Policies

A complete student and family handbook (please see the link) is provided in the attachments addressing compliance with the Nevada Revised Statutes, Nevada Administrative Code in regard to the academic program, retention and promotion, attendance requirements, enrollment, lottery, and withdrawal procedures, instructional program, assessments, discipline, and positive behavioral supports.

Distance Education


The charter school does not offer Distance Education services as a part of their instructional model at this time.

Preschool Programs


SNACS partners with Sierra Nevada Achievers for Community Services (SNACS Preschool)—a private non-profit entity—to offer an accredited preschool program. The program is similar in design to the SNACS instructional model and include alignment with the Nevada Quality Rating Improvement System and the National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation programs Achievers does provide a preschool and before and after school wrap around care for Sierra Nevada Academy Charter School. Extended program hours are between 6:30 am and 6:00 pm and serves children from 6 weeks through eighth grade. The current preschool is participating in the pilot of the preschool development block program through the SPCSA.

High School Graduation Requirements


SNACS plans to add one grade-level per year beginning ninth grade for the 18-19 school year to accommodate the existing school population if there is a need.

At-Risk Students and Special Populations


At-Risk students are those faced with certain factors that indicate the level of risk they are for not graduating high school. The more indicators a student is identified with, the higher at-risk they are to not graduate. At-risk indicators include living in poverty, being below grade level in one or more subjects, homelessness, being in foster care, one or more parents deceased, being incarcerated, one or more parent being incarcerated, mother not graduating from high school, being an English language learner, having special education services as designated on an individualized education plan.

The charter school will complete an annual at-risk report that assigns students points based on at-risk indicators in a matrix format. Scores culminate into an at-risk rating based on their level of risk for not graduating high school. Identified students with medium or high risk will be monitored and provided with supports to mitigate the risk indicators and support them on a trajectory pathway toward college and career readiness.

Staffing Students


All educators have common planning time to “staff students” much like the process used to triage patients in the medical field. This process is used for ALL students to ensure growth over time and a trajectory toward college and career readiness. Educators meet in teams and rotate reviewing student data and progress toward growth. This collaborative time provides educators with support and resources to meet the needs of all students.

Behavior Plans


School leaders and educators work with parents in developing personalized contracts for students having behavioral difficulty in the classroom. All parties participate in the development of the contract, which specifies behaviors, consequences, and duration of the intervention. Positive behavior plans are established to reinforce appropriate school behaviors and mitigate negative behaviors. Data is collected and analyzed and plans adjusted accordingly until a student successfully manages their behavior in the school setting.

Special Education and Individualized Educational Programs (IEP)


Students who qualify for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are provided with Free and Appropriate Public Education including equitable access to the school instructional model. Students with IEPs or 504 plans are determined according to special education law. Students who are identified were deemed eligible based on Response to Intervention Team (RTI) results as part of the eligibility process. The RTI team includes educators, instructional leaders, special education educators, parents or guardians, students, and others as deemed necessary by the team. The RTI process includes a data-driven, tiered intervention system where educators work with students using varied approaches to dispel and identify potential disabilities under IDEA.

Response to Intervention Tiers


Tier 1

At Tier 1, all students receive scientific, research-based instruction emphasizing standards and school-wide expectations implemented with fidelity. Universal screenings occur in the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. Classroom/unit assessments occur on an ongoing basis to inform instruction for all students at Tier 1. Tier 1 supports should result in favorable responses from 80 to 85 percent of the school population. If Tier 1 instruction results in favorable responses for less than 80 percent of the school’s population, the IAT should consider possible solutions to improve student outcomes (e.g., professional development, improving differentiation strategies, and supplemental instructional materials). The goal at Tier 1 should be to achieve favorable response to instruction for 80 percent of the school’s population.

Tier 2

At Tier 2, students identified as being at-risk for failure through universal screenings are provided scientific, research-based interventions. Interventions are implemented with groups of students demonstrating common skill deficits or risk characteristics. A series of intervention changes may be deemed necessary at Tier 2. The intensity of interventions should inform frequency of progress monitoring using Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) and should occur at least monthly.

Tier 3
At Tier 3, students who have not responded satisfactorily to Tier 2 interventions require more time in more intensive interventions based on individualized assessment. The frequency of progress monitoring using CBM should match the intensity of the intervention and should occur at least weekly. The primary factors distinguishing Tier 3 from Tier 2 are the intensity of services and the individualized assessment (i.e., targeted assessments to pinpoint specific skill deficits) that drives the intervention plan.

Within an RTI system, special education eligibility decisions are made only after there is documented resistance to Tier 3 interventions implemented with fidelity. Educators maintain Child Find obligations (i.e., the responsibility to identify children with disabilities).

  • If reason exists to suspect a disability (e.g., autism, mental retardation, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, hearing impairment, etc.), teams have a legal obligation to gain consent to proceed with a comprehensive evaluation.

Special Education Eligibility


After the RTI team concludes they have exhausted resources to dispel a potential disability, a comprehensive evaluation is conducted. At the conclusion of the comprehensive evaluation, the eligibility team is convened that may include the RTI group, a school psychologist, and others as deemed necessary to determine eligibility for special education services. The team determines eligibility and then convenes an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team to develop the IEP including accommodations, goals, and benchmarks for the academic year. The team determines placement based on the Least Restrictive Environment and equitable access to the regular education classroom. Accommodations and modifications provide student with equitable access to education based on their disability and individual needs. Parents/guardians receive the Special Education Rights of Parents and Children packet during the IEP meeting and may request a copy.

The charter school provides push-in and pull-out services deemed necessary under IDEA. The charter school will work with the local school district and other charter schools to provide a consortium of services under IDEA. The curriculum and instructional model provides for remediation, small groups, individualized instruction based on ability within the regular education classroom. This model has proven to work for many students with disabilities due to the personalized philosophy of the charter school.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973


Section 504 is a civil rights law which protects the rights of students with disabilities to receive a free and appropriate public education. (FAPE). A student is eligible under Section 504 if he or she has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (e.g. learning, breathing, hearing, seeing, etc.) and is in between the ages of 3-21.

