Bright Star Schools
PARENT HANDBOOK 2008-2009
Board Calendar, Procedure, Names
How to Help Your Child Climb the Mountain to College
ADMISSION AND ATTENDANCE
Attendance Policies and Procedures
Field Experience Attendance
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Drop Off and Sign Out Procedures
From the Health Office
Child Abuse Reporting
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
Notice of Changes
Emergencies and Telephones/Cell Phone Policies
Disclosure to School Officials
PARENT SUPPORT OF THE SCHOOL
Parent Support Matrix and documents – explanation of tracking system.
Student Connections Policy
Requested Contributions to School
Monthly Traffic and Lunch Duties
Code of Conduct covering Parents
IWOC for parents
Time, Treasure, and Talent
Parent Advisory Council
Order of the Day (Parents’ version)
Late Start Days due to Faculty Meetings
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 1- -
Visitors to Campuses
School Office Hours
PROMOTION AND RETENTION
Passing/Privilege Requirements - PR Chart overview
PE and Fitness Goals
Independent Study Policy
Graduation/Culmination/Promotion Protocols and Procedures
EMBRACING THE SCHOOL CULTURE FROM HOME
Parental Supervision of Technology
Parental Supervision of Students in general
Student Social Life
LEGAL NOTICES AND RELATED INFORMATION
COPIES OF FORMS THAT MUST BE SUBMITTED
Parent’s Permission for the Publication of Student Work/Pictures
Sample Absentee Form
Forms for Room Parents – templates for traffic and lunch months
Parent Commitment Forms
HANDBOOK COMPREHENSION ACKNOWLDEDGEMENT FORM
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 2- -
Bright Star Schools (BSS) endeavors to create an environment where each child will grow and learn. In addition
to academic achievement, students will learn to work together with mutual respect and will develop an interest
in the common good. To achieve this, the entire community - faculty, parents/guardians, and students – is
expected to assume responsibility for enforcing the rules of conduct contained within this handbook.
References to parent(s) include guardian(s) for the purposes of this handbook.
The registration of a student at Bright Star Schools is an express agreement on the part of the students and
their parents or guardians to observe the school policies and procedures as set forth in this handbook and any
that may be deemed necessary by the administration for the education of the whole child.
Bright Star Schools reserves the right to review the conduct and actions of Bright Star students regardless of
when or where such actions take place if they are of a nature to bring discredit to the school or if they conflict
with the Wooden and Glasser values for which Bright Star stands. Serious conflicts as defined in the Student
Handbook Connections section may result in dismissal.
Bright Star faculty and staff promote the value of respect for self and others. We have written this handbook
with that value in mind. Students and parents who are unwilling to pursue and respect the educational goals
prescribed in the philosophy of Bright Star Schools jeopardize their position in the school. Parental cooperation
is essential for the welfare of the students. If, in the opinion of the administration, a parent’s behavior
seriously interferes with the teaching/learning process, the school will require parents to meet with the
School Administration to discuss possible solutions to the problem(s), up to and including voluntary
withdrawal of the student from the school.
PLEASE NOTE: Any issue or policy not specifically addressed in this handbook or independently addressed by
the Principal may be addressed in the Bright Star Schools charter petitions, which are available for review upon
request in the Bright Star School Administrative Office. Addendums to the Handbook may be published
throughout the year in the BSS Schools Newsletter.
Both parents and students must sign the attached handbook acknowledgment card (found at the end of this
Handbook.) This is part of the complete registration information required by Bright Star Schools. It must be
returned to the school within 6 days following date of delivery. The student is not fully enrolled if the
Acknowledgement Card is not returned to the school by the due date.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 3- -
At Bright Star Schools, we open minds and doors. Our schools provide a rigorous college-preparatory education,
offer individual attention, and teach skills necessary to make informed life choices. Through Bright Star’s culture
of personal responsibility, respect, and accountability, students learn to be conscientious, compassionate, and
creative members of our diverse communities.
Essential Elements of the Bright Star Program
Wooden Pyramid and Glasser Connecting Habits
Bright Star Core Knowledge (maps, classical themes, songfest,)
Music literacy and ability to play an instrument
Spanish-English bi-literacy (written and spoken)
Travel outside of Los Angeles (especially colleges and National Parks)
Sports Involvement and/or Physical Challenge yearly
Self-awareness of Beliefs/Faith - ―Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.‖ Peter
Marshall, United States Senate chaplain, 1947.
―Connecting‖ instead of ―discipline‖ or ―punishment‖
Independently read at least 15 books each year.
Through Independent Work Outside of Class (―IWOC‖ – known at other schools as ―homework,‖) develop
ability to work independently at home for 2 – 3 hours daily.
Promotion policy based on combination of grade level standards mastery and hard work
Created culture of professionalism/personal responsibility/appearance (i.e., uniforms)
Wholesome personal relationships between students
Students develop habits of thrift
Students develop habits of time management
Bright Star Schools (―BSS‖) was established with Stella Middle Charter Academy in 2003 by Jeff Hilger and
Christina Vogel. The School originated with four classrooms and 120 students. Over the following years, BSS
has expanded and developed its resources to accommodate increased enrollment and operations. As of April
2008, Bright Star Schools serves 430 students in two different schools: Stella Middle Charter Academy
(―SMCA‖) and Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy (―BSSCA,‖:) on three different sites: St. Agatha’s, Cienega
Elementary School, and Orville Wright Middle School.
Bright Star Schools Management
Board Meetings are held six times per year and are open to the public. See the annual calendar for dates, times
and locations of these meetings. Some time is available at each meeting for public comment The following
Public Notice appears on all of our posted Board Meeting agendas: ―PUBLIC NOTICE - Meetings of the Board of
Directors of Bright Star Schools are open to the public. Members of the public have the opportunity to address
the Board at each meeting. Members of the public who wish to attend are encouraged to contact the Board
Secretary, Michael Kaplan, at 310-277-1010, though notification of your intention to attend is not required.
Parking is provided by the Board and can be arranged through the Board Secretary or is available at public lots or
on the street adjacent to the meeting location. Please contact the Board Secretary if disability-related
accommodations or modifications are required.”
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 4- -
Board of Directors Composition
The Bright Star Board of Directors is comprised of eleven members who represent a wide range of
skills, experiences, and backgrounds. The Board includes experts on law, construction, education,
finance, communications, and technology.
Board of Directors (as of April 2008)
Seth Oster, Chairman of the Board, Executive Vice-President, Motion Picture Association of America
Michael W. Kaplan, Vice-Chairman of the Board and Corporate Secretary, Attorney, Irell & Manella
Ari Engelberg, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bright Star Schools
Jeff Hilger, Founder, Superintendent & Chief Academic Officer (CAO), Bright Star Schools
Kim Stillwell, Finance Committee Chair, CPA, Taylor & Lieberman
Michael D. Kaplan Treasurer, Vice President, Finance, Vivendi Universal Games
Marjan Keypour-Greenblatt, Education Consultant
Jose Sierra, President, CM Joseph Company
Larry Klein, Teacher, Harvard-Westlake School
Gregory Klein, alternate in case of absence of Michael W. Kaplan, Partner, Irell & Manella
Sr. Ramona Bascom, Founding Principal, BSSCA
Each Bright Star School will maintain a site council comprised of school administrators, parents, students,
and community members. The site councils will range in size from 5-11 members, depending on the size of
the school. The site councils will assist school administrators to implement Bright Star policies concerning
discipline, parent involvement, school culture, experiential learning, and community building. Site councils
will also be responsible for managing school-based events such as fundraisers, school fairs, productions,
assemblies, etc. Finally, the site councils will advise Bright Star’s leadership team and Board of Directors
(through the Chief Academic Officer) about any suggested changes to the program and will provide general
feedback to the Bright Star Home Office about student and parent life at each Bright Star School. When
significant changes to the Program are contemplated, the Chief Academic Officer will share the proposed
changes with the site councils in order to gather community input before the changes are made (whenever
practicable). However, the site councils will have no binding authority. It is anticipated that site councils will
meet monthly during the school year.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 -5-
How to Help Your Along the Road to College
10 Easy Steps Along the Road
1) Emphasize that education is the key to a successful future: Talk about your dream for your child to attend college. Make sure that
your child knows that you think school is one of the most important things in his/her life.
2) Read. Read. Read: Make sure that your child reads at least 30 minutes a night absolutely every night. Don’t just encourage
reading; insist on it. Make it your child’s #1 habit. Listen to your child read aloud. Check to make sure that your child understands
what he/she is reading by asking basic questions. Who are the main characters? Tell me about them? Summarize the chapter. What
do you think will happen next? Get your child a library card, go to the library, join a summer reading program. Think and talk books,
books, books. This will help your child become an all-star reader. Consider reading with your child – a book, a magazine, the
newspaper, as long as everyone is reading. Aim to make daily reading a whole-family experience, rather than another task and
obligation the child must fulfill.
3) Make sure that your child comes to school EVERY DAY on-time and prepared to learn: Your child can’t learn if he/she is not in
school! The number one reason why people are fired from their jobs is because they are late or absent too often. We want our
students to develop habits of good attendance that will serve them in college and the workplace. Don’t schedule family vacations or
appointments during school time. This sends a powerful negative message about priorities. If such appointments cannot be
scheduled any other time, make sure your child is in school for all of the hours on that day not taken up by the appointment.
4) Supervise IWOC: While your child is still learning to manage the work, make sure you check your child’s AGENDA to see that their
IWOC is getting done and look at it closely to make sure that it is TOP-QUALITY. Create a quiet well-lit space in your home where your
child can do his/her IWOC. Set a specific routine for doing it (for example, as soon as they come home, right after dinner, etc) Here’s a
great way to remember what needs to be done daily by you, the parents, regarding your chid’s work.
C-H-E-C-K = Complete assignment, Handwriting, Evaluate for quality/excellence), Compare to agenda, Know how they are doing).
5) Support your child and celebrate small victories: Your child is hard-working, smart, and destined for greatness. Make a big
deal out of even little accomplishments. Praise your child for earning As and Bs, Starbucks, and lots of other accomplishments. Your
smile and a simple ―I’m proud of you‖ can be worth more than any material gift. Don’t forget to show that your proud about significant
improvement. School can be difficult and it will take some students longer to achieve A’s and B’s, still it is important for them to know
you are proud of them for moving in the right direction.
6) Support the teachers: Bright Star Schools teachers are the best. They are hand-picked from hundreds of applicants because they
love kids and have tremendous teaching skills. Let the teachers teach. If a teacher or administrator calls you to express a concern,
call her/him back within 24 hours and offer 100% of your support. If you follow-through with support at home, the problem can be
quickly and effectively addressed. If you don’t support the teachers, any problems—for the teacher and your child—will go on all year.
7) Express your questions or concerns adult-to-adult: You may have questions about something we are doing or why we are doing it.
Please call us to schedule an appointment to discuss this at our schools. Do NOT tell your child about your concerns. This could create
a damaging split in the partnership between the home and the school. We are happy to talk with you—adult to adult—behind a closed
door. Together we can present a unified front to your child.
8) Limit the amount of time your child spends watching TV or playing video games (set a timer to remind them when to stop). These
activities turn their brains to mush. Instead they should be READING or even playing (physical exercise is good for the brain and the
body!). For example, you could create a ―house rule‖ that all ―electronic time‖ (including TV, video games, and time spent on a
computer other than doing IWOC) must be earned by time spent reading. For example, a child must read 30 minutes to spend 30
minutes watching TV. If this rule can be consistently enforced, you will be meeting the reading goal and the limited TV goal at the same
9) Show your support for the school: Come to Quarterly Meetings, Family Dinners, Parent Teacher Conferences, and other events at
the school. We would love to see you there, and your child will see your interest and commitment.
10) .Help your child make well-informed, college-focused decisions. Three of the biggest reasons why students do not complete high
school and go on to college are (1) lack of high academic demands and expectations (2) having a job and focusing on making money
instead of finishing school, (3) having a boyfriend or girlfriend and focusing on them instead of on school. School should be their #1
job and school-related co-curricular activities should be their #1 pastime or hobby. This will be a recipe for their success.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 - - 6
ADMISSION AND ATTENDANCE
The optimal grade of entry to our schools is 5th grade. There are three major reasons for this grade of entry:
(1) Our school serves students who are interested in ―the road less traveled‖ and in doing something
significantly different and better with their secondary school years than most of their peers will do. We want
students and parents who do not just want a ―smaller and safer‖ school (so as to avoid the local middle
schools) but who want to put themselves on a path that will guarantee admission to a four-year
college/university and the skills and tools needed for life.
(2) The 5th grade skills are absolutely essential to success in the rest of middle school and high school. We
have found that more than 75% of students coming from local 5 th grade classes who apply to us for 6th grade
must start our program by repeating 5th grade. We much prefer to have them come directly in 5th grade.
(3) Our program will likely be very different from anything you or your child has experienced before. We have
found, in general, that 5th graders are more open and willing to ―buy in‖ to the program than 6th graders usually
are. It is the right year to start.
