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Z. L. Sung Adventist Academy
2115 NW 39th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32605
Where learning is for eternity…
  
PARENT AND STUDENT HANDBOOK
2014-15
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  • PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION                                                    PAGE 3
  • OBJECTIVES                                                                                                 3
  • PARENT AND STUDENT AGREEMENT                                                        3
  • ADMISSION POLICY                                                                                  4
  • ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS                                                                    5
  • ACCELERATION AND PROMOTION                                                        5
  • SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS                                                                        5
  • ATTENDANCE                                                                                                6
  • ABSENCES AND TARDIES                                                                           6
  • BEHAVIORAL GUIDELINES                                                                       7
  • INTERNET ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY                                                     8
  • VISITORS                                                                                                      10
  • TELEPHONE CALLS                                                                                     10
  • LICE POLICY                                                                                               10
  • UNIFORMS                                                                                                    10
  • LUNCH                                                                                                          11
  • FINANCIAL POLICY                                                                                               11
  • FINANCIAL INFORMATION                                                                       11
  • TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS AND DISCOUNTS                                         12
  • WITHDRAWAL                                                                                             13
  • VOLUNTEER HOURS                                                                                   13
  • CONFLICT RESOLUTION                                                                           13
  • COOPERATION OF HOME AND SCHOOL                                                         14
 
ACCREDITATION

Sung Adventist Academy is accredited through the following agencies:
  • The Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, an approved accrediting association of the Florida Association of Academic Non-public Schools (FAANS) FAANS is an affiliate member of the Council of American Private Education (CAPE) and is recognized by the State of Florida.
 
  • The Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, as prescribed by the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities and the National Council for Private School Accreditations (NCPSA)

MISSION STATEMENT

Preparing youth for service to God and humanity through Christian character development and academic excellence.




VISION STATEMENT

Where learning is for eternity…


PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION

We believe education “…is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers…” and that its highest purpose is to “prepare the student for the joy of service in this world, and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” Ellen G. White, Education, p. 13

The principals of Christianity can and should touch every aspect of living for every child.

Each student has the right to an education experience that develops his individual talents to the highest level according to the union between religious faith and life.



OBJECTIVES

The supreme goal of this school is to bring the mind of each student into communion with the mind of God for this is the highest form of education. God is the source of all knowledge, and therefore must be part of all learning in a way that will produce a balanced individual and a productive and competent citizen.

Honesty, integrity, and compassion for others will be character hallmarks that are taught and practiced by the student body and faculty of this school.

“Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the creator-individuality, power to think and do. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers and not merely reflectors of other men’s thoughts.” Ellen G. White, Education, p. 17



PARENT AND STUDENT AGREEMENT

Each student is entitled to the activities and programs provided and is expected to attend all school functions such as work-study programs, field trips, musical performance, plays, etc…

Each student will show respect for the Word of God, maintain a reverent attitude during religious exercises and observe all regulations of the school.

The parent/guardian and student will sign a written document stating that they have read and understood the school handbook. In so doing they pledge to abide by the policies stated therein.

It is also understood that if the student breaks this pledge, he/she forfeits the privilege to attend this school. The faculty and the school board will determine whether or not the student is retained in our school.
 
 
ADMISSION POLICY

Our general admission policy is as follows: “For the first eight or ten years of a child’s life, the field or garden is the best school room, the mother the best teacher, nature the best lesson book. Even when the child is old enough to attend school, his health should be regarded as of greater importance than the knowledge of books. He should be surrounded with the conditions most favorable to physical and mental growth.” Ellen G. White, Education, p. 208

“So as far as possible, let the child from his earliest years be placed where this wonderful lesson book (nature) shall be open before him. Let him behold the glorious scenes painted by the greater master Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens… In no other way can the foundation of a true education be so firmly and surely laid.” Ellen G White,Education, p. 100-101


Students entering school must be five years of age by August 15 of the year they are planning to attend kindergarten in accordance with Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist educational policy.

