other illegal act or other violation of school policy.
e. Soliciting any person to engage in physicalviolence against any other person.

In determining, as part of the application and enforcement of this policy, whether acts, conduct, or activities are gang-related, school staff are encouraged to exercise discretion and judgment based upon current circumstances in their school, neighborhood,and areas.

The removal of gang-related graffiti shall be a priority in maintenance of school property. All such graffiti on school property shall be removed or covered within 23 hours of its first appearance to school staff, or as soon thereafter as possible, unless additional time is needed to obtain replacements for damaged items.

School staff should encourage private property owners to promptly remove or cover gang-related graffiti on private property in school neighborhoods.

School officials are strongly encouraged to work closely with local law enforcement officials in controlling gang-related activities. Local law enforcement can provide school officials with information regarding gang activities in the area, including names and characteristics of local gangs.

The principal/acting principal, in consultation with the staff, should report instances of gang-related criminal acts or acts of serious disruption to local law enforcement authorities for further action.

Students who violate this policy shall be subject to the full range of school disciplinary measures, in addition to applicable criminal and civil penalties.

Example of Offenses
The following list of offenses are examples of some of the behaviors which may result in the issuance of a pink slip, suspension and or expulsion:

Academic dishonesty (cheating on test, copying papers, forging signature of teacher or parent).
Disrespect to others.
Failure to follow directions.
Harassment (nuisance phone calls to students and/or staff members; continued comments or passing unofficial notes to another individual that he/she does not wish to receive).
Igniting matches (when not part of the instructional program)
Leaving school grounds without permission.
Refusing to cooperate with school rules and regulations.
Refusing to cooperate with school transportation regulations.
Refusing to serve detention or Saturday School
Truancy from school.
Unauthorized sale or distribution, not otherwise described (sale of football pools, sale of items not related in any way to school).
Possession and/or use of tobacco and controlled substance on campus.
Using foul or abusive language.
Verbal assault on student(s).
References to drugs or alcohol: verbal, written, or dramatized.
Assault/battery on a staff member.
Bomb threat
Vandalism of school, staff, student property.

Any student found to be in violation of these policies
shall be subject to discipline, including long-term
suspension and expulsion.

Student Rights
All students have the right to an educational school setting that is orderly and educationally efficient, free from disruption of normal teaching-learning functions. The following statement is intended to be consistent with the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities adopted in May 1981 by the State School Board. In the event that any part of it is not consist with that Statement, the State Board Statement prevails.

A. Educational Opportunity
Every student has the right to an education relevant to his/her needs and ability and a corresponding responsibility not to deny this right to any other student.
No individual shall be subjected to prejudicial treatment on the basis of any of the following:
tribal affiliation, religion, color, gender, political belief, mental or physical handicap, or for the exercise of his/her rights within this policy.

B. Privacy
Custody. Except in the most extreme circumstances, custody of students shall not be relinquished by school personnel to any person without the approval of the parent/guardian. In case of an arrest, the school authorities must attempt to notify the student's parent/guardian. Questioning. If town or tribal police authorities desire to question a student on school premises regarding any illegal act or misconduct by the student, the school authorities shall attempt to contact the parent/guardian and shall advise the student of his/her legal rights. The parent/guardian shall be permitted to be present. Student Records. Student records kept by the Taos Day School will be open to review by parent/guardians and/or students and will be treated in a confidential manner, as prescribed by local board policy, New Mexico State Board of Education regulation, and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

School Facilities. The school will, insofar as possible, provide facilities for the storage of items needed during the school day and will inform the students that these facilities may be searched without their consent. However, facilities assigned to students will not be opened by school personnel except for general housekeeping purposes and instances, when, in the judgment of the principal, the health, safety, or general welfare of the student or school requires such action. A record of such searches will be maintained in the principal's office, to be destroyed at the end of two school year.

Search of Person. Searches of a student's person on school property may be conducted only if a certified school employee or school bus driver personally notices or is suspicious of arrangement of a student's clothing, possessions, or actions which give reasonable cause to believe that a crime or breach of the disciplinary code is being committed by the student.

Physical searches of a student's person may be conducted only by an authorized person who is of the same gender as the student, and except where circumstances render it impossible, may be conducted only in the presence of another authorized person of the same gender.

C. Controversial Issues
Students shall have the right to encounter diverse points of view. They shall have opportunities to hear speakers and view presentations representing a wide range of views in classes, clubs, and assemblies under guidelines established by the school. If it is established that a student and/or parent objects as a matter of embarrassment to the student, the parent may request that the student not participate in the particular activity. The school has a commitment to objectivity and the presentation of all sides of an issue.

