Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will adopt and implement a comprehensive set of health, safety, and risk management policies to be reviewed regularly with the staff, students, parents, and governing board. These policies have been developed and will be reviewed and discussed with the school's insurance carriers and at a minimum will address the following topics:
A requirement that all enrolling students and staff provide records documenting immunizations to the extent required for enrollment in non-charter public schools. Records of student immunizations will be maintained, and staff will honor County requirements for periodic Tuberculosis (TB) tests.
Policies and procedures for response to natural disasters and emergencies, including fires and earthquakes.
A policy requiring that instructional and administrative staff receive training in emergency response, including appropriate “first responder” training or its equivalent.
Policies relating to the administration of prescription drugs and other medicines.
A policy that the school will be housed in facilities that have received state Fire Marshal approval and that have been evaluated by a qualified structural engineer who has determined that the facilities present no substantial seismic safety hazard. Periodic inspections will be undertaken, as necessary; to ensure such safety standards are met.
A policy establishing that the school functions as a drug, alcohol, and tobacco free workplace.
A requirement that each employee of the school submit to a criminal background check and furnish a criminal record summary as required.
A policy for reporting child abuse, acts of violence, and other improprieties as mandated by federal, state, and local agencies.
Compliance with all health and safety laws and regulations that apply to non-charter public schools, including those regarding auxiliary services (food services, transportation, custodial services, hazardous materials, etc.) and those required by CAL/OSHA, the California Health and Safety Code, EPA and the McKinney-Vento Act with regard to providing transportation to eligible students.
Parents must bring medication to the office in the original containers, with the name of the prescribing physician, the name of the student, and dispensing instructions. Parents will complete the appropriate form authorizing school staff to administer medication. Designated staff will put medications in a locked cabinet or refrigerate as needed for medications requiring refrigeration. Designated staff will log times for administering medications for each student and will establish a tickler system to ensure that medications are dispensed at the appropriate times. Designated staff will call students to receive medications at the appropriate times. In cases where medications are long-term prescriptions, designated staff will provide parents with one week’s notice to alert them that additional medications are needed.
Fire drills will be held at least twice a semester. Office personnel will maintain a record of fire drills held and total required time for complete evacuation. When the fire drill signal sounds, teachers will lead the students in their room along the route indicated on the evacuation map posted for that purpose. Before leaving the room, teachers will see that all windows and doors are closed and that they have their class attendance roster with them. Students who are not in a classroom at the time the fire drill signal is given will attach themselves to the nearest teacher exiting the building for purposes of getting to the designated evacuation site.
Once at the designated evacuation site, teachers and other staff will ensure that all students find their respective teachers. Teachers will then take roll to ensure that all students are accounted for. The names of any missing students will be given to the office personnel and the administrative staff will attempt to locate missing students. Students will remain with their teachers at the designated evacuation site until the administrative staff gives the “all clear” signal.
Disaster Drills (i.e. Earthquake)
Disaster drills will be conducted at least once every two months. Students will be made familiar with the “duck and cover” routine. A disaster drill commencing with the “duck and cover” routine will be initiated by an announcement over the intercom. Staff and students will hear “This is an emergency drill. Duck and cover.” During the “duck and cover” routine in the classroom, teachers will turn off the lights and have students get under a desk or table or against the wall away from the windows. Students must remain quiet and orderly so they will be able to hear additional instructions when given. All drills will be concluded with an “all clear” announcement on the intercom, or a visible signal from the administrative staff.
In the event of a real earthquake, everyone must engage in the “duck and cover” routine immediately and remain in position until the teacher determines that it is safe to leave the building. If remaining in the room becomes dangerous, or when the shaking stops, teachers will proceed with their students to the evacuation site or another safety zone. If students are on the playground or other outdoor area when a disaster drill is called or during an actual earthquake, students are to drop immediately to the ground, away from trees and power lines, and cover their heads with their hands. They are to remain in that position until given additional instructions.
In the event of disasters other than earthquakes, the administrative staff will contact each room, advise staff of potential dangers, and give further directions or orders. Teachers and students will remain in their classrooms until instructions are received for an all clear or an evacuation. For safety purposes, no one is to leave the rooms. If there has been a chemical spill, the teacher must make sure that all doors, windows, and vents remain closed. The school site maintenance staff will turn off the gas. All unassigned staff will report to the office for assignments such as searching offices, bathrooms, and all other common areas, including outdoor facilities.
