Gertz-Ressler Richard Merkin
2018-2019 Parent-Student Handbook
Last Revision: May 2018
Table of Contents
Principal Letters 4
2018-19 School Calendar 8
2018-19 School Bell Schedule 9
Policies and Procedures 11
Enrollment of Students in Special Subgroups 12
Student Withdrawals and Returns 13
Student Records 14
Interventions/Consequences for Addressing Truancy 18
Meal Applications 18
School Uniform Requirements 19
Student Computing Devices and Acceptable Use 20
Technology and Internet Safety 27
Personal Property 28
Academic Program 31
High School Graduation 31
Middle School Promotion 35
Testing and Accountability 38
Student with Special Needs 39
English Language Learners 39
Student Advisory 41
School Activities 41
Health and Safety 42
Safety and Emergency Response 42
Administrative Supervision 42
Illness or Injury at School or School Activity 43
Bloodborne Pathogens 44
Medication at School 44
Epinephrine Auto-Injectors 45
Lactating Parents and Students 45
Suicide Prevention and Intervention 46
Child Abuse Mandated Reporting 47
Administrative Searches 48
Local School Wellness 49
Student Code of Conduct 51
Academic Integrity 51
Harassment, Discrimination & Bullying 51
Suspension and Expulsion 55
Parent and Family Involvement 61
Parent Involvement 61
Parent Volunteering 62
Volunteer Background Checks 63
Parent Rights 63
Parent Information on Student Progress 64
Parent Communication 65
Stakeholder Complaint Procedure 66
Uniform Complaint Procedure 68
School-Specific Policies 75
Procedure for Clearing Absences 75
School Uniform Requirements 75
Gertz Ressler High School Grades 9-12 Specific Policies Cell Phone Policy 78
Gertz Ressler Field Trip Policy 80
Health & Safety Policy Food Deliveries 81
Forms and Signatures 83
Parent/Student/Staff Compact 83
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 84
Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement and Agreement 87
Welcome RMMS Families!
I am excited to launch our 14thyear as a school community. I am looking forward to continuing the excellence of our Trailblazer scholars.
This year we will continue to build upon our strengths to ensure that Merkin remains a top-performing middle school in the Alliance, Los Angeles area, and state. We will work to implement new initiatives that enhance student learning and success.
RMMS students will leave this year ready for new challenges and for their next academic grade. We will continue to work towards our mission of college and career-readiness through the development of scholars that are ready for the demands of high school.
Merkin Trailblazers will apply what they learn through project-based learning, that incorporates technology, and other presentations to community audiences. Our students will continue to be leaders on campus and in the community through a variety of off-campus field trips and partnerships.
Merkin is dedicated to continuing our longstanding support from parents and community partners. We are looking forward to truly working with parents as partners.
I maintain an open door policy, so feel free to visit me anytime to learn more about our outstanding school and students!
All the Best,
Meghan Van Pelt
A Trailblazer LEADS! A Trailblazer Succeeds! Trailblazers READ!
Hello Students and Families of Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School!
For those of you who don’t know me, I am Stephanie Tsai, the Principal of Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School. I am eager to share my passion for RIGOROUS, COLLEGE-READY INSTRUCTION and continue to cultivate a JOYFUL place of learning for ALLSTUDENTS, FAMILIES, TEACHERS, and STAFF.
I started my career in education as a student teacher, working with Gertz-Ressler’s founding class of students (Class of 2008!), while earning my Masters Degree in Teaching. Over 4 years, I taught US History, AP US Government, Women’s Studies, Yearbook Advisory, and coached our competitive Cheer Squad. When Alliance ESAT High School (now Leichtman-Levine) opened, I took an opportunity to become their founding History Department Chair, teaching US & AP US History, AP US Gov & Politics, and running a Debate Club. As I learned to facilitate and embrace student-centered learning, over 100 of my AP students passed their AP exams. By placing my students in the driver’s seat to lead class, they were able to far exceed national AP pass rates. As an Instructional Coach, I supported new and developing teachers at ESAT. Upon finishing my Masters in School Administration at LMU, I became an Assistant Principal. As an Assistant Principal, expanding access for all students to enroll in Advanced Placement courses was a big goal of mine and over a period of 3 years, enrollment in AP courses doubled to over 500 voluntary course enrollments in one school year.
One of the things that brought me to Alliance and has kept me grounded here for over 11 years now is our mission and belief that ALLof our students are capable of getting into and succeeding in COLLEGE. I am proud of the work that Gertz-Ressler has done since opening its doors in 2004 – being named a top high school in Los Angeles by US News & World Report, earning WASC accreditation, becoming a Blue Ribbon school, and sending over 1,000 graduating Seniors off to college! Expanding the AP program is something I am passionate about here at Gertz. Our program has grown from 11 to 15 AP course offerings over the past two years. Additionally, we applied for and were accepted into the College Board pilot in order to be one of only 100 schools in the United States to offer pre-AP courses for our 9thgraders in Fall 2018. This past year, we invested heavily in our Science and Math classes by building a Chemistry lab, purchasing graphic and scientific calculators, acquiring Physics lab equipment, adding two additional math teachers, and hiring a TA/After school Tutor specifically to support math. We also launched a multi-year Instructional Focus to promote critical thinking and reasoning so that our students will be more prepared for high stakes exams and success in college. You’ll see our “Think it up” logo on shirts and all around our campus.
On a personal note, I am a Los Angeles native, first-generation college student, proud graduate of 4 colleges and universities in LA (Go Bruins, Trojans, and Lions!), thrill-seeking adrenaline-addict, and a mother of three (twin daughters and a son). My husband also works for the Alliance as an AP teacher and Instructional Coach. We love to travel and spend time playing with our kids, who make us laugh daily. As a fellow parent, I understand the importance of school choice and am grateful that you have chosen Gertz-Ressler to further your child’s education and opportunities.
My staff and I look forward to supporting your child on their continued pathway to and through college. My door is open should you ever need help, have a suggestion for how we can improve our program, or just want to say hello. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Alliance Gertz Ressler High School Instructional Focus:
A school-wide effort to ensure ALLAlliance Gertz Ressler scholars demonstrate critical thinking and reasoning skills as measured by data from the CAASPP, AP exams, and SAT.
Alliance College-Ready Public Schools (“Alliance”) and Alliance schools do not discriminate against any student on the basis of the characteristics listed in Education Code section 220 (actual or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation) and Education Code section 221.5, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code in any policy, procedure or program. Alliance schools also comply with the requirements of Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990, and other applicable federal and state laws.
Alliance schools shall admit students pursuant to the Admissions Requirementsas outlined in their charters. Each student interested in enrolling at an Alliance school must be a resident of California and submit an application form to the school. If the number of interested students exceeds the number of seats available by the application deadline, admittance shall be determined by a public random drawing.
Each student interested in enrolling at an Alliance school must submit an application form to the school before the application deadline. Applications received after the deadline shall be placed on the waitlist in the order they are received.
Existing students are guaranteed admission in the following school year and are exempt from the public random drawing (lottery).
During the lottery, the following preferences shall be extended:
- Siblings currently attending the same Alliance school. (Siblings must share at least one biological parent or legal guardian.)
- Students living within the boundaries of Los Angeles Unified School District.
Typically, the lottery will be held at the school or a large community center, auditorium, or public venue. If needed, the lottery will take place on a weekday afternoon or evening or during the weekend to help ensure all interested parties can attend. The specific date, time and location will be determined one week following the application due date, and will be communicated to families and interested parties. Lottery procedures will be followed and related materials will be made available upon request. Interested parties are welcome to observe the random public drawing should one be necessary.
If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available seats on the application due date, a lottery will be hosted and the applicants will be randomly drawn to fill the available seats. The lottery will follow the school’s lottery preferences. Applicants that are not accepted during the lottery will be placed on the waitlist in the order their names are drawn. All applications and a record of the order in which they are drawn will be kept on file at the school. The school may choose to conduct the lottery using an online enrollment system. The online enrollment system allows families to apply online and allows the school to run the lottery using a secure computer algorithm so that rules and lottery preferences are followed every time and families can be assured of an equitable process.
After the acceptance list is set, a waitlist shall be created and maintained. Should vacancies occur, admission will be offered to applicants on the waitlist in the order their names appear. The school can utilize the online enrollment system to manage the waitlist to ensure seats are offered to students in the order they appear on the waitlist.
The acceptance and waitlists will be made available following the lottery (if needed) and upon request. Parents/guardians of applicants on the accepted list and waitlist will be contacted by designated school office staff via phone and/or in writing. Multiple communications on different days will be attempted. Communication attempts will be logged by school staff. Parents/guardians of applicants will have a designated amount of time from initial contact (e.g., 5 school days) to respond to the designated contact person. If parents do not respond within the timeline, the applicant will be removed from the waitlist and the next applicant’s parents/guardians on the waitlist will be contacted.
As part of the enrollment process at Alliance schools, each parent/guardian shall submit the following documentation:
- Completed Enrollment Packet
- Student Emergency Card
- Immunization Records
- School Meal Application
- Student Transcripts
- IEP or Section 504 Plan (if applicable)
Alliance schools shall adhere to the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and ensure that each homeless child or youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths. Alliance schools shall comply with all applicable provisions of Education Code sections 48850-48859.
In order for a pupil over nineteen (19) years of age to remain eligible for generating charter school apportionment, the pupil shall be continuously enrolled while age 19 in charter school and make satisfactory progress toward award of a high school diploma. (Education Code Section 47612(b))
As defined by the California Code of Regulations (5 CCR 11965), “satisfactory progress,” means uninterrupted progress (1) towards completion, with passing grades, of the substance of the course of study that is required for graduation from a non-charter comprehensive high school of the school district that authorized the charter school's charter, that the pupil has not yet completed, (2) at a rate that is at least adequate to allow the pupil to successfully complete, through full-time attendance, all of that uncompleted coursework within the aggregate amount of time assigned by the chartering agency for the study of that particular quantity of coursework within its standard academic schedule.
For individuals with exceptional needs, as defined in Education Code section 56026, “satisfactory progress,” as that term is used in Education Code section 47612, means uninterrupted maintenance of progress towards meeting the goals and benchmarks or short-term objectives specified in his or her individualized education program made pursuant to 20 U.S.C. Section 1414(d) until high school graduation requirements have been met, or until the pupil reaches an age at which special education services are no longer required by law.
Any student admitted to an Alliance school who is 16 years of age or older may be held to the guidelines of this regulation if he/she will turn 19 years of age during his/her high school career. At the discretion of the principal or administrative designee, such students must agree to the following guidelines if he/she wishes to attend an Alliance school:
- The student shall have uninterrupted, continuous full-time attendance until graduation.
- The student shall maintain passing grades in all classes until graduation.
- The student shall make continuous, uninterrupted progress toward the Alliance school’s graduation requirements.
- A student who is 18 or over whom is eligible for suspension or expulsion may be subject to automatic dismissal without the potential to reapply for readmission.
If a parent wishes to withdraw a student from an Alliance school, it is the parent’s responsibility to notify the principal or administrative designee. This can be done during a meeting with the principal and/or administrative designee or be submitted in writing. A student check-out form is required for any student withdrawal. Students will receive unofficial transcripts until all books and equipment are returned and outstanding fees are paid.
If a student leaves an Alliance school and later chooses to return, the student must complete an application form and return it to the main office. When the application is submitted, the student will be informed if there is space available or if he/she will be placed on the waitlist, pursuant to the Admissions policy.
Students who have been incarcerated, are returning from juvenile detainment, and/or are on probationary status with the juvenile court system must attend a readmission conference with their parent/guardian and principal or administrative designee before returning to the school. Students who have been previously expelled must successfully complete the terms outlined in their rehabilitation plans prior to being eligible to return to school.
Student records are housed in the school main office.
Inspection of Records
Parents/guardians have a right to review their child's student records. Student records are available for review during regular school hours. Written requests for access should be directed to the principal.
Release and/or Duplication of Records
Alliance schools may permit access to student records by a specific person if the parent/guardian has filed written authorization specifying the records to be released and identifying the person to whom the records may be released. The written authorization should specify whether an on-site review or records release is allowed. The recipient must be notified that further transmission of records is prohibited. The consent notice shall be permanently kept with the student's record file. Student records may be released without parent or guardian consent as permitted by law. Outside organizations, such as law enforcement agencies and child and family services may be granted access to student records. Such requests will be recorded in the access log in the students’ file. Alliance schools will provide parents or authorized agencies copies of student records within five (5) operating days after the request is made orally or in writing.
Alliance schools are committed to providing students with a rigorous academic experience. Students are expected to be in class every day. Work that is missed because of an excused absence, including school-related activities or illness must be promptly made-up. Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children arrive on-time to school each day and remain present for the entire duration of the school day. The school strongly discourages absences for vacation during the school year. Parents should schedule family vacations outside of the academic calendar so that students do not miss important classroom instruction time.
Students and parents should do everything in their power to guard against absences from classes, including taking good care of their health and arranging necessary appointments outside of school time. The maximum number of parent-excused absences that Alliance schools allow are between three (3) and seven (7) cumulative days each school year. See the section in this handbook entitled “School-Specific Policies” for the number of parent-excused absences allowed by the school.