Admission to Bright Star Schools is based on a random, public lottery system. Parents and students must (1)
sign up on our interest list, (2) attend an information session, and (3) complete an application packet. After
doing all three of those things, they will be placed into our lottery pool. Our fifth grade lottery will be held on the
first Tuesday in February of each year. After the lottery, any and all students not selected will go onto a waiting
list and will be admitted in order of the list as spaces become available. Students who decide to join the
interest list after the date of the lottery will be added to the waiting list on a first-come, first-listed basis.
Admission to all grade levels other than fifth is also done by public random lottery but those lotteries are not
held until the end of the year (generally the second-to-last week in June.) Each year, there may or may not be a
limited number of spaces at each grade level other than fifth. After a student has been accepted into the
school through the lottery, he or she will need to take a grade level placement test. We have a ―no social
promotion‖ policy which ensures that all returning and new students are placed into the appropriate grade
level. Upon admission, a new student will be given a test on the most basic skills from their previous grade
level. If the student is not at least 70% proficient in those basic skills from the prior grade level, they will be
given a test from the grade level prior to that one. If they show minimal proficiency (70%) in that grade level,
they will be offered a space in that class. If not, they will continue to test until the correct grade level
placement can be made. Even if they are not proficient in their fifth grade skills, they will still be offered a
space in our fifth grade, entry level, class.
Sometimes students will leave our schools but then apply to return. We generally welcome such returns as we
consider all of our students (past and present) to be members of our family. Students may apply for re-
admission whether they left on good terms (voluntarily) or on bad terms (through an expulsion order.) The
same standards apply to both groups of students. If a student has left and wants to return, he/she will be
given priority status in our public lottery for spaces at each grade level if and only if the following conditions are
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 7- -
1) Student maintains contact with the school (through the connector, principal, or a teacher) at least 4
times yearly during the period while they are not enrolled. Contact can be done in-person, by phone, or
in writing (e.g. through email.)
2) Students must complete at least one full semester (the most recent semester prior to applying for re-
enrollment) at their other school showing they have made good behavioral (no suspensions or
expulsions) and academic (no grades below C+) choices while they have been away from Bright Star.
3) The student and the parents each submit a letter to the principal explaining why the student left and
why the student wants to return.
If these three conditions are satisfied (generally by at least one week prior to our annual lottery,) the student
will be given priority status in the lottery. If the conditions are not satisfied, students can still re-apply and
participate in the general lottery pool, but will not be given any special priority. Students under expulsion
orders from BSS who do not meet the conditions cannot re-apply until the end of their expulsion order.
On-time Attendance Expectations, Policies and Procedures
All attendance issues (absences, tardies, etc.) are recorded and investigated by the Connector, who is also the
main point of contact for all non-academic student-related issues at the school.
Being On Time
To develop the value of punctuality in our students, Bright Star Schools has adopted a strict policy for tardiness
and absences. Three tardies are considered one unexcused absence. All arrivals after 8 a.m. are considered
partial absences. (discussed below.) Tardy arrivals will never be ―excused.‖ Because of this strict policy, each
student is allowed two tardies per year that will not have consequences. This allows for emergencies or other
uncontrollable situations. Please learn the traffic patterns necessary for on-time arrival each day.
1. Any student who arrives too late to be seated in their room by 7:25 a.m. must go to the Connecting Place,
be recorded as tardy, receive a tardy slip, and go directly to class. Students will lose one SCAG point on the
third tardy and every tardy thereafter.
2. Rainy days are an exception to the above rule. We will allow for up to five minutes of additional time to
arrive on rainy days (i.e. 7:30am). On rainy days, tardy notices will begin being issued at 7:30 a.m.
Daily Attendance - Communications regarding Absences
If your child will be absent (for the whole day or any part of the day), you must both (1) phone the school on
each day of absence and (2) send a note on the day of the child’s return to school. Please call the Connector
for Stella at (323) 954-9957 or for BSSCA at (310) 721-1297, by 7:20 a.m. Please leave a message on the
voice mail if s/he is unable to speak to you when you call.
Please write and send a note with your child on the day he/she returns to school after each absence stating
the reason for the absence and attaching any doctor’s notes. Students will not be readmitted to class until we
receive these notes. We will contact parents who do not send the notes and ask them to bring them to school
before admitting students to class.
Excessive absences may prevent a student from being promoted to the next grade level, or from graduating.
Because of this, we make every effort to support parents having their children in school each day. This starts
with our stringent policy on excused and unexcused absences.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 8- -
Consequences for Any Missed Time from Class
The basic, logical consequence for all absences, whether excused or unexcused, is that students need to make
up everything they missed. This will include (1) submissions of prior IWOC, (2) all missed class work, (3) any
missed school wide happenings that can be made up, and (4) gathering instructions for any future IWOC.
While no consequences beyond making up the missing work ensue for excused absences, there are additional
negative consequences for unexcused absences, starting with loss of SCAG points and ending with expulsions
for failure to attend school.
Partial Absences (for appointments, any time your child may arrive after 8 a.m. or leave before 4:45 p.m.)
Please schedule appointments and family vacations during out-of-school hours. When this is not possible and
a student will need to leave class for an appointment, parents must, AT LEAST TWO DAYS BEFORE THE
APPOINTMENT, send a written note with their child who will bring it to the Connecting Place either before
school, during a break, or after school. On the day following the receipt of the note, the Connector will prepare
an APPOINTMENT RELEASE form and send it home with the child. On the day of the appointment, the parent
must bring the signed APPOINTMENT RELEASE form to the CP room at the designated time. The student will be
found, signed out and released from the CP room upon following these procedures. All students are expected
to return to school/activities within a reasonable time after the appointment ends and they must sign back in
at the CP room upon returning to campus. When this procedure is followed, the appointment will be
considered an ―excused partial absence‖ and no consequences (other than making up the missed work from
class) will ensue. When the procedure is not followed, and parents still take students out of school for
appointments or other reasons, an ―unexcused partial absence‖ will be recorded, SCAG points will be lost, and
other negative consequences may ensue per the Connections policy.
Appointments with less than two days notice for visiting doctors (when students, for example, wake up and feel
sick on that day) will be excused if and only if (1) a doctor’s note is presented after the appointment and (2) the
student is present at school for the hours after the appointment (unless the doctor indicates that the child
should not return to school until a future date.)
Students who have Unexcused Partial Absences toward the end of the day will also be marked Unexcused
Absent from our after-school program. Two unexcused partial absences are considered one unexcused
absence per the unexcused absence policy (discussed below.) Such absences will mean that a student will not
earn credit for extra-curricular participation and effort, which is one of the annual goals. The primary obligation
for student attendance rests with the parents. Any violations of our safety, attendance, and accountability
rules as defined above will lead to negative consequences for both the students (loss of SCAG points) as well
as the parents (parent/principal conferences focused on lack of parent support.)
Excused Full-day Absences
All absences are considered unexcused except for:
(1) when a medical note from a physician, dentist or other doctor of medicine indicates that the child must stay
home from school (doctor’s orders)
(2) when the child has an infection as indicated by a fever of greater than 99.5° F,
(3) when an immediate family member (mother, father, sister, brother, parent, child) of the child has died (one
day if within California and three days if not within California.) Please note that we cannot excuse absences
relating to deaths of other family members (aunts, uncles, cousins) or for more than three days regardless of
the location of the memorial for the deceased.
No other reasons (stomach aches, headaches, asthma, personal reasons, court, not feeling well, lack of
transportation, appointments, etc.) will excuse full day absences, although they may excuse partial absences,
as discussed above.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 9- -
Consequences for Repeated Failure to comply with Bright Star Schools’ Attendance Policies
Consequences for Multiple Tardies
1. All unexcused absences (3rd and future tardy arrivals, unexcused partial absences, and unexcused
absences) will need to ―make up class work‖ during our Saturday Catch Up hours. Continued
tardiness may result in the student and parent being required to come to these sessions.
2. Absences from our After School programs, early catch up sessions, Partnerships, Silent Study Hall,
Lunch Reading sessions, Saturday Catch Up hours, or any other required activities will be treated in
the same way as any other unexcused absences
Upon your child’s fourth tardy arrival, you will be called in for a discussion with the Connector about how to get
your child(ren) to school on-time daily. Generally, an earlier start time (7:05 or 7:10 a.m.) will be required to
track attendance and ensure that your child makes it to school on time. When an earlier start time is required,
your child will need to ―check in‖ daily in the Connecting Place prior to going to class. You may also be required
to check in with him or her at those times.
Consequences for Multiple Unexcused Absences
We allow five unexcused absences each year before negative consequences for attendance ensue (other than
the loss of one SCAG point per unexcused absence.)
Upon the 4th unexcused absence, the school will take preventative action and contact the family by telephone
to set up a meeting to determine the reasons and causes for the four unexcused absences and related
attendance problems. The school will try to help the family resolve the problems. At this time a Notice of
Potential Future Expulsion must be signed by the parents if the child is to remain in the school. Upon the 6 th
unexcused absence, a second parent conference will be set up and options will be discussed. If the parent
would like the child to remain in the school, a Stipulated Expulsion Order with a Suspended Order Pending
Probation (See section below in Legal Notices which fully explains and defines SEOSOPP) must be signed
indicating that any future unexcused absences will lead to enforcement of the order. If the parent agrees to
sign this stipulated Expulsion Order, one last chance will be given and the child will be permitted to remain in
the school until the next unexcused absence. If the parent does not agree to the SEOSOPP, a full Expulsion
procedure (defined in the Legal Notices section below) will be instituted.
If (1) the parent does not come to that conference, (2) the parent does not choose to sign the stipulated
expulsion order, or (3) upon the student’s 7th unexcused absence, a letter will be mailed home to the family
informing them of a pending expulsion for excessive unexcused absences and letting them know that that their
child’s space at the school will be released/given to a student from our wait list. It will be accompanied by a
letter stating what items the child must return to the school. Upon returning any items owed to the school, the
family may come to the school to obtain a formal check out and transfer form.
If the parent and child show up at the school prior to the school’s enrollment of a new student in that spot, the
parent may request a meeting with the Principal and request to re-enroll the child in the school. If the parents
and Principal agree on solutions to fix the attendance patterns, the parent may re-enroll the child in the school,
submitting a new enrollment packet with all of the necessary paperwork completed.
Ditching vs. Unexcused Absences
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 10- -
Ditching: when a parent thinks that their child is in school but they are not. This is an ―orange violation‖ as
described in the SHB.
Unexcused absence: when a parent knows that the child is not at school but the reasons are not those
excused by the school. These are not disciplinary violations by the student, although they do lose one SCAG
point for each one. Instead, these are addressed through the policy described above which results in
parent/principal meetings and eventual expulsions.
Life Experience Lessons Attendance
Life Experience Lessons (LELs) are organized by the school for the educational and cultural development of the
students. All parents must complete a universal Field Trip Permission Form upon enrollment. This form
authorizes and covers all trips until the time of the student’s graduation from high school. Trips are a mandatory
part of our educational program and all students must participate on all school-wide and earned trips. If you are
concerned about our trips, we invite you to join us whenever possible (including our Beginning of the Year trips) to
observe what we do and why we do it. We cannot pay for parent participation on these trips unless you apply and
are selected and trained to be a volunteer for the trip. If our series of mandatory educational life experience trips
are not of interest to you or desired by you for your child’s education, we encourage you to reconsider enrolling
your child in our schools. Once enrolled, each student will be expected to participate and consequences based on
our unexcused absence policy can lead to students being expelled for failure to attend. In addition, participation
in our LELs is a requisite part of each student’s co-curricular Annual Goal. Failure to attend LELs will lead to a loss
of that Annual Goal.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 11- -
Health & Safety
Drop Off and Pick Up/Sign Out Procedures
Parents should drop off students daily between 7 and 7:20 a.m. We do not provide yard supervision prior to 7
a.m. Students must be in their seats by 7:25 a.m. and it will take students a few minutes to walk to their
rooms, so dropping them off after 7:20 a.m. will put them at risk of being tardy. If they take the bus to BSSCA,
they should be at the bus waiting area at either 6:10 a.m. or 6:40 a.m. daily, according to the bus list which
they are currently assigned.
Each day during drop off time, six parent volunteers should be stationed at the following locations:
2) Where cars turn right after entering the yard and make rows
3) On the school building side of the traffic rows.
4) On the hall side of the traffic rows.
5) Where cars turn right to exit the yard, forming a single row
6) At the exit driveway, watching the sidewalk between the driveways
Each parent will likely work in each of these traffic positions at some point during your time with us, so parents
should be familiar with all of the roles.
Drop Off Guidelines
1) Parents driving on the street adjacent to the school or on the yard, are prohibited from using cell phones.
2) A speed limit of 5 mph must be adhered to at all times while in the school zone (street adjacent or on yard.)
3) Drivers must follow the instructions of the traffic volunteers.
4) Driver must lower the music in the cars so they may hear instructions from parent volunteers
Drivers who use phones or do not follow the instructions listed above will be prohibited from entering our yard
with their cars. They will need to park outside of the campus and walk onto the campus to sign out students.
