The mission of Vision Charter School is to provide a classical education to all students in an effort to produce well-educated, respectful citizen leaders. A classical education is one which utilizes concepts and facts from History, Language Arts, Literature, Science, Mathematics, Fine Arts, and Social Studies to impart skills in reasoning, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. First students spend time learning facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. Then, students learn to think through arguments and finally, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the trivium. The skills learned in this classical education are mandatory in today’s changing society.
The Vision Charter School plans to help students learn how to think and share ideas through group inquiry. The goal is to strengthen critical thinking skills, encourage reading, and form the foundation for a lifelong appreciation of literature.
Leaders are identified by their moral character and intellectual qualities. Vision Charter School will nurture the intellectual capacity of our students with a foundation in reading and writing. Problem-solving and cognitive development will be heightened through the teaching of mathematics and the scientific method. These skills will be enhanced with application to real-world problems. Many studies have suggested that early musical training can increase cognitive development in abstract thinking and logical skills. Through the use of a second language and music from cultures around the world, we will enhance student understanding of different historical and cultural settings. We will also study local, state, regional, and national heritage and culture to promote greater understanding and appreciation of our nation and its diverse population.
As part of our mission we will seek to help our students develop the following academic and personal habits:
· lifelong learning;
· clear oral and written communication;
· creative thinking;
· logical thinking and the ability to make informed judgments;
· effective use of technology as a tool;
· adaptability to new situations and new information;
· problem-solving skills;
· the ability to find, select, evaluate, organize, and use information from various sources;
· the ability to make easy and flexible connections among various disciplines of thought; and
· respecting others’ individuality and creativity, as well as one’s own, while seeking to work within teams to create common solutions.
In addition, we hope to help them develop the following personal habits and actions:
· accepting responsibility for personal decisions and actions;
· academic honesty and the ability to face challenges with courage and integrity;
· a healthy lifestyle;
· empathy and courtesy for others and respect for differences among people and cultures;
· self-confidence and willingness to risk setbacks in order to learn;
· concentration and perseverance;
· managing time in a responsible manner;
· seeking a fair share of the workload; and
· working cooperatively with others, which includes the ability to listen, share opinions, negotiate, compromise, and help a group reach consensus.
TAB 2: Proposed Operation and Potential Effects of the PublicCharter School
Target Student Population
Vision Charter School will open in the Fall of 2007 with grades Kindergarten through 7th. Each year thereafter, we plan to add one additional grade (i.e. in Year 2 we will add 8th grade). Upon moving to the permanent school site, slated for the 2010 school year, we plan to expand out K- 12 grades to two classes each. In the event that we do not have enough students to fill either 7th or 8th grade, the Board may decide to add those grades in subsequent years – adding a second class of 7th grade in the 2011 school year and 8th in the 2012 school year. Expansion will be at the discretion of the Board of Directors based on enrollment demand and adequate finances. Class size will range from 24 to 35 students. Our long-term goal is to add one grade per year until the school serves two classes of the K – 12th grades. Class size for each high school grade could range from 30 – 35 students, allowing a maximum of 70 students in each grade.
The school will be distinguished by five features: an Arts and Sciences emphasis, character and leadership development, a small environment for the students, study in a second language, and music training. These five features distinguish our program and establish the basis for offering a unique learning program and environment.
Arts and Sciences - We desire to instill in our students a love of literature, fine arts, and scientific inquiry. Success will be defined as a student with fundamental knowledge of Language Arts, Fine Arts, and Science. This education will allow students to pursue any life career with confidence. Career opportunities in science, medicine, and mathematics-based jobs, such as engineering, are on the rise and students prepared to take advantage of these careers through a fundamental understanding of these subjects will have the knowledge and reasoning skills necessary for success.
Character and Leadership Development - We intend to reprioritize character development as a fundamental purpose of education. This will generally be accomplished by embracing a child centered educational model built on high expectations for both student behavior and academic endeavor. We will provide a comprehensive plan for character education that taps into each child’s innate need to know boundaries, while protecting each child’s dignity. The heart of character education curriculum is simply being kind to one another. The result of character education is a school free of teasing, taunting, bullying, negative peer pressure and students who help create a kinder community around them, whether at school, at home or in their neighborhoods.
Small School Environment - Not all students thrive in schools with large student populations. Our small school offers a safe and small alternative for these students. Our students and faculty will come to know each other on a more personal basis.
Music Training - A number of studies have found a strong correlation between cognitive development and musical training. Further studies have shown that the best time to boost intellectual development through music is between the ages of two and ten. Therefore, we will create a keyboard lab within the first two years of the inception of Vision Charter School where students will learn the basics of playing the keyboard. In addition, a music curriculum for older students will focus on the development of fundamental musician skills, while also exposing students to local musical heritage and culture.
Second Language – Vision Charter School recognizes the importance of a second language to the scholastic development and future careers of students. Knowledge of a second language will become increasingly important to effective leadership in the 21st century. In addition, research has suggested that knowledge of a second language may boost English proficiency, improve memory and self-discipline, and enhance verbal and problem-solving skills. The school intends to expose students from kindergarten onwards to a second language, with a primary emphasis on the Spanish language. Initially, parents who are fluent speakers of Spanish will be invited on at least a bi-weekly basis and under the direct supervision of a Highly Qualified Teacher, will assist with Spanish classes at the school. These parent assistants will utilize existing Spanish language curricula as a framework for lessons provided to each grade. This will not only achieve our goal of exposing student to a second language, but will also encourage more parental involvement within the school. Additional languages may be added at the discretion of the Board of Directors based on demand and adequate finances.
An Enriched Curriculum For All Students – While gifted and talented students will be identified in accordance with Idaho Code (33.2001, 33.2003, IDAPA 08.02.03.999), we will offer an enriched gifted and talented curriculum for ALL students. Teachers, with the help of educational assistants and a team of parent volunteers will be engaged in the act of direct teaching throughout the day, using every method available to them (tactile, visual, kinesthetic, auditory, group and independent approaches). By taking into account and addressing the varying developmental rates and learning modalities of the student population, it is possible through this direct-teaching and monitoring approach to keep the curricula challenging and the expectations for learning high. The result is above grade level performance, high standardized-test scores, and extraordinary levels of parent and student satisfaction, and meeting the needs of identified gifted and talented students.
Vision Charter School’s core values are reflected in its philosophy and mission statement. It is important for students to be challenged, to be taught as individuals, and to learn in a safe environment.
Vision Charter School will be a public charter school. It will not be a religious school, a conversion of a private or parochial school, or a school operated for profit.
Facilities to be utilized
Vision Charter School is located at 19291 Ward Lane in Caldwell, ID, 83605. This site is approximately 22 acres. This land is our permanent location and was purchased in March of 2010 and the portables were moved onto the site over the summer break in 2010. The 2010 school year opened at the permanent site.
Vision Charter School will increase the student population to two classes per grades K-8 and may double 9-12th over the next several years starting in the 2010 school year. This will provide the revenue necessary to finance the land purchase, site improvements, and construction loan. The projected school budget has been revised to accommodate the construction loan. These costs have been included in budget calculations and are consistent with the continuing financial planning and capabilities of the charter school.
Impact on MiddletonSchool District
Based on a recent conversation with Dr. Rich Bauscher, the opening of Vision Charter School in the 2007-2008 school year did not have a significant impact on Middleton School District. They were able to retain the emergency levy that was in place and, through retirements, the impact on teachers in the Middleton School District was minimal. We believe that the impact of the charter school will be neutral by year 2 and that the district will continue to grow despite the charter school taking an estimated additional 30 students from the district each year over the next 5 years.
Impact on Vallivue School District
We have tried to establish a compact, contiguous, and logical primary attendance area to minimize confusion in potential attendees. We hope that Vallivue School District will benefit from an expanded tax based as the land we use, which is currently agricultural, is improved.
Administrative services for the school will be provided by the Administrator with support from the Board of Directors. The Board Treasurer is also a CPA and has agreed to provide accounting services to the school for the first three years of operation. We will hire a full-time secretary who will assist with handling paperwork and required reporting for the school. A part-time administrative assistant may be added as needed. An independent audit will be performed each year by an outside auditor (not affiliated with Vision Charter School). Board members and founding family members will be utilized according to their background and experience, which includes prior teaching experience, grant writing expertise, and civil engineering.
To the fullest extent permitted by law, Vision Charter School agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the state of Idaho, the Idaho Public Charter School Commission, Vallivue School District, the Middleton School District, or any other sending districts, and their officers, directors, agents, or employees from and against all claims, damages, losses and expenses for wrongful acts, including but not limited to attorneys’ fees, arising out of or resulting from any action of the school, provided that such claim, damage, loss or expense (a) is attributable to bodily injury, sickness, disease or death, or to injury or to destruction of tangible property including the loss of use resulting there from; and (b) is issued in whole or in part by any negligent act or omission of the school, any contractor of the school, or anyone directly or indirectly employed by any of them who may be liable, regardless of whether or not it is caused in part by a party indemnified hereunder. Such obligation will not be construed to negate, abridge, or otherwise reduce any other right or obligation of indemnity, which would otherwise exist as to any party or person, described in this paragraph. No host, or receiving district, will be held liable for damages in an action to recover for bodily injury, personal injury, or property damage arising out of the establishment or operation of the school.
The Idaho State Board of Education and the Idaho Public Charter School Commission shall have no liability for the acts, omissions, debts or other obligations of any charter schools, except as may be provided in an agreement or contract between the state and Vision Charter School.
Types of Insurance
Vision Charter School will procure and maintain a policy of general liability insurance in the amount required by state law and errors and omissions insurance with limits not less than one million dollars. Insurance companies who have and maintain a rating of “A” according to the A.M. Best Company will provide insurance. Potential insurance companies in Idaho who meet this standard include, but may not be limited to, Farmer’s Insurance, Farm Bureau, Woodsman, Regence Blue Shield of Idaho, Blue Cross of Idaho, State Farm, Primary Care of Idaho, and the Principal Group Insurance. Vision Charter School will have the same role as a public school in matters of civil liability. The appropriate insurance and legal waivers of all district liability will be obtained as required of other nonprofit users of district resources and facilities. Liability and property insurance will be similar to the coverage purchased by the district. A copy of the proof of insurance will be given to the Idaho Public Charter School Commission each time it is renewed to insure continuous coverage. Vision Charter School will provide a list of all other types and amounts of insurance required prior to the opening of the school.
TAB 3: Educational Program and Goals
Core Educational Philosophy
No matter how skilled the teacher, or elaborate the classroom, learning takes place in the mind of the student. The ideal educational environment, therefore, is the one that stimulates and engages the mind of the student. The core educational philosophy of Vision Charter School is grounded in the belief that a highly challenging content in a safe environment creates the setting for accelerated learning. Vision Charter School’s core educational philosophy is that learning occurs when:
· learners construct meaning;
· learners see the connection between what they learn and the real world;
· learners are actively engaged in purposeful tasks;
· activities are integrated and meaningful;
· learners work individually and as members of a group;
· learners work side by side with community members to develop solutions and opinions on issues that can be presented to local policy makers;
· learners are expected and encouraged to learn;
· learners internalize that what they learn and do in school makes a positive change in the community;
· challenged learners have an individual plan, and support is an intrinsic part of the educational program;
· learners are supported with teachers, mentors, and advocates;
· all learners have advanced learning opportunities; and
· learners see themselves as part of the community and find ways to serve the community.