Rights under Section 504

  • An education free of discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on disability.
  • Ability to file a complaint if discrimination, harassment or retaliation takes place.
  • Ability to take part and receive benefit from public education programs without discrimination.
  • Inspect and receive educational records.
  • Receive written notice for identification, evaluation, re-evaluation and placement.
  • Have evaluations, educational and placement decisions based upon a variety of information sources and by persons who have knowledge of the student and disability in question, the evaluation data and placement options.
  • Request an administrative review and have the right to an impartial hearing.

Professional Development


Educators and instructional leaders are provided with professional development regarding special education law, procedures, policies, accommodations, instructional strategies, etc.. This ensures disabled students are provided with equitable access from educators of excellence, who are trained to help students grow on a trajectory path toward college and career readiness.

Collaboration and Communication


The special education team work closely to collaborate with families and appropriate agencies to ensure early identification and intervention services at the earliest onset possible. Ongoing collaboration and communication with the team ensures student success.

Staffing Students


All educators have common planning time to “staff students” much like the process used to triage patients in the medical field. This process is used for ALL students to ensure growth over time and a trajectory toward college and career readiness. Educators meet in teams and rotate reviewing student data and progress toward growth. This collaborative time provides educators with support and resources to meet the needs of all students.

English Language Learners


The charter school provides for rigorous, explicit, high-quality language instruction support for learners of English. Pearson curriculum programs provide instructional support services track and texts in Spanish. In addition, the program provides information for families in Spanish. Support services includes a strong commitment to encouraging strong connections to home language and culture. All ELL students and families are provided with consistency in translations and interpretations to bridge for understanding. Additional information related to ELL services and meeting the needs of all students is embedded in the education model and instructional design section. The charter school works to administer appropriate assessments including the W-APT and the WIDA model with students. Progress will be monitored from year to year. A TESL endorsed educator will be contracted to provide additional services as necessary.

Homeless/Migrant


Children in transition need additional support services. The site-based Student Support Services Coordinator will work with instructional staff to identify students and families to ensure they receive appropriate services within a specified timeframe. The site-based Instructional Leaders will oversee the coordination of services between school and appropriate agencies.

School Structure: Culture


The ethos of the school culture is in providing a voice and a choice in public education. The spirit of the charter school is embedded in Essentials of the high-quality and innovative education model. Replication of existing high-quality charter schools will allow for collaboration and partnership between the charter schools. Parent and community input for positive school climate is described in the parent and community involvement sections. Additional surveys may be administered to monitor successful climate during the incubation year.

The first day of school involves a welcome ceremony for all students and families. The celebration is a positive kick-start to the first day of the school year. En-culturing students mid-year involves induction practices as described in the Education Model described by touring and personalized learning. At the core of the school is the student spirit in which new students are welcomed and supported by existing classmates. The personalized culture of the school is portrayed when students act in ways that show empathy and support for fellow classmates.

The charter school has a student campaign revolved around a “Strive for Five” philosophy. Students and staff are trained in five-star behavior across daily practices, academic and social behaviors, and classroom routines. Reinforcing positive behavior to ensure students remain on-track to achieve academic and social objectives includes whole, small and individual rewards within the classroom and across the school setting. Students earn individual star-bucks where they use their star rewards in the school store for various tangible rewards.

School Structure: Student Discipline


School Safety and Crisis Prevention Plan


The Progressive Discipline Policy is one part of the School Safety and Crisis Prevention Plan. Charter school leaders and educators work diligently with families and students to ensure a safe campus. The School Safety and Crisis Prevention Plan incorporate policies and procedures to ensure a safe school climate and culture. The plans consider student academic and social behavior expectations, attendance policies, discipline policies, volunteer policies, visitor policies, local and state districts and/or health professionals, safety regulations, and additional safety protocols. The policies are revised as necessary each year to include updated legislative and/or administrative codes and to reflect current research and best practices. Final drafts of the policies are approved the Board of Governance each school year and as necessary.

Safety Drills


Charter school leaders work with the education team to conduct various safety drills including fire, earthquake, windstorm, chemical spills, and intruders. Students and staff participate in such drills in order to ensure an orderly and safe environment in the event of a crisis or emergency. Refer to the Emergency Procedures Manual for specific procedures.

Should a long-term evacuation of the charter be necessary, parents should be prepared to sign their children out at a location as specified through an all-call notification system. The specific location is dependent on the type and location of a given situation. Attempts will be made to coordinate evacuation efforts with local emergency support services, districts, and request emergency school busses therein. In the event busses are not available, students may have to walk to the evacuation site. Parents may not pick up students when en route to the evacuation site to ensure all students arrive safely. Students will be dismissed by homeroom class as designated family members arrive and sign for their children. Evacuation locations include locations near the facility deemed as a safe place to gather. A copy of the complete safety procedure manual will be accessible online, in classrooms, common areas, and in the front office.

Discipline Policy


Administrators, teachers, parents, and students actively participated in the development of the school-wide discipline policy and procedures, which are designed to be progressive. Instructional leaders participate in continuous opportunities for school safety training using programs like SPARTAN.

Students are expected to adhere to rigorous academic and behavior expectations that inspire life-long learning. Students have the right to learn in a school climate and culture conducive to learning and free from distractions. Student must act within the expectations. Students who disrupt the learning environment by any means will not be tolerated.

To ensure an orderly environment it is necessary to have school and classroom expectations, rules, and consequences. Educators work diligently to guide students to develop problem-solving skills that apply in many given situations. Teaching students’ responsibility in maintaining order and a positive learning environment is the foundation to a productive classroom and student success. A sense of order, safety, security and civility, is crucial to a thriving school culture.

It is of the utmost importance that the school leaders, educators, and families work together toward academic success when discipline issues arise. School discipline is not viewed as a list of rules, regulations, regimentation, policies, or punishment. Healthy and productive student behavior is a by-product of the beliefs, values, and academic culture of the organization. The roots of positive discipline lie in the way adults and students think about themselves, others, and the way they treat each other every day. The “small school community” culture drives the discipline policy and procedures.