Teachers will stay with their classes for the duration of the emergency. In the event of an earthquake or other national disaster, all school employees are immediately designated “Civil Defense Workers” and are not allowed to leave school until they are given official clearance to do so by the administrative staff.
The person receiving the call or letter will note the time of day, wording of the message, background noises, and quality of the voice to try to determine if it is a young child or an adult. This person will delay the caller as long as possible, while they alert another adult to the crisis. That adult will immediately notify the telephone company to trace the call and immediately thereafter, notify the police using 911.
Based on the information at hand, the administrative staff will make a decision whether an immediate evacuation is warranted. If so, the evacuation code word “safe school drill” will be given over the intercom and evacuation procedures will be followed. The office personnel will coordinate information requests to and/or from law enforcement, the telephone company, and parents.
If an immediate evacuation is not warranted, the administrative staff will notify teachers to inspect their room for any suspicious materials or unknown packages, without alarming students. All unassigned staff will report to the office for assignments such as searching offices, bathrooms, and all other common areas, including outdoor facilities.
A disaster of a significant nature may require the evacuation of the school. Immediately upon notification by outside authorities that the school must be evacuated, the administrative staff will verify the name and position of the person placing the alert. Once the source is confirmed, the administrative staff will give the evacuation code word “safe school drill” over the intercom. Teachers will proceed with their students to the nearest school exit indicated on the evacuation map posted for this purpose. Before leaving the room, teachers will make sure they have their class attendance roster with them. Students who are not in a classroom at the time the intercom signal is given will attach themselves to the nearest teacher exiting the building for purposes of getting to the designated evacuation site.
Prior to evacuation, offices, bathrooms, and all other common areas, (including outdoor facilities) will be searched by unassigned staff members designated by the principal.
Once at the designated evacuation site, teachers and other staff will ensure that all students find their respective teachers. Teachers will then take roll to ensure that all students are accounted for. The names of
any missing students will be given to the office personnel and an individual will be assigned the task of finding any missing students. Teachers will work together to take care of students with injuries, respiratory problems, or other medical conditions.
Teachers will stay with their classes for the duration of the emergency. In the event of an evacuation, all school employees are immediately designated “Civil Defense Workers” and are not allowed to leave school until they are given official clearance to do so by the administrative staff.
Students will remain with their teachers at the designated evacuation site until the administrative staff gives the “all clear” signal. In the event students cannot return to the school site, the administrative staff will notify parents and/or the media as to where students can be picked up. The office personnel will sign out students as they are being picked up by a parent or other adult listed on the emergency information card. Parents will be asked to remain in a designated area, and students will be escorted to the designated area for release.
SECTION 10: SHARED VISION: OPERATIONAL POLICIES FOR SLCS
Racial And Ethnic Balance
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will make every effort to recruit teachers, administrators, classified staff and students of various racial and ethnic groups to achieve a balance that is reflective of the general population residing within Belmont High School.
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will conduct annual orientation sessions in English, Spanish, and any other language necessary prior to the opening of school.
Information and orientation sessions will be advertised through direct mail to the parents of eligible students in grade 8 who attend middle schools in the priority community using flyers printed in English and Spanish distributed at local businesses and community organizations, youth organizations, social service providers, faith-based organizations, grocery stores, public libraries, overcrowded elementary and middle school campuses, and at school bus stops where students are sent out of the community. Orientation sessions will be conducted in English and in Spanish and will be held at different venues throughout the community. Open houses and school tours will also be offered on a regularly scheduled basis.
Admission to Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities is open to any student living in the Belmont High School attendance area. Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will not charge students tuition and will not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.
If the number of students applying for admission exceeds the capacity of the small learning community within the Belmont Zone of Choice, admission will be determined by a public random drawing. Preference will be extended to siblings of students currently attending Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities and students who reside in the Belmont High School attendance area.
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will adhere to all laws establishing minimum age for public school attendance, and any student over 19 years of age who is admitted will be continuously enrolled in public school and making satisfactory progress towards high school diploma requirements. No student over 22 years of age will be enrolled or in attendance.