Vision Charter School represents a partnership among its students, parents, faculty, administration, and staff. The Vision Charter School is committed to the concept that each child has the right to come to school without fear of taunting, teasing, or violence. Parents have the right to expect a school to provide a safe, kind environment for their children, but also have a responsibility to ensure that their child understands the standards and expectations of behavior that is expected by the school. Teachers have the right to teach in an orderly environment without fear of violence. We strongly believe that a kind environment should be extended through the potentially tumultuous middle school years.
We draw not only on time-honored practices, but also on many valuable insights into childhood cognitive and developmental processes realized in recent decades. Moreover, we place strong emphasis on the relationship between the school and the home, recognizing the critical role of parents in fostering children's education.
Above all else, we see ourselves as allies of the family, reinforcing parents’ efforts to guide the intellectual, emotional, and moral development of their children. By providing and enforcing moral and ethical standards, the school prepares its students to accept the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship. Every child is capable of achieving his potential to the fullest extent when afforded respect, fairness, kindness, discipline, and appropriate instruction.
A 21st century education
Vision Charter School intends to meet the goal of producing students who possess the academic and personal habits and attitudes desired of an educated citizen in the 21st century. Goal attainment will be monitored by quarterly student assessment and staff professional development. Student enrollment will be small, with generally one class in each grade so that students move up together. The receiving teacher will have intimate knowledge of what has been taught and which students struggle with which concepts. The school will know if it accomplishes these goals by the continuing success of its students and by student scores on statewide evaluation tools.
Thoroughness Standards (IdahoCode 33-1612)
Vision Charter School will fulfill the thoroughness standards identified in Idaho Code. It has been established that a thorough system of public schools in Idaho is one in which the following standards are met:
Standard a. A safe environment conducive to learning is provided.
Goal: Maintain a positive and safe teaching and learning climate. Every student has the right to attend a school that encourages positive and productive learning, provides a safe and orderly environment, and promotes student respect for themselves and others.
Objectives: Vision Charter School will:
· Develop guidelines for physical safety. These guidelines will include, but not be limited to, the procedures for fire drills, reporting unsafe equipment, methods for checking students in and out of school, notification of parents’ rights, and staff monitoring responsibilities.
· Provide a facility and adopt policies that meet all required city, state, and federal health, accessibility, safety, fire, and building codes for public schools.
· Establish, publish, and enforce policies that define acceptable and unacceptable behavior, including zero tolerance for weapons, violence, gangs, and use or sale of alcohol and drugs.
· Create an environment that encourages parents and other adults to visit the school and participate in the school’s activities.
Standard b. Educators are empowered to maintain classroom discipline.
Goal: Create a positive teaching and learning environment with an emphasis on high expectations of behavior and performance.
Objectives: Vision Charter School will:
· Adapt the policies into a student handbook providing a code of conduct including clear expectations and consequences for unacceptable behavior.
· There will be school-wide process for teachers to handle minor and major infractions in the classroom setting.
· Teach appropriate behaviors and foster responsible decision-making skills.
· Establish and maintain consistent rules aligned throughout the school.
Standard c. The basic values of honesty, self-discipline, unselfishness, respect for authority, and the central importance of work are emphasized.
Goal: Offer opportunities for students to develop and express exemplary character traits in concert with the overall educational program.
Objectives: Vision Charter School will:
· Utilize the general philosophy of the character education program to instill appropriate values.
· Emphasize the importance of adults modeling important values at school.
· Help students build personal bonds and carry out responsibilities to one another and to the faculty and staff.
· Develop a sense of community and service within the school, and between the school and the larger community. Community service instills a sense of individual, social, and civic responsibility and enables the student to use newly found knowledge to solve community problems.
Standard d. The skills necessary to communicate effectively are taught.
Goal: Teach students a range of effective communication skills appropriate for the 21st century.
Objectives: Vision Charter School will:
· Emphasize meaningful language experience in the language arts, enhanced by dramatization, memorization and a foreign language.
· Provide access to computers to teach students basic computer skills and, in the older grades, appropriate communication through technology (via e-mail and the Internet).
· Provide instruction in a foreign language. Knowledge of a second language is essential in many occupations. In addition, knowledge of a second language will boost English proficiency, improve memory and self-discipline, and enhance verbal and problem-solving skills.
Standard e. A basic curriculum necessary to enable students to enter academic or professional-technical post-secondary educational programs is provided.
Goal: Develop an educated citizenry for the 21st century through a dynamic, interactive academic program where student capabilities rather than textbooks drive pacing. Students must be well grounded in the basics such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Objectives: Vision Charter School will:
· Use the Idaho State Standards as a starting point to be enhanced by unifying themes and other creative methods.
· Use a variety of methods to ensure student learning, including but not limited to: Spalding (phonics); CORE (reading/ spelling research); 6-Traits (writing); the Shurley method (English); teaching of mathematics through direct instruction, mathematics manipulative and relevant activities; computation and mathematics for homework; hands-on experimentation for science learning; and emphasis on community service in social studies.
· Develop a personalized learning goal for each student. Together, the student, parents and educator will consider the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Faster students will continuously be presented with new challenges. Learners who need more time will benefit from extra help, multiple methods and different environments.
· Emphasize Fine and Language Arts and the Scientific Method.
· Health knowledge and physical activity are very important for students. A comprehensive health curriculum will be taught, as required by the state. Physical activity during the school day will be difficult in a temporary setting, but we are planning for ample playground space.
Standard f. The skills necessary for the students to enter the workforce are taught.
Goal: Provide students with basic skills that prepare them for future employment using learning tools such as computers, scientific equipment, and local and national resources. These tools assist students in learning how to learn so that they become lifelong learners and are prepared to enter the workforce with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills.
Objectives: Vision Charter School will:
· Provide a strong foundation in reading, writing, problem solving, math concepts, science, social studies, and computational skills.
· Provide a technology-rich environment, encouraging the effective use of technology as a tool in the workplace of the 21st century.
· Enable students to develop the following intellectual habits important in the work place: adapting to new situations and responding effectively to new information; solving problems; locating and evaluating information from a variety of sources; making flexible connection among various disciplines of thought; thinking logically and making informed judgments.
· Enable students to develop the following personal habits important in the work place: accepting responsibility for personal decisions and actions; honesty, courage, and integrity; a healthy lifestyle; empathy, courtesy, and respect for differences among people; self-confidence; concentration and perseverance; responsible time management; assuming a fair share of the work load; and working cooperatively with others to reach group consensus.
Standard g. The students are introduced to current technology.
Goal: Provide students with a technology environment using tools such as computers, scientific equipment, and networks linked to local and nationwide resources.
Objectives: Vision Charter School will:
· Use interactive technology as tools in an integrated educational program rather than as primary instructional delivery systems.
· All students leaving Vision Charter School will be proficient in using both a word processing and spreadsheet package.
· Use computers as tools for such activities as accessing research information, authoring, computation, record keeping and data storage, and communication.
Standard h. The importance of students acquiring the skills to enable them to be responsible citizens of their homes, schools, and communities is emphasized.
Goal: Provide students with the skills and understanding necessary to become responsible citizens in their respective jobs and communities of the 21st century.
Objectives: Vision Charter School will:
· Provide a comprehensive program of community service by the third year of operation that reflects responsible citizenship in a democratic society and an interdependent world.
· Enable students to develop the following habits of responsible citizens: accepting responsibility for personal decisions and actions; honesty, courage and integrity; empathy, courtesy and respect for differences among people; assuming a fair share of the workload; and working cooperatively with others to reach group consensus.
· Enable students to understand and apply concepts and principles embedded in each of the social studies: history, geography, political science, and economics.
Vision Charter School will achieve the Thoroughness Standards through its taught curriculum and the unique aspects of the school, including our small size and the ability of the Administrator and teachers to be fully cognizant of the curricula taught at all grade levels within the school. With one Administrator and 8 teachers in the first year, collaboration time can be accomplished during regularly scheduled staff meetings and in-service days. Instruction of the curriculum will be accomplished using an aligned proactive method. A combination of a strong emphasis on kindness, the “golden rule,” and a reward system which honors children who are hard working, responsible, honest, and respectful creates an environment allowing for student peace of mind which then maximizes learning potential.
Vision Charter School is distinguished by the multiplicity of ways in which it seeks to ensure student learning. Some of these are highlighted in the sections that follow. The Charter School uses uncommon means to achieve common ends. Through its multiple methods, all students are potentially successful and capable of fulfilling their individual potential. Vision Charter School plans to use the specific methods mentioned earlier (see “Standard e” in Section III.B. Idaho Thoroughness Standards) and the following instructional methods:
a. The Subject Matter Method presumes that an educated learner needs to know clearly defined skills and concepts that can best be learned in an organized sequential fashion.
b. TheInquiry and Problem-Solving Method suggests that learning occurs when individuals think critically and solve problems. The predominant premise of this method is that it is important to know how to retrieve and use the information, not just to have instant recall and possession of the information.
c. The Individualized Learning Method attempts to personalize the learning process to the interests of the individual by allowing students to develop goals for their self-study. The reasons for learning thus become intrinsic--one’s own curiosity and personal applicability of the information learned.
d. The Discussion Method encourages learning through sharing of information and concepts within a group, with the thinking process playing an important role. A discussion leader is prepared to recognize each learner’s level of understanding and can respond at the level most helpful to the learner.
e. In addition, we will employ a comprehensive plan for character education and a rigorous program of core subject instruction that taps into each child’s innate need to know boundaries while protecting every child’s dignity. It will provide an enriched gifted-and-talented curriculum for all students.
All students will participate in a common core of learning that will fulfill the school’s mission to develop virtuous citizen leaders. It is the intent of the Vision Charter School to remain aligned with the general goals and curriculum of the Idaho State Standards. However, acceleration will take place whenever possible.
Our students will learn to:
· Develop oral and written skills;
· Use knowledge and skills, think logically, and solve problems related to mathematics;
· Have a working understanding of the scientific method to promote responsible use of scientific information;
· Develop their aesthetic talents in music, visual arts, or performance;
· Develop oral, written and listening skills in a non-native language;
· Participate in a comprehensive program of community service that reflects responsible citizens in a democratic society and an interdependent world;
· Understand and apply the knowledge, concepts, principles, and themes embedded in each of the social studies--history, geography, political science, and economics.
In keeping with Vision Charter School’s mission, we recognize that education is more than the assimilation of facts. Proficiency in a discipline means that the learner becomes a capable practitioner and has a sufficient foundation to pursue advanced study. The Charter School emphasizes both the acquisition and application of knowledge.
The Vision Charter School curriculum contains traditional academic subjects, foreign language instruction, fine arts opportunities and a community service component that make the Charter unique. The Idaho State Standards serve as the starting point and are enhanced with unifying themes and other creative methods. The subjects that make up the curriculum are listed and briefly discussed below. Traditional core curriculum areas; language, mathematics and science remain strongly emphasized. The core curriculum will be enhanced with a second language and the fine arts.
Language Arts (English and Foreign). The goal is to develop learners who are effective communicators, who love literature, and are lifelong readers and writers. The reading curriculum is literature based. Comprehension skills and vocabulary development are integrated within the literature program. Dramatization and memorization of accelerated vocabulary is a motivational aspect of the language arts experience. Writing includes self-analysis using the 6-Traits writing model in conjunction with creative and expository writing. Communication skills include speaking, writing and listening and expand into presentation skills. Grammar usage, punctuation and capitalization skills are specifically taught, used and practiced daily. Spelling is taught methodically, focusing on patterns, phonograms, rules and stages that children pass through as they develop spelling proficiency. The innovative teaching methods used in language arts are Spalding’s phonics, the 6-Traits, CORE researchand the Shurley method.