Excused absences will be granted for the following reasons (Education Code Section 48205):
- If a student is personally ill;
- Medical, dental, optometry, or chiropractic appointments (verified by a note signed by a physician);
- Quarantine under the direction of a health officer;
- Attending funeral services of a member of his/her immediate family (1 day in California, 3 days outside of California);
- Observance of a religious holiday or ceremony, attendance at religious retreat (limited to four hours per semester; must be approved by principal at least three days prior to requested release)
- Justifiable personal reasons as permitted by law such as: serving on jury duty or an appearance in court;
- For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code;
- For the purpose attending the pupil's naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen;
- Attending an employment conference or educational conference on the legislative or judicial process (must be approved by principal at least three days prior to requested release);
- Spending time with a member of the pupil's immediate family who is an active duty member that has been called to duty (Education Code Section 49701); and
- Employment in the Entertainment Industry for a maximum of five absences per school year with prior principal approval (Education Code Section 48225.5).
Absences for reasons not defined above will be classified as ‘unexcused absences.’ Unexcused absences may include, but are not limited to:
- Unverified absence
- Absence due to taking an early vacation or extending a vacation
- A tardy of 30 minutes or more
The school is not required to provide make-up opportunities for work and examinations missed as a result of a student’s unexcused absence.
Parent Notification of Student Absence
The parent or guardian must notify the school office by 8:00 AM each day the student is absent. If the parent/guardian does not make the call by 8:00 AM, the school will notify the parent in an effort to find out if the student has an excused absence.
Procedure for Clearing Absences
When the student returns to school, he/she must provide the school main office with a note from his/her parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence. See the section in this handbook entitled “School-Specific Policies” to see how many school days the note must be received by in order to excuse the student’s absence. Any student who is absent for medical, dental or other professional services must, in addition, present a note to the main office directly from the provider’s office. The school is required to keep the note, signed by the parent/guardian for every student absence, on file. The note must be legible and signed in ink.
Absences of three (3) consecutive school days or longer due to illness will require a doctor’s note to excuse the absence. A student may not participate in any after-school extracurricular activity if he/she is absent from school on the day of the activity unless the student’s IEP or 504 plan states otherwise.
Learning works best when each student attends every day. A student’s long-term absence will seriously impact his/her mastery of important course concepts and skills. Parents/guardians of a student who is absent for an extended period due to illness, injury, or family emergency should contact the school main office with an estimate of how long the student will be absent. Periodic updates would be appreciated.
Faculty and staff will work with parents/guardians on a case-by-case basis to help keep an extended-absent student from falling behind. A student returning from an extended absence may require supplemental tutoring and/or remediation beyond normal school hours (e.g., Saturday School) to attain proficiency.
Students must make up all assignments, tests, and quizzes upon returning to school from an absence. Families should make a concerted effort to work with the school in advance of a planned, excused absence to ensure that the student can successfully complete all school work planned during the duration of the absence. For unplanned absences, students should always try to get their assignment(s) from their classmates (or from a class website, if available) while they are absent to prevent them from falling behind. Upon the first day of his/her return to school, it is the student’s responsibility to check in with each teacher regarding missed work and due dates.
A student who will have an excused absence for three (3) or more consecutive school days may get his/her assignments by contacting the school’s main office. Upon a request for missed work, teachers will submit the assignment to the school main office in a timely manner.
To provide students with the best possible education, each Alliance school implements a Tolerate No Tardies policy. Students and parents are expected to plan their time effectively in order for students to arrive to school and class on time.
A student is considered tardy if he/she is not in his/her seat when the bell rings signaling the start of class. If a student arrives late to school, he/she must obtain a tardy slip from the school main office. A tardy may be excused only with written verification from a parent/guardian upon the student’s arrival at the school, or if the parent/guardian accompanies the student into the school building to sign him/her in with a valid excuse.
Unexcused tardies are cumulative and may result in the following disciplinary action:
- Warning & Call Home
- Detention & Call Home
- Detention & Parent Conference
- Administrative Conference
Excessive tardies may result in an appearance before the School Attendance Review Team (SART).
A student who is subject to compulsory full-time education who is absent from school without a valid excuse for three (3) or more full days in one school year will be considered truant. Any student who has once been reported as a truant and who is again absent from school without a valid excuse one (1) or more days shall again be reported as truant. A student will be classified as a habitual truant if he/she has been reported as truant three (3) or more times in one school year and after the school has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one meeting with the parent and student. A student will be classified as a chronic truant if he/she is absent from school without a valid excuse for ten percent or more of the school days in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date.
Upon a student’s initial classification as truant, the principal or administrative designee shall notify the student’s parent/guardian that:
- The student is truant;
- The parent/guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the student at school;
- Parents/guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution per Education Code (starting with Section 48290);
- The charter school is a school of choice and alternative educational programs are available in the district;
- The parent/guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the student’s truancy;
- The student may be subject to prosecution under Education Code Section 48264;
- The student may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the student’s driving privilege;
- It is recommended that the parent/guardian accompany the student to school and attend classes with the student for one day.
● Principal or designee to call parent/guardian
● Principal or designee to call parent/guardian
● Send Truancy Letter #1 home
● Principal or designee to call parent/guardian
● Send Truancy Letter #2 home
● Hold conference with parent/guardian and student to develop student intervention plan/contract
● May be referred to School Attendance Review Team (Level 1)
● Principal or designee to call parent/guardian
● Send Truancy Letter #3 home
● Hold conference with parent/guardian and student to review and update student intervention plan/contract
● May be referred to School Attendance Review Team (Level II)
● Home visit may be recommended
Inactive Status: After ten (10) school days of consecutive unexcused absences with no response to phone calls, certified letters, home visits, or the SART process, a student will be placed on inactive status, withdrawn from school, and records will reflect that the student voluntarily withdrew from school. Students who are inactive are no longer part of the school’s enrollment count. Any student who becomes inactive can return to the school after following the school’s waiting list procedures, if applicable. If the student has an IEP, his/her IEP will be updated accordingly.
Applications for free and reduced-price meals must be completed each school year and returned by the due date. Applications will be made available July 1stprior to the start of the school year, and will be sent home to families or may be picked up from the school’s main office. Failure to complete an application will result in the student being charged the full price for school meals (e.g., lunch, breakfast).
Some students may be randomly selected to provide verification of information submitted on their meal application. Failure to complete and returned the requested information by the due date may result in the students being charged the full price for school meals (e.g., lunch, breakfast).
To prevent overt identification of students’ statuses, no payments will be accepted in the lunch line. Students may prepay by submitting deposits to the school’s main office. Parents/guardians or students submitting cash deposits will receive receipts. Students with outstanding balances will receive bi-weekly or monthly bills mailed directly to their homes. Parents/guardians are expected to pay the indicated amount promptly.
Standard School Uniform
In accordance with the expectations of Alliance schools, all students attending Alliance schools must adhere to a strict uniform policy. One school uniform shall be provided to each student at no cost. Although each Alliance school may modify school colors as needed for school safety, students must adhere to the school’s uniform requirements at all times. See the section in this handbook entitled “School-Specific Policies” to see the school’s uniform requirements.
Students are responsible for coming to school in uniform prepared to learn. All staff shall conduct routine uniform checks to ensure compliance with this policy.
Parents shall be contacted immediately when their child is not adhering to the uniform policy. If a student is out-of-uniform, parents will be asked to bring the student a change of clothes. Students will wait in the school main office until the appropriate clothing or shoes arrive. Schoolwork will be provided during this time. If the school has a loaner uniform program, the student may be provided with a loaner uniform to wear for the remainder of the school day. In these instances, the student must return the loaner uniform in order to have his/her personal clothing returned.
Students that regularly violate the uniform policy may be counseled on an individual basis by the principal or administrative designee.
On occasion, students may be given the privilege to attend campus or school-sponsored events out-of-uniform. Even though these occasions are called “free-dress,” there are still strict dress code guidelines students must follow.
Only on an occasion of “free-dress”:
- Students are permitted to wear casual pants, including clean and un-torn or un-frayed jeans.
- Students are permitted to wear T-shirts, sweatshirts or other casual shirts/blouses provided they are modest and do not make references to drugs, alcohol, violence, profane language, sexual content, or other offensive activities/content, etc. Shirts with “double meanings” are not permitted.
- Bare midriffs and clothing that is sexually suggestive and/or fails to conceal, the back, abdomen or cleavage will not be allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, halter tops, short shorts/skirts (more than two inches above the knee), bathing suits, tank tops, low-cut tops/dresses or muscle shirts.
- Gang attire of any kind will not be allowed. This includes gang related clothing, solid colors of red or blue clothing or accessories, including but not limited to bandannas or other symbols, emblems, or insignia. Gang related web belts with or without punched out metal buckles are prohibited. Dangerous clothing accessories are prohibited (i.e., spiked jewelry, studded collars, studded belts).
- Sandals (or other open-toed shoes) are not permitted.
- Hats or caps are not permitted.
- Any student who has any doubt concerning a particular clothing item should not wear it.
Additional dress code guidelines may apply to specific events (e.g., formal dances). “Free-dress” is not the norm and if a student comes to school in “free-dress” without being given permission by school administration, then out-of-uniform consequences will apply.
Any modifications and changes to the free-dress guidelines and requirements are at the discretion of the principal or administrative designee.
Physical Education (PE) Uniform
All students taking physical education courses are required to “dress” for physical education every day. Separate changing areas for male and female students will be available.
The physical education uniform is to be worn for PE class only. Students are required to change back into the required school uniform when the PE class ends each day.
Textbooks may be issued for certain courses and will be checked out directly to the student. Students assume full responsibility for the security and maintenance of their textbooks. Should textbooks be lost, stolen, damaged or defaced after issuance to a student, that student will be required to pay a replacement fee before a new book is issued or at the end of the academic year.
Students may lose the privilege of participating in school activities due to lost or damaged textbooks. These activities include, but are not limited to: dances, field trips and senior activities.
Withdrawing or transferring students must return all checked-out school books and equipment prior to exiting the school. Students will receive unofficial transcripts until all books/equipment are returned and outstanding fees are paid.
The safety and security of staff and students at every Alliance school is of utmost importance. A critical part of creating a safe campus environment is for the administration, as well as those individuals or classrooms receiving visitors, to have advance knowledge of all visitors. School administration must know at all times who is on campus and reserves the right to refuse entry to any visitor. The following procedures for visiting an Alliance school will be strictly followed.
Each Alliance school is a closed campus. All students are required to remain on school grounds during the regularly scheduled school day, including the lunch period. It is unlawful for anyone to take a student away from school during the regular school day without first obtaining proper permission from a designated school official.
Visitor Policy, Sign-in, and Verification
The principal is responsible for managing involvement of volunteers and visitors, and for ensuring that the activities of visitors and volunteers do not result in undue disruption of the instructional program. It is also important that the presence of visitors and volunteers does not contribute to safety or security issues for students and staff members or for the visitors themselves.
All Campus Visitors Must:
- Request an appointment for a visitation date and time from the office staff after entering the school office. As much advance notice as possible should be given, but no visitor can be guaranteed entry to the campus on a specific date and time.
- Sign into the visitor’s log immediately upon entrance, providing all requested information (e.g., visitor’s name, date, time, name, purpose of visit, other additional information the School may require). This is for the safety of students, staff, as well as the individual in case of emergency. Failure to provide information will be grounds for denial of access.
- Show identification. Failure to provide information will be grounds for denial of access.
- Complete a visitor’s badge and obtain the principal or designee’s approval before proceeding. The visitor’s badge may include the following information: visitor name, date, time, destination and office approval. You may be required to wait depending on the principal’s or designee’s availability.
- Wear a visitor’s badge at all timesduring your stay at the school.
- Keep observation of classroom activity to a particular purpose and reasonable frequency, as determined by the school.
- Follow the established procedures for scheduling an appointment with the teacher(s).
- Return the visitor’s badge to the school office before leaving the campus and sign out. You must indicate on the visitor’s log the time you are leaving the school.
Some Important Rules for All Visitors:
- The staff person/student you are visiting must be on campus that day and aware of the visit.
- Visitors must be escorted by designated school personnel at all times on campus unless otherwise permitted by the principal.
- Do not interfere with any school activity during the visitation. Visiting the School is a privilege, not a right.
- Enter and leave the classroom as quietly as possible when class is in session.
- While class is in session, do not converse with students, teachers, and/or instructional aides during the visitation unless explicitly permitted.
Failure to follow any of these basic procedures may result in a visitor not receiving authorization to enter the building and/or being barred from future visits.
Alliance high school graduation requirements are in alignment with the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) “A-G” minimum undergraduate admissions requirements. Alliance high school students must pass all courses with a grade of C or higher (basic proficiency). High school graduation requirements may vary by school with approval by the school Board of Directors.
UC and CSU A-G Requirements
(a) History-Social Science
1 year of U.S. History
1 year of World History
(b) English Language Arts
4 years of college preparatory English
3 years of college preparatory Mathematics (Integrated Math 1, Integrated Math 2, Integrated Math 3, Pre-Calculus, Calculus or Statistics); 4 years recommended
(d) Laboratory Science
2 years of Laboratory Science, one physical and one biological; 3 years recommended
(e) Language other than English
2 years of the same language other than English
(f) Visual and Performing Arts
1 year chosen from dance, music, theater or the visual arts
(g) College Preparatory Elective
1 year of additional academic electives (e.g., third year of science or foreign language, fourth year of math, social science, advanced visual or performing arts)
Curriculum and course offerings are reviewed by each school on an annual basis and may be changed based on student needs.
