SNACS Parent & Student Handbook

Sierra Nevada Academy Charter School

Parent & Student Handbook 2018-2019

Admission Policy

Sierra Nevada Academy Charter School (SNACS) shall not base admission on intellectual ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, athletic ability, or discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or disability.

Enrollment

New School Year Enrollment

During the month of April, parents of children attending SNACS will be asked to re-enroll their children for the following school year.  Enrollment for the following year will then be determined as follows:

  1. All re-enrolling students will be placed first;
  2. Siblings of re-enrolling students will be placed next;
  3. A lottery will be held to fill all remaining openings.  The lottery will consist of the names of all students whose parents have inquired about the school throughout the year and have completed a tour.  An enrollment packet must be completed and all accompanying information / documents are required.  For each grade, those names will be drawn from a “hat” until the numbers of spaces available in the class are filled.  Parents of the students chosen shall be notified by telephone that their child has a space in a class.  The parent will then be given three (3) school or business days, depending on whether school is in or out of session, to provide any of the remaining required paperwork to complete the enrollment process.  The names of those students who are not chosen will be placed on a waiting list, with the name of whose parent(s) made the first inquiry at the top of the list, by date of completed paperwork.

Mid-Year Enrollment

During the school year, if a parent desires their child to attend SNACS, and the class in which the child needs placement is full, that child will be placed on a waiting list if the parent elects to do so.  An enrollment packet must be completed prior to being placed on a waiting list.  This list shall include the grade level needed and the date and time that the parent put their child on the list.  When a space is available in a class, the enrollment officer will refer to the waiting list and call the parents of the first child on the list.  If the parent passes on enrollment at that time, the parents of the next child will be called, and so on.  In the event that there is a sibling of a child attending SNACS on the waiting list, the sibling has first priority, regardless of date and time placed on the waiting list.  Students will be enrolled into a given classroom based upon openings only as a result of student withdrawals in the given classroom.  However, no more students than the number approved in the charter shall be enrolled in a classroom.  

Special Needs Assessments

All students who “win” the lottery, or who can be enrolled according to the waiting list who require special education services, as notated on the enrollment form and the School Services Questionnaire, must meet with the Education Director and the Special Education Director for consultation prior to enrollment of the student.  While we do not preclude or predetermine any student, SNACS is one school that offers special education services within the WCSD. Trained faculty meet with parents to inform them of services currently offered.  Anyone who chooses to enroll may do so.  However, if SNACS IEP/504 Team believes the placement at our site isn’t an appropriate placement or if it may be a financial burden to the school, SNACS administrators will request the Board of Governance to request a referral to the WCSD Board of Trustees for appropriate placement within the WCSD.  

Enrollment Documentation

Upon enrollment of your child at SNACS, the following documentation must be provided to the office before the child can attend:

  1. Completed New Student Enrollment Form or Updated Student Data Form if Returning Student
  2. Proof of Child’s Identity and Birth
  3. Proof of Parent’s Identity
  4. Proof of Residency
  5. Child’s Shot Record (issued by Washoe County Health Department)
  6. Insurance Card
  7. Signed Expeditionary Learning Field/Activity Trip Consent Form
  8. Sign Parent Permission to Use the SNA Internet Access
  9. Signed Academic Program Agreement
  10. Custody Orders as Applicable
  11. Free/Reduced Lunch Application
  12. School Services Form
  13. Safe School Pledge
  14. Family Volunteer/Participation Agreement
  15. Student Success Inventory
  16. Getting to Know Your Child
  17. How Will Your Child Get Home? & Who May Pick Your Child Up from School 
  18. Health Inventory
  19. Volunteer application, ID copy, and fingerprints if the parent elects to volunteer regularly in the school

Withdrawal

If, during the school year, it becomes necessary to withdraw your student from SNACS, a Withdrawal Report must be completed by the legal parent / guardian.  If the legal parent / guardian is going to withdraw the student, we ask that the school be notified at least three days prior.

If you fail to inform SNACS that you are withdrawing your child, SNACS may be required to report the child as a truant or a drop-out.  Please be aware that if your child is absent for 10 consecutive days without notification to the school, your child will be automatically withdrawn and the proper authorities will be notified (per NAC 387.200) (2)(e). 

SNACS will forward your child’s records to his/her new school upon receipt of a Request for Records from the new school.  SNACS will provide you with your child’s shot record and a copy of their birth certificate and a copy of their withdrawal report upon their withdrawal from SNACS.

Student Health 

Should your child become ill or hurt at school, we have a clinical aide or designee who will attend to the child’s immediate needs. However, a sick child belongs at home so that he/she can rest and feel better before returning to school.
If your child becomes ill or is hurt at school we will contact you, if applicable, to take him/her home in a timely manner.
If your child needs to take any form of medication at school, a signed note from the parent along with a consent/request form signed by the physician must be presented in the office. Medication will be kept and dispensed through the office. (See Medications pg. 18) Please contact us, to discuss further specifics regarding your child’s medical needs if need be.
Any child with a fever of 100.6 degrees or higher will be sent home and will need to remain out of school until the child is fever free (without the help of medicine) for a 24-hour period. Any student who presents with flu-like symptoms will be “sent home” (parent or guardian will be called to pick child up ASAP) and remain home until the symptoms have gone away completely for at least 24 hours without the help of medication. If your child vomits during the night or in the morning before school, please keep him or her home for 24 hours after vomiting stops so that he/she can rest and feel better before returning to school. Our goal is to work together as a community to keep all of our children free from sickness, especially from spreading it throughout the school.

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 of SNACS.  