Mathematics. Students will master the arithmetic processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals, as well as algebra and geometry. Concept, relevant and manipulative experiences that engage students in exploring, conjecturing, and thinking will continue in these grades. Students will view and use mathematics as a tool for reasoning and problem solving in relevant ways.
Science and Health. The science curriculum is a multiyear sequence that emphasizes hands-on experimentation and functional knowledge of scientific phenomena. Science must take students beyond the factual approach of reading, reciting, drilling, and testing science to actual experiments with instruments. This process approach lets students experience the excitement of science so they can better understand facts and concepts and is in line with the Idaho State Standards. Emphasis will be placed on the Idaho Standards addressing student understanding of the importance of health behaviors and lifestyles, including nutrition and physical activity.
Social Studies and Community Service. All grades will follow the basic elements of the Idaho State Standards curriculum in social studies. In addition there will be a strong emphasis on community service as students apply their understanding of and their contributions to the world around them. We will seek out ways for the students to discover and experience responsibilities and rights as members of our democratic community.
Technology. Technology will be used to support a child’s natural way of learning through individual and group discovery and seeking solutions to real-life challenges. Vision Charter School will provide our learners with technology skills that prepare them for future employment. One source of technology will be the Internet. We have developed a draft Computer Use Policy, included in Tab 10. This policy will be in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. We will allocate up to $50,000 per year for technology expenditures, including hardware, software, training, maintenance, and repair costs. We will solicit technology donations in an effort to reduce direct costs to our budget that will need to be used for technology purposes.
Curriculum Development and Approval
Curriculum development will be an ongoing process directed by the Administrator, with the approval of the Board of Directors. The curriculum will be implemented and evaluated through observations of teachers and students, with follow-up discussions with the Administrator to include written future goals.
Vision Charter School will follow the Idaho State Standards. Textbooks for the school are not yet chosen and will be selected by the Administrator with input from teachers and parents. Textbooks will enrich, not drive instruction.
Educational Programs and Services
Provision of supplemental educational programs and services such as physical education, HlV/AIDS education, family life/sex education, occupational education, driver education, guidance and counseling services, summer school programs, parent education programs, social work, and psychological services will be provided to students who require them. The Board of Directors, Administrator, and PFA will work together to determine the need for, and estimated cost and value of, these programs. As needed, we will seek outside contracts to meet identified needs, with the understanding that all required services will be performed.
Special Needs Students
Vision Charter School will identify special needs students, including LEP (Limited English Proficient), special education, gifted and talented, and students qualifying for section 504. Vision Charter School will utilize the Idaho Special Education Manual as now adopted or as amended in the future and will comply with federal regulations dealing with these areas. The Idaho Special Education Manual will be used for identifying, evaluating, programming, developing individualized education plans, planning services, developing our discipline policy, budgeting, and providing transportation for special needs students, as necessary. The Vision Charter School Special Education administrator will be the Section 504 Compliance Officer.
If a student is found to be eligible for special education services at the charter school, services will be provided for that student in one or more of the following ways:
Vision Charter School will form a multidisciplinary team to consider a student’s eligibility for special education. If a team determines the need for an evaluation by other personnel, such as a school psychologist, speech therapist, or occupational therapist, not currently employed by the school, such evaluations will be contractedwith a private provider.
Disciplinary problems by special education students will be assessed by the multidisciplinary team. Teachers and administrators will follow the Idaho Special Education Manual (as currently defined in Chapter 7, Section 13, and titled “Student Discipline”) to address these issues. See the draft policies for disciplining students with disabilities and Drug and Alcohol Use in Tab 10.
Appropriate personnel will be responsible to monitor Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and supervise the implementation as written. A certificated teacher will provide services in an inclusion or a pullout model depending on the degree of intervention necessary to meet the student’s needs. A paraprofessional will be used to support instruction as allowed by IDEA and the ESEA. The appropriate personnel will consult with the general education staff to utilize effective classroom interventions, adaptations, and modifications.
Vision Charter School will contract with a private provider for the provision of related services. Direct speech, language, or OT services may be provided by a paraprofessional under the direct supervision of a licensed therapist. In the event that the IEP team determines that the student’s academic needs cannot be met on site, Vision Charter School will determine the least restrictive environment complying with PL 94-142.
Vision Charter School will apply the federal definition of Limited English Proficient (LEP) as defined in Title III and IX of the ESEA. We will use a home-language survey upon student’s registration. In addition, the “Woodcock Munoz” test will determine the student’s eligibility and language level – L1, L2, and L3. The “Woodcock Munoz” test will be used as a pre-post test to document the progress in both content areas and English language development. Students who are eligible for the LEP program will participate in the Vision Charter LEP program according to state and federal guidelines. State and federally mandated testing of LEP students will be administered as they become available. LEP services may be provided on-site or contracted out.
Other Special Needs Student Services
In a society based on democratic principles, each person has the right to learn at the most appropriate level where growth will take place. Because gifted and/or talented, LEP, Title I and Section 504 students have special needs, they will be provided educational experiences that will strive to meet those needs in the regular classroom as well as in special classes, seminars or workshops. The Charter environment will allow areas to be pursued beyond the scope of the regular curriculum - regardless of their areas of special needs. This will be accomplished through, but not limited to, the following: clustering, competitions, consultations, curriculum compacting, special topic classes, independent study, interest-based workshops, remediation, tutoring and pullout classes. Transportation will be provided as needed and required.
There will be reciprocal agreement between the Vision Charter School and both Middleton School District and Vallivue School District to meet dual enrollment requirements as specified in Idaho Code 33-203. Middleton School District already has a policy in place (Dual Enrollment Policy #630) which it is using successfully.
Academic Freedom, Controversial Issues, and Religion
The Vision Charter School shall offer an educational program appropriate to the level of student understanding which:
· allows students to study and discuss controversial issues.
· provides opportunities to examine evidence, facts, and differing viewpoints.
· teaches the importance of fact, the value of judgment, and the respect of conflicting opinions.
TAB 4: Assessment of Student Educational Progress
Measurable Student Standards
Standards and standardization are the basis of assessment. Performance will be assessed on at least three levels:
student progress relative to previous performance will be assessed following state requirements
attitudes and personal/academic habits will be assessed through teacher evaluations
performance will be assessed relative to district and state developed standards.
Self-assessment will provide a unique learning opportunity for Vision Charter School students. As active participants in assessment of their own work, learners are encouraged to develop an understanding of their strengths and deficiencies, and an objective view of their accomplishments. In addition, an individual score on a piece of work can be improved if the learner is willing to accept the challenge for improvement put forth by the assessment.
The goals of this school are as follows:
show improvement or score in the top quartile on standardized tests offered at the national or state level, after a period of two consecutive academic years at Vision Charter School
strive for all students to write, read, compute and solve mathematical problems at grade level
aim for a student absenteeism of less than 4%
samples of each students’ work reflects acquired, integrated, extended, refined and meaningful utilization of knowledge
students will show positive growth on annual parental/student/teacher surveys that address attitudes and habits toward, but not limited to; work ethic, honesty, showing initiative, taking and accepting responsibility and self-confidence.
Student performance will be assessed relative to other learners of the same age through district, state, and national testing. We will follow the timeline established by the Idaho State Department of Education in administering student assessments. A student baseline will be established during the first year of testing and will be evaluated each year thereafter. As other state mandated tests are required, Vision Charter School will administer these tests.
A goal for students enrolled at Vision Charter School for two (2) years will be to meet the statewide performance standards developed by the Idaho State Department of Education. These standards include the subjects of English, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Health/Wellness, Humanities, and Mathematics.
Student assessment evaluation, reported annually, will consist of:
a student baseline developed during the first year using testing results;
1. a comparison of annual results with baseline scores to assess progress;
grade-level and school composite scores;
2. a graph of annual results showing year-to-year change;
3. a graph of school scores relative to state and national averages; and
4. sub-analysis of a variety of variables to identify areas for improvement.
Monitoring the progress of our students and evaluating innovations in education procedures are an important part of our curriculum development process. The annual report of student progress will be made to the Idaho Public Charter School Commission no later than June 30 of each year for the previous school year. In addition to the data listed above, it will provide formative and summative data to demonstrate that the school is meeting performance standards prescribed by the state. This data will also include Vision Charter School-developed assessment information.
Student Educational Standards
The State Standards clearly define the essential knowledge and skills for student learning in each program area. Vision Charter school will meet or exceed the state standards in reading, language arts, math, science, social studies, health/wellness, and humanities. Students will be evaluated for progress in the following areas in addition to academic skills:
Personal Responsibility. Students will have positive attitudes and perceptions about creating quality work, striving for excellence and interpersonal skills.
Expanding and Integrating Knowledge. Students will acquire and integrate knowledge and experiences from different subject areas. Students will gather and use subject-area information effectively in order to gain new information and knowledge, classify and organize information, support inferences, and justify conclusions appropriate to the context and audience.
Communication Skills. Students will communicate with clarity, purpose, and an understanding of audience using a variety of communication forms and skills. Students will develop their talents in music, visual arts, and/or performance.
Thinking and Reasoning Skills. Students will utilize, evaluate, and refine the use of multiple strategies to solve a variety of problems.
Social Responsibility and Skills. Students will deal with disagreement and conflict caused by diversity of opinions and beliefs. Students will evaluate and manage their behavior as group members. Students will participate in community service that reflects responsible citizens in a democratic society.
Vision Charter School will obtain accreditation in accordance with Idaho Code 33-119. Idaho Administrative Procedures Act (IDAPA) 08.02.02.140, Accreditation, which defines the State Board of Education’s accreditation requirements, will be utilized. This would include developing the following:
· a School/District Strategic Plan,
· a Continuous School Improvement Plan,
· an aligned and focused plan for the improvement of school and staff capacity (including structure, resource allocation, and teacher skill sets) to increase student achievement,
· a plan to meet state approved accreditation standards,
· submitting reports as requested, and
· meeting the Elements of Thoroughness.
If it were ever determined that, based on student performance, the school was in need of improving performance, the Administrator and the Board of Directors would meet both internally and with outside experts, such as the Idaho Charter School Network, to develop a comprehensive plan for improving performance. Vision Charter School is committed to a school where student success is our top priority. We would examine the current processes and develop a detailed performance improvement plan to address each process deemed important to achieve increased student learning. These processes may include the amount of time spent on critical subjects, the teaching method employed, the textbooks and other learning materials utilized, and the integration of core subjects.
Improvement of Student Learning
Multiple learning opportunities are afforded the Charter School students. Some are familiar, some are novel, but all strive to make learning relevant and purposeful and to actively engage the learner. Problem-solving groups apply knowledge they have acquired and practice new skills by tackling both real-world problems and problems simulated to model the current work world. For example, the school’s requirement for students to perform genuine community service not only informs students about real needs our community has, but also encourages them as a group to decide which needs they can reasonably address, plan an approach, implement the plan, and then evaluate the result. Peer teaching, when appropriate, provides an opportunity for learners to become educators and reinforces their own knowledge and mastery of new skills through presentation of their own work and through working with a “learning buddy.” Projects will include a balance of individual effort and group collaboration to ensure mastery of important basic skills, content, and interaction skills.