Methods to recruit students for enrollment will include:
All meetings, materials, communications will be provided in English and in Spanish
Announcements direct mailed to families in neighboring middle and senior high schools
Flyers distributed throughout the local community
Community meetings open to all interested parents and community members
Local newspaper announcements
Open House at the school site prior to the opening of school
Public Random Drawing - Procedures
Students must have met requirements for completing the eighth grade.
Students residing in community or attending schools in the community served will be established as a priority through targeted publicity.
Enrollment will be monitored to insure that to the fullest extent possible, students enrolled reflect the diversity of the community through advertising the school throughout the targeted community.
The student application deadline will be the last Friday in March annually. Should the applications received exceed space available at the time of the deadline, a public random drawing will be held to select the students to be accepted for enrollment.
Students not randomly selected will be placed on a waiting list in order of the date the application was received.
Should the applications received at the time of the deadline not exceed space available, all applicants will be accepted for enrollment.
The first week in May, prior to the scheduled opening of school, if the number of students applying for admission exceeds the capacity of the school enrollment, except for existing students of the charter school, enrollment will be determined by a public random drawing for students on a waiting list.
How Advertised to Parents:
Parents of students who submitted applications will be notified individually by telephone and U.S. mail of the date, time, place, openings available and procedures of the public random drawing.
All students will receive a number in order of submission of all required enrollment documents.
Parents will be informed in writing of the enrollment and random drawing procedures and timeline.
Once the enrollment capacity is reached, as vacancies occur we will continue to fill spaces available from the waiting list by grade level, on a first come, first served basis by the date the application was received.
Statement of Assurances
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities assure that they will:
Be non-sectarian in programs, admission policies, employment practices and other operations
Not charge tuition
Not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender or disability
Not enroll pupils over 19 years of age unless continuously enrolled in public school and making
satisfactory progress toward high school diploma requirements. and no student over 22 years of age will be enrolled or in attendance.
Confidentiality of Records
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will adhere to all procedures related to confidentiality and privacy of records. In the event that a student enters the school upon transfer from an existing district school, the student’s records (i.e. IEP, cumulative, bilingual) will be requested from the respective district. Upon exit from, the student’s records will be forwarded to the district upon request.
Transportation is the parental responsibility for families who choose to attend Belmont Zone of Choice SLCs. Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will not provide transportation for students from home to school or school to home, except in instances of compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and the McKinney-Vento Act with regard to providing transportation to eligible students. For extracurricular activities, such as field trips, the school will contract for transportation with either LAUSD or a licensed contractor.
Suspension And Expulsion Procedures Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will develop, maintain, and implement a comprehensive student discipline policy. The discipline policy will not be discriminatory, arbitrary, or capricious, and will follow the general principles of due process. The policy will be adapted as needed in regard to the discipline of a student with special needs as determined by the provisions of the IDEA. Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will follow LAUSD policy and the law regarding the discipline of special education students and will notify the appropriate LAUSD office responsible for student discipline proceedings if it expels any student whose home school is a LAUSD school.
The discipline policy will be reviewed with students and parents upon admission to Belmont Zone of Choice
Small Learning Communities and signing of the parent/student compact. By signing the parent/student compact, the students and parents acknowledge their understanding of and their responsibility to the standards set forth in the discipline policy. The discipline policy will define student responsibilities, unacceptable behavior, and the consequences for noncompliance.
Code of Conduct
Student responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:
Following all rules of behavior and conduct
Respecting fellow students and school personnel
Attending classes regularly and on time
Completing all assigned work (to the best of the student’s ability)
Being prepared for class (bring materials e.g. books, homework)
Participating in all assessment measures (e.g. tests)
Respecting the property of the school and others
Keeping the campus clean
Wearing school uniform
Unacceptable student behavior will include, but not be limited to:
Excessive talking unrelated to instruction
Eating in class
Bringing walkmans, radio beepers, video games, etc.
Inappropriate use of technology and telecommunications
Use, possession or sale of alcohol, tobacco or a controlled substance.
Possession of a knife, gun, explosive or other dangerous object.
Destruction of school property
Failure to follow school determined of lawful directions of staff members.