Picking up/Signing Out
First and foremost, every single day, no matter what time of day, a parent, guardian, or other authorized adult
MUST SIGN the child OUT from school. Authorized adults (21 years or older) must be listed in three different
places: (1) the student’s emergency card, (2) the student’s ASES (After School Enrichment and Safety
program) enrollment form, and (3) the acknowledgment forms for familiarity and agreement with the Student
and this Parent Handbook. Name, relationship to child, phone numbers, and addresses are required for all
adults listed on these forms. The parent or guardian signature is required on the same page authorizing the
adults for pick up. Any adult who is picking up a child must carry photo identification with them and it may be
requested at any time. Oral requests to add a person to a pick-up authorization will not be permitted. All
requests must be in writing. In an emergency pick-up situation, pick-up name requests must be received by fax
at 323-954-6415 containing the parent’s signature or an email at email@example.com or
No students are permitted to walk home alone from Bright Star Schools. If a student leaves without being
properly signed out, it will treated as a case of ditching per the Connections policy. Once students in our high
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 12- -
school programs have obtained a valid California Drivers’ License (not a permit but an actual license,) then
they will be allowed to sign themselves out each day and either walk or drive themselves home.
Once students have been signed out from school, they cannot be anywhere on campus unsupervised. If
students are remaining on campus with their parents, then they must be physically adjacent to their parents at
all times. Students may not sit in vehicles on our campus without their parents. If parents have business to
attend to on campus, we suggest that parents leave their children in our after-school programs until such time
as they are ready to leave campus.
Bus riders: All students on the bus lists are expected to ride the bus to which they are assigned. ―Bus
switching‖ is a violation of the rules and will be treated by the Connections Policy as either not following
directions or ditching, depending on the circumstances.. Parents are asked to wait with their students until the
bus arrives. Use of cell phones or any other electronic equipment is strictly prohibited on our buses. Violation
of these rules will lead to confiscation of the equipment and as well as any other logical consequences. Also,
boys and girls must sit in separate sections (front and back) of the bus as defined by the adult(s) in charge.
Disrespect to the adult(s) in charge of the bus or repeated similar violations will lead to bus suspension and
potential expulsion. Refunds WILL NOT be made for bus suspensions or expulsions.
Students whose parents choose to drive them to or pick them up from school must comply with the appropriate
pick up and drop off times. Parents who are consistently (more than three times) late to drop off or pick up will
be required to have their students ride the bus and pay the costs associated therewith. Occasional requests to
drop off or pick up students who normally ride the bus will be handled in the same way as appointments. A
note must be submitted to the school three days ahead of the planned drop off or pick up.
FROM THE HEALTH OFFICE
If your child is ill or absent, you must phone or email the Health Office (located in the Connecting Place) each
day by 7:20 a.m., indicating the reason for your child’s absence. DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL’S MAIN OFFICE.
Upon your child’s return to school, you must write a note to the CP director to readmit him/her. A short
explanation is sufficient. CP phone numbers are for Stella (323) 954-9957 and for BSSCA (310) 721-1297.
You can also email at email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Any medication that needs to be dispensed to a child during school hours is done through the Health Office. A
child MAY NOT have any medication in their lunch bag, backpack, etc. Prescription medication should be in
the original container. Also a copy of the doctor’s prescription and a note from you giving permission and
directions for its administration to the child during school hours should be sent to the Connecting Place.
If your child has sustained an injury that requires casting, splinting, crutches, etc., please remember to bring in
a note from his/her doctor regarding his/her activity level or restrictions if any.
No over the counter medication of any kind will be given without a Parent’s written permission. The Appendix
contains the form you should use for any medications to be taken at school. Any medicines prescribed by a
psychologist (e.g. Ritalin, Concerta, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.) should be accompanied by at least three medical
opinions. We encourage these opinions to reduce the use of these drugs within our student population.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 13- -
The School cannot assume liability for injuries sustained on the school premises. To avoid accidents, the following
are forbidden at all times:
1. Playing and/or running in unsupervised areas or on or around staircases.
2. Riding bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, any shoes with wheels (such as ―heelys‖), or any wheeled
3. Playing with any non school-sanctioned object.
4. No animals are allowed on any school property at any time except for handicap assistance dogs, or
those requested by teachers for a specific class.
5. Any other behavior which is likely to cause injuries.
Whenever an accident occurs on campus, our staff and faculty are trained to administer basic first aid. We also fill
out an injury report. At the time of injury, our policy is to ask your child if they would like us to call you. If they
decline, we will send you an injury report at the end of the day so that you will be aware of what happened. If they
would like to call you, we will initiate the call, explain the injury, and then put your child on the line to talk to you.
We ask that you comfort them by phone but refrain from coming to the school (unless asked to by school
personnel) until the end of the school day so that your child can return to class and miss as little instruction as
DURING NON-SCHOOL HOURS
In case of a local, regional or national emergency occurring during non-school hours, BSS schools will follow Los
Angeles Unified School policy with regard to opening and closing after the emergency, unless you are otherwise
notified. This information will be available on the local radio and TV stations.
DURING SCHOOL HOURS
In case of an earthquake or other disaster during school hours, including emergencies where lockdown of the
school site is required, we are well prepared. The faculty has had in-service training and has reviewed
procedures which address, very clearly, activities and guidance for children during emergency time. Each
teacher has a copy of the procedures for various types of emergencies in their classrooms. A copy is included in
our Employee Handbook and is available for review in the school office. We have evacuation procedures,
extensive first-aid materials, radios, flashlights, batteries, blankets, food, water, sanitation kits, etc., all
prepared and stored in our earthquake container outside the buildings. All of our buildings have passed
earthquake inspection, our, crisis preparedness procedures are reviewed annually and copies are posted in
OUR INSTRUCTIONS TO PARENTS ARE:
Should a disaster strike, DO NOT TELEPHONE THE SCHOOL. This ties up the telephones and prevents the
school from dialing or receiving important calls related to emergency information and response teams. Listen
to your radio or TV for the latest developments. When it is safe to come for your children, arrive without panic.
Children stay calm when adults show no panic. When you arrive at school you will be directed to the
appropriate pick-up area. Car by car, we will dismiss the students to you. All faculty and staff will be present to
help, guide and direct. Again, in time of emergency, we will follow Los Angeles Unified School District
regulations for closing, opening or dismissal -- your radio or TV will inform you.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 14- -
REMEMBER: To allow the school to maintain safety and quick response to an emergency, please do not tie
ALSO, be sure to keep all school emergency information current. Let the school know any changes in phone
numbers, both home & work, as well as who is allowed to pick up your child(ren) in an emergency. This will
allow us to contact you quickly if necessary.
Taking photographs or videos is prohibited at all times on the school grounds, unless expressly pre-authorized
by a Teacher or Administrator.
Child Abuse Reporting
All Bright Star Employees sign a Child Abuse Reporting Acknowledgement form upon hiring and are considered
mandated reporters under California Penal Code Section 11166. This law requires any school employee who
has knowledge of or observes a child whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects to be the victim of child
abuse or neglect to make a report to the policy department, sheriff’s department, or county welfare office.
In addition, Bright Star employees take special precautions when working with children to avoid situations
where any abuse could potentially occur. Employees are trained to (1) never be alone in a room with a child
and (2) never be alone in a car with a child. If you ever become aware of any of our employees violating either
of these procedures, please inform your school’s Connector, Assistant Principal or Principal Teacher.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 15- -
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
Any request for information regarding student records must be submitted in writing to the school
Administration office. Records can be reviewed, upon request, in the Bright Star Administrative Office. Copies
of academic progress records will be sent home 8 times each year. Additional copies of information can be
provided at the cost of $.50 per page. (Legal Rights to view academic records are discussed later in this
document). Requests for copies of cumulative records and/or transcripts will be met within five business days.
A comprehensive Student/Family Directory will be published by the School Parents’ organization, which
includes such information as organization roles and responsibilities, school personnel (including email
addresses,) and school maps.
Bright Star Schools publishes a twice-monthly parent newsletter called Family Fortnightly Newsletter which
gives our families regular updates on all events and issues at school. We prefer to save paper and send this
bulletin electronically so please sign up to receive it electronically if you can. There is a great deal of useful
information in this newsletter including:
A comprehensive calendar
Traffic Duty assignments
Family Dinner information
After school programs and Partnerships information
Parent Organization news
The website address is www.brightstar.schools.org then go to ―schools‖ at ―about us‖.
Parents wishing to have appointments with the Connecting Place Coodinator may simply stop in at any time. For
meetings with the Assistant Principal, or Principal Teacher, parents should make arrangements by calling the
school office between 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. at (323) 954-9957 (Stella) or (310) 721-1297
(Bright Star Secondary.)
Appointments with faculty members should be made directly with the teachers. Teachers need at least 24 hours
notice in order to schedule quality time for an appointment. Please send a note or email to the teacher or leave a
brief voice mail message for a written or phone reply. Messages will be returned during teacher’s planning time.
There is a drop off mailbox at the front office, which you may also use to request any appointments. Parents may
not disturb teachers while class is in session or while teachers are supervising students (this includes after
school pick-up time).
Notice of Changes
1. TRANSPORTATION - Parents must notify the school in writing of any changes in the student’s customary pick-
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 16- -
2. PERSONAL INFORMATION - The office should be notified of changes of address and phone numbers or any
other information required for emergency information as promptly as possible.
Emergencies and Telephone/Cell Phone Policies
All calls to and all from the school should be between adults. In other words, you should never receive a call from
your child during the hours they are with us. Sometimes, an adult may initiate a call and then pass the phone to a
student so that he/she can speak directly with the parent.
Cell phones: For students – If you would like your child to bring a phone to school or on a field trip, you must first
register the phone with the school office. We will ask for the make, service provider, and cell phone number. All
unregistered phones will be immediately confiscated. Phones must be turned off (not silent, off) at all times. If
the parent has an emergency, he/she must call the office to get in touch with their child. We will get the child out
of class and bring them to our phone if such a situation is needed. Cell phones must be kept out of sight and
sound at all times. Any phone which is seen by any adult will be immediately confiscated. Confiscated phones
WILL NOT BE RETURNED until the end of the current school year or 3 months after confiscation, whichever comes
later. Bright Star Schools strongly discourages you from sending cell phones to school with your children. Please
note that if you still choose to do so, Bright Star will not be liable for any lost, stolen, or damaged phones. Please
review the student handbooks for information on other prohibited items that will be confiscated and not returned.
Prohibited item rules apply at all times on campus or at any school event.
For adults - For the safety of ALL OUR CHILDREN there is NO use of cell phones permitted at any time while driving
on the school campus or the streets immediately outside the campus. If a parent is reported to be in violation of
this rule, license number will be reported and an appointment with the Principal will be arranged. The parent will
be asked to park off campus in the future.
Also, please be aware that taking photographs or videos is prohibited at all times on the school grounds, unless
expressly (in writing) pre-authorized by a Teacher or Administrator.
Bright Star Schools will publish a Family Directory during the first month of each school year. (For more information, see
the Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA) notices in the Legal Section below.) If you wish to refuse to
permit Bright Star Schools to release directory information, you must submit your written refusal to the Principal’s Office
within two weeks of the first day of classes.
Work permits must be presented to the Principal for prior approval and will generally be denied unless the
student is in excellent academic standing.
Religious Release Program
Bright Star Schools strive to provide Religious Release (―RR‖) programs when possible. When we operate a RR
program, students will have the option (with prior parent permission) of being released from the core program for a
specific period of time to receive religious instruction or information from their personal faith. As a non-sectarian public
school, we only offer RR programs when outside groups (churches) are willing to pay for and sponsor them. We strive to
offer programs for our students of all different faiths. However, when we cannot find suitable programming for all
faiths, we may offer additional character-building education during session times when no sessions of interest to
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 17- -
parents are available for their children. Religious affiliation and interest information will be gathered from all families
upon enrollment and written notice will be sent home whenever we initiate any RR programming.
For our campuses housed in Catholic School buildings, we will generally offer Religious Release opportunities on
December 12th, Ash Wednesday, and any other Holy Days that may be of interest to students attending schools on
those campuses. We will offer special schedules on these days and notify parents in advance of the various options for
those not interested in those programs.
PARENT SUPPORT OF THE SCHOOL
Expectations of How Parents Support the school and their child’s success:
1) Attend all mandatory parent meetings.
2) Sign up for one month’s daily shift at Grade Level (GL) for traffic & lunch duties. (Show up or
find replacement for each assigned shift.)
3) Sign up to purchase and prepare one item or work one shift for GL’s Family Dinner.
4) Ensure child’s cooperation with attendance protocols.
5) Ensure child’s cooperation with uniform protocols.
6) Ensure child’s cooperation with materials and prohibited items protocols.
7) Ensure child’s cooperation with healthy food protocols.
8) Ensure child’s cooperation with rules regarding prohibition of ―mess.‖
9) Ensure child’s cooperation with appropriate use of internet from home.
10) Supervise and oversee daily independent reading. (approx. 3 ½ hours a week)
11) Supervise and oversee daily IWOC (10 – 17 hrs/ week, depending on Grade Level.)
12) Supervise and oversee child’s independent completion of Study Island Practice Goals.
13) Supervise and oversee child’s weekly physical activity requirements
14) Ensure child’s participation on all Life Experience Lessons.
15) Participate fully in all requested conferences.
16) Encourage child’s positive participation in all invited Saturday Partnership sessions.
17) Look for, sign, and return Brown Envelopes on a weekly basis
18) Read and understand all sections of the Parent and Student Handbooks.