Sample Alliance High School Course Offerings
(a) History-Social Science
Pre-AP World History and Geography* 
World History, Cultures and Historical Geography 
U.S. History 
American Government 
(b) English Language Arts
Common Core English 9 (H) or
Pre-AP English I* 
Common Core English 10 (H) 
Common Core English 11 (H) or AP English Language 
Common Core English 12 (H) or AP English Literature 
Integrated Math I or Integrated Math 2 
Integrated Math 2 or Integrated Math 3 or Honors Integrated 3 
Integrated Math 3 or Pre-Calculus or
Honors Integrated 3 or AP Calculus AB 
Statistics, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, Pre-Calculus, or Quantitative Reasoning with Statistics 
(d) Laboratory Science
The Living Earth
or Pre-AP Biology* 
Chemistry in the Earth System 
Physics of the Universe 
Other Laboratory Science 
(e) Language other than English
Spanish 1 or Other Language 
Spanish 2 or Other Language 
Spanish 3 or AP Spanish Language 
Spanish 4 or AP Spanish Literature 
(f) Visual and Performing Arts
Music, Dance, Drama, Art or Art History 
Music, Dance, Drama, Art or Art History 
(g) College Preparatory Elective
English Support or
Math Support or
Other Elective 
Other Elective 
Other Elective 
Other Elective 
Physical Education/Health , Advisory , ELD 1 or 2, or
Physical Education/Life Skills , Advisory , ELD 1 or 2, or
* Offered at schools accepted in the Pre-AP course pilot
Alliance High School Graduation Requirements
- Total Unit/Credit requirements for graduation: 230.
- In total, a student will take 160 A-G approved credits.
- Course requirements for graduation: Pass ALL required courses with a grade of C or higher (basic proficiency).
- Passage of the UC and CSU A-G requirements as noted above.
- For each subject, students must complete all classes and credits to satisfy the A-G requirements listed above (including any subject specific requirements), regardless of the number of units it requires of the student. For example, a student may have to take 4 years of math (though the A-G and Alliance high school requirement noted above is 3 years) in order to cover all the topics required by the A-G math requirement. Refer to the UC A-G website for specific details on each subject requirement.
- In addition to the required A-G history/social science course sequence, all students must complete 1 semester course in American Government & Civics, and 1 semester course in Economics. Alliance high schools have determined that these courses must also be A-G approved.
- UC’s undergraduate admissions requirements mandate students complete 11 out of 15 A-G courses by the end of the 11th grade.
At the discretion of the principal, Alliance high schools may require students to complete community service requirements in order to participate in graduation activities.
Graduation Options for Students Qualifying for Special Education Services
Students with an individualized education program (IEP) are entitled to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE), including special education and related services, through age 21, unless they earn a regular high school diploma before that time. The following rules apply when determining if a student has exceeded the maximum age eligibility:
- If a student turns 22 between July 1 and September 30, he or she is no longer eligible for special education after the last day of school of the previous school year.
- If a student turns 22 in October, November, or December, student exits at the winter recess.
- If a student turns 22 between January and June 30, student exits the last school day of the school year.
State Graduation Requirement Accommodation Eligibility for Students with Special Needs
Students who have an eligible disability may graduate from high school if they meet state graduation requirements but not Alliance high school graduation requirements. This must be written into the student’s IEP or in the student’s 504 Plan prior to the first day of the student’s senior year. With this accommodation, students may graduate upon meeting California graduation requirements. California graduation requirements (Section 5.1225.3) state that all pupils receiving a diploma of graduation from high school must complete all of the following in grades 9-12, inclusive:
- Three courses in English
- Two courses in Mathematics, including one year of Algebra I
- Three years of History/Social Science, including US History & World History, and one –semester course in American Government and Civics, and one-semester course in Economics
- Two years of Science, including biological and physical sciences
- One course in visual or performing arts, Foreign Language OR career technical education
- Two years in Physical Education, unless the pupil has been exempted pursuant to the provisions of Education Code Section 51241.
Certificate of Completion for Students with IEPs
Students with severe disabilities may qualify to receive a certificate of completion if they do not meet all state and local requirements for a high school diploma (EC Section 56390).
Not all students with IEPs are eligible. Typically, such a certificate would be reserved for students with severe disabilities and written into their IEP prior to their twelfth grade. A student qualifying for special education services who has satisfied any of the followingthree requirements may be awarded a special education certificate of completion upon determination by the school:
- Satisfactory completion of 230 credits of a prescribed alternative course of study as identified on the student’s IEP; or
- Satisfactory achievement of the student’s IEP goals and objectives during high school as determined by the IEP team; or
- Satisfactory high school attendance, participation in the instruction prescribed in the student’s IEP, and achievement of the objectives of the statement of transition services.
Students who have taken concurrent college courses approved by their high school administration, advancing their grade level standing, as well as maxing out of high school offerings may create a plan with their college counselor, parent/guardian and administration to graduate early. Early graduation plans must be completed before the student’s first day of their senior year.
Homeless Students and Foster Care Provision
AB 167/216 and AB 1806 exempt students in foster care or students identified as homeless, respectively, who transfer schools any time after the completion of their second (2nd) year of high school, from coursework/requirements that are in addition to statewide requirements. To determine the eligibility of the exemption for these students, the school would need to conclude that the students would not reasonably be able to complete the additional graduation requirements during their remaining time in high school.
Options for 12thGraders Not Meeting Graduation Requirements
Did Not Meet the Alliance High School Graduation Requirements by the End of Summer School
If students have not met the graduation requirements by the end of the summer and cannot produce evidence that they have completed the graduation requirements, they can:
- Become a part of next year’s graduating class (become a 5th year senior), assuming that they enroll at the school; or
- Work with the school to pursue other options at the students’ own discretion.
Credit Deficient Senior
5thyear seniors only need to take the course(s) required to meet the Alliance high school graduation diploma requirements. Once a student completes the course required diploma requirements, the principal will grant the student his/her diploma for the year of completion (after summer session, student will receive a diploma for the following year).
To be considered for promotion to the next grade level, each middle school student (grades 6-8) must obtain sufficient academic credit in his/her prescribed course of study and meet the standards of proficiency established by the Alliance middle school. Middle school students are required to receive academic instruction and participate in core subject areas (e.g., English, Mathematics, Science and History). Physical Education and other electives may also be required as part of the students’ required course of study.
Sample Alliance Middle School Course Offerings
World History & Geography: Ancient Civilizations
World History & Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times
United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict
English Language Arts
Common Core English 6
Common Core English 7 or English Honors 7
Common Core English 8 or English Honors 8
Common Core Math 6
Common Core Math 7 or Accelerated Integrated Math 7
Common Core Math 8 or Integrated Math 1
Integrated Science 6
Integrated Science 7
Integrated Science 8
Language other than English
Visual and Performing Arts
College Preparatory Elective
Advisory, PE, Middle School Success, English Language Development, or Resource Lab 6
Advisory, PE, English Language Development, Resource Lab 7, or ELA/Math Support
Advisory, PE, English Language Development, Intervention, or Resource Lab 8
Middle School Commencement
Alliance middle schools may require students to complete any or all of the following to be eligible to participate in the school’s commencement ceremony:
- Meet or exceed all course requirements as defined by the school
- Adhere to all behavioral requirements as defined by the school (e.g., code of conduct, attendance, suspension/expulsion, tardies)
- Complete community service requirements as defined by the school
Grades reflect a scholar’s academic performance so scholars and families have clear indicators of the scholar’s preparedness for college success and 21st century careers throughout a scholar’s career at an Alliance school. The grading scale at each Alliance school campus is based on the degree to which students demonstrate proficiency on content standards.
There are eight (8) grading periods each school year. Student progress reports are available and distributed to parents and families by the school.
Students with IEPs
Students who receive grading accommodations must, by law, receive those accommodations. Examples of grading accommodations include: Extending the grading scale to include a D, and allowing for incomplete work. Students may not receive non-passing grades unless there is documented evidence that they received their legally required accommodations.
In order for completed coursework from other high schools to be accepted for credit at an Alliance school, the following criteria must be met:
If a student transfers from another school mid-semester, his/her transfer grades for courses currently in progress will be factored in to the equivalent Alliance school courses, as the teacher or administrator deems appropriate.
Transferring into an Alliance High School with a Grade of “D”
Students (without special education eligibility grading accommodations) who transfer into an Alliance high school with a grade of “D” must retake the course to meet the Alliance high school’s A-G graduation requirement. Upon retaking the course, the original “D” grade will be replaced, but the student will not receive additional credits for retaking the course.
Transferring Credits out of an Alliance High School
Since all Alliance high schools are accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Alliance high school credits are accepted at any California public high school. The receiving high school however, may accept credits for non-core courses at their discretion.
The grading scale is as follows for academic courses and advisory:
Grade Point Scale
These may be modified by individual Alliance schools.
Above standard on grade-level course content
94 - 96%
90 - 93%
87 - 89%
At standard on grade-level course content
84 - 86%
80 - 83%
77 - 79%
Below standard on grade-level course content
74 - 76%
70 - 73%
0 - 69%
Far Below standard on grade-level course content
Only for scholars who have this as an option in their IEP. Use 1.5 - 1.99 for the GPA range.
Excused missed assignment or standard not taught
Accommodation/support not provided
Assignment not submitted and/or blank (which includes only having a scholar’s name on the paper) and is a grade of zero.
Ethics violation and is a grade of zero.
1 Note on GPA: To convert semester course grades to a UC/CSU GPA, we will use the following:
B+, B, B-
C+, C, C-
At Alliance schools, assessments are a foundational component of the teaching and learning process. To ensure that all students have access to the learning experiences necessary for college persistence and career success, we employ a set of high-quality, purposeful, actionable and strategically-sequenced assessments for learning and of learning.
We organize our assessments in three categories:
- Progress-Monitoring Assessments
- Rigorous College-Ready Assessments
- College Success Assessments
In addition, schools may administer unit and lesson level assessments that provide timely data to drive instruction. State and network-wide assessments include but are not limited to:
Equal Education Opportunities
At Alliance schools, all students shall be afforded the right and opportunity to an equal education. No student shall be excluded, segregated or discriminated against in the Alliance school environment for reasons of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, actual or perceived disability, religion, or religious affiliation.
- Schools are obligated to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to children with a disability.
Section 504 Plan
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States...shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” (29 USC 794)
- Compliance of Section 504 is monitored by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights.
- Applies to all institutions receiving federal financial assistance, such as public schools.
Section 504 prohibits discrimination while assuring that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students. If you would like to know more about 504 Plans or other types of assistance available to your student, please contact the principal.
Referrals for determination for eligibility for special education and services may come from teachers, parents, agencies, appropriate professional persons, and from other members of the public. Special Education referrals will be coordinated with school site procedures for referral of students with needs that cannot be met with interventions in the regular instructional program, including referrals from student intervention teams, such as the Student Support and Progress Team (SSPT) .
English Learnerrefers to a student who does not speak English or whose native language is not English and who is not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English.
Identification and Assessments
Upon enrollment in an Alliance school, each student's primary language will be determined through a Home Language Survey. (Education Code 52164.1) Any student speaking a primary language other than English or newly identified as an English learner will be assessed for English proficiency using the state's designated English language proficiency test. (Education Code 313)
Each year after a student is identified as an English learner and until he/she is reclassified/redesignated as English proficient, the summative assessment shall be administered to the student as determined by the California Department of Education. (Education Code 313) Any student with a disability will receive necessary accommodations.
The school’s English Learner designee will provide the following to parents/guardians of English learners in writing:
The school will continue to provide additional and appropriate educational services to English Learners for the purposes of overcoming language barriers until they:
- Demonstrate English language proficiency comparable to native English speakers
- Recoup any academic deficits from core curriculum as a result of language barriers
English Learners shall be reclassified as Reclassified Fluent-English-Proficient (RFEP) when they are able to comprehend, speak, read, and write English well enough to receive instruction in an English language mainstream classroom and make academic progress at a level substantially equivalent to that of students of the same age or grade whose primary language is English and who are in the regular course of study. (Education Code 52164.6)
The Alliance school’s English Learner designee shall monitor students for at least four years following their reclassification to determine whether the student needs any additional academic support to ensure his/her language and academic success.
All students will be supported through Advisory. Advisory is a school-driven course that students are required to take every year. Advisory was designed with the purpose of: personal and academic success of students; preparing students to be positive and contributing members of society; preparing students for school, life and career transitions; and creating a community in which all students feel safe, welcome and heard.
Alliance schools recognize that field trips are an enriching aspect of a student’s educational experience. Field trips are important learning experiences to supplement the school curriculum, but are offered at the discretion of the school site. At the discretion of the principal or administrative designee, participation on certain field trips may be contingent on the student’s academic or behavioral standing or attendance history at the school.
Field trip forms shall be sent home with students prior to the planned trip. The forms must be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to the school for the student to participate.