Educator Responsibilities


Educators are responsible for the classroom-learning environment, which extends to all aspects of the school climate and culture. Teachers are on the front line of establishing and maintaining order necessary to foster safety, security, and civility. Classroom teachers develop classroom-level academic and social behavior, instill school rules, and foster accountability for associated consequences.

Educators are expected to use positive reinforcement in their classrooms for academics and social behavior. The positive reinforcement includes individual, small group, and whole classroom positive reward systems. Educators are expected to instill a sense of wonder where engagement is key to achievement. Educators, with the guidance of administrators, establish their own protocols for providing rewards or addressing a specific behavior concern within their classroom and related to their students. Educators are encouraged to consult with the Education Director as necessary for intervention strategies on a situation arises. It is the intention of the charter school educators to utilize positive reinforcement and other behavioral interventions to teach students appropriate social skill and academic behaviors.

Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS)


Charter school leaders and education team members implement a Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) system. This program is designed to motivate students to succeed using tactics that promote the positive aspects of choice making. The charter school has utilized a PBIS system since its origination in 1999. This new selection will allow for trainings, provided by the WCSD, to specific principals, teachers, and team leaders. All selected charter school personnel will attend and commit to various professional developments throughout each school year.

PBIS is directed for school-wide, class, groups, and individual students. PBIS also aims to build effective environments in which positive behavior is more effective than problem behavior. It is a collaborative, assessment-based approach, to developing effective interventions for problem behavior. PBIS systems emphasize the use of preventative, teaching, and reinforcement-based strategies to achieve meaningful and durable behavior and lifestyle outcomes.

The charter school has a student campaign revolved around a “Strive for Five” philosophy. Students and staff are trained in five star behavior across daily practices, academic and social behaviors, and classroom routines. Reinforcing positive behavior to ensure students remain on-track to achieve academic and social objectives includes whole, small and individual rewards within the classroom and across the school setting. Students earn individual star-bucks where they use their star rewards in the school store for various tangible rewards.

Security Cameras


The charter school plans to install a school-wide security camera system. Security cameras exist in the interior and exterior of the school. This system is used by instructional leaders for the purpose of monitoring student behavior and facilitating interventions where needed. Images and recordings are filed for a period of time.

School Rules

  1. Keep self to self.
  2. Follow instructions.
  3. Show respect for others and property.
  4. Be safe

School Guidelines

Students are taught protocols and skills to adhere to procedural guidelines.

Hallway Guidelines:

  • Walk.
  • Speak using an inside voice so other students will not be disturbed.
  • Walk on the right side.
  • Stay in line when you are with your class.
  • Obtain permission to go to the bathroom or water fountain.

Lunch Guidelines:

  • Be kind.
  • Talk with an inside voice.
  • Seek permission to leave your seat.
  • Use teacher attention for any assistance.
  • Clean up as a community.

Playground Guidelines:

  • Be kind.
  • Play only in designated areas.
  • Share and return equipment.
  • Follow instructions.
  • Only enter the building with adult permission.
  • Shoes must be worn.
  • Rocks, snow and sand remain on the ground.
  • Play fighting is not permitted.

Dress Code


The following is the dress code for normal school days. Special dress days may allow certain clothing pertaining to such a designated day. However, any such days require that student attired does not interfere with the daily operation of the school or the classroom. Any disruptions therein are at the mutual discretion between the teacher and administrator and will not be tolerated. Condition and Wear of Clothing

  • Nothing that distracts from the learning environment or poses a safety hazard, which may include holes or rips designed to reveal the body

Safety

  • Clothing that can pose a potential health or safety problem is prohibited
  • Gloves or single glove inside the building is prohibited
  • Jewelry or chains that can cause injury, hanging chains is prohibited
  • Spiked or studded accessories are prohibited

Tops/Skirts/Dresses

  • Tops/shirts must cover the upper and middle torso at all times
  • Skirts must cover the lower torso with no skin showing between top and skirt
  • Skirts and dresses must be at least mid-thigh in length; no mini-skirts
  • Exposed undergarments are prohibited
  • Halter, tank or tube tops, no transparent, half, or muscle shirts are prohibited
  • Low cut necklines, exposed cleavage, or spaghetti straps are prohibited
  • Pajamas, lounge wear, or bath robes are prohibited unless on specified “pajama days”

Pants/Shorts

  • Must cover lower torso with no skin showing between top and pants/shorts
  • Exposed undergarments are prohibited
  • Sagging pants or shorts are prohibited
  • Single rolled up pant leg is prohibited
  • Exposed buttocks is prohibited
  • Belt buckle monograms must be appropriate
  • Hanging or extended belt lengths are prohibited
  • Unfastened overalls are prohibited
  • Shorts must be hemmed and at least mid-thigh in length
  • mini-shorts; spandex shorts are prohibited – spandex running pants allowed during fun run and field day events as part of an appropriate athletic outfit

Head Coverings

  • Head coverings or sunglasses worn in the building during school hours (exceptions are made for religious or medical reasons) are prohibited unless it is part of a themed-dress day
  • Bandanas, do-rags, hairnets, surgical/shower caps, or hair picks at any time on campus or at any school-sponsored event are prohibited unless it is part of a themed-dress day

Footwear

  • Proper footwear at all times
  • House slippers are prohibited unless it is part of “pajama” day and then regular shoes must be worn outdoors

Language/Illustrations on Clothing

  • Obscene, vulgar, profane, or derogatory language or illustrations on clothing is prohibited
  • Sexual over tones or anything that promotes alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gang membership, or violence is prohibited

Gang Attire


All items that have been identified as gang-related by local law enforcement agencies are prohibited. These may include but are not limited to:

  • Dangling belts is prohibited
  • Chains are prohibited
  • Unfastened overalls are prohibited
  • Sagging pants/shorts are prohibited
  • Single rolled up pant leg is prohibited
  • Hairnets, bandanas, or do-rags is prohibited
  • Blue and/or red shoelaces on footwear at any time; other colors may be deemed inappropriate as necessary to protect student safety on campus is prohibited
  • Altered insignias or graffiti is prohibited
  • Jewelry or belt buckles symbolizing any gangs are prohibited
  • Graffiti in or on personal belongings symbolizing any identified gang is prohibited

Consequences for Violation of Dress Code


1st Violation: Student may call home to have appropriate clothing brought to change into. If no one is available to bring appropriate clothing, student will be provided with appropriate clothing to wear for the remainder of the day.

