The Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School Handbook provides important information concerning specific guidelines, policies, and procedures related to the operation of our school. These include the admissions procedures, financial information, attendance guidelines, scholastic information, the technology policy, the dress code policy, standards of conduct, the disciplinary process and grievance policy, and general information relating to safety, transportation, expectations, etc.
In order for our school to operate safely and efficiently, you and your student(s) must be familiar with and abide by the expectations, procedures, and rules outlined in this Handbook.
The text of the Handbook (as of May 2019) is included below.
To download a copy, click HERE.
Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School (WVSDAES) was established in 1989 and provides First through Eighth Grade curriculum. Our school serves families in the greater Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton area who are seeking an education for their children that emphasizes exceptional academics, development of self-discipline and work ethic, service to the community, and Bible-based character growth. Our school is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, is accredited by the National Council of Private Schools, and the Accrediting Association of Adventist Schools. Locally, we are sponsored by the Wyoming Valley, Slocum, Drums, Beaumont, Wilkes-Barre Spanish, and Berwick Seventh-day Adventist Churches and the Pennsylvania Adventist Conference.
We admit students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all rights and privileges generally afforded or made available to students at the school making no discrimination.
Remedial and gifted services that are offered by the local Intermediate Unit are provided for students. Presently, however, we are unable to admit students who have serious mental, academic, physical, or social handicaps. Further, WVSDAES cannot accept students who are not proficient in the use of the English language.
The school is governed by a local School Board, consisting of representatives from each constituent church, and by the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Department of Education. The School Board is committed to providing a quality school program within the parameters of the school constitution, conference and union guidelines.
The Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Non-Public Schools. The Pennsylvania Department of Education reviews our license annually.
Teachers and staff are held to the highest standards of professionalism and are committed to the nurture of each individual student. Educators are degreed and certified by the North American Division of Adventist Education and most also hold certification through the commonwealth or a state.
Volunteerism is encouraged. An active group of parents and community leaders is involved in the numerous activities of the school. Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School also works in partnership with community organizations to enhance the academic and social programs of the school.
Our school program is enriched and strengthened as families and staff join together for the benefit of our children. All parents/guardians of enrolled students, all school personnel, and constituents of the sponsoring churches are members of the Home & School Association. Participation is an expected privilege of all members. The organization directly benefits families and students by sponsoring educational presentations, social activities, special hot lunches, fund raising events, and other services that support the overall school program.
Core Values and Philosophy
Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School values the growth of the spiritual, mental, and physical dynamics of the complete individual. It is the purpose of our school to:
- Present Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and encourage students to accept Him as their personal Savior and Friend.
- Help students develop a positive sense of self-worth as a child of God.
- Provide a place of learning that is physically and emotionally safe, where students are challenged to develop their full academic potential.
- Empower students to be successful in their future academic experiences, to become productive workers, and responsible citizens.
- Help students establish wholesome relationships, demonstrating courtesy, respect, and concern for others.
Students from our community who are willing to support the principles and regulations of the school and maintain the spiritual, moral, and scholastic atmosphere of the school are welcome to apply. The school does, however, reserve the right to refuse admittance, or to dismiss any student.
All applications will be carefully evaluated, references checked, and interviews held to determine approval or rejection of the applicant for attendance. Students are only accepted by action of the School Board. Each applicant will be notified to confirm his or her status.
Prospective students need to complete an official Application which may be obtained at the school or from a representative of the School Board. When submitting the completed Application to the school, it must be accompanied by a copy of the prospective student’s Birth Certificate to verify age, birth date, place of birth, and parentage; a copy of current medical and immunization records for verifying that the child is in compliance with Pennsylvania immunization regulations; and pertinent educational records from any school previously attended including transcripts, attendance records, and citizenship report.
All students who have been officially accepted into the student body will complete a Registration Form, submit the Registration Fee, and enter into a Financial Agreement with the school which reflects current fees and financial policies.
A Readiness Evaluation will be administered to all incoming First Grade applicants. The School embraces the philosophy of Developmental Readiness for school entrance. Pennsylvania law requires that a student entering First Grade (1st) must be age six (6) by September 15 to enter First Grade. Exceptions may be made to this policy at the discretion of the Principal and evaluation team supported by vote of the School Board.
Parents/guardians of transfer students must complete and sign a Records Release Form to be sent to any previously attended school to obtain all official school records.
Our school reserves the right to evaluate all transfer students to determine appropriate Academic and Developmental placement.
New students are accepted on probation for up to ninety days (90) following enrollment. During the Probationary Period, a Behavioral/Academic evaluation will be made by the teaching staff and School Board. The Probationary Period is for the purpose of reviewing grade placement, special needs, and the student’s willingness to uphold school policy, and the school’s ability to meet the needs of the student.
A student with a child custody/visitation agreement ordered by the court, must provide the school with a copy of that portion of the court order. The document will be kept confidential, but is necessary for the protection of the child and school personnel.
All new students must produce evidence of compliance with all health requirements. In addition, all students will have the following:
- Physical Examination – First year in school and before entering Grade 6
- Dental Examination – First year in school, and before entering Grades 3 and 7.
- Immunization Records – All grades. At the beginning of each school year, each student must present evidence of compliance with the most recent Pennsylvania Department of Health (www.dsf.health.state.pa.us/health) immunization requirements. The school and your physician also have a copy of these requirements.
- Hearing, vision, and weight checks – May be available through the school district nurse’s office. More complete examination may be required if deemed necessary by district nurse.
Reenrollment of Continuing Students
In the spring of each year, parents/guardians will receive an application for readmission of continuing students. Continuing students in good standing will be given preference for reenrollment through July. After that date, new applicants will be processed to fill spaces vacated by previously enrolled students.