All student policies, rules and procedures are in effect during field trips.
Dress for most school-sponsored events outside of the regular instructional day may require the school uniform to be worn or at least must adhere to the “free-dress” policy. Students who are not dressed appropriately will not be allowed to participate in the activity.
Students may be asked to present identification to enter school-sponsored events. Students must remain inside or within specified areas once they have arrived. Reentry is at the discretion of the school administration. Parents are expected to pick up their student immediately following the end of the event. Parents are also invited to help chaperone school events such as dances and parties. All student policies, rules and procedures are in effect during all school-sponsored events.
Alliance schools provide students with access to enriching learning experiences both within and outside the classroom setting. To ensure that students have access to these experiences, schools may choose to host classesoff-campus (e.g., physical education classes or dance class at a neighborhood dance studio). If these are part of the mandatory curriculum, the school shall provide parents/guardians notice of these off-campus classes at the beginning of the school year. All student policies, rules and procedures are in effect while students are off-campus and traveling to and from campus.
Alliance schools may offer opportunities for students to participate in sports teams, depending on student interest and staff availability. All students who participate on a team must meet rules for academic eligibility including maintaining a minimum grade point average as defined by the school. Additionally, students must meet behavioral requirements and be present at school on game days in order to participate. California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) schools may also have CIF requirements that students must meet in order to be eligible.
Alliance schools may have a variety of clubs and programs for students in which to participate. Programs and clubs offered may change from year-to-year based on student interest and faculty sponsorship.
Alliance school safety protocols and emergency plans are developed with the guidance of local law enforcement, school administration and Alliance in order to prepare for natural disasters and emergency situations (e.g., fire, earthquake, lockdown, terrorist threats, power outages). Each Alliance school has a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan which describes the safety procedures specific for the school. Training on the emergency plan is provided to all school staff members annually. All schools and classrooms are equipped with emergency supplies.
An evacuation map is posted in every classroom. Emergency drills (e.g., earthquake drills, fire drills, lockdown drills), are conducted throughout the school year so that all staff and students are prepared should an emergency occur.
During regular school hours, students are required to follow their teacher’s or administrator’s instructions during all emergency drills and situations. If an emergency occurs off-campus,students are to report to their supervising teacher or administrator. If the emergency extends beyond the end of the school day, students shall not be released until it has been determined that it is safe to do so. Before students are released, parents are required to sign them out in the school main office.
Emergency Cards and Contact Information
Each Alliance school shall have emergency cards on file for all students and staff. Parents/guardians are responsible for keeping all student emergency contact information current and informing the school main office in writing of any changes as soon as possible (e.g., address changes, phone number changes). It is important for families to keep the emergency contact information current so all communications are received without delay or interruption.
Students may only leave campus with the adults named and listed on their emergency card. Adults will be asked to show proper identification in order to sign students out.
Supervision is provided for all school sponsored programs, activities, and meals during the instructional day. Unless otherwise noted for a specific school sponsored program or activity, hours of supervision at school begin 30 minutes before and after school ends.
To ensure the safety of our students, it is important that students do not arrive before supervision has begun and that they leave promptly at the conclusion of their school day. Students who linger on or near campus will be sent home. Should any student create a disturbance by lingering before or after school, disciplinary action may be taken.
School administration, staff, parent volunteers and external vendors are available to help ensure our campus remains safe and students are following traffic laws when crossing the street. Students are to obey all directions from supervisory staff and parent volunteers.
New students will not be enrolled unless a written immunization record is presented at the time of enrollment, and immunizations are up-to-date. All students new to Alliance schools must show that they have received all required immunizations in order to be enrolled. Those students who do not meet the state guidelines will be excluded from school until the requirements are met.
California law requires that pupils entering a California school provide a written immunization record showing the date (at least month and year) of each immunization.
Starting January 1, 2016, California bill SB 277 eliminatesexemptions based on personal beliefs, including religious beliefs, for the vaccines that are currently required for entry into school in California. Medical exemptions will still be accepted with the appropriate documentation from a licensed physician.
Personal beliefs exemptions on file prior to January 1, 2016 may remain valid, however it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to check with the school to determine if the student qualifies.
All injuries occurring at school or during a school activity must be reported to the nearest staff member in charge or to the school main office. A school staff member will assist students in need of help for sudden illness occurring at school or at a school activity. The school shall call the appropriate agencies (e.g., ambulances, police, fire) in cases of serious injury.
Students who are unable to remain at school or at a school activity because of illness will be sent home. Parents/guardians listed on the student emergency card will be contacted to make transportation arrangements. No students shall be allowed to leave the campus without parent/guardian consent. Students may only leave the campus with people listed on their emergency cards; proper identification (e.g., driver’s license) must be presented to the school main office. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to inform the school of any changes to the contacts on the student emergency cards.
Exposure to bloodborne pathogens can be minimized or eliminated with an exposure control plan that addresses and implements, at the minimum, the following elements: universal precautions, communication of hazards and training, clearly defined procedures and protocols, personal protective equipment and appropriate decontamination/housekeeping.
All school staff members receive bloodborne pathogens training on an annual basis.
In the event that a student suddenly becomes ill and there is blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids present (e.g., blood, vomit), specific procedures shall be followed to protect against exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The procedures include:
- Staff member practices universal precautions and keeps other students away from the potential hazard.
- Staff member contacts main office
- Office manager or administrator removes student to the main office and contacts the school custodian
- Custodian is responsible for cleaning up the bodily fluids.
o Custodian uses appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves, apron, protective eyewear, etc.
o Custodian removes bodily fluid from floor and sanitizes the floor. Custodian cleans and sanitizes all equipment and environmental working surfaces exposed to fluids.
o Custodian removes gloves and disposes in appropriate biohazard container.
o Custodian washes hands with antibacterial soap.
- In the absence of the custodian, the administrative staff will assume responsibility for the procedures above.
During the student enrollment process, parents/guardians must indicate if their children have any chronic health problems, medical conditions, medications or allergies on the Registration/Enrollment Form.
The school shall not furnish any medications. School personnel are prohibited by law from giving any medication (e.g., prescriptions, over-the-counter pain relievers, cold medicine) to a student unless the student’s physician has given written instructions and the student’s parent/guardian has provided written consent.
In order for a designated school personnel to assist/supervise a student self-administering medication, including insulin to diabetic students, the Alliance school shall obtain both a written statement from the physician detailing the name of medication, the date, the dosage information and directions for administering the medication anda written statement from the parent/guardian indicating the capability of the student to self-administer the medication.
All medications require physician and parent/guardian authorization. Once authorization is obtained, the medication must be given to the school main office in original containers, labeled with the name of the student, the name of the medication, the date, the dosage information and directions for storing and administering the medication. Over-the counter-medications should be in original sealed packages with directions for administration. Medications will be stored in a secure location and medication administration will be documented in a medication log maintained for each student. This form will be incorporated into each student’s permanent file upon transfer or graduation.
Students may only carry and self-administer certain medications (e.g., inhaled asthma medications, EpiPens) with the proper documentation. This documentation includes:
- A written statement from an authorized health care provider detailing the name of the medication, the date, the dosage information and directions for administration, and confirming that the student is able to self-administer the medication; and
- A written statement from the parent/guardian of the student consenting to the self-administration, providing release for the school to consult with the health care provider of the student regarding any questions that may arise with regard to the medication, and releasing the school and school personnel from liability in the case of adverse reaction.
All other medications shall be stored in the school main office. Certain Asthma Action Plans may be sufficient for students to carry and self-administer asthma medication. A student may be subject to disciplinary action if the medication is used in a manner other than as prescribed. School personnel shall not prescribe or give advice regarding medication.
Alliance shall obtain a prescription for epinephrine auto-injectors (“EpiPen”) from an authorizing physician that includes at least one regular EpiPen for each Alliance school.
Each school year, the Alliance school shall provide office staff and staff who volunteer to be EpiPen administrators with training opportunities on EpiPen administration. If a student is, or reasonably believed to be, suffering from an anaphylactic reaction, only trained staff shall administer the EpiPen to the student. During the administration of the EpiPen or as soon as practicable thereafter, or if no trained individual is present at the time of the anaphylactic reaction, the school will immediately call 9-1-1 to request an emergency response and stay with the student until paramedics arrive. The school shall also contact the student’s parent/guardian as soon as practicable upon learning of the student’s anaphylactic reaction.
Alliance schools shall not discriminate against any student on the basis of a student’s marital status, pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or related recovery. Any complaint of discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or marital or parental status shall be addressed through the schools’ uniform complaint procedures.
When necessary, Alliance schools shall provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant and parenting students to enable them to access the educational program. Alliance schools treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, and recovery from pregnancy in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability. To the extent feasible, educational and related support services may be provided, either through Alliance schools or in collaboration with community agencies and organizations, to meet the needs of pregnant and parenting students and their children.
A lactating student at Alliance schools will have a reasonable amount of time to access a private and secure location to express milk for her infant child. The lactating student is permitted to bring onto a school campus a breast pump and any other equipment used to express breast milk, to have access to a power source for a breast pump or any other equipment used to express breast milk, and to access a place to store expressed breast milk safely. A student will not incur an academic penalty as a result of her use, during the school day, of the reasonable accommodations specified in this section, and pupils are provided the opportunity to make up any work missed due to such use (Education Code Section 222.)
Suicide prevention involves school-wide activities and programs that enhance connectedness, contribute to a safe and nurturing environment, and strengthen protective factors that reduce risk for students.
Examples of prevention activities include:
- Promoting and reinforcing the development of desirable behavior such as help seeking behaviors and healthy problem-solving skills.
- Increasing staff, student and parent/guardian knowledge and awareness of risk factors and warning signs of youth suicide and self-injury.
- Monitoring and being involved in young people’s lives by giving structure, guidance and consistent, fair discipline.
- Modeling and teaching desirable skills and behavior.
- Promoting access to school and community resources.
Suicide prevention training for staff shall be designed to help staff identify and respond to students at risk of suicide. Whenever a staff member suspects or has knowledge of a student's suicidal intentions, he/she shall promptly notify the administrator/administrative designee and/or mental health team member. When a suicidal ideation, threat, and/or attempt is reported, the school administrator/administrative designee and/or school mental health team member shall:
- Reference Alliance College-Ready Public Schools’ Mental Health Crisis Response procedures for step-by-step guidance
- Ensure the student's physical safety by one of the following, as appropriate:
- Securing immediate medical treatment if a suicide attempt has occurred
- Securing law enforcement and/or other emergency assistance if a suicidal act is being actively threatened
- Keeping the student under continuous adult supervision until the parent/guardian and/or appropriate support agent or agency can be contacted and has the opportunity to intervene.
- Designate specific individuals to be promptly contacted, including school mental health team member(s), school administrator or administrative designee, and/or the student's parent/guardian, and, as necessary, local law enforcement or mental health agencies
- School mental health team member or administrative designee, will document the incident using the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Risk Assessment Documentation Form
- Teachers, administrators, and other staff will document a suicide threat, ideation, or attempt using the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Incident Report Form.
- Follow up with the parent/guardian and student in a timely manner to provide referrals to appropriate services as needed
- Provide access to school mental health team members or school administratorship team to listen to and support students and staff who are directly or indirectly involved with the incident at the school
- Provide an opportunity for all who respond to the incident to debrief, evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies used, and make recommendations for future actions (postvention)
If you believe that your child is thinking about suicide, approach the situation by asking. Asking is the first step in saving a life and can let them know that you are there for them and will listen. If you need IMMEDIATE assistance due to a life threatening situation, call 911. For a psychiatric emergency, contact the Department of Mental Health 24-hour ACCESS Center at (800) 854-7771. Students and family members can also call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for free and confidential support for themselves or for loved ones.
The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires that any administrator, teacher, counselor or other school staff member who has a reasonable suspicion that a student has been subjected to child abuse and neglect (e.g., physical abuse, sexual abuse, willful cruelty or unjustified punishment, unlawful corporal punishment or injury, and neglect (including both acts and omissions)) must make a report to the proper authorities immediately or as soon as is practicably possible. School site employees shall be trained on child abuse mandated reporting every school year by the sixth week of school or within the first six weeks of their start date as established by AB 1432.
Child abuse must be reported when one who is a legally mandated reporter "...has knowledge of or observes a child in his or her professional capacity, or within the scope of his or her employment whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse.” Mandated reporters must make their report to the county welfare department (child protective agency) or to any police, sheriff, or, in some cases, county probation department.
Reports are to be made initially via phone then followed-up within 36 hours later with a written report to the child protective or law enforcement agency to which the telephone report was made.
Alliance schools may conduct searches of students and items under the students’ control (e.g., locker, backpack, purse) to ensure student and staff safety. Specifically, the purposes of these searches are to:
- Detect the possession of weapons or controlled substances
- Deter bringing weapons or controlled substances onto school grounds or during school activities
- Reduce the potential for violent incidents
Searches may be conducted under the following circumstances:
Searches Based on Reasonable Suspicion
If a student has engaged in conduct that causes an administrator to have reasonable suspicion that the student has committed, or is about to commit, a crime or has violated statutory laws or school rules, the administrator may conduct a search of that student. The administrator must:
- Be able to articulate the reasons for his/her suspicion and the facts and/or circumstances surrounding a specific incident.
