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School Policies

                                                                                                      

MATER LAKES ACADEMY

High School / Middle School

 

Rule & Policy Addendum

 2017–2018 School Year

 

 

Welcome to Mater Lakes Academy Middle and High Schools.  The following rules detail what we expect of our students and their parents or guardians as members of the Mater Lakes Academy family.

We use these rules to promote the educational success of every student and to ensure a productive and positive learning environment.  These rules enter into effect the moment a student and parent or guardian arrives on campus whether it is before, during, or after school.

We ask all students and parents or guardians to read and understand all these rules, as they are accountable for knowing and adhering to them.  These rules are available year round on the school’s website, www.materlakes.org.

We invite students and parents routinely visit our website to educate themselves of the latest school news.


Section 1

The School Day

In The Morning

Students of Mater Lakes Academy must be punctual every day regardless of how they arrive at school. Students are late to school if they are not present in their assigned classroom once the late bell has rung to begin the school day (7:30 am for high school, 8:30 am for middle school).  We ask that high school students arrive before 7:15 am and middle school students arrive before 8:15 am in order to avoid school-related traffic during the morning drop-off.  Tardies will not be excused due to traffic situations.  Students will not be allowed to enter school after 12:30 pm.

 

Parents are not allowed anywhere on campus at any time including during drop-off or pick-up.  Parents are allowed on-campus during drop-off and pick-up times only but must remain inside their vehicles.  Parents requiring access to the campus at any point in time must go to the office to sign in and obtain a campus pass. Current and valid driver’s license is required to obtain a campus pass.

 

Once a student is late to school they must, without exception, obtain a late pass from the office to be allowed onto campus.  We understand unforeseen situations do occur, because of these situations the first three tardies during any one grading period (for a total of twelve per school year) are considered tardy waivers and do not carry any penalty.  Tardy waivers reset at the beginning of each grading period.

 

Tardy Detentions are issued once a student receives their fourth tardy to school during any one-quarter and on every subsequent tardy (see the Bear Points section for more information on merit and demerit points).  A student who receives their ninth tardy during any one-quarter will have their Tardy Detention promoted to a Discipline Detention.  Also, once a student receives their fifteenth tardy during any given quarter the will receive a Saturday Detention.  If a student parks on campus and receives 15 tardies during any one-quarter the student will lose their driving privileges and will not be refunded their parking permit fee.

 

A doctor’s note is the only excuse accepted for arriving late to school.  Any other excuses, such as notes directly from parents, are not accepted unless approved by a school site administrator.  Arriving late to school at any point during the day and, in any way, bypassing the front desk for the purpose of not obtaining a late pass and/or a demerit is considered “cutting class”.  This will result in the student having their tardy and demerit recorded manually and the student will be subject to progressive disciplinary measures up to suspension from school.

 

Before and After School

Students who arrive on campus before classes begin or stay after classes end must continue to abide by all school rules.  Middle school students arriving early and high school students staying late may only wait in the cafeterias or library and may not loiter in the hallways due to school still being in session.

 

Students that require waiting for an extended period of time after school for parent pickup are not allowed to loiter anywhere other than the front parking lot.  Students involved in athletics or school sponsored extracurricular activities may remain on campus after school only if accompanied by their coach, teacher, or activity sponsor.  Students not involved in afterschool activities, athletics, or extracurricular activities are not allowed to loiter within the school building, basketball courts, or fields once they have been dismissed for the day. Unsupervised usage of school facilities before or after school is not permitted.  Middle school students arriving early may not use or loiter in the middle school basketball courts or fields for any reason.

 

Immediately following class dismissal on campus and local traffic is heightened.  In an attempt to keep students away from a dangerous situation involving after school traffic students are not allowed to leave campus on foot until traffic subsides.  Parents who would like to allow their child to walk home from school during this high traffic time must obtain a “Neighborhood Pass” from the main office.  This pass will allow them to leave campus, on their own, once classes are dismissed and during the height of traffic congestion.

