SY 2012-2013 Parent Handbook - Tree of Life by fjzhangweiyun


									      TREE OF LIFE


                        “We Are Family”

 “Tree of Life Community Public Charter School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national
  origin, sex, age, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and
                           TABLE OF CONTENTS
Message to Parents and Students            Page 4
Tree of Life Staff                         Page 5, 6
Mission Statement, Philosophy              Page 7
Policies and Procedures
      Notice of Nondiscrimination          Page 8
      Notice of Procedural Safeguards and  Page 8
      Grievance Procedures for Parents
      and Students
      Grievance Procedure                  Page 9
      School Arrival and Dismissal         Page 10
      Attendance                           Page 11
      Before and After Care                Page 13
      Homework                             Page 13
      Medication Use, Illness & Health     Page 14
      Cell Phones & Electronics            Page 14
      Protecting Student Privacy           Page 15
      Emergency Care                       Page 15
      School Closings                      Page 15
      Field Trips                          Page 15
Student Code of Conduct                    Page 19
Dress Code                                 Page 28
Parent(s)’/Guardian’s Rights               Page 30
Parent(s)’/Guardian’s Responsibilities     Page 31
Parent/Guardian Involvement                Page 32
Parent/Guardian Volunteer Protocol         Page 36
Parent Meetings and Conferences            Page 37
Library/Media Center                       Page 37
Safety Procedures                          Page 37
Fire Drills                                Page 38
Property and Litter                        Page 38
School and Lunch Rules                     Page 38
Student Organizations and Clubs            Page 39
Lost and Found                             Page 39
Honor Roll &Awards                         Page 39
Special Education                          Page 40
Student Support Team (SST)                 Page 41
School Songs& Affirmative Motto            Page 42-44
School Pledge&Afrikan Pledge               Page 43, 44
Rooted in a Child’s Success                Page 45
Adrinkra Symbols                           Page 46
Statement of Commitment &
Verification of Receipt of Parent Handbook Page 49

                          Message to Parents and Students

       Welcome to Tree of Life Community Public Charter School. Tree of Life is a
“family friendly, full-service community charter school” serving grades pre-
kindergarten to eighth. Our theme this year, our 13th year of operation, is: Accelerated
Student Achievement & Progress; and Meaningful Family Engagement.
       Our goal is for each student to achieve holistic (academic and social) gains
[including meeting annual yearly progress (AYP)]. Tree of Life staff have committed
to a year of high levels of accountability and excellence. We expect parents and
students to do the same. We will provide to students (and their families) quality
instruction, programs and activities.
       Please review and commit to following the policies and procedures in this
handbook. Please commit, today, to ensuring your child(ren) has (have) on-time daily
attendance. Engage in a reading activity daily with your child(ren). We look forward
to serving and working with you towards a year of great success.

                               Tenika Holden, Principal

                          Message to Parents and Students

       A new school year presents opportunities for various beginnings – new classes,
new friends, new staff, and often new curriculum. Starting a new year gives us the
opportunity to make new plans, design new strategies, and implement new ideas.
Whether one’s responsibility is administering, supervising, teaching, preparing lunches,
maintaining the building, or managing the office, there is always room for improvement
and for new ways to do a good job even better.
       The teaching staff is committed to each child and we are always looking for ways
to achieve our learning goals.
       We are glad to have our parents as partners and we want to assure you that we
will do our best to help your child experience academic, social, and emotional growth
and achievement. With your help and cooperation, this should be an excellent school

                         Carolyn Brooks, Assistant Principal

                   Tree of LifeCommunityPublicCharterSchool
                  2315 18th Place, N.E.Washington, D.C. 20018
                  Phone: (202) 832 – 1108 Fax: (202) 832 – 1113

                       Carl J. Hampton – 301-537-7681

Patricia L. Ngozi Williams– Executive Director, Ext. 11
Tenika Holden - Principal, Ext. 25
Carolyn Brooks – Assistant Principal, Ext. 24
Tonette Cooks - Executive Secretary, Ext. 17
Lynell Gray – School Secretary, Ext. 10
Camille Fountain - Chief Administrative Officer, Ext. 34

Kimberly Holloway-Educational Facilitator, Ext. 22
Dr. AtibaVheir - School Psychologist, Ext. 16
Patricia Ragland– Family Support & Enrichment Coordinator, Ext. 36
LaRita Monagan – Special Education Coordinator, Ext. 35
William Minter – Special Education Teacher, Ext. 35
JoVonne Tabb – Special Education Teacher, Ext. 35
Camad Hembree – In-School Suspension Officer, Ext. 28
Lynell Gray – Attendance Monitor, Ext. 10
James Gaines – Educational Facilitator, Ext. 20
Gertrude Morgan – Reading Tutor
School Nurse, Ext. 26

       TEACHING STAFF 2012-2013
        Dana Boston - Teacher
      Kendall Maloney – Teacher
       Paige Williams - Teacher
       Jennifer Lewis - Teacher
      Anton Mcintosh – Teacher
      Romanita Barnes– Teacher
        Edline Blot – Teacher

   Renee Bell – Teacher’s Assistant
  Angela Dixon – Teacher’s Assistant
 Jasmine Ewing – Teacher’s Assistant
 Rodney Gaylor– Teacher’s Assistant
Jessica Robinson – Teacher’s Assistant
 Richard Asare – Teacher’s Assistant
Sharde Davenport– Teacher’s Assistant

        Kara Safford - Teacher
    OleshaHaskett-Basma - Teacher
      Kwame Douglin – Teacher
              – Teacher

        Middle School Team
       Shawanda Whitfield - 5th
          Sharday Melton- 5th
    Tiffany Arnold - Social Studies
       Alicia Chambers- Science
         Rona Lewis - English
         Deanna Green - Math
         Auja Jones - English

           Special Teachers
Creative Arts – Malaya Rucker Oparabea
           Music - Eric Lewis
       Library- Anthony Walker
 Physical Education – KwesiKaramoko
      Spanish Teacher – Gary Reid
       Technology – Javon Smith

            Bus Driver(s)
            Roger Flowers
                               MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of our charter school is to provide a well-rounded education of high
expectations, structure and accountability for students in grades Pre-K through 8 in a
holistic, safe, nurturing and family-friendly environment in a manner that develops
academic and social skills, as well as character-building qualities, in our students that
will equip them to succeed in life.
                                VISION STATEMENT
It is our vision to prepare our children to become exemplary citizens of our community
and world through: Academic, cultural and experiential exploration; Technological
proficiency; exposure to traditional languages and values’ building affirming and
maintaining positive family, communal and world relations (instilling a strong sense of
national identity and service); and national and world travel.

