The Atlanta stem academy 2016-2017 Parent Handbook



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TASA Parent Handbook

2016/17

The Atlanta STEM Academy

2016-2017 Parent Handbook

1/1/2016
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Dear Parents/ Guardian

Here at The Atlanta STEM Academy we’re confident you’ll find our unwavering commitment to educational excellences interpersonal skills, solid instructional methods, and hands on experience as a positive asset for your child. As well rounded educators, we have had the chance to teach a diverse group of students including those challenged by autism, learning disabilities, noncompliant behavior, and speech impairment, as well as students who functioned on and above grade level. We have gained in-depth knowledge of accommodating different styles of learners and incorporating effective methods to meet students’ unique needs.

We encourage student learning by incorporating the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program, innovative learning stations, various forms of technology, interactive activities, and educational field trips. These methods prove to stimulate students’ social, emotional, physical and academic growth. In addition, we utilize these strategies to introduce new concepts, establish a connection between the classroom and everyday life, foster an exciting and engaging atmosphere and teach fundamental skills. Our greatest capability is cultivating and sustaining strong working relationships with all members of the school community. Here at TASA we create and send out monthly newsletters to keep parents up to date on school events, and hold regular parent teacher conferences. We also collaborate with fellow teachers to develop new activities, implement beneficial resources, and refine teaching techniques. Furthermore, we establish a rapport with all students and make certain that they receive sufficient praise and positive reinforcement. We look forward to having you join us as we work together in building a solid foundation for your child’s future.

Sincerely,

Jessica J. Harris

Dean of Academic Affairs

Atlanta STEM Academy

Classroom Names

Little Einstein’s - Pre-K

Explorers - 1st Grade

Innovators- 2nd Grade

Brainiac’s - 3rd graders

Navigators- 4th Grade

Generation Next- 5th – 8th Grade

TASA Programing & Programing Times
TASA Before Care Hours - 6:45am-7:30am

TASA School Hours- 8:30am - 2:15 pm

Mommy Moring Out- 9am-1pm (NO more than 4hrs a day/8hrs a week

After School Program- 2:30pm-6:00pm



OUR PHILOSOPHY
The Atlanta STEM Academy is an educational facility that educates students from preschool-8th grade. Here at The Atlanta STEM Academy, our school focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The STEM program is geared toward students/parents who will enter the world with a higher understanding in a number of subjects. Each month we will explore a “Big Idea”, such as the classification of animals, the physics of pulleys, levers and pumps or the solar system.
We strongly believe that students need to be presented with an individualized approach to education. Students learn most effectively when they are engaged in an environment where teacher-child, child-child, and child-environment interactions are all at high levels. Learning is seen as an active process where knowledge is constructed as well as acquired. The curriculum and instructional strategies are based on developmentally appropriate practice for primary education. These strategies provide a balance of child-initiated and teacher-initiated activities, which enhances the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of each child. The staff here at TASA believes in a warm, nurturing environment that provides students physical and psychological safety. Teachers and parents working as a team provide the learning experiences and models, fostering positive attitudes and dispositions toward learning.
The Atlanta STEM Academy recognizes the importance of a continuing evaluation system assessing and reviewing the progress, performance and development of students, personnel and overall programing.
FEES
There is a non-refundable registration fee of $150.00 for the first child and $100.00 for each additional child, as well as a $15.00 special events fee for field trips.


  • Tuition is DUE by the fifth of each month for monthly paying parents and EVERY Friday for the following week for weekly paying parents. Payments received after due dates will result in a $25.00 late fee.




  • Dismissal will be at 3:30. There is a $10.00 charge per child for each 15 minutes you are late for pick up. There is also a $1.00 per minute late fee for after schoolers.




  • $25.00 NSF charge for each check returned. If tuition becomes delinquent after one month, you will have ten days from notification to meet your financial commitment. Failure to do so will result in the removal of your child from school.




  • If your child misses school because of a trip, illness, etc. the tuition fee still must be paid to cover that period of time.

IMMUNIZATIONS
THE FULTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT REQUIRES THAT ALL SCHOOL STUDENTS BE IMMUNIZED BEFORE OR WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ENROLLMENT.
ATTENDANCE AND HEALTH POLICIES
For the health and well-being of your child and of others at school, keep your child home for the following reasons:
1. Fatigue (for any reason), lethargic behavior.