Changes in Student/Family Information
It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to keep the school informed of all changes concerning address, telephone numbers, transportation, financial status, emergency information, medical history, name, and any other pertinent information.
Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School is supported by subsidies from the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, constituent churches, and by free will donations, fees, and tuition.
All tuition and fees are to be paid directly to the school and mailed to the school treasurer. Please do not hand payments to members of the school staff. Mailing tuition and fees directly to the treasurer helps assure that payments are received and recorded in the most timely manner possible.
297 West Butler Drive
Drums, PA 18222
The Registration Fee is an annual non-refundable, non-discounted payment made at the time of Registration. It pays for items such as text materials, library materials, other supplies, and student insurance. The Registration Fee must be paid in full before the first day of a student’s school attendance.
Fees and Tuition Per Student
Registration - Grades 1-8: $300.00
Tuition - Grades 1-8: $3,900.00
Constituent Tuition Per Student
Parents/Guardians who are constituent members in regular and good standing of one the local Seventh-day Adventist Churches that are part of the school constituency are subsidizing the school by their offerings through the church. Therefore, they qualify for a Constituent Tuition Rate.
Registration - Grades 1-8: $300.00
Tuition - Grades 1-8: $3,400.00
Multiple Student Discount
Families with more than one student enrolled full-time for the entire school year will receive a multiple student discount. The total annual tuition for a family with two students enrolled full-time for the entire school year will be discounted $100.00. A family with three or more students enrolled full-time for the entire year will receive a total multiple student discount of $200.00. The discount will be applied to all applicable accounts that are current and in good standing during the last billing cycle of the school year.
Patrons of the school and supporting entities are deeply committed to Christian education and heavily subsidize the school so that tuition and fees may be kept as low as possible. However, families (the individual responsible for payment of the account) may apply for additional financial assistance. A family requesting assistance must submit an Assistance Application Form that is completed in full with accompanying documents (Federal 1040 and W2 Form) and information, and may be required to talk confidentially with the Financial Aid Assistance Committee to discuss assistance needs. The Financial Aid Assistance Committee will review the application and accompanying information to determine if the family qualifies for assistance, what type of assistance is available to the family, and the amount of assistance that is available. The family will be notified in a timely manner of the decision of the committee and the amount, if any, of assistance available to them, and the terms of that assistance.
To have the allocated “Financial Assistance Funds” applied to a student’s account for a given billing cycle, the parent/ individual financially responsible for the student’s account, must pay his/her percentage of the monthly bill on or before the 10th of the month. “Financial Assistance Funds” (worthy student, multiple child discount, 3-way aid, etc.) will be forfeit for the given billing cycle if the parent’s full portion of the payment is not made by the 10th.
Students who are offered pfe as part of their assistance plan must faithfully participate and submit each month by the established due date. If they do not, they will forfeit any additional assistance for the month in question and may jeopardize their ability to participate in the program.
Payment Plan Options
To better assist parents/guardians in meeting their financial obligations to the school, several payment plans are offered. A 10-Month Plan provides for ten (10) monthly payments to be made August through May. A 12-Month Payment Plan offers lower monthly rates spread out over the entire year, July through June. A third option is a one-time Total Annual Payment which would include all Tuition for the school year plus the Registration Fee. When using the Total Annual Payment Plan, a discount of $200.00 is given to full-time students in First Grade through Grade Eight.
The school has adopted a 10-15-30 Day Plan for Delinquent Accounts in an effort to assist parents/guardians in meeting their financial obligations to the school, and to improve the ability of the school to maintain fiscal responsibility while providing consistent quality education for the students.
By policy, tuition payments are due by the first day (1st) of each month. On the tenth (10th) day of the month, delinquency action will be started. A special notice of delinquency will be given to the party responsible for the account. The party will be required to meet with the “Finance Committee” within five (5) days of the notification to arrange payment and/or make special arrangements for rectifying the debt. At thirty (30) days or at any time thereafter, in cases where financial agreements have not been honored, the student(s) will be suspended from school until such time as the outstanding current balance on the account has been paid in full.
It is the hope of the school board that as we each assume responsibility for financial accountability and work together for the best good of our children, that all financial matters will be resolved promptly and amicably.
Textbooks and certain other materials are rented from the school. The rental fee for these materials is part of the Registration Fee. A parent/guardian agrees to pay the replacement cost of any textbook or item that is assigned to his/her child if the item becomes damaged, or misused beyond normal-wear-and-tear or is lost. The parent/guardian is also financially responsible for damage or loss of other school property caused by his/her child.
We recognize that the parent/guardian is the most important member of a student’s educational team. Therefore, we have a Parent-Student Orientation Session at the beginning of each school year. Orientation Day constitutes the First Day of School and meets the requirements for a minimum school day. Parents/guardians are expected to attend with the students. The Orientation provides opportunity to review and amplify school policies, programs, procedures, and expectations. Parents are given an opportunity to ask questions and become acquainted with the teachers, Home & School Leader, and School Board members.
The school day begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. each school day. A student may not be dropped off at school before morning supervision begins at 7:40 a.m., but should arrive in ample time to take care of personal items, prepare for the school day, and be in his/her seat ready for opening exercises at 8:00 a.m. We work closely with busing systems to accommodate these considerations, and expect the same courtesy from parents/guardians who transport their children to school.
Worship is the keystone of the school day, setting the tone for a Christ-centered atmosphere in the classroom. We ask that Worship time not be interrupted as this distracts from the spiritual atmosphere. In the event that a parent/guardian or carpool-transported student arrives late, the driver is asked to stay outside with the student until worship is over at 8:15 a.m. before ringing the bell for admittance.