 

During The Day

All students are required to be at the location designated by their class or lunch schedule at all times.  A student who attends a non-assigned class or is found in any other non-assigned location on-campus (i.e. basketball court, library, cafeterias, etc.) without the permission of the teacher in that class or location and their assigned teacher, for any reason, will be considered as “cutting class” and will be subject to progressive disciplinary measures.

 

Students are designated a specific lunch area determined by their respective grade.  During their respective lunch times, students must report to their designated lunch area on-campus.  Once a student reports to these areas, they are required to stay in that area for the remainder of their assigned lunch time.  Students are not allowed to leave these lunch areas, loiter in the hallways, vending machines, or any other on or off-campus location during their lunchtime for any reason.  Although students are not in class, a student found outside any cafeteria during their lunchtime is considered to be in an unauthorized location and will be subject to progressive disciplinary measures.

 

Teachers and/or sponsors requiring the presence of their students during lunchtime must do so in person at the cafeteria and said students must be escorted by their teacher and/or sponsor out of the cafeteria.  Notes will not be accepted as permission for leaving any cafeteria regardless of who has initiated the note.  Food may never be taken out of any cafeteria at any time for any reason.

 

Food purchased from an outside source (i.e. fast food, soda, coffee, etc.) will not be allowed on school grounds or to be delivered to any student at any time, by anyone, during the school day.  Students may bring their packed lunch but must have the food with them when they arrive at school.  Any outside food discovered on-campus would be disposed of immediately.

 

Deliveries

Parents may not bring ANY item for delivery to students.  Students will not be called down to the office for any reason other than an early release.  Once a student is called down for early release, the student is considered no longer in school.  The student will not be allowed to re-enter the school after an early release and a hand delivery is made of any kind.  Students who use their phones to contact or receive communications from anyone with the purpose of delivering any item will have their phones confiscated as an electronic confiscation.  Students who leave class, even with teacher permission, in order to receive items from anyone inside or outside campus may be subject to progressive disciplinary measures.  

 

Absences and Early Releases

Students will only be released early from school by adult individuals (over 21) listed on the student’s individual Emergency Contact Card.  NO EXCEPTIONS!  Students must obtain an Early Release slip prior to leaving school grounds.  Unless a teacher or security has sent a student to the office, students cannot stay in the office to wait for an early release.  Subsequently, the school will not call a student to the office for an early release until a person listed on the Emergency Contact Card arrives in the main office and it is determined by office personnel to be authorized to pick up the student.

 

Absences and early releases from school are all unexcused.  Students must provide a valid excuse and must obtain an Admit Form from the main office to have any absence excused.  Admit Forms are only issued prior to the start of the school day or during the student’s scheduled lunchtime and after dismissal.  Students have 48 hours after returning to school from an absence or an early release to have it excused.  Only doctor’s notes, a family member passing, or non-observed religious holidays are accepted as an excuse for an absence.  Any handwritten notes from parents will need to be approved by the administration.  An extension of an observed holiday or a personal vacation will not be issued an excused absence.

 

Early releases are discontinued at 2:00 pm for high school and 3:00 pm for middle school.  No student will be released after this time and before his or her scheduled dismissal.  In addition, early releases are completely shut down while the school is in a lockdown situation.

 

Enrollment in extra-curricular activities and athletics may be affected because of poor school attendance.  A student’s poor attendance may be subject to progressive disciplinary measures through their membership within the aforementioned activities.  This is in addition to any penalties received through the school’s administration.

 

Vending Machines

Access to a school vending machine is restricted to before and after school.  Using vending machines during class changes is not recommended as it promotes arriving late to class.  Access to vending machines is not allowed at any time while school lunch is being served regardless if the student is in lunch or not.  A student accessing a vending machine during times where vending machines are not to be accessed will be considered cutting class.

 

Personal Items & Electronic Devices

Personal items and electronic devices not directly needed or required, directly or indirectly, with a class or class activity should not be brought to school.  Mater Lakes Academy is not responsible for any items lost, damaged, or stolen while on Mater Lakes Academy property.  It is strongly recommended that students refrain from bringing any personal items to school.  If any item is brought to school, the student bears full responsibility for said item and does so at their own risk.  Students must follow all rules pertaining to such items regardless of the disposition of ownership regarding the device.