        Each child is born with great potential;
        Academic excellence in literacy, language, math, science and social studies are
         essential for world citizenship;
        Technological proficiency is essential for world citizenship;
        Student success is strongly enhanced when instruction is provided by;
         competent teachers that possess high expectations for student achievement,
         receive quality training and embrace the school principles;
        Student success is strongly enhanced when students are agents as opposed to
         solely subjects in their learning environment;
        Early and continuous (student and teacher) assessment is essential for; optimal
         student achievement, instruction and parental involvement;
        Culture and relationships are essential components of a child/family-focused
         learning environment. Each child’s relationships within a family, the
         community and the planet must be nurtured, integrated and fostered in an
         effective learning environment;
        The learning environment must be flexible to respond to individualized and
         changing needs of students and families; and
        An integrated system of family services is critical to each child’s educational

                           Tree of LifeCommunityPublicCharterSchool
                                       Policies and Procedures
                                   NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION

In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VI”), Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”), Title II of
the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (“The Age
Act”), applicants for admission and employment, students, parents, employees, sources of referral of
applicants for admission and employment, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective
bargaining or professional agreements with Tree of Life Public Charter School (“Tree of Life”) are hereby
notified that Tree of Life does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or
disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities.

Students, parents and/or guardians having inquiries concerning Tree of Life’s compliance with Section 504,
ADA, Title VI, Title IX, and/or the Age Act as they apply to students or who wish to file a complaint
regarding such compliance should contact:
               La Rita Monagan 2315 18th Place, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20018
               Office Phone: 202-832-1108 Fax: 202-832-1113

For inquiries or to file a complaint regarding Tree of Life’s compliance with ADA, Section 504, Title VI,
Title IX, and/or the Age Act as they relate to employees or third parties, contact:
                Camille Fountain 2315 18th Place N.E., Washington, D.C. 20018
                Office Phone: 202-832-1108 Fax: 202-832-1113

                 Notice of Procedural Safeguards and Grievance Procedures for Parents
                                             and Students

Parents and guardians who want to learn more about their rights under Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act can obtain a copy of their procedural safeguards from the
Section 504 Coordinator:

                La Rita Monagan 2315 18th Place, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20018
                Work Phone: 202-832-1108 Fax: 202-832-1113

Anyone who believes the Tree of Life has violated the regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VI, Title IX, and/or the Age Act by discriminating on the
basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability may submit a complaint pursuant to Tree of Life’s
Grievance Procedures. A copy of the grievance procedures can be obtained by request through:

        La Rita Monagan 2315 18th Place, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20018
        Work Phone: 202-832-1108 Fax: 202-832-1113

                                              Grievance Procedure

Any person who believes that Tree of Life has violated the regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VI, Title IX, and/or the Age Act by discriminating on the
basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability may submit a complaint to the designated individuals

Complaints involving students who attend Tree of Life may be submitted to:

       La Rita Monagan 2315 18th Place N.E., Washington, D.C.20018
       Office Phone: 202-832-1108 Fax: 202-832-1113

Complaints involving Tree of Life employees or third parties may be submitted to:

       Camille Fountain 2315 18th Place N.E., Washington, D.C.20018
       Office Phone: 202-832-1108 Fax: 202-832-1113

The grievance procedures outlined below establish how complaints will be investigated and resolved. These
grievance procedures are intended to provide for a prompt and equitable resolution of complaints. These
grievance procedures may be used by employees, students, parents, or third parties. These grievance
procedures do not bar individuals from filing claims in other forums to the extent permitted by state or
federal law.

Tree of Life encourages individuals to discuss their concerns with appropriate school officials before
resorting to a formal complaint. However, individuals are not required to do so before filing a formal

Tree of Life prohibits retaliation against individuals who file a complaint or participate in a complaint

A formal complaint may be filed by following the steps outlined below:

            Step 1

            Within 90 days of the alleged discrimination or harassment, written notice of the complaint must
            be filed with the individual designated above. If the complaint is being made against the
            designated individual above, the complaint can be submitted directly to the individual identified
            in Step 2, who will designate an appropriate individual to investigate the complaint. The written
            notice must include the nature of the complaint, the date(s) of the occurrence, the desired result,
            and must be signed and dated by the person making the complaint.

            Upon receipt of the written notice of the complaint, the designated individual will immediately
            initiate an adequate, reliable and impartial investigation of the complaint. Each investigation
            will include, as necessary, interviewing witnesses, obtaining documents and allowing parties to
    present evidence. All documentation related to the investigation will remain confidential.

    Within thirty (30) business days of receiving the written notice of the complaint, the individual
    investigating the complaint will respond in writing to the complainant. The response will
    summarize the course and outcome of the investigation, and identify an appropriate resolution.
    If, as a result of the investigation, it is determined that discrimination or harassment have
    occurred, appropriate corrective and remedial action will be taken.

    Step 2

    If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision from Step 1, he/she may submit a signed
    statement of appeal to the Executive Director,2315 18th Place NE, Washington, D.C.20018,, (202) 832-1108,within ten (10) business days after receipt of the
    response. The Executive Director, or a designee, will review all relevant information and meet
    with the parties involved, as necessary. Within twenty-one (21) business days of receiving the
    statement of appeal, the Executive Director, or designee, will respond in writing to the
    complainant summarizing the outcome of the appeal and any corrective or remedial action to be

    Step 3

    If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision from Step 2 he/she may appeal through a signed
    written statement to the school Board of Trustees within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the
    Executive Director’s response per Dr. Carl Hampton at 2315 18th Place, N.E., Washington,
    D.C.20018.In an attempt to resolve the grievance, the Board shall review all relevant information
    and meet with the concerned parties and their representatives within thirty (30) days of the receipt
    of such an appeal. A copy of the Board's disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each concerned
    party within fifteen (15) business days of this meeting.