2nd Offense: Student will be provided with appropriate clothing to wear for the day. The parent/guardian will be called to inform them of the second offense.

3rd Offense: The parent/guardian will be required to bring appropriate clothing to school. The student will go to Temporary Alternative Placement (TAP) until appropriate clothing is brought. Detention may be assigned.

4th Offense: Student will be suspended out of school and a conference must be held with the parent/guardian before the student may return.

Water Bottles, Thermoses, Etc.


Students are permitted to bring water bottles or other appropriate containers filled with water to school. Other beverages are not permitted in the classrooms. Soda is not appropriate.

Home to School Items


Students are not permitted to bring toys, electronic devises or pets without the permission of their classroom/homeroom teacher. The charter school is not responsible for any lost or stolen items. Teachers will confiscate such items if seen in the classroom and the item will be returned to the parent. Should a student repeat this offense, the teacher may keep an item to the end of a given quarter or to the end of the school year.

Internet Usage


Students are permitted to use the Internet, upon return of the Parent Permission to use charter school internet access. Internet usage is restricted to research and school-related websites. Teachers monitor Internet usage. Any misuse or abuse of the Internet may result in detention, in school suspension or suspension. In addition, a student may be prohibited from further use of the internet, which may adversely affect their grade.

Medication during the School Day


The following provisions apply to both prescription and over-the-counter medication:

  1. Parents should avoid medicating students during the school day.
  2. When a student is deemed as needing medication, parents must administer any medication to the child directly on school grounds.
  3. School personnel are not permitted to administer medication.
  4. Students are not permitted to have medication on their person with the exception of registered prescription inhalers for those students with asthma.
  5. In such cases, the inhaler medication must be contained in a current pharmacy container labeled with the student’s name, physician’s name, date, medication, correct dosage, and time to use the inhaler.
  6. Any other medication issues must be brought to the attention of the certified clinical aide and will be addressed accordingly.

Students who do not abide by this policy could be found as possessing a controlled substance.

Law Enforcement Agency Compliance


The charter school is obliged to work closely with law enforcement agencies in the control of certain student behavior. These agencies will be called upon to assist in handling situations including but not limited to theft, physical danger or dangerous search and seizure. State law charges every school leader and educator with maintaining order and discipline among students.

Therefore, rules, regulations and procedures are developed to establish and to maintain an orderly learning environment in the school. These rules, regulations, sanctions and due process procedures are designed to protect all members of the educational community in the exercise of their rights and duties in all aspects of their experience, including participation in extracurricular activities, inter-school athletic competition and school transportation services. The Executive Director has the overall responsibility for the discipline and welfare of all students. Imposition of serious disciplinary action on any student, including but not limited to suspension from school, suspension from inter-scholastic activities, transfer and expulsion as required by law.

Definitions of Acts Specifically Prohibited


The commission of, or participation in, or unlawful attempt of any of the following activities or acts on the charter school campus are prohibited and will constitute cause for disciplinary action. In addition, students at school-sponsored, off campus events and those using district-sponsored transportation shall be governed by school district rules and regulations and are subject to the authority of school district officials. An incident, which constitutes the commission of a criminal act, shall be reported at once to the proper law enforcement agency. The student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) shall also be notified, if possible. Charter school leaders will take disciplinary action, whether or not criminal charges result. The following acts are specifically prohibited:

  1. ALCOHOL: The possession, sales or furnishing of alcoholic beverages.
  2. ARSON: The intentional setting of a fire.
  3. ASSAULT: Physical or verbal threats with the intent to carry through with same.
  4. BATTERY: Any not-consented-to touch or application of force to another person.
  5. BOMB THREAT/FALSE: Willfully conveying by mail, written notes, telephone, telegraph, radio, or any other means of communication, any threat, knowing it to be false.
  6. BURGLARY: Illegal entry with the intent or with the act of stealing property.
  7. DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: Willfully and maliciously destroying or injuring real or personal property of another.
  8. DISTURBING THE PEACE: Maliciously and willfully disturbing the peace of any person in the school, i.e., harassment.
  9. EXPLOSIVE DEVICES: The possession of explosive or incendiary devices.
  10. FALSE FIRE ALARMS: False reporting of or transmission of fire alarm signal, knowing same to be false.
  11. FIREWORKS: The possession, sales, distribution, use or discharge of fireworks.
  12. INDECENT EXPOSURE: Exposure of body parts that should be covered pursuant to the dress code.
  13. LARCENY: Taking of another’s property without permission.
  14. LIBEL: A written defamation of another person’s character.
  15. MARIJUANA: The possession, sales or distribution of marijuana.
  16. NARCOTICS: The possession, sales or distribution of a controlled substance.
  17. DRUG PARAPHERNALIA: The possession, sales or distribution of materials whose purpose it is to ingest or make narcotics.
  18. PROFANITY: Use of indecent language.
  19. RESISTING/INTERFERING WITH THE DUTIES OF A POLICE OFFICER: Willfully resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer in the performance of official duties.
  20. ROBBERY: The unlawful taking of another’s property with the use of force, violence or fear of injury to the owner of the property or another person present during the commission of the act.
  21. RIOT: A noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of people.
  22. SLANDER: A spoken defamation of another person’s character.
  23. STOLEN PROPERTY: Receiving or possessing property of another knowing, or under such circumstances as would cause a reasonable person to know, that the property is stolen.
  24. TAMPERING WITH MOTOR VEHICLES: Willfully breaking, injuring, tampering, removing parts, defacing, or climbing into or upon a vehicle with the intent to cause damage, manipulating any levers while vehicle is at rest or unattended or setting resting vehicle in motion without the consent of the owner.
  25. THROWING SUBSANCE AT VEHICLE: Throwing any object or substance at any motor vehicle.
  26. TRESPASS: To be on the property of another without permission of the owner and to stay upon same after warning. Or, to be on school property or at school function while under suspension from school.
  27. WEAPONS: It is unlawful for any student, staff member, parent volunteer or any other person to come on school property with any weapon. Weapons include, but are not limited to: knives, pocket knives, utility knives, blackjack, sling shot, billy club, sand club, sandbag, metal knuckles, explosive substance, dirk, dagger, pistol, revolver or other firearm.
  28. OTHER PROHIBITED ACTS: violation of other federal or state laws or local ordinances at school, at school-sponsored activities or on district-sponsored transportation is prohibited.