Students who violate the school rules are subject, but not limited to:
Loss of privileges (e.g., detention)
A notice to parents
Conference with student/parent
Any student who engages in repeated violations of the Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities expected behavior will be required to attend a meeting with the school’s staff and the student’s parent. Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will prepare a specific, written remediation agreement outlining future student conduct expectations, timelines, and consequences for failure to meet the expectations.
Suspension and Expulsion
Students who present an immediate threat to the health and safety of others may be suspended or expelled. A written remediation plan will be prepared that clearly describes progressive discipline measures, grounds for suspension and expulsion, minimum/maximum number of consecutive days of suspension, notification process to parents of suspension, reasons for suspension, appeal process, length of suspension, and provision for student’s education while suspended.
A student may be suspended or expelled for any of the acts enumerated in this section and related to school activity or school attendance that occur at any time, including, but not limited to, any if the following:
While on school grounds.
While going to or coming from school.
During the lunch period whether on or off the campus.
During, or while going to or coming from, a school-sponsored activity.
Reasons for Suspension
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities may suspend a student for any of the following reasons as specified in the California Education Code section 48900:
Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person or willfully used force or violence upon the person of another.
Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object.
Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of, any controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind.
Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant or otherwise furnished to any person another liquid, substance, or material represented as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant.
Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion.
Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property.
Stolen or attempted to steal school property or private property.
Possessed or used tobacco, or any products containing tobacco or nicotine products in any form.
Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity.
Unlawfully possessed or unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia.
Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.
Knowingly received stolen school property or private property.
Possessed an imitation firearm.
Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault or sexual battery.
Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness or witness in a school disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of either preventing that pupil from being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness, or both.
Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma.
Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing as defined in Section 32050.
Aided or abetted the infliction or attempted infliction or physical injury to another person (suspension only).
48900.2 – Committed sexual harassment
48900.3 – Caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of hate violence
48900.4 – Engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation directed against school personnel or pupils
48900.7 – Made terroristic threats against school officials, school property or both.
Reasons for Expulsion
Students may be expelled from Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities for any of the following reasons as specified in the California Education Code section 48915:
Causing serious physical injury to another person.
Possession, selling or furnishing of any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object.
Brandishing a knife at another person
Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault or committing a sexual battery.
Unlawful possession or selling of any controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind.
Robbery or extortion.
Assault or battery upon any school employee.
Process for Suspension and/or Expulsion
Suspension will be preceded by an informal conference conducted by the administrative staff, with the student and the student’s parent. The conference may be omitted if the administrative staff determines that an emergency situation exists. An “emergency situation” involves a clear and present danger to the lives, safety or health of students or school personnel. If the student is suspended without a conference, the parent will be notified of the suspension, a request for a conference will be made as soon as possible and the conference will be held as soon as possible.
Notice to Parents:
At the time of suspension, a school employee will make a reasonable effort to contact the parent by telephone or in person to be followed up with a written notification. This notice will state the specific offense committed by the student. In addition, the notice may also state the date and time the student may return to school. If the school officials wish to ask the parent to confer regarding matters pertinent to the suspension, the notice may note that the parents are required to respond to this request without delay and that student violations of school rules can result in student expulsion from the school.
Length of Suspension:
The length of suspension for students may not exceed a period of 10 continuous days unless an administrative recommendation has been made and agreed to by the student’s parent. If a student is recommended for a period of suspension exceeding 10 continuous days, a second conference will be scheduled with the parent to discuss the progress of the suspension upon the completion of the 10th day of suspension. All reasonable arrangements will be made to provide the student with classroom material and current assignments to be completed at home during the length of the suspension.
Recommendations for Expulsion:
Students will be recommended for expulsion if the administrative staff finds that at least one of the following findings may be substantiated:
Other means of correction are not feasible or have repeatedly failed to bring about proper conduct.
Due to the nature of the violation, the presence of the student causes a continuing danger to the physical safety of the student or others.
Possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm.
Students recommended for expulsion are entitled to a hearing to determine whether the student should be expelled. The hearing will be held within 30 days after the administrative staff determines that the student committee an act subject to expulsion. The hearing may be presided over by the Board of Directors or an administrative hearing panel appointed by the Board.
Written notice of the hearing will be forwarded to the student and the student’s parent at least 10 calendar days before the date of the hearing. This notice will include:
The date and place of the hearing.
A statement of the specific facts, charges, and offenses upon which the proposed expulsion is based.
