STUDENT - FAMILY HANDBOOK
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
P. O. Box 2295
2690 Jefferson Avenue
Pascagoula, Mississippi 39567
Gateway Christian Academy was founded in 1999 by several individuals and families from different Protestant churches in the community. Seeking God’s direction and provision, with guidance from other founding leaders of Christian schools across the nation, groundwork was laid for the establishment of a Christ-centered school. The school opened with Kindergarten and First Grade classes. By the grace of God, our mission is being fulfilled so that children can continue receiving a Bible-based, traditional education. GCA is an accredited, non-denominational school.
By God’s grace we endeavor to assist Christian families in the education of their children, by providing a stimulating academic program in a distinctly Christ-centered environment expressly designed to equip students to a life of moral and spiritual integrity, personal and social responsibility, and zeal to know and serve a Holy God.
- Ensure that the parental authority over the education of their children is respected and reinforced (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
- Manifest the basic presupposition that the inerrant Scriptures truthfully reveal God as the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:2, Colossians 1:15)
- Teach all subjects as a part of an integrated whole with the Scriptures at the center (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Encourage every student to examine and develop his relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Provide a clear model of the biblical Christian life through the actions of our staff and Board of Governors
- Promote principled thinking by helping each student develop a biblical worldview to be consistently applied to every area of life
- Cultivate in each student a lifelong love of learning and pursuit of academic and moral excellence, for the purpose of bringing glory to God alone
- Utilize a model of education emphasizing the grammar, logic and rhetoric, in written and oral form, in each subject
- Train and equip each student to be a servant-leader who has an impact on those God puts within reach by a living a God-honoring life
- Provide an orderly atmosphere conducive to the attainment of the above goals
Statement of Faith
The following is the foundation of beliefs on which Gateway Christian Academy is based. They are also the key elements of Christianity that will be unapologetically taught in various ways through all grade levels. The substance of these statements is that which will be considered the primary doctrine of Gateway Christian Academy. Secondary or divisive doctrines and issues will not be presented as primary doctrine. When these types of doctrines or issues arise, they will be referred back to the family and local churches for final authority.
- We believe the Bible alone to be the Word of God, the ultimate and infallible authority for faith and practice.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent in all things. He is limited by nothing other than His own nature and character. We believe the God we serve is holy, righteous, good, loving and merciful. He is the Creator, Sustainer and Governor of everything that has been made.
- We believe in the true and full humanity of our Lord Savior Jesus Christ. We believe in his virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
- We believe in the full deity of the Holy Spirit, acknowledging His work in creation and redemption, together with the Father and the Son.
- We believe that because of Adam’s sin all mankind is in rebellion against God. For the salvation of such lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary.
- We believe that salvation begins by admitting that we are sinners, believing that Christ died for our sins and rose again, and confessing our belief in Him. Salvation is only through knowing and accepting Jesus Christ as our personal savior.
- We believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone, and that faith without works is dead.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
- We believe in the resurrection of the saved and the lost, those who are saved to the resurrection of life, and those who are lost to the resurrection of damnation.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pledge to Live a Christian Life
The staff of Gateway Christian Academy will manifest by precept and example the highest Christian virtue and personal decorum, serving as a role model (1 Timothy 4:12) both in and out of school to pupils (Luke 6:40), and as an example to parents, and fellow faculty members in judgment, respect and Christian living. This includes, but is not limited to, the refraining from such activities as the immoderate use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and the use of vulgar and profane language. (Colossians 3:17; Titus 2:7-8; 1 Thessalonians 2:10, 5:18, 21-22; James 3:17-18). We also will respect the sanctity of life (Exodus 20:13) and marriage--as well as upholding the biblical principle that marriage is ONLY between a man and a woman (1 Corinthians 7:2).
In ordered to be considered for admission to Gateway Christian Academy, the following criteria MUST be met:
1. Parents/guardian shall provide the following documents at time of registration:
A. Copy of parent/guardian driver’s license or photo ID
B. Certified copy of student's birth certificate
C. Copy of student’s original Social Security Card
D. Mississippi 121 Form/Shot Record
E. Court papers: Any student enrolled in GCA must live with a custodial parent or legal guardian. If living with a legal guardian, the school must be provided with a copy the most recent court order. The school must be notified of any custodial changes and provided with the appropriate legal documentation of the change.