Parent or Student Grievance Procedure
Parents, students, and community members should use the following procedures and form to address concerns regarding the Taos Day School and/or its staff.

1.Take your concern to the person closest to the issue (perhaps the teacher); if the issue is not resolved at this level, proceed to the next step. 2. Discuss your concern with the principal. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, proceed to the next step.

2. Appeal your concern to the School Board in writing. The School Board will address the problem and will work with the Principal to resolve the issue. If the problem is still not resolved, proceed to the next step.

3. Take your concern to the Agency Superintendent in writing. The superintendent should send a response back to you, or will contact the school's Principal.

Students use a variety of methods to get to school. Some students are able to walk, while others are driven to school by a family member. Please do not bring your child to school late. The first part of the school day is critical to instruction. If you drive your child to school, do not drop your child off prior to 7:30 a.m. Regardless of the kind of transportation, care should be taken around school campus and all safety regulations must be followed. Teachers, parents, and visitors must always use designated parking and pick-up areas. Bus services are available for students who live a considerable distance from school. Parents must provide a written request directed and approved by the office in order for a child to be dropped off at a location other than their home. The bus drivers are responsible for providing safe and efficient service. The students are responsible for maintaining safe behavior on the bus and at bus stops so the driver can concentrate on driving.

General Bus Rules
Bus transportation is available to all students. Please make arrangements with our bus drivers and office for pick up and drop off sites.

If there are any changes about where your child is to be dropped off, you must call or send a note with your child to school. The office will send a bus pass to the teachers for your student. The staff will not accept a verbal message from the child or non- related adult.

Taos Day School children will be returned to the place that they were picked up. If there is to be a change in pick up or delivery, written notice must be giving to the driver.

Parents should notify Taos Day School a week in advance of moving, extended vacations or traveling, so that our driver is aware of all changes in the bus route.

Children should be dressed and ready for the bus in the morning. Bus driver will wait 2 minutes. If your child does miss the bus, it is the parent's responsibility to take their child to school. If there is no one at home when the bus drops off your child, the school is not responsible for children at home alone. It is the responsibility of the parents to make arrangements for their own child's care.

Taos Day School students, staff, bus drivers are allowed to ride school bus.

Students must remain seated while bus is in motion. Fighting is never allowed on the bus. Fighting will result in automatic bus suspension.

Verbal abuse to other students will not be tolerated.
There will be no vandalism on school buses.
Windows will remain closed unless the school bus driver gives permission. Once permission is given, there will be no hanging out windows, (head, arms, etc) shouting at people out the window, or throwing trash out.

Every student will be responsible for taking any trash to front of the bus.

Children are not to board bus until the bus driver arrives.

No food, drinks, or candy allowed on the school bus.

There will be no radio played on the school bus.

State and Federal Law dictates that there be absolutely no distraction to our bus drivers. Safety of our children is our number one concern.

School bus transportation is a privilege that may be withdrawn for inappropriate behavior. Please cooperate with our bus drivers.

Penalties for offenses:
1. Three (3) verbal warnings
2. Parent notification and meeting with Principal and Bus Drivers.
3. Five (5) to ten (10) days bus privileges suspended.

Chronic Offenders
1. Parent notification and parent must ride with student for five (5) days.
2. Bus privileges suspended for remainder of the school year.

Vandalism will not be tolerated. Parents will be notified immediately, and will be financially responsible for any and all damages.

Parents are allowed on the bus for field trips provided:
1. There is room on the bus
2. Names are on file in the office
3. No other siblings are allowed
4. Adults only (over 21)
5. Ratio of chaperones to children = 1.5

Parking Lot
It is extremely important that students stay on the school sidewalks on the way to school or on the way home. Parents are asked to be very cautious when driving on the school campus at all times. There is a sign posted not to enter the gravel area of the campus, which is for bus and maintenance use only. The parking lot can become very congested after school. Please be patient and orderly.

Parents are welcome to visit our school and are encouraged to do so. All visitors must check in with the school office first. We encourage all parents to visit with your child in the classroom as often as possible. Parents are welcome to help in classes. Check with your child's teacher to see what you can do to help.

Student Visitors
Students from others schools, or who are visiting with family here, are not permitted to come to school with an enrolled student of Taos Day School. Outside students often cause distractions in the classroom, and provide liability issues for the school. The exception to this rule is for students visiting from other schools as part of an approved educational plan.