19) When disagreements arise, set appointment with teacher or student and make suggestions for
ways things could improve.
Ways Parents Can Go ―above and beyond‖ to support the school’s successes
1) Volunteer to be a Homeroom Parent (HP) and help organize volunteer sign ups, phone trees,
and follow through. HPs will meet on a monthly basis with the Principal to be the voice of the
parents and bring suggestions and ideas.
2) Work additional shifts when available by being willing to be an ―alternate‖ for potential missed
shifts. (parking, lunch, dinners. etc.)
3) Help drive and supervise students on local life experience lessons/performances (license and
4) Help school with donations (money, items, supplies)
5) Volunteering in the classroom or helping to run an ASES enrichment program.
What do Homeroom Parents Do?
1) Work with the parents from the homeroom to fill out the Parking and Lunch coverage plans for their
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook updated July 5, 2007 18- -
2) Select a date for a Family Dinner, organize it, and supervise it.
3) Set up a ―phone tree‖ and/or email list for the homeroom to distribute information.
4) Oversee finding of volunteers for special opportunities, including trips and dinners.
5) Serve as the ―voice of the parents‖ to the School Administration in a monthly meeting (Site Council)
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -1-
Parent Non Compliance
The following situations indicate a lack of parent support for the school. The school keeps records
of these situations. Upon a combination of any four incidents from the list below, a mandatory
conference will be set up between the Parents and the Principal to discuss how to improve the
1) Missing a mandatory parent meeting.
2) Failure to sign up for any required shift.
3) Failure to show up or find replacement for any assigned shift.
4) Failure to Sign up, purchase or prepare an item, or work a shift for a Family Dinner.
5) Any declination to send child to Saturday School.
6) Any life experience trip missed by child for unexcused absence reasons.
7) Any lack of response to invitation to conference or failure to show up for conference.
8) Any inappropriate, aggressive behavior toward students, school staff, or other parents.
9) Any traffic or safety violation (including use of cell phones while driving on property.)
10) Two consecutive Study Island practice goals missed by child.
11) Two consecutive Reading Counts goals missed by child.
12) Two consecutive failures to return Brown Envelopes on time.
13) Three accumulated unexcused absences, unexcused partial absences, or tardies.
14) Three accumulated ―parent responsible‖ violations, including uniform, materials, prohibited
items, unhealthy foods, child’s incidents of mess, child’s violation of appropriate use of
internet at home. (Parents will be informed of all of these violations through phone calls from
the Connector. Upon accumulation of any three of these violations, a note will be made in our
parent support files and four such notes will lead to a Parent/Principal conference.)
15) Three consecutive weeks in Mandatory Partnerships after school.
Tracking Parent Support
One person per campus is in charge of tracking parent support. We don’t issue ―points‖ but we keep a
record of any instances of ―lacks of parent support.‖ (―faltas de apoyo‖)
Upon a fourth instance of ―lack of parent support‖ a Parent/Principal conference will be scheduled
between the parent and the principal. The purpose of the conference will not be to talk about the
child, but to talk about the parent and their support (or lack thereof) of the school.
Divorced or separated parents must file a court-certified copy of the custody section of the divorce or
separation decree with the Principal's office at the time of application for the school. The school will
NOT be held responsible for failing to honor arrangements that have not been made known to the
school in writing. If both parents share custody, there may be occasions when the school requires
both parents to attend a common meeting regarding the child’s status or parent support of the school.
The rubric on the next page summarizes what Bright Star Schools looks for in terms of parent support:
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -2-
Unsatisfactory Parental Support Satisfactory Parental Support Extraordinary Parental Support
* Missing a mandatory parent meeting. * Attend all mandatory parent meetings.
* Failure to sign up for any required shift. * Sign up and show up for one month’s daily * Volunteer to be a Homeroom Parent
* Failure to show up or find replacement shift for traffic & lunch duties. Sign up to help organize volunteer sign ups, ph
for any assigned shift. purchase and prepare one item or work one trees, and follow through. HPs will m
* Failure to Sign up, purchase or prepare shift for GL’s Family Dinner. a monthly basis with the Principal to
an item, or work a shift for a Family * Ensure child’s cooperation with attendance voice of the parents and bring sugge
Dinner. protocols. and ideas.
* Any declination to send child to * Ensure child’s cooperation with uniform
Saturday School. protocols. * Work additional shifts when availabl
* Any life experience trip missed by child * Ensure child’s cooperation with materials and being willing to be an ―alternate‖ for
for unexcused absence reasons. prohibited items protocols. potential missed shifts. (parking duty
* Any lack of response to invitation to * Ensure child’s cooperation with healthy food dinners, etc.)
conference or failure to show up for protocols
conference. * Ensure child’s cooperation with rules * Help drive and supervise students on
* Any inappropriate, aggressive behavior regarding prohibition of ―mess.‖ field experience trips (license and ins
toward students, school staff, or other * Ensure child’s cooperation with appropriate required.)
parents. use of internet from home.
* Any traffic or safety violation (including * Supervise and oversee daily independent *Help school with donations (money, i
use of cell phones while driving on reading.(30 minutes/day, 365 days/year) supplies)
property.) * Supervise and oversee daily IWOC
* Two consecutive Study Island practice * Supervise and oversee child’s independent * Volunteering in the classroom or hel
goals missed by child. completion of Study Island Practice Goals. run an ASES enrichment program.
* Two consecutive Reading Counts goals * Supervise and oversee child’s weekly physical
missed by child. requirement * Parent intends to support school with
* Two consecutive failures to return * Ensure child’s participation on all life involvement (aims for 40 hrs.)
Brown Envelopes on time. Experience lessons (trips.)
* Three accumulated unexcused * Participate fully in all requested conferences. * Parent helps to plan or at least atten
absences, unexcused partial * Encourage child’s positive participation when monthly family dinners.
absences, or tardies. invited to Saturday Partnership sessions.
* Three accumulated ―parent * Look for, sign, and return Brown Envelopes on
responsible‖ violations, including a weekly basis
uniform, materials, prohibited items, * Read and understand all sections of the
unhealthy foods, child’s incidents of Parent and Student Handbooks.
mess, child’s violation of appropriate * When disagreements arise, set appointment
use of internet at home. with teacher and make suggestions for ways
* Three consecutive weeks in Mandatory things could improve.
Partnerships after school.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -3-
All about Green Violations (things that require Connections between Parents and our School)
Green violations within our Connections Policy are described in great detail in the Student Handbook.
As a reminder, these violations include the following:
- Buying or selling - Computer misuse - Gambling - Gum/food in classroom
- Inappropriate conduct outside of school hours -- Possession of prohibited item - Uniform violation
- Missing materials (books, parent signatures, etc.)- Initial stages of bullying - Initial stages of mess
We call these green violations ―parent connection issues‖ because we believe that when students
violate these rules, the connections that need to be made are student-parent-school rather than
student-teacher. For examples, teaches have very little control over what their students wear to
school; parents, on the other hand, have a tremendous amount of control in that area.
Please keep the following factors in mind:
1) Students cannot buy things or gamble if they do not bring money to school; they cannot sell
things if they don’t bring them to school; please be responsible for knowing what your child is
bringing to school.
2) Uniform Issues are under the parent’s control because you are responsible for purchasing a
child’s uniform clothing as well as making sure the child is properly outfitted before stepping
onto campus each day.
3) While we allow students to wear chains for personal or religious reasons, we strongly
encourage them to leave such chains at home.
4) Please teach your children not to accept ―gifts‖ from friends, particularly if the gifts involve
things that are prohibited at school (like gum.) Please also help us to enforce our school rules
by not bringing any gum or prohibited items onto the school grounds at any time. It makes
our staff and teachers uncomfortable asking you to remove your gum; please take care of that
before we notice it.
5) Please teach your children about appropriate computer usage and monitor their use at home;
we will do the same at school.
6) Please teach your children about appropriate behavior (non-bullying, non-mess) in alignment
with your support of our school’s culture.
7) Please become familiar with the list of all prohibited items and ensure that your children do
not bring them to school. We don’t like to confiscate things until the end of the year but must
do so to enforce our policies. Remember the simple rule – if it hasn’t been requested by a
teacher in writing it’s probably not needed. For uniform and grooming, remember that we aim
for a natural, accessory-free appearance.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -4-
Monthly Traffic Duty
A parent or representative (over 21 years old and trained by the school or parent leaders) from each
family is expected to volunteer for traffic duty in the assigned month for each child in that family. Parents
must follow the safety guidelines for drop off and pick up of children.
Code of Conduct Covering Students and Parents/Guardians
We expect our parents to be positive role models for their children as stated in the General Statement of
Principles; we are a Wooden- and Glasser- based school endeavoring to educate each student as a whole
person. We build strong character and instill values. We hold the students and their parents to a standard
of civility, which is above the aggressive behavior exhibited by some in society. It is a requirement that
students and parents behave in a manner consistent with the Wooden and Glasser principles of the
school, which are reflected in, but are not limited to, any policies, principles or procedures set forth in the
student and parent handbooks of the school.
These Wooden and Glasser principles include, but are not limited to the following:
Parents are expected to model behavior for their children and other children everywhere
they go. This includes parents being appropriately dressed when on campus.
We expect every parent to follow all of the rules and policies established by the school. (i.e.
no gum on campus at any time)
Parents/Guardians are expected to work courteously and cooperatively with the school as to
assist the student in meeting the academic, moral, and behavioral expectations of the
Students and parents/guardians may respectfully express their concerns about the school
operation and its personnel. However, they may not do so in a manner that is discourteous,
scandalous, rumor driven, disruptive, threatening, hostile or divisive.
These expectations for students and parents/guardians include, but are not limited to all
school sponsored programs and events (e.g., extended day care, athletics, field trips, etc.).
Parents are responsible for appropriate supervision of appropriate use of technology while
students are at home.
We request and expect that all parents show respect to the faculty, staff, parents and students of Bright
Star Schools at all times. This includes but is not limited to instances:
When calling the school office, or leaving voice mail messages
At drop off and pick up – in the traffic lines
In the halls and patio area
In and around classrooms
With school staff, other parents and with children
On the school grounds
During any school-sponsored event.
STUDENT CONNECTIONS POLICY
The two main points of parent contact with the school are (1) with the child’s teachers, through
appointments or during their office hours and (2) with the Connector (Connecting Place Director). At
Bright Star Schools, we set high expectations for our students. We know that they will make mistakes
along the way. When they do, our aim is not to ―punish‖ them, but rather to help them make
―connections‖ between their behavioral choices and the expectations we have set up for them. This
also enables students to reestablish relationships with their teachers that may have gone awry due to
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -5-
student behavior. So, while other schools have a ―dean of discipline,‖ we have a ―connector.‖ While
the connector’s main job is to make sure students connect with their teachers and the larger school
community, he or she also is responsible for making sure that our parents are connected to our school
expectations and to their children’s behavioral choices as well. The Connector tracks ―SCAG (School
Conscientiousness and Attendance Grade) points‖ for students where students begin each semester
with 100 points each, but then lose one point each time they make a choice that shows a
disconnection with their teachers or school community. The Connector will contact parents each time
their child loses points, and on certain occasions will require parents to come to school to discuss
issues before their children will be allowed to return to class.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -6-
Contributions to the Schools’ Life Experience Lesson Costs
Although we are a public school and do not charge fees or tuition of any kind, we do collect money
each year to pay for a portion of the school’s costs of our Beginning and End of the Year Life
We ask all parents to contribute $150 on March 1st each year toward the cost of the BOTY trip for the
upcoming school year. We understand that it may not be possible for all parents to contribute
according to this timeline. If a parent cannot meet these dates, they may always write a letter to us
explaining their situation and proposing an alternate contribution schedule. All valid proposals for
exceptions to the financial contribution requests will be accepted. Once trip arrangements have been
made (generally by May 30th of each year), these costs are non-refundable to the school. Should
parents decide to withdraw their students after that date, refunds will not be available to parents
unless another child enrolls in time to pay for and enjoy the benefit of the materials and the BOTY trip.
Typically, we spend between $500 - $1500 a year for each student taking him or her outside of the
city to experience things he or she cannot experience here. All students will have a beginning of the
year camping trip to places that may include Big Bear, Catalina, Arizona, or Utah. Students will also
travel across the city to experience festivals, cultural programs, and other educational presentations.
Midway through the year, all students will have an opportunity to see the snow and go skiing or
snowboarding in Big Bear. At the end of the year, students have the opportunity to ―earn‖ the
opportunity to be invited on trips to places such as Yosemite, San Diego, Virginia, New York, or
Washington D.C. We ask parents to contribute between 7 – 20% of the costs of these trips so that we
can ensure an even higher level of quality for the trips. We hope that parents who are able will
contribute the full cost of the trips. We dedicate a significant amount of money to these trips and want
to ensure that all of our parents are invested in this idea for the children of Bright Star Schools. On
average, students will have the opportunity to earn three ―overnighter‖ trips and two to six ―day trips‖
in a given year.