F. Doctor’s orders for any prescription medicine to be administered during school hours.
2. Acceptance of Gateway Christian Academy's Statement of Faith
3. Acceptance of Gateway Christian Academy’s Tuition Contract
4. In the event that a student has attended another school, the student must be in good standing both academically and behaviorally with said school and, if accepted, will be on a probationary period for the equivalent of one semester (no less than ninety school days).
5. Make acceptable scores on language arts and math admission test administered by Gateway. Admission requirements at minimum will consist of successfully passing the following tests:
A. Pre-Kindergarten (3 and 4 year olds)
1. The child should have the ability to cope being away from parents.
2. The child should demonstrate appropriate self-help skills.
3. The child should be able to use the bathroom independently.
4. The child should demonstrate verbal communication skills.
5. The child should show ability to follow instructions and rules.
B. Kindergarten (5 year olds)
1. Beginning of the year entrance test will consist of alphabet knowledge, letter/sound identification, recognition of rhyming elements, color identification, picture sequence, oral counting and number identification, shape identification, comprehension of positional words and motor skills assessments.
2. Mid-year entrance test skills will be taken primarily from the current curriculum and the Dolch Basic Sight Word List for Pre-Primer and Primer levels.
C. First Grade and Above
1. Beginning of the year entrance test will consist of the Dolch and Fry Word lists for previous grade, San Diego Quick Assessment and the previous grade’s end of the year tests in reading, phonics and math. These end of the year tests tests will come primarily from the textbook series in current use at the school.
2. Mid-year entrance test will consist of the Dolch and Fry Word lists for the current grade, San Diego Quick Assessment and the current grade’s mid-year tests for reading, phonics, and math. These mid-year tests will come primarily from the textbook series in current use at the school.
GATEWAY Christian Academy expects students to be present each day school is in session. The school calendar is provided to aid in the planning of family activities and various personal appointments. This calendar is available in the school office and on-line. Please make every effort to arrange family trips during times when school is not in session.
Students in grades K5 and above shall be limited to five (5) days of unexcused absences per semester or ten (10) days total (includes excused and unexcused) per semester. On day six (6) for unexcused absences and day eleven (11) for the total number absences, the grade for the nine weeks goes to 65/F or actual grade, whichever is lower.
In order for any absence to be excused, the parent/guardian must call the school office before 2:00 p.m. on the day of the absences or the student must submit a note signed by a parent/guardian or a signed medical excuse, stating the reason for the absence. The student must submit this written excuse to the proper school official by 10:00 a.m. on the day the student returns to school. All notes, parent or physician, must be presented to the student’s homeroom teacher on returning to school. If a note is not presented, the absence is unexcused and no make-up work will be allowed. Students may have only five (5) call-ins or parent notes per semester. Additional absences may be excused with a physician’s note. Graded assignments wil1 be given a grade of zero.
A genuine medical or family emergency can be excused and make-up work allowed upon board approval.
Students in grades K5 and above must be present for a minimum of four (4) hours to be counted present for the day.
Parents should notify the office or homeroom teacher if a student is absent.
It is the responsibility of the student and/or parent to find out what work was missed during an absence and to arrange for make-up class work and tests. Work must be made up in the allowed time. For example, if a student is out for two days, upon their return they will have two days to make up the work missed. Class work and/or tests not completed within this time period or missed due to an unexcused absence or tardy may not be made up, and will be assigned a grade of zero (0).
PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF TIME
Doors open at 7:35 A.M. and students should arrive no later than 7:50 A.M. Students are to go to their classroom. School dismisses at 2:50 A.M. Students should be picked up no later than 3:10 P.M, unless going to Aftercare. Students who are not picked up by 3:10will be placed in Aftercare and the parents will be charged $15.00 (the daily drop in rate for one student).
TARDY TO SCHOOL
Any student who is not with his class at 7:50 A.M. will be considered tardy. Any student who arrives after 7:50 a.m. must be accompanied by the parent and report to the office and check in. The student will then be given a check-in pass to give to his/her teacher. No student will be admitted into the classroom without a check-in pass. After 3 tardies to school, within a semester, all subsequent tardies will be counted as unexcused. Work missed due to these tardies will be given the grade of zero.