Students are not allowed to use the telephones unless they need to be picked up due to sudden illness. All other communication must be written in their Agenda.

Drug Use Policy

The Taos Day School recognizes its responsibility to provide an optimal environment so that our children can learn. Children need to feel safe and secure with expectations clearly defined. Therefore, the Taos Day School has adopted a drug free school policy. No cigarettes, alcohol, inhalants, chewing tobacco, or illegal drugs will be allowed on school grounds.

It is the responsibility of all school personnel to report to the principal any student suspected of using or being in possession of alcohol, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, inhalants or illegal drugs.

It is also the duty of all school personnel to notify the principal of any child enrolled in the Taos Day School who is observed using any of the above substances away from the school grounds so that a referral for appropriate services can be made.

These policies will apply to any school function whether on school grounds or a school sanctioned event off school property (field trip, sports event, etc.)

A copy of these policies will be given to every student at the beginning of the school year or upon enrollment. A signature from the student and their parent or legal guardian will be obtained within 14 school days.

These policies are subject to review and revision on a yearly basis.

If a child is found in possession of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, or illegal drugs, or under the influence of such substances, the following procedure may be implemented:

A referral will be made to the principal. The principal or her designee will call the parents or legal guardians, the tribal law enforcement, and a parent conference will be set up. A home visit will be made if efforts to contact the parents are unsuccessful. If parents fail to respond to requests for a conference within 48 hours, the Taos Day School Truant Officer, Taos Tribal Sheriff, or the Taos Pueblo Law Enforcement will be contacted. As part of the parent conference, appropriate consequences will be agreed upon and put in writing, which may include suspension. A referral for a diagnostic assessment will be made to the Taos Pueblo Recovery Program if alcohol, drugs or inhalants are involved. If the child and his/her parents fail to adhere to recommendations made as a result of diagnostic testing, a referral will be made to Social Services (tribal or town depending on residency and/or jurisdiction.)

If a child is found in possession of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, or illegal drugs and it is a second or third offense, the child will be suspended, referred for inpatient treatment, and may face expulsion.

Parents are reminded that in recent substance abuse incidents in the school, it has been found that the substance had come from within the child's home. The ease of availability from within the home appears to be very good, which greatly increases the child's chances of bringing the substance onto the campus of Taos Day School. When this takes place, the child as well as the family are at risk for outside intervention by such agencies as the Taos Tribal Police, Tribal Sheriff and The Child Protection Team. The child also faces suspension or expulsion from Taos Day School.

In addition, parents, responsible for the welfare of children, could also be held responsible for the actions of the child, as well as for allowing ease of access to substances that children should not have. As a result of parental irresponsibility to prevent the child's access and use of these substances, the parents could be held accountable by the authorities. Once this process is started, the family can face many difficulties during this time, both emotional and financial. No one wants to see this happen to anyone. It is therefore very important that parents understand their responsibilities to provide a safe environment for their children.

Teamwork between both home and school is imperative to provide a safe learning environment for all Taos Day School children.

Computer Acceptable Use Policy

Taos Day School is pleased to offer students access to many school computers and the Internet. Students need to use appropriate behavior when using the computers and the Internet. It is a privilege, not a right, to use this equipment and the privilege will be taken away if a student abuses it. If a student does not use this equipment in a responsible, appropriate way, she/he will lose the privilege of using computers or personal use.

Taos Day School Student agreement for using computer equipment and the Internet:

I agree to follow the following six rules when using the computers and Internet at Taos Day School. If I do not follow these rules, I understand I will lose the privilege of using school computers.

1. I will get permission from a Taos Day School staff person to use any school computer equipment, printers, and the Internet. I also must have permission to record my voice on a computer.
2. I will not damage the computer or other equipment in any way, including the keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, table top, or monitor. I know if I damage computer equipment on purpose I will have to pay to have it repaired or replaced.
3. I will not visit any Internet sites that are not appropriate. I will also not use bad language when naming a file or icon. I will never write, record, view, send, or look up materials on the Internet which I would not want my teachers and parents to see. If by accident I encounter bad language or something that makes me feel uncomfortable, I will notify an adult immediately.
4. I will not open another person's computer work without their permission and I will not use a computer to harm other people or their work.
5. I will not use e-mail, chat rooms or messenger services during school hours. If I want to use e-mail during the after-school computer class, I have to turn in a special e-mail permission form signed by my parents and ask permission from the teacher/supervisor whenever I want to check my e-mail.
6. I will not give out personal information on the Internet such as my name, address, or telephone number.






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