2. A fever (a child should remain at home for 24hours after the fever is gone and/or prescribed antibiotics administered for 24 hours before a child returns to school).

3. Sore throat

4. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (child should remain home for 24 hours after the last episode).

5. Red, "crusty", itchy eyes (conjunctivitis or pink eye is very contagious). The child must be kept at home for 48 hours while being treated with antibiotics and should only return to school if there is no discharge from the eyes.

6. A runny nose if there is colored nasal mucous.


The parent or the person on the emergency contact list must always be available by phone during school hours. It is the parent's responsibility to have someone available who can come to the school for emergencies or for a sick child.
Please call if your child has a communicable illness or infestation, such as chicken pox, conjunctivitis, pin worms, fifth's disease, mites or head lice so we can exercise additional control methods and notify other parents. Your child's identify is protected.

Please notify the school if your child will be absent.


DISMISSAL
All students who don’t meet the state of Georgia’s weight/age requirements for riding in a child safety seat are required by law to be placed in a child safety seat. If a child safety seat is not with the students or in the vehicle at dismissal, by law, we cannot place the student in the vehicle. You will need to park and pick the student up at the door.

PARENT/CHILD SEPARATION
It is not unusual for a child to become teary when separating from a parent in an unfamiliar situation. Remember, this is a new environment with new faces. A child is bound to feel a little uncomfortable. Adults often have similar experiences when put in a like situation. Be encouraging. Your smile, eyes and body language communicate a lot. If a child senses any type of apprehension on your part, this enhances their own feeling of uncertainty. Separation is often harder on the parents than the child.
ANNUAL SCHOOL CALENDAR
We follow the Fulton County School District calendars. All holidays will be observed in accordance with this school year calendar unless otherwise stated.
SCHOOL CLOSURES
If bad weather forces the Fulton County School Dist. to close schools, then our school will be closed. If the Fulton County schools are delayed for two hours, we would also be delayed. Please keep in mind that it is your choice to have your child attend school on these days. The conditions of the roads can be very hazardous. The safety of both you and your child far surpass the risk that may be involved in transporting for one day of school.

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
Please see that your child and/or carpool students use the restroom before entering the classroom upon arrival. For dismissal only, you will drive up to the main school entrance doors and your child will be placed in your car. Each family is given two car name tags for the dismissal process. These cards are to be placed in the front window or another clearly visible location of your car. If your child is going home with someone who’s not on the child’s pick up list, please inform your child's teacher by a written note and that person must come into the school and present his/her state issued identification.
PROMPT PICK UP
It is important and necessary for you to pick up your child/and or carpool on time. A child whose ride is late experiences great anxiety and worries. It is difficult for the child/students and for the teacher who often needs to prepare for the next day. We understand that emergencies happen. If an emergency occurs, take time to give us a call. There is a $10.00 fee per child for each 15 minutes you are late, which is payable when you pick up your child.
DRESS CODE
The Atlanta STEM Academy is a uniformed school. Your child is expected to wear TASA full uniform every day. Please label all sweaters, jackets, coats, school bags, backpacks, etc. with the child’s name. Due to the fact that we are a uniformed school it’s a good chance your child will have a garment identical to someone else's in the classroom. Please see office for uniform requirements. Please keep in mind that Dress-up shoes have slick soles and sandals, Crocs and flip-flops are dangerous and inappropriate for active play. These shoes are NOT allowed at all.
POTTY” POLICY
Pull-ups will not be allowed past the last school day in December. All students must be in big boy or girl panties beginning the first of January.
BIRTHDAYS
Birthdays are special to students. Every child's birthday is celebrated during our school year. We ask you to provide birthday snacks to celebrate the big day. Please do not bring party invitations to school to be passed out by the teacher or put into cubbies unless you have one for every child in the room. You are encouraged to bring items other than cupcakes for birthday snack.
SNACKS
Each day the students have a fun time together around the table as they snack. Snack time teaches patience, manners, independence, language development and nutrition. Parents are welcome to bring snacks throughout the year. Please involve your child when choosing the snack. Due to nut allergies we ask that you read the labels carefully on any item you might be considering. Any product containing nuts or manufactured in a facility that handles nut products cannot be brought into this facility.