SCHOOL CALENDAR, EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING
As a general rule, we will follow the calendar published by the Pascagoula School District. In case of severe weather, please listen to local television and radio reports. We will follow the Pascagoula Public Schools with regard to closing.
EARLY DISMISSAL / CHECKOUT
It is preferable that doctor’s appointments, dental visits, etc. be arranged for after school hours. When this is not possible, the parent or authorized adult picking up their student must come into the office to sign the early dismissal log. For safety reasons, students are required to report to the office where they will meet their parent or the parent’s designated representative. The designated representative must be listed on the registration form. No student may leave the school without following this procedure. Students returning to school at the end of the appointment are to check in at the office immediately upon returning to school.
A Beka Books and Bob Jones University Press are used as our primary curriculum models. The ultimate goal for and the guiding principle of our curriculum is to educate the whole person in accordance with our philosophy of education. Our students are exposed to material deemed necessary to fit the whole person for God’s service in and through human society as we know it today. Subjects taught in our curriculum include, but are not limited to the following: language arts, social sciences, science, mathematics, and Bible.
HOLIDAYS – BIRTHDAYS
Halloween. GATEWAY does not recognize the Halloween holiday. During October, teachers may celebrate fall and the harvest bounty our Lord has provided. However, we ask that students do not come dressed in costume, or bring candy or treats with pictures of witches, goblins, jack-o-lanterns, and things of that nature.
Christmas. The emphasis of Christmas must be the birth of Christ. Santa Claus is not acknowledged at GATEWAY Christian Academy. If students ask about Santa Claus, they will be directed to their parents.
Valentine’s Day. Students may participate in the Valentine’s Day celebration through the giving of cards. The giving or exchange of cards is permitted in the classroom only and must include all students within that particular class or group of classes as directed by the teacher. Sentiments expressed shall be of a friendship nature only. It is acceptable for a student to give a Valentine’s card or gift to a teacher.
Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is not celebrated or acknowledged at GATEWAY Christian Academy. It is not considered an appropriate occasion for a school party. We do take a Winter Holiday during those days.
Easter. The emphasis of Easter must be the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Easter Bunny is not acknowledged at GATEWAY Christian Academy. If students ask about the Easter Bunny, they will be directed to their parents.
Birthday/Slumber Parties. Passing out invitations to home parties will be permitted only when all students in the room are invited. Students will not be permitted to give out invitations to a limited number of students when others are left out. Parents are asked to handle this kind of invitation by phone or mail. Parents may bring a special treat to celebrate a child’s birthday. Prior arrangements should be made with the teacher.
SOLICITATION ON SCHOOL GROUNDS
GATEWAY Christian Academy recognizes that there are numerous activities and events in our community that are valuable to the overall spiritual and academic development of our students and our families. All such activities must be submitted to the Principal for approval. Approved events may be posted and promotional materials may be distributed. Parents or students may not use school grounds as a distribution center for invitations to personal or private gatherings or for selling any non school-related items.
REPORT CARDS – PROGRESS REPORTS
Progress reports are sent home at the approximate mid-point of each nine-week period. At the end of each nine-week term, teachers will give an appraisal of your child’s progress. The purpose of this report is to help you as a parent to evaluate your child’s progress academically, personally, and socially, insofar as we are able to measure. At the end of the first and fourth quarters, report cards will be issued in conjunction with a parent conference. This will afford both the parent and teacher the opportunity to discuss the student’s progress and individual needs.
The grading system for evaluation of academic progress will be as follows:
93-100 A 85 - 92 B 75 – 84 C 70-74 D 69 and below F
Enrichment classes are graded as follows:
E - Excellent I - Improving S - Satisfactory U – Unsatisfactory N - Needs Improvement In - Incomplete
All Pre K and Kindergarten subjects will be evaluated with E, S, N, I or U.
First grade students will not receive a letter grade in science, or social studies. They will be graded with E, S, N, I, U, or IN (see above).
Students in second grade and higher will receive number and letter grades. Conduct, Music, Art, and P.E. will be evaluated using the E, S, N, I, U or IN scale.