―Earned‖ trips means that not all students attend the trip (with the exception of the Beginning of the
Year Trip.) Instead, students must earn off-site trips by (1) maintaining basic good attendance and
behavior on campus as shown by their SCAG (Schoolwide Conscientiousness and Attendance Grade),
(2) being On Target as shown by their latest annual goals benchmark, and (3) show a true interest in
attending the trip by proper preparation therefore. When students earn trips that occur during
regularly scheduled school days, alternative educational opportunities (generally academic or
behavioral catch up) will be provided during the time of the trips. No students with special educational
needs will ever be denied participation on a trip based on any manifestation of their disability.
Students earn invitations to our middle- and end-of-the-year Life Experience Lessons. Earning an
invitation doesn’t meat that the trip is completely free of cost to the student. Certain conditions apply:
1) The student will need to pay a portion of his/her cost of the trip (generally between $100 – 200)
and 2) the student needs to be continuously enrolled at Bright Star Schools to maintain his/her place
on the trip. Students who plan on leaving BSS at the end of a year but who ―earn‖ an invitation to the
trip will still be welcome to attend but will need to pay for the full price of the trip.
In addition to the requested contributions, payments may be made to the school from time to time.
Sometimes we will have additional, optional, trip costs such as lift and rental fees for skiing or
snowboarding. Sometimes we will invite students to movies or amusement parks and ask them to pay
their way. When possible, these payments should be made directly to the school office during office
hours and receipts will be issued.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -7-
As part of our After School program, we provide supervision for your child until 6 p.m. daily. When
parents pick up their child after that time, they will be charged a minute-by-minute rate ($.50 per
minute) and parents must pay the cost of this extra, overtime child care to the school. Delinquency
notices will be sent out and may be posted at the school when parents do not reimburse the school for
such outstanding payments. We expect all such payments to be made immediately upon request.
Food service is not a regular part of our educational program and we make no promises that food
service will be provided. However, when possible, we will aim to offer a free lunch and snack program
to students who qualify (per the Free and Reduced lunch program application included in the
enrollment packet.) If your child does not qualify, you must send a healthy lunch and snack to school
daily. If you do not, we will serve him or her lunch and snack and then charge you for it. When
students who do not qualify for the free lunch or snack program are served lunch, parents must pay
the value of the lunches or snacks to the school. Healthy lunches should contain a sandwich or other
entrée, a carbohydrate snack, a fruit or vegetable, and a bottle of water. The following items are
prohibited from our healthy lunches policy: chips, candy, anything with high fructose corn syrup, and
any beverages other than water.
Bus service is not a regular part of our educational program and we make no promises that buses will
be offered. However, when enough parents decide that they would prefer to pay for bus service than
to drive their children from their neighborhood to a school site, the school will help those parents to
organize an affordable, safe, bus system. Bus payments should be made in advance. We have
created a bus payment schedule that aims to minimize on our staff’s time for collecting and following
up. Those who make one or two lump sum payments will pay slightly less than the actual cost to the
school. Those who pay monthly will pay slightly more than the actual cost to the school to cover the
cost of staff time devoted to collecting bus payments. Bus costs may be changed during the year
based on the actual number of students paying for and riding the buses. If you pay early in a lump
sum, your cost for the year will not change. If you choose to pay monthly, any increase in cost may be
passed on to you.
Bus payment deadlines for 2008 – 2009 school year
$100 – due August 15
$100 – due Oct. 1
$400 for the year – due September 15 $100 – due Nov 15
$100 – due Jan 1
$100 – due Feb. 15
TOTAL: $400 (early deadline) TOTAL: $500 (in payments)
Bus payments are NOT REFUNDABLE for any reason. The school cannot and is not willing to lose
educational money to pay for student bus service. These prices are based on a presumption that at
least 240 students from the school will be riding the bus. Prices will be adjusted upward if less than
240 students sign up and pay for the bus. Payments already made will not be affected but future
payments will be increased.
Siblings (being raised in the same household by exactly the same parents) qualify for a 50% reduction
for the third child. No partial payment plans are available for ―one way‖ service because the cost to
the school is the same.
Parents will also be held legally and financially responsible for restoration and/or replacement costs for
any damage to Bright Star Schools property caused by the negligent or intentional act of their child who is
a student at Bright Star Schools.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -8-
Fees and Fee Waiver System
These contribution costs defined in this section for trips, food, and transportation must be paid prior to
the start of each school year. Students whose parents do not pay these costs will not be denied
admission, but parents will be immediately contacted to discuss payments and options. We do not
want to exclude any student from participation due to financial hardship. However, the administration
of the school is not in a position to determine fairly which families should receive full or partial fee
waivers. As such, if a family wishes to apply for a fee waiver, they may apply to the FAIR system
(Financial Aid Independent Review) at http://ssl6.chicagowebs.com/fairapp/sslindex.aspx The family
may complete a financial aid application, which is then processed confidentially by this outside
company. The family must pay the $25 application fee and submit all required information, including
Federal Tax Returns and W2 and/or 1099 forms. FAIR will then review the family’s financial position to
determine what level of discretionary income is available for fee payment. Depending on the level of
discretionary income, Bright Star Schools will determine if a family is eligible for 100% fee waiver, or a
percentage waiver thereof. Families who seek a waiver are wise to apply well prior to the start of a
season due to the processing time required.
IWOC (Independent Work Outside of Class) [aka HOMEWORK] POLICY
ALL STUDENTS are required to write down their homework assignments each day, as they are given.
Students are not to rely solely on a teacher’s bulletin board or web page for homework information.
However, all teachers will keep an up-to-date homework binder, bulletin board, or web site so that
students and parents can be made aware of the daily and weekly assignments. The course syllabus
will inform parents and students as to which option the teacher chooses to keep the community
IWOC at Bright Star Schools has 3 distinct but important purposes:
1) To give students time to practice the essential skills that they need to learn (having them practice the
skills daily at home gives more time in class for teaching)
2) To develop independent study habits and provide students practice in self-discipline and time
management so that students will be prepared to study independently 2 – 4 hours per day in college.
3) To free up classroom time so that as much time as possible can be spent on direct teaching,
discussions, guided practice of skills, and other learning experiences.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 -9-
IWOC is not a supplemental, but as a core and integral part of the class. Specific consequences have
been established to make sure that homework gets turned in daily. There is a systematic plan in place at
each school for making sure that all assignments are eventually completed.
When a student is ill and excused absent, it is the responsibility of the student to gather assignments
from a classmate or to make an appointment to meet with each teacher. A reasonable due date for this
make up work will be given at that time. Parents and students should not call the school office for
Parents may go into the classroom at any time (with a visitors pass) to:
Copy assignments from the special Homework board
Check the Class Homework Note Book
Pick up materials from the absent students’ folder.
Observe classroom instruction
Please note that these privileges do not include talking to your child or the teacher while instruction is
IWOC Expectations: Hours and Product
Different students work at different speeds. Because of that, the following ―hours estimates‖ are merely
a prediction of how long the work should take a typical student each night. However, Bright Star Schools
does have a policy that every single student should have something to do every single night. If a student
ever tells his/her parents, ―I have nothing to do‖ or ―I finished it at school‖ please know that either (1)
he/she is not telling the truth or (2) the teachers/school leadership has failed to keep its promise to you.
Please call us and let us know immediately should you truly believe that your child has nothing to do on
any given day after school. If we ever have a ―no IWOC night‖ we will inform you in writing either ahead of
time or on the day in question.
All Bright Star students will consistently have 90 minutes nightly as follows:
30 minutes of reading each day (7 days per week)
30 mintues of Grammar/Spelling practice each school day (5 days per week)
30 minutes of Math practice each school day (5 days per week)
This leads to a total of 8.5 hours per week as a baseline.
On top of this baseline for Reading, Writing, and Math, students will be assigned (a) traditional IWOC, (b)
project-based work, or (c) assigned study time in English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies,
Spanish, or Electives based on the following time guidelines. Grade Level Teams of teachers will work
together to determine whose IWOC should fill the suggested timeframe for each week or month.
5th grade: 1.5 hrs. per week for a grand total of 10 hours per week
6th grade: 2.5 hrs. per week for a grand total of 11 hours per week
7th grade: 3.5 hrs. per week for a grand total of 12 hours per week
8th grade: 4.5 hrs. per week for a grand total of 13 hours per week
9th grade: 5.5 hrs. per week for a grand total of 14 hours per week
10th grade: 6.5 hrs. per week for a grand total of 15 hours per week
11th grade: 7.5 hrs. per week for a grand total of 16 hours per week
12th grade: 8.5 hrs. per week for a grand total of 17 hours per week.
As a handy rule of thumb, notice that the total hours per week equal the minimum age for each Grade Level.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 10
Specific types of IWOC with with parents should be familiar
1) Independent Reading: This is probably the most important and consistent assignment that your
children will have in their years as a Bright Star Schools student. We expect all students to read
approximately 3.5 hours each week. Students must keep ―reading logs‖ which may or may not
need to be signed by you. When you are asked to sign it, your signature verifies that you actually
observed your child reading for the number of minutes and that s/he completed the number of
pages indicated on the form that you sign. Students will be tested on the books they read to
verify that they understood what they read and completion of reading benchmarks is mandatory
for all students at all grade levels.
2) Study Island: Study Island is a standards/skills-practice program that students must complete
using an online account given to them by the school. Students with internet access should
complete their assignments at home; students without internet access may sign up for time in
our after-school programs to use the computers on campus. The program contains lessons and
test questions. You can get immediate results as to how your children are mastering their
standards by overseeing their work on the program. We generally want our students to be
mastering standards at the 80% level in all subjects. When students reach that level, they will
earn a ―blue ribbon.‖ Students complete the program when they receive all of their blue ribbons
for a subject or grade level. After students complete sections of the practice program for IWOC,
they will be given a test on exactly the same types of questions at school. It is important that
students do their own work on the practice accounts – you or older siblings may help them by
discussing the materials (in the lessons) with them but should not help them while they are
answering the practice questions. This will lead to a gap between how they do at home and how
they do on the tests at school and they will not master the material if they don’t learn it on their
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 11
Order of the Day (Parents’ version)
Students at Bright Star Schools are expected to be on the school playground no earlier than 7 a.m. and
no later than 7:15 a.m. Bus riders must arrive at 6:15 a.m. for the 6:20 bus departure and at 7:15 a.m.
for the 7:20 bus departure. BSSCA drop offs must be between 7:00 and 7:15 a.m. and students must
enter directly into the MCU (Morning Catch Up) or SSH (Silent Study Hall) rooms. All students must be
seated in their homeroom or first period classes by 7:25 a.m sharp. Any student not in their seat when
the clock turns to 7:25 will be marked tardy. All tardy arrivals have consequences and there are no
excused tardy arrivals.
Starting at 7:00 a.m., there is supervision of students in the yard. There is no supervision available prior
to 7:00 a.m., and Bright Star assumes no liability for students before 7:00 a.m.
Late Start Days due to Faculty Meetings
Faculty meetings are sometimes held in the morning. Dates are published in the school calendar and
updated in newsletters. School begins at 10:20 a.m. on these scheduled late days. Parents may still
drop off students at 7:00 a.m. for a morning supervision program. As usual, Bright Star will assume no
liability for students who are dropped off before 7:00 a.m..
Students bring their lunch to school everyday, unless the student is enrolled in the school lunch program.
Reusable soft lunch bags are to be used instead of paper ones or lunch boxes. Each lunch container
must be clearly marked with the student’s name. Please send lunches in containers NO BIGGER THAN A
STANDARD LUNCH BOX as we do not have room to store large coolers. Glass containers may not be
used. Each child is expected to bring lunch in the morning. LUNCHES should not be dropped off after
After School Activities
Classes normally end at 3:45 p.m. and are followed by an hour of mandatory After School Enrichment and
Safety (ASES) programming. All students must participate in our ASES program unless they are enrolled
in a supervised, organized sports, arts, or music activity away from the school. Parents must bring in
proof of enrollment and involvement in such activities to obtain a waiver from our after school
programming. It is absolutely imperative to us that all of our students become well rounded and are both
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 12
exposed to and experienced in arts, sports, and music each year of their school experience. Absence or
early dismissals from any ASES activities will be handled in exactly the same way as for the regular school
day. These activities are a mandatory and essential part of our educational program and school day.
Visitors to Bright Star Schools Campuses
Although we operate a closed campus, we also have an ―open door‖ policy for visits. All visitors are
asked to sign in and wear an identification badge. The School reserves the right to refuse admission.
Office hours are from 7 to 8 a.m. and 4 to 5 p.m. daily for conducting any school business (payments,
requests for paperwork, etc.) During those hours, visitor’s passes may be picked up from the main
office. At any other time, a visitor’s pass may be picked up from The Connecting Place room. Parents
and others are welcome to visit classrooms at any time to observe our program. However, we request
that visitors do not interrupt the teacher or the students. We teach our students to generally ―ignore‖
visitors and to focus on their work at hand unless a teacher or administrator introduces the visitor to
the students because there is a learning opportunity for them.
School Office Hours
The school office has established the following hours for you to call or stop by:
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Please respect the staff by honoring those hours.