A certain age doesn’t necessarily qualify a student for a structured classroom environment. There are options available that can be discussed on an individual basis between the parent and the school board for the well being of the student.

Sung Adventist Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or national origin.

The staff in determining whether a student may continue to attend Sung Adventist Academy may use any information obtained from a former school.

All new and transferring students are automatically placed on probation for one quarter. During this period the staff will evaluate each student. If a student’s deportment and academic progress are not satisfactory, parents and student will be required to attend a conference with the teacher, principal, school board chairperson and the pastor. A decision will be made at that time on how the situation will be handled. Suspension or expulsion from the school may occur.

Any student with an outstanding tuition balance from the previous year will not be considered for admission. The parent may make an appeal for an exception to this policy by appearing before the school board prior to registration to make arrangements for a payment plan. The proposed payment plan is subject to the school board’s approval.



 
 
 
 
 
 
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
  • All New students are required to submit a completed application, a transcript request form from their previous school, and three completed recommendation forms by the student’s previous teacher, principal, and pastor or non-relative friend prior to their admissions committee appointment.
  • New students and their parents are required to personally appear before the admissions committee for an entrance interview. The admissions committee will then confer with the school board and come to a decision to accept or deny the application.
  • All new students must submit a copy of a birth certificate, physical examination (less than a year old), and immunization record by the first day of school attendance.
  • All new students may be subject to testing to ascertain the proper grade level placement.
  • Kindergarteners and first graders may be required to take a readiness test.
  • All students are required to submit a readmission form, current immunization record, and current physical.
  • An orientation meeting will be held as part of registration. This meeting will include giving information about the school program, the PTA, music activities, and a thorough presentation of the school handbook.
  • Parents are required to inform the school of any changes to their address, phone numbers, or any other pertinent information as it may occur during the school year.
  • As part of encouraging parent involvement and keeping operating costs of our school at a minimum, all parents are required to volunteer at our school. The number of hours required are 50 hours per family.  We believe this type of involvement with our school enhances communication and cooperation between the home and school.
 
ACCELERATION AND PROMOTION

There are a few instances when a child benefits by advancing more than one grade per year. If acceleration is considered, Florida Conference policy must be followed through the talented and gifted program available from the conference. However, parents should recognize that the child might miss valuable steps in his development. Therefore, we recommend that a teacher provide enrichment rather than acceleration. Enrichment may be obtained by in depth research or students taking additional subjects by the use of programmed teaching devices. Testing is available for special cases.



SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS

The Sung Adventist Academy is not equipped or staffed to offer special education necessary for pupils with serious scholastic or behavioral problems, or who have severe mental or physical disabilities.

All prospective special needs students will be screened by the admissions committee. The parents will be informed that the educational goals expected of the average student may not be met. Parents must submit full disclosure of all diagnostic/psycho-educational reports to appropriate school personnel prior to registration in order to determine whether a child’s educational needs can be met. Failure to comply will result in the student being asked to withdraw.



 
ATTENDANCE

Regular school hours are from 8:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. Monday – Thursday and 8:30 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. on Fridays.

Students may not arrive more than 30 minutes before school begins or stay more than 15 minutes after school dismisses.
There is a 15-minute grace period after school dismisses for parents to pick up their children.  After this grace period, parents will be billed $5 for the first 15 minutes and $1/min after for childcare fees, which will be added to their monthly bill. This amount will not exceed $40 per incident. Parents will be required to sign their child out when they come to pick them up. Charges will be added to the student’s account.
There may be instances when school is dismissed at noon before a major holiday or for professional training.

We understand that in rare cases emergencies may arise when a parent may need to make special arrangement for early arrival or late pickup. In these rare cases the parent must make pre-arrangements with a teacher as soon as possible. This is not to be an on-going arrangement.

No student will be permitted to leave the school grounds at any time before the end of the school day without parental consent. Students must be signed out by an authorized pick-up at the school office before the student can leave the school premises. If a student leaves the school premises without permission, the police and the parents will be notified. Students will not be allowed to leave the school grounds with anyone that is not on their approved pick-up unless they notify the school in advance.
Transportation to and from the school is the responsibility of the parent.