Before report cards are issued or permanent records sent to another school, all tuition fees, late fees, Aftercare fees, and any other school fees (including, but not limited to pizza, and lost/damaged school books or materials) must be paid in full.
Promotion and Retention Policy
Student promotion in all grades will be based upon satisfactory performance as established by Gateway Christian Academy. *
K4: A K4 student will be recommended for advancement to Kindergarten based upon maturity, performance, and mastery of objectives.
Kindergarten: A kindergarten student will be promoted or retained based on performance and mastery of kindergarten objectives, including the subject of Bible.
First, Second, and Third Grades: Student promotion will be based on earning passing grades and mastery of objectives in Bible, math, English/language, reading and not reading more than nine weeks below grade level in the reading curriculum being utilized.**
Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades: Student promotion will be based on earning passing grades and master of objectives in math, English/language, Bible, and reading, plus either science or social studies. Also, students may not be reading more than nine weeks below grade level in the reading curriculum being utilized.
Academic Probation: Any student passing with semester grades of 70-74 will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. In the event the student does not maintain an average of a “C” / 75 or higher, continued enrollment at Gateway will be based upon the recommendation of the principal.
Summer Remediation: Summer remediation and/or summer school programs with the expectation of being promoted to the next grade are not accepted. In the future should these programs be accepted, they must have prior approval of Gateway's principal.
Teachers may assign homework at any given time. Homework is defined as additional class-related work assigned by the teacher to be completed outside of class. The following are not considered homework: personal review, reading, or work on assignments not completed in class. Below are the primary reasons or causes for homework being assigned:
1. Students often need some amount of extra practice in specific, new concepts, skills or facts. In certain subjects (e.g. math or languages), there is not enough time in a school day to do as much practice as may be necessary for mastery. Therefore, after reasonable in-class time is spent on the material, the teacher may assign homework to allow for the necessary practice.
2. Repeated, short periods of practice or study of new information is often a better way to learn than one long period of study.
3. Since GCA recognizes that parental involvement is critical to a child’s education, homework can be used as an opportunity for parents to actively assist their child in his/her studies. This will also keep the parents informed as to the current topics of study in the class.
4. Homework may also be assigned to students who, having been given adequate time to complete an assignment in class, did not use the time wisely.
Since homework, by its nature, takes time at home, it is not to be assigned due to the teacher’s poor planning or in place of an assignment which could have been completed in school. The necessity for doing homework will vary from grade to grade and even from student to student.
In general, homework will not be assigned over the weekend or over holidays/vacation periods.
School-wide rules are used in each classroom, lunchroom and playground. Additional rules from the teacher for that particular class may also be used.
Students at GATEWAY Christian Academy are expected to conduct themselves at all times as young ladies and gentlemen. The great commandment that Jesus gave (Matthew 23:37-40) tells us to first and foremost love God, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Each of us is to obey God and to respect and care for those with whom we have contact each day. Such are the guidelines for acceptable and appropriate conduct for all of us at GATEWAY Christian Academy. Students are expected to cooperate with basic Christian standards of behavior and conversation. This includes treating their peers with kindness and respect and demonstrating self-control at all times.
Students in GATEWAY Christian Academy are expected to abide by the biblical and time-honored precepts of respect for adults, teachers, and those in authority over them. Adults and teachers should be addressed with courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., and Miss. They should answer with a yes/no, Sir and yes/no, Ma’am.
Talking back to or arguing with teachers or staff is not permitted.
Conversations, private or public, are expected to be positive, constructive and respectful. Foul, dirty or suggestive language or stories, gossip, misuse of God’s name or spiritually meaningful terms, suggestive sign languages, degrading names, putting others down, even done in fun, are examples of conduct which are unacceptable behaviors.
Unnecessary and abusive bodily contact is not acceptable conduct at school.
Students who desire to leave class at unauthorized times are to secure permission from the teacher supervising the activity.
All property, personal or other, is to be treated with due respect. Damaged or destroyed property belonging to the school or to others is to be replaced by the student or students responsible. Each student is personally responsible for cleaning up after using a table or student area.