Recognizing that being a student at SNACS is a choice made by parents and students, and recognizing that attendance is vital to each of SNACS 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 will be referred back to Washoe County School District to receive educational services that SNACS 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 SNACS related events.  Such events include, but not limited to, AR field trips, campouts, tours, etc.  Students are expected to participate in as many SNACS 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 SNACS 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 SNACS 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 SNACS 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 SNACS Board of Governance.

In addition to the consequences set forth above, SNACS 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.  SNACS needs 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.  

School Record Request (FERPA)

Legal parents / guardians have the right to review their child’s cumulative school records. The procedure for reviewing such records is as follows:

  1. A natural parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student has the right to review and inspect the education records of the student.
  2. The education record includes files, documents, and other materials maintained at and by SNACS, directly related to your child.
  3. If the applicant desires to review and inspect the education records of the student, s/he shall file an application in writing to the Executive Director of SNACS.  Said application is available in the front office.
  4. Within five (5) days of the receipt of the request for access to education records, the applicant will be notified of a time, date and place at which such records will be made available.  In no case shall access be withheld more than forty-five (45) days after the request has been made.  Each time the term “days” is used in this policy, it refers to “school days” during the school year or to “work days” during the summer vacation.
  5. The right of access specified above shall include: (1) the right to be provided a list of the types of education records which are maintained by SNACS and which are directly related to the student; (2) the right to inspect and review the contents of those records; (3) the right to obtain copies of those records, although the actual cost of reproduction shall be covered by the applicant; and (4) the right to a response from SNACS to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of those records.
  6. If any material or documents in the student’s education record includes information more than one student, access shall be limited only to that part of the material which relates to the applicant’s student.  If the material cannot be provided to the applicant, the applicant has the right to be informed of the specific information contained in the material.
  7. If access to a student’s record is requested, such records may not be destroyed before the applicant has had the opportunity to review and inspect them.
  8. At least annually, the school shall notify the parents enrolled in the school, or the student if eighteen years of age or older, of the basic rights of access and privacy as well as all information required under the regulations adopted pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 or any amendment thereto.
  9. There may be additional procedures if the applicant challenges the content of the education records of the student at SNACS.   Contact SNACS for a copy of these procedures.

Innovative Public Education

SNACS provides students, parents, educators, and taxpayers with the opportunity to experience an alternative innovative system of public education.  We are working to improve the learning of all pupils and by extension, and to strengthen alternative choices in public education throughout Nevada.  To do this, we provide a unique educational program that revolves around our commitment to the philosophy that all children can learn and attain high standards in core academic subjects if given the opportunity to build on their natural strength and provided with a specific foundation of knowledge.  

We believe the SNACS model provides such an innovative system.  Every student is provided a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) based on assessments in reading, writing, and mathematics.  Using the STAR testing tool, results from NWEA’s three testing sessions, teacher input / assessments, and data from previous the SBAC examinations, students are provided with individual goals based on their performances on those previous examinations.

Students are reassessed at the end of each quarter and new goals are developed.  Students’ progress is monitored continually throughout the year.  It is required that students and legal parents / guardians regularly meet with their child’s teacher throughout the school year to establish and modify those goals as needed.  

Within each classroom, students are placed in ability groups for reading, language arts, and mathematics.  Teachers provide direct instruction to these small groups based on national and / or state standards.  

Positive Behavioral Support (PBS)

SNACS provides students with an educational program that centers around positive incentives, individual recognition, group awareness, classroom celebrations, and school-wide models of excellence.  This program holds all students enrolled to work towards attainable goals which are recognized in the aspect of: the individual learner, the group, the class, and all students school-wide.  Each classroom has set guidelines for positive expectations and rewards / incentives.  Further, all classroom utilize a consistent program for all students.  One practice is the use of the Rattler Ruby program.  Students receive Rattler Rubies and are able to purchase items in the student store (Rattler Shack).  All staff members disperse Rubies to all students throughout all grades.

Classroom Refocus

SNACS teachers are progressive and innovative using these positive support measures for all students.  However, if a student is depicting a behavior that is requiring the student to be removed from the classroom, the student will be sent on a refocus to another classroom and / or designated location.  Under this protocol, specific documentation is completed by the teacher and student.  The student is sent to this pre-designated location to complete the form and his/her classwork.  Generally, parents are notified when their child receives a classroom refocus.  At the middle school level, if a student receives 3 classroom refocuses in one school week, the student may be suspended out-of-school.  It is important that the school, the student, and the legal parent / guardian work together to determine an action plan to avoid future classroom refocuses.

Office Referrals

Along with a classroom refocus, students may be sent to the office if their behavior is deeming of such removal.  Students will consult with the Dean of Students regarding their behavior.  Aligned with the principles PBS, we consider every act of misbehavior as an opportunity for a teaching experience.  Parents will be notified by the Dean when a student is sent for an office referral.

Behavioral Referrals to WCSD

As a WCSD sponsored charter school, SNACS staff works closely with the WCSD Discipline Office whenever situations arise where students may warrant emergency suspension.  

Math, Writing, and Reading Labs (extended day)

SNACS Educators have dedicated themselves to a program that targets specific skills based on our annual school performance program (SPP) goals.  SNACS is dedicated to providing 90 additional hours of instruction per year for the first through eighth grade as part of a pilot program to meet the academic criteria outlined in the NCLB Act. However, SNACS Educators may evaluate the effectiveness of this program on a yearly basis to continue implementation.  

During specific Lab time, each teacher works with his/her assigned students to target certain areas/skills where students need extra assistance. The teacher will work to review a mainstream of data to determine exactly what skills are needed to be taught. Attendances for these programs are considered a part of the regular school day and are mandatory under current regulations. Parents are also expected to assist their child at home to ensure they meet minimal requirements under state academic testing requirements.  