Antiviolence and Zero Tolerance


All children, staff and volunteers have the right to learn and work in a safe environment. Under no circumstances may a child be permitted to harm another child, staff member or volunteer

Students are responsible to utilize conflict resolution and problem solving skills. Students must seek appropriate help from an adult in any situation where violence may occur.

School leaders and educators are responsible to respond accordingly and to take action immediately. School leaders and educators follow all associated antiviolence and bullying protocols. ALL volunteers are to seek the assistance of a supervising staff member. All members of the school community are expected to abide with the self-to-self school rule in all situations and adhere to a zero tolerance policy. There are no exceptions.

Bullying


SNACS has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. Bullying is defined as “a willful act or course of conduct on the part of one or more pupils which is not authorized by law and which exposes a pupil repeatedly and over time to one or more negative actions which is highly offensive to a reasonable person and is intended to cause and actually causes the pupil to suffer harm or serious emotional distress.” There are varieties of bullying that are not tolerated at SNACS. This includes, and not limited to; harassment, cyber-bullying, electronic communication, verbal statements, physical contact, and intimidation. Students and parents are encouraged to further study NRS 388.122 through 388.129.

Drugs/Substance


There is a no tolerance policy for drug use or distribution. Any student participating in such activity on school grounds or during school activities will receive consequences under NRS 392.466. Substances include cigarettes, alcohol, glue (if sniffed), spray paint (if sniffed), illegal drugs, over-the-counter drugs and prescription medication. Substances will also include anything that a student portrays to his/her peers as being a substance.

Gangs


There is no gang policy by using several approaches that address the root of gang related behavior, such as teaching positive identity, social competencies, positive values and boundaries and expectations for others. The presence of gangs and gang activities can cause a substantial disruption of or material interferences with school and school activities. A “gang,” as identified in this policy, is any group of two or more persons whose purpose includes the commission of illegal acts. The charter school faculty recognize gang-related clothing, apparel, attire, jewelry, insignias, colors, paraphernalia and materials may vary from school to school and from year to year. Professional development is provided and updates incorporated as they are applicable. The charter school leaders shall consult with local law enforcement agencies and other agencies to ascertain the changes in gang appearances and activities and shall apprise the Executive Director or designee as needed, but not less than two times per year.

Sexual Harassment


SNACS is committed to providing a place of learning free from sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, consisting of unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s school performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment at school or school sponsored events.

Prohibited activities include:

  1. Verbal or written sexually suggestive or obscene comments, jokes, or propositions.
  2. Unwanted physical contact, such as grabbing, touching, or pinching.
  3. Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or magazines.
  4. Continual expression of sexual or social interest after an indication that such interest is not desired.
  5. Conduct with sexual implications when such conduct interferes with a student’s performance or creates an intimidating school environment.

Any person found to have harassed another individual will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including out of school suspension and expulsion. Any person committing sexual harassment may also be held legally liable for his/her actions under applicable law.

Bullying Prevention


Policies and regulations create a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students. The charter school adheres to a strict “bully free zone” in all aspects of the law. Bullying is simply not tolerated or accepted in any fashion. SNACS follows a rigorous defined procedure for bullying prevention including mandated immediate reporting of suspected incidents, and 24 hour investigation and response protocols.

Secret Witness Program


The charter school operates a secret witness program where members of the school community may report suspicious behavior and/or incidents anonymously to support a safe school environment. Students who know another student is doing something illegal or harmful to others could result in the being “guilty by association.” All students are encouraged and requested to get help from a charter school faculty member. The identity of the reporting student will remain confidential. Parents and family members are encouraged to participate in the program. If a student has told a parent/guardian/family member information that could result in injury or legal action, we encourage timely communication with school leaders and/or educators. Participation in this program will help keep the charter school a safe learning environment for all students.

Consequences


The charter school promotes a proactive approach to discipline. The goal is to teach corrective practices rather than punish for mistakes. All charter school faculty are trained on the policies of PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention Support). This program has many benefits to motivate students appropriately. However, there are consequences for inappropriate academic or social behavior. Such consequences may include Refocus, Temporary Alternative Placement, detention, Saturday school, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension and expulsion. Parents will be informed of all behavior issues, which result in a consequence. Parents are required to sign forms notifying them of an occurrence and return it to school with the student on the next school day. Students who do not return the signed document may incur further consequences. Consequences are not optional and are mandated. Continued missing consequences will lead to additional consequences which may lead to suspension and/or expulsion. Consequences may include:

  1. Temporary Alternative Placement (TAP): TAP is an immediate consequence for disruptive behavior in the classroom. This placement allows removal of the student to another supervised room, where s/he is required to work on classroom assignments, and it allows the classroom to remain a place of learning. Three TAPs within a given five day period will result in detention.
  2. Detention: Detention may be held on assigned days from 3:00 pm until 4:00pm. Detention is not an option for the student or parent of the student to whom a detention has been assigned. It is the student’s responsibility to show up for detention or additional consequences will be issued. Missing a detention will result in a second detention. Missing the second detention will result in suspension.
  3. In school suspension (ISS): ISS is utilized as needed. ISS is not an option for the student or parent of a student to whom OSS has been assigned.
  4. Out of school suspension (OSS): Suspension is utilized as needed. Suspension is not an option for the student or for the parent of a student to whom in-school suspension (ISS) has been assigned. SNACS follows all laws pertaining to suspension and expulsion. Students suspended from school may not participate in any school events during their suspension time. If a student was suspended through the last day of the week, they may not attend any event over the weekend. They must be back in school attendance before attending an event.