Please check our website, www.brightstarschools.org for general information concerning upcoming school
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 13
PROMOTION AND RETENTION
Bright Star Schools Pupil Promotion and Retention (PPR) Policy
One of the core founding principles of our schools is that no child will be promoted to a grade level for
which he or she is not adequately prepared. Bright Star Schools commits to giving each child the time
and resources needed to succeed at each grade level. At the same time, our students and parents
must commit to ensuring that each student is willing to work hard and achieve mastery of certain
minimum standards each school year. Through this policy, we create a series of classrooms where
teachers can teach the requisite grade level skills at each grade level because the students in those
classrooms come with the necessary background needed to be successful.
At the Middle School level, students have ten Annual Goals that they are expected to reach each year,
along with three ―bonus goals‖ that they can also reach each year. To be promoted to the next grade
level, students must reach at least 8 of 13 annual goals as described below:
1) Coursework Completed: Have < 2 missing assignments
2) Study Island Practice: Complete the practice program in each subject
3) Formative CCA (Combined Class Average): Have a CCA of > 78
4) Summative CCA: Have a CCA of > 78 for summative grades (including Edusoft Exams and
Study Island Test Account)
5) Co Curricular Involvement: B or better on ASES grades and no unexcused absences from
Catch Up sessions.
6) Grade Level Writing Proficiency: Earn rubric scores of 3 or 4 on at least two school wide
7) Independent Reading: Earn appropriate number of reading points and read 6 of 7 required
5th grade: 75 points; 6th grade: 125 points; 7th grade: 175 points; 8th grade: 225 points
8) Memorization of Bright Star Knowledge: Grade Level topics in Math, Maps, Music, and
9) Fitness: Meet Grade Level goals in running, pushups, and sit ups at least 3 times during the
year. 5th: 1 mile/10 min.; 6th: 1.5 miles/15 min.; 7th: 2 miles/20 min.; 8th :3 miles/30 min.
10) Community Service: Perform at least minimum suggested GL hours of service (bonus goal for this
year’s PRs) 5th grade: 5 hours; 6th grade: 10 hours; 7th grade: 15 hours; 8th grade: 20 hours
11) ELA STAR: Score Proficient or Advanced (counts as bonus goal for next year’s Passing
12) Math STAR: Score Proficient or Advanced (counts as bonus goal for next year’s Passing
13) Conscientiousness and Attendance Grade > 80
These goals have been established to ensure that students are both showing work ethic and effort
(Goals 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 13) as well as mastering at least 80% of the requisite grade level
standards and necessary skills for success at the next level (Goals 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, and 12). While
neither effort nor mastery alone will ensure a student’s promotion within our system, some
combination of the two will do so. While we encourage students to achieve all 13 goals each year,
students who are weak in certain areas can be selective about which requirements they choose not to
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 14
complete. The following year, students work with their advisors to try and ensure that they don’t go
through the program not meeting the same five goals each year. Rather, students should aim to meet
each annual goal at least twice during their four middle school years with Bright Star.
To ensure that our students achieve success, we scaffold the Annual Goals into eight benchmark
performance reports that are reviewed by the students with their advisors and parents. The eight
benchmark reports come at specific pre-designated times during the school year. The first one comes
at the end of the first quarter, and additional ones follow approximately once each month until the end
of the school year. Each benchmark report shows where students are in relation to where they should
be to remain ―on target‖ for reaching their end-of-the-year goals. Parents are informed at each
reporting date whether their students are ―on target‖ or in need of ―catch up.‖ At least three times
each year (October, January, and March), student/parent conferences are offered for students who are
not on target. At each of these conferences, parents are put on notice that their child is in danger of
not passing and solutions are discussed as to how the student can make changes so as to improve.
Near-final decisions about grade level promotions are made at the end of April. Parents who wish to
appeal these decisions may set up a conference with the child’s principal and teachers in early May
(before the 10th) to discuss the possibilities of their child completing their goals and still being
promoted for the upcoming school year. Should parents wish to seek a secondary review of the
appeal, they may make a written request to the Bright Star Schools CAO by May 20 th. A meeting may
or may not be arranged, based on the nature of the appeal. Final decisions will be made by the CAO
by June 1st.
At the High School level, promotion decisions are predicated solely on whether a student has
completed the required number of high school credits necessary for the appropriate grade level status.
A semester course includes approximately 75 hours of instruction and class work, 35 hours of
Independent Work Outside of Class (IWOC), and 10 hours of assessment. 1 credit = 1 semester
course completed with grade of 75 or better (74.9 not passing)
Students must earn: 11 credits + freshmen goals for sophomore status
23 credits + sophomore goals for junior status
36 credits + junior goals for senior status
48 credits + senior goals to graduate
Grade Level Status is earned in the high school by (1) passing the appropriate number of credits and
(2) passing additional graduation goals at least 3 times each before graduation.
1) Co-Curricular Involvement: B or better on ASES grades and no unexcused absences from Catch Up
2) Fitness: Meet Grade Level goals in running, pushups, and sit ups at least 3 times during the year.
3) Community Service: Perform at least minimum suggested GL hours of service (bonus goal for this
Generally, students should choose two of the three graduation goals to complete each year. In the
summer between their junior and senior years, we expect all students to spend four weeks helping the
incoming freshmen and studying for SAT exams. If students complete two goals each year plus their
junior summer, they will have all nine goals (3 each of the goals listed above) completed on time for
Students who do not meet benchmarks for each of their annual goals will miss out on choices and
privileges while working to achieve their goals. At year’s end, students who have not achieved the
appropriate number of credits and their annual goals need to continue working on their missing credits
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 15
and goals until they are achieved. They will not be promoted to the next grade level’s status and earn
the appropriate rights and privileges associated with such status until they meet those goals.
While approximately 1260 hours of instructional time each school year are offered to all Bright Star
students each year (as opposed to the 901 for MS and 1080 for HS required by the state), an
additional 614 hours of catch up support are also offered each year. We offer structured programs
known as daily Partnerships (tutoring), Saturday and Vacation Partnerships, Silent Study Hall, and
Make Up Goal or Exam Sessions (MUGES) to students who are not on target so that they can achieve
and succeed. The vast majority of our students take these opportunities seriously and do what they
need to do to meet their goals and be promoted.
Historically, approximately only about 75% of our incoming 5th graders meet their promotion goals
each year, but then close to 87% of our 6th graders meet their goals. By 7th grade, our success rate is
about 94% and in 8th grade we see it at approximately 98%. The question is inevitably asked: ―What
happens to students who don’t meet their goals for a second or third year?‖ We cannot promote these
students because we believe that doing so will both (1) teach them the wrong lessons about life and
having to earn things as well as (2) not allowing our classrooms to function on grade level as described
above. Because unearned promotion is not an option within our system, we have created the following
procedures for students who may repeat a grade level for a second or third time.
A Student Success Team (SST) is automatically formed for each student who is repeating a grade level.
The SST consists of the Principal Teacher, the student’s Grade Level teachers, and any other teachers
or mentors interested in the child’s success. At least one member of the SST will join a repeating
student’s parent/student/teacher conferences each quarter as outlined above. If any signs of a
disability are present, the student will be referred for an Assessment process. A repeating student will
be required to attend all of the daily and additional supplemental programs if he/she is not on target
for the year in which they are repeating.
If a child does not meet his/her annual goals for a third consecutive year, the Principal may place the
student in the school’s Retreat and Refocus Class (RRC) where the student will engage in a program of
supervised independent study, focusing on helping the student meet his or her goals on an
individualized basis at his or her own pace. The student to adult ratio in an RRC class is no more than
1 to 15. Students in an RRC are part of a separate school program and generally will not socialize or
interact with the other students in the school except during elective classes offered as part of the
ASES program when appropriate. Generally, students offered a place in an RRC have been ―overly
social‖ with their peers rather than focusing on school in their prior years in our program. The idea is
that they will ―retreat‖ from the normal school environment in order to ―refocus‖ on what should be the
top priority – their education.
Promotion for special education students will be based on their Individual Education Plans (IEPs), the
IEP team decision, and all applicable state and Federal laws. In our program, parents do not have a
right to have their children placed in a certain grade level.
Physical Education and Fitness Goals
A program of physical education is included in the school week. If for some serious health reason a child
cannot take part in the physical fitness program, please inform the school in writing. Fitness Goals are
outlined in the Promotion Policy above. Should your child have a medical condition that will prevent him
or her from completing their fitness goals during a given academic year, please bring us notification from
a medical professional and we will work with you to create an alternate physical challenge goal for your
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 16
Passing Scores Non-Passing Scores
Advanced Proficient Basic
97.5 - 100 = A+ (4.3) 86.5 – 89.49% = B+ (3.3) 74.5 – 79.49% = C+ (2.5) (Basic)
92.5 – 97.49% = A (4.0) 82.5 – 86.49% = B (3.0) 70 – 74.49% = NYT (Testable) (no GPA)
89.5 – 92.49% = A− (3.7) 79.5 – 82.49% = B− (2.7) 54.5 – 69.49 = NYBB (Below Basic)
0 – 54.49% = NYFBB (Far Below Basic)
Please review the course syllabus or school-wide ―Combined CCA Explanation‖ to understand how your
child’s CCA (Combined Class Average) will be calculated. Multiple grades and information make up the
CCA and because it affects your child’s Passing Requirements matrix, it is important that you fully
understand what goes into the CCA.
Grades of NY (Not Yet) will be ―translated‖ as Cs (70 – 74.9), Ds (60 – 69,9), or Fs (59.9 and below),
based on their numerical percentage whenever grade reports are required, such as for high school or
college admission applications.
Grading policy on retesting; 2nd time either -10% (85 is passing) or -5% (80 is passing) depending on
whether it’s all new or just recycled questions.
Academic Dishonesty Subject to Probation leading to Expulsion
Acts of academic dishonesty including plagiarism, copying assignments/homework/test answers from
other students, using unauthorized aids on examinations, or signing or misrepresenting a
parent’s/guardian’s signature are regarded as very serious offenses (orange cards per our Connections
policy). Students charged with academic dishonesty are subject to a lowering of their grade, in school
suspension, probation, mandatory catch up sessions, and/or dismissal.
Graduation/Culmination/Promotion from Bright Star Schools
Diplomas will be awarded to 8th grade Students for graduation contingent upon:
Satisfactory completion of the course of studies, including at least 8 of the 10 grade level
We invite all members of the grade level family of students to participate in our Graduation and
promotion ceremonies. We reward graduates with diplomas while simultaneously recognizing the
students who are close to but have not yet completed their requirements. Because we conduct the
ceremony about a week before the ―final promotion deadlines,‖ there are generally several students who
are invited to participate in the ceremony but will not be called up to the stage to receive a diploma. The
alternative would be for us to give a ―fake‖ diploma, which goes against our philosophy of having to earn
things, or to only allow those students who have completed all requirements to participate. We will
continue to invite all students and families to the celebration. We believe it is a celebration of effort
among all of our students. Please make your own decision within your family about whether you would
like to participate in our ceremony and celebrations.
EMBRACING THE SCHOOL CULTURE FROM HOME
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 17
We aim to provide a School Culture that encourages students to be conscientious, compassionate,
and creative scholars. ―School‖ and ―Getting into College‖ are their jobs and their primary goal. They
will not have much, if any, time for other pursuits (romantic relationships, employment – other than
during summer breaks). These extra-curriculars will distract a student from their primary goal. and
their time not spent on school will be limited to approximately 50 hours per week (not counting study
or sleep time) for students who are On Target and approximately 30 hours per week for students who
are in need of Catching Up. We need you to recognize that your children will need to make sacrifices
now as they plan for the best possible future. We need you to support and encourage this culture for
your children at home. A gap between our school culture and the expectations of your child at home
will greatly reduce his/her chances of success in our program.
Parental Supervision of Technology
Parents of Bright Star students are requested to supervise the use of any type of technology at home.
We need the help and support of all Parents to prevent any negative or harmful use of computers
and/or any other means of communication. In addition, Bright Star Schools administration collects
data (including email addresses) and collects usernames and passwords for all students who
participate in MySpace or other social networking websites. This is done to ensure that students
understand what is and is not appropriate on any spaces within the World Wide Web. We will respect
privacy for personal email accounts but not for anything on social networking pages. It is our
philosophy that such sites can have negative impacts on our school community (as well as on the
students themselves) and we will continue to try to prevent any problems resulting there from.
Student Social Life
Bright Star knows that healthy friendships between students are helpful to the health of Bright Star Schools as
a whole. Bright Star encourages relationships between students that are noble and supportive of their overall
moral and intellectual growth. To offer leadership in this area, Bright Star Schools will have several
organizations and events that work to promote student social life.
Although Bright Star does sponsor social events, these events should not be viewed as the promotion of
romantic relationships between our young men and young women. Bright Star believes that young men and
women should be friends. We encourage their socializing together and the development of healthy
relationships among them. Romantic relationships, on the other hand, can take up an enormous amount of the
consciousness of young people. This absorption can be a direct challenge to focusing their consciousness on
learning and thinking. This is why Bright Star prohibits activities like holding hands, kissing, and other overt
forms of romantic behavior among students while on campus and at Bright Star-related events.