School is dismissed each day, Monday through Friday, at 2:45 p.m. Buses are scheduled to arrive at that time. Parent/guardian or carpool drivers should also plan to arrive at that time. All students should vacate the building by 3:00 p.m. This courtesy is greatly appreciated by teachers who have planning, grading, appointments, and other duties that need uninterrupted attention.
No student will be permitted to leave the school with anyone whom the parent/guardian has not designated in the “Transportation Permission” section of the Registration Form. Parents/guardians must designate in writing the individual(s) who have permission to pick-up their child(ren). If emergency changes arise, parents/guardians should send signed written instructions to the teacher whenever possible. In the event that it is impossible to send written instructions, the parent/guardian should telephone or email the teacher as soon as the change is known.
When a student’s designated ride does not arrive by 3:00 p.m., the school will telephone the parent/guardian to arrange for pick-up. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached, the school will contact the emergency call person listed by the parent/guardian.
Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School is a nonprofit school, and as such, the local public school districts are required to transport school age children to our school if the student meets the commonwealth guidelines. Parents/guardians are responsible for contacting their local school district for details and/or necessary forms to arrange busing transportation. If the student does not meet the transportation guidelines, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to provide transportation.
The exterior doors of the school remain locked during school hours for the safety of our children and staff. Visitors may use the doorbell when needing to enter the building during school hours. The door is only to be opened by a staff member. Please note that students may not open the door for anyone unless receiving permission from a staff member to do so.
Interior doors will also be locked while classes are in session.
Student safety is of utmost concern. We want to work with you to assure that your child is safe and where you intend him/her to be. Because of this, the school requests that the parent/guardian give written, email or telephone notice if a child will be tardy or absent from school. If a child has not arrived at school, and no notice has been received by 8:30 a.m. from the parent/guardian as to the child’s whereabouts, the school will make every reasonable attempt to contact the parent/guardian to determine that the child is safe. The parent/guardian is ultimately responsible for the child’s whereabouts and to notify the school of any absence or tardiness.
Parents and school patrons are welcome to visit the classes after the third week of school and before the last three weeks of school. Arrangements should be made with the teacher in advance of the visit and the principal should be notified. New teachers are given a 90-day moratorium from all classroom visits by local board members, parents, or constituents.
Parent Requested Conferences
Teachers will be pleased to meet with parents in a pre-arranged private conference outside of school hours. Parents/guardians may request a private conference verbally or in writing. The conference must be scheduled for a time when the teacher has no other responsibilities or distractions so that ample time and attention may be devoted to the parent’s/guardian’s concerns. Teachers may request that the principal, member of the executive committee of the School Board, or conference personnel be present at the conference.
The Annual School Calendar will inform parents/guardians of any special days and vacations. These dates may be subject to change. Parents/guardians are encouraged to read Weekly Reports, notices, and the calendar up-dates to stay informed regarding any calendar changes, deletions, or additions.
Weather related cancellations, closings, late starts, or early dismissals will be announced in the following ways:
- Our school will follow Crestwood Area School District delays, early dismissals, and cancellations for weather related emergencies.
- Additional information may be provided via local radio stations: WBRE and WNEP.
- As necessary, you may also be contacted by personal telephone call, email, or other means.
- If students are already at school when Crestwood Area School District calls for an early dismissal, we will dismiss your child when your local school district transportation is able to pick up your child (times will vary between districts) or when you or your designated driver arrive for pick up. In this case, we will notify you directly.
Lockers/Care of Personal Belongings
Each student is expected to hang coats, sweater, etc. neatly in his/her locker or on a hanger on the coat rack. Boots, mittens, caps, other apparel, backpacks, and lunch bags are to be kept in the student’s assigned locker. The students should remove homework and other items to be used in the classroom from the backpack each morning before school begins. Closed backpacks should be kept in the locker. At the end of each school day, the student should take all items home. The student should not accumulate items in the locker.
Please remember to label all personal items with the student’s name to reduce loss or confusion over ownership. Students are responsible for any personal property brought to school or property assigned to them by the school faculty. The school has no financial responsibility for items that are lost, stolen, or damaged. In the case of loss or damage, school personnel may conduct an investigation to see if any wrongful conduct has occurred and take appropriate actions.
Lost Classroom Materials
Occasionally, young children become attached to small classroom items and take them home. The school would appreciate the parent/guardian checking for such items and returning them to the school.
The school telephone is for business use and emergencies. No student may use the telephone without permission.
Parents and family members are requested to refrain from calling the school during instructional hours unless there is a real emergency. Frequent calls are disruptive to the educational process. Calls to the teachers should be, as much as possible, made at least twenty minutes before school starts or twenty minutes after dismissal to allow time for teachers to properly supervise the arrival and departure of the students.
Cell Phones/Other Electronics
Students who must carry cellular phones and other electronic devises must turn them in to the teacher at the beginning of each school day and retrieve them from the teacher when school is dismissed for the day.
The library is a special place for reading and studying only. Laughing, visiting, or disruptive activities will not be permitted.
Fire and Safety Drills
Fire and safety drills will be conducted in compliance with county and state regulations. All students are expected to follow directions for each type of drill. When required, students are to exit the building in an orderly fashion, proceed to the designated meeting location and remain there silently until the signal is given to return to the classrooms.
Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are essential to a student’s well-being and ability to learn. Each student should eat a healthy breakfast every morning before school. School lunches should be well balanced and nutritious. Unclean meats, coffee, teas, cola drinks, or other caffeinated drinks, and soda pop are not acceptable. It is recommended that students not bring excessively sugary foods, sugar-sweetened drinks, candy, and other non-nutritional foods in lunches. These foods cause drowsiness and inhibit optimal learning.
Lunches should be ready-to-eat not requiring cooking. A microwave oven is provided for items requiring minimal (1-2 minutes) reheating.
No food is to be eaten during class or recess, in the restrooms, or other undesignated areas of the building or at time other than lunch time unless otherwise permitted by the teacher.
Hot Lunch is provided on special occasions by the Home & School Association. Students will be notified in advance.
Field trips are planned to extend and augment classroom experiences. They are scheduled in advance and approved by the School Board. Parents/guardians will be notified in advance and asked to sign a permission slip. All students and adults participating in the event are expected to exhibit the high standards of conduct held by the school. Field trips are a privilege and the administration reserves the right to withhold this privilege from any student whose conduct or scholastic record is not acceptable.
The following guidelines govern Field Trip Volunteers:
- All drivers must be 21 years of age, hold valid driver’s license, have an excellent driving record, and be approved by the School Board.
- Vehicles driven to transport students must have adequate seat belts for all passenger, be in excellent repair, and meet the Pennsylvania Adventist Conference insurance coverage standards: $100,000/$300,000 coverage for bodily injury liability. The vehicle may not exceed 7 occupants and must be a private passenger auto owned by the volunteer. Vehicles with more than 7 occupants must meet the Columbia Union Adventist Conference bodily injury liability requirements of $250,000/$500,000.
- Every vehicle occupant must wear a seatbelt at all times. Belts must be fastened before the vehicle moves.
- Children weighing 40 pounds or less must ride in the back seat of the vehicle in an approved child safety booster seat.
Each student is expected to have appropriate school supplies throughout the school year. Teachers will provide a list of needed supplies at the time of enrollment. Students should not bring any item to school that is not asked for on the Supply List unless he/she has the approval of the parent/guardian and the teacher.
When a student is registered at our school, it is understood that student information including student name and parent/guardian names(s), telephone number, email information, address, grade level, and birth dates will be shared with all the administrative levels of the Pennsylvania Adventist Conference school system, and the local school board while in session. Information may also be shared with the Home & School Association and other duly recognized auxiliary organizations connected with the school. A parent/guardian who does not want information shared with auxiliary branches of the school, may give a written request on the Registration Form.
Our school displays student work and photographs of school activities in various publications, on bulletin boards, on our website, and in other venues. From time to time during the school year the media may also photograph our school, teachers, and students to visually represent the many varied types of programs and events that our school has to offer. These photos or video tapes may be used in newspapers, magazines, on television, or in other school publications. Parents/guardians are required to sign a media release statement (to give or deny permission) which is found on the Registration Form.
The only legitimate excuses for school absence are verified illness of the student; medical, dental, or optometrical service; quarantine; or bereavement. Our school does give some additional consideration if a student rides a school bus and that bus is late, and in other special cases of extenuating circumstances.
A written explanation for all absences and tardies must be submitted to the school by the parent/guardian. If a student misses more than three consecutive days due to illness, a doctor’s note may be required. A form is provided in the back of this Handbook.
Missing 20% of any school period calls for failure for that period, unless the work is made up to the satisfaction of the teacher.
Whenever possible, parents/guardians are encouraged to schedule medical and other appointments outside of school hours.
Work missed because of legally excused absence should be made up and turned in as soon as possible. One day of make-up time is allowed for each day of school missed up to three (3) days. In cases where the absence exceeds three (3) days, special arrangements must be made with the teacher.
Planned absences are sometimes unavoidable. Permission cannot be given for these absences and days missed are included in the 20% rule noted above. When they must occur, the parent/guardian is to complete and submit to the principal a Planned Absence Assignment Request form. Upon approval of the principal and teacher, a student may be permitted to obtain assignments in advance, and be given the opportunity to complete them and receive a grade. Any work for which credit is expected must be submitted before the planned absence so that it can be graded along with the work of the other students. With approval, select assignments may be submitted on the day the student returns to school.
Tardiness, Early Dismissal, and Half-Day Absences
A student is considered tardy when not in his/her designated area ready for opening exercises at 8:00 a.m. and up to 60 minutes after the official start of school. Arriving any time after the 60 minutes considered “tardy” and before classes resume after lunch break, or being in attendance through the morning and being dismissed at lunch break are counted as a Half Day of attendance. Early Dismissal is when a student is dismissed any time during the last 60 minutes of the school day.
Leaving School Premise/Designated Area During the School Day
No student will be permitted to leave the school grounds or designated area at any time without prior written consent of the parent/guardian. This may mean, but is not limited to, a situation when the child wishes to leave campus with another student or family.
A student who leaves the campus or designated area through willful misbehavior is subject to police intervention.
Whether on campus or on a field trip or outing, the student is responsible for following directions given by the teacher or supervisor and staying in the designated area at all times. Students are responsible to the school staff until they are in the custody of a parent, guardian, person designated by the parent, or assigned driver.
It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to keep the school informed of any and all changes to emergency contact and insurance information. Up-to-date emergency information is vital to your child’s safety and care during an emergency.
Students should always follow all directions given by the supervisor to reduce the chances of accident or injury.
A child who is ill should never be sent to school. Illness spreads quickly through a group of children thus endangering the health and performance of many. A child who exhibits signs of illness such as, but not limited to cough, runny nose, fever, complaints of stomach ache, headache, nausea, malaise, etc. should not come to school. When a child has a persistent health problem, medical attention should be sought.
