Parent Guide 2018-2019
Welcome to Northwest Prep Charter School!
It is with great pleasure that we welcome you and your family to Northwest Prep Charter School (NWP). We look forward to serving your family during the middle and high school years. Our staff is committed to providing a high quality, meaningful educational experience in our small school setting. The highly trained staff and small nurturing student body allow for a safe, productive, rigorous, inquiry-based learning. As a member of our school, your son and/or daughter will be offered a standards-based curriculum delivered in a Project-Based program along with Career Exploration. This educational environment will prepare your student for both college and career options. This guide will provide you with important information about Northwest Prep Charter School. If you would like additional information, feel free to contact NWP school staff at any time.
Northwest Prep Charter School serves the city of Santa Rosa and the surrounding area. The students come from varied economic and cultural backgrounds. Currently the Piner-Olivet School District consists of Northwest Prep Charter School (grades 7-12), Piner-Olivet Charter School (grades 6-8), Jack London Elementary School, Schaefer Elementary School, and Olivet Elementary School.
Address: 2590 Piner Road Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Office Phone: (707) 522-3320
FAX: (707) 522-3101
Voicemail: (707) 522-3320
Absence Reporting: (707) 522-3320
Office hours: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Principal: Kim Kern email@example.com
Office Manager: Kathleen O'Brien firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacting Staff Members
All staff members are available to conference with parents via phone or a scheduled meeting. If you wish to speak to one of your student’s teachers, they are best reached by email but you may also leave a message in the main office @ 522-3320.
Staff Contact Information:
Adam Napoleon email@example.com
Jessica Hadid firstname.lastname@example.org
Alyssa Dossat email@example.com
Bradley Edmondson firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber McKinney email@example.com
Because of NWP's Project-Based program it is essential that your student attend school each day, and arrive on time. Most of NWP's block classes are group-oriented. Each student is a member of a group whose success depends on the presence and participation of everyone in that group. Please make every effort to ensure that your student is in school on time, each day, unless they are ill.
Teachers will allow students to make up the work missed during absences to the degree it is possible for such work to be completed outside of school. Please contact individual teachers by email and visit their websites for more information about absences. Students are required to participate in Directed Studies support during the 8–9am Study Hall period if they fall behind in their work.
Quarantine under city or county direction
Medical, dental, optometry, or chiropractic services - Students are strongly urged to make appointments during non-school hours.
Bereavement (death of immediate family members or loved one)
Jury duty or court appointment (Absences must be approved in advance by an administrator).
Oversleeping, car troubles, missing the bus/ride, etc.
Please call the NWP office @ 522-3320 to report your student’s absence. For your convenience you may call 24 hours a day and leave a message. If the parent or guardian does not call, the student must bring a note, signed and dated by you, which explains the nature and the day(s) of her/his absence.
When a student returns to school after an absence, he/she MUST present a satisfactory explanation verifying the reason for the absence within 3 days. After 3 days w/out verification of an excused reason, the absence will be considered unexcused and the student will be considered truant.
The following may be used to verify absences:
1. Written note from parent/guardian, parent representative, or student - if 18 or older (EC46012).
2. Conversation, in person or by telephone, between the verifying employee and the student's parent/guardian or parent representative. The employee shall subsequently record the following:
a. Name of student
b. Name of parent/guardian or parent representative
c. Name of verifying employee
d. Date(s) of absence and reason for absence
3. Visit to the student's home by the verifying employee, or any other reasonable method which establishes the fact that the student was absent for the reasons stated. A written recording shall be made, including information outlined above.
4. Physician's verification
a. When excusing students for confidential medical services or verifying such appointments, district staff shall not ask the purpose of
such appointments but may contact a medical office to confirm the time of the appointment.
b. When a student has had 10 absences in the school year for illness verified by methods listed in #1-3 above, any further absences for illness must be verified by a physician.
5. Any other reasonable method that establishes the fact that the student was actually absent for the reasons stated. A written record shall be made, including information outlined above.
When a student arrives to school 10 or more minutes late, whether it is excused or not, he/she must report to the Attendance Office before going to class to have his/her arrival time documented.
***Absences and tardies not cleared within three days will be considered unexcused and count towards truancy.***
Whenever possible please plan vacations, trips, and appointments during non-school hours. When your student misses classes, even for one day, it seriously impacts teaching and learning. If this is unavoidable, and your student has an appointment during school hours, a parent must sign out the student in the office prior to leaving campus. Please send a note or call the office to inform us ahead of time. When returning to campus later in the day, the student must first come to the office before returning to class.
Students can always access their work and their current assignments online in Google Docs and on the Northwest Prep and teacher's websites.