- Be able to reasonably connect the student to a specific incident, crime, rule, or statute violation.
- Have relied on recent, credible information from personal knowledge and/or other eyewitnesses.
- Ensure that a search based on reasonable suspicion is not excessively intrusive in light of the student’s age and gender and the nature of the offense.
When conducting a student search based on reasonable suspicion, school administrators must adhere to the following practices:
- Conduct the search only if there are clear and specific reasons for suspicion and there are facts that connect the student to a specific incident of misconduct.
- Jackets, purses, pockets, backpacks, bags and containers in the student’s possession may be searched to the extent reasonably necessary.
- Under no conditions may a body or strip search be conducted.
- Only school administrators of the same gender as the student searched may conduct the search.
- Searches based on reasonable suspicion must be conducted in a private area where the search will not be visible to other students or staff (except for a school administrator or designee witness, also of the same gender).
- School can request law enforcement participation if necessary.
Schools may use trained detection dogs to search for weapons in school facilities and around school grounds. Detection dogs may sniff lockers, student use areas, classrooms and other inanimate objects throughout the school property. In order to detect the possession of weapons and deter bringing weapons onto school grounds or during school activities, canines may be used to sniff student belongings during campus searches. An indication by the dog that weapons are present on school property shall constitute reasonable suspicion, authorizing school officials to search the area or other inanimate objects and closed containers and objects within, without securing the consent of the student.
Alliance schools are committed to establishing a positive school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.
Alliance schools participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), a federally-assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. The NSLP provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. Alliance schools and food vendors comply with the federal and state regulations/requirements of the program.
Nutrition Promotion, Education and Physical Activity Goals to Promote Student Wellness
Alliance schools partner with their food vendors to find ways to increase student access to healthy breakfast and lunch meal options, and to promote a healthy way of living. School staff shall encourage students to choose balanced and nutritious school meals, and shall minimize competitive food sales to increase participation in the school’s nutrition program.
Also, the school's physical education programs shall be research-based and aligned to required content standards. Nutrition education shall be provided as part of the health education program and, as appropriate, shall be integrated into other academic subjects in the regular educational program.
Opportunities for student physical activity may be available through physical education classes, after-school programs, student athletics, intramural programs, and other activities.
Nutrition Guidelines to Promote Student Health
Foods and beverages available to students at the school should promote and protect students’ health, well-being and ability to learn. As such, the following guidelines have been established for foods available at the school:
- Nutritional standards adopted by Alliance schools for food and beverages sold to students shall meet or exceed state and federal requirements;
- Meals will be attractive and appealing to students;
- Meals will be served in clean and pleasant settings;
- Daily and weekly minimum requirements for the five components (e.g., meat/meat alternatives, grains, fruits, vegetables, milk) will be met;
- A variety of fruits and vegetables will be offered;
- All milk served will be low-fat (1%) and/or non-fat milk;
- Meals served will be within the nutrient targets for calories, saturated fats, sodium and trans-fat as defined by the USDA.
To allow for consistent messaging about student health and wellness and its link to academic performance, the principal or designee may disseminate information to parents/guardians through the school website, parent-student handbook, school newsletters, in-person meetings, and other forms of communication.
Alliance collaborates with Alliance schools and food vendors to discuss new ways to promote student health on campus and review/update the local wellness policy. Other stakeholders may include: school staff members, parents, students, community members and school board members.
Alliance works with food vendors throughout the school year to ensure food and beverages meet the nutrition guidelines defined above. The Home Office also conducts site monitoring reviews at Alliance schools each school year to evaluate the schools’ processes/systems to ensure compliance with NSLP requirements. During these visits, an informal assessment of schools’ implementation of the wellness policy is also performed. If issues arise, the principal or designee may request additional reviews as needed.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) Email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Alliance schools believe in academic integrity and the principle of the honor code. Students are expected to do their own homework, to test without external resources, and to submit original work for all assignments.
Examples of academic integrity violations include, but are not limited to:
- Plagiarism – submitting another person’s work as your own.
- Submission of falsified dates (written or oral).
- Copying another student’s work during an exam.
- Aiding others with acts of plagiarism and/or copying.
- Theft or unauthorized access to an exam.
- Use of unauthorized materials/equipment, including electronic devices, during an exam.
- Changing, altering or fabricating a grade, score or any other academic record.
- Unauthorized communication with any other person during an exam.
- Stealing or destroying the work of another student.
Consequences for violating the Academic Integrity Policy may be subject to disciplinary action at the discretion of the principal or administrative designee.
Alliance schools believe all students have the right to a safe and civil learning environment. Discrimination, harassment, and bullying are all disruptive behaviors which interfere with students’ ability to learn, negatively affect student engagement, diminish school safety, and contribute to a hostile school environment. As such, Alliance schools prohibit any acts of discrimination, harassment, and bullying on school grounds or related to any school activity. This policy is inclusive of instances that occur on any area of the school campus, at school-sponsored events and activities, regardless of location, through school-owned technology, and through other electronic means, consistent with this policy.
“Discrimination, harassment, and bullying” describe the intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, written communication, or unwanted aggressive behavior for any reason, including cyberbullying, that is based on the actual or perceived characteristics of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
To the extent possible, Alliance schools will make reasonable efforts to prevent students from being discriminated against, harassed, intimidated and/or bullied, and will take action to investigate, respond, and address any reports of such behaviors in a timely manner. Alliance school staff who witness acts of discrimination, harassment, and bullying will take immediate steps to intervene, in a manner that is safe and objective.
Allegations of harassment and bullying will be reviewed and investigated in a prompt, confidential and thorough manner by school administrators. Alliance schools prohibit retaliation against anyone who files a complaint or participates in the complaint investigation process.
A charge of harassment or bullying shall not, in itself, create the presumption of wrongdoing. However, substantiated acts of harassment or bullying may result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and/or expulsion as outlined below. Students found to have filed false or frivolous charges will also be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
A principal or administrative designee may refer a victim of, witness to, or other pupil affected by, an act of bullying to the school counselor, school psychologist, social worker, child welfare attendance personnel, school nurse, or other school support service personnel for case management, counseling, and participation in a restorative justice program, as appropriate.
Harassment occurs when an individual is subjected to treatment or a school environment that is hostile or intimidating because of the individual’s race, creed, color, national origin, physical disability, or sex. It includes, but is not limited to, any or all of the following:
- Verbal harassment is any written or verbal language or physical gesture directed at a teacher or a student that is insolent, demeaning, abusive or implicitly or explicitly implies a threat of bodily harm is totally unacceptable and shall be deemed harassment and will be dealt with as such.
- Physical Harassment is any unwanted physical touching, contact, assault deliberately impeding or blocking movements, or any intimidating interference with normal work or movement.
- Visual Harassment includes any derogatory, demeaning, or inflammatory posters, cartoons, written words, drawings or gestures.
- Sexual harassment is unwanted or demeaning conduct or comments directed at or about an individual on the basis of actual or perceived gender, sex, sexual behavior, sexual orientation, or other related personal characteristics, with the impact or intent to humiliate. Anti-gay and sexist epithets are forms of sexual harassment. Schools should investigate and respond to these incidents.
- Hostile Environment Harassment occurs when: (1) the target is subjected to unwelcome conduct related to a protected category; (2) the harassment is both subjectively offensive to the target and would be offensive to a reasonable person of the same age and characteristics under the same circumstances; and (3) the harassment is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the school.
Sexual and Gender Based Discrimination
Alliance schools will not discriminate against any student based on sex, sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.
All classes and courses will be conducted without regard to the sex of the pupil enrolled, and no pupil will be prohibited from enrolling in a class on the basis of the pupil’s sex, except as permitted by law.
When programs, activities, and athletic teams are in place, Alliance schools will maintain separate programs, activities, and teams for male and female students. Students may participate in sex-segregated programs, activities, and athletic teams consistent with the student’s gender identity.
Alliance schools maintain separate restroom facilities for male and female students. Single stall restrooms are general-neutral. Students may use facilities consistent with their gender identity. If there is a desire for increased privacy and/or safety, regardless of the underlying purpose or cause, any student and/or parent guardian may request a meeting with school administration to determine the appropriate accommodation(s).
“Bullying” means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act, that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Reasonable fear of harm to person or property.
- Substantially detrimental effect on physical or mental health.
- Substantial interference with academic performance.
- Substantial interference with the ability to participate in or benefit from school services, activities, or privileges.
Bullying behaviors may include, but are not limited to:
- Cyberbullying is bullying by electronic act, which includes transmission of a communication by text, sound, image, video, message, website post, social network activity, or other form of communication sent by an electronic device. It also includes creating a credible impersonation or a false profile of pupils.
- Indirect bullying is the use of intimidation or peer pressure to cause harm to a third party.
- Non-verbal bullying includes the use of threatening gestures, staring, stalking, graffiti or graphic images, and destruction of property to cause distress, intimidation, discomfort, pain or humiliation.
- Physical bullying includes intentional, unwelcome acts of beating, biting, fighting, hitting, kicking, poking, punching, pushing, shoving, spitting and tripping.
- Social or relational bullying includes spreading rumors, manipulating relationships, exclusion, blackmailing, isolating, rejecting, using peer pressure and ranking personal characteristics.
- Verbal bullying includes hurtful gossiping, making rude noises, name-calling, spreading rumors and teasing.
It is the responsibility of the student to:
- Conduct herself/himself in a manner which contributes to a positive school environment
- Avoid any activity that may be considered discriminatory, intimidating or harassing
- Consider immediately informing anyone harassing him/her that the behavior is offensive and unwelcome
- Report all incidents of discrimination or harassment to the principal or administrative designee
- If informed he/she is perceived as engaging in discriminatory, intimidating, harassing or unwelcome conduct, to discontinue that conduct immediately
Students who engage in discrimination, harassment, or bullying may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and/or expulsion as outlined below.
RMMS: Richard Merkin Middle School uses the program PBIS REWARDS. This program is designed to hold our trailblazers to our school motto of being LEADERS. See LEADS Matrix attachment.
The Student Suspension and Expulsion Policy has been established in order to promote learning and protect the safety and well-being of all students at Alliance schools. The policy, procedures and grounds for suspension/expulsion are based on Education Code 48900 et seq. As required by the Modified Consent Decree (MCD), Alliance schools also follow the District’s Discipline Foundation Policy, including the school-wide positive behavior supports, alternatives to suspension, and restorative justice.
Each Alliance school will develop, maintain, and implement a comprehensive student discipline policy. The discipline policy will not be biased or discriminatory, and will follow the principles of due process. In the case of a student who has an IEP, or a student who has a 504 Plan, the school will ensure that it follows the correct disciplinary procedures to comply with the mandates of state and federal laws, including the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Plan of 1973.
By signing the Parent/Student/Staff Handbook, students and parents acknowledge their understanding of and their responsibility to the standards set forth in this handbook and in the discipline policy. The discipline policy will define student responsibilities, unacceptable behavior, and the consequences for noncompliance.
Code of Conduct
Student responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Following all rules of behavior and conduct set by the classroom teacher and contained within this policy.
- 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 (bringing materials such as books, homework, etc.).
- Participating in all assessment measures (e.g., tests).
- Respecting the property of the school and others.
- Keeping the campus clean.
- Wearing the school uniform. One school uniform shall be provided to each student per school year at no cost.
Alliance schools believe in a student discipline philosophy that is progressive in nature, but also emphasizes positive behavior supports to provide students with opportunities to improve. These include, but are not limited to: positive recognition, restorative practices, increased family and community collaboration, acknowledgement and reinforcement of appropriate behavior, clear definition of expectations, team-based implementation, and data-based decision making.
Students who violate the school rules are subject to, but not limited to the following progressive actions:
- Verbal warning
- Phone call to parent/guardian
- Loss of privileges (e.g. attending after-school activities, interscholastic sports, special non-instructional activities held during the school day, one-to-one assigned technology)
- Conference with student and parent/guardian
Suspended students and students in in-school suspension shall be excluded from participating in all school and school-related activities unless otherwise agreed upon by the principal or administrative designee (e.g., assistant principal) and the parent/guardian during the period of suspension. The maximum number of days a student may receive out-of-school or in-school suspension for is five (5) school days per incident and twenty (20) school days in one academic year.
Expelled students shall be excluded from participating in all school and school-related activities.
Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion
Alliance schools have adopted the Los Angeles Unified School District Suspension and Expulsion Matrixas identified below. As such, a student may be suspended or expelled for prohibited misconduct, as outlined in the matrix, if the act occurs:
- While on school grounds,
- While going to or coming from school,
- During the lunch period whether on or off the school campus,
- During, or while going to or coming from, a school-sponsored activity.
LAUSD Suspension and Expulsion Matrix
Source: Los Angeles Unified School District Student Discipline & Expulsion Support Unit (August 14, 2015)
As used in this section, "school property" includes, but is not limited to, electronic files and databases.
The offenses noted above are annotated excerpts from Education Code Section 48900. The school will use the above referenced grounds and procedures in determining suspension and expulsion.
Not Causes for Suspension/Expulsion
The Alliance school’s policy prohibits suspension and expulsion from being used as corrective measures in response to student misconduct of willful defiance as described in Education Code section 48900(k).