Some suggestions are as follows:


  • Cheese Pretzels

  • Graham crackers

  • Cheez-its

  • Saltines Ritz

  • Granola bars

  • Fruit

  • Raisins

  • Wheat thins

  • Mini bagels

  • Soft pretzels

  • Rice cakes Snack crackers

  • Fun Fruits Fruit Roll-ups

  • Pre-popped Popcorn

  • Milk or Juice

  • Ice Cream Cups

  • Sliced Fruit

  • Fresh Fruit

  • Carrot Sticks


SHARE TIME
Teachers will designate a share day for each child. Your child will keep this share day throughout the school year. Because our program emphasizes peace, NO aggressive toys are allowed (guns, swords, weapons, etc.). We encourage share to be in relationship with our themes. Please label all items with your child's name before sending it to school.
DISCIPLINE
Here at The Atlanta STEM Academy, we strongly encourage the growth of appropriate pro-social behavior in young students. Pro-social behavioral expectations and classroom activities are a part of the environment to promote safety, respect of others, and protection of property. In order for students to learn, they must feel safe and secure. Developmentally, all school aged students are in the process of learning self-regulation and pro-social behavior. As individuals, all students are at different stages of this social emotional development.
It is the desire of all staff to help all students have successful experiences. The staff uses positive methods of discipline encouraging choice, self-control, self-direction, self-esteem and cooperation. When students experience social-emotional problems in the classroom: Adults diffuse the conflict before moving into the problem by:

  • Approaching students calmly and stopping any hurtful actions

  • Acknowledging students’ feelings

Adults involve students in identifying the problem by:




  • Gathering information from all involved students (what happened, what upset the students)

  • Restating the problem in a way that recognizes all the information gathered

Adults involve students in the process of finding and choosing a solution for the problem by:




  • Asking students for solutions and encouraging them to choose one together that all can agree on

  • Being prepared to give follow-up support when students act on their decisions

It is our goal to provide a safe and pleasant environment for ALL students. We recognize that students may sometimes act in ways that are inappropriate in a group setting. If this behavior is

persistent or causes one-on-one supervision the following actions may occur:


  • Teachers will contact parent/guardians by phone or in person

  • A system of regular communication will be established

  • Teachers will document behavior

  • Parents/guardians may be asked to immediately pick up a child from class

  • Parents/guardians may be required to stay in the classroom with the child.

  • Parents may be asked to contact a referral agency or behavioral specialist

  • The program may request assistance from the school district.

  • Observers may visit the classroom to provide the staff with ideas and resources

  • A child may be suspended from class

  • The staff may recommend another classroom or program placement as a more appropriate environment for the child.

Teachers recognize that all students develop social and emotional strengths at different rates depending on the child’s current life conditions, possible issues that may have occurred prior to school, and a child’s overall developmental level. They work with students individually to help them change their behavior. Improvements often come very slowly with students sometimes regressing to old behavior patterns. Teachers are interested in changing behavior and not punishing students for poor behavior.

It is the desire of the TASA staff to provide a safe learning environment. Dismissal from the program is a last resort. Students may be suspended or dismissed for:


  • Hitting, kicking, biting, pinching, or other behaviors that could be harmful to students or staff

  • Disruptive behavior

  • Antisocial behavior

  • Parent/guardian not completing or following through on a referral or behavioral recommendation

  • Health information not completed

  • Emergency cards not completed

  • Parent/guardian verbally abuses or physically harms another child or a staff member

  • Non-payment of tuition or fees (where applicable)

After an expulsion, if a child has learned to behave more pro-socially, a parent may re-apply for admission to the program. If no openings are available the child’s name will be placed on a waiting list.


SPECIAL VISITORS

We encourage parents with special talents such as fire fighters, police officers, doctors, dentists, etc. to come and visit our classrooms during the year. The younger students feel more secure not leaving the classroom setting.