    The complainant may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at any time before or during
    the grievance procedures. The regional office for the District of Columbia is located at 400
    Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC20202 and can be reached at (202) 453-6020 (ph), (202)
    453-6021 (fax).

Tree of Life will follow the DC Public Schools 2011-2012 calendar, unless otherwise

                     SCHOOL ARRIVAL and DISMISSAL POLICY

ARRIVAL: Breakfast will be served at 7:30 am daily. Students are to report to the
cafeteria (Village Center) by 7:50 am. Students are to arrive no earlier than 7:30 a.m.
(unless enrolled in before care). The official school day begins promptly at 7:50am.
PreK students will either be picked up by the teacher and lead to the classroom or walk
orderly to class independent of the teacher. Please make sure that your child arrives
at school on time every day. Students are marked tardy after 8:00 am. Students
who arrive after 8:10 am must check in at the security desk to receive a tardy slip
to be admitted to class. Late students will not be admitted to class without a
tardy slip. Excessive late arrival (tardiness) will be subject to consequences (see
Tardiness, Absenteeism and Early Pickups).

DISMISSAL: The official school day, for grades pre-kindergarten through eight, ends
at 3:30 pm. All students (unless enrolled in after care; see Before and After Care)
must be picked up promptly from the front of the school. If the parent/guardian is
to be delayed in picking up child (ren), the parent/guardian must notify appropriate
school officials as early in the school day as soon as possible and no later than 3:00 p.m.,
so that timely and appropriate arrangements can be made for the child when possible.
Failure to pick up students by 3:30 pm will result in a late fee. Similarly, the
parent/guardian must notify the teacher (or principal) as early as possible during the
school day of any planned early pickups. The Teacher has the right (and is encouraged)
to refer parent/guardian to principal if early dismissals appear inappropriate or become
excessive. Any request for early pickups by anyone other than parent/guardian must be
in writing and/or authorized by parent/guardian.


Tree of Life adheres to the Compulsory School Attendance Law of the District of
Columbia, requiring children from age 5 to 18 to enroll in and attend school regularly
(unless otherwise approved by the School Board of the District of Columbia).
Parents/guardians are responsible for making sure their children enroll in and attend
school. Regular and timely attendance is extremely important!

Each student enrolled at Tree of Life Community Public Charter School is expected to
attend school every day for the entire school day unless there is an exceptional health or
a family reason that prevents attendance. School begins at 7:50 am everyday. School
ends at 3:30 pm for all students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Eight. Attendance
and tardiness will be recorded in each classroom shortly after the beginning of the
school day and promptly forwarded to the designated school administrator. Unless
approved in advance or otherwise known to school officials, any student’s absence must
be explained by a written statement from the student’s parent/guardian explaining the
reason for the absence upon the student’s return to school. A student returning to
school from an absence in excess of five consecutive days must be accompanied by
a physician’s authorization to return.

Note for excused absence must be:
  a. Illness of the student or doctor’s appointment;

      b. Exclusion due to quarantine, contagious disease, infection, infestation, or other
         condition requiring separation from other students for medical or health reasons;
      c. Death of the student’s immediate family;
      d. Necessity for a student to attend any judicial proceeding as a party or witness;
      e. Observance of religious holy days;
      f. Temporary closing of the school facility or suspension of class due to severe
         weather, official activities, holidays, malfunctioning equipment, unsafe or
         unsanitary conditions, or other conditions requiring the closing of the school
         facility or suspension of classes

   Excessive absences and tardiness diminish the ability of the student to learn and
   disrupts the classroom community. A student is considered tardy if he or she arrives
   after 8:00 am. Persistent absenteeism and tardiness from school will result in the
   following actions being taken. An unexcused tardy will result in lunch detention; 5
   unexcused tardies or 5 detentions will result in a one day in-school suspension (10
   tardies results in no dress down for remainder of the advisory). An excuse note is due
   no later than the Friday after the absence. If student fails to bring a note (with a valid
   excuse) to justify the absence within five school days, the student must report to
   Saturday school detention and will not be eligible to participate in any extra
   curricularactivities at the school including but not limited to recess. Failure to report to
   Saturday school may result in benching or suspension. Families are expected to
   schedule recreational activities and vacation only during designated school breaks.

   Please also note the following Tree of Life Community Public Charter School policies
   and mandates in regards to absenteeism and tardiness:

         Tardy                                           Action
        1 Tardy                                  Afterschool Detention
       5 Tardies                              1 Day In-School Suspension
       Absences                                          Action
Each absence               The attendance monitor attempts to contact the parents and/or
                           guardians if the student is not in school.

Unexcused Absence          Student must attend Saturday School; failure to report to
                           Saturday School may result in suspension (or benching)
5 unexcused absences       Administrator calls the family to indicate the school’s concern
                           and offer support. A parent and school administrator
                           conference is required. The parent, additionally, is given
                           written correspondence indicating the student’s tardiness and

10 unexcused absences      Administrator refers the student and parent to truancy court
                           and Child and Family Services indicating the student’s tardiness
                           and absenteeism. Parents/guardians, further, are advised that
                           significant additional unexcused absences will be grounds for
        Absences                                          Action
15 unexcused absences      Attendance monitor refers the student and parent to truancy
in a school year           court and or Child and Family Services indicating the student’s
                           tardiness and absenteeism. Further, parents/guardians are
                           advised that significant additional unexcused absences will be
                           grounds for retention.
30 or more unexcused       As outlined in the D.C. Law 8-247, "The District of Columbia
absences in a school       Compulsory School Attendance Amendment Act of 1990”, a
year.                      student accumulating thirty (30) or more unexcused absences
                           within a full school year will cause student to be considered for
                           retention in grade for the next academic year and/or denied
                           readmission, unless valid reason exists for absences and
                           evaluation supports promotion.