We ask that you embrace and support our ―no mess‖ policy which prohibits our students from having romantic
relationships while in middle or high school. We teach our students that they simply do not have the time
required by such relationships because of their road to college and all of the required inputs along the way. We
teach them that college is the appropriate time and place to start having romantic relationships. We
understand that you may initially disagree with this philosophy. You may think that college (age 19) is possibly
too early or possibly too late for your children to start having such relationships. However, we must insist on
your supporting this philosophy so long as your children are enrolled in our schools. If you have questions
about it, you are free to bring them to the attention of your school’s Principal or other teachers. If you disagree
with and make allowances with your child that interfere with our enforcement of our policy, we will call you in to
discuss your support of our school and our programs.
School Selection of Reading Materials We have had instances where parents disagree with some of the
reading choices we have selected, particularly with the Harry Potter series of books. We have determined as a
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 18
school faculty that we WILL be reading the Harry Potter books, beginning in 5 th grade. Parents who preclude
their children from reading these books should either (1) reconsider their preclusion, (2) consider sending them
to another school, or (3) recognize that the student will lose credit and annual goals for not reading the books.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 19
LEGAL NOTICES AND RELATED INFORMATION
Injuries at school on which insurance claims are to be filed must be brought to the attention of the school
office on the day they occur. If a child is too young to give the required information, the parent should
stop by the connecting place within one day of the accident. The accident form will then be completed
and the parent may present it to the doctor.
Background on Suspension and Expulsion Policy - Stipulated Expulsion Orders
Suspended by Probation Agreement (SEOSbPA)
Our Suspension and Expulsion Policy is only needed when all of the Connection attempts outlined in
the Student Handbook (SHB) have been exhausted or when an immediately expellable offense (drugs,
violence, or weapons – as defined the SHB) has put our school community in danger. As an overview,
the following steps are taken before utilizing this policy.
Upon committing a suspendable offense (third instance of any green or yellow-card violation or first
instance of any orange-card violation,) a student will be subject to a full-day (from the time of
occurrence on Day 1 to the time of occurrence on Day 2) In School Suspension. A parent may help
his/her child get back into classes earlier if he/she is willing to sit in classes with his/her child. A
parent must come to school for a conference before the child will be permitted back into class.
Upon the fifth instance of a green or yellow-card violation or the third instance of an orange-card
violation, a stipulated expulsion order will be offered to the parents. A Stipulated Expulsion Order is a
document that recognizes the fact that the child did indeed commit the expendable offense for a third
time. The school’s Principal Teacher will have discretion to allow the child to remain in the school by
offering the child and parent a Probation Agreement which will suspend the Expulsion Order. This is
called a Stipulated Expulsion Order Suspended by Probation Agreement (SEOSbPA.) If a SEOSbPA is
offered and signed, the student will, in effect, be on a ―last chance‖ probation agreement. Should the
student violate any of the conditions listed in the probation agreement during the term of the
probation, the Principal Teacher will inform the parent in writing and the Expulsion Order will take
immediate effect. Once a SEOSbPA has been agreed to and signed, there is no right of appeal from its
order or effect.
If the school and parent cannot agree on a stipulated expulsion order for an expellable offense, and/or
if the Connector or Principal believes that a student poses a specific and immediate danger to the
school community, then the following policy will be utilized.
Suspension and Expulsion Policy
This Pupil Suspension and Expulsion Policy has been established in order to promote learning and
protect the safety and well being of all students at the BRIGHT STAR Charter School (―BRIGHT STAR‖).
When the policy is violated, it may be necessary to suspend or expel a student from regular classroom
instruction. This policy shall serve as BRIGHT STAR’s policy and procedures for student suspension
and expulsion, and it may be amended from time to time without the need to amend the charter so
long as the amendments comport with legal requirements.
Staff shall enforce disciplinary rules and procedures fairly and consistently among all students. This
Policy and its Procedures will clearly describe discipline expectations, and it will be printed and
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 20
distributed as part of the Student & Parent Information Packet which is sent to each student at the
beginning of the school year.
Discipline includes but is not limited to advising and counseling students, conferring with
parents/guardians, time awaiting connections during and after school hours, use of alternative
educational environments, suspension and expulsion.
Corporal punishment shall not be used as a disciplinary measure against any student. Corporal
punishment includes the willful infliction of or willfully causing the infliction of physical pain on a
student. For purposes of the Policy, corporal punishment does not include an employee’s use of force
that is reasonable and necessary to protect the employee, students, staff or other persons or to
prevent damage to school property.
The BRIGHT STAR administration shall ensure that students and their parents/guardians are notified
in writing upon enrollment of all discipline policies and procedures. The procedures are included in the
Student Handbook. The notice shall state that these Policy and Administrative Procedures are
available on request at the school’s main office.
Suspended students will remain on campus in an In School Suspension to take place in the
Connecting Place room. Expelled students shall be excluded from all school and school-related
activities unless otherwise agreed during the period of suspension or expulsion.
A student identified as an individual with disabilities or for whom BRIGHT STAR has a basis of
knowledge of a suspected disability pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Improvement Act of 2004 (―IDEIA‖) or who is qualified for services under Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (―Section 504‖) is subject to the same grounds for suspension and
expulsion and is accorded the same due process procedures applicable to regular education students
except when federal and state law mandates additional or different procedures. BRIGHT STAR will
follow all applicable federal and state laws when imposing any form of discipline on a student
identified as an individual with disabilities or for whom BRIGHT STAR has a basis of knowledge of a
suspected disability or who is otherwise qualified for such services or protections in according due
process to such students.
A. Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion of Students
A student may be suspended or expelled for prohibited misconduct if the act is related to school
activity or school attendance occurring anytime including but not limited to any of the following: a)
while on school grounds; b) while going to or coming from school; c) during the lunch period,
whether on or off the school campus; d) during, going to, or coming from a school-sponsored
B. Enumerated Offenses
Students may be suspended or expelled for any of the following acts when it is
determined the pupil:
1. Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person or
willfully used force of violence upon the person of another, except self-defense.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 21
2. Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous
object unless, in the case of possession of any object of this type, the students had obtained
written permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee, with the Principal
Teacher or designee’s concurrence.
3. Unlawfully possessed, used, sold or otherwise furnished, or was under the influence of any
controlled substance, as defined in Health and Safety Code 11053-11058, alcoholic
beverage, or intoxicant of any kind.
4. Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any controlled substance as defined in
Health and Safety Code 11053-11058, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant of any kind, and then
sold, delivered or otherwise furnished to any person another liquid substance or material and
represented same as controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant.
5. Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion.
6. Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property.
7. Engaged in any form of dishonesty (lying, cheating, or stealing).
8. Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property.
9. Possessed or used tobacco or any products containing tobacco or nicotine products, including
but not limited to cigars, cigarettes, miniature cigars, clove cigarettes, smokeless tobacco,
snuff, chew packets and betel.
10. Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity.
11. Unlawfully possessed or unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any drug
paraphernalia, as defined in Health and Safety Code 11014.5.
12. Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of supervisors,
teachers, administrators, other school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the
performance of their duties.
13. Knowingly received stolen school property or private property.
14. Possessed an imitation firearm, i.e.: a replica of a firearm that is so substantially similar in
physical properties to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to conclude that the
replica is a firearm.
15. Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault as defined in Penal code 261, 266c,
286, 288, 288a or 289, or committed a sexual battery as defined in Penal Code 243.4.
16. Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a student who is a complaining witness or witness in a
school disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of preventing that student from being a witness
and/or retaliating against that student for being a witness.
17. Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold any prescription drug.
18. Engaged in or attempted to engage in hazing of another.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 22
19. Aiding or abetting as defined in Section 31 of the Penal Code, the infliction or attempted
infliction of physical injury to another person.
20. Made terrorist threats against school officials and/or school property.
21. Committed sexual harassment.
22. Caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of hate violence.
23. Committed any repeated willful violation of the green (5 times), yellow (5 times), or orange
card violations (3 times) as specified in the Bright Star Student Handbook.
24. Intentionally harassed, threatened or intimidated a student or group of students to the extent
of having the actual and reasonably expected effect of materially disrupting class work,
creating substantial disorder and invading student rights by creating an intimidating or hostile
The above list is not exhaustive and depending on the offense, a pupil may be
suspended or expelled for serious misconduct not specified above.
Alternatives to suspension or expulsion will first be attempted with students who are
truant, tardy, or otherwise absent from assigned school activities.
C. In School Suspension Procedure Bright Star Schools do not use at-home suspensions unless
a student poses a clear and present danger to students, faculty,or staff.
Suspensions shall be initiated according to the following procedures:
Suspension shall be preceded, if possible, by a conference conducted by the Connector
with the student and his or her parent and, whenever practical, the teacher, supervisor or
school employee who referred the student. The conference may be omitted if the
Connector 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 a student is suspended without this conference, both the parent/guardian
and student shall be notified of the student’s right to return to school for the purpose of a
At the conference, the pupil shall be informed of the reason for the disciplinary action and
the evidence against him or her and shall be given the opportunity to present his or her
version and evidence in his or her defense.
This conference shall be held as soon as the pupil’s parent or guardian is able to come to
the school. Reinstatement of the suspended pupil shall be contingent upon attendance
by the pupil’s parent or guardian at the conference.
2. Notice to Parents/Guardians
At the time of suspension, the Connector or designee shall make a reasonable effort to
contact the parent/guardian by telephone or in person. Whenever a student is
suspended, the parent/guardian shall be notified by phone and then 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 may also state the date
and time when the student may return to school. If school officials wish to ask the
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 23
parent/guardian to confer regarding matters pertinent to the suspension, the notice may
request that the parent/guardian respond to such requests without delay.
3. Suspension Time Limits/Recommendation for Placement/Expulsion
Suspensions, when not including a recommendation for expulsion, shall not exceed five
(5) consecutive school days per suspension.
Upon a recommendation of Expulsion by the Principal Teacher or 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 Teacher or designee upon either of the
following determinations: 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.
D. Authority to Expel
A student may be expelled either by the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board following a hearing by the
Board’s Appeals Committee as needed. The Committee consists of at least three members. The
Committee may recommend expulsion of any student found to have committed an expellable offense.
E. Expulsion Procedures
Students recommended for expulsion are entitled to a hearing to determine whether the
student should be expelled. Unless postponed for good cause, the hearing shall be held
within thirty (30) school days after the Principal Teacher or designee determines that the Pupil
has committed an expellable offense.
The Appeals Committee will make a recommendation to the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board
for a final decision whether to expel. The hearing shall be held in closed session unless the
pupil makes a written request for a public hearing three (3) days prior to the hearing.
Written notice of the hearing shall be forwarded to the student and the student’s
parent/guardian at least ten (10) calendar days before the date of the hearing. Upon mailing
the notice, it shall be deemed served upon the pupil. The notice shall include:
1. The date and place of the expulsion hearing;
2. A statement of specific facts, charges and offenses upon which the proposed expulsion is
3. A copy of BRIGHT STAR’s disciplinary rules which relate to the alleged violation;
4. Notification of the student’s or parent/guardian’s obligation to provide information about
the student’s status at the school to any other school district or school to which the
student seeks enrollment;
5. The opportunity for the student or the student’s parent/guardian to appear in person or to
employ and be represented by counsel or a non-attorney advisor;
6. The right to inspect and obtain copies of all documents to be used at the hearing;
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 24
7. The opportunity to confront and question all witnesses who testify at the hearing;
8. The opportunity to question all evidence presented and to present oral and documentary
evidence on the student’s behalf including witnesses.
F. Special procedures for Expulsion Hearings Involving Bullying and/or Sexual Assault or
BRIGHT STAR may, upon finding a good cause, determine that the disclosure of either the
identity of the witness or the testimony of that witness at the hearing, or both, would subject
the witness to an unreasonable risk of psychological or physical harm. Upon this
determination, the testimony of the witness may be presented at the hearing in the form of
sworn declarations which shall be examined only by the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board,
administrative panel, or the hearing officer. Copies of these sworn declarations, edited to
delete the name and identity of the witness, shall be made available to the pupil.
1. The complaining witness in any bullying and/or sexual assault or battery case must be
provided with a copy of the applicable disciplinary rules and advised of his/her right to (a)
receive five days notice of his/her scheduled testimony, (b) have up to two (2) adult
support persons of his/her choosing present in the hearing at the time he/she testifies,
which may include a parent, guardian, or legal counsel, and (c) elect to have the hearing
closed while testifying.
2. BRIGHT STAR must also provide the victim a room separate from the hearing room for the
complaining witness’ use prior to and during breaks in testimony.
3. At the discretion of the person or panel conducting the hearing, the complaining witness
shall be allowed periods of relief from examination and cross-examination during which
he or she may leave the hearing room.
4. The person conducting the expulsion hearing may also arrange the seating within the
hearing room to facilitate a less intimidating environment for the complaining witness.
5. The person conducting the expulsion hearing may also limit time for taking the testimony
of the complaining witness to the hours he/she is normally in school, if there is no good
cause to take the testimony during other hours.
6. Prior to a complaining witness testifying, the support persons must be admonished that
the hearing is confidential. Nothing in the law precludes the person presiding over the
hearing from removing a support person whom the presiding person finds is disrupting
the hearing. The person conducting the hearing may permit any one of the support
persons for the complaining witness to accompany him or her to the witness stand.