OPEN HOUSE
In the fall, there will be an “Open House” night. On this night families get to visit their child’s classroom; meet the teachers and other families.
CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT
TASA teachers use High Scope Curriculum and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Program, a research based school curriculum, to create an environment that supports learning through play in a variety of interest centers, i.e. blocks, dramatic play, science and discovery, art, technology, library quiet area, etc. This curriculum also helps teachers develop appropriate small and large group activities, outdoor learning, and music, to enhance child growth in the classroom. Progress is observed and documented in the following developmental and academic content areas:


  • Cognitive Development

  • Language Development

  • Social Emotional Development

  • Physical Development

  • Literacy

  • Math,

  • Science

  • Technology

  • Engineering

  • Social Studies

  • Art

  • Music and Dance.

The students are assessed three times each year (fall, winter and spring). Each student has on-going observations, samples of classroom work and family input. Parent-teacher conferences are typically conducted at least twice during the school year to encourage parental involvement and discuss each child’s current performance and progress. This assessment meets the Georgia CORE Professional Standards.



INJURIES AT SCHOOL
If a child receives an injury, the parents will be contacted to discuss the accident. The decision will then be made whether to come and pick up the child immediately or wait until the end of the school day. If a child acquires any cuts and or scrapes, the area will be washed out with soap and water, and a bandage may be placed on it. We are not allowed to place medication of any kind on the wound. If an injury is serious, 911 will be contacted immediately and the parent will be contacted. If the illness or injury is severe and custody of the child is shared, both parents will be contacted. If the parents cannot be reached, an emergency contact will be called. If none of the emergency contacts can be reached, the Principal and or School Teacher will make the decision concerning emergency care for your child.


EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
Fire, Tornado and Lock Down
All drill procedures are posted in the school classroom by the door. If you would like a more detailed description of the procedures, please talk with your child’s teacher. Schools will participate in practice drills throughout the year.
Evacuation
Emergency procedures in case of an off-site evacuation are posted by the classroom door. In case of an actual emergency, parents may be asked to pick up their students at an off-site location. Please talk to your child’s teacher about the designated off-site evacuation location.
Lost Child Procedure
Students are actively supervised during school however; in the unlikely event that a child is missing, the following emergency plan is put into effect:


  • The staff will thoroughly search the school and grounds for the child

  • After ten minutes, the parents or guardians and the police will be contacted

  • The staff will start to search the area surrounding the school


SCHOOL VISITS AND CONFERENCES
We have an open-door policy at our schools and if you would like to schedule a visit, please talk to your child’s teacher. Visitors must sign the visitor’s log in the main school office when entering the school. A visitor’s identification badge will be issued to you at this time. Parents are encouraged to volunteer in the classroom or on field trips. Volunteers will be expected to fill out a Volunteer form before helping out in the school. More information about volunteer procedures will be provided by your child’s school.
Parent Teacher Conferences are typically held twice a year to discuss the student’s growth and plans for promoting learning in the classroom and at home. TASA will have a procedure for assigning forms for conferences. Individualized conferences may be held at any time during the year at the request of the parent or the teacher.


FIELD TRIPS
The Atlanta STEM Academy students take field trips throughout the school year. There is a special events fee charged to cover the cost of some of these trips.

Field Trips will be available if there are adequate school recommended safety seats on the bus. Field trips may be planned throughout the year as a part of the curriculum. The times of the field trip may be different from the regular school day. Notices with all information will be sent out before a field trip is taken. The school policy on field trips is as follows:




  • A permission slip signed by a parent or guardian is required for each field trip.

  • The staff to child ratio must be maintained at all times and students will be actively supervised for the entire field trip.

  • All field trips for every class will be on a School Bus, unless the destination is within a safe walking distance. Parents who have other students will need to talk to the teacher about the school’s policy on bringing siblings on the trip.

  • Parents may be asked to pay an entrance fee if applicable.

Staff is required to bring a copy of the Emergency Card for each child on the trip. A list of all the students and staff on the field trip will be kept at the school.



REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS


  1. A copy of child’s birth certificate must be presented at the time of registration.




  1. A copy of the child’s immunization record must be presented at registration.

(Waivers are permitted and can be picked up at the School Office.


  1. One (1) proof of residency is required.




  1. A child information card (emergency card) must be presented on or before the first day of class, all lines of card must contain information.