                                  BEFORE and AFTER CARE
   The before and after care program will be coordinated through Tree of Life. This
   program will provide childcare, instructional assistance and enrichment activities to
   families. Breakfast will be served during before care and a snack provided during after
   care. The before care hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. The after care hours
   of operation are 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Students participating in the before and after care
   program must be able to adhere to the procedures and rules specific to the program in
   order to remain enrolled. Students will be enrolled in the program as spaces are
   available. Snacks will be given to all students enrolled in the after care program. A
   supper program is available for all students that are enrolled in the after care program
   that are picked up after 5:30 pm. There is a late fee of $1 per minute for all students that
   are picked up after 6:00pm. All students owing a late fee will have to be picked up by
   3:30pm. Students will be able to return to Enrichment after all fees are paid.
   It is, ultimately, the student’s task to take home his/her assignment, complete it and
   return it to school on time and in the designated format. Parental oversight of
   homework activities, however, is essential. Where it is our hope to develop skills
   and study habits, and qualities of self-discipline and responsibility, parents are
   encouraged to:
            provide an appropriate time and place for study;
            monitor this time (free of distractions – radio, video games and
              television); and
       ensure assignments are brought home, completed and turned in as
Textbooks are very important to the instructional program and homework assignments.
Parents/guardians are required to sign each book slip (that comes home) indicating the
student’s receipt of the book(s) listed. Parents/guardian’s failure to sign book receipt
forms and return them to child’s teacher will prevent child from receiving their book(s)
and will jeopardize his/her academic success. All books received are to be kept in good
condition. Parent/guardian will be required to pay for any lost or damaged textbooks.
                                  MEDICATION USE
Only prescription medications will be dispensed to children at school by authorized
personnel. The request for administering medication must be accompanied by
1) written authorization by parent/guardian; and 2) by a referral from a physician
(indicating the kind of medication and dispersal schedule). Medication must be in the
prescription bottle with child’s name on label and will be secured appropriately on
school premises by authorized personnel. Parents are strongly encouraged to: a) notify
school of students being administered medication from home; b) consistently administer
medication (from home); and c) notify school of any disruption in administering of
medication from home.

                              ILLNESS AND HEALTH

We want to keep all of our children healthy.Your full cooperation, therefore, is
necessary in following our health policy. Parent/guardian is requested to notify the
school if a child contracts or is exposed to any contagious disease. Students who are
sick before school should be kept at home for the day. Parent/guardian should notify
school that morning as to the nature of the child’s illness. Parent/guardian or
authorized individual will be notified and required to pick up child immediately if
child becomes ill while at school and/or if child is displaying any of the following
        fever above 100 degrees
        colored mucous coming from eyes, ears, nose or mouth
        apparent pink eye or skin rash or ring worm
        asthmatic systems (includes coughing, heavy breathing and/or wheezing,
        chronic illnesses
Child returning to school after a reported illness, will be readmitted to class only if
written documentation is provided explaining cause of illness and medical
approval to return. If child’s illness warrants medical attention, documentation of
visit and the outcome must be provided upon child’s return to school. In the event
of a child’s prolonged illness, at-home instruction and assignments may be arranged by
school officials.
                           CELL PHONE & ELECTRONICS
Cell phone and other electronics such as Ipods, MP3 players, video games, or cameras
are not permitted in classrooms or hallways. The School is not responsible for lost,
damaged or stolen items. Electronics retrieved from a student (after unauthorized
use) must be retrieved by parent or guardian. (Students may use front office phone
to contact parents).
                         PROTECTING STUDENT PRIVACY
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, better known as the Buckley
Amendment, is a federal law that governs the maintenance of student records. Under
the law, parents of students have the right to inspect records kept by the school about
the student and the right to request corrections if inaccuracies are suspected. All other
access to records is limited to specified school staff, to ensure confidentiality and quality

                         EMERGENCY CARE PROCEDURES
Parent/guardian should instructchild(ren) (and review regularly) of the plan to follow
in case of an unscheduled early dismissal. Specifically, students who walk home or
travel by public transportation or school transportation should know what to do
and where to go if school should close early due to bad weather, lack of heat, or any
other emergency. Parent/guardian or designee will be contacted by school officials in
case of any unscheduled early dismissal. Parents/guardians who transport their
children to school will be expected to arrange for the immediate pick-up of their
child(ren). Any child not retrieved within two hours of initial contact of reported
emergency may be subject to a Child Protective Service referral.
If an emergency arises where students and staff are not allowed to leave the school
premises, then the school’s Emergency Plan will be put into effect. [Note: The school-
wide Emergency Plan is available upon request.]

                                 SCHOOL CLOSINGS
School closings (due to snow, excessive heat or other emergencies), and other important
school information impacting the entire DC public school system is announced on local
radio and television stations. Tree of Life follows DCPS’ closing decision in these
instances. Tune in to any of the following and listen for DCPS’ decision and respond
       Radio                                                  Television
WPFW (89.3 FM)          WOL (1450 AM)              Channels 4, 5, 7, and 9
WHUR (96.3 FM)          WTOP (1500 AM)             Cable channels 8 and 28
WMAL (630 AM)
You can also receive FREE E-MAILnotifications regarding school closings and
delays. Go to You can also take advantage of School's Out
Update Cell Phone Alerts. Your phone will ring with the school alert within seconds or
minutes of the news release! Visit to learn more.

                                      FIELD TRIPS
Field trips are considered an important part of the instructional program. Field trips
are planned to reinforce classroom instruction and to extend the learning process
outside of the physical classroom. Students who have been inconsistent in
demonstrating appropriate student conduct may be permitted to attend field trips based
upon the decision of the child’s teacher and if accompanied by parent/guardian or other
adult designee. Parent/guardian accompaniment is strongly encouraged for all
students as field trips provide parents/guardians the opportunity to partner with their
child(ren) in the learning experience. Field trip notification is provided to
parent/guardian, in most cases, at least a week or more in advance. A signed Parent
Consent form and payment (costs for these trips are usually kept to a minimum), is
required for students who have been granted permission to participate. Students will
not be allowed to go on field trips unless we have a working number to contact the

                     Tree of Life Community Public Charter School
                     General Standards for Community Conduct

Character building is an integral part of our behavioral management program. Children
are innately good and desire to do what is right. Tree of Life embraces this principle and
encourages children to pursue the best part of themselves, developing character traits
such as respect for self and others, collective work and responsibility, fairness, honesty,
and sense of purpose. A strong sense of character and ability to control one’s own
behavior are essential tools for a positive learning experience. Additionally, self-
managed students enhance opportunities for optimal classroom instruction and
school climate. Tree of Life, therefore, encourages all students to:

Respect Self; Respect Others; Respect Elders; Respect Community
Hi – 5’s: Be Ready, Be Prepared, Be Responsible, Be Proud & Be of Service
Respect Self:
    Exhibit self-discipline and a responsibility for his/her own conduct
    Exhibit positive, productive behaviors that will facilitate his/her ability to
      learn and assist in establishing supportive and honest relationships with
      students, teachers, administrators and other personnel and visitors

Respect Others:
   Recognize that every child has an equal right and responsibility to learn and
     manifest their greatest potential. Therefore students shall:

          respect the personal property of others and refrain from causing
           intentional damage or unnecessary wear and tear to the personal
           property and school materials of others;

          refrain from fighting, bullying, using profanity, threatening others,
           creating disturbances, denying others the use of school facilities or
           buildings, using or carrying any weapon on school grounds,
           intentionally injuring another person, or acting in a manner that
           would expose others to risk or danger of harm or injury; and

          refrain from using tobacco, or using or possessing, transmitting or
           being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, narcotic
           substance, or illegal or prohibited drug or substance; or by engaging
           in gambling, extortion, theft, assault, or any other unlawful activity.

Respect Elders:
    Understand and embrace elders as wisdom keepers, valuable teachers and
     leaders whose contributions strengthen the educational experience and
     whose presence fosters the development of intergenerational relationships
Respect Community:
    Appreciate the importance of the school community, at large, as they enrich
     the educational experience.

                      Policies of Rewards and Consequences

     Any and all student behavior that is consistent with the rules and
     expectations of Tree of Life will be reinforced and rewarded. Rewards and
     reinforcements may include but are not limited to:
         Positive Referrals
         Daily recognition of 4’s
         Verbal/physical praise
         “Good news” call to parent/guardian
         Stickers, stars, certificates
         Healthy snacks, video parties
         Extra recess time, computer time, or time with a selected staff person
         Community service opportunities
         “Wall of Fame” recognition; Opening and Closing Circle recognition
         Incentives
         Field trips
         School Store (as part of point system)

     Any behavior that is inconsistent with positive character will not be
     tolerated and will subject the student to corrective measures. After two
     warnings for inappropriate behavior, corrective measures may include but are not
     limited to:
      Verbal reprimand
      Teacher-student conference
      Benching (Brief time out, at teacher’s discretion, within the classroom until
        student is ready to resume work).
      Loss of privileges or activities (recess, field trips, special events, assemblies,
      Detention
      Communication with parents (phone calls, parent-teacher conferences)
      Referral to the Dean of Students
      Referral to School Psychologist
      Referral to Principal (conference with student or with student and parent)
      Referral to Family Support Team
      Suspension in school or out of school (1– Day; 3- Day; 5-Day)
      Expulsion
                                  Inappropriate Behaviors & Consequences


                                             BEN- Benching
                                      ASD - After School Detention
                                        ISS - In-school suspension
                                      OSS- Out of school suspension
                            BMP - Behavior Management Plan/Intervention Plan
                                     FST - Family Support Referral
                                      SST - Student Support Team
                                            EXP – Expulsion

         Protocols for Benching

         When a student violates any part of Tree of Life’s Code of Conduct, that student
         earns consequences according to the behaviors and consequences listed below.

         When a student is benched, the following must occur:

         Prior to Benching
            a) teacher must have a designated area for benching
            b) student and student’s parent must be aware of benching process and protocol

         When a Student is benched
          a) the student must be moved to an designated isolated area of the classroom
          b) student will reframe from interacting with class (unless there is a cooperative
             learning activity)
          c) benching includes loss of recess, specials, and/or other privileges
          d) no behavior points are earned while a student is being benched
          e) Teacher will complete referral form, send with student to ISS, and ISS Officer
             notifies parent/guardian about behavior
          f) Three benches may equal ISS/OSS suspension, or SST referral
          g) Student who fails to comply with benching protocols will result in ISS/OSS
       Inappropriate Behavior              Infraction     Code          Consequences
         Disruptive Behavior                   1         100.00
(outbursts, excessive talking, excessive       2         100.20        Benching 1 day
  playing, out of seat, passing notes,         3         100.40           Detention
           throwing objects)                   4        *100.60     After-school detention
                                               5        *100.80     In-School Suspension
                                                                   Out-of-School Suspension

   Refusal to complete assignments             1        105.00
                                               2        105.20      Parent Conference (consider SST referral)
                                               3        105.40
                                               4        105.60
    Failure to complete and submit             1        106.00          Complete homework in detention

      Disrespect to elders/adults              1        110.00
                                               2        110.20    In-School Suspension/ Apology letter presented
                                               3        110.40              to class in parent presence
                                               4        110.60       Out-of-School Suspension/ Apology letter
                                                                                 Possible Expulsion
               Profanity                       1         115.00          Detention/define positive words
                                               2         115.20                In-School Suspension
                                               3         115.40             Out-of-School Suspension
                                               4         115.60
     Harassment (intentional written,          1        *120.00        In-School Suspension /Anti bullying
     verbal, sexual, and/or physical           2         120.20          intervention/Parent conference
 bullying, intimidation, or harassment         3         120.40             Out-of-School Suspension
            for the purpose of                 4         120.60
   embarrassing/denigrating another
person, physically harming a person or
  damaging the person’s property in a
severe, persistent, or pervasive manner
      and creates an intimidating or
 threatening educational environment
    that has the effect of substantially
interfering with the student’s education
   or adult’s right to teach or manage
   student behavior. Harassment also
  includes written or verbal electronic
                  Stealing                     1        130.00            Parent Conference/Restitution
                                               2        130.20                In-School Suspension
                                               3        130.30              Out-of-School Suspension
               Cheating                        1        130.00            Parent Conference/Restitution
                                               2        130.20                In-School Suspension
                                               3        130.30              Out-of-School Suspension

        Inappropriate Behavior             Infraction    Code                     Consequences

Fighting with peer/student (depends            1        140.20                  Benching: 1 day
on severity)                                   2        140.30               In-School Suspension
                                                                            Out-of-School Suspension

Harassing, hitting or fighting an adult        1        150.00                      Expulsion
                                               2        151.00