A student with an excused absence from school shall be allowed to complete all assignments missed during the absence and, upon satisfactory completion, be given full credit. The minimum number of days allowed for such make-up is equivalent to the number of days the student has been absent.
Students must contact teachers to obtain make up work. Teachers can be contacted via email. The assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the student missed during the absence. A student may not have his or her grade reduced or lose academic credit for any excused absence when missed assignments and tests are satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time (EC 48205).
A parent or guardian may request make-up work only after their student has been out for at least 2 days and is going to continue being out. Please do not request work for 2 days or less of absences. Parents may email teachers directly or request work through the school office. Work requested through the main office will be collected and brought up to the main office for pick up. You may pick up the school work after 2:30pm and before 4:00pm the following business day after the request is made. Failure to pick up requested work could result in teachers not sending make-up in the future. Please contact the office if anything changes regarding your request as soon as possible.
Test and quizzes can and will most likely be made up during lunch and/or after school. It is your student's responsibility to arrange with their teacher(s) directly about a time to make up such missed items.
All homework and school work that is due when the student is out (due an excused reason) will be turned in directly to teachers upon returning to regular classes for full credit (unless alternative arrangements have been made directly with teachers).
Any questions regarding this matter, or if you are without email access to request make-up work, please call Ms. O'Brien @ 707.522.3320.
Short-Term Independent Study
Short-Term Independent Study may be an option for students who have unavoidable absences and will be absent for five (5) to fifteen (15) consecutive days. Eligible students may have their parent apply for a Short-Term Independent Study contract at the school attendance office at least five business days before the student absence begins. No independent study contracts may be initiated within five business days before the student absence begins. If a student must be gone for more than 15 days, the student must be withdrawn from the Piner-Olivet Union School District and enrolled in the destination district.
- To be eligible for a Short-Term Independent Study contract, students must have satisfactory academic progress and attendance:
Academic: A 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) and no more than one F grade (as determined by the most recent progress report or semester grades) are required.
- Attendance Requirements: No more than 21 periods of unexcused absence since the start of school.
If a student does not meet the eligibility requirements for a Short-Term Independent Study contract, the absences will be considered to be “unexcused,” and will be added in when considering truancy referrals for the student.
Short-Term Independent Study contracts will NOT be issued during exhibition periods (September 10, 2018 - September 21, 2018 and March 25, 2019 - March 8, 2019) and state testing periods (April 22, 2019 - May 19, 2019), nor during finals weeks (which are the last week of each semester).
There can be no more than two (2) Short-Term Independent Study contracts granted per student per school year. All contracted work must be submitted to the school on the contracted day of return and will be kept on file for audit records. If all the contracted work is returned with satisfactory progress, the student will maintain a clear attendance record. If the student’s work is unsatisfactory, or incomplete, the school can only grant excused days of absence for the amount of satisfactory work returned. The additional days of absence will be considered unexcused, and will count towards truancy limits.
If a student had any unexcused absence(s) due to failure to complete work on an initial Short-Term Independent Study contract, a second Short-Term Independent Study contract will not be granted for that school year.
According to state law, a student is considered truant who is "absent from school without a valid excuse more than three days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof.” The formal procedure for addressing truancy problems includes SART meetings, referring students to the District Attorney’s office, and to the Student Attendance Review Board for further action.
We appreciate the modern ability to instantly communicate and understand that family emergencies might occur, we ask that you PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE if you need to contact your student at 707-522-3320, instead of calling or texting them during school hours. At NWP, each student is provided with a device with which to do their schoolwork. Staff frequently asks students to use devices as academic tools for taking photos and videos, browsing the web, and taking notes. There may be times where staff allow students to use their own personal devices for academic purposes - these devices have evolved to the point that most of our students are carrying sophisticated and versatile digital tools in their pockets. However, it is our intent at NWP to promote responsible use of this technology and harness its power in our student's coursework.
Computer and Internet Use
Students using the school computers and wireless network for coursework must have a signed Technology Use Agreement on file. Use of school technology is a privilege and misuse may result in loss of privileges. The goal of our Technology Use Agreement is to create and maintain a culture of cyber safety for our students, our network, and our equipment.
Students will receive a Technology Use Agreement that will go home for parent and student discussion and signatures. It includes information about your responsibilities for the privilege of technology use at POCS and the consequences for not following the rules and guidelines.
Because there are many ways that a student may be unkind to others or misuse our equipment and resources while using technology, the Agreement must be very detailed. Students will be expected to keep a copy of the Technology Use Agreement in their binders with this Student Handbook.