In the event that a student becomes ill or injured while at school, the teacher will make an initial assessment of the condition and provide minor first aid if applicable. Every effort will be made to contact the parent/guardian to come pick the child up from school. In the event that the parent/guardian cannot be reached, the emergency contact person designated by the parent will be contacted. In the event of serious illness or injury, the school will also contact appropriate emergency medical personnel and the parent will be notified of the medical facility to which the student has been transported
Parents/guardians are encouraged to attempt to establish time schedules with their physician that will not require the disbursement of medications during school hours. Please recognize that teachers are not permitted by law to disburse internal medicines of ANY kind to students, unless the following guidelines are followed:
- The medication must be prescribed by a licensed health professional.
- Medication must be delivered to the school and given to the school principal. It must be in the original container bearing the original pharmacy label. The label must contain the name and business of the seller, the serial number and date of such prescription, the name of the person for whom the medication is prescribed, the name of the member of the medical profession who prescribed the drug, and directions for use as prescribed by the physician.
- A written statement from the parent/guardian indicating the desire that the school assist the student in the matters set forth in the licensed health professional’s statement must be submitted to the principal along with the medication.
- By order of the state, the school may not permit self-administration of drugs by students, whether prescribed or not. This includes cough drops.
- A teacher/principal may choose not to disburse a medication even if the requirements listed above are met. In such case, the parent/guardian will be notified and informed that other arrangements will need to be made with the approval of the Principal.
Parents/guardians are responsible for notifying the school of any known allergies or special needs of the child. Upon notification, the teacher/principal may request additional information and instructions. If it is determined that the school cannot comply with the special need requirements, the parents will be notified as soon as the determination is made.
School Time Insurance
Each student is covered by school time accident insurance. The coverage is in effect for the hours and days when school is in session, and while students are attending school sponsored activities. This policy is supplemental to the student’s primary insurance coverage.
All school related injuries must be reported immediately to the supervising teacher. The parent/guardian will be notified promptly. The teacher will document the injury and report directly to the principal and the School Board. Covered medical expenses will then be reimbursed following the standards and policies of the “School Time Insurance” policy.
Parent/Guardian or Physician Requested Restriction
A parent/guardian or physician who wishes a child to remain indoors during recess or refrain from any school activity for medical reasons must submit a written request indicating the restriction or exception and the period of time it is to be in effect.
Curriculum in our school is designed to provide quality academics with a Christ-centered emphasis. It is a standard curriculum of English, spelling, handwriting, reading, mathematics, social studies, science, technology, and the arts. Bible study and worship are also part of each day’s curriculum. Careful selection of reading material to include factual, character-building, and historical stories is encouraged. Our curriculum supports our belief that God is the Creator of all things and that the principles of love and morality presented in Scripture are the standards by which we should live.
Academic Progress Reports & Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences
The school year is divided into two semesters. Each semester is comprised of two quarters of approximately nine weeks each. At the end of each quarter an Academic Progress Report is issued for each student. Parents/guardians, students, and teacher will meet each quarter to discuss the Academic Progress Report and outline goals for the up-coming quarter. These conferences are an essential part of the process in a cooperative relationship between parents and teachers as they work together to nurture the student’s character and academic development. Parents and students are required to meet with the teacher each of the first three quarters. The final report of the year may be mailed to the parent/guardian if a conference is not deemed necessary. The teacher may require a fourth quarter conference.
The teaching staff encourages additional conferences throughout the school year. Frequent, open communication between home and school aids in promoting the spiritual, academic, and social well-being of the student.
Parents and students are encouraged to request additional conferences with the teacher when concerns arise.
Nationally normed standardized achievement tests are given each fall to all students in grades 3-8. The tests are used to determine the student’s level of academic learning and to tailor classroom instruction to enhance student learning. Students should always be encouraged to do their best on the tests, at the same time being reminded that the tests are not used to “grade” them. Test results will be provided to parents and discussed.
Grade 1 - 2
N Needs to Improve
Grade 3 - 8
A Superior 4.0
B Above Average 3.5
C Average 2.5
D Below Average 1.5
F Failure to meet minimum standards
I Incomplete work due to excused absences, tardies, etc.
WP Withdrawn Passing
WF Withdrawn Failing
All Incomplete “I” grades must be removed during the time period designated by the teacher not to exceed five weeks. Failure to remove the Incomplete grades during the designated time period will result in an “F” being recorded.
Please note that it is the policy of the school that all assignments be completed in a timely manner and presented in class at the time they are due. Late assignments may be subject to a late grade penalty. Students and parents/guardians are responsible for making special arrangements with the teacher for making-up assignments missed due to illness, bereavement, or other special circumstance.
All assignments and required corrections, even those that are not completed on time, unless specifically excused by the teacher, are to be satisfactorily completed before the close of the school year. This is important for the continuity of learning, the development of a work ethic, and establishing a habit of personal responsibility.
Students who have a core subject average GPA of 3.0 to 3.69 will be on the Honor Role. Those with a core subject average GPA of 3.7 or above will be on the Distinguished Honor Role/Principal’s List.
A student who persistently earns low grades, refuses to submit assignments in a timely manner, or in other ways violates the standards of academic achievement and expectation may be placed on Academic Probation. A student who violates the conditions of his/her probation will jeopardize his/her enrollment status.
Computer programs, the Internet, television, DVD’s, videos, radio, and handheld games, etc. may be used at the school to facilitate learning and teaching through interpersonal communications, access to information, research, and collaboration.
Our school’s network is protected with software that restricts access to objectionable sites on the Internet and eliminates most potential problem situations.