 

School computers are provided for students in computer labs and in the library.  These computers are for school related work or for school related research purposes only.  Using school computers in order to access personal emails, social media websites or any other activity, which is not directly related to schoolwork, is not permitted at any time.

 

Electronic devices (mobile phones, laptops, tablets, music players, earphones, headphones, hair dryers, curling irons, video game systems, etc.) may not be used and/or displayed at anytime, anywhere on campus.  This includes any time prior to the start of class.  Usage is allowed only after students have been dismissed for the day.  Teachers reserve the right to allow usage of specific electronic devices (i.e. calculators, e-readers, etc.) during their specific class times.  This permission ends once the student walks out of that specific class.

 

A student caught using, accessing, or displaying an electronic device will have said device immediately confiscated.  Warnings do not have to be issued before confiscation.    Confiscated devices are taken to the main office for storage and disposition and the student incurs -3 Bear points.

 

Storage times and penalties for confiscated devices are:

  • First Offense - The device will remain in storage until the end of the following school day.
  • Second Offense - The device will remain in storage for three calendar days from the date the device was confiscated.
  • Every subsequent offense - The device will remain in storage for seven calendar days from the date the device was confiscated.

 

Devices will be held in the office and can be retrieved only by adult individuals listed in a student’s Emergency Contact Card and only after the storage time for the device has been satisfied.  Items, including but not limited to, athletic equipment or musical instruments, brought to school must be directly related to a school sponsored activity.  Such equipment must remain in a bag or any other type of carrying case where the equipment is out of sight and incapable of unauthorized use during school hours. Equipment accessed and/or used during school hours, unless otherwise approved by a school site administrator, will be confiscated.  Physical education class is not an approved school sponsored activity to which the bringing of sports equipment will be justified.

 

Spinners, fidget cubes, or any other “toy” type items cannot be brought to school.  Any student found to be accessing and/or using any of these items will have their item confiscated and it will be subject to the same consequences as an electronic confiscation.  A prescription from a physician is required for any type of these “focus aid” devices and must be previously filed with the school in order for a student to use these devices during the school day.

 

Larger equipment that cannot be carried in a safe manner must be stored in a sponsor-approved location throughout the entire school day (the main office is not a storage location for any item mentioned above). Equipment not used for a class or a school sponsored activity (i.e. skateboard, long board, scooters) are not allowed on campus.  A student using a bicycle for transportation reasons must walk alongside the bicycle once arriving on campus and may not ride the bicycle anywhere on campus.  Any non-authorized equipment brought to school will result in immediate confiscation and may result in progressive disciplinary procedures.


Section 2

Uniforms

 

At Mater Lakes Academy, we believe the physical appearance of all our students is a direct reflection of themselves, their parents, and our school.  Thus, students are required to conform to all aspects of the uniform policy at all times while on campus and during any school-sponsored off-campus activity unless otherwise approved by the administration.  Uniforms purchased incorrectly will not be accepted in the school for any reason.  Uniforms cannot be altered in any way.  Uniform size should be in accordance with an individual student’s shape and not to their individual taste.  Students in violation of the school’s uniform policy will be issued a uniform violation.  The first three uniform violations for the school year will be considered warnings and will not carry any consequence.  Every subsequent uniform violation results in a demerit.

 

Blatant or repeated violations of the school’s uniform policy as determined by the school’s administration or security will result in the student being removed from class and sent to the office.  The student will remain in the office while parent communication is initiated in order to have the child early released or have the violation corrected prior to returning to class.  If for any reason, the student’s uniform cannot be corrected, the student will remain in the office and their day will be categorized as an indoor suspension.  Any student found to be in violation of the school’s uniform policy prior to arriving at school will not be allowed to enter the school.

 

The proper uniform code includes:

 

  • Polo shirts must be white or navy blue.  High school students may also wear Texas orange or black shirts. Shirts must be in good condition and are required to have the approved school crest.  Shirts must be long enough to remain tucked in at all times (boys only) and to cover the torso entirely.  Button down shirts or long sleeve polo shirts may also be worn but must conform to all polo shirt requirements.
  • Violations: Any shirt that is the incorrect color or lacking the approved school crest.  Any shirt that is too short to be tucked in or exposes any part of the torso.  Any t-shirt even with the correct school logo.