NWEA / MAP (Measures of Academic Performances)

SNACS has been incorporating the MAP / NWEA testing for five consecutive years.  The computer-based assessment program scores students in a variety of subjects, including mathematics, reading, and language usage throughout the school year.  The MAP program will be used as one method to determine academic planning of students. The MAP assessment is given up to three times per year, depending on the student’s grade level.

Renaissance

SNACS implements several components of the Renaissance School Curriculum including the STAR Accelerated Reader and STAR Early Literacy.  The Computerized programs listed above are designed to help educators diagnose and intervene effectively, motivate and monitor daily practice in the listed areas by providing precise, reliable information on student and class progress.  Educators can automatically generate and score assignments, identify areas requiring immediate intervention, and individualize instruction to ensure success for every student.

Students are assessed throughout the school year using the STAR program.  They are provided with a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) score for reading that is based on their STAR score.  Students are provided with goals based on their ZPD and STAR scores.  Students then read and test to reach their goals within their ZPD.  Students are not permitted to test outside of their ZPD, without written permission from their teacher and / or the Education Director.  Considerations for such testing is generally when a book is higher than ZPD and was read to the student or specific arrangements have been made to assist the student.  The general purpose of the program is so students are challenged to read within their ZPD, not to read easier books than within their ZPD simply to make their goal and attain points.  SNACS makes every attempt to reward students for reaching their reading goals as part of the AR program.  Quarterly field trips are offered to students in first through eighth grade who meet their goal.  Students who do not follow the protocols for the program may not be permitted to participate in such awards.    

Expeditionary Learning

We are integrating the Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound Design Principles (ELOB) at SNACS in order to give our students personal experience and intellectual growth that enhances self-discovery.  We are presently accomplishing this through camping trips each year.  These are curriculum-based trips where students do their learning in nature.  Grades are given to those who participate.  Those who choose not to participate are required to attend school on campus. In addition, middle school students are encouraged to participate in the World Strides program. This ELOB program allows students to visit historic American locations around the country and study first-hand the principles they learn in school.

Senate Bill 391 – Read by 3rd Grade

In 2015, the Nevada State Legislature established Senate Bill (SB) 391 to promote effective literacy instruction in grades K-3rd and ensure pupils achievement proficiency in the subject area of reading. Key elements of this legislation require school districts and governing bodies of charter schools sponsored by the State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) to prepare plans to improve the literacy of students K-3rd grade, designate Learning Strategists to receive and provide professional development relative to reading and literacy, and implement intensive instructional programs to meet the needs of students who exhibit deficiencies in reading.  SNACS embraces all adopted laws and policies related to SB 391.  Teachers work directly with the WCSD and NV DOE to implement all requirements of this bill.

Nevada State Standards (NSS)

In addition to the principles of ELOB, Common Core Standards, and Core Knowledge, the teachers follow the required contents of the Nevada State Standards. This is a basis for all lessons instructed in the classroom. Teachers will also plan the year out with a curriculum mapping of when specific standards are instructed. For further information regarding the state standards, please visit the Nevada State Department of Education website. 

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

SNACS students are also instructed on the principles and measures of the national curriculum, also known as the Common Core Standards. At the present time, 46 of the 50 states have adopted CSS as their guideline for curriculum.  The state of Nevada was one of the first states to adopt this program.  All grade levels are instructed through CCSS, NSS, NGSS, Core Knowledge, and ELOB principles.  For further information, related to CCSS, please visit their website at www.corestandards.org.    

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

In addition to the Nevada State Science Standards, teachers implement and create lessons around the Next Generation Science Standards.  By 2017, all schools in Nevada were required to fully implement the NGSS.  More information can be found at:  www.nextgenscience.org. 

Infinite Campus

SNACS will participate in the Infinite Campus (IC) Student Database Management System as part of the WCSD.   Each parent will receive a login and pw to log into their child’s account.  The system will allow parents to access student information in real time easing home to school communication.  It is recommended that parents routinely view their child’s progress using the IC portal.  SNACS does offer free computer access if any households are unable to have Internet access.

Security Cameras

SNACS has an existing security camera system throughout the school.  This data-based system is used by administration for the purpose of monitoring student behavior.  Images and recordings are filed for a period of time.  SNACS administration utilizes this system to improve student behavior and target positive incentives and proper choice making.  Only designated personal is able to view the recordings, and its contents are never broadcast outside the school premises, unless required by the court system.  Parents are not permitted access to view the recordings unless subpoenaed by the court system, as this is a FERPA regulation.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Teachers and parents work together as partners in education provide the best support for all students to succeed.  Communication through Infinite Campus, email, and Parent/Teacher Conferences days all strengthen the relationship between home and school. Teachers and parents are expected to develop plans and goals and review achievements to provide students with a framework for success.  The Nevada Department of Education approves early dismissal three times per year for this purpose.  Parents are expected to attend all scheduled conferences.   Parents, however, should not wait until designated conference days if they have a concern.  They should schedule a meeting with teachers as soon as a concern arises to provide the best opportunity to communicate and resolve a concern. 

Field Trips and Sierra View Church

SNACS is proud to allow students to access a variety of field trips throughout the school year for educational purposes, or student rewards.  Permission slips are sent home in advance of any upcoming field trips.  Students are expected to attend all scheduled field trips.  Additionally, Sierra View Baptist Church (located at 13600 Stead Boulevard) partners with SNACS for sharing of each other’s space.  Students will periodically participate in school-related events at Sierra View Church.  Students will walk to the church with adult supervision.  If a parent/guardian does not wish to have their child attend school-related events at the church, it is expected that the parent/guardian communicate in writing to the office.  Unless we are specifically told, it is assumed that students are permitted to walk to Sierra View Church.