To promote the goals and purposes of the school, students are not allowed to possess or use electronic devices of any kind (portable CD players, radios, Game Boys, other game and music devices, etc.), cellular telephones, playing cards, questionable books or magazines, toys, and weapons of any kind.
Each student is expected to come to class prepared. Such preparedness includes possession of pencil or pen, paper, appropriate textbooks, and completed homework. A student who counteracts the goals and purposes of the school (by indifference or overt action) or intentionally damages the reputation of the school may be asked to withdraw.
In all areas of instruction, especially Bible classes and related activities, teachers and students will give God’s character proper respect and consideration. Specifically, class songs, skits, stories and discussions that include references to the name and attributes of the Lord must be consistent with biblical principles.
Gateway Christian Academy does not condone and will not tolerate bullying or harassing behavior. Bullying or harassing behavior is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, or any act reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristics that (a) places a student or school employee in actual or reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property, or (b) creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits. A “hostile environment” means that the alleged victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior. Bullying or harassing behavior will not be condoned or tolerated when it takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or when it takes place off school property when such conduct, in the determination of the principal or principal, renders the offending person’s presence in the classroom a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the pupils and teacher of such class as a whole.
Gateway Christian Academy makes every reasonable effort to ensure that no student or school employee is subjected to bullying and harassing behavior by other school employees or students. Likewise, Gateway will make every reasonable effort to ensure that no person engages in any act of reprisal or retaliation against an alleged victim, witness, or a person with reliable information about an act of bullying or harassing behavior. Gateway Christian Academy requires anyone who has witnessed or has information that a student or school employee has been subject to any act of bullying or harassing behavior to report the incident to the appropriate school official.
The Gateway Christian Academy School Board directs the principal to design and implement procedures for reporting, investigating, and addressing bullying and harassing behaviors. The procedures are appropriately placed in personnel policy handbooks, school handbooks that include discipline policies and procedures, and any other policy or procedure that deals with student or employee behavior. Furthermore, Gateway Christian Academy defines one “reasonable action” as promptly reporting the behavior to a teacher, principal, or other school employee when subjected to bullying or harassing behavior. The policies and procedures recognize the fundamental right of every student to take reasonable actions as may be necessary to defend himself or herself from an attack by another student who has evidenced menacing or threatening behavior through bullying or harassing. [Ref: SB 2015; Miss. Code Ann. 37-7-301(e)]
Protection From Bullying or Harassing Behavior
Students and employees in Gateway Christian Academy are protected from bullying or harassment by other students or employees. It is the intent of the Board and the administration to maintain an environment free from bullying and harassing behavior. This complaint procedure provides a process for filing, processing, and resolving complaints of such conduct. Adherence to these procedures is mandatory. The failure of any person to follow these procedures will constitute a waiver of the right to pursue a complaint at any level, including review by the Board.
Definitions of Bullying or Harassing Behavior
Bullying or harassing behavior is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, or any act reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic that (a) places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property, or (b) creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits.
A "hostile environment" means that the alleged victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior.
Bullying or harassing behavior will not be condoned or tolerated when it takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or when it takes place off school property when such conduct, in the determination of the principal, renders the offending person’s presence in the classroom a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the pupils and teacher of such class as a whole.
Procedures for Processing a Complaint
Any student, school employee, or volunteer who feels he/she has been a victim of bullying or harassing behavior, or has witnessed or who has reliable information that a student, school employee, or volunteer has been subjected to bullying or harassing behavior shall immediately report such conduct to a teacher, principal or any other school official. The report shall be made promptly but no later than five (5) calendar days after the alleged act or acts occurred. All witnesses and alleged victims shall complete a “Bullying/Harassing Report Form” (available in the school office), which shall include the name of the reporting person, the specific nature and date of the misconduct, the names of the alleged victim of the misconduct, the names of any witnesses and any other information that would assist in the investigation of the complaint.
The report shall be given promptly to the principal who shall institute an immediate investigation. Complaints against a principal shall be made to the Board chairman.