ABSENCES AND TARDINESS

A student who arrives in the classroom after 8:30 A.M. is tardy. Arriving late is disruptive and discourteous to the teacher and fellow students.

The accumulation of several unexcused absences may require a meeting between the teacher, parent, and the student. Children must be in attendance at least 30 days during the grading period to receive their grades.

A written excuse must accompany the student when he/she returns to class after an absence or tardiness. Illness of the student, death in the immediate family, and prearranged medical appointments of the student are the only acceptable reasons for absence from school.

Days taken off for family vacation, miscellaneous reasons, or to coordinate with other school holidays is considered an unexcused absence. Unless prearranged two weeks ahead of time, make-up work for unexcused absences should not be requested and cannot be made up.




BEHAVIORAL GUIDELINES

The self-government of the pupil is the objective of discipline. Directing this development is the purpose of our school. We believe in the following:

“A classroom should be a place in which people respect and care for others, in which talking occurs at the right times and at the right levels, and in which students and teachers are attentive to one another.”
(Jim Roy, Soul Shapers p. 154)

In order to provide an optimal learning environment at our school, it is understood that students who enroll at Sung Adventist Academy have already been trained in the matter of obedience and respect for authority and will behave accordingly. Rules are to be quickly and agreeably followed. Ellen G. White earnestly gives us the following admonition:


“No family is justified in bringing children to [school] who are not under the control of their parents. If their parents have disregarded the word of God in the matter of instructing and training children, [school] is no place for them. They will only be the means for demoralizing the young people of that place and bring discord where peace and prosperity should reign. Let such parents take up the neglected work of restraining and disciplining their children before they venture to impose them upon the …[school].”
(4T 204.)

If you have any concerns about the way an incident is handled, we encourage you to speak with your child’s teacher as soon as possible. Directly dealing with a situation as it arises, instead of spreading rumors, is always the preferred method of reconciliation. If you do not get a satisfactory response, then proceed with the following people in this order-- principal, school board chairperson, and finally the school board. Parents and teachers are working together to insure your child’s success. Keeping the channels of communication between home and school open at all times is vital to their spiritual, academic and emotional growth.

The following items are not permitted at school and are subject to discipline.
  • Chewing gum is out of order at all times.
  • Skateboards, scooters, and roller blades/skates, etc. are not permitted on the school premises due to insurance regulations. Bicycles are permitted, but must be parked in designated areas immediately upon arrival at school and must be left parked until the end of the school day when they are to be ridden directly home.
  • Radios, Gameboys, televisions, i-pods, Nanos, mp3 players, toys, etc. are not allowed without the teacher’s written permission.
  • Pets are not allowed without the teacher’s written permission.
  • Students in grades K-10 are discouraged from bringing cell phones to school. If a parent feels it necessary for a student to have a cell phone at school, it is to remain in the teacher’s possession during school hours and is to be used for emergencies only.
  • Tobacco, narcotics, drugs or alcohol in any form – including food items, which mimic any of the above, are not permitted on the school property.
  • Knives, firearms, fireworks, explosives or any other device that could inflict injury are not to be brought onto the school premises.



The following behaviors are not permitted at school at any time and may be subject to immediate suspension and or dismissal.
  1. Insubordination displayed in the following ways: talking back or arguing with the teacher, refusing to obey or slowly and reluctantly doing so, defiance, complaining, griping, or classroom disruption
  2. Disrespecting a teacher or other student by humiliating, degrading, making derogatory remarks, name calling, teasing, mocking, or spreading false information about another student teacher, staff member or parent
  3. Physical assault on a student, teacher, parent or staff member
  4. Using profane language, indulging in lewd or suggestive conduct
  5. Improper displays of affection with other students
  6. Using prohibited items on school property
  7. Gambling and betting on school property
  8. Dishonesty, theft, illegal entry, willful deception regarding violation of school regulations or cheating on tests or class work
  9. Engaging in any type of willful destruction or vandalism of school, church or anyone else’s personal property on or off the school grounds
  10. Undermining the ideals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

In the event that one or more of these behavior guidelines have been broken, the principal and teacher will meet with the parents and student to create a written strategy for addressing the problem. If this strategy repeatedly fails to correct the misbehavior, it will be considered a grave misbehavior and the guidelines in the following paragraph will apply.