 

  • Pants must be straight cut slacks in the approved shade of navy blue or khaki only.  Pants are required to have the approved monogram.  They must be in good condition and are not allowed to be worn lower than the waist or “sag”.
  • Violations: Any pants not monogrammed with the approved monogram.  Any pants which are the incorrect color even if they are monogrammed.  ALL JEANS of any kind or any color even if they are monogrammed (jeans are defined as any pants made of denim and/or having rivets reinforcing the pockets).  Cargo pants, leggings, jogging pants, joggers, or pants that are ripped, cut off, or have holes or rips even if they are monogrammed.  “Skinny” or excessively tight or baggy pants even if they are monogrammed.

 

  • Shorts follow the same guidelines as pants.  They must be “Bermuda” or “chino” type shorts and required to have the approved monogram.
  • Violations: Any shorts which are the incorrect color, too short (3 inches above the knee), too tight, cut off, or cargo shorts even if they are monogrammed.
  • Belts must be a solid color.  Boys must wear belts at all times.
  • Violations: Belts with large buckles or having any metal other than the buckle.  Belts that display any image considered by the school’s administration as dangerous or inappropriate.

 

  • Shoes and shoelaces must be a solid color, black or brown only.
  • Violations: Shoes or shoelaces that are not the approved color (shoelaces that are not compliant will be confiscated).  Crocs, sandals, slides, or any similar type of shoe that exposes the toe or heel.  Boots above the ankle regardless of color or weather conditions.

 

  • Sweaters must be navy blue or white only and are required to have the approved school crest.  Sweaters, which are not compliant with the school’s uniform policy, will be confiscated regardless of weather conditions.  It is the student’s responsibility to retrieve their sweaters from the office within 3 days of confiscation.  After 3 days, sweaters may be considered as forfeited and donated to charity to cut down on storage size.  School spirit sweaters may be worn in place of the regular school sweater.  In order for a sweater to be considered “School Spirit,” it must have the school's name and must have been issued by an approved school-sponsored organization.
  • Violations: Any sweater which is the incorrect color and/or not having the approved school crest. Removal of the sweater by the student will not be considered as being compliant with the school’s uniform policy.

 

  • Student identification cards (ID) are issued a few days after student’s entrance into the school and are considered part of the school’s uniform.  Students are required to wear their IDs on a lanyard around their neck at all times while in school or a school sponsored event, on and off campus.  Any deviation to this rule is considered a uniform violation.  Any student who forgets, misplaces, damages or in any way arrives at school without their ID card for any reason is required to replace their ID, at their own expense, prior to being allowed into school and/or will be issued a uniform violation.  Students may only carry their own assigned ID card.  Students cannot possess, display, or in any way use an ID that is not their own or risk disciplinary measures.
  • Violations: Not having an ID or having an ID anywhere other than on a lanyard around the neck.

 

  • Hair is to be kept clean and neat in appearance.  Male students must have their haircut as not to touch their shirt collar, be past the ear in length, or may not cover any part of the face
  • Violations: Male students with “Mohawks” (hair with the sides significantly shorter than the top and back of their head to accentuate the long hair is considered a Mohawk), ponytails, shaved sides, or hair that covers their shirt collar, ear, or any part of the face.  A device, like hair bands, may be used to remove hair from the face (using any other device, like scrunchies, for the purpose of creating a ponytail or in a similar fashion is not permitted and the device will be confiscated).  Hair dye must be a “natural” hair color and must cover all hair.  Sectional dyed hair is not allowed.

 

  • Earrings may be worn by girls only and only on the ears (no nose rings or studs) and may not be excessive in number or size (the term “excessive” is to be determined by the school’s administration). 
  • Violations: Any piercing of any kind in any visible location other than the ear for female students (covering piercings with any object or clear earrings is not considered as being compliant).  Female students with an excessive number or size earrings on their ears.