The complaint shall be investigated promptly. Parents will be notified of the nature of any complaint involving their student. A Gateway Principal or Board Chairman will arrange such meetings if necessary with all concerned parties within five (5) working days after initial receipt of the complaint. The parties will have an opportunity to submit evidence and a list of witnesses. All findings related to the complaint will be reduced to writing. The Gateway official conducting the investigation shall notify the alleged victim and parents as appropriate when the investigation is completed and a decision regarding disciplinary action, as warranted, is determined.
If the alleged victim is not satisfied with the decision of the Gateway official, he/she may submit a written appeal to the Board Chairman. Such appeal shall be filed within ten (10) working days after receipt of the results of the initial decision. The Board Chairman will arrange such meetings with the alleged victim and other affected parties as deemed necessary to discuss the appeal. The Board shall provide a written decision to the alleged victim’s appeal within ten (10) working days.
If the investigator determines that bullying has occurred and it is the first offense of bullying for the aggressor, the aggressor will be punished according to the handbook. If a student has a second offense for bullying, the student may be suspended for three to five days. If the student has a third offense for bullying within the same year, the student may be recommended to the school board for expulsion or voluntary withdrawal from school.
The Bible clearly indicates that parents are responsible for the discipline (that is, training or instruction) of their children. The Christian school exists to assist parents in their God-given responsibilities. Therefore, GCA does not seek to assume a task that God gives to the parents, but only to serve as the parents’ appointed and authorized representatives in the child-training process. In formulating a philosophy of education and discipline, the school has attempted to align itself as closely as possible with the Bible’s instructions to parents so as to provide the utmost consistency for the child between training received at home and training received at school. In that same spirit, the school likewise encourages parents to discipline their children according to Scripture so as to reinforce and support at home the training received at school. The discipline will be administered in the light of the problem and the attitude of the student, and will be administered according to Biblical Principles, e.g.
1. Acknowledgement of the offense,
2. Repentance of the offender,
4. Forgiveness from the authority figure, and
5. Restoration of the relationship or offense.
Discipline may be correctly viewed as both a process and a product. God expects parents or other authorities to discipline children so as to produce a child who consistently becomes more self-disciplined, requiring less supervision as he/she matures. God’s ultimate purpose in charging parents with this task is to prepare children to enter into, and mature within, His spiritual family and respond to Him with respect and obedience. The philosophy of discipline at GCA exists to serve and further this ultimate goal.
Correction or chastening is mandated by God through Scripture (Proverbs 3:11-12) for conduct which is unacceptable based on set standards. The ultimate goal of GCS is self-correction by the student as he is truly committed to do the will of the Father. This would include true sorrow for the misconduct and genuine desire, through God’s strength, to redirect his/her conduct.
In cases where there is little or no evidence of self-correction, the teacher is called upon to assist the student in this redirection process. This could include anything from a word of warning or being sent to the Administrator/Principal to being expelled from school. The form of the correction depends on the nature of the misconduct. Emphasis is placed on the student being personally responsible for his actions. Restoration to his/her proper place should come after there has been a heart or an attitude commitment to obey and to submit to the desire of God and those placed in authority over him.
Each student will be expected to show consideration for teachers and classmates by complying with these standards. The goal of the school is that students learn to exercise first-time obedience. These are the “house rules” at GATEWAY Christian Academy.
The majority of discipline problems are handled by the teacher at the classroom level.
There are six basic behaviors that will automatically necessitate discipline from the Administrator/Principal (versus the teacher). These behaviors are as follows:
· Disrespect shown to any staff member. Staff member will be the judge of whether or not disrespect has been shown.
· Dishonesty in any situation while at school, including lying, cheating and stealing.
· Rebellion, i.e. outright disobedience in response to instructions and/or refusal to follow requests/directions.
· Fighting, i.e., striking in anger with an intention to harm the other student(s).
· Obscene, vulgar or profane language, as well as taking the name of the Lord in vain. Silly or trite references to Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.
· Bully or harassing others.
During the visit with the Administrator/Principal, the Administrator/Principal will determine the nature of the discipline. If, for any reason, a student receives discipline from the Administrator, within either semester of the year, the following accounting will be observed:
1. The first two times a student is sent to the Administrator for discipline, the student’s parents may be notified. The parents’ assistance and support in averting further problems may be sought.