Students are expected to abide by all the rules established for the computers and other technology listed in the Technology Policy. The complete Technology Policy must be reviewed and signed by students and parents/guardians at the time of registration. See Addendum A in this handbook.
Students assigned computers or other assistive technology will use the assigned technology in the manner prescribed and will at no time alter or change the technology from the condition in which it was received.
The Eighth Grade class is the graduating class. The class will organize during the first three weeks of the school year under the direction of the principal and/or Eighth Grade sponsor. This faculty member/designated adult serves as the class sponsor and will work closely with students, parents, and school board members to plan and supervise all class activities. Eighth Grade officers will be elected from the membership of the class. To hold class office, a student must be in good standing behaviorally and academically. Class office may be forfeited if a student fails to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 or is for any reason placed on disciplinary probation. It is expected that eighth graders and their parents will work together in harmony with the class advisor to make the school year memorable and educational for each member of the class.
All Eighth Grade activities are expected to be in harmony with the philosophy and goals of the school. Students will be asked to follow a time schedule as they plan events and activities since each activity must be approved at local and often higher levels, before implementation.
Eighth Grade Graduation Requirements
In order to satisfy the requirements established by the Columbia Union Conference of Education for Seventh-day Adventist schools for an Eighth Grade diploma, students must present evidence of satisfactory completion of the following:
English Fine Arts
Certificates of Completion may be issued in special circumstances for eighth graders who do not meet the requirements for a diploma.
Participation in Public Graduation Exercises
A student is not automatically granted the privilege of participating in the public graduation exercises. Occasionally, a student will, by the following behaviors, forfeit participation in graduation exercises:
- Choosing not to meet scholastic requirements
- Behaving in a manner which reflects poorly on a student, his/her parents, and/or the school.
The School Board will expect parents with outstanding accounts due to make satisfactory arrangements for payment before his/her student participates in graduation or receives a diploma.
All fund raising, trip itinerary, and other class activities must be in harmony with the beliefs and standards of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the policies of our school. Appropriate spiritual activities will be part of every trip itinerary, and school standards of conduct, dress, and demeanor will be expected at and during all class functions.
The class is responsible for raising money to pay for their graduation event, class trip, and any other class activities. Students are to collect funds promptly and turn them in to the advisor as soon as possible. (This practice helps to protect the student from liability for lost funds or product.) The funds are then given to the school treasurer who holds them in account until the time that they are needed.
All fund raising events must be planned and approved by the local school board. No fund raising activities may take place during the Sabbath hours (sundown Friday evening until sundown Saturday evening).
It is understood that all funds raised by the class belong to the class, not to any individual in the class. If a class member withdraws from the class, he/she forfeits the use of funds raised by the class. Also, it is understood that if a student should join the class at any time during the school year, he/she will enjoy the benefits of funds raised prior to that time.
Students are to earn sufficient funds to pay for graduation activities, class gifts, invitations, and other related expenses. Students must also earn all trip expenses for themselves and their faculty sponsor. Other individuals who are approved by the school board to accompany students on their trip are responsible for paying their own way. Any exceptions must be presented to the school board for approval.
In the event that funds remain in the Eighth Grade account after graduation and the payment of all class accounts, the class may vote to give the funds in the form of a gift or cash to the school for a designated project or to the general fund; or they may vote to give the funds to the next graduating class. Left over funds may not, however, be taken by individual students.
The class trip is a privilege granted to Eighth Grade Class members who are in good standing. The class trip is closely regulated by local, conference, and union policies. The planning and appropriate approvals must be done in accordance with a timely schedule to assure careful review and time for approvals or rejections. The trip request must be accompanied by a detailed itinerary, evidence of adequate funding, proper insurance coverage, housing, written parental approval, and detailed supervision arrangements. The trip is to be supervised by a minimum of two adults. One must be a school official such as the principal or Eighth Grade home room teacher. The other adult must be an officer of the church or school such as a school board member, elder, etc. (Emergency exceptions to the supervision rule must be submitted to and approved by all appropriate boards.) All chaperones accompanying the trip are subject to full background checks. If a parent wishes to accompany the trip, they should notify the board for approval.
All 8th Grade Class activities (trip, chaperones, fund raising, speakers, special activities, etc.) are subject to board approval.
Columbia Union Code #3060E:2a states the following when the primary purpose of the trip is recreation, extracurricular activities, such as graduating class trips, are limited to a maximum of one school day per year.”
Columbia Union Code #3060E:1 allows more time for curriculum-related study trips. Activities requiring overnight lodging will not exceed three school days per year.
Restrictions and special rules apply to out of conference and/or out of union trips.
Student Dress and Appearance
We believe that our dress should reflect our standards of excellence. Students are expected to be neat, clean, and modest in their choice of apparel and in their appearance. A Student Dress Policy has been prescribed by the School Board for all students. Unless the principal specifically allows alternative dress, all students must adhere to the Dress Policy while attending school, school functions, and school sponsored trips.
If a student does not comply with the Student Dress Policy, the parent/guardian will be contacted and required to either bring the student proper clothing or pick up the child. Noncompliance with this policy will result in a one-day suspension for the student for each infraction.
Regular School Day - Tops
- Long or short sleeve collared polo shirts are required. Polo shirts may be any solid color. Shirts should not have any logo or markings.
- Vests, pullover-style sweaters, or cardigans may be worn over polo shirts and must be a solid color. They should not have any insignia, pictures, monograms, logos, etc.
- No other types of shirts, vests, cardigans, etc. are to be worn.
- Sweat shirts and hoodies should not be worn in the classroom.