Grading System

Students in grades K-2 will be given the following grades for their work:

     S+ – Satisfactory                   

     S   – Satisfactory                   

     S-  – Satisfactory                   

     I    – Improvement Needed   

Students in grades 3-8 will be given the following grades for their work:

     A+ – 95 – 100%

     A   – 90 – 94%

     B+ – 85 – 89%

     B   – 80 – 84%

     C+ – 75 – 79%

     C   – 70 – 74%

     D+ – 65 – 69%

     D   – 60 – 64%

     F    – 59% and below

Ability Grouping

At SNACS we believe that it is important to implement ability grouping into each of our classrooms.  We assess each child when they enter the school to see where they would succeed best in the different subject areas.  Each classroom usually has three or four ability groups.  This means that in the classroom, there are different levels of achievement.  One group may excel, another may be in the average range, and another may need extra support in developing their skill set.  Keep in mind while a child may be at one ability level in a given subject, they may be at a different ability level in another subject.  Parents and students see their progress as tracked on their PLP.  Small groups allow for more individualized instruction so students achieve their highest potential.

Choice Centers

At SNACS we also believe that students can learn from various skill sets through choice.  Each classroom possesses different choice centers that facilitate learning. Teachers create and implement various centers weekly in each classroom.  The centers are created around the Common Core Standards (CCS), ELOB Principles, and Nevada State Standards (NSS). 

Homework Policy

Homework shall be part of all students’ learning.  The purpose of homework is to reinforce, enrich, and/or extend concepts that have been taught in the classroom.  Homework will be regularly assigned.  This regularly assigned homework will be appropriate to grade level, subject area, and ability.  The general rule regarding homework is 10 minutes of homework per grade level.  

The cooperation and support of students, parents, teachers and administrators is necessary for this policy to be effective.  

Students are expected to turn in homework daily.  As middle school prepares students for the rigorous expectations in high school, the middle school teachers and administration has worked to develop a protocol for the middle school in regards to homework.  

Students will be awarded or cons equated through the grading policy based on whether or not they complete and turn in their homework on time.  Students turning in late work will receive academic penalties via lower grades as follows:

Late 1 day = 70% of grade earned

Late 2 days = 50% of grade earned

Late 3 or more days = 0% of grade earned, will not be accepted.

Students should make arrangements for work missed due to absences (see attendance policy).  Students may request extra credit assignments by determining a strategic academic plan with their teachers.  Teachers do have the right to alter percentages of decreased grades for late work as determined for the best interest of the student, or as an IEP may state.

Student Responsibilities

In completing homework, students are expected to:

  • Maintain an accurate record of assignments using the daily tracker (formerly called agenda).
  • Have necessary materials available.
  • Schedule homework time that is compatible with other responsibilities.
  • Accept responsibility to turn in assignments.
  • Be responsible to ask for homework when absent from class.
  • Communicate regularly with teachers on status of their academic performance(s). 

Parent Responsibilities

In helping children with homework, parents are encouraged to:

  • Support the homework philosophy reinforcing the value of homework.
  • Show interest in the student’s work.  Encourage and offer advice, but insist the work be completed through the student’s own effort.
  • Help the student develop good study habits by providing a suitable, well-lit area free from distractions.  Encourage the student to set a specific study time.
  • Make available necessary materials and resources.
  • Check to see that homework assignments are brought home, completed and signed, if necessary.

Individualized Educational Programs (IEP)

SNACS provides services to children who have IEPs or 504 plans as determined under special education law.  These children have been through the evaluation process, and as indicated above, have been determined “eligible” to receive services.  The team (teachers, parents, administrator, and possible others) meets to develop a contract, specifying the accommodations, goals, and benchmarks for the academic year.  Accommodations and modifications help the children to overcome their disability and reach their potential.  Parents receive the Special Education Rights of Parents and Children packet during the IEP meeting and may request a copy. 

SNACS does not have access to certain accommodations and is considered a school within Washoe County School District for the sole purpose of being a provider of special education services.  Washoe County School District offers a full spectrum of services, from minimal special education services to self-contained classroom.  SNACS is within this spectrum of services and works collaboratively for proper placement of students. 

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.

Behavior Plans/Contracts

Administration and teachers 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.  Feedback is usually provided on a set time frame (e.g. star chart or home note), so the children know immediately the consequences of their actions.  

Family Volunteers

SNACS promotes a collaborative learning environment where parents are welcomed to volunteer in and out of the classroom in a meaningful way.  SNACS 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.  

SNACS has a list available for suggested ways to fulfill family volunteer requirements.  However, SNACS 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 SNACS 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.

Overnight Chaperones

It may be difficult to know in advance, but if you wish to volunteer as an Overnight Chaperone on a field trip, you must be fingerprinted at least six (6) weeks in advance of the field trip date.  Fingerprinting must be authorized by the Education or Executive Director.  It’s better to be prepared, so if you might volunteer as an Overnight Chaperone, please plan to be fingerprinted.  Having fingerprinting done in the summertime is a great idea.  If you are not fingerprinted six (6) weeks in advance, you will not be allowed to participate as an Overnight Chaperone.  Fingerprinting is good for twelve (12) months

To be fingerprinted for Overnight Chaperoning, you must take the authorized (signed by authorized administrator) or from Volunteer Services.  School Volunteer Application with the attached picture ID to the Fingerprint ID and Background Office), Fingerprinting personnel will give you a confirmation notice that you must return to your school staff person to show you have completed your fingerprinting requirement. There is a fee for fingerprinting that is expected to be paid for by the volunteer.  If in the event this may be a financial burden to the volunteer, please seek the assistance of the Education Director. 

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 an SNACS staff 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 or a WCSS Child Care work card. 