                                                                            Parent/Guardian Meeting
               Truancy                         1        160.00                     SST referral
                                                                  Referral to Truancy Court and/or Child and
                                                                                 Family Services
                                                                                Parent Conference
    Excessive sleeping during class            1        160.10                     SST Referral
                                                                  Referral to Truancy Court, Child and Family
                                               1        170.00                In-School Suspension
Indecent exposure/inappropriate use            2        170.20    Out-of-School Suspension (referral to School
              of body                                                             Psychologist)
   Public Display of affection( to be

                                               1        180.00      Parent Conference/Community Clean Up
Leaving classroom without permission           2        180.20               In-School Suspension
            Skipping class                     3        180.40             Out-of-School Suspension

                                               1        190.00
Destroying school property or property         2        190.20    In-School Suspension (incl. clean & repair or
               of others                       3        190.40                    restitution)
   (including text and other books)                              Out-of-School Suspension (incl. clean & repair)

    Possession of any weapons or               1        200.00                      Expulsion
 instruments designed or commonly
          used as weapons

Intentionally injuring or threatening to       1        210.00              Suspension or Expulsion
         injure another person
   Creating a hazardous/dangerous              2        210.20
     situation/school environment

    Refusal to be benched or serve             1        220.00              In-School Suspension
               detention                       2        220.10             Out-of-School Suspension

Possession of profane materials, sexual        1        220.00              Suspension or Expulsion
   harassment, sexual assault or the
    display of sexually indecent or
          lascivious behavior

        Inappropriate Behavior             Infraction   Code                      Consequences

 Personal electronic (MP3, IPod, etc..)        1        240.00      Confiscation of item until parent retrieves
        and cell phone use             2     240.20                Parent Conference
                                       3     240.40

School Attendance Without Uniform      1     250.00
                                       2     250.20      Contact guardian for uniform pick-up
                                       3     250.40       student, or student sent home (with
                                                        documentation support)/Family Support

 Inappropriate Use of Internet/Cell    1     260.00   Loss of technology for a week/Confiscation of
              Phone                    2     260.20                  laptop if applicable
        Viewing/Accessing                               Parent Conference/Appropriate Internet
  Inappropriate/Explicit Material      3     260.40                      assignment
                                                                    Suspension of laptop
 Eating/Possession of candy / Gum      1     270.00                       Disposal
                                       2     270.20                Community Clean Up
                                       3     270.40                       Detention
                                                               IS Suspension/OS Suspension
  Receiving Three Detentions in a      1     280.00                      Suspension
Receiving Three or more Suspensions    1     290.00               Warrants Expulsion
                in a
       Academic/School Year

                              Rewards & Consequences Specifics

* Verbal praise - verbally acknowledging and encouraging appropriate behavior in
accordance with Affirmative Method
* Classroom recognition - encourage teachers to develop an age appropriate system of
recognizing students based on the culture of the classroom; student recognized primarily by
teacher and classmates
* School-wide recognition - administration develops a system of recognition that is
implemented by all staff; students are recognized by entire school via daily announcements,
monthly field trips/activities, earning behavior points, Positive Behavioral Referrals, award
assemblies, participation in the school store, and participation in Fun Days (trampoline, Moon
bounce), and etc
* Leadership opportunities - students can be recognized by any staff for exemplary character
and nominated for leadership positions such as Student Council; student also recognized by
entire school community for demonstration of character
* Community recognition - particularly where community service is concerned, community
leaders/members can be encouraged to nominate students and staff for community service;
TOL community and community members at large recognize student or staff

*Redirection & Teacher conference - staff redirects and talks to student and encourages student
to get back on track
*Parent contact - staff contacts parents/guardians to inform them of student’s infraction/misconduct
(parents/guardians encourage students to get back on track)
*Benching:teacher moves disruptive student(s) to an isolated part of the classroom to address
behavior and classroom management issues in accordance with the code of conduct
*Recess detention - student spends recess time in assigned detention area, and is responsible
for writing a letter of apology for whoever was disrespected by the infraction (i.e., classmates,
teacher, other staff, etc.)
* Lunch detention - student spends recess time separate from classmates in designated
detention area; if detained for refusal to complete classroom assignments, student is to work
on incomplete assignment to completion
*After School Detention- student spends time after school in assigned detention area; if
detained for refusal to complete classroom assignments, student is to work on incomplete
assignment to completion; if detained for behavioral challenges, student will complete given
assignment or reflection essay.
*In School Suspension (ISS) - student spends suspension time in designated ISS area (time
contingent upon severity of infraction); student is responsible for completing an apology
letter, reflection essay, and/or some other assignment; parent/guardian is notified of
infraction and suspension, and a parental meeting is held prior to students’ return to the
classroom to discuss circumstances and prevention planning. Failure to demonstrate
appropriate behavior in ISS may result in OSS.
* Out of School Suspension (OSS) - student spends suspension away from school (time
contingent upon severity of infraction); student is responsible for completing an apology
letter, reflection essay, and/or some other assignment; student is NOT able to integrate back
into the classroom until a parent conference is held.
                        General Standards for Community Conduct

                            Appropriate Behaviors & Rewards

   Conduct Area                            Rewards                         Implementation
  Respect for Self &     Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-
        Peers              wide recognition, leadership opportunities     Staff, parents, peers
     Respect for         Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-    Staff, parents, peers
    Elders/Adults          wide recognition, leadership opportunities
     Respect for              school-wide recognition, leadership         Staff, parents, peers
Environment/Property                     opportunities
     Respect for        Classroom recognition, school-wide recognition,   Staff, parent, peers,
     Community                      community recognition                 community leaders

    Appropriate                            Rewards                         Implementation
     Behaviors                                                              Responsibility
Cooperative behavior/     Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-   Staff, parents, peers,
work well with others      wide recognition, leadership opportunities     community leaders
 Punctual Attendance      Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-   Staff, parents, peers,
                           wide recognition, leadership opportunities     community leaders
   Compliance with        Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-   Staff, parents, peers,
  classroom & school       wide recognition, leadership opportunities     community leaders
 behavioral standards
   Compliance with        Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-   Staff, parents, peers,
  directives given by      wide recognition, leadership opportunities     community leaders
     Responsive to        Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-   Staff, parents, peers,
      redirection          wide recognition, leadership opportunities     community leaders
  Demonstrate and         Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-   Staff, parents, peers,
 encourage pro-social      wide recognition, leadership opportunities     community leaders
  Positive Academic       Verbal praise, classroom recognition, school-   Staff, parents, peers,
      Progress             wide recognition, leadership opportunities     community leaders

                        Tree of Life Community Public Charter School
Tree of Life Community Public Charter School provides a safe haven for its students,
families, staff and community. Our safety provisions comply with District and Federal
regulations. Possession of weapons, drugs and alcohol, and violent behavior is strictly
prohibited; nonviolent conflict resolution, timely and daily attendance to school, and
other positive behaviors outlined in the school’s disciplinary policy is strongly fostered
and recognized.