In general, students will be expected to use all technology resources responsibly:
- Use for intended school purposes only.
- Keep equipment and resources fully functional in their original settings and format as set by the school.
- Not use any account other than their school account and/or access files or accounts other than their own.
- Not interfere with others use by damaging or changing files, settings, passwords, or anything else that will create problems for someone else.
- Ask teacher/staff permission for anything that isn’t specifically allowed.
Students will be respectful of others:
- Not participate in anything hurtful or inappropriate.
- Not access any site, blog, etc., that is hurtful, demeaning, discriminatory, or inappropriate for school.
Students will publish ethically:
- Use research appropriately
- Present/submit only your own work
- Obey copyright and software licensing laws.
It is important you remember that technology use is a privilege. Not following the rules and guidelines will result in loss of the privilege, disciplinary action, and/or your family being charged for repair costs.
Student emergency cards are sent home at the beginning of the school year. The school must have a current card on file for each student in case of illness or emergency. It is imperative that parents report any change of address or phone number to the office as soon as possible so that the emergency card will remain current. Only adults whose names are on this card may sign out students.
The Piner-Olivet Union School District has an Emergency Preparedness Plan, which is both district wide and school site specific. Each site as well as the district office has a series of binders with procedural flow charts. Each classroom at NWP has an emergency procedure plan posted by the door. Drills are done monthly covering the possibilities of earthquake, lock-down and fire.
In the event of an emergency evacuation and/or release of students, they can only be released to individuals indicated on the Emergency/Health Information cards. Please keep this information up-to-date and include any individual who may need to pick up your child in such an emergency.
Detailed information on the breakfast and lunch program and forms, including free/reduced meals, is available in the school office. A monthly menu is available in the office for reference. Reduced price meals info also goes home on the first day of school. For bookkeeping reasons, we ask that students bring a check or cash for at least 5 breakfast/lunch credits at a time. We will accept advance payment for a longer period. These breakfast/lunch credits can be used at the student's discretion as he/she orders breakfast or lunch. Milk can be purchased separately and can only be purchased by the semester or by the year. NWP school office cannot process credit/debit card payments. You can use a credit card by going to Myschoolbucks.com to sign up. You will need your student’s POUSD student ID number to process your payment.
Checks can be made out to Piner-Olivet Food Service. We do not accept money on a daily basis, and we cannot allow students to charge lunches. If your student's last name is different from yours, it is very helpful to write his/her name on the check.
The school does not have accident insurance. A private insurance company offers an accident policy that gives coverage for regular school and after school activities. Information is available in the school office. Parents are encouraged to purchase this insurance coverage if they do not have medical coverage. Additional medical insurance information for qualifying families is available in the office.
The school does not have lockers. Students must carry all materials and personal belongings in their backpacks. Northwest Prep cannot be held responsible for the loss of such items. These items are brought at the student’s own risk.
Lost and Found
The school office does not maintain a lost and found area. Please be sure that all jackets and backpacks are well labeled.
Students who are ill must report to the office for care and/or to contact their parent/guardian before leaving campus. Over-the-counter medications must have written parent permission before it can be dispensed or brought on campus. Prescription medications need the physician's authorization in writing in order to be administered at school. All medications must be stored in the school office.
Administering Medications to Student(s)
Medications are rarely necessary for pupils during the school day. They are justified only in chronic health conditions or short-term acute health conditions. If under exceptional circumstances a student is required to take oral medication (prescription or non-prescription) during school hours and the parent cannot be at school to administer medications, only school personnel will administer the medication in compliance with the following regulations:
- Written orders from the student's physician for prescription or non-prescription medications must be on file in the office. The required form is available in the office.
- The medication must be brought to school in the original container appropriately labeled by the pharmacy or physician.
- Medication will be stored in a locked cabinet in the office. Any exceptions (asthma inhalers, etc.) to this provision must be specifically stated by the physician on the written form.
- Students may not have any prescription or non-prescription medication in their possession, except see #3 above.
All students participate in Fitness and Health activities daily during the PE period.
In the event of weather so severe that there is a possibility schools may be closed, parents are asked to listen to radio stations:
KSRO - 1350 AM KZST - 100.1 FM KRPQ - 105 FM
The Piner-Olivet Union School District does not provide busing for students. NWP students get to school by walking, biking, public transportation, and by car.
Student Work Permits
The California Education Code requires students under the age of 18 to have a work permit issued from their school if they plan to hold a job. When completed, the work permit is supplied by the student to the employer who must keep it on file.
- Students may not work more than 4 hours per day on a school day, nor may they work past 10pm unless they are enrolled in a work experience program.