Emergency Notification/Blackboard Connect-Ed Update

SNACS’s telephone messaging system, Connect-Ed, has now been in use for multiple years.  If you are a returning family, you should have received messages from you school on a variety of important topics.  To enhance the system and be able to reach you during the school day when an emergency arises, we need an emergency contact number that we can call in addition to your home number.  This number must be one that we can reach without fail.  It may be a cell number or regular number; it can be local or long-distance.  It CANNOT include an extension.  The system can only call direct numbers.  If you want it to be your daytime work number and you work for a large company, please DO NOT give us a switchboard or operator number of your employer.  We need a number that will reach you or a trusted friend directly.  Thanks for helping us reach you in emergency situations with information that you will need to know.  Thank you for your assistance in adding this emergency contact information to your student’s records.  In the addition of current telephone numbers, we also send message through text messaging and email.  Again, we ask for current, up-to-date, contact numbers from all families.

Extra-curricular Activities

Dances, Movie Nights, Social Events, etc.

Dances and social events sponsored by SNACS shall be under the direction of the sponsors at all times.  The sponsors and the school administrator shall be responsible to adequately staff chaperones, volunteers, or otherwise.  Students are expected to adhere to all school policies and to act in accordance with all school guidelines during these events.

All students at SNACS are expected to perform at their highest academic potential.  Students are expected to achieve A’s & B’s or O’s and S+’s in order to participate in any social events.  Lower grades on two consecutive progress reports may result in academic probation and a loss of these privileges, at the discretion of the teacher, administrators, and parent.

Nutrition Services

SNACS participates in the hot breakfast and lunch program.  We request that each family complete the Application for Free/Reduced Meals, as the information contained in the application is also used for grant writing.  If a family does not qualify for free/reduced meals, the cost is as follows:

Breakfast:  $2.00/meal  

Lunch: $3.85/meal

Milk: $.75/each

SNACS Educators commit to helping all children eat a healthy breakfast every day.  Breakfast is optional and served in the classrooms at 8:00 a.m. These are working breakfasts where children are still completing academic work while eating breakfast.  Lunch is served between 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., depending on the age grade-level of the student.   Meals may be purchased singly or by the week, two weeks, month, etc. Contact your child’s teacher for a specific lunch time.  

In following the Washoe County Nutrition Policy, SNACS follows a nutrition policy that must be adhered to. We encourage parents to provide healthy meals for their child. Further, if snacks are to be provided to the classroom roster for any reason, we ask that the food items be store purchased and healthy in nature. Such items include fruit, vegetables, granola bars, yogurt, etc. 

Safety Policy

SNACS conducts 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 situation.  Should a long-term evacuation of SNACS be necessary, parents should be prepared to sign their children out at the park located north of Lear Blvd. on Stead Blvd. The students will be grouped by homeroom class.  A copy of the complete safety procedure manual can be found in the front office.

Closed Campus

SNACS is 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

SNACS 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.  SNACS cannot honor requests regarding custody issues without a court order.

Confidentiality

SNACS is a small community environment and confidentiality becomes crucial to the continuing success of our school.  Under the Family Education Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA), all SNACS staff members will maintain confidentiality for each family.  Under no circumstances, without written consent of the parents, may SNACS staff engage in conversation relating to a specific student or discipline-related incidents involving SNACS students to other staff members not directly related to the incident, student or parents.  This would be in direct violation of FERPA.  

Snow Days

SNACS recognizes that it sometimes becomes unsafe to drive in the snow.  Should Washoe County School District determine that a delayed start or a snow day is necessary; SNACS will also have a delayed start or snow day.  When there is a 1-hour delay, students may begin arriving at 8:45am.  Staff members are not present to assist or monitor students prior to 8:45am and kindergarten is also on a 1-hour delay.  When there is a two-hour delay, students may begin arriving at 9:45am and morning kindergarten is closed.   Visit the WCSD Website for additional information regarding SNOW Days and Delayed starts.  SNACS may determine that additional delayed starts or snow days are necessary.  Contingency days at the end of the school year will be used to make up any time used for snow days.  Every effort will be made to contact local news channels 2, 4, and 8 during such delays or closures.

Cellular Telephones and Pagers

Recognizing that emergencies occur and that technology enables timely communication during these times, students at SNACS are permitted to carry a cellular telephone or pager, with the approval of the teacher or administrator.  Students are expected to have all cellular telephones and pagers turned off during instructional times (7:45 to 2:45pm / 8:00am to 3:00pm).  If in the event that a parent must contact their child, they should begin by contacting the front office. We do encourage students to leave all electronic devices at home. However, the following regulations must be adhered to:

    • SNACS accepts no responsibility regarding lost, stolen, or damaged cellular telephones or pagers;
    • Cellular telephones and pagers shall be turned off during school hours, unless there is an emergency situation;
    • An emergency situation is defined as one where the school and/or the student body is in danger, i.e., extreme weather conditions, prolonged utility disruptions, intruder, or any other event that, at the Administrator’s or his/her appointee’s discretion, is deemed an emergency;
    • During an emergency situation, cellular telephones may be used by students upon permission from the teacher or other staff person in charge;
    • Urgent communication to students should be through the school’s main office as student’s cellular telephones and pagers will remain off during school hours, unless there is an emergency situation.
  • Cellular telephones and pagers will be confiscated from students who do not follow the cellular telephone regulation.  Cellular telephones and pagers that are confiscated will only be returned to the student’s parent and/or guardian.  Repeat offenses may result in additional consequences.

Arrival to School

As a matter of safety and accountability, all students are required to report directly to the playground in the morning unless weather prohibits this, in which case, students will be directed to an alternate area.  Between 7:45 – 8:00 a.m. (Stead); 8:00am – 8:15am (Fox), students are to be dropped off at the south end of the playground where they will go directly to the playground.  Duty teachers will be on the playground by 7:45 / 8:00a.m. each morning.  All scheduled teachers will be on the playground by 7:45 / 8:00 a.m.  Students are not allowed to enter the buildings without the direct supervision of a teacher or other staff member.  Students needing care prior to 7:45 / 8:00am may contact the office for the before school program and rates therein. 