It is our aim that our students develop self-discipline. Our code of conduct places value
on the following behaviors: self-respect; self-discipline; respect for others (and the
property of others); courteousness; open communication; conflict resolution;
responsibility for actions; service; authenticity (honesty); building others up; and
maintaining loving relationships. Classroom-specific behavioral expectations (and
consequences) are developed, to augment school-wide discipline objectives and facilitate
a safe and orderly learning environment, by the teacher and students (and sometimes
non-instructional staff) and shared with parents. We place greater focus on positive
behavior and provide frequent “good news” contacts with parents. In addition to
frequent “good news” phone and in-person contacts, parents will receive regular student
performance checklists (that highlight student academic and social behavior) to promote
continued parental support of school-based objectives.

While the focus of our discipline plan is that of modeling, shaping, and rewarding
positive behavior, the attached chart of behavioral rewards and consequences outlines
consequences for inappropriate behavior. Such consequences include, but, are not
limited to: benching; loss of privileges; peer mediation; parent contact; suspension; and
expulsion. Every attempt will be made to discipline students in school, allowing them
to continue their education while being held accountable for inappropriate actions.
Teachers and other staff may refer, to the Student Support Team (SST), students who
show a pattern of disruptive, aggressive and/or inappropriate behavior. (The SST
review brings together the parent(s), teacher(s), school and community to support
student efforts to modify undesirable behavior.) Additionally, for the same students
described above, the school psychologist may establish short-term counseling (for
student and possibly family). Community leaders and clinical experts; may be utilized
for exceptional disciplinary challenges.

   1.   Suspension and Expulsion

Students may be suspended from school for a specified number of days or expelled from
the school for the remainder of the school year by the Principal (for suspension or
expulsion) or an Administrative Designee (for suspension only) for serious infractions.

Expelled students may re-apply to attend school the following year, but will receive no
preference even if siblings attend. The school will attempt to contact the student’s
parents/guardians before a student is suspended or expelled.
A serious infraction sufficient to justify consideration of suspension or expulsion is one
which threatens the health, safety or welfare of a student, teacher or staff member or
repeatedly impairs instruction for the student’s classmates. Serious infractions include,
but are not limited to the following:
  a) intentionally causing significant damage to school property or the property of
     others at school;
  b) intentionally injuring or threatening to injure another person;
  c) possession of any weapons or instruments designed or commonly used as weapons;
  d) possession of profane material, sexual harassment, sexual assault or the display of
     sexually indecent or lascivious behavior;
  e) possession and/or use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs; and
  f) repeated and consistent misbehavior that significantly disrupts classroom
     instruction and school climate that results in 3 or more lunch/after school

Absent extenuating circumstance as determined on a case-by-case basis by the principal,
any student who brings a weapon into the Tree of Life Community Public Charter
School shall be expelled for not less than one year. The principal shall refer to the
criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system, simultaneous with expulsion, any
student who is expelled for bringing a weapon into school, pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 8921
et seq.

   1.1 Procedures for Suspending and Expelling Students.

The principal reviews the student behavior of issue and makes the decision to suspend
or expel the student, with or without the recommendation of the student’s teacher or
other school employee. The number of days of suspension or the decision will be based
upon the principal’s determination of the least amount of suspension necessary to assist
the student in re-gaining self-control. The decision will be documented and sent
(certified mail for expulsions) to the student’s parents or guardians at the address listed
in the school’s records. All expulsions and suspensions of over five (5) days shall be
reported to the Charter School Board, as part of the monthly attendance report. After
three suspensions from school within the same school year for the same or different
infractions, expulsion will be considered.

The student’s parents or guardians have five school days to challenge the suspension or
expulsion by submitting an appeal of the principals’ decision, in writing, to the chair of
the board of trustees. The Board of Trustees will issue a decision in writing to the
parents or guardians and the principal within 5 school days after receiving the appeal.
The Chair of the Board of Trustees shall convene a special meeting of the Board of
Trustees to consider the appeal of the suspension or expulsion. The student and his or
her parents or guardians, the student’s teacher, the principal and other school staff may

be invited to participate in the special meeting as the Board sees fit. The decision of the
Board of Trustees in affirming or reversing the Principal’s decision is final.

   1.2 Procedures for Suspending and Expelling Student with Disabilities

The basis for disciplining, suspending or expelling students with disabilities shall be no
different than the basis for such actions taken against student without disabilities, as
long as repeated disciplinary actions do not establish a pattern of removing the student
from a classroom setting that denies the student a ‘free appropriate public education
(FAPE)’. Reasonable accommodation of a student’s disabilities shall not prevent the
principal from disciplining, suspending or expelling students whose behavior threatens
the health, safety or welfare of a student, teacher or staff member or repeatedly impairs
instruction for the student’s classmates. A conference with appropriate school
personnel shall be convened, upon any recommendation for suspension of a student with
a disability for more than 10 days (cumulatively), to determine if the behavior is related
to the student’s disability.

   2.   Grievance Procedures.

It is the policy of Tree of Life Community Public Charter School to treat all students in
a fair and impartial manner. Students’ parents or guardians may submit a grievance to
the school to resolve any problems (other than those involving discrimination on the
basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability) as expeditiously and fairly as
A grievance is any significant parent or guardian concern that arises in the treatment of
and/or provision of educational (or other) services to their child. Parents and guardians
of students who believe that they or their child have been treated unfairly are
encouraged to utilize the following grievance procedures:

   1. The parent or guardian should discuss the situation with the Family Support
      Coordinator (FSC) and/or school designee, in an effort to resolve the issue. The
      FSC may arrange a meeting between all parties involved in the grievance,
      including the principal, to facilitate an informal solution to the grievance.