Vision Charter School’s learning program is built on the belief that all children can learn, but not in the same way, at the same pace, or from the same sources. It recognizes that children are gifted in different ways and may excel in the following areas: linguistic; mathematical/logical; intrapersonal (self); interpersonal (others); bodily kinesthetic; spatial; and musical.
Although all seven areas will be examined and encouraged through daily instruction, Vision Charter School will retain a traditional focus on linguistic, kinesthetic, mathematical/ logical areas, and implement a unique musical component. The staff at Vision Charter School will ensure a safe, kind environment allowing students to acquire essential information and attitudes that will help them lead productive lives.
Use of the Personalized Learning Goal concept will encourage learners to take responsibility for their own learning, while encouraging teachers, parents and the community to share in that responsibility. Working together, the student, parents, and educator will consider learner strength’s and weaknesses. They will then identify an academic and personal goal for each learner. These goals capitalize on learner strengths and shore up areas of weakness, while enhancing parental involvement.
Through the use of personalized goals, the Vision Charter School ensures that children are not penalized for the rate at which they learn. The faster learner is continuously presented with new challenges, while the learner who needs more time benefits from extra adult help, multiple methods, and different environments. The learning program supports Vision Charter School’s goal of developing lifelong learners. It is designed to stimulate the desire to learn, and is based on the belief that all learners possess an innate and unique creativity that can be developed given the appropriate environment. It allows for the joy of knowledge, self-expression, and the thrill of exploration. It is flexible to accommodate the individuality of learners and to evolve as Vision Charter School learns and grows.
TAB 5: Governance Structure
Vision Charter School is a non-profit organization organized and managed under the Idaho Nonprofit Corporation Act. The School’s Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation are provided in Tab 1. The Board of Directors will be the public agents who control and govern the charter school. Vision Charter School shall be responsible to identify and comply with all statutory requirements affecting the operation of a public school. The Board of Directors’ meetings will follow the open meeting laws, keep accurate minutes, and make the minutes available to the public, according to the Bylaws of the charter school.
The organizing group of founding families has written the Charter petition and elected the initial Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will recruit candidates for the position of school Administrator, and establish a preliminary operating budget. The current function of the organizing group is to serve as a data-gathering resource and to provide input and advice to the Board of Directors. We anticipate a total of 10 founding families.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Vision Charter School will consist of no less than five (5) and no more than seven (7) members. Two additional Directors may be added subject to the Bylaws of Vision Charter School.
Selection and Replacement
Elections for members of the Board of Directors will be held every two years according to the Bylaws.
Powers and Limitations
Vision Charter School will be a legally and operationally independent entity established by the nonprofit corporation’s Board of Directors. The elected Board of Directors will be legally accountable for the operation of the charter school. Vision Charter School acknowledges that upon approval of the petition and the contract, the school's Board of Directors will be public agents required by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission to control the Charter School. Vision Charter School commits to compliance with all federal and state laws and rules and acknowledges its responsibility for identifying essential laws and regulations, and complying with them.
The Board of Directors will have the responsibility to approve the selection of the school Administrator, who may not be one of its members. The Board also will be responsible for hearing, and approving or disapproving, the recommendations of the school Administrator with respect to changes in staffing, program, or curriculum. The Board will, when necessary, adjudicate disagreements between parents and the administration. Vision Charter School commits to keeping complete and accurate Board of Directors' meeting minutes and to making them available to the public.
d. Relationship between Board of Directors and School Administration
Administrator - The Administrator will be empowered to provide educational direction, administration, and on-site day to day operation as well as certain decisions concerning but not limited to:
implementation of the school vision and mission
instructional materials and supplies
state charter school requirements
school-wide community building
public and media relations
business and community partnerships
curriculum, instruction, and assessment
employment and personnel issues
enrollment and attendance
formative/summative staff evaluations
climate for innovation and growth
staff and school morale
treasurer/keep budget and financial records
Standing Committees and Ancillary Support Personnel
Standing committees will be formed in accordance with the bylaws of the corporation. These committees will include, but are not limited to, a Parent-Faculty Association (PFA), a fundraising committee, and the like.
Ancillary support personnel, including clerical and custodial, will be hired and supervised by the Administrator. The state funding formula will be used for funding to hire staff through the regular budgetary process. Additional resources will be sought through grants, volunteers, and fundraising efforts.
Teacher/Parent Decision Making
The Board of Directors of Vision Charter School may provide consultation to the Administrator regarding ongoing plans for the school. Parents of students who attend Vision Charter School will be involved in the education of their children and in the school at many levels. Parents bring an in-depth understanding of their children’s personalities, learning styles, and strengths and weaknesses, which is essential for the continuing educational development of their children.
As described earlier, parents of students who attend Vision Charter School will be involved in the education of their children and in the school at many levels. The process to ensure parental involvement will be as follows:
1. Parents will receive written materials at the beginning of each school year.
2. Parents will be encouraged to attend two parent teacher conferences per year.
3. Parents will be asked to complete a survey during the school year addressing the following issues: safety of students, classroom discipline, school-wide discipline, child’s response to classroom atmosphere, and parents’ perception of learning environment, curriculum, and achievement.
4. Parents will be encouraged to be involved in the Parent-Faculty Association (PFA) and to volunteer for school projects, programs, and committees, and to work with students.
5. Parents will be encouraged to provide an appropriate learning environment at home for study.
6. Parents will be encouraged and welcomed to volunteer in their child’s(ren’s) classrooms(s).
7. Parents will be encouraged to communicate regularly with the school. In turn, the school and the PFA will regularly communicate with the parents.
Community and Business Partnerships
Vision Charter School has no formal business arrangements or partnerships with other schools, educational programs, businesses, or non-profit organizations at this time.
Audit of Programmatic Operations
An annual educational program and financial audit will be conducted after the completion of each charter school year. Vision Charter School will conduct a programmatic audit through information obtained via its own instruments, timeline, and processes. An independent auditing firm will conduct a financial audit. The Idaho Public Charter School Commission may choose to do an independent audit at the Commission’s expense. An independent audit may be performed as specified (annually) or at such time as revocation or non-renewal of the charter may be initiated.
The Idaho Public Charter School Commission and the Governing Board of Vision Charter School will resolve disputes relating to provisions of the charter following the procedures set forth in Section 33-5209, Idaho Code, and the applicable rules of the Idaho State Board of Education for notice of defect and submission of a corrective action plan. Vision Charter School would like to meet annually, or as necessary, to discuss relations in an effort to be proactive concerning disputes that may arise relating to provisions of the charter contract.
TAB 6: Employees of the charter school
Vision Charter School’s full-time staff will meet or exceed qualifications required by state law. Staff will be required to possess personal characteristics, knowledge, and experience consistent with the philosophy, mission, and expectations of Vision Charter School as outlined within this petition. The Administrator will make recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval of instructional staff. Each professional staff member (teachers and the Administrator) will be on a written contract approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Vision Charter School reserves the right to seek limited certification options as provided by rule of the Idaho State Board of Education when deemed in the best interests of the educational program. Additionally, Vision Charter School reserves the right to employ any person for temporary assistance under the direct supervision of certified staff members. These provisions are intended to allow various community experts and other specialized persons who may not hold certification to contribute to the school according to their talents, experience, creativity, or expertise on an as needed basis.
Job announcements and all other hiring practices will be free of discriminatory language.
Faculty at Vision Charter School will work in an environment where they have opportunities to work with other faculty to align subject areas. The Administrator will determine in-service training days in order to provide teachers with training in the teaching methods described in this petition.
All employees will undergo State of Idaho criminal background checks and FBI fingerprinting checks. One fingerprint card will be submitted to the Office of Certification at the State Department of Education and one will be kept in the individual’s personnel file.
Targeted Staff Size
Vision Charter School will employ one teacher per class, with additional staff for music, physical education, and foreign language as the budget permits. The goal is to have 1 teacher per 24- 35 students per class. Education assistants or other adults will be considered for classes in excess of 28 students.
A copy of the certificates for all certified teachers/staff members will be kept on file at Vision Charter School and will be provided upon request.
All employees will participate in the following programs and benefits: group health insurance, sick leave benefits, Public Employee Retirement System, Federal Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation Insurance to the extent allowed and required by law.
Status of VisionCharter SchoolEmployees
Employees of Vision Charter School are not employees of the either Vallivue or Middleton School District. They may apply to teach in either School District. Teachers at the charter school will not be eligible for an in-district transfer to another school within the Vallivue or Middleton School District.
Certified teachers at Vision Charter School are public school teachers. Their service at Vision Charter School counts as one year experience on the state indexing scale.
Vision Charter School’s staff and employees will be a separate unit for purposes of collective bargaining.
Vision Charter School’s Administrator will ensure that the school’s employees understand and are able to implement the school's vision upon hiring and through in-service training. All employees will undergo an annual performance review.
Health and Safety
To ensure the safety of our employees and students, Vision Charter School will comply with the following health and safety procedures:
1. Conduct criminal history checks for all employees in compliance with Idaho Code 33-130. This requirement is a condition of employment.
2. Require that all students have proof of immunization or have a written parental waiver and have a birth certificate or other identification before being enrolled at the Vision Charter School.
3. Require that all visitors sign in at the office and receive and wear a visitor’s pass when visiting the school building.
4. Provide for inspection of the facility in compliance with Section 39-4130 of Idaho Code. Adopt policies to meet all required city, state, and federal health, accessibility, safety, fire, and building codes for public schools. Fire and safety officials using the same guidelines for all public schools will inspect the facility.
5. Adopt and implement, where appropriate, policies regarding health, safety and risk management policies, unless otherwise written and adopted by the Board of Directors. These policies will at a minimum address the above and the following items:
a. policies and procedures for response to natural disasters and emergencies, including fires and bomb threats.
b. policies relating to preventing contact with blood-borne pathogens.
c. a policy requiring that all staff receives training in emergency response, including appropriate “first responder” training.
d. policies relating to the administration of prescription drugs and other medicine.
e. policies establishing that the school functions as a gun-free, drug-free, alcohol-free and tobacco-free workplace.
Policies will be incorporated as appropriate into the school’s student and staff handbooks and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in the school’s staff development efforts.
TAB 7: Admission Procedures
Vision Charter School will follow the model admission procedure identified by the Idaho State Board of Education in the initial year and for every year thereafter.
Prospective students will be given the opportunity to enroll regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, social or economic status, or special needs.
Vision Charter School founders’ and fulltime faculty/staff children will have first preference for admission to the school, with a maximum of 10% of the student population consisting of founders’ and fulltime faculty/staff children.
Prior to enrollment each year, Vision Charter School will advertise in local newspapers and make application forms available at the Charter School office, via e-mail or other designated locations throughout the primary attendance area. The application will include information pertinent to filling a limited number of positions in each classroom.
The primary attendance area for Vision Charter School shall be as follows: Galloway Road on the North boundary, in a line east to Kingsbury, then south in a line on Kingsbury to Linden Road, then west along Linden Road to the Caldwell School District boundary, north along the Caldwell School District boundary to the Boise River, follow the Boise River west to Old Hwy 30 (this is the existing boundary between the Middleton and Caldwell School Districts), north on Old Hwy 30 to Galloway Road. Please refer to the map provided for a visual depiction of the primary attendance area and the relationship between Vision Charter School and the surrounding School Districts. This primary attendance area contains land currently in both the Middleton and Vallivue School Districts.