Important Notice: Any act of grave misbehavior e.g. deliberately inflicting bodily harm on another student, willful disobedience, pattern of repeated insubordination or disrespect to another student, teacher, parent or staff member, bringing a weapon or explosive to school, etc… will result in the parent being called to immediately come and remove their child from the school. In such an instance, the child would automatically be dismissed from school and would not be allowed to return until after a special conference can be arranged and held with the parents, student, principal, teacher and school board. Strategies for correcting the problem in addition to suspension with probation or expulsion will be considered at that time.

We appreciate your support in helping us maintain a safe and beneficial learning environment for all our children.



INTERNET ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
 
Educational Purposes
Use of the Internet has been established for a limited educational purpose. The term “educational purpose” includes classroom activities and limited, high-quality self-discovery activities. The internet access has not been established as a public access or a public form. Sung Adventist Academy has the right to place reasonable restrictions on the material users access or post through the system. Users are also expected to follow rules set forth in this Acceptable Use Policy.
 
Users may not use the school’s internet connection for commercial purposes. This means, users may not offer, provide, or purchase products through the school’s internet connection.
 
 
 
Student Internet Access
All students will have access to internet resources through their classroom account. However, the internet may only be accessed with direct knowledge of the teacher and when an adult is present in the rom.
 
Students will have e-mail access only under their teacher’s direct supervision using a classroom account.
 
Appropriate Uses
The following uses of the Sung Adventist Academy internet connection are considered unacceptable:
 
  • Personal Safety
    • Users may not post personal contact information about themselves or other people. Personal contact information includes address, telephone, school address, work address, etc.
  • Illegal Activities
    • The user may not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the school’s internet account or to any other computer system through the user’s authorized access. This includes attempting to log in through another user’s account or accessing another user’s files. These actions are illegal.
    • The user will not make deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system or destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means. These actions are illegal.
  • System Security
    • Under no conditions should a user provide their password.
    • The user must immediately notify a teacher or other school employee if they identify a possibly security issue.
  • Inappropriate Language
    • Restrictions against inappropriate language apply to public messages, private messages, and material posted on the internet. The user may not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language.
    • Users may not engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.
    • Users may not harass another person. Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person. If a user is instructed by a person to stop sending messages, the user must stop.
    • Users may not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization.
  • Respect for Privacy
    • Users may not repost a message that was sent in private without the permission of the sender.
    • Users may not post private information about another person.
  • Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement
    • Users may not plagiarize works found on the internet. Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they are your own.
    • Users must respect the rights of copyright owners. Copyright infringement occurs when someone inappropriately reproduces a work that is protected by a copyright. If a work contains language that specifies appropriate use of that work, the user must follow the expressed requirements. If the user is unsure whether or not a work can be used, the user must request permission from the copyright owner.
  • Inappropriate Access to Material
    • Users may not use the school’s internet connection to access material that is profane or obscene (pornography), that advocates, illegal acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people.
    • If a user accidentally accesses inappropriate information, the user must immediately notify a teacher or other school employee. This will protect the user against any claim that the user intentionally violated the policy.
    • Parents/ Guardians may further limit what they believe is appropriate for their student. The school will fully support the parent and expects the student to follow the restrictions.
 
Privacy
Users should expected limited privacy in the contents of your personal files on school computers. Routine maintenance and monitoring of school computers may lead to discovery that the user has violated the policy. An individual search will be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a user has violated the policy or the law. Teachers and parents have the right at any time to request to see the contents of student’s emails or other computer files.
 
Personal Responsibility
When a user is using the school’s internet connection, the user may feel that they are able to access anything without any repercussions. However, all actions committed on the network leave behind “electronic footprints”. Everything that a user does can be discovered.
 