Suspensions/Expulsions


NRS 392.466 Suspension or Expulsion of Pupil for Battery, etc.

  1. Any pupil must be suspended for at least one semester who:
    1. Commits battery resulting in bodily injury of a school employee, or
    2. Sells or distributes a controlled substance, or
    3. Is found to be in possession of a dangerous weapon.
  2. Any pupil must be suspended for at least one year who:
    1. Is found to be in possession of a firearm.
  3. These occurrences can take place at any of the following locations:
    1. On school grounds;
    2. At a school sponsored activity; or
    3. On a school bus.
  4. For a second occurrence, a pupil must:
    1. Be permanently expelled; and
    2. Receive equivalent instruction per NRS 392.070.
  5. The Board of Governance may allow an exception to the expulsion requirement.
  6. A pupil deemed a habitual disciplinary problem (NRS 392.4655) must be:
    1. Suspended or expelled for at least one semester, and
    2. Receive equivalent instruction per NRS 392.070.
      Note: If a student is deemed a habitual disciplinary problem by the Board of Governance, they will be referred to their zoned district for appropriate placement.
  7. A pupil in grades 1-6, except one who possesses a dangerous weapon, may be suspended, as set forth in this section, or permanently expelled only upon board accord.
    – No pupil may be suspended or expelled until he/she has been:
  1. Notified of the charges against him/her both verbally and in writing;
  2. Provided with an explanation of the evidence; and
  3. Given an opportunity for a hearing in front of the Board of Governance (for expulsions only).
  • A pupil may be removed from school immediately, upon explanation of reasons and pending procedures to both pupil and parent, if he meets the following criteria:
    1. Poses a continuing danger to persons or property;
    2. Is an ongoing disruption to the academic climate.
    3. Is selling or distributing any controlled substance or any substance that he/she is passing off as a controlled substance.
    4. Is in possession of a weapon.

Search and Seizure


To provide an orderly and safe school environment where students are learning, the SNACS staff must control the behavior of students and prevent the introduction by students of harmful, damaging, unlawful or harmful items onto the school campus. The law, therefore, permits school authorities to search students, their personal possessions and their desks and lockers under appropriate circumstances. A decision to search a student, his/her possessions, or any school property or area assigned to him/her for his/her individual use shall be made in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Student’s Rights and Responsibilities – Each student has a right of privacy of his/her person, his/her personal belongings and effects, but that right is limited by the needs of all students for a safe, calm and orderly school environment. Students shall not carry or conceal or bring onto school premises any material that is prohibited by law or published school rules, regulations or policies or any material that will detract from the maintenance of a calm, orderly and safe school environment.
  2. An administrator, teacher, or other school employee designated by an administrator may search the person of any student, the personal effects in the student’s possession, under any of the following circumstances:
    1. The search is made in connection with a lawful arrest.
    2. The search is made with the voluntary consent of the student.
    3. The search is conducted on the reasonable suspicion that the student is engaged in an activity which violates a law or published school district rule, regulation or policy or that the student is carrying, concealing or sequestering material, the possession of which is prohibited by law or published school rule, regulation or policy. If the search is made with the consent of the student, a staff member will witness the consent and the search. The administrator, teacher, or other designated school employee making the search shall be of the same sex as the student searched, unless the need for an immediate search requires a search by an administrator, teacher, or other employee of the opposite sex. In either case, another school employee should always witness the search.
  3. The search of a desk or locker assigned to a student may be done at any time pursuant to either of the following rules:
    1. The search is made to maintain discipline and to protect students from the introduction into the school of offensive or undesirable materials, or,
    2. The search is made on the reasonable suspicion that the student is engaged in an activity which violates a law or a published school rule, regulation or policy or that the student is using the school property for an illegal or prohibited purpose.
  4. Reasonable Suspicion: In those cases requiring a reasonable suspicion as the basis for the search, the school official or employee authorizing the search shall have a reasonable suspicion that prohibited or illegal items will be found. A reasonable suspicion is a subjective, good faith belief supported by objective facts which may include, but are not limited to, the student’s age, history and record in the school, the reliability of the information giving rise to the suspicion and the seriousness and prevalence of the problem in the school.
  5. Limitations on Right of Privacy – Lockers and Desks: Students do not have the exclusive right to possession of the locker or desk to which s/he is assigned. The school reserves the right to conduct searches of lockers and desks as outlined in Section 2 above. Each student shall accept and use the assigned locker or desk on such basis.
  6. Canine Searches: The school may conduct canine searches of school hallways, lockers, classrooms, buildings, parking lots and other school property through the use of a canine unit. A canine unit consists of a qualified handler and a dog(s) specially trained to detect illegal or prohibited substances, weapons or bombs. If an administrator, teacher, or other school employee, official, police or security personnel, have a reasonable suspicion to believe that a student(s) have in his/her/their possession an illegal item or an item that is prohibited by school policy or rules, the canine unit may search the student(s). Such a search may only be conducted on reasonable suspicion, described above in paragraph 3.

Classroom Management


Educators are the primary adult who works with the students in an assigned classroom or role. He or she carries the bulk of the supervision of discipline responsibility which is in accordance with all Federal regulations found under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Family Education Rights to Privacy Act, Free Appropriate Public Education and NRS 392.

Educators are responsible for the environment of their classrooms. In every respect, rooms must be kept clean, orderly, attractive and stimulating. All classrooms must be supervised at all times by a faculty member. Individual classroom teachers are responsible to assure effective supervision. Students are to be held accountable for their cooperation with educators and other supervising adults. Educators must document behaviors in an objective manner. Educators will provide parents with a set of expected behaviors and consequences for their classroom. Additionally, NRS 391.270 prescribes that every teacher in the public school shall hold pupils to a strict account of their conduct on and in close proximity to the school grounds, on the playground, and during any intersession.