 

  • Casual Friday: School Spirit shirts may be worn in place of the regular uniform shirt.  Also, jeans and out of uniform shoes may be worn for a collected fee.  “School Spirit” shirts must have the school's name and must have been issued by an approved school-sponsored organization.
  • Violations: Spirit shirts that are worn on any day other than Casual Friday unless previously approved by the administration.  Any shirt not considered a School Spirit shirt.  Jeans that are cut off or with any type of rip in any location above the knee.  Crocs, sandals, slides, or any similar type of shoe that exposes the toe or heel.

 

General uniform violations include:

 

  • Any cut-off pants, shorts or shirts, of any kind of articles of clothing with holes, ripped sections or folded to expose any area of the body.
  • Buttons, labels, tags, stickers, or any other item deemed rude, inappropriate, or unacceptable on any part of a student’s body or belongings.
  • Head or facial coverage of any kind.
  • Clothing colors that may not be worn for any reason unless otherwise approved are, but not limited to, red, brown, yellow, pink, green, purple, and any blue other than navy blue.
  • Athletic, dance, cheerleading, club, activity, or physical education attire worn outside their respective classrooms unless otherwise approved by the administration.
  • Any garment or attire determined by the administration or security to be non-conforming to the uniform policy.

Section 3

Discipline

 

Bear Points

Mater Lakes Academy uses a merit point system called Bear Points in order to keep track of the positive and negative behavior of our students.  Bear Points are added and subtracted in accordance with every student’s ability to follow the rules set forth herein.

 

Positive Bear Points are awarded when a student performs above and beyond the scope of the school’s rules. Negative Bear Points are given as a disciplinary action in situations to be determined by Mater Lakes Academy administration, faculty, and/or security.  Attending a detention and/or volunteer hours can be used to earn merit points to offset earned negative demerits (volunteer hours in or out of school may be used only for a student’s community hour requirements).  School rules violations can result in a reduction of Bear points and may or may not be accompanied by additional disciplinary measures.

 

The office front desk issues demerits earned for arriving late to school, late to class, uniform violations, or for discipline by the iPad automated office attendance system.  Once a student receives any documentation from the automated office attendance system it is the student’s responsibility to read said document to determine if they have received a warning or a demerit.  If the student receives a demerit, it is the student’s responsibility to remember they have earned a demerit in order to prevent being placed on the Benefits Revocation List for excessive demerits.

 

Students that are not dissuaded from behavior, which conflicts with school policies upon receiving any number of demerits, may have their punishments promoted to Saturday school or outdoor suspensions.

Teachers may also issue their own detentions.  These detentions are served with the teacher and are independent of the detentions mentioned above.

 

When a student has an accumulated total of 15 negative Bear Points or below the student will be included in a benefits revocation list and have their extracurricular activities limited or eliminated until their demerits are adjusted to an acceptable level.  Bear points do not reset to zero at any time while the student remains at Mater Lakes Academy.  Any Bear Points accumulated at the end of the year will roll over to the following year.

 

Bear Point Schedule:

Demerit points (negative)

  • Tardy to school
    • First tardy (per quarter)                No points
    • Second tardy (per quarter)          No points
    • Third tardy (per quarter)               No points
    • Every subsequent tardy                1 Tardy Detention (each offense until end of quarter)
  • Tardy to class

o   First tardy                                            No points

o   Every subsequent tardy                1 Tardy Detention (each offense)

  • Uniform violation            

o   First violation                                 No points

o   Second violation                           No points

o   Third violation                                               No points

o   Every subsequent violation      1 Disciplinary Detention (each offense)

  • General demerit/Detention                        1 Disciplinary Detention (each offense)
  • Tardy Detention                                               -2 Bear points (each offense)
  • Disciplinary Detention                                   -3 Bear points (each offense)
  • Equipment confiscation (any)                     -3 Bear points (each offense)
  • Written referral                                                -4 Bear points (each offense if no further action is imposed)
  • Saturday detention                                         -4 Bear points (each offense)
  • Indoor suspension                                           -6 Bear points (each offense)
  • Outdoor suspension                                       -10 Bear points (each offense)

 

Merit points (Positive)

  • Attending Tardy detention                          +2 Bear points
  • Attending Disciplinary detention               +2 Bear points
  • Attending Saturday detention                    +5 Bear points
  • Meritorious or honor award                        +3 Bear point
  • Honor roll                                                            +10 Bear points
  • Principal’s honor roll                                       +25 Bear points