 
VISITORS

All visitors to the school must check in at the Office immediately upon arrival. Parents are invited to observe our classrooms at anytime.

A student may bring a friend/relative to school only on special occasions and only with written pre-approval of their teacher. The friend/relative must be the same age level as the classroom they are visiting.



TELEPHONE CALLS

Students are not to be called from classes to answer the phone except in cases of an emergency. Students may use the phone only with the teacher’s permission.
LICE POLICY

If a child is found to have lice/nits, the child will be isolated and the parents will be called to pick up the child as soon as possible. The child may return to school the following day provided he/she receives the necessary treatment and passes a head check by school authorized personnel, physician or the county health department, and it is determined that the child is lice/nit free.


 
UNIFORMS

Students are expected to dress appropriately, healthfully, neatly and modestly. We have a required school uniform, which consists of the following:
  • Green, maroon, or white polo shirts with the school emblem – must be ordered through the school during registration
  • Khaki or navy blue pants, shorts, skorts, Capri’s or jumpers
  • Black or brown leather belt (doesn’t apply to grades K-2)
  • White, khaki or blue socks
  • During the winter long-sleeved green, maroon, or white turtlenecks may be worn under the uniform polo shirts.
  • Students may be allowed to “dress down” for PE class as directed by the current PE teacher.

Fridays are dress-down days.  Students may wear a modest shirt (no tank tops, tights/spandex pants, spaghetti straps, sleeveless or shirts with suggestive/attitude wording, action heroes, or pictures) and jeans.

Jewelry of any kind is not to be worn. Hair should be clean and well groomed and out of the face. Hats may not be worn inside the building. Natural nail polish may be used.

Parents are responsible for their students arriving at school properly dressed and groomed. If the student arrives improperly dressed the parent will be contacted to bring proper attire to the school. Teachers will offer counsel to a student concerning his or her appearance whenever necessary. Pants will be worn at the waist and shirts will be tucked in. Clothing must fit properly.



LUNCH
 
In an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle, all lunches will be vegetarian. Students are also not allowed to bring soda for lunch and are discouraged from bringing high sugar snacks and desserts. Exceptions can be made for parties if the teacher allows.
 
On Friday, hot lunch is available for purchase. The menu will be sent home by Wednesday and should be returned no later than Thursday. Payment is due when the menu is returned. A prepaid lunch account may be set-up for your student.
 
 
FINANCIAL POLICY

School financial needs are met by tuition, church subsidy, scholarships, and individual contributions. Prompt payment of tuition is necessary for school survival.

Parents who enroll their children at Sung Adventist Academy have entered into a contractual agreement with the school. School grades and records will not be released until all financial obligations have been met.



 
 
FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Registration: Kindergarten – Eighth Grade $450; Ninth – Tenth Grade $520; Eleventh Grade $700

Tuition: Kindergarten – Eighth Grade $4500; Ninth - Tenth Grade $5100. Tuition is divided into 10 monthly payments. The first month’s tuition is due at registration.

Other Expenses:
Uniforms: Child Sizes $17; Adult Sizes $18; 2X and Larger $21

Technology Fee: Kindergarten – Tenth Grade $200; Eleventh Grade $500
 
Activity Fee: Kindergarten – Second Grade $100; Third – Seventh Grade $200; Eighth – Tenth Grade $500

Even though school is in session for approximately nine months, we have divided the annual amount by ten months to facilitate the parents budgeting.

The first month’s tuition, registration fee, and activity fee are due on the day of registration. We realize this may cause a hardship to some families. To remedy this problem the registration fee may be broken into two payments with half of it being due at registration and the other half being due on January 1. The activity fee can be broken into ten equal payments and added to the tuition payment each month.