Students residing in the primary attendance area will be given admission preference to enroll in the school.
Siblings of current students will be given admission preference to enroll in the school.
Once enrolled in Vision Charter School, students will not be required to reapply each year thereafter.
Public School Attendance Alternative
Because Vision Charter School is a new entity and not a conversion of an existing school, the attendance alternative would be the same as for those presently residing within the Middleton or Vallivue School Districts. Students located within the attendance area of the Charter School would have the option to enroll in existing public schools presently serving the area. No student will be required to attend Vision Charter School.
Vision Charter School has identified the following over-enrollment procedures:
a) Vision Charter School founders’ children will have first preference for admission to the school, with a maximum of 10% of the student population consisting of founders’ and fulltime faculty/staff children.
b) Five lottery pools and/or waiting lists will be established and prioritized as listed: 1) returning students, 2) children of founder’s or fulltime faculty and staff children, 3) siblings of pupils already attending, 4) students within the primary attendance area, and 5) all other students. Applications will be drawn for placement using the Equitable Selection Process outlined in Subsection 203 of the Administrative Rules Governing Charter Schools. The process will begin with a randomly drawn grade and continue with randomly selected grades. Those on the waiting list may be placed in the school any time during the year when an opening occurs. Available positions will be filled from the waiting list established from the initial lottery.
d) Once on a waiting list, students will remain eligible for placement within the school without repeating the application process. Each year, Vision Charter will contact all waiting list students and request written verification of the continued desire to be on the waiting list. The order of these waiting lists will be revised annually based on the lottery results. Students wishing to be removed from the waiting list must make their request directly to Vision Charter School, preferably in writing.
e) Once the enrollment period is complete and waiting lists have been established through lottery as described above, subsequent applications will be added to the waiting lists on a first come-first served basis.
f) A lottery will be held by June 30 to establish the waiting list order of entrance for the upcoming school year in the initial year and each year thereafter. All openings during the school year will be filled according to the order established by that lottery. The lottery will be held in a public forum and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vision Charter School or the Administrator will conduct the lottery selection.
Prospective students will be given the opportunity to enroll regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, social or economic status, or special needs as required by federal state and local laws.
The minimum enrollment for financial viability depends on the financial status of the school at the start of the school year. As enrollment approaches the minimum for financial viability, the Board of Directors shall take action including, but not limited to, the following:
1 Increase enrollment demand through a marketing campaign.
2 Increase fund-raising from external sources through the PFA.
3 Request voluntary donations from parents.
4 Eliminate or defer expenses.
5 Prepare for the termination of operation as necessary.
Students, parents, and educators recognize the importance of attendance and punctuality at school. Key reasons for regular and punctual attendance are employability, educational benefits, and success in school.
1 Employability, punctuality, and attendance are important skills for employment identified by employers. Developing these skills is critical whether students plan to work during the school year, after graduation, or after college.
2 Educational Benefits. Regular attendance assures that students stay current in academic skills, personal management skills, and teamwork skills.
3 Success. Students must be present in order to experience success. Further, each student's presence enhances the success of the entire class.
Excused Absences.Absences from school with the knowledge and approval of a student's parents/guardian are excused absences, but such absences are counted toward the maximum allowed per semester. In order for an absence to be excused, oral or written communication from the student's parents/guardian must be received within 48 hours of the last day of the absence, except for school approved activity absences.
Make-up Work.Make-up work is allowed for students who have excused absences. Credit for make-up work is not allowed for an unexcused absence.
Tardies.A student is tardy if he or she is not in the assigned classroom when school starts.
Attendance Requirements.Students may miss up to 4% of the institutional time. Absence from class for any reason, including family convenience, shall be counted when the percentage of attendance and eligibility for promotion is being considered.
Notification of Absences and Discipline.Parents/guardians will be notified on the school report cards, during conferences and via phone calls about absences. Notice of the 8th absence will inform the parent/guardian that the school Administrator may deny promotion to the next grade or refer the parent/guardian to the Board of Directors for further discussion and appropriate action.
Grounds for an Appeal.Those parents who have valid reasons to believe that all or part of their child’s absences are the result of extraordinary circumstances may request a review of their case following the attendance appeal process below. Extraordinary circumstances may include, but are not limited to, verified illness or medical treatment, death in the family or death of close friends, and medical or dental professional appointments.
Attendance Appeal Process.If a parent/guardian wishes to appeal the denial of promotion to the next grade due to the attendance requirement, the following policy applies:
1. The parent/guardian has five (5) school days from the date shown on the notification to appeal the loss of credit or denial of promotion.
2. The appeal process starts with the Administrator. An adverse decision may be appealed to the Board of Directors. The decision of the Board of Directors is final.
3. In each situation, representatives of the school and the parent/guardian have five (5) days in which to respond to the appeal or the ruling. Appeals and responses shall be in writing.
Grading, Homework, and Promotion
Vision Charter School’s Administrator will establish policies and procedures for grading, homework, promotion, and retention.
Those students not reading at grade level or computing grade level mathematics will be identified and receive a variety of services including but not limited to: one-on-one tutoring by paraprofessionals or teachers, tutoring by volunteers, and/or they may attend school during an extended session (if offered). Every effort will be made to help students achieve at Vision Charter School.
Vision Charter School’s Administrator and staff will determine the school’s student activities, as appropriate and necessary, including student government, student organizations, trips, before and after school care, interscholastic and intramural sports and activities, band, orchestra, and choir.
No fees from students are planned at this time. Some fees may be identified in the future by the Administrator, as appropriate, and as allowed by the state law. Accommodations for low-income students will be made through fundraising efforts of the PFA. Vision Charter School is a public charter school and will not charge tuition.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Vision Charter School is committed to a safe learning environment. Student expectations for appropriate behavior are high and will be communicated to both students and parents through the student handbook and upon enrollment. Students may be denied attendance to the charter school for any of the following reasons:
1. Being a habitual truant
2. Being deemed incorrigible by the school Administrator
3. Being deemed by the Board of Directors to be disruptive to the school for disciplinary reasons
4. Being detrimental to the health and/or safety of other students
In addition, students who attend the charter school after being expelled from another district may be placed on probation for one year. During this time, the student may be denied attendance for violation of the probationary requirements.
Parents/guardians will be notified of disruptive behavior via phone calls, in writing, and during school conferences. If the situation causing concern is not immediately corrected, the student may be referred to the school Administrator or to the Board of Directors for further discussion and appropriate action. The steps which will be followed to address these concerns are described below. If a student is caught being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, Vision Charter School will follow the procedures required by Section 33-210, Idaho Code.
Vision Charter School will assemble a student handbook, following state law and due process that outlines a Code of Conduct, including expectations and consequences for unacceptable behavior. Suspension or expulsion will be considered only as the final option in a series of efforts to avoid such measures.
TAB 8: Business Plan
Vision Charter School, Incorporated, is organized exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of IRC Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from Federal Income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law). Vision Charter School was established in June of 2005.
Prospective students will be given the opportunity to enroll regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, social or economic status, or special needs. The primary attendance area for Vision Charter School shall be as follows: Galloway Road on the North boundary, in a line east to Kingsbury, then south in a line on Kingsbury to Linden Road, then west along Linden Road to the Caldwell School District boundary, north along the Caldwell School District boundary to the Boise River, follow the Boise River west to Old Hwy 30 (this is the existing boundary between the Middleton and Caldwell School Districts), north on Old Hwy 30 to Galloway Road.
Vision Charter School will actively recruit students for enrollment using, but not limited to, the following methods:
Advertising with elementary and middle schools located within the target area upon administrative approval
Direct mailing to primary attendance area households
Ongoing articles (in both English and Spanish) in the Middleton Gazette
Holding public forums in Middleton at the Civic Center
Posting advertising materials in English and Spanish in prominent locations throughout the primary attendance area (i.e. the library, the community notice board, at City Hall).
News releases and articles
The cost for the advertising budget is approximately $1,500.
We plan to construct a permanent school building prior to the start of school in August 2010 and the facilities will be inspected to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal guidelines as provided in Section 39-4130, Idaho Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Vision Charter School plans to open in August of 2007. Grade organization will generally consist of traditional single-grade classrooms. The Administrator will determine the school calendar, schedule, and hours of operation based upon a modified schedule. Within that general format, the Administrator, in consultation with the Board of Directors, will establish the school year calendar in compliance with the requirement of providing 900 hours of instruction. The school day is initially planned to begin at 8:00 AM and end at 2:45 PM (school start and ending times will also be dependent on busing availability). This schedule will be reviewed on an annual basis and may be changed, as necessary, by the Administrator in consultation with the Board of Directors. State and District-required hours of attendance will be met.
Administrative services will be provided by the Vision Charter School Administrator supplemented by other contracted services as needed. Annual programmatic and financial reports will be presented to the Board of Directors. The Administrator will also serve as the liaison between the Governing Board, the Public Charter School Commission, and parents.
Financial operations will be contracted out to licensed and bonded entities. Funding sources will include state allocation per pupil, federal start-up grants, private grants, business partnerships, and donations.
The Administrator of Vision Charter School will determine the day-to-day operations of the school. The Governing Board will have oversight authority.
Budget: The budget for Vision Charter School, 1) will be prepared in compliance with section 33-801, Idaho Statutes and policy of the State Board of Education, 2) will be presented at a public hearing in June of the year the school will open, and 3) will be delivered to the State Department of Education as required on or before July 15 prior to the start of the school year. The budget will be prepared, approved and filed using the Idaho Financial Accounting Reporting Management System (IFARMS) format.
Start-Up and Long Term Budget: A start-up budget with forms, three-year operating budget, and first year month-by-month cash flow form are attached.
Income Sources: Funding sources will include state allocation per pupil, federal start-up grants, private grants, business partnerships, and donations.
Working Capital and Assets: Vision Charter School does not expect to have working capital and assets until after the Charter is approved.
Fundraising: A committee has been established to conduct fundraising efforts to generate capital or to supplement the per-pupil allocations. We have not included any fundraising monies in our budget.
Expenditures will be handled as described in the following sections.
Purchasing Process: Vision Charter School’s Administrator will determine procedures for procuring goods and services, with approval of the Board of Directors.
Payroll Processing: Vision Charter School intends to outsource its payroll processing as determined by the Administrator, with approval of the Board of Directors.
Financial Management: The accounting records will be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Vision Charter School will follow the requirements set forth by the Idaho State Department of Education, including formats for account numbering. The Administrator of Vision Charter School will be responsible for financial management.
Bonding: Documentation of bonding of all personnel involved in the school's financial operations will be provided prior to the opening of the school.
Transportation will be provided to in-district students and at selected pick-up locations for out-of-district students. If seating becomes limited, priority will be given to in-district students.
Free and reduced lunch forms will be provided to all students by Vision Charter School. Once a suitable lunch preparation facility is available, any qualifying student will receive their lunch from the school. Until that time, alternative methods of feeding qualifying students are being explored, including use of the Idaho Special Milk Program and contracting food services from the Middleton School District. Vision Charter School will use verification, reporting, and record keeping procedures as outlined in the National School Lunch Program through the State Department of Education.
TAB 10: Termination or dissolution
Vision Charter School’s policies regarding the ways in which the public may have access to the school’s students, staff, and facilities will be similar to that of the Middleton School District. We will comply will all aspects of the Idaho Public Records Law (Idaho Code 9-337 – 9-350). The Charter School will comply with Idaho statutes relating to public records and public meetings, as indicated in the Bylaws. We will comply with the Idaho Open Meeting Law (Idaho Code 67-2340-67-2347). Vision Charter School gives permission for public inspection.