Regular School Day –Bottoms for Boys and Girls
- Students may wear navy blue or khaki slacks (regular-fit docker-style). Pants should neither be too loose nor too tight.
- Sweat pants, footless tights, flannel pants, pajama pants, jeans of any kind, athletic pants, or any other styles other than those designated above are not permitted
- All pants must be worn at the waist.
- Girls – Navy blue or khaki solid color dresses, jumpers, scooter skirts, and skirts may also be worn. They must come down to the knee and be modest in cut and design.
- No street or regular dresses may be worn to school unless designated for special occasions.
- Shorts may be worn under skirts, dresses, or jumpers for the sake of modesty.
- *Seasonal wear: Shorts that must come down to the top of the knee. Girls - Skorts must come down to the top of the knee. Capris must be in good taste.
- Socks and Closed-toe Shoes are to be worn at all times by boys and girls. (Girls may wear tights, leggings or stockings under their dresses.)
- Sneakers are required for PE and recess.
- High-heeled shoes and sandals are not permitted during a regular school day.
- Students must wear shoes at all times. No bare feet or sock feet.
*Seasonal Wear: August – Oct. 15 and April 15 to the end of the school year or as permitted by the principal.
Special Exceptions - Performance programs at church, special music, recitals, service programs, graduation, school pictures, and other occasions as announced by the principal require other types of dress.
Performance Dress Code
- Girls – White top, knee-length or longer black skirt or dress slacks, black socks, stockings, or tights, and black shoes.
- Boys – White shirt with black tie. Black dress slacks with black belt. Black socks and shoes.
Field Trip Dress – Official school outings – Follow regular Student Dress Policy or the teacher’s written announcement.
8th Grade Functions – Graduation, fund raising events, banquets, class trip, etc.
- Pre-approved based on these principles: Correct size, neither too large nor too small.
- Girls - Dresses should not have spaghetti straps, be strapless, backless, nor have plunging necklines. Dresses should not be made of revealing fabric, nor should underwear show through the fabric. Dresses/skirts must come at least to the knee in length.
- Shirts must have sleeves and be appropriately buttoned.
Swimwear - for boys and girls must be modest. Girls must wear modest, one-piece swimsuits.
At our school we value a clean modest personal appearance. Wearing ornamental jewelry such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings is not permitted. Make-up such as colored nail polish, eye make-up, lipstick, etc. may not be worn at school or school functions. Covering for blemish problems is acceptable.
Hair should be natural color and be groomed in a neat, clean style that does not draw undo attention.
Hats, caps, bandanas, and sunglasses are not acceptable classroom (indoor) attire. They may be worn when permission is given for a picnic or other outdoor activities.
Standards of Conduct
Bible-based principles of Christian conduct are standard at our school. Honesty, courtesy, respect, reverence, purity, and obedience are nurtured and expected. Considerable emphasis is placed on intangibles such as attitude, spirit, cooperation, and positive contributions to the spiritual, social, and academic atmosphere of the school. We are committed to helping students develop self-control, self-government, and a sense of responsibility. All standards of conduct are based on respect…respect for God, respect for self, respect for others, respect for our country.
Classroom manners are basic courtesy to others. A student should do nothing that disrupts his/her learning or the learning of another. He/she should keep all belongs in neat clean order and participate in keeping the entire school and campus clean and attractive.
Violation of the standards of behavior will result in disciplinary action. Serious infraction of school policy may result in an immediate call to a parent/guardian asking that the student be promptly removed from the school premise until such time as the student, parent/guardian, and appropriate school personnel can meet to put corrective measures in place.
Habitual non-compliance with school policy or any behavior that endangers the well-being of the student or others may result in suspension or expulsion as determined by the School Board.
A student who is suspended may not return to the campus during times when school is in session or during school functions for the period of his/her suspension unless special permission is given by the administration. A student who is expelled due to misconduct may not return to the campus during official school hours or during school functions until after the end of the school year in which the expulsion occurred, unless permission is granted by the administration.
Note: A parent or designated surrogate as listed on the Registration Form should be reachable and available at all times in the case of any type of emergency.
Causes for Disciplinary Action
These guidelines have been established to promote safety, respect, and harmony within the school. Disregarding these expectations will result in disciplinary action. Any disregard for any policy, safety standard, or for common courtesy may result in disciplinary action.
- Be in designated areas as directed by the staff. Unauthorized entry into the building or any part thereof is expressly forbidden.
- Walk courteously and speak quietly while in the building.
- Chewing gum is not permitted on school property, and food is to be eaten only at appropriate times and in designated areas. Paper and other objects should not be placed in the mouth.
- Magazines, books, pictures, games, etc. that are brought to school for any reason should be in harmony with Christian values and standards. Playing cards should not be brought to school. Inappropriate items are not permitted and will be confiscated. Confiscated items will be returned only to the parent/guardian.
- Hand-held electronic devises including, but not limited to, cell phones, games, CD players, MP3 players, etc. are not permitted at school or on school functions unless specific permission is given by the administration. Confiscated items will be returned only to the parent/guardian.
- Respect your own property, that of others, and of the school. Refrain from taking or using things which do not belong to you unless you obtain permission from the owner.
- When accidental damage to school property occurs, it is to be reported immediately.
- Show respect for others in all your words and actions by not engaging in forgery, cheating, lying, stealing, fighting, bullying, or the use of profane language.
- Making derogatory remarks or spreading false information about another student, teacher, or parent will not be permitted.
- Be honest and truthful at all times.
- Do not curse, swear, or use cheap or crude expressions. Using profane language, obscene gestures, or writing obscene slogans, phrases or drawings will not be tolerated.