Rules and Procedures
Suspension is preceded by a conference conducted by the principal or administrative designee with the student and the student’s parent/guardian. 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/guardian is notified of the suspension, a request for a conference is to be made as soon as possible, and the conference is to be held as soon as possible.
Notice to Parents/Guardians
At the time of suspension, the principal or administrative designee makes a reasonable effort to contact the parent/guardian by telephone or in person. Whenever a student is suspended, the parent/guardian shall be notified in writing of the suspension and the date of return following suspension. This notice shall state the specific offense committed by the student. In addition, the notice shall also state the date and time the student may return to school. School administrators shall request to confer with the parent/guardian regarding matters pertinent to the suspension; parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to respond without delay as student violations of school rules may result in student expulsion from the school.
Length of Suspension
Suspensions, when not including a recommendation for expulsion, shall not exceed five (5) consecutive school days per suspension. During the term of the suspension, the Alliance school shall provide the student with meaningful access to education. Missed assignments can be accessed virtually through class websites or arranged for pick-up or delivery with the parent/guardian. The student shall also be given the opportunity to take make-up tests if they were missed during the term of the suspension.
Upon a recommendation of expulsion by the principal or administrative designee, the pupil and the pupil’s guardian or representative will be invited to a conference to determine if the suspension for the pupil should be extended pending an expulsion hearing. This determination will be made by the principal or administrative designee upon either of the following: 1) the pupil’s presence will be disruptive to the education process; or 2) the pupil poses a threat or danger to others. Upon either determination, the pupil’s suspension will be extended pending the results of an expulsion hearing. To the extent consistent with the Alliance school’s individual charter, students who receive an extended suspension may be offered an interim placement at another LAUSD school or coursework from the attending school. Students shall not be suspended for more than a total of twenty (20) school days in a school year, unless a suspension has been extended pending an expulsion hearing.
The suspension of a student is at the discretion of the principal or administrative designee. Parents/guardians shall be notified in advance of the enactment of the suspension and can appeal a student’s suspension. A suspension appeal shall be submitted in writing to the Alliance Home Office Chief Schools Officer and shall be heard if requested within five (5) school days of the notification of suspension by the principal or administrative designee. Upon consideration, the Chief Schools Officer’s decision shall be final. The student shall be considered suspended until a meeting is convened to hear the appeal. The decision regarding the appeal will be made within one (1) school day of the appeal hearing. Parents/guardians will be notified of the decision in writing within three (3) school days. For students who are recommended for expulsion, any appeal of the suspension will be considered concurrently with the expulsion process.
Rules and Procedures
Upon a recommendation of expulsion by the principal or administrative designee, the pupil and the pupil’s parent/guardian or representative will be invited, by letter or by phone, to a pre-expulsion conference within five (5) school days. During the conference, they will have the right to respond to the allegation. If necessary, they will be given three (3) additional school days after the conference to respond. This conference will also provide an opportunity to determine if the suspension for the pupil should be extended pending an expulsion hearing. This determination will be made by the principal or administrative designee.
Authority to Expel
A student may be expelled by a three (3) member panel, known as the Expulsion Panel that is designated by the School Board of Directors (“School Board”). The Expulsion Panel shall be selected by the Board President and will consist of Alliance College-Ready Public Schools and Alliance’s affiliated schools’ staff. The members of the Expulsion Panel shall meet the following criteria:
- The members shall have no knowledge or previous familiarity of the student or situation, and
- The members are not school employees.
A hearing to determine whether the student should be expelled is required for recommendation for expulsion. The hearing shall be held within 30 school days after the principal makes his/her expulsion recommendation. The hearing shall be presided over by the Expulsion Panel described above.
The principal or administrative designee provides written notice of the hearing to the student and the student’s parent/guardian within ten (10) calendar days before the date of the hearing.
Presentation of Evidence
While technical rules of evidence do not apply to expulsion hearings, evidence may be admitted and used as proof only if it is the kind of evidence on which reasonable persons can rely in the conduct of serious affairs. A determination by the panel to expel must be supported by substantial evidence that the student committed an expellable offense.
Findings of fact shall be based solely on the evidence at the hearing. While hearsay evidence is admissible, no decision to expel shall be based solely on hearsay. Sworn declarations may be admitted as testimony from witnesses of whom the Expulsion Panel determines that disclosure of their identity or testimony at the hearing may subject them to an unreasonable risk of physical or psychological harm. The decision of the panel to expel must be supported by substantial evidence presented at the hearing that the student committed an expellable offense.
The decision of the Expulsion Panel shall be in the form of written findings of fact. The final decision by the panel shall be made within three (3) school days following the conclusion of the hearing.
If the Expulsion Panel decides not to recommend expulsion, the pupil shall immediately be returned to his/her educational program or be given the opportunity to transfer to another Alliance school with mutual agreement of the parent and the other Alliance school.
Written Notice to Expel
Following a decision of the Expulsion Panel to expel, the principal or administrative designee shall send to the student and parent/guardian written notice of the decision to expel. This notice to expel a student will be sent by certified U.S. mail.
Appeal of Expulsion
An expulsion decision may be appealed within 30 calendar days of the date of the Expulsion Panel’s written decision to expel. The parent/guardian must submit the appeal in writing to the principal who will inform the School Board Chair. An Expulsion Appeal Panel shall be convened within 30 school days of receipt of the written appeal, at which time the student’s parent/guardian must attend to present his/her appeal either verbally or in writing. Language support shall be provided upon request. The Expulsion Appeal Panel shall have three (3) members. The panel shall be selected by the School Board Chair. Panel members shall not be school employees, shall have no familiarity of the incident or student, and shall not be the same individuals that served on the Expulsion Panel. The scope of review of the panel shall be limited to whether there is relevant and material evidence which, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have been produced or which was improperly excluded at the expulsion hearing. The decision of the Expulsion Appeal Panel shall be final. Parents will be notified of the Expulsion Appeal Panel’s decision, in writing, within two (2) school days of the hearing. In the event that Expulsion Appeal Panel reverses the expulsion, the student shall be immediately reinstated.
In the event of a decision to expel a student, the school will work cooperatively with student’s home school district, the county and/or other schools to find alternative placement for the student.
Pupils who are expelled from an Alliance school shall be given a rehabilitation plan upon expulsion as developed by the Expulsion Panel 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 should include a date not later than one (1) year from the date of expulsion when the pupil may reapply to the Alliance school for readmission.
The school shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the filing and processing of requests for readmission and the process for the required review of all expelled pupils for readmission. Upon completion of the readmission process and pending the availability of open seats, the school shall readmit the pupil, unless the school’s principal makes a finding that the pupil has not met the conditions of the rehabilitation plan or continues to pose a danger to campus safety. A description of the procedure shall be made available to the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian at the time the expulsion order is entered and the decision of the school, including any related findings, must be provided to the pupil and the pupil’s parent/guardian within a reasonable time.
The school shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for processing reinstatements, including the review of documents regarding the rehabilitation plan. The school is responsible for reinstating the student upon the conclusion of the expulsion period in a timely manner pending the availability of open seats.
Students with Disabilities
In the case of student who has an IEP or a 504 Plan, the school will follow disciplinary procedures to comply with state and federal laws, including IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Plan of 1973. As required by state and federal mandates, the IEP team or 504 Plan team will meet to conduct a manifestation determination and to discuss alternative placement utilizing LAUSD’s Special Education Policies and Procedures Manual.
Prior to recommending expulsion for a student with an IEP or a 504 Plan, the team will answer the two questions:
- Was the misconduct caused by, or directly and substantially related to the student’s disability?
- Was the misconduct a direct result of the school’s failure to implement 504?
Meaningful parent involvement is a critical dimension of effective schooling and improves student achievement. Research has shown that active and consistent parent involvement leads to student success.
The school firmly believes that all students can and will achieve at high levels when administrators, teachers, staff, and parents work in collaboration with each other. As stated in the Parent/Student/Staff Compact, each partner accepts responsibility for the successful education and college preparation of each student. This Compact is part of each student’s enrollment packet and is explained to all new families during orientation.
Parents as Partners in Education
The school values the role of parents as their child’s first teacher and welcomes their active involvement as a necessary partner in their child’s education. The school believes in:
- Parents being meaningfully and actively engaged in their child’s education and responsible for supporting their child’s learning at home.
- Helping parents understand what it will take to prepare their child for college.
- Encouraging parents to support the goals of the school through their voice and through volunteering each year.
- Encouraging parents to attend 4 parent educational workshops each school year.
- The value of parent input. Parents are asked to complete a parent satisfaction survey each year.
There are a number of ways parents can volunteer. See the chart below. Parent volunteer service hours are earned by directly supporting the school and by supporting your child academically. Each family is encouraged to volunteer 40 hours per school year. Failure to meet the recommended number of volunteer hours or to participate in the school’s programs will have no effect on a student’s enrollment, grades, credits, ability to graduate or participation in graduation activities.
Possible Volunteer Activities:
Advocacy and Parent Engagement
Alliance strongly believes in the value of parent involvement in our scholars' education and our broader school communities. Our schools are better when our parents and teachers talk regularly and share a sense of community, when parents volunteer in our classrooms and campuses, and when parents feel the freedom to ask our administrators questions and talk about our schools' progress. Parents are a source of strength for our schools and communities. We encourage you to get involved and welcome our parents' input.
The Ambassador Program provides parents and guardians an opportunity to engage with their school. Ambassadors are parent/guardian leaders, that along with teachers and parents, represent each of Alliance's schools. Through the Ambassador Program, parents/guardians will have the opportunity to join teachers and student in using your leadership skills to support the improvement of local educational policies and practices that benefit all students. Parents/guardians will be a part of a group of Alliance advocates that attend meetings with government officials (including LAUSD School Board Members, City Council Members or State Representatives in Sacramento), and attend public hearings and other advocacy events. Parents/guardians will also receive the Alliance Advocate Newsletter, email and text action alerts on the issues you care about, and the latest news on local and state education policies. Please see your school’s Parent Engagement Specialist to learn more about how your voice as a parent can make a difference on issues that impact our schools.
- All volunteers must complete an Alliance Parent Volunteer Application and sign the Alliance liability waiver.
- The school shall perform a Megan’s Law check prior to starting work with Alliance schools.
- All parent volunteers not directly supervised by school staff and who may have contact with students shall undergo a criminal background check completed through the appropriate state agency and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to being cleared for service.
- If a volunteer who works with students without direct supervision of a school staff member is found at an Alliance school without a criminal background clearance, he/she will be sent home and prohibited from continuing to volunteer until such clearance is obtained.
- Should a volunteer be convicted of a controlled substance offense, sex offense, or serious or violent felony during his/her volunteer period, the volunteer must immediately report such a conviction to his/her immediate supervisor.
- Documentation will be kept on file with Alliance’s Human Resources department.
- All parent volunteers that will have frequent or prolonged contact with students shall undergo a tuberculosis (TB) examination and be determined to be free of active TB.
- If a volunteer who has frequent or prolonged contact with students is found at an Alliance school without a TB clearance, he/she will be sent home and prohibited from continuing to volunteer until such clearance is obtained.
- Documentation will be kept on file with Alliance’s Human Resources department.
Any entity providing student services that require frequent or prolonged contact with students will be contractually required to ensure that all employees have had the appropriate criminal background checks and TB clearances prior to starting work with Alliance students.
Parents are guaranteed certain rights within each Alliance school campus. Parents have the rightto:
- Work in partnership with the school to help their child succeed.
- Observe the classroom(s) in which their child is enrolled or will be enrolled.
- Meet with their child’s teacher(s) and principal.
- Volunteer under the supervision of school employees.
- Be notified if their child is absent from school without permission.
- Receive results of their child’s performance on standardized and statewide tests and information on the performance of the school.
- Have a school environment for their child that is safe and conducive of learning.
- Examine curriculum materials of classes in which their child is enrolled.
- Be informed of their child’s progress in school and of the appropriate school personnel whom they should contact if problems arise.
- Have access to the school records of their child and question anything that they feel is inaccurate, misleading, or is in violation of the student’s privacy.
- Receive information concerning the academic performance standards, proficiencies, or skills their child is expected to accomplish.
- Be informed in advance about school rules, attendance policies, dress codes, and procedures for visiting the school.
- Receive information about any psychological testing the school does involving their child and to deny permission to give the test.
- Participate as a member of the school advisory committee, school coordinating council, or site-based management leadership group in accordance with any rules and regulations governing membership in these groups.
Parent/ teacher conferences are held regularly throughout the school year and parents are highly encouraged to attend. At these meetings, parents have the opportunity to meet with some of their child’s teachers to discuss their child’s progress. In addition, when a student experiences academic difficulties, or when the student is at risk of failing a course, a parent conference will be scheduled with the student to identify areas of concern and possible strategies to meet the student’s learning needs.
Progress reports are distributed every five (5) weeks. Progress reports are not final and indicate a student’s performance to-date in the semester.
Report cards will be issued at the conclusion of each semester. Report cards include final grades that will be reflected on a student’s transcript.