- In order to work on a school day, school attendance is required.
- Juniors may only work one hour of the school day (between 8:00am to 3:00pm); seniors, two hours.
Work permits apply for one school year only. A new permit must be obtained at the beginning of each school year. Work permit applications are available in the main office.
Visitors must check into the office. Students interested in shadowing must schedule a visit with the Office Manager on one of NWP’s regularly scheduled Shadow Days.
To avoid disruption of the academic environment, students from other schools are not allowed on campus without prior permission from administration.
Grading ~ Report Cards ~ Progress Reports
Report cards communicate progress, growth, and areas of need from each teacher. Students not performing at a satisfactory level are given INC's (incompletes). An incomplete means that not enough work has been completed to award credit for that evaluation period. Students can complete any missing work (before the closing date of the date of the next semester) to remove INC's from their transcripts. Report cards are issued only twice a year at the end of first semester, and again after school is out in June. GPAs are calculated for all high school students.
Parents are urged to have ongoing conversations about the work their students are doing as well as their student's perceptions about their growth and progress during each semester. Parents can contact any teacher or staff member by email at any time to check on their child's status.
High School Graduation Requirements
To be eligible for graduation from high school, all Northwest Prep students must earn 220 units and pass required courses (as well as a number of electives).
In the month of April or May, all 7th, 8th and 11th graders will take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The California Standards Test for Science will be administered to all 8th and 11th grade students (or 12th depending on a student’s coursework), as well. In addition, ELD students will take the ELPAC.
College-bound students should take the following tests in the designated years:
10th grade: PSAT
11th grade: SAT and/or ACT
12th grade: SAT I – (Reasoning), SAT II – (Subject Achievement Tests), and/or ACT
Many of our students arrive at school early to get extra help from both peer tutors and teachers. Teachers are also available to students after school by appointment. All students on campus before 9am must sign in with a teacher and remain in a classroom or designated area.
Home Study Program
The Piner-Olivet School District maintains a Home Study Program. This is offered as an alternative program to NWP's Project-Based Inquiry daily regular program. Students participating in the Home Study program must apply and enter into an agreement with the Home Study staff to meet for regularly scheduled weekly appointments and complete course work independently. All students and their parents sign semester-long contracts and master agreements which outline the specific requirements for participation in the program. Space in the Home Study program is very limited. For more information contact the Home Study Lead Teacher, Laura McCorkell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When students go on field trips, parents must sign written field trip permission slips. Permission to attend field trips for academic or behavioral reasons may be denied. Parents are often needed to drive students on field trips. To be qualified to be a driver, interested parents must have a copy of the insurance verification form on file in the school office. This form verifies that the parent carries adequate insurance to carry students in his/her car. Copies of this form are available in the office.
Students are expected to dress themselves in a manner that is safe and will not be disruptive to the educational atmosphere and that is appropriate for any workplace. Clothing should cover students undergarments completely, fit appropriately for school, be free from inappropriate words or illustrations, and be safe for school activities. This includes shoes that are safe for walking and playing outdoors. Clothing that promotes gangs, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, violence, that is sexually explicit, uses profane or abusive language or debases a particular group is not allowed.
Expectations of Students
When students choose to attend Northwest Prep Charter School, they are agreeing to demonstrate appropriate behavior that is responsible, respectful, and safe. NWP’s staff, families, and students agree that orderly learning activities, courteous treatment of others, and the adherence to the school community’s expectations that staff and students contribute towards a positive, collaborative, and productive learning environment, is essential. By law, students are under school jurisdiction and these expectations are in effect on the way to and from school, while on campus, or at any school related activity. The school community works together to maintain these expectations. When students continue to behave counter to NWP's expectations they are communicating that they do not value the NWP School Community or its academic program.
Northwest Prep's Core Values are:
- You will be reasonable with us. We will be reasonable with you – we’re all trying to treat each other as we would like to be treated. Sometimes the circumstances are difficult, but we will still be reasonable.
- Attempt to do the best work of your life. We’d like you to achieve your own greatness and to be all that you can be. We’ll try hard to allow that to happen and we’d like you to try hard too.
- Motivation isn’t about carrots and sticks. Constant oversight and the threat of punishment are incompatible with great, fulfilling work. We believe in creating appropriate constraints and then giving people the freedom to excel.
- Our best work is done in teams. We work in groups and towards a common goal. The school community is more important than the team, and the team is more important than the individual.
- Effort. Get stuff done. We admire people who get stuff done. While there’s a place for contemplation and dreaming, it is better to try – and try well – and fail than not to try at all.