Vision Charter School’s procedures for a complaint process for parents/guardians and the public are as follows, with the ultimate authority residing with the Board of Directors of the Vision Charter School;
· Have pertinent parties meet and try to resolve the issue.
· If no resolution can be found to the dispute, the Administrator will intervene and attempt to find a resolution.
· Ultimately, the issue could be brought before the Board of Directors for resolution. Once all needed input has been obtained by the Board of Directors, the Board will render a final decision.
Vision Charter School’s Administrator will determine how the school will maintain school records and required information, consistent with state and Federal guidelines
Vision Charter School will comply with all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations and reporting requirements.
Use of District Facilities
At this time we have no arrangements to utilize any Middleton School District facilities.
When Vision Charter School enters into any lease or purchase agreement for portable units or facilities prior to the opening of the school, the school will provide complete documentation of this commitment. Our current plan is to open with portable units leased from a Treasure Valley dealership.
Vision Charter School will provide certification that the facilities meet all requirements for health, safety, fire, and accessibility for the handicapped required of all public schools prior to the opening of the school and by the date specified in the contract. Vision Charter School will provide initial and ongoing certifications of the facilities for health, safety, and fire compliance to the district and other entities as required.
Vision Charter School will comply with the rules of the Idaho State Board of Education and Superintendent for Public Instruction as they relate to Charter Schools and all state statutes applying to public education unless exempt through charter legislation.
Right to Evaluate Contract Compliance
The Idaho Public Charter School Commission shall retain the right at any time to evaluate the degree to which Vision Charter School is meeting the terms of the contract. The Board of Trustees or designee may choose to have a district representative(s) or an independent evaluator(s):
· visit the Charter School;
· review the Charter School's records and data;
· directly survey the Charter School's parents/guardians, students, or employees;
· audit the books of the Charter School;
· pursue other reasonable means of determining accountability for the Charter School contract.
To enact any of the above measures, the Board must state the specific nature of the concern and that the concern must be substantial. The request must be reasonable in terms of the timing and the amount or types of information required.
Amending the Contract
A material revision of the terms of the Charter School contract requires the approval of the Idaho Public Charter School Commission and the Board of Directors.
Termination or Non-renewal
Vision Charter School understands that the Idaho Public Charter School Commission may terminate the charter if it finds that the Charter School has:
Committed a material violation of any condition, standard or procedure set forth in the charter petition or contract;
Failed to substantially meet one or more of the student educational standards identified in the charter contract;
Failed to meet generally accepted accounting standards of fiscal management;
Failed to submit required reports, as defined by Idaho Charter School Law, to the district;
Lost substantial support of the school's students, parents, staff, and/or community;
Shown that it is not in the best interest of students for the school to continue operation;
Violated any provision of law;
Filed for bankruptcy or financial reorganization and is unable to pay its creditors.
Except in emergency situations, the Public Charter School Commission will provide thirty (30) days written prior notice and an opportunity for the Charter Schools’ Board of Directors to be heard by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission, before the charter contract can be terminated.
A decision to terminate or not to renew a charter may be appealed directly to the Idaho State Board of Education, based on Idaho Code 33-5207, 5208, 5209.
In cases of termination or non-renewal, the Board of Directors of Vision Charter School is responsible for the dissolution of the business and affairs of the school. Vision Charter School will fully cooperate with the Middleton School District and the Vallivue School District for the dissolution process. All records of students residing in either District will be immediately transferred to the appropriate District. All students will receive written notice of how to request a transfer of student records to a specific school. Vision Charter School will accommodate student record requests from schools outside of Middleton or Vallivue School Districts for up to one year after dissolution. Upon the dissolution of Vision Charter School, remaining assets will be distributed to creditors pursuant to Sections 30-3-114 and 30-3-115 of the Idaho Code.All remaining assets will be distributed to the Idaho Public Charter School Commission.
Proof of Attendance at the Petitioner’s Workshop
Four of the five Board of Directors attended the Petitioner’s Workshop held on July 11, 2005. Certificates of Attendance have been included for three attendees.
Policies and Procedures
Please see the attached policies and procedures on discipline, attendance, Drug and Alcohol Use, and computer use for Visions Charter School. These policies will be considered draft until the school Administrator is hired and has the opportunity to review and accept these policies. If the Administrator desires any changes to these policies, they will be resubmitted to the Idaho State Charter School Commission for approval.
Vision Charter School, Inc.
Attendance at school must be regular and punctual. Make-up work granted a student after an absence is, at the very best, a poor replacement for the actual class experience. A student’s absence requires additional work for everyone, including the student, instructor, and school administration, which cost the school money. Students should plan on attending school every day that classes are scheduled.
A student may not miss more than six (6) days a semester. Absences from a specific class may be considered as a day of absence. All students should be in physical attendance 96% of instructional time. Students should be in the classes in which they are enrolled unless they have been excused to conduct school business.
Students not meeting the attendance requirement may not receive credit even through their grades are passing. However, those students who believe that all or part of their absences are the result of extraordinary circumstances may request a review of their cases.
Examples of extraordinary circumstances include the following:
Extended illness of such severity that the student cannot attend school regularly; verification of the extended illness must be obtained from a licensed health official.
Involvement in an accident or other malady which may preclude regular attendance until full recuperation; verification of the need to be away from the school setting until recuperated must be obtained from a licensed health official.
Pregnancy-associated difficulties that would endanger the emotional and physical well-being of the affected individual as verified by a licensed health official.
Educational and travel programs initiated by the parents and/or students that are neither sanctioned nor sponsored by the school.
Absences that are beyond the control of the student, parent, or school.
A Review Committee, appointed by the Administrator, will examine the student’s records and may approve a waiver of the loss of credit. The records of the student, which may be considered, will include the following:
Attendance for the current year and previous year and semester, specifically including the number of absences which occurred, and the amount and type of extended illness.
Grades for the current and previous year and semester, specifically including the subject or grade under consideration.
Make-up of work missed, including whether the work was made up prior to the absence or after the absence.
Make up of time missed in supervised attendance during the school year or during the period immediately following the completion of the school year.
If the Review Committee does not approve the waiver of the loss of credit, the student may request a determination by the Appeals Board, consisting of the Administrator and Board of Directors. A final determination will be made from materials presented to this Appeals Board.
Appeal forms will be given to each student near the end of each semester.
A letter requesting a waiver of attendance policy should be submitted to the Attendance Officer at the end of each semester. Any physician’s statement or appropriate verification of absence should accompany this letter.
The Review Committee will convene to review all requests for waiver of attendance policy.
Recommendations not to grant credit may be appealed by the parents to the Appeals Board.
A personal appearance may be requested by the parent to attend the Review Board and/or Appeals Board hearings.
Excused absence: Any absence that is approved by the parent or school. The student has the opportunity to make-up work in classes missed.
Truancy: Absence from classes without the approval of the parent or school authorities.
First truancy: A conference will be held between the school Administrator and the student. The parents will be notified. The student will be required to make-up all work missed.
Second Truancy: A conference will be held with the student, parent, and school Administrator. The student will be required to make-up all work missed.
Third truancy: A conference will be held with the student, parent, and school Administrator. The student may be referred to the Appeals Board for consideration and action.
Vision Charter School, Inc.
Draft Discipline Policy
The number one goal of Vision Charter School is having a safe and orderly school and creating an environment that is conducive to learning. We also believe that all parents send their children to school expecting that their child will be taken care of physically, emotionally, socially and academically. As a result, some student behavior cannot, and will not, be condoned in any way.
Students who engage in fighting and/or who are defiant to a staff member will have the following consequences:
1st Offense - Loss of recesses for one week
2nd Offense - 1 day in school suspension
3rd Offense - 2 day in school suspension
4th Offense - referred to Board of Directors for possible expulsion
*Parents will be notified at the time of each offense.
Other behavior that will not be tolerated includes harassment and intimidation of other students, profanity, and not using the playground equipment appropriately. The consequences of these infractions will correspond with the severity of the offense.
Drugs and Weapons
Vision Charter School has a zero tolerance policy for drugs and weapons. Students in possession of drugs or weapons will be automatically suspended with an expulsion hearing in front of the Board of Directors.
Suspension and Expulsion
Vision Charter School recognizes that students are entitled to attend a free public school and that even temporary denial of that right may occur only after careful attention designed to protect the individual rights of the students. However, the school is also responsible for providing a safe learning environment which protects the safety of all students, volunteers, and personnel.
The Idaho Legislature has empowered public schools to provide temporary suspension and for the expulsion of individual students when circumstances demonstrate that such action is necessary for the protection of the rights of other students, necessary for the orderly operation of the school process, and/or necessary for the protection of the safety of other students.
Authority to temporarily suspend students has been delegated by the Idaho legislature to principals and school Administrator. No person other than the school administrator or the Board of Directors may suspend a student from Vision Charter School.
Grounds for suspension may include the following:
A student may be suspended for disciplinary reasons, or for other conduct that is disruptive and detrimental to the instructional process of the school, or to the health and safety of other students and the general climate of the school.
A student may also be suspended when, in the judgment of the Administrator, the suspension is necessary to protect the health, welfare, or safety of the student or other students of the school.
Period of suspension: A temporary suspension by the Administrator shall not exceed five (5) school days in length. Upon appeal to the Board of Directors, the suspension may be extended for an additional ten (10) days. This appeal for additional suspension would only be granted if there was a finding by the Board that immediate return to school attendance by the temporarily suspended student would be detrimental to other pupil’s health, safety, or welfare.
Procedure for suspension:
Prior to suspension, steps will be taken to ensure compliance with all applicable policies and procedures.
Prior to suspension, unless an emergency exists, the Administrator shall grant the student an informal hearing on the reasons for the suspension.
The student shall be given the opportunity to challenge the reasons for the suspension and explain the circumstances surrounding the event.
If the student is suspended, a complete explanation will be given orally and in writing to the student regarding the terms or conditions required to lift the suspension.
Written notice describing the reasons for the suspension, term of the suspension, and conditions required to lift the suspension shall be delivered or mailed to the parent or guardian.
The Board of Directors shall receive a copy of the written notice delivered to the parent or guardian.
Only the Appeals Board, consisting of the Administrator and the Board of Directors, may expel a student. If a Special Education or Special Services student accumulates, or is likely to accumulate, more than ten (10) days of suspension in a school year, the students IEP team must be convened to determine if the current program and placement are appropriate and if the behavior is related to the student’s disability. Based on this determination, the IEP Team shall make needed modifications to the student’s IEP.
Grounds for Expulsion:
A student may be expelled only for the following reasons:
When the student is a habitual truant
When the student is incorrigible
When the student’s conduct is such as to be continually disruptive to the instructional effectiveness of the school.
When the student’s conduct is such as to be continually disruptive to the instructional effectiveness of the school.
When the student carries a firearm, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, metal knuckles or other deadly or dangerous weapon concealed on or about his or her person while on the property of the school.
When the student’s presence in the school is detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of other students or staff.
Procedure for Expulsion:
Formal Hearing: When events or circumstances are such that a student faces expulsion from school, the following will occur:
The student and the parents or guardian shall be notified of:
The grounds of the proposed expulsion, and the date, time, and place where a full and fair hearing of the expulsion will be held.
The right to be represented by legal counsel.