Dismissal Procedure

Students Picked Up

Full Day dismissal begins at 2:45 / 3:00pm. All other students being picked will be called to the front office/loading zone as they are dismissed.  Students are supervised by duty teachers until 3:00 / 3:15pm.  On scheduled Early Release days, dismissal begins at 11:00 / 11:15am.

SNACS is responsible for its students for up to 30 minutes before & after school, or until they are in the custody of a parent/guardian, or other authorized person.  It is imperative that each student is picked up by a person authorized to pick them up.  If children are not picked up they will be sent to the after school program and they will incur a fee for this service.  It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to keep the form, How Will Your Child Get Home From School and Who has Permission to Pick Your Child Up From School? updated.  Phone calls will not be accepted to change the form.  

  

Walkers/Bike Riders

At 2:45 / 3:00pm, all walkers will be dismissed. Those students authorized by their parent/guardian to walk or ride their bike home must leave the premises immediately upon dismissal.  Parents are advised to make sure that their child(ren) are home within a certain time period after school to assure their safety.

General Pick Up Information

All students are prohibited from coming into the main building for phone usage, getting a drink of water, or going to the bathroom after school during dismissal.  Students must use their final period classroom to make telephone calls.

Teachers will send students to the office to allow emergency phone usage by students during the school day.  Students need to make social arrangements at home, not during school hours.  Students must have a note from their parent/guardian if they are to be dismissed to go to a friend’s home.

Late Pick Up

Children who have not been picked up by 3:00 / 3:15pm will be escorted to the after-school program.  Parents will be responsible to pay for the after-school program if they arrive after 3:00pm.  In the event that a parent is going to be late to pick their child(ren) up from school, the school must be informed.  If the school does not receive notification, every effort will be made to contact a parent or emergency contact.  If no contact can be made by 3:45pm, the proper law enforcement agency will be notified.

Discipline Policy

Parents, teachers and students actively participated in the development of the school-wide discipline policy and procedures, which have been reported by the Washoe County School District as “progressive.”  One of the most important lessons for any student to learn is to respect authority, respect the rights of others and take care of his/her own and other’s property.  Additionally, no student will be allowed to disrupt the education of other students.  Although it is necessary to have school and classroom rules, our emphasis will not be on the do’s and don’ts, but on guiding the student to a problem solving approach to apply in any given situation.  In order to accomplish this, we must set discipline standards that are enforced fairly and consistently.

The classroom teacher is responsible for consulting with the Executive and Education Directors for intervention strategies to implement on an individual basis.  It is the intention of SNACS to utilize positive reinforcement and other behavioral interventions to teach students appropriate social skill and academic behaviors.  It is of the utmost importance that the teachers, administrators and parents work together as a team in discipline matters.  Without order, safety and a sense of security and civility, schools cannot work and learning will not occur.  

However, school discipline is not about rules, regulations, regimentation, policies or punishment.  Healthy and productive student behavior is a by-product of the beliefs and values of the organization.  The roots of positive discipline lie in the way adults and students think about themselves and others and the way they treat each other every day.  It is the culture that drives the discipline.  SNACS is fully committed to implementing the positive discipline policy.

School Rules

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

School Guidelines

Hallway Guidelines:

  • Walk at all times.
  • Always speak in an inside voice so other students will not be disturbed.
  • Stay on the right side.
  • Stay in line when you are with your class.
  • *   Always have permission to go to the   bathroom or water fountain.

Lunch Guidelines

  • Be kind.
  • Talk with an inside voice.
  • Stay in your seat.
  • 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, anywhere on school grounds.

General Guidelines:

  • Courtesy and Respect:  Children and adults are expected to behave respectfully toward others in their words and actions.
  • Noise:  Generally the noise level in the classrooms and halls should be maintained at a level of respect for others in the building.  Planned activities, which require livelier student interaction should be conducted with the same respect.
  • Teacher Attention / “TA”:  In most classroom situations, students are expected to raise their hands for teacher attention of any kind.  Students will be recognized by the teacher in order to speak or leave their seats unless other classroom procedures or methods have been established for a given activity.
  • Calm Person:  In the classroom situation, students will utilize the calm person technique to encourage timely and orderly transitions from subject to subject and activity to activity.  This will maximize instructional time.  
  • Procedures:  Individual teachers must establish procedures in the classroom regarding the use of the bathroom, turning in papers, lining up to leave the classroom, etc.

Educare Rules

SNACS before and after school program, Educare, is under the supervision of administration.  However, Educare is a separate program from the regular school program.  State law requires public schools to be accountable for students enrolled in their school ½ hour before and ½ hour after the school day, upon school premises.  Consequences given during Educare will apply to Educare only.  For example, if a student is suspended in Educare, they will be suspended from the Educare program, not the classroom.  Only if the student’s behavior poses a threat to the classroom environment, administration will meet and determine appropriate action.  Consultation regarding such behavior will occur between the Executive and Education Director and the Educare Coordinator prior to enforcing such a consequence.