Educators must also document interventions implemented before seeking administrative intervention. The only exception to this is when the safety of any person(s) is in question. It is important that the teacher work closely with the Executive Director, Education Director, the special education teacher, and/or behavior consultant (for special education students with behavior plans) and the parents in these matters and that communications are open and honest.

Discipline and Conflict Resolution Related Curriculum


The charter school will research and implement professional development and curriculum/programs related to charter education, healthy habits, positive discipline, discipline management, and conflict resolution. Such topics may include: anger management, peer cooperation, values and virtues programs, feelings journals, social skills training, etc. Structured conflict resolution activities will allow students to work cooperatively, make fair decisions, solve problems, and manage anger or fear without threatening or injuring others.

Behavior Plans


School leaders and educators work with parents in developing personalized contracts for students having behavioral difficulty in the classroom. All parties participate in the development of the contract, which specifies behaviors, consequences, and duration of the intervention. Positive behavior plans are established to reinforce appropriate school behaviors and mitigate negative behaviors. Data is collected and analyzed and plans adjusted accordingly until a student successfully manages their behavior in the school setting.

Family Volunteers


The charter school promotes a collaborative learning environment where parents are welcomed to volunteer in and out of the classroom in a meaningful way. The charter school relies heavily on volunteers and requests that each family volunteer 10 hours per month. Volunteers play an important role and contribute valuable time towards helping our small school community. We are grateful to our volunteers and want to ensure volunteerism is a pleasurable experience for everyone. There are several basic guidelines and procedures to help keep our volunteer program effective and efficient.

In order to protect the safety of the students, all persons who wish to volunteer in the classroom and/or around the students must complete a Volunteer Application (at least yearly) for a background check and submit a set of fingerprints. Those persons who hold other agency clearances related to fingerprints must still submit a set of fingerprints as SNACS is solely responsible for our volunteer fingerprints and may not accept other agency reports in lieu of current fingerprints. SNACS reserves the right to submit the fingerprints to law enforcement agencies for the purpose of obtaining a background check. Unless a background check is returned with any arrest/conviction information that contradicts the documentation provided in the Volunteer Application, volunteers may be allowed to volunteer in the classroom as long as they are not a distraction to the class or school environment.

All volunteers must be under the direct supervision of a staff member. They may not be alone with students or unsupervised on school grounds. All volunteers are permitted at the discretion of the school administrators. At any time school administrators have the right to refuse volunteerism if they deem it is in the best interest of the school. Volunteers are expected to behave in such a way that is conducive to the learning environment and not impeding the primary focus of schooling. Volunteering should be conducted with a positive attitude keeping the spirit of the school as a guiding principle. Those who volunteer with a positive attitude and refrain from complaining help the school climate flourish. Those who volunteer with a focus on the negative can hurt the school climate. The latter will not be tolerated. A volunteer should refrain from interference with classroom or school related issues that are the responsibility of school personnel. All school rules must be followed, including the use of appropriate language, dress, and overall behavior.

According to federal law, the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA), classroom volunteers are not permitted to discuss any student or student related information they witness as a result of their being in the classroom or on school grounds as a volunteer. Any volunteer violating FERPA may be asked to volunteer in situations where they are not working directly with or around children.

The charter school has a list available for suggested ways to fulfill family volunteer requirements. However, the charter school encourages each family to use its unique talents and interests in volunteering at school. The school will benefit the most from such meaningful volunteering, and the families will enjoy volunteering more.

From time to time the charter school will send to each family, a detail of its volunteer hours. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that each family keep accurate records of their volunteer time or donations. A volunteer log via computer is available in the front office for recording hours or donations. Please remember that if you are making material donations, the receipt needs to be turned in to the front office.

Visitor Sign In


All visitors, volunteers and board members must sign in at the front office on the volunteer sign-in sheet & receive a badge. Classrooms will be called to announce a visitor before the visitor will be allowed beyond the front desk. This is a fire code requirement and safety protocol. This is not optional. All volunteers must be under the direct supervision of a faculty member and may not be alone with students at any time. The only considered exception to this if SNACS is provided with a current copy of a valid Nevada teaching license and/or a WCSS Child Care work card, which are verified with the respective issuing agency.

Closed Campus


The charter school will operate a closed campus. Students are not permitted to leave the premises unattended during regular school hours for any reason. Parents/legal guardians wishing to have students leave the premises during school hours must sign them out of school in the main office.

Court/Custody Issues


The charter school honors all court orders on file in the main office. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to make sure that court orders regarding students are provided to the school. The charter school cannot honor requests regarding custody issues without a court order.

School Structure: School Calendar


The school calendar will operate within a 10 school month schedule and meet all provisions within the NRS. All instructional minutes will meet minimum requirements of the NRS on a daily and weekly basis.

Attendance


This attendance policy is based on Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 392.122, as revised in the 2003 legislative session. Pursuant to NRS 392.122(4), all parents or legal guardians and all pupils are required to comply with the provisions governing attendance and truancy of pupils as set forth in NRS 392.040 to 392.160, inclusive, and any other rules concerning attendance and truancy as adopted by the Board of Governance.

1Recognizing that being a student at the charter school is a choice made by parents and students, and recognizing that attendance is vital to each of the charter school students’ ability to achieve academic growth at their fullest potential, the following attendance policy is set forth:

  1. According to NRS 392.040(1), parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are required to send children between the ages of 7-17 years old to school during all the time that school is in session. NRS 392.130(1) provides that a student is truant if s/he is absent from the school where s/he is enrolled if s/he is absent without permission of the school, unless s/he is physically or mentally unable to attend. SNACS Board of Governance has established a policy requiring students to be in attendance at least 90% for promotion to the next grade or earning credit. That means that a student must be present at least 163 of the 180 school days.
  2. All students must be in their seat when the bell rings. If you arrive late in the morning, you must check in with the office before reporting to class. Students who are tardy to school will have consequences. Students who are continually late to school may be suspended and/or expelled from school. It is crucial that your child report to school on time. If you or your child has shown difficulty arriving to school on time, there may be need of a consultation with administration to determine an action plan so the child is on school on time.
  3. When a student is absent, the legal parent / guardian must call the school in the morning (preferably before 9:00 a.m.) to excuse your absence.