The privilege against self-incrimination.
The right to confront and cross-examine adult witnesses who testify against him/ her and to submit evidence on his/her own behalf.
The student and the parent or guardian shall be provided a written copy of the charges.
The student’s home district will be notified of the hearing and may have a representative in attendance at the hearing. If a student is expelled, the Board of Trustees of the student’s home district will hold a hearing to determine if the student will be allowed to attend another school within their district.
Expelled students within the age of compulsory attendance fall under the purview of the Juvenile Corrections Act, and an authorized representative of the Board of Directors shall, within five (5) days, give a written notice of the expulsion to both the Middleton School District Board of Trustees and the Prosecuting Attorney of the county in which the student resides.
Vision Charter School, Inc.
Draft Discipline of Students with Disabilities
All procedures set forth in the “Student Suspension” policy and the “Student Expulsion” policy will be followed when it is necessary to discipline students with disabilities as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The following additional procedures will also be adhered to when disciplining students with disabilities.
Ten-day disciplinary removal
School personnel may order a disciplinary removal of a student with disabilities for not more than ten (10) cumulative school days per infraction to the extent suspension would apply to students without disabilities. Cumulative suspensions, if over 10 school days in a school year must not constitute a significant change in placement.
In determining whether a significant change in placement has occurred, school personnel, through the multi-disciplinary team process, will review whether the student is subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern of exclusion because they cumulate to more than ten (10) school days in a school year, and because the length of each removal, the total amount of time the child is removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another indicate such a pattern of exclusion.
Any time a student is suspended for more than ten (10) school days in a school year the student will be provided services to the extent necessary to enable the student to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and appropriately advance toward achieving the goals set out on his or her IEP, as determined by school personnel, in consultation with the student’s special education teacher or as determined by the student’sIEP Team.
Forty-five day disciplinary removal
1. The Administrator may order a change in placement of a student with a disability to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, as determined by the IEP Team, for the same amount of time that a student without a disability would be subject to discipline, but for not more than forty-five (45) days if:
a. The student carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to a school function. “Weapon” for the purposes of this policy is defined as any weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury. This term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than two and one-half (2 1/2) inches in length.
b. The student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function.
2. School personnel may request a change in placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting from a hearing officer for not more than forty-five days if it is determined by personnel that a student with a disability is substantially likely to cause injury to himself or herself, or to others in the current educational placement.
3. School personnel may petition the court for an injunction to remove any student with a disability from school or to change the student’s current educational placement if personnel believe that maintaining the student in the current educational placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or to others.
FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION PLAN
If a student with a disability is suspended for ten (10) school days or more in a school year, or placed in an interim alternative educational setting for not more than forty-five (45) days for disciplinary reasons, the following will occur within ten (10) days after taking the disciplinary action:
1. If school personnel have not conducted a functional behavioral assessment and implemented a behavioral intervention plan for the student prior to the behavior that resulted in the interim alternative educational setting, an IEP Team meeting will be convened to develop an assessment plan to address the behavior; or
2. If the student has a behavioral intervention plan, the IEP Team will review the plan and modify it, as necessary to address the behavior.
3. In subsequent removals in a school year of a student who already has a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention plan, the IEP Team members can review the behavioral intervention plan and its implementation in light of the students behavior, without a meeting, and must only meet if one or more of the team members believe that the plan or its implementation need modification.
Prior to submitting an expulsion recommendation to the Board of Directors for a student with a disability, the IEP Team will conduct a manifestation determination. A manifestation determination will occur within ten (10) school days after the date on which a decision was made to recommend the expulsion.
If a student on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is expelled from school after a manifestation determination has found that the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, educational services, consisting of services necessary to enable the student to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and appropriately advance toward achieving the goals set out in the student’s IEP will be provided to that student at an alternative setting.
STUDENTS WITH SECTION 504 DISIBILITIES
This section addresses disciplining students with disabilities as defined by Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. For those students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the disciplinary procedures required by the IDEA will be followed. In the event a student has disabilities under both Section 504 and the IDEA, both policies shall be followed in determining appropriate disciplinary actions.
A student with a disability, as defined by Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, may be suspended for not more than ten (10) consecutive school days per incident.
Whenever a school considers suspending a student with a disability for more than ten (10) cumulative school days in a school year, a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) will be convened to determine if the cumulative suspensions constitute a significant change in placement by reviewing the following factors:
1. The length of each suspension;
2. The proximity of the suspension to one another; and
3. The total amount of time the student is excluded from school.
The MDT will consist of individuals who are knowledgeable about the student, the student’s school history, the student’s individual needs, the evaluation data, and the placement options. If the MDT determines that the exclusion would constitute a significant change in placement, the school will conduct a manifestation determination as set forth below.
Prior to submitting an expulsion recommendation to the School Board for any student with a disability as defined by Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, an MDT will make a “manifestation determination.” A manifestation determination involves a review of the student’s misconduct, the student’s disability and the services provided to determine:
1. Is the misconduct a manifestation, or result, of an inappropriate placement or educational program for the student?
2. Is the misconduct a manifestation, or result, of the student’s disability?
In reviewing the questions set forth above, the MDT will review information regarding the student’s disability that is recent enough to afford an understanding of the student’s current behavior. In the absence of reasonably current information about the student’s disability, the Administrator will conduct or cause to be conducted additional evaluation(s) regarding the student’s disability before making the manifestation determination. If either manifest determination question answer is “yes,” the student will not be expelled. However, the MDT may determine that a placement change is necessary for that student.
If the answers to both the questions set forth above are “no,” the school may proceed with the recommendation of expulsion to the School Board in the same manner as for similarly-situated students who do not have disabilities.
If the student’s parent/guardian disagree with the MDT’s determination of the manifestation determination, a hearing may be requested with the Board of Directors. Although the parent/guardian may disagree with the manifestation determination findings, the student may be expelled after following the proper procedures. Educational services may cease after expulsion.
Vision Charter School, Inc.
Draft Drug and Alcohol Use Policy
Drug Free School Policy
In harmony with the federal regulations established by the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, Vision Charter School is committed to the concept of having a drug free student environment. It is our intent that programs and activities be planned and carried out by the professional staff that will enable the school to achieve this goal.
The primary focus of our program shall be educational in nature, with instruction geared to discourage student experimentation of any mood altering substance. A companion focus of this program shall be aimed to assist students who have made unacceptable choices regarding any controlled substance. A necessary part of the latter focus is an attitude among teachers and other staff members that one of our responsibilities is to assist those students who need help in overcoming their potentially addictive behaviors. We believe that it is possible to have a totally drug free environment in the school setting. If a student cannot, or will not, commit to responsible behavior to help achieve this goal, several sanctions may be imposed as a disciplinary measure. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Parent or guardian contacted
b. Referral to assistance, such as counselors and/or health professionals
c. Referral to an outside agency for chemical dependency assessment and/or treatment
d. Suspension from school
e. Expulsion from school
When there is reasonable cause to believe that a student illegally uses, sells, distributes,
or possesses drug paraphernalia, drugs, alcohol, or other mood-altering substances in school, on or adjacent to school property, or at school functions, the student will be subject to the disciplinary procedures contained in this regulation.
As used in this policy, reasonable cause shall mean the existence of specific observable evidence or behaviors that can be described.
Observable behaviors may include chronic attendance problems, sleeping in class, erratic behavior, inappropriate comments, drop in grades, defiance of or disrespect toward authority, or motor coordination problems. Possession of alcoholic beverages, drugs or drug paraphernalia is also considered as evidence.
Evidence shall include, but not be limited to, smell of alcohol, or other mood-altering substances, impaired speech, impaired coordination or other recognizable characteristics unusual for the particular student
Offenses for elementary students shall be cumulative from grades K-6 and offenses for secondary students shall be cumulative from grades 7-12.
VisionCharter Schoolwill send staff to training to identify drug, alcohol, and mood-altering substance use. Staff will refer such information to the Administrator through appropriate procedures. To develop reasonable cause for taking action the following procedures may be indicated.
1. Documented behaviors or indicators of drug, alcohol or mood-altering substance use.
2. Possession of alcohol or other illegal drugs
3. All procedures are to be performed with discretion and documented.
4. Refusal to submit to a request to any of the procedures may result in disciplinary action.
Elementary Disciplinary Procedure
1. First Offense for Use or Possession (Grades K-6)
a. Parent or guardian will be contacted.
b. Student will be suspended for 5 days.
c. Suspension may be modified if the student participates in and follows the recommendations of an assessment by a certified drug/alcohol agency. A release of information would also be required.
i. Law Enforcement Agency shall be contacted.
ii. If the student does not complete the recommendations of the assessment, then the remainder of the 5-day suspension will go into effect.
2. Second Offense for Use or Possession (K-6)
a. Parent or guardian will be contacted.
b. Board of Directors may be petitioned for expulsion of student.
c. Law Enforcement Agency shall be contacted
d. Child Protection Services (C.P.S.) may be contacted.
3. Third Offense for Use or Possession (K-6)
a. Parent or guardian will be contacted.
b. The student shall be suspended and the Board of Directors will be petitioned for expulsion of the student.
c. Law Enforcement Agency shall be contacted.
d. Child Protection Services (C.P.S.) will be contacted.
4. First Offense for Selling or Delivering (Grades K-6)
a. Parent or Guardian will be contacted.
b. Law Enforcement Agency shall be contacted.
c. The student will be suspended and the Board of Directors will be petitioned for expulsion of the student.
d. C.P.S. may be contacted.
Secondary Discipline Procedure
1. First Offense for Use or Possession (Grades 7-12)
a. Parent or guardian will be contacted.
b. Law Enforcement Agency shall be contacted
c. Student shall be suspended for 5 days.
i. Suspension may be modified if the student participates in and follows the recommendations of an assessment by a certified drug/alcohol agency. A release of information to the school district will also be required.
2. Second Offense for Use or Possession (Grades 7-12)
a. Parent or guardian will be contacted.
b. Law Enforcement Agency shall be contacted.
c. School Board may be petitioned for expulsion of the student.
3. Third Offense for Use or Possession (Grades 7-12)
a. Parent or guardian will be contacted.
b. The student will be suspended and the School Board will be petitioned for expulsion.
c. Law Enforcement Agency shall be contacted.
4. First Offense for Selling and/or Delivering Alcohol or Drugs (Grades 7-12)
a. Law Enforcement Agency shall be contacted.
b. Parent or guardian will be contacted.
c. The student shall be suspended and the School Board petitioned for expulsion.
Search and Seizure Philosophy
In order to maintain a quality educational atmosphere, preserve discipline and good order, and promote the safety and security of students and employees, all school property, including, but not limited to, buildings, equipment, buses, grounds, and other physical settings and equipment of Vision Charter School is under the direct jurisdiction and exclusive control of the Board of Directors and subject to search by members of the administrative staff. Therefore, students are advised that it is the policy of this school that members of the administrative staff have the authority to search the student lockers and all other school property over which the school has control at any time, without student consent, and without a search warrant. Members of the administrative staff also have the authority to search the personal property of students when reasonable under the circumstances. This authority to search school property, or personal property of the student when appropriate, is extended to members of the teaching staff who accompany students on out-of-town activities for school-related purposes at school expense.
Any student exhibiting inappropriate behavior that suggests “using” or “being under the influence" of controlled substances will be immediately escorted by an employee to the administrative office for interviewing and observation. Except in the case of an emergency, the student will not be left unattended and will not be allowed to leave the school premises.