A statement will be e-mailed and sent home whenever practical by the 5th of each month. Payment in full is due upon receiving the statement. A late fee of $15/month applies to all outstanding balances after the 10th of each month at which time the account is deemed “past due.” Letters are mailed and a phone call will be made to the parent at 30-45 days past due. A payment plan will be implemented at this time. If the balance is still unpaid after 45 days, the parent will meet with the finance committee to work out a payment plan. Any account 60 days past due may result in student dismissal, unless satisfactory arrangements have been made with the finance committee. A letter will be given in person to the parent by the school board chairperson or the principal. An appointment will be set up with the parents and finance committee. The finance committee will at this time make recommendations to the school board.
A $25 fee will be assessed for any returned check.

TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS AND DISCOUNTS
Sung Adventist Academy strives to offer the opportunity of a Christian Seventh-day Adventist education to anyone seeking such.
If finances prohibit your child from attending our school, we want to help you find a way to make attending our school possible. We offer several options to make education affordable.
We accept Step Up for Students Corporate Tax Scholarships. We also accept McKay Scholarships for some exceptional students. No other grant or scholarship is available to students receiving the Step Up or McKay Scholarship. Please contact us for more information.
Gainesville SDA church financially subsidizes our school. We offer a grant in the amount of 10% tuition for members of the Gainesville SDA Church.
The Florida Conference of SDA also financially subsidizes our school. We offer a grant in the amount of 5% tuition to members of Florida Conference churches.
A 10% discount will be offered to anyone who would like to pay the whole year’s tuition all at once at the beginning of the school year. A 5% discount will be offered to anyone who would like to pay a whole semester’s tuition in advance. This must be paid before the first day of school or the first day of the second semester.

Special consideration has been granted to parents with more than one child enrolled in our school. If no other grant or scholarship applies, there will be a 5% discount for grades K-8 based on a sliding scale as per the following tuition schedule. The fifth child’s tuition will be the same as the 4th child’s tuition and so on. The discount applies to tuition only and does not include registration or activity fees.

Children Enrolled
Grades K-8 1st child 2nd child 3rd child 4th child
  $450.00 $427.50 $406.12 $385.81

If you have a child in grades 9-10 and one or more in grades K-8, the 5% discount will apply to the child(ren) in grades K-8 only.

WITHDRAWALS

For the student who withdraws before the end of the year, a per diem tuition charge for the last month will be prorated and determined by the school treasurer. However, the parents must notify the teacher in writing at least one week in advance of the actual withdrawal to receive the refund. Report cards and transcripts will be sent only after all expected payments have been received.


 
VOLUNTEER HOURS
 
All families are required to volunteer at least 50 hours per school year at the school.
 
Teachers may require that students volunteer a set number of hours outside of the school during the school year. Individual teachers will determine the actual number of hours and will communicate the requirement to the parents/ guardians and the student.
 
 
CONFLICT RESOLUTION
 
“If your brother sins against you, go to him. Tell him what he did wrong. Keep it between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have one him back.” Matthew 18:15
 
If you as the parent/ guardian have any concerns about the way an incident is handled, something that you heard, or any other potential problem, we encourage you to speak with your child’s teacher as soon as possible. Directly dealing with situations as they arise, instead of possibly spreading rumors, is always the preferred method of reconciliation. If you do not get a satisfactory response, proceed with contacting the following people in this order; principal, school board chair, school board. Parents/ guardians are working together to assure each student’s success. Keeping the channels of communication between home and school open at all times is vital to each student’s spiritual, academic, and emotional growth and success.
 
COOPERATION OF HOME AND SCHOOL
(A SPECIAL NOTE TO PARENTS)

Sung Adventist Academy recognizes that the school and home must function in close harmony for an effective program. If you have suggestions for improvement in the school program please feel free to contract the teachers, members of the board, or the Home and School leader with your ideas.

Parent involvement and interaction is invaluable to running a successful school program. Parents are encouraged to become involved in school related activities.

Parents are encouraged to visit and communicate openly with the teachers; however, it is most helpful when teachers are approached after school or by appointment instead of before or during the school day.

Parent’s involvement is an important factor in your child’s education. Please remember that the success of the school depends upon each parent, pupil and teacher working together as a team.