Parents can follow student academic progress through the Pinnacle Gradebook. Student attendance, homework, grades, assignments, behavior, and test scores can be reviewed through Pinnacle on the internet. Pinnacle also provides a direct link to teacher email. To access Pinnacle, you will need the following:
- The website location: https://laalliance.gradebook.net/Pinnacle/PIV.
- Your Username
- Your Password
- School Name
Login information is distributed to parents soon after school starts. It is also available by contacting the school main office.
Staff Contacting Parents
Staff members may call home on occasion to inform parents of school events or to discuss specific issues regarding individual students. However, if you have not heard from one of your child’s teachers, do not assume that your child is doing satisfactory work. If you want to ensure that you are getting updates on your child’s progress, please check the Pinnacle Gradebook to note their current grade in a given class and see the “Home-School Communication” section below to find ways to reach out to your child’s teachers with any specific questions.
Automated Phone Communication System
The school uses an automated phone system to remind parents of schedule changes, holidays, or other important announcements. Please make sure to provide the main office with the phone number that is best for receiving such calls and to keep the main office notified (in writing) should you need to change this phone number.
School bulletins, periodic calendars, flyers and other important correspondence items are sent home with students or mailed home on a regular basis. Please ask your child or check your mail for school correspondence in order to keep informed of what is happening at school.
Change of Contact Information
Parents will be asked at the beginning of each school year to provide the school with current contact and emergency information. If your contact information changes during the school year (including all telephone numbers), it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to provide the main office with the updated information in writing. The school cannot assume responsibility for missed communications in the event that the contact information is misreported or not updated by the parent/guardian.
Parents Contacting Staff
All teachers and staff members may be contacted through email. Email addresses are located on the staff directory on the school website. You may also contact teachers by leaving a message with the school main office.
Messages and Deliveries to Students
Parents who need to contact their child during the day must call the main office (cell phones in your child’s possession must remain put away with the volume off for the entire instructional day). In an effort to limit classroom disturbances, office staff will only deliver urgent messages from home students during the instructional periods.
Complaints arising from within an Alliance school shall be resolved by the principal, Area Superintendent, Chief Schools Officer and/or Board of Directors.
Parent Complaint Resolution Procedures
Alliance is the local agency primarily responsible for compliance with federal and state laws and regulations governing educational programs. Pursuant to this policy, persons responsible for conducting investigations shall be knowledgeable about the laws and programs which they are assigned to investigate.
This complaint procedure is adopted to provide a uniform system of complaint processing for the following types of complaints:
- Complaints of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or against any protected group, including actual or perceived discrimination, on the basis of the actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnic group identification, gender expression, gender identity, gender, gender expression, genetic information, nationality, national origin, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in any Alliance school program or activity.
- Complaints of violations of state or federal law and regulations governing the following programs including but not limited to: After School Education and Safety Programs, Consolidated Categorical Aid Programs, Child Nutrition Programs, Foster and Homeless Youth Services, Migrant Education, Career Technical and Technical Education Training Programs, Every Student Succeeds Act Programs, and Special Education Programs.
- A complaint may also be filed alleging that a pupil enrolled in a public school was required to pay a pupil fee for participation in an educational activity as those terms are defined below.
- “Educational activity” means an activity offered by a school, school district, charter school or county office of education that constitutes an integral fundamental part of elementary and secondary education, including, but not limited to, curricular and extracurricular activities.
- “Pupil fee” means a fee, deposit or other charge imposed on pupils, or a pupil’s parents or guardians, in violation of Section 49011 of the Education Code and Section 5 of Article IX of the California Constitution, which require educational activities to be provided free of charge to all pupils without regard to their families’ ability or willingness to pay fees or request special waivers, as provided for in Hartzell v. Connell (1984) 35 Cal.3d 899.
- Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prohibit solicitation of voluntary donations of funds or property, voluntary participation in fundraising activities, or school districts, school, and other entities from providing pupils prizes or other recognition for voluntarily participating in fundraising activities.
- Complaints of noncompliance with the requirements governing the Local Control Funding Formula or Sections 47606.5 and 47607.3 of the Education Code, as applicable.
- Complaints of noncompliance with the requirements of Education Code Section 222 regarding the rights of lactating pupils on a school campus.
If the Alliance school finds merit in a complaint, or if the Chief of Schools finds merit in an appeal, Alliance shall provide a remedy to the affected pupil(s).
Alliance acknowledges and respects every individual’s rights to privacy. In investigating complaints, the confidentiality of the parties involved and the integrity of the process shall be protected. As appropriate, the Compliance Officer or his/her designee may keep the identity of a complainant confidential to the extent that the investigation of the complaint is not obstructed, or as otherwise permitted by law.
Alliance prohibits any form of retaliation against any complainant in the complaint process, including but not limited to a complainant’s filing of a complaint or the reporting of instances of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying. Such participation shall not in any way affect the status, grades or work assignments of the complainant.
The following compliance officer is designated to receive complaints:
Vice President of Operations
601 S. Figueroa Street, 4thFloor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
The Vice President of Operations or designee (collectively referred to herein as “Compliance Officer”) shall ensure that employees designated to investigate complaints are knowledgeable about the laws and programs for which they are responsible. Designated employees may have access to legal counsel as determined by the Vice President of Operations or designee.
The Vice President of Operations or designee shall annually provide written notification of Alliance’s Uniform Complaint Procedures to employees, students, parents/guardians and other interested parties.
The annual notice shall be in English. Pursuant to Section 48985 of the Education Code, if 15% or more of students enrolled in a particular Alliance school speak a single primary language other than English, the annual notice shall be provided in that language as well.
The Uniform Complaint Procedures shall be available in all Alliance schools’ main offices and Alliance’s Home Office. The Vice President of Operations shall make copies of the uniform complaint procedures available free of charge.
The notification shall:
- Identify the person(s), position(s), or unit(s) responsible for receiving complaints;
- Include information about complaints that may be related to pupil fees, pursuant to the requirements of Education Code section 49010 et seq.;
- Include information about complaints related to the Local Control and Accountability Plan, Annual Updates, or other Plan compliance requirements, pursuant to Education Code section 52075.
- Advise the complainant of any civil law remedies that may be available to him/her under state or federal discrimination laws, if applicable;
- Advise the complainant of the appeal process, including the complainant's right to take a complaint directly to the CDE or to pursue remedies before civil courts or other public agencies; and
- Include statements that:
- Alliance is primarily responsible to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing education programs;
- The complaint review shall be completed within 60 calendar days from the date of receipt of the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to an extension of the timeline;
- A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying must be filed not later than six months from the date it occurred or six months from the date the complainant first obtains knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying;
- The complainant has a right to appeal the decision to the CDE by filing a written appeal within 15 calendar days of receiving the decision;
- The appeal to the CDE must include a copy of the complaint filed with Alliance and a copy of the decision; and
- Copies of Alliance’s uniform complaint procedures are available free of charge.
The following procedures shall be used to address all complaints which allege that the Alliance has violated federal or state laws or regulations governing educational programs. All complaints shall be investigated and resolved within 60 calendar days of Alliance’s receipt of the complaint.
The Compliance Officer shall maintain a record of each complaint and subsequent related actions, in compliance with California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 4631 and 4633.
All parties involved in allegations shall be notified when a complaint is filed, when a complaint meeting or hearing is scheduled, and when a decision or ruling is made.
Step 1: Filing a Complaint
Any individual, public agency, or organization may file a written complaint of alleged noncompliance by Alliance.
A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be filed by a person who alleges that he or she personally suffered unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, or by a person who believes that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying. Such a complaint shall be initiated no later than six (6) months from the date when the alleged unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying occurred, or six (6) months from the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying. Upon written request by the complainant, the Compliance Officer may choose to extend the filing period for up to 90 calendar days.
Pupil fee complaints shall be filed no later than one (1) year from the date the alleged violation occurred.
The complaint shall be presented to the Compliance Officer who shall maintain a log of complaints received, providing each with a code number and date stamp.
Complaints related to pupil fees for participation in educational activities may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of noncompliance with the requirements of Education Code section 49010 et seq. (pupil fees). Complaints related to Local Control and Accountability Plan compliance may also be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of noncompliance with the requirements of Education Code section 52075.
If a complainant is unable to prepare a written complaint due to conditions such as disability or illiteracy, the complainant can receive assistance from Alliance staff.
Step 2: Mediation
Within ten (10) operating days of receiving the complaint, the Compliance Officer may informally discuss with the complainant the possibility of using mediation. If the complainant agrees to mediation, the Compliance Officer shall make arrangements for this process.
Before initiating the mediation of an unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaint, the Compliance Officer shall ensure that all parties agree to make the mediator a party to related confidential information.
If the mediation process does not resolve the problem within the parameters of law, the Compliance Officer shall proceed with his/her investigation of the complaint.
The use of mediation shall not extend the Alliance’s timelines for investigating and resolving the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to such an extension of time.
Step 3: Investigation of Complaint
The Compliance Officer is encouraged to hold an investigative meeting within fifteen (15) operating days of receiving the complaint or an unsuccessful attempt to mediate the complaint. This meeting shall provide the complainant with the opportunity to repeat the complaint orally.
The complainant and/or his or her representative shall have an opportunity to present the complaint and evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support the allegations in the complaint.
Refusal by the complainant to provide Alliance’s Compliance Officer with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, or otherwise fail or refuse to cooperate or obstruct the investigation may result in dismissal of complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegation.
Alliance’s refusal to provide the Compliance Officer with access to records and/or other information related to the allegation in the complaint, or its failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation or its engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation, may result in a finding, based on evidence collected, that a violation has occurred and may result in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant.
Step 4: Response
The Compliance Officer shall prepare and send to the complainant a written report of the investigation and decision, as described in Step #5 below, within sixty (60) days of Alliance’s receipt of the complaint, unless extended by written agreement with the complainant.
Alliance’s Board may consider the matter at its next regular Board meeting or at a special Board meeting convened in order to meet the 60 calendar day total time limit within which the complaint must be answered. The Board may also decide not to hear the complaint, in which case the Compliance Officer’s decision shall be final.
If the Board hears the complaint, the Compliance Officer shall send the Board’s decision to the complainant within 60 calendar days of receipt of the complaint or within the time period that has been specified in a written agreement with the complainant.
Step 5: Final Written Decision
Alliance’s decision shall be in writing and sent to the complainant. Alliance’s decision shall be written in English and, when required by law, in the complainant’s primary language.
The decision shall include:
- The finding(s) of fact based on the evidence gathered;
- The conclusion(s) of law;
- Disposition of the complaint;
- Rationale for such disposition;
- Corrective action, if any are warranted;
- For unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaints arising under state law, notice that the complainant must wait until sixty (60) days have elapsed from the filing of an appeal with the CDE before pursuing civil remedies.
- For unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaints arising under federal law such complaint may be made at any time to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
In addition, any decision on a complaint of discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying based on state law shall include a notice that the complainant must wait until 60 calendar days have elapsed from the filing of an appeal with the CDE before pursuing civil law remedies.
If a student or employee is disciplined as a result of the complaint, the decision shall simply state that effective action was taken and that the student or employee was informed of Alliance’s expectations. The report shall give no further information as to the nature of the disciplinary action.
If a complaint alleging noncompliance with the laws regarding Local Control and Accountability Plans or student fees, deposits and other charges is found to have merit, Alliance shall provide a remedy to all affected students and parents/guardians, which, where applicable, shall include reasonable efforts to ensure full reimbursement to them.
If dissatisfied with Alliance’s decision, the complainant may appeal to the CDE by filing a written appeal within 15 calendar days of receiving the Alliance’s final decision. The appeal shall specify the basis for the appeal and whether the findings of facts are incorrect and/or the law has been misapplied. The appeal shall be accompanied by a copy of the locally filed complaint and a copy of Alliance’s final decision.
Appeals of Alliance decisions regarding discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying allegations, as well as findings regarding provision of accommodations to lactating students should be sent to:
California Department of Education
Education Equity UCP Appeals Office
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Appeals of Alliance decisions regarding educational program complaints or pupil fees should be sent to:
California Department of Education
Categorical Programs Complaints Management Office
1430 N Street, Suite 6408
Sacramento, CA 95814
Appeals of Alliance decisions regarding LCAP should be sent to:
California Department of Education
Local Agency Systems Support Office
1430 N Street, Suite 6400
Sacramento, CA 95814
Appeals of Alliance decisions regarding special education compliance should be sent to:
California Department of Education
Procedural Safeguards Referral Service
1430 N Street, Suite 2401
Sacramento, CA 95814
Upon notification by the CDE that the complainant has appealed Alliance’s decision, the Vice President of Operations or designee shall forward the following documents to the CDE:
- A copy of the original complaint.
- A copy of the decision.
- A summary of the nature and extent of the investigation conducted by Alliance, if not covered by the decision.
- A copy of the investigation file, including but not limited to all notes, interviews, and documents submitted by all parties and gathered by the investigator.
- A report of any action taken to resolve the complaint.
- A copy of Alliance’s complaint procedures.
- Other relevant information requested by the CDE.
The CDE may directly intervene in the complaint without waiting for action by Alliance when one of the conditions listed in Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 4650 exists, including cases in which Alliance has not taken action within sixty (60) days of the date the complaint was filed with Alliance. A direct complaint to CDE must identify the basis for direct filing of the complaint, which must include clear and convincing evidence that supports such a basis.