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
  • No holes, rips, or tears that reveal the body
  • No tight-fitting or revealing clothing

Safety

  • No clothing that can pose a potential health or safety problem
  • No gloves inside the building; no single glove at any time
  • No jewelry or chains that can cause injury
  • No hanging chains
  • No spiked or studded accessories

Tops/Skirts/Dresses

  • Tops 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
  • No exposed undergarments
  • No halter, tank or tube tops, no transparent, half, or muscle shirts
  • No exposed shoulders
  • No low cut necklines, exposed cleavage, or spaghetti straps
  • No pajamas, lounge wear, or bath robes

Pants/Shorts

  • Must cover lower torso with no skin showing between top and pants/shorts
  • No exposed undergarments
  • No sagging pants or shorts
  • No single rolled up pant leg
  • No exposed buttocks
  • Belt buckle monograms must be appropriate
  • No hanging or extended belt lengths
  • No unfastened overalls
  • No cut-offs
  • Shorts must be hemmed and at least mid-thigh in length
  • No mini-shorts; no spandex shorts

Head Coverings

  • No head coverings or sunglasses worn in the building during school hours (exceptions are made for religious or medical reasons)
  • No bandanas, do-rags, hairnets, surgical/shower caps, or hair picks at any time on campus or at any school-sponsored event

Footwear

  • Proper footwear at all times
  • No house slippers
  • No flip flops

Language/Illustrations on Clothing

  • No obscene, vulgar, profane, or derogatory language or illustrations on clothing
  • No sexual overtones, or anything that promotes alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gang membership, or violence.
  • Nothing that may be deemed a safety issue.

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:

  • No dangling belts
  • No chains
  • No unfastened overalls
  • No sagging pants/shorts
  • No single rolled up pant leg
  • No hairnets, bandanas, or do-rags
  • No blue and/or red shoelaces on footwear at any time; other colors may be deemed inappropriate as necessary to protect student safety on campus
  • No altered insignias or graffiti
  • No jewelry or belt buckles symbolizing any gangs
  • No graffiti in or on personal belongings symbolizing any identified gang.

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. 

*Continued offenses may lead to Saturday School and eventually expulsion.

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.  SNACS 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 SNACS 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:

  • Parents should avoid medicating students during the school day.  
  • When a student is deemed as needing medication, parents must administer any medication to the child directly on school grounds. 
  • School personnel are not permitted to administer medication.  
  • Students are not permitted to have medication on their person with the exception of registered prescription inhalers for those students with asthma.  
  • 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.  
  • 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

SNACS 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 teacher and Administrator 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 are governed by the provisions of WCSD 5144.15: DISCIPLINARY REPORTING PROCEDUES and WCSD 5144.16:  DISCIPLINARY HEARING PROCEDURES.  These regulations are available in the office and will be made available upon request. 

Definitions of Acts Specifically Prohibited

The commission of, or participation in, or unlawful attempt of any of the following activities or acts on the SNACS 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.  SNACS will take disciplinary action, whether or not criminal charges result. SNACS faculty work closely with the WCSD with regard to any discipline issues involving prohibited acts or those with an ongoing nature.  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.  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 or other dangerous weapon. 

      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

At SNACS, we believe 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.  It is the responsibility of the student to utilize conflict resolution and problem solving skills.  The student must seek help from an adult in any situation where violence may occur.

It is the responsibility of all adults to respond accordingly and to take action immediately.  Staff members will follow antiviolence protocol.  ALL volunteers are to seek the assistance of a SNACS staff member.  We abide by self to self in all situations and adopt a zero-tolerance policy.  There are no exceptions.

Drugs/Substance

SNACS supports 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

SNACS supports a 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.  SNACS further recognizes that any gang-related clothing, apparel, attire, jewelry, insignias, colors, paraphernalia and materials may vary from school to school and from year to year.  SNACS 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:

  • Verbal or written sexually suggestive or obscene comments, jokes, or propositions.
  • Unwanted physical contact, such as grabbing, touching, or pinching.
  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or magazines.
  • Continual expression of sexual or social interest after an indication that such interest is not desired.
  • 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.

Secret Witness Program

In order to promote school-wide safety, SNACS pledges to abide by a secret witness program.  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 an SNACS staff member.  The identity of the reporting student will remain confidential.  Parents may also participate in this program.  If a student has told a parent information that could result in injury or legal action, we encourage parents to let the school know.  Participation in this program will help keep SNACS safe learning environment.

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:

  • Commits battery resulting in bodily injury of a school employee, or
  • Sells or distributes a controlled substance, or
  • Is found to be in possession of a dangerous weapon.

2.   Any pupil must be suspended for at least one year who:

  • Is found to be in possession of a firearm.

3.   These occurrences can take place at any of the following locations:

  • On school grounds;
  • At a school sponsored activity; or
  • On a school bus.

4.   For a second occurrence, a pupil must:

  • Be permanently expelled; and
  • Receive equivalent instruction per NRS 392.070.

5.   The SNACS Board of Governance may allow an exception to the expulsion requirement.

6.    A pupil deemed a habitual disciplinary problem (NRS 392.4655) must be:

  • Suspended or expelled for at least one semester, and
  • Receive equivalent instruction per NRS 392.070.

If a student is deemed a habitual disciplinary problem by the SNACS Board of Governance, they will be referred to WCSD 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 SNACS board accord.

  • No pupil may be suspended or expelled until he/she has been:
  • Notified of the charges against him/her both verbally and in writing;
  • Provided with an explanation of the evidence; and
  • 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:

  • Poses a continuing danger to persons or property;
  • Is an ongoing disruption to the academic climate.
  • Is selling or distributing any controlled substance or any substance that he/she is passing off as a controlled substance
  • 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:

a.  The search is made in connection with a lawful arrest.

b.  The search is made with the voluntary consent of the student.

  1. 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.  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, 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

3.  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.  

4.  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.

5.  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

Since the classroom teacher is the one who works closest with the children, 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.

Teachers 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 SNACS staff member.  Individual classroom teachers are responsible to assure effective supervision.  Students are to be held accountable for their cooperation with teachers and other supervising adults.  Teachers must document behaviors in an objective manner.  Teachers 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.