Absences that do not Count Against the 90% Attendance Requirement


Students are permitted up to 10 circumstance absences per year. Circumstance absences include the following:

  • Religious
  • Family
  • Business
  • Legal
  • Emergencies
  • Bereavement
  • Pre-Arranged

Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) must send a note or call the school regarding the student’s absence. Other documentation that relates to the reason for the absence, i.e., religious calendar, court paper, obituary, doctor’s excuse, etc., must also be provided if it is available. This must be done within three days after the student returns to school for the absence(s) to be excused. Parent(s) and legal guardian(s) are strongly encouraged to both call the school to inform the school of an absence and to send a note regarding the student’s absence. The gives the school immediate notice of the absence and provides written proof of the reason for the absence to be placed in the student’s file. Pre-approved absences must be requested at least 5 school days in advance by completing a Request for Approval of Student Absence in the front office.

*Parents/guardians are encouraged to schedule medical/dental appointments after school whenever possible. Proof of the appointment must be provided when the student returns to school.

Medical absences do not count against the 90%. There are two types of codes for medical absences. One code designates a medical absence which has documentation provided by a health care professional. The other medical absence is coded to indicate that the parent/guardian has affirmed that the absence is of a medical nature. The school has a right to request a parent/guardian conference if medical absences become excessive and if there is no documentation of a health concern. It is extremely important that parents/guardians provide a note from a medical professional if available and always notify the school of an absence due to a medical reason.

It should be noted that parents/ guardians must send a note or call the school regarding any absences. This must be done within three days after the student returns to school.

Absences that do Count Against the 90% Attendance Requirement


Certain types of absences do count against the 90% rule, and are therefore considered unexcused. They are:

  1. Any absence that is in excess of the 10 days that do not count against the 90% attendance requirement, including absences that are for the reasons given under that section.
  2. Any absence that is not verified by a parent. Unverified absences are treated as truancies and will be treated as such, according to SNACS Discipline Policy.
  3. Absences that are within the parent’s control also count as Unexcused absences.

Examples of these types of absences are:

  • Staying home to care for siblings
  • Any truancy issue
  • Vacation (unless pre-approved)
  • Sleeping in too late

Students who suffer from a medically diagnosed chronic illness that excessively affects their attendance may be referred back to their zoned district to receive educational services the charter school cannot provide.

Missing Instruction and ½ Day Attendance


At the elementary level, students will be marked as having missed instruction if they are late to school, leave school early, or attend 2/3 or more of the session. If an elementary student attends 1/3 or more, but less than 2/3, of the required minutes for his/her grade level, a half-day of attendance will be recorded. Missed instruction at the middle school level is marked when the student is late to class or leaves class early. An absence will be recorded when a student misses more than 1/3 of a class period. Attendance for students is expected when various grades, groups, or individuals attend the charter school related events. Such events include, but not limited to, AR field trips, campouts, tours, etc. Students are expected to participate in as many charter school related events as possible.

Make-up Work


Make-up work will be provided for any absence, but it is the student’s and/or the parent’s responsibility to request the make-up work in advance or on the first day the student returns to class. Because it is impossible to make-up some in-class assignments, coursework of a similar nature may be given. It is the student’s responsibility to turn in all make-up class work at the designated deadline. Failure to complete the make-up work within the designated deadline will result in no credit received for the make-up work. In order for an absence to be considered for review, the student must have completed the make-up work. If a future absence is known, please communicate to your child’s teacher. It does take time for work to be prepared and ready for the student. It is recommended that at least a three day notice is given prior to a child’s pre-approved absence.

Two/Three-Day Rule


If a student is absent, unexcused, more than two days, or misses instruction more than 3 days, during a school quarter (depending on grade level) and continues to be absent during subsequent quarters, the student may, at the discretion of the Executive Director, or his/her designee:

  1. Be the subject of a staff, legal parent / guardian and student conference to determine possible causes and solutions to the student’s attendance problems wherein the student and the legal parent / guardian will be required to sign an attendance contract, which will include a notice that if the student continues to fail to comply with the attendance policy, s/he will be in jeopardy of failure to be promoted or failure to earn credit.
  2. Be strongly recommended to participate in alternative means of earning credit not necessarily offered at the charter school be reported to the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) for a hearing, wherein the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may be cited with a misdemeanor for failure to follow the legal requirements, as set forth above.
  3. Be referred to the Board of Governance for review and advisement, including whether the student should be referred back to the district for placement.

Retention and Appeal Policy


Students who attend less than 90% of the year or course will be retained or not earn credit. Before a student is retained or fails to earn credit due to failure to comply with the attendance requirements, the Executive Director or her designee of the charter school shall provide written notice of the intended retention or denial of credit to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the student. The notice will include a statement indicating that the student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may request a review of the absences of the student and a statement of the procedure for requesting such a review. Upon the request for a review by the student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), the Executive Director, or her designee, shall review the reason for each absence of the student upon which the intended denial of credit or promotion is based. After the review, the Executive Director shall credit toward the required days of attendance each day of absence for which:

  1. There is evidence, or a written affirmation, by the parent or legal guardian of the student that the student was physically or mentally unable to attend school on the day of the absence (a doctor’s note will be required at the discretion of the Executive Director or her designee), and the student completed the course-work requirements and is passing.
  2. The student and his-her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may appeal a decision of the Executive Director, or his/her designee, to the Board of Governance.

In addition to the consequences set forth above, the charter school will implement a school-wide discipline policy for students who are tardy, missing instruction, or who have unverified absences, which are counted as truancies. The discipline policy will include such consequences as missing recess, detention, alternative learning placement, or attending Saturday School. The charter school expects all students to be in class on time as it is a distraction to the learning environment when students do not arrive on time and enter the classroom late.