- Visible mistakes are a sign that we are a healthy community. What we do is very difficult, and we do it knowing the future is uncertain. Mistakes are an inevitable part of attempting to get it right. Unless we can turn mistakes into opportunities for reflective learning we will be doomed to mediocrity.
- Minimize drama. Be transparent in your dealings. Diffuse situations that do not deserve the collective attention of the school. Refuse to play into petty issues that drag others through the mud.
- Do the right things for our community. We believe that if we do what is right for our school and environs then we will thrive. (these were adopted from the Silicon Valley company Red Gate)
Northwest Prep employs a number of variety methods to mitigate student behavior issues. They include:
- Staff interventions
- Behavior Contracts
- Conflict Resolution/Peer Mediation
- Student Success Meetings
CA Ed Code Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion:
- Cause or attempt to cause /threaten physical injury to another person
- Fighting, intimidation or harassment*
- Possess, use, sell, furnish, or be under the influence of a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant or drug paraphernalia such as a pipe.
- Possess, sell or furnish firearms, knives (including air or paint guns and pocket knives), weapons, explosives (including firecrackers, smokebombs, poppers, etc.) or dangerous objects.
- Commit robbery or extortion.
- Cause or attempt to cause damage to private or school property (including graffiti)
- Steal or attempt to steal private or school property
- Possess, provide or use tobacco.
- Commit an obscene act or engage in habitual profanity / vulgarity.
- Offer, arrange or negotiate to sell, or possess any drug paraphernalia.
- Disrupt school activities/willfully defy school personnel in the performance of their duties.
- Knowingly receive stolen school or private property.
- Infraction of bus rules and regulations
- Bullying/Sexual harassment / intimidation*
- Electronic bullying
- Intimidation of a witness
18. Forgery of adult signature
A student may be referred for expulsion if they commit an expellable offense, have a history of misconduct and other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct, or if the student's presence at NWP causes a continuing danger to himself/herself or others.
Intimidation and/or Harassment
Intimidation and harassment will not be tolerated at NWP. Students who are intimidated or harassed by another student should report the incident to a teacher or the Principal as soon as possible. The Principal and staff are experienced and effective in dealing with reports without acknowledging how it was reported. If students are reluctant to report incidents, parents should report it themselves.
Any type of behavior intended to harm, embarrass, or threaten a student will not be tolerated. It may be verbal, physical, relational, or electronic. It may be related to race, ethnicity, religion, gender (including sexual orientation), physical appearance, or mental ability. This includes any and all forms of electronic harassment, including cellphone, webpage, email, text messages, etc., that create a hostile environment. It can be and often is continuous and repeated over time. Steps will be taken to stop the behavior including helping students to resolve conflicts. Whether at home or school, parents will be notified. Repeated behavior will result in detentions, suspension, and/or notification of police.
NWP will maintain a learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is an emotionally charged topic that is threatening to many adults and confusing to most adolescents. Teens get many mixed messages from media and from each other. This may result in inappropriate behavior. When reports are made of inappropriate comments or contact, we first ensure student safety and conduct a thorough investigation. Then, we may administer discipline in accordance with California Ed Code. We also go to extensive lengths to support students and help students understand and learn what is appropriate and what isn't. Repeated violations of Ed Code are seriously addressed and mitigated. All allegations of sexual harassment are investigated and are attended to in a timely manner by the staff. All matters involving sexual harassment shall remain confidential to the extent that that is legally possible.
Students learn from doing their own work. Copying and/or plagiarism is to steal or pass off others’ words or ideas as your own. This includes copying homework, writing, projects, etc., from other students, books or other written material, or the internet. Students will receive a grade of “F” (and possible additional discipline consequences) for participating in copying/plagiarism, whether as the copier or the provider of the work being copied.
Displays of Affection
Students are to limit their displays of affection to hand-holding only. Further displays of affection are not appropriate or acceptable for a school learning environment.
Complaint or Concern regarding a School Policy, Staff Member, or Employee
If a student or parent has a concern about a school policy or an employee, the following procedure should be followed in order to resolve the problem as quickly as possible:
- Contact the teacher with whom you have a complaint to discuss both sides of the issue and attempt to resolve the issue directly.
- Contact the Principal regarding any classified staff, yard supervisor or other employee concerns.
- If the problem cannot be resolved after directly attempting to do so with a teacher, contact the Principal.
- The Principal will advise you of next steps.
If you have concerns about anything you have seen or heard, we would like you to communicate them to us. If you are uncomfortable coming in for a conference - pl
ease call or email as soon as possible. In addition, if another student is bothering your student, please let us know immediately. We can help you and your student directly and discreetly.