  1. Signed written permission to seek emergency care, part of the child information card, must be presented on or before the first day of class.



  1. Within 30 days of initial attendance a health appraisal form must be presented signed by a licensed physical or designee stating that a physical evaluation has been made and the child is healthy enough to attend the program. The health appraisal form needs to be updated every two (2) years. (Students will be excluded from class if health forms are not turned in after 4 weeks of class.) Forms can be picked up at the School Office at the



  1. .Students in the 3 and 4 year old classes must be TOILET TRAINED. A child is toilet trained when he/she can make known their need to use the bathroom and can perform basic hygiene needs independently. Pull-ups and training pants are not permitted.




  1. It is required that an extra uniform be placed in your child’s backpack, Sometimes even students who normally do not have accidents, sometimes do.



  1. A copy of state benefits (food stamps, SSI, TANF etc.)


PARENT/GUARDIAN PARTICIPATION
A. Transport your child to and from school.

B. Be prompt regarding arrival and dismissal times

C. Escort your child to and from class, signing them in and out.

D. Send written permission if someone other than you will be picking up your child.

E. Attend field trips with your child

F. Parents will be asked to sign up to help in class as needed by the classroom teacher.

G. Parents who are not able to come in to the classroom may be able to help in other ways. Please ask a classroom teacher.
Parent Advisory Board
Parent/Guardian volunteers meet monthly to discuss ways to improve the school program. The Advisory Board looks at budget and curriculum as well as other relevant areas. They provide a strong voice in fundraising to supplement the program. The goal of the Board is to have a representative from each School class to join the group, or to get more information, talk to your child’s teacher or call the TASA office.

SIGN IN/SIGN OUT
All students MUST be signed in and out at the classroom by a parent, guardian, or other designated adult EVERYDAY.
PETS

Pets should not be brought to school, field trips, picnics, or evening activities. If an animal is used for assistance for a handicapped condition, please consult with the teacher or TASA office.




TOYS AND OTHER ITEMS FROM HOME
Students should only bring toys to school when they are scheduled for “Show and Tell.” Anything brought to school will be kept in the child’s cubby until the time allotted to share them with the class. The teaching staff will then direct students to put the items away. Please be aware of anything your child brings to school. Note that inappropriate items will be confiscated by the teacher and returned to the parent. Be especially aware of anything that might be considered a weapon or a dangerous item. Bringing these types of things to school may result in suspension or expulsion, according to Georgia law.


QUESTIONS, REQUESTS, CONCERNS
Any question, request, or concerns a parent/guardian may have should first be addressed to the child’s teacher. Any matter that cannot be resolved by the teacher may then be addressed to the TASA Dean.
DIVORCED/SEPARATED/GUARDIANS
According to the Georgia Department of Child and Family Services: “Until custody has been established by a court action, one parent may not limit the other from picking the child up from school. The child information card that the enrolling parent signs states “persons other than parent…” “It is not within TASA legal right to withhold a child from a parent; unless there has been court action which limits one parent’s right to the child.” TASA requests that a copy of the Judge’s order establishing custody be on file in order to prevent a non-custodial parent access to their child.
REPORTING TO PROTECTIVE SERVICES
The Atlanta STEM Academy staff members are mandated by Georgia Law, Act No. 238, governing all schools and child care programs to report any suspected abuse or neglect of students in their care.
PARENT SURVEYS
A parent survey will be sent home in the spring. This survey is part of the on-going process to continue improvements in our program. Parents are encouraged to return the survey to help the TASA program.
WITHDRAWAL or DISMISSAL FROM TASA
If you plan to withdraw your child from TASA, please give a written 30 day notice to the TASA staff. Students are often on a waiting list. Our greatest wish is that the school experience will be a happy one for your family and your child. In the unlikely event that it becomes necessary to remove your child from the program, a conference with the teacher, Dean and parent/guardian will take place before any final decisions are made.

Reasons for dismissal may include:




  • Non-payment of tuition

  • Required paperwork not up to date

  • If your child is absent from school for more than two weeks consecutively and no notice has been given to the school or school staff

We truly hope you and your child will enjoy your school experience here at



The Atlanta STEM Academy


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