Teachers 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

SNACS will continue to research and implement curriculum related to discipline 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.

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.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a program designed to assist students with specific deficiencies in math or language skills. All classroom students are placed into certain levels (tiers) that determine the level of interventions needed. Regular meetings take place between the classroom teacher and the IAT (Intervention Assistance Team) to determine exactly what methods of instruction need to be taught. When a student reaches a specific level of interventions, the parent(s)/guardians are asked to attend meetings. Written notification will also be sent home for students who meet specific guidelines for RTI. Constant dialogue and support of this program is needed in order to make students successful in this program. 

Student/Parent/Teacher Rights and Grievance Policy

The procedure to follow when addressing concerns, problems, complaints and formal grievances is as follows:

  • Address the issue with the member who is directly responsible for the area of your concern.  This should be handled within 2 school days.  Breakdown in communication is often a key element to a grievance.  All members of the SNACS community are encouraged to try to resolve issues as they occur, thereby eliminating miscommunication and assumptions on the part of all involved.
  • If the issue is not resolved, make an appointment to see the Executive Director or Education Director. Formal complaints must be in writing and should be filed with the Executive Director or Education Director within 2 school days of initial communication with the member involved.  Verbal reports will not require a formal response from the Executive Director or Education Director.
  • The Executive Director or Education Director will take appropriate action to maintain a safe and orderly environment and will formally respond to written complaints/grievances within 10 school days upon receipt of a formal complaint.
    • SNACS Board of Governance will hear any issue that is placed on the agenda after all procedures have been followed and all attempts to resolve the conflict within daily operations have been tried by involved parties or when the Executive Director seeks board input.  Items must be submitted to the SNACS President and Executive Director or Education Director and least 10 school days in advance of a regularly scheduled board meeting.  Any issue may be brought to the Board during public comment; however, the board cannot discuss or respond to public comments. Such comments may become Board Discussion or Action items at future board meetings.

Information Specific to 7th & 8th Grades

Required Coursework

Students must complete, with a passing grade, three (3) out of four (4) semesters of Math, three (3) out of four (4) semesters of English, two (2) out of four (4) semester of science and two (2) out of four (4) semesters of Social Studies to be promoted to 9th grade.  The grades received in the first two quarters of the school year will be averaged for a first semester grade.  The grades received in the last two quarters of a school year will be averaged for a second semester grade.  One credit in each required subject area is available during each semester.

Parents and students in grades 7 and 8 will sign a form regarding required course credit.  

Athletic Program

While SNACS has no extra-curricular athletic program, parents of students who wish to compete in interscholastic sports and who are zoned for O’Brien Middle School, may contact the SNACS front office for a list of the various athletic departments, coaches, and contact numbers for programs offered at O’Brien Middle School.  Parents will contact the coach of the sport their child wishes to participate in to inquire about times and dates for try-outs.  It will be the parent’s responsibility to arrange for transportation of their child to get to the try-out.  If the student completes the try-out and is accepted on the team, they will be able to participate.  

Students who participate in interscholastic sports must maintain a 3.0 GPA, and must be passing all classes.  It may become necessary, during “away” games, for students to leave early.  Students must be current on all coursework at the time of such an occurrence.   

Lost and Found

Lost and found items are stored in the front office.  Parents should search for lost items and encourage their child(ren) to search for lost items on a regular basis.  Sometimes you may not even know that an item is missing.  All lost and found items will be donated to a local charity on the fourth (4th) Friday of each month.

School Store

SNACS school store, “The STAR Store,” is open during regular school hours.  Merchandise includes school spirit items such as T-Shirts, mugs, magnets, license place holder, etc.  School supplies, such as pencils, paper, glue, crayons, etc., and snacks, such as crackers, chips, granola bars and drinks are also available. Middle school students are encouraged to volunteer during the Rattler Shack hours. 

SNACS promotes positive behavior through the use of Rattler Rubies, a school wide incentive given as a token for individual outstanding achievement.  Rubies can be exchanged at the school store for various items as priced.  Please visit the school store for more information.  

No Cash Policy

SNACS prefers not to accept cash for anything except lunch, field trips and school store purchases.  Under no circumstances should a school employee accept cash for Educare or Enhancement.  Checks or money orders will be the preferred and accepted method of payment. 

Returned Check Policy

SNACS gladly accepts checks for payment of breakfast, lunch, EduCare, Enhancement, and any other program that requires a fee to be paid.  However, in the event that SNACS receives a check that is returned by the bank for “Insufficient Funds,” SNACS ill charge a $25.00 (bank) returned check fee and a $12.50 processing fee.  SNACS will no longer accept checks from the person who wrote the returned check.  SNACS reserves the right to seek legal recourse to collect all funds and costs associated with collecting on a returned check.

Asbestos in Schools Program

The Environmental Protection Agency requires schools to conduct an Asbestos Inspection and a management plan therein.  SNACS completed the inspection and management plan with the assistance of Hazard Management Services, Inc. The AHERA Inspection and Management Plan are available for review by contacting the front office.

Parent Communication

SNACS communicates regularly to parents through a variety of sources.  Our website, www.snacs.org, is regularly updated and delivers information related to academics, events, teacher lesson plans and newsletters, community activities, parental forum, calendar, preschool information, board member identification, and various web site links.  SNACS also utilizes the telephone automated system Blackboard Connect to deliver pertinent and immediate information to all staff, parents, and students of SNACS.  This system is also able to send messages through text form.  SNACS also advertises in various educational publications.  These publications are delivered to specific populations related to the school.  The administrators, teachers, and teacher assistants also communicate to parents regarding their child’s performance through the daily tracker (agenda).  Information can be related to, but not limited to, upcoming events, daily status, academic standings, and more.