A copy of SLC’s disciplinary rules that relate to the alleged violation.
The opportunity for the student or the student’s parent to appear in person at the hearing.
Parent has a right to be represented by an attorney.
Parent has a right to bring witness, written statements, written documents
Written notice to expel a student will be sent by the administrative staff to the parent of any student who is expelled. This notice will include the following:
The specific offense committed by the student for any of the acts listed above in “Reasons for Suspension and/or Expulsion.”
Notice of the student’s or parent’s obligation to inform any new district in which the student seeks to enroll of the student’s status with Belmont Zone of Choice SLC.
Appeal of Suspension or Expulsion
The suspension or expulsion of a student will be at the discretion of the administrative staff of Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities (or the administrative staff designee). Parents will be notified in advance to enactment of the suspension or expulsion and can appeal a student’s suspension or expulsion. A suspension appeal will be heard by the LAUSD administrative staff, and upon consideration, the administrative staff’s decision is final. An expulsion may be appealed within five working days. The student will be considered suspended until a meeting is convened to hear the appeal (within ten working days) at which time the student’s parent must attend to present their appeal. The appeal will be heard by a fair and impartial panel of representatives assigned by the Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities. The decision of the panel of representatives of the LAUSD will be final.
In the event of a decision to expel a student from Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities the school will work cooperatively with the district of residence, county, and/or private schools to assist with the appropriate educational placement of the student who has been expelled. Any incident of violent and/or serious student behavior will be communicated to the district/school to which the student matriculates.
Pupils who are expelled from Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities shall be given a rehabilitation plan upon expulsion as developed by Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities governance council at the time of the expulsion order, which may include, but is not limited to, periodic review as well as assessment at the time of review for readmission. The rehabilitation plan will include a date not later than one year from the date of expulsion when the pupil may reapply to the charter school for readmission.
The decision to readmit a pupil or to admit a previously expelled pupil from another school district or school shall be at the sole discretion of small learning community governance and the pupil, parent or guardian, or representative, to determine whether the pupil poses a threat to others or will be disruptive to the school environment. The pupil’s admission or readmission is also contingent upon the capacity of Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities at the time the pupil seeks admission or readmission.
Data Collection and Reporting – Special Education
Belmont Zone of Choice Small Learning Communities will collect and produce data regarding the suspension and expulsion of special education students as required by the Special Education Modified Consent Decree. Discipline procedures for students with special needs will include positive behavioral interventions.
Professional Development for Individual Small Learning Communities
Each individual small learning community will have the autonomy to design their respective professional development and technical support plan. When common topics of need are identified, SLCs have the option of coming together to receive the training. All professional development is aligned with the vision and mission of the SLC and components of teacher’s training when appropriate will include students and parents.
Each SLC will allocate appropriate funds from their respective school budgets to support their professional development program. The following are some of the topics identified by each SLC as potential areas of professional development:
Keeping check on SLC attribute
Methods of ensuring that SLC vision and identity is maintained
1 Jeannie Oakes, Julie Mendoza, and David Silver. California Opportunity Indicators: Informing and Monitoring California’s Progress Toward Equitable College Access. (UC ACCORD Publication: 2002)
2 Oakes, Mendoza, and Silver.
2 Wake County Publlic School System. “The School Connection.” 2000. May 17, 2001 http://www.wcpss.net/-evaluation-
3 Jonathan Kozol, Shame of a Nation
3 Jonathan Kozol, Shame of a Nation
3Enrollment data source: State Department of Education and the Los Angeles Times
4 Kathy Shirley, Escondido Union School District
5 Lauren Resnick, Institute for Learning, Principles of Learning
6 Best practices researched in successful high schools. See Bibliography (Attachment 1)
7 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Making the Case for Small Schools: Size Makes a Difference: 1) Average achievement is higher in small schools 2) More students from small high schools pass core classes and go on to college 3) Effects of school size are greatest for low in-income and minority students.
8Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University: 10 Features of Good Small Schools: Redesigning Schools, What Matters and What Works: Project-based Learning – “One strategy for linking the curriculum to real-world issues is through project –based learning where students are engaged in challenging tasks that involve knowledge and skills from more than one academic discipline. These tasks require students to work independently to solve complex problems, and they culminate in real-world products.