2. A meeting with the student’s parents and Administrator may follow.
3. If deemed appropriate, a suspension may be imposed on the student.
4. If office visits continue to be required, the student may be expelled or his parents asked to voluntary withdraw the student from the school if deemed appropriate.
SERIOUS MISCONDUCT - EXPULSION
Should a student commit an act with such serious consequences that the Administrator/Principal deems it necessary, dismissal, suspension or expulsion may be imposed immediately. Examples of such serious misconduct could include: acts endangering the lives or health of other students or staff members, harassment or bullying, gross violence/vandalism to the school facilities, violations of civil law, or any act in clear contradiction of scriptural commands. Students may be subject to school discipline for serious misconduct at any school-sponsored event.
A registration form and enrollment interview must be completed. The following fees must be paid in full:
1. a non-refundable, non-transferrable registration fee;
2. a non-refundable, non-transferrable consumable curriculum/activity fee; and
Fees will be refunded if GATEWAY Christian Academy denies enrollment or is unable to provide educational services. Misrepresentation of facts during the interview process is not a basis for a refund.
Immunization, birth record, social security number, copy of parents’ identification, and, if applicable, custodial court papers are required before the beginning of classes for the school year. Students will not be allowed to begin school if their records have not been furnished to the school or if they are incomplete.
If the student does not reside with parents, documentation must be provided to establish custodial relationships.
Applications are not considered complete until all registration qualifications are met.
Curriculum Fees for returning students are due at the end of the school year. However, if they are not paid by July 1st, a $25.00 late fee will be assessed.
Tuition is due on the on the 5th or the 20th of each month, which has to be arranged with the office. After a grace period of five days, a late fee of $25.00 is charged if payment has not been received. Financial delinquencies over 60 days will result in the student(s) being withdrawn from classes until all financial deficiencies are corrected. A fee of $25.00 will be charged for any returned checks or non-payment due to insufficient funds. Applicable late charges will also be assessed if the returned check causes your payment to clear after the payment due date. A second returned check will result in future payments being accepted in the form of money order or cash only. We cannot hold a post-dated check, or accept a check to be deposited at a later date.
Failure to have accounts paid in full when report cards are issued will result in grades of Incomplete (INC) being recorded on the report card and other school records until all accounts are rectified.
ILLNESSES - MEDICATIONS
Children should not come to school with fever or signs of communicable illnesses. Children should be fever-free for at least 24 hours before permitting them to return to school.
You will be called to pick up your child from school if he/she becomes ill during the school day.
Medications that must be administered during the school day will be handled by the office staff (administrator/principal or school secretary). Medicine must be in the original container and labeled with the name of the child and directions for administering and be accompanied by a dispenser.
If a child has a severe medical condition, the parents should provide the school a medical plan of action signed by the physician. (Examples: asthma, severe allergies requiring use of Epi-pen, seizures, etc.)
In the event a child becomes ill or is seriously injured while under school supervision, school authorities will take the following steps:
1. Administer emergency care or call for an ambulance.*
2. Contact a parent/guardian of the student and follow his or her instructions.
3. In the event neither parent/guardian can be reached, contact the student’s physician and follow his instructions.*
4. If the student’s physician cannot be reached, school authorities will use their own discretion and contact a properly licensed physician and follow his instructions.*
* It is the parental responsibility to make payment for any medical fees encumbered.
If, in the opinion of a properly licensed and practicing physician, a child needs medical or surgical services which require parental consent before being supplied, and the parent cannot be reached, the Administrator/Principal or the teacher, or the designee of the Administrator/Principal or the teacher, will furnish such written or oral authorization as may be so required. The Administrator/Principal, teacher, or the designee of the Administrator/Principal or teacher, GATEWAY Christian Academy and its Board of Governors are released from any liability which might arise from the giving of such authorization, so that the child may be furnished with such medical or surgical services as soon as reasonably possible after the need arises.
LUNCH - SNACKS
All students should bring their lunch to school. Do not include high energy drinks or drinks high in sugar or caffeine. We are not equipped to warm up food for students; therefore, please do not send food that must be heated or microwaved.
Snacks are allowed and your child’s teacher will provide a suggested list. However, sunflower seeds are not allowed. At times, it may become necessary to disallow certain snacks or food due to food allergies of students.