Civil Law Remedies
A complainant may pursue available civil law remedies outside of Alliance’s complaint procedures. Complainants may seek assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys. Civil law remedies that may be imposed by a court include, but are not limited to, injunctions and restraining orders. For complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on state law, a complainant shall wait until sixty (60) calendar days have elapsed from the filing of an appeal with the CDE before pursuing civil law remedies. The moratorium does not apply to injunctive relief and is applicable only if Alliance has appropriately, and in a timely manner, apprised the complainant of his/her right to file a complaint in accordance with 5 CCR 4622.
Gertz-Ressler High School Grades 9-12 School-Specific Policies
The instructional day begins at 7:40 a.m. with the ringing of the warning bell. Students are expected to be in classes ready to engage in the instructional program by 7:45 a.m. Students are also expected to be in individual classes throughout the day on time. A student who does not meet this expectation is considered tardy.
Unexcused tardies in the morning and/or during the school day are cumulative and may result in the following disciplinary action:
- Given demerits for both late morning arrival and late arrivals during the school day
- Assigned detention
- Administrative Conference/possible Home Visit
School Notification of Student Absence
A ParentSquare phone call with a pre-recorded message will be made to the parents of absent students during the instructional day. Automated phone calls are sent at 10:30AM reporting morning attendance. At 6:30PM an automated phone call is generated reporting summary daily attendance for any absences and/or tardies.
o 9th Grade – Ash Gray
o 10th Grade – Carolina Blue
o 11th Grade – Turquoise
o 12th Grade – Black
Recently there has been an increased used of cell phone on campus. Phones are being used to text test information, and in the restrooms to call home, to call friends, and to make threats. Besides our concern for student safety, the reputation of academic excellence and integrity that we are building here at Alliance Gertz Ressler is being placed in jeopardy as well. We need to ensure that the assessments we give matter and that our students are showing true mastery of the materials they are learning.
As a response to this issue, we have implemented a cell phone policy here at Alliance Gertz Ressler. We know that for many parents a cell phone is a way to be in contact with your child. We have acknowledged that before and that fact has not changed. What has changed is the fact that if we see your child’s cell phone on device on campus, we will confiscate it. If your child needs to use the phone they are welcome to come to the office during nutrition or lunch and use the phone in the main office. The rule is as follows:
- Cell phones devices are to be off and stored in the student’s backpack, purse or any other book bag at all times while on campus (Monday through Saturday, including before and after school tutoring, after school clubs and on campus sports games).
- Students are to be responsible for their own possessions. The school takes no responsibility for cell phone or any other electronic devices brought to campus.
- If a cell phone is seen it will be confiscated. This includes seeing the shape of the phone device in a pocket. The cell phone should not be seen at all, for any reason on campus unless an adult is asking for it.
- All confiscated cell phones will be returned according to the following:
○ First time confiscation: the phone will be returned after one month (e.g. phone confiscated on February 18th, will be returned on March 18th.)
○ Second time confiscation: it will be returned at the end of the school year (last day of instruction).
○ There will be no exceptions to this policy.
Computing Devices Policy
Students will be assigned a Apple 32GB iPad or Lenovo 100E Chromebook to be used by the participant for instructionally-related duties while enrolled as an Alliance student. Equipment may not be used for purposes other than those executed in the performance of student duties as a project participant at the school and in compliance with Alliance policies regarding the loan and use of school equipment to students. The term of this loan expires when the assignee no longer attends the issuing Alliance school. The assignee agrees to return said equipment to the school’s administrator once his or her enrollment ends at Alliance or prior to extended school breaks such as Summer Break. The loss or damage of an iPad or Chromebook is to be immediately reported to the School’s Operations Manager. Student ID should be displayed as the computing devices screensaver and/or background photo.
Student Pledge for Computing Device Use
- I will use my iPad/chromebook in ways that are appropriate and meet Alliance Schools expectations and are educational.
- I will use appropriate language when using e-mails, journals, wikis, blogs, or any other forms of communication. I will not create, or encourage others to create, discourteous or abusive content. I will not use electronic communication to spread rumors, gossip, or engage in any activity that is harmful to other persons.
- I understand that my tablet/chromebook is subject to inspection at any time without notice and remains the property of the Alliance School.
- I will take good care of my iPad/chromebook.
- I will never leave the tablet/chromebook unattended and I will know where it is at all times.
- I will protect my iPad/chromebook by only carrying it while in the case provided.
- I will never loan out my iPad/chromebook or give my password to other individuals.
- I will not let anyone else use my iPad/chromebook.
- I will keep food and beverages away from my iPad/chromebook since they may cause damage to the device.
- Clean the screen with a soft, anti static cloth ONLY; no cleaner.
- I will not disassemble any part of my iPad/chromebook or attempt any repairs.
- I will not place decorations (such as stickers, markers, etc.) on the iPad/chromebook or iPad/chromebook cover or do anything to permanently alter the iPad/chromebook in anyway.
- I will not remove or deface the serial number or other identification on any iPad/chromebook
- I will inform my advisory teacher and school office if I experience theft, vandalism, and other.
- I will be responsible for all damage or loss caused by neglect or abuse.
- I agree to return the iPad/chromebook, case and power cords in good working condition.
- I will ensure that my iPad/chromebook is fully charged for the next school day.
Alliance Gertz-Ressler is an academic institution dedicated to growth through knowledge. The pursuit of knowledge is a pursuit of honest academic excellence; it must be a personal journey inspirited by sincere, committed effort and personal integrity. Academic excellence in education requires a partnership in learning with administrators, teachers, students, support staff, and parents committed to daily interactions in a climate of honesty, respect, responsibility and trust. Students are expected to strive to preserve this value even when his or her actions and decisions may be unpopular with his or her classmates. Cheating and other forms academic dishonesty, such as misrepresentation and plagiarism, will not be tolerated at Alliance Gertz-Ressler.
Student directly or indirectly involved (such as, but not limited to, knowing this is happening and keeping quiet)in any act of academic dishonesty may subject to the following consequence:
- First time:
- Demerits issued.
- Student will receive a failing grade on the assignment without the opportunity to make it up.
- Student will be removed from the class they cheated in for that class period.
- Student will have a parent conference with an administrator before being admitted back to class and will write a reflection on his/her actions.
- Student will be an active member of our Ethics Committee.
- Second time- Same as first plus:
- Student will attend detention and/or community service on Saturday.
- Student will receive a Failing grade on the following grade report. If the following grade report is the last report of the semester, the student will fail the class and will have to take the class again to earn the credits.
- Third time- Same as second plus:
- Student will be placed on academic contract for period of 1 month. The school will prepare a specific, written remediation agreement outlining future student conduct expectations, timelines, and consequences for failure to meet the expectations.
It is desirable that each student develops a sense of personal responsibility regarding compliance with school policies and regulations. Gertz Ressler High School employs a merit (positive behavior) and demerit (negative behavior) point system for the purposes of maintaining and tracking student behavior.
Administration reviews the records of all students during the school year. Students who accumulate a significant number of disciplinary demerits may be placed on a behavior contract or may be excluded from school activities.
- 10 Merits will allow a student to “purchase”:
o Snacks on Merit Store Day
- 20 Merits will allow a student to “purchase”:
o A Gertz Swag T- shirt (i.e. AP Testing, Think It Up,)
- 30 Merits will allow a student to “purchase”:
o A Gertz Swag Sweatshirt or Sweatpants (i.e. AP Testing, Think It Up,)
- 300 Merits (4 students each contributing 75 Merits): Lunch with an Administrator of the students’ choice. The Administrator must buy the group lunch!
Additionally, students with 50 or more merits will be entered into a raffle that will take place every 5 weeks. An administrator will select the names of 4students during the Whole School Meeting.
We encourage all of our students to attend school sponsored academic field trips. All students will be invited to attend regardless of grades. Demerits will not be taken into account as the purpose of these trips is for college-exposure and/or academic learning for a class.
Special Invite Trips: Non College/University Field Trip during school hours or tutoring.
- Grades:A student may not have an NP in any of the classes they will miss during the trip and they may not miss any mandatory tutoring, unless they receive permission via the Teacher Approval Form from the teacher for who they miss class and/or tutoring.
- Demerits:Will be taken into account as these events are considered special privileges. 20 demerits at the time of the field trip form distribution will disqualify a student from participation. It is the Teacher/Sponsor’s responsibility to check the most recent Merit report.
Overnight trips: Multiple day trips such as Outward Bound, Step Up, College Match, GearUp etc.
- Grades:Student may not have any NP grades, including in Advisory, by the cutoff date (date established by Administrators). Sponsoring group will provide the list of students accepted to attend the trips and confirms eligibility with the College Center.
- Demerits:Will be taken into account as these events are considered special privileges. 20 demerits at the time of the field trip form distribution will disqualify a student from participation.
The safety and security of staff and students at every Alliance school is of utmost importance. A critical part of creating a safe campus environment is for the administration, as well as those individuals or classrooms receiving visitors, to have advance knowledge of all visitors. School administration must know at all times who is on campus and reserves the right to refuse entry to any visitor. The following procedures for visiting an Alliance school will be strictly followed.
Due to our Alliance Visitor policy, we are not allowing outside vendors such as Uber Eats, Pizza deliveries, or other food providers to drop off food for students. If parents are unable to provide students with a meal, parents may request individuals from the student’s emergency list to drop off meals for their student. During nutrition, lunch and/or brunch time, students will be called into the front office to pick up meals that have been dropped off for them.
Gertz Ressler-Parent Communication
Staff members may call home on occasion to inform parents of school events or to discuss specific issues regarding individual students.
School bulletins, periodic calendars, flyers and other important correspondence items are sent home with students or mailed home on a regular basis. Please ask your child or check your mail for school correspondence in order to keep informed of what is happening at school. Report cards are mailed at every 5-week mark.
We are excited to let you know that this year we’ll be using ParentSquare to communicate with you at the school, and in your classrooms and groups. ParentSquare provides a simple and safe way for everyone at school to connect. With ParentSquare you’ll be able to: receive all school and classroom communication via email, text or app. If you are not currently enrolled you will receive an invitation email or text to join ParentSquare. Please click the link to activate your account. It takes less than a minute. You can use ParentSquare on any device. You can download the free mobile app for Android or iOS and you can also use it from a computer at: www.parentsquare.com. Our goal is for every family to join ParentSquare.
Calendar of Events
Please note dates and times of school events are subject to change. To ensure you have the most up to date information please check the following Gertz Helpful Links and Social Media:
ALLIANCE COLLEGE-READY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
COMPACT FOR PARENTS, STUDENTS AND STAFF
RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR COMMITMENT TO COLLEGE READINESS
All students have a right to and deserve a rigorous quality educational experience that enables them to meet graduation requirements and be ready for successful college entrance. The Alliance school community firmly believes that all students can and will achieve when there is a collaborative effort between staff, administrators, parents and students whereby each group clearly understands expectations and accepts responsibility for the successful education and college preparation of each individual student. Therefore, the Alliance school community agrees to provide and maintain a learning environment in which:
Alliance School Staff will:
- Understand and teach grade level/course curriculum based on the California and Common Core State Standards and A-G college preparation courses.
- Assign relevant individual and team student projects and communicate with parents regarding student academic and social progress.
- Be in regular attendance and encourage students to achieve a 97% attendance rate.
- Communicate school policies to students and parents regarding discipline, homework, attendance, grade level/subject area expectations, A-G course and college entrance requirements.
- Work to meet the individual needs of students in ongoing advisory counseling, coursework and college entrance preparation, assist in development and semester review of student’s Learning Plan.
- Maintain accurate records of student academic performance and behavior.
- Provide a safe, clean, positive, and peaceful school environment that supports student learning and personalized teaching.
Alliance Student(s) will:
- Arrive on time to class each day, in uniform, and prepared to learn.
- Be an active, cooperative learner and seek assistance from instructors when needed.
- Complete and submit all class assignments, projects, and homework in a timely manner and to the quality standards expected of a scholar.
- Follow the school’s code of conduct for personal behavior and accept consequences for actions.
- Be respectful of self and all others in achieving the goals of graduation and college-entrance.
- Adhere to all school policies as outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook.
Alliance Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will:
- Encourage students to be active and responsible learners who complete project assignments and homework, and seek assistance when needed.
- Work to ensure that students are in regular, punctual attendance each day.
- Support school policies regarding discipline, safety, proper school attire, project assignments and homework, attendance, textbook care, etc.
- Participate in advisory team support of their child and ongoing analysis of student work.
- Try to complete 40 hours of parent volunteer service at school each year when possible.
- Try to attend Parental Learning Support workshops when possible.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that affords parents the right to have access to their children’s education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. When a student turns 18 years old, or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA.
Notification of Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day Alliance College-Ready Public Schools (“Alliance”) or the Charter School receives a request for access. Please note that the California Education Code permits access within 5 days of the request.
Parents or eligible students who wish to inspect their child’s or their education records should submit to the school principal or administrative designee a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The school principal or administrative designee will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
Parents or eligible students who wish to ask Alliance or the Charter School to amend their child’s or their education record should write the school principal or administrative designee, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board. A school official also may include a volunteer, contractor, or consultant who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.