- Willful disrespect, disobedience, or insubordination to any teacher or staff member is unacceptable.
The parent/guardian of any student who intentionally or recklessly (any behavior with a recognized potential to do harm, even though harm was not intended) damages school or personal property of another individual while in school will be responsible to pay the school or person the fair replacement value of the damaged property. The school may help facilitate remuneration for damages between parties, but has no legal authority to its enforcement.
Causes for Immediate Suspension or Dismissal
- Possession of firearms, weapons, dangerous objects, knives, matches, lighters, candles, or explosive devises, including imitation or toy weapons.
- The use, possession, or distribution of any harmful substances such as, but not limited to, drugs in any form, tobacco, or alcoholic beverages.
- Being involved with spiritualism in any form, such as, but not limited to satanically oriented computer, board or card games, or reading materials.
- Undermining the Bible-based ideals of our school or disseminating atheistic ideas.
- Physical assault upon a teacher or another student.
- Being involved in any form of sexual misconduct.
- Deliberately committing any act that injures, degrades, or disgraces a fellow student.
- Bullying or harassment of any kind*
- Intentional vandalism of school property or the property of a fellow student or faculty member. Restitution will be required.
Intervention is needed in any case of perceived bullying, harassment, and intimidation. Bullying/harassment is a real or perceived power imbalance between a bully and a victim designed to dominate and disturb someone less powerful.
Some examples of bullying are:
Physical – punching, poking, hair pulling, beating, biting
Verbal – name calling, teasing, gossiping
Emotional – rejecting, humiliating, ostracizing
Sexual – inappropriate touching, innuendoes
Hazing – aggressive behavior that may be tolerated as traditional or socially acceptable, but denigrates or endangers an individual in any way.
Sexual Conduct Policy
Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School, as a Christ-centered learning community, welcomes all those whose behavior and lifestyle are consistent with the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Regarding human sexuality, students can remain in good standing providing they conduct their lives in a manner that is consistent with the teachings of the Church on sexual orientation and behavior. WVSDA Elementary School does not admit or retain students who engage in sexual misconduct, which includes but is not necessarily limited to, non-marital sexual conduct or homosexual conduct, or those students who practice or appear to advocate for any form of sexual behavior or orientation that in the judgment of the school’s administration is inconsistent with the Christian identity, teachings, beliefs, or faith mission of the WVSDA Elementary School and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
A student should not bring any firearm (including “bb” or pellet guns), sling shots, firecrackers, metal stars, knives, live ammunition, or other instruments considered useful for self-harm or injury to others to the school grounds, in the buildings, or in any conveyance that provides transportation to/from school.
Violation of this policy is a matter for police intervention.
Acts of Violence
Any deliberate act, serving no legitimate purpose, which causes injury or which could be expected to cause injury to another person is an act of violence. Such conduct may result in police intervention.
Any student who violates the Weapons Policy or is in involved in an Act of Violence is subject to immediate suspension. The suspension will remain in effect until a School Discipline Committee of the school board consisting of, but not limited to, the school board chairperson, principal, teacher, two school board members, and the Pennsylvania Conference Superintendent of Education meet to consider the situation and vote the final action to be taken.
A student referred to the police will be suspended until the police have completed their investigation and have provided a written report to the school.
A student who has committed a Weapons Violation or Act of Violence, if permitted to return to WVSDA School, must be actively participating in a professional counseling program.
Rules and structures are put in place to develop within our school a culture of caring and respect. Most discipline offenses may be dealt with by the faculty utilizing natural consequences that are safe and practical. Teachers and staff members may employ verbal warnings, time-outs, suspension of recess or other privileges, writing assignments, parent notification, conferences, behavioral contracts or incentives, or any combination of such actions. Parents will be notified of all but the most minor disciplinary concerns.
More serious discipline matters will be handled by the principal, and as the situation indicates, referred to the Discipline Committee or the School Board. A student may be immediately suspended from school when he/she presents a danger to persons or property, or is perceived to be an on-going threat by disrupting the academic process. The principal has the authority so suspend a student for up to three (3) school days. Suspension may be in-school or out-of-school, as determined by the principal. The student is responsible for completion of all assignments during any period of suspension.
Suspension beyond three days requires the action of the Discipline Committee or the School Board. The Discipline Committee or School Board, based upon evidence presented, may take a variety of actions that may include, but may not be limited to the following:
- They may recommend a student return to class.
- They may increase the number of days of suspension.
- They may place a student on probation and identify the terms and length of probation.
- They may recommend professional counseling, or any combination of interventions.
- They may recommend expulsion of the student.
The School Board has the final authority over the decision to expel a student from the school. Corporal punishment will not be used as a disciplinary measure.
The Grievance Policy is briefly outlined below. It is always helpful to submit your concerns in writing at all levels. Written information is more easily understood and less likely to be misunderstood.
- Present your concern to the teacher. If not resolved…
- Present your concern to the principal. If not resolved…
- Complete a Grievance Policy form and submit it to the principal or the chairperson of the School Board.
- The School Board will address your concern, and will cooperate with the Pennsylvania Conference Superintendent of Education, as appropriate, in recommending resolution.
At all levels of the Grievance Process, it is our goal to preserve the dignity, reputation, and respect of all parties involved.
The School Board reserves the right to change, modify, or interpret this policy book as it deems necessary and proper to fulfill the statement of purpose of Gettysburg Adventist School.
Your questions, ideas, and/or comments are always welcome. Please feel free to contact the principal or a School Board member. You are encouraged to share your comments, suggestions, and concerns in writing.
Wyoming Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School
476 Third Street
Mountain Top, PA 18707