Teachers will notify parents of upcoming field trips and may ask for parents to serve as chaperones and/or drivers. Your child must have a field trip permission form on file before he or she will be able to participate in any field trips. We encourage parental participation and believe that a parent’s attendance enhances the learning process and the moral development of our children.
Students are not allowed to bring electronic devices to school. Exceptions may be made for field trips or other approved events.
From time to time, drills will be conducted to familiarize students and teachers with the routine for safe conduct should the school ever experience a fire or the probability of a tornado or intruder.
The escape routes in case of fire or tornado are posted in each classroom at the main exit from the room.
PARENT – TEACHER CONFERENCES AND COMMUNICATION
Call the school office to schedule a conference with the teacher. Conferences will not be scheduled during regular class time, or Friday after school.
Newsletters are routinely sent home and parents are encouraged to read this for important information. Facebook (Gateway Christian Academy) and the Remind App are also used to relay current information and emergency details.
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
All policies and procedures of GATEWAY Christian Academy as outlined in the Student – Family Handbook (dress code, uniform policy, discipline, conduct, illnesses, etc.) apply also to after-school programs administered by the school.
Under our basic school rules, we require Christian standards of behavior. As a Christian school, our high academic and behavioral standards should be reflected in the appearance of our facilities, faculty, staff, students and families. Therefore, it is important to understand that our dress code is a Campus Dress Code, applicable to our students and staff, and their siblings, children, parents, and all campus visitors. The following guidelines for attire are required at all times on campus (during school hours, aftercare, and at any school function):
General: Gateway Christian Academy is a workplace for students as well as for teachers and staff. When on campus, you should dress in a way to demonstrate respect for the school.
· Dress neatly. That is, all shirts tucked in, shoes tied, no holes/tears in clothes, clothing appropriately sized for wearer. Consideration will be given to children in the lower grades who have trouble with keeping their shirts tucked in. No hats indoors, no backwards hats outdoors. No casual sandals (flip-flops, beach/surf sandals).
· Be clean. That is, recently washed and neat clothing. Clean, well-groomed hair. Older boys are to be clean-shaven.
· Be modest. That is, no tops of stretchy, clingy fabric, no short shorts, short skirts or hip hugger pants or shorts (this applies also to uniform attire). No bare midriffs, backs or shoulders. Outlandish or distracting clothing or appearance will not be allowed. Dress in a manner which reflects your love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
· Be sensible. No offensive logos/phrases/pictures, etc. Do not dress in a matter which draws attention to oneself. There should be no priority on self-expression. One’s attitude should reflect cheerful submission to the community of Gateway Christian Academy and its staff.
Specific examples of inappropriate clothing: jackets, caps, or sweatshirts depicting rock groups, casinos, alcoholic beverages, peace symbols, or questionable messages of any kind. No offensive or inappropriate logos or symbols (ex. peace symbol) of any kind may be worn (this applies also to jewelry).
Hair must be kept neat and clean and styled in a conservative style. No unnatural dyeing of hair is permitted. Barrettes and other hair accessories should be small, simple, and match the uniform colors. Hair accessories should not be distracting.
Boys’ hair should not hang down below their eyebrows. No radical or distracting hairstyles or cuts are permitted. Haircuts which are unusually shaved or spiked are not allowed. Braids and tails are not appropriate for boys. False hairpieces are not appropriate.
Tattoos and body piercing (other than girls earrings specified below) are not allowed.
Teachers will refer habitual violations of the uniform policy or dress code to the Administrator. Students not complying with this uniform policy/dress code will be required to rectify their appearance as quickly as possible. Cheerful, consistent compliance is expected; grumbling and challenging attitudes will be subject to disciplinary action. The school staff reserves the right to issue a warning to or ask a visitor to leave the campus if their attire does not meet the school’s Christian standards of dress and behavior.
As the Administrator will determine, special events/field trips may call for other clothing options. Special days may be scheduled during which other clothing options are allowed (examples: day on which blue jeans and official school t-shirt can be worn). However, the principles of dress outlined above still apply. Blue jeans may not be leggings, hip hugger, tight fitting, frayed, torn, embroidered, low slung, or baggy in the seat.
GATEWAY Christian Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, a