7. If one or both of the support persons is also a witness, BRIGHT STAR must present
evidence that the witness’ presence is both desired by the witness and will be helpful to
BRIGHT STAR. The person presiding over the hearing shall permit the witness to stay
unless it is established that there is a substantial risk that the testimony of the
complaining witness would be influenced by the support person, in which case the
presiding official shall admonish the support person or persons not to prompt, sway, or
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 25
influence the witness in any way. Nothing shall preclude the presiding officer from
exercising his or her discretion to remove a person from the hearing whom he or she
believes is prompting, swaying, or influencing the witness.
8. The testimony of the support person shall be presented before the testimony of the
complaining witness and the complaining witness shall be excluded from the courtroom
during that testimony.
9. Especially for charges involving bullying and/or sexual assault or battery, if the hearing is
to be conducted in the public at the request of the pupil being expelled, the complaining
witness shall have the right to have his/her testimony heard in a closed session when
testifying at a public meeting would threaten serious psychological harm to the
complaining witness and there are not alternative procedures to avoid the threatened
harm. The alternative procedures may include videotaped depositions or
contemporaneous examination in another place communicated to the hearing by means
of closed-circuit television.
10. Evidence of specific instances of a complaining witness’ prior sexual conduct is presumed
inadmissible and shall not be heard absent a determination by the person conducting the
hearing that extraordinary circumstances exist requiring the evidence be heard. Before
such a determination regarding extraordinary circumstances can be made, the witness
shall be provided notice and an opportunity to present opposition to the introduction of
the evidence. In the hearing on the admissibility of the evidence, the complaining witness
shall be entitled to be represented by a parent, legal counsel, or other support person.
Reputation or opinion evidence regarding the sexual behavior of the complaining witness
is not admissible for any purpose.
G. Record of Hearing
A record of the hearing shall be made and may be maintained by any means, including
electronic recording, as long as a reasonably accurate and complete written transcription of
the proceedings can be made.
H. 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 recommendation by the Administrative 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 and sworn declarations
may be admitted as testimony from witnesses of whom the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board,
Panel or designee determines that disclosure of their identity or testimony at the hearing may
subject them to an unreasonable risk of physical or psychological harm.
If, due to a written request by the accused pupil, the hearing is held at a public meeting, and
the charge is committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault or committing a sexual
battery as defined in Education Code Section 48900, a complaining witness shall have the
right to have his or her testimony heard in a session closed to the public.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 26
The decision of the Administrative Panel shall be in the form of written findings of fact and a
written recommendation to the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board who will make a final
determination regarding the expulsion. The final decision by the BRIGHT STAR Governing
Board shall be made within ten (10) school days following the conclusion of the hearing. The
Decision of the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board is final.
If the expulsion hearing panel decides not to recommend expulsion, the pupil shall
immediately be returned to his/her educational program on a probation agreement to be
presented by the Principal Teacher or designee and approved by the Board.
I. Written Notice to Expel
The Principal Teacher or designee following a decision of the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board to
expel shall send written notice of the decision to expel, including the BRIGHT STAR Governing
Board’s adopted findings of fact, to the student or parent/guardian. This notice shall also include
1. Notice of the specific offense committed by the student
2. Notice of the student’s or parent/guardian’s obligation to inform any new district in which
the student seeks to enroll of the student’s status with the BRIGHT STAR.
The Principal Teacher or designee shall send a copy of the written notice of the decision
to expel to the student’s district of residence. This notice shall include the following:
1. The student’s name
2. The specific expellable offense committed by the student
J. Disciplinary Records
BRIGHT STAR shall maintain records of all student suspensions and expulsions at the Charter
School. Such records shall be made available to the District upon request.
K. No Right to Appeal
The pupil shall have no right of appeal from expulsion from BRIGHT STAR as the BRIGHT STAR
Governing Board decision to expel shall be final.
L. Expelled Pupils/Alternative Education
Pupils who are expelled shall be responsible for seeking alternative education programs including,
but not limited to, programs within the County or their school district of residence.
M. Rehabilitation Plans
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 27
Students who are expelled from BRIGHT STAR shall be given a rehabilitation plan upon expulsion
as developed by the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board 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 BRIGHT STAR for readmission.
The decision to readmit a pupil or to admit a previously expelled pupil from another school district
or charter school shall be in the sole discretion of the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board following a
meeting with the Principal Teacher and the pupil and guardian or representative to determine
whether the pupil has successfully completed the rehabilitation plan and to determine whether
the pupil poses a threat to others or will be disruptive to the school environment. The Principal
Teacher shall make a recommendation to the BRIGHT STAR Governing Board following the
meeting regarding his or her determination. The pupil’s readmission is also contingent upon the
BRIGHT STAR school’s capacity at the time the student seeks readmission.
Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA) Notification
REQUIRED ANNUAL NOTIFICATION TO PARENTS AND ELIGIBLE STUDENTS REGARDING STUDENT RECORDS
This Notification is required by the FERPA and provides you with important information regarding your rights as
they relate to student educational records. It is directed to parents (including a natural parent, a guardian or an
individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian) and eligible students (students aged 18
years or older or attending an institution of postsecondary education).
YOUR RIGHT AS A PARENT OR ELIGIBLE STUDENT - The Right to Inspect and Review the Student’s
If you wish to inspect/review the student’s educational records, please contact the Principal to make an
appointment to do so. You will be provided access to records within a reasonable period of time, but in no case
more than 45 days after your request is received. School personnel will respond to reasonable requests for
explanations and interpretations of the records. Bright Star Schools will provide you with a copy of the records
or make other arrangements for inspection and review of the requested records if its failure to do so would
effectively prevent you from exercising your rights to inspect and review the records.
The Right to Consent to Disclosures of Personally Identifiable Information Contained in the Student’s
Educational Records, Except to the Extent the Law Authorizes Disclosure Without Your Consent.
Bright Star Schools will limit the disclosure of information contained in a student’s education records except:
(1) By your prior, written consent; (2) As directory information; or (3) Under certain limited circumstances
permitted by FERPA. Some instances in which disclosure is permitted without your consent are set forth below.
Directory Information. Your consent is not required for Bright Star Schools to release the following student
information designated as ―directory information‖:
Date of birth
Place of birth
Previous school or district attended
Weight & Height for athletic teams
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 28
Dates of attendance
Achievements or honors
If you wish to refuse to permit Bright Star Schools to release directory information, you must submit your
written refusal to the Principal’s Office within two weeks prior to the first day of classes.
Disclosure To School Officials. Bright Star Schools may disclose personally identifiable information from a
student’s education record without your consent to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest
in the information. School officials include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Administrators, supervisors, and teachers
Counselors, therapists, and other non-teaching personnel
Authorized volunteers or interns
Temporary substitutes for administrative, supervisory, or teaching personnel
Members of Board of Directors, when acting in their official capacity
Contracted consultants or other professionals (ie., attorneys, auditors, evaluators)
A ―legitimate educational interest‖ is the person’s need to know in order to fulfill the school official’s
professional responsibility and/or to provide a service or benefit to the student or the student’s family.
The Right to Seek Amendment of the Student’s Education Records that t he Parent or Eligible Student
Believes to Be Inaccurate, Misleading, or Otherwise in Violation of the Student’s Privacy Rights.
If you believe the student’s records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the
student’s privacy or other rights, you may ask Bright Star Schools to amend the record. You are also entitled to
a hearing to present evidence that the record should be changed if the Academy decides not to alter it
according to your request. A form for this purpose and additional
information is available in the Principal’s office.
The Right to File a Complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Concerning Alleged Failures by the
Academy to Comply with the Requirements of FERPA.
You are entitled to file a Complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if you believe the Academy has
violated FERPA. Complaints may be sent to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education,
400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-5901.
Bright Star Schools complies with FERPA (20 U.S.C. § 1232g and § 1232h; 34 C.F.R. Part 99); the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 1400; 34 C.F.R. Part 300); and A.R.S. §§ 15-151, 15-142.
Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
PPRA affords parents certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for
marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:
Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following
protected areas (―protected information survey‖) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the
U.S. Department of Education (ED)–
1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 29
3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of –
1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance,
administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a
student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or
required under State law; and
3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for
marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
Inspect, upon request and before administration or use –
1. Protected information surveys of students;
2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or
other distribution purposes; and 3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.
These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State
law. Bright Star Schools has developed and adopted policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these
rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information
surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution
purposes. Bright Star Schools will directly notify parents of these policies at least annually at the start of each
school year and after any substantive changes. Bright Star Schools will also directly notify, such as through U.S.
Mail or email, parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted
below and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific
activity or survey. Bright Star Schools will make this notification to parents at the beginning of the school year
if the District has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For
surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents will be provided reasonable notification of
the planned activities and surveys listed below and be provided an opportunity to opt their child out of such
activities and surveys. Parents will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys. Following is
a list of the specific activities and
surveys covered under this requirement:
Collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution.
Administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by the United States
Department of Education.
Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening as described above.
Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5901
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 30
COPIES OF FORMS THAT MUST BE SUBMITTED
1) Permission for Publication of Work
2) Parent Commitment
3) Request for Information (language, IEP, etc)
4) Food and Tansportation (is that there? If not, reiterate in HB sections that it may not exist.)
5) Trip Permission
6) Religious Release
Sample Absentee Form
The information requested below is required for a student to be allowed to return to classes after any
absence from school. It must be brought to CP addressed to his/her homeroom teacher or the
Principal. These forms are sent home the first week of school. For extra copies this can be xeroxed or
you can request additional copies by sending a note to the homeroom teacher.
Student Absentee Form Today’s Date:
Student’s Name: Homeroom: ______
Reason for Absence:
Parent/Guardian signature: Phone #
*Remember a doctor’s signature may be required for prolonged illness.
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 31
Medications to be Taken During School Hours
Child's Name: ___________________________________________________________________
Birth Date: _________________________School:____________________________________
MEDICATIONS AND DOSAGE INSTRUCTIONS
1. Medication: ___________________________________________________________________
2. Medication: ___________________________________________________________________
LENGTH OF TIME MEDICATION WILL BE NECESSARY
Start Date: ___________________________________________________________
End Date: ___________________________________________________________
Physician's Signature: __________________________________________________
Date: _____________________________Phone Number:____________________
I request that my child, ______________________________________________________ , be assisted in
taking the above prescribed medication(s) at school by authorized persons. I will comply with school
policies and procedures.
SIGNED: ________________________________ RELATIONSHIP: _______________
HOME PHONE: ________________________ WORK PHONE: __________________
PERSON TO NOTIFY IN CASE OF EMERGENCY IF PARENT CANNOT BE REACHED:
NAME: ________________________________________ RELATIONSHIP: _________________
HOME PHONE: _______________________ WORK PHONE: ____________________________
Please note that any psychotropic medications must be accompanied by at least 3 medical opinions
given showing that the parent has done full and complete research prior to putting their child on these
medications. We work with parents to encourage movement towards weaning children off of all
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 32
Please take the time to thoroughly read through this handbook with your child(ren) and with any adults
who will be involved with the school in terms of picking children up or being responsible for them in
any other way. We will expect familiarity with these rules and guidelines from all people in contact in
any way with our schools.
Please ask any body in the office or an Administrator if you have any questions about the meaning of
anything written in this Handbook. If something is unclear, please ask for clarification. Please fill out
one form per family.
We understand that this is a part of the registration requirements for Bright Star Schools. The
registration of a student at any Bright Star School is an express agreement on the part of the students
and their parents/guardians to observe the school policies and procedures as set forth in this
handbook and any that may be deemed necessary by the administration for the education of the
BSS Student(s) Names, Grades, and Signature(s) (all students in the family must sign)
Printed Name Grade Level Signature
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
Parents’/Guardians’ Signatures (all adults on Emergency Card must sign)
Printed Name Relationship Signature
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
____________________________ _______ _____________________________
I (We) have read the Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook, 2007-2008 and agree to abide by
the information set forth.
To be completed by school representative:
Date form returned with signatures: ____________________________
Signature of school representative: ________________________
Bright Star Schools Student/Parent Handbook Table of Contents updated July 5, 2007 33
Parent Meeting June 4, 2009
Rosa Bernal – 11th
Ms. Grant – 9th
Valette Graves – 9th
Ms. Salazar (Alan’s mom) – 12th
Ms. Juarez (Mario’s mom) – Maria will be in 8th
Hermelinda Salas – Miriam will be in 9th
Form committee now for next year
Governance Committee vs. Parent Group? One committee with 2 point people
Same people volunteering all the time for the same things. Threat is out there but not
All parents are part of the parent group and if they don’t do their hours.
Parents to collect money each semester. We give it back.
HC parents haven’t received any report cards in the 2nd semester.
Conferences for all parents if failing any class.
Send out notices if a kid is failing any class!!!
CP: yellow violations not being dealt with until the next day. Follow up enforcement with
Bus misbehavior issue – missed whole day for this?
Rudeness to parents. Disrespect needs to be reported and enforced.
Partnership – Nobody’s checking to see if work is getting done.
Are kids allowed to use the computers in PS? Should be Yes. Parents say No.
Breakfast on the bus?
Bad date on the milks? Kids told Ms. Sanchez, lady doing lunch.
Culinary class. Valette willing to help out. Girls with knitting croshaying sewing.