The Administrator or designee will refer the student to the law enforcement agency after a trained staff member, upon observing and/or interviewing the student, reasonably suspects that the student is using or under the influence of a controlled substance. All employees will cooperate fully with any law enforcement investigation of a violation of this policy, including but not limited to providing access to lockers, desks, and other school property, and providing oral and/or written statements regarding the relevant events.
The Administrator and/or any other employee having observed the student's behavior will document his or her observations of the student; the documentation will be provided to the law enforcement agent, and a copy will be placed in the student's discipline record.
The procedures to enforce this policy are as follows:
1. Suspension/Expulsion: Students who violate this policy will be suspended by the Administrator. Suspension for the first offense of this policy will be for three to five (3-5) days, unless extraordinary circumstances exist. The time period for suspension for the second or third offense will be determined at the discretion of the Administrator and/or Board of Directors. The Administrator will determine whether or not the suspension will be served in school or out of school. If deemed appropriate by the Administrator, he or she may request that the board expel a student who has violated this policy for a second or third offense.
2. Referral to Law Enforcement: The student will be referred to the law enforcement agency.
3. Search and Seizure: A student’s person and/or personal effects (e.g., purse, book bag, etc.) may be searched whenever a school official has reasonable cause to believe that the student is in possession of drug paraphernalia or drugs, including alcohol, tobacco or controlled substances. Any evidence of a violation of the law or this policy may be seized by the Administrator or designee. Lockers and desks are school property and remain at all times under the control of the school; however, students are expected to assume full responsibility for the security of personal property.
Vision Charter School, Inc.
Draft Computer Use Policy
Student Computer Use Agreement
There is a need for full disclosure and understanding for the partnership between parents, children, and the school in regard to technology and its use. This agreement has been created to inform and provide knowledge of student use of the school’s network/computers and Internet access and to ensure that all parties understand the areas of responsibility identified. Each child will need to have an agreement form signed and on file for use of the Internet.
Electronic Network Use Rules
School account holders are expected to act in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner, in accordance with the missions and purposes of the networks they use on the Internet, and the laws of the states and the United States. Students will be provided with a school atmosphere and procedures of student control/discipline that will assure a suitable learning environment, and students will learn to act as responsible and productive citizens with respect for civil rights and the role of the individual in a democracy. Using the network is a privilege, not a right, and the privilege may be revoked at any time for unacceptable conduct. Unacceptable conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• Using the network for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other contracts.
• Using the network for financial or commercial gain.
• Degrading or disrupting equipment or system performance.
• Vandalizing the data of another user.
• Wastefully using finite resources.
• Gaining unauthorized access to resources or entities.
• Willfully and knowingly accessing pornographic or other inappropriate sites.
• Invading the privacy of individuals.
• Using an account owned by another user without authorization.
• Posting personal communications without the author’s consent.
• Posting anonymous messages.
• Placing of unlawful or unlicensed information on a system.
• Using abusive or otherwise objectionable language in either public or private message.
• Sending of messages that are likely to result in the loss of recipients’ work or systems.
• Sending of chain letters or broadcast messages to lists or individuals, or any other type of use that would cause congestion of the networks or otherwise interfere with the work of others.
• Be polite. Do not get abusive in your messages to others.
• Use appropriate language. Do not swear, use vulgarities, or any other inappropriate language. Illegal activities are strictly forbidden.
• Do not reveal your personal address or phone number or that of other students or colleagues. Any student who receives unsolicited requests for personal information will immediately report that to the supervising teacher. That teacher will report this incident to appropriate authorities.
• Note that electronic mail (e-mail) is not guaranteed to be private. People who operate the system do have access to all mail. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities may be reported to authorities.
• Do not use the network in such a way that you would disrupt the use of the network by other users.
• Information accessible via the network and Internet should be assumed to be private property and possibly copyrighted.
Security on any computer is a high priority. If you feel you can identify a security problem on the Internet, you must notify faculty members. Do not demonstrate the problem to other users. Do not use another individual’s account without written permission from that individual. Attempts to log onto the Internet with another person’s identification without permission will result in cancellation of user privileges. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the Internet.
Vision Charter School, Inc.
Electronic Network Use Agreement
School computer systems are for use by authorized individuals only. Any unauthorized access to these systems is prohibited and is subject to criminal and civil penalties under Federal Laws. Individuals using these systems are subject to having all activities on these systems monitored by system or security personnel. Anyone using these systems expressly consents to such monitoring. Prosecution and/or account termination may occur without warning.
The school believes that the benefits to educators and students from access to the Internet (in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration) far exceed any disadvantages of access. Ultimately, parent(s) and guardian(s) of minors are responsible for their child’s behavior, and this includes use of the Internet. It is possible for all users of the world wide Internet (including your child) to access information that is intended for adults. Although the school has taken reasonable steps to ensure the Internet connection is used only for purposes consistent with the curriculum, the school can neither prevent the availability of, nor begin to identify, inappropriate material elsewhere on the Internet. Computer security cannot be made perfect, and it is likely that a determined student can make use of computer resources for inappropriate purposes.
I, ______________________________and ______________________________
Parent name (please print) Student name (please print)
have read the Electronic Network Use Rules document, understand it, and agree to adhere to the principles and procedures detailed within. We understand and accept the conditions stated above and release from any liability the Vision Charter School, Inc. (the sponsoring school), its subcontractors, and employees.
I understand that my child is expected to use good judgment and follow the Student Computer Use Policy in making electronic contact with others. Furthermore, I have discussed the information contained in this policy with my child. Should my child breach the guidelines suggested, I understand that my child will lose all privileges on the Vision Charter School, Inc. network.
Vision Charter School, Inc.
Draft Safety Policy
It is the policy of Vision Charter School, Inc. to take all practical steps to safeguard employees and students from accidents and to maintain an effective risk control program. The school believes that accident prevention and education go hand in hand. A comprehensive safety program will enhance the total education program. All employees have a primary responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety and well being of students and co-workers.
The school will establish a safety committee, which will work to assure that all necessary safety precautions are established.
The composition of the Safety Committee will be as follows:
a. Administrator (Chairperson)
b. Designated Safety Officer (appointed by the Administrator)
c. President of the PFA
In the interest of students, personnel and the general public, Vision Charter School shall provide its own safety inspection program and will cooperate with other appropriate public agencies properly authorized to conduct safety inspections. Authorized agencies include the State of Idaho Department of Labor and Industrials Services, Southwest District Health, the school’s insurance carriers, the Idaho State Department of Education, fire departments and duly authorized law enforcement agencies. Safety deficiencies cited by duly authorized safety inspectors will be promptly reported to the Idaho Public Charter School Commission upon receipt of written reports.
It shall be the duty of the Administrator, in cooperation with the Safety Committee, to prepare a list of necessary repairs in order to keep the buildings in proper condition. The school will conduct its own safety program to include at least:
One school-wide building and grounds inspection by the Safety Committee shall be conducted each year.
Monthly fire and/or emergency drills shall be conducted.
Verification of an annual bus safety program for all bus drivers who transport Vision students.
An annual safety seminar, prior to the start of each school year, for all teachers, staff, and custodians.
A requirement that all accidents resulting in injury to personnel be promptly reported to the Administrator. The Administrator will work with the Charter School Commission and the insurance companies to ensure timely reporting of all injuries.
Vision Charter School, Inc.
Draft Health Policy
Vision Charter School, Inc. shall follow state guidelines to assist in preventing the spread of communicable diseases in the school setting. The school shall also follow the most current guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), currently entitled “Universal Precautions for Prevention of Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, and Other Blood-borne Pathogens in Health-Care Settings.”
The Board of Directors has the power to exclude students and/or employees with contagious or infectious diseases from school. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infections are not transmitted casually and, therefore, are not, in and of themselves, a reason to either remove a student or staff member from school or place the student in a restricted setting.
A. The following guidelines shall be followed when the Administrator receives appropriate notification that a student, or employee, is diagnosed with an HIV or HBV infection:
1. Subject to obtaining appropriate written consent from the parents and/or guardian of an infected student (or from the infected student in the event they have reached the age of majority), or with the consent of the infected employee, each case will be considered individually by a team comprised of the following:
a. The student’s or employee’s physician;
b. A qualified Public Health Official who is responsible for such determinations;
c. The student’s parents or guardians or the infected employee; and
d. The Administrator.
If requested by the employee, an additional team member shall consist of a representative of the employee.
2. An unrestricted setting is generally appropriate for students. In the event the infected student has a secondary infection which constitutes a recognized risk of transmission in the school setting, the team shall agree on an appropriate placement. If the student is determined to be handicapped, an appropriate placement will be made pursuant to Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) in the least restrictive environment.
3. Since there is a potential for social isolation should an infected student’s condition become known to the general public, school personnel and all others involved in education the student will respect the student’s right to privacy and need for confidentiality. The privacy of an infected student’s school records will be strictly maintained and there will be a concerted effort to limit the number of persons who are made aware of the student’s condition to those persons necessary to assure the proper education of the student and to detect and avoid situations where the potential for transmission of the disease may increase. Any further dissemination of medical records or information shall require the specific consent of a parent and/or guardian or the student (if over the age of majority). The team shall periodically review the infected student’s case to determine whether a modification of the student’s education program is necessary or advisable. The team shall address ways within which the school may help anticipate and meet the needs of the infected student in the educational process.
4. An infected employee who is otherwise qualified to perform required tasks will continue with employment as long as he or she is able. In the event the infected employee has a secondary infection which constitutes a recognized risk of transmission in the school setting, the team shall attempt to identify reasonable accommodations which the school can make in an effort to allow the employee to continue with his or her employment. All usual regulations and policies regarding employee sick leave will be applied to the infected employee. The privacy right of the employee will be strictly maintained. Any further dissemination of medical records and information shall require the specific consent of the employee.
In the event it is determined that an individually tailored plan is necessary for any student or employee who is diagnosed with a communicable disease, the plan shall be designed to have minimal impact o the infected person’s education or employment. Any official action will be consistent with applicable federal and state law.
C. In an effort to protect the privacy of a student or employee who may be diagnosed with a communicable disease, the Administrator, without divulging the name of the infected person or the infected person’s place of school or employment, shall notify the Board of Directors that the school has a student or employee who is diagnosed as having a communicable disease.
Prevention measures against communicable diseases should be employed whenever reasonable. Reasonable prevention measures include requiring all students to wash their hands (either with soap and water or through the use of instant hand sanitizer) before lunch, after using the restroom, and after blowing their nose. Each classroom will have both a sink with running water and soap and an available supply of instant hand sanitizer for use by employees and students.
Parent(s) or guardian(s) of any child(ren) enrolled in Vision Charter School are required to provide school authorities with the immunization information regarding the child’s immunity to certain childhood diseases in accordance with Idaho Code, 39-4801, and Title 2, Chapter 15, Immunization Requirements for Idaho School Children, “Rules and Regulations of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare”.
Proof of immunity must be received upon first admission and prior to attendance. If
school authorities do not receive the immunization information prior to attendance, the
child must be denied attendance until the information is received. The immunization information provided by the parent shall be in the form of a written statement or record signed by a physician or a physician’s representative. This statement must provide the vaccine type, number and date of each immunization the child had received or that the child is immune through prior illness (physician diagnosed measles or mumps disease or laboratory proof of immunity). Exemptions to these requirements shall be as stated in the law, Idaho Code 39-4802.