 

Detentions

Detentions are split into two types: Tardy Detentions and Disciplinary Detentions.  Tardy Detentions are held after school every Tuesday and Thursday.  Disciplinary Detentions are after school on Wednesdays.  All detentions are held in the main cafeteria regardless of the type of detention received (high school 2:45 pm or middle school 3:45 pm).  It is the student’s responsibility to arrive promptly to a detention.  Earned demerits do not have to be served on a specific date.  It is the student’s responsibility to remove each demerit they earn.

 

Saturday Detention is a progressive disciplinary measure and, unlike Wednesday detentions, are assigned a specific date for completion.  Parents may request to have a Saturday detention moved to another Saturday after consulting and receiving approval from a school site administrator.  Otherwise, any student not attending their assigned Saturday detention will be considered delinquent of the detention and subject to a school suspension determined by the school’s administration.

 

These detentions take place one Saturday a month on campus from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm sharp (Saturday Detention dates may be found on the school’s website www.materlakes.org under “General Calendar”). Saturday Detentions are considered a regular school day and it is the student’s responsibility to arrive on time.  Students arriving late will not be allowed into the detention. Students must arrive prepared for school in uniform and with school supplies prepared to complete an assignment.  Students arriving late, displaying disruptive behavior, and/or not prepared or unwilling to complete the assigned work will be removed and will not be given credit for serving that detention and the student may be subject to progressive disciplinary measures.  Issuance of a Saturday Detention will be determined by a school site administrator or the Dean of Discipline.

Section 4

Campus Parking and Driving

 

Driving and parking anywhere within the Mater Lakes Academy campus by anyone is a privilege.  Any person who drives and/or parks within our campus must observe the same laws as they do off campus (i.e. speeding limit, stop signs, Do Not Enter signs, Yield signs, etc.).  Mater Lakes Academy is a public charter school, but the campus is private property.  Anyone found speeding or otherwise driving in a reckless or dangerous manner as determined by security and/or school administration or failing to follow the instructions of school personnel directing traffic will not be allowed to drive onto campus for any reason under trespass penalty.

 

Students who drive to school and needing an on-campus parking spot must register their vehicle with the school.  Vehicle registration is done in the cafeteria office and there is a fee for the registration and parking location.  Once parked, a student’s vehicle may not be accessed at any time for any reason prior to being dismissed from school.  Any student found accessing any vehicle prior to being dismissed from school will be considered cutting class/skipping school even if they had permission from their teacher. The student will be subject to further disciplinary measures as determined by the school’s administration.

 

Any student driving to school and parking on campus must be responsible enough to do so without incurring excessive tardies.  Any student parking on campus will forfeit their parking spot and parking fee once they reach 15 school tardies during any one-quarter.

 

Illegally parked vehicles within the Mater Lakes Academy campus risk a violation sticker on their car and/or being towed at the owner’s expense with or without warning.  A student parked in the visitor’s section is considered to be parked illegally.  It is a student’s responsibility to assure the information provided to the school regarding their car is valid and up to date.

 

Any vehicle registered with the school for parking and found speeding or driving in a reckless and/or dangerous manner as determined by security and/or school administration or failing to follow the instructions of school personnel directing traffic will lose their school vehicle registration regardless of who was driving.  Driving on-campus after losing privileges is considered trespassing and authorities will be notified.  If parked, cars will be towed immediately at the owner’s expense without warning.

 

Anyone who drives or parks any vehicle anywhere on campus does so at their own risk.  The school assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen items or damage due to an accident, theft, vandalism, weather, or an act of God.

 

This document can be viewed through the school’s website at www.materlakes.org.  In addition, by signing the Mater Inc. Parent Contract you are acknowledging receipt and understanding of the aforementioned rules.



 

The rules listed above will take effect at the start of the school year and will remain in effect throughout said school year.   This document is not a contract nor should it be construed as one.  Mater Lakes Academy administration reserves the right to change, amend, interpret, or supersede any and all of the rules listed above without notice.