   2. If a solution cannot be attained, as outlined in step 1, the FSC shall advise the
      parent or guardian of the student to place the complaint in writing to the
      principal (who must respond in writing within 5 school days upon receipt of

   3. The FSC shall forward documentation that step 1 was attempted & failed. If the
      parent or guardian of a student is dissatisfied with the determination reached by
      the principal in writing, he/she should forward pertinent written materials
      (complaint & principal’s response) to the chair of the board of trustees within 5

        school days of receiving the principal’s response. The parent or guardian of a
        student must notify the principal of this action.

   4. The Board of Trustees shall convene a special meeting of the Board of Trustees
      to discuss a resolution to the grievance. The student’s parents or guardians and
      principal may be invited to participate in this special meeting. The Board of
      Trustees will issue a decision in writing to the student’s parents or guardians and
      the principal within 5 school days after receiving the grievance. The decision of
      the Board is final. There will be no retaliation of any kind against a student for
      his/her parent’s utilization of this grievance procedure. Parents or guardians
      may seek guidance from the FSC in the preparation of a grievance and utilization
      of grievance process.
   5. The Charter School Board shall be contacted for concerns to be heard.
   3. Grievance Procedure for Teachers and Staff
Teachers and other school staff may also submit a grievance related to the education of
a student or the actions or inactions of parents or guardians, when informal discussion
between related parties has proved unsuccessful. Such grievances may be filed with the
principal, directly and in writing, with a copy sent to the student’s parents or guardians.
Subsequent grievance procedures follow those outlined in steps 3 and 4 listed above.
   4.  Distribution
Copies of this policy shall be distributed to all members of the school community at the
start of school, upon Charter Board approval. Each person receiving a copy shall sign a
statement acknowledging receipt of the policy.
5. Dress Code
The following dress code has been adopted by the school (based on parental mandate).
Uniforms are required five days per week, unless student EARNS the privilege to wear
regular clothes on Fridays. Students should wear uniforms on Friday unless he/she
receives a coupon or notice. The dress code applies to half days and field trips unless
otherwise determined. In addition, students of grades Pre-K thru 1 must have a
change of clothing (undergarments and an extra uniform t-shirt and pants) in case
of emergencies. All students are required to dress and wear proper or appropriate
clothing during DRESS Down (nothing revealing or provocative) and for physical
education (PE) classes (bring an additional set of clean gym clothing to keep in
locker along with deodorant). Elementary students are required to wear proper
Girls:                                              Boys:
Grades Pk-4:                                        Grades Pk-4:
White, light blue or navy blouse/shirt;             White, light blue or navy blue shirt;
navy skirt, jumper, slacks/or shorts          navy slacks and/or shorts
Middle Academy:
Grades 5-8: Beige bottoms; TOL Polo Shirts/Sweat Shirts
Note: Foot attire will be determined by parent/guardian. School officials strongly
encourage dark shoes (navy or black). The wearing of tennis shoes and other
shoes are permissible; if the wearing of this foot attire however contributes to the
intimidation of any student or to the interference of the learning process or safety
of any student, then such foot attire will be strongly discouraged. Heelys (and
other unsafe shoes) are not permitted.

Please ensure child(ren)’s daily compliance of dress code. Adhering to the dress code is
an important student responsibility just as daily attendance, respect for the learning
environment, homework completion, etc. Violation may result in suspension.
Parent/guardian should contact the Family Support Coordinator if assistance is needed
in ensuring his/her child(ren)’s compliance.

                  Tree of Life Community Public Charter School
                    Parent(s)’/Guardians’ Rights and Responsibilities


Parent(s)/guardians have the right to:

  1. Expect competent, well-trained, prepared teachers in the classroom and qualified
      personnel in all school positions;
  2. Be treated with courtesy and respect by school personnel regardless of race,
      creed, color, educational background or economic status;
  3. Be made welcomed by the principal, teachers, other staff, students and all others
      present on school premises when a school visit is made;
  4. Be assured that information provided for school use will be kept confidential;
  5. Receive regular communication regarding important school activities, dates,
      procedural changes, and overall weekly affairs of the school;
  6. Be informed by the Chartering School Board and/or the Board of Education of
      new legislation, judicial decisions and policy that will effect the education of their
  7. Be represented on the School Advisory Council and school’s Board of Trustees;
  8. Share in the educational decisions that directly affect their children;
  9. Be given answers when questions regarding the educational program arises;
  10. Be consulted on and have explained thoroughly any special tests to be
      administered to their children or special classification assigned to children;
  11. Be informed of special academic programs (or other supportive programs) open to
      all students anywhere in the city;
  12. Expect a request for a teacher conference or conference with any school official or
      staff person warranted to be set up as soon as possible;
  13. Visit school and/or classroom(s) when it will not interfere with the effective
      operation of the school or classroom(s);
  14. Be provided opportunities to lend skills, expertise and/or resources to the
      successful operation and advancement of the school;
  15. Be called when a student is absent from school, or when a teacher or any other
      staff notice an irregular pattern of attendance;
  16. Be notified midway in the marking period the overall progress of child;
  17. Be notified immediately when a child is suspended;
  18. Be notified if a child is taken ill at school and to have child attended to by school
      medical staff as appropriate; and
  19. Expect protection for children from physical and emotional harm during school

                     Tree of Life Community Public Charter School
                       Parent(s)’/Guardians’ Rights and Responsibilities


Parent(s)/guardians have the responsibility to:

  1.    Ensure child(ren)’s regular and on time attendance;
  2.    Send child(ren) to school as clean, as well fed and as prepared to learn as possible;
  3.    Keep ill children home
  4.    Send disciplined children to school;
  5.    Instill in child(ren) a respect for themselves, their teachers, school staff and school
        as well as respect for the safety, rights and property of their classmates;
  6.    Provide a correct address and contact numbers and to report any changes in this
        information immediately to child(ren)’s teacher and front office
  7.    Engage in respectful, productive communication and behavior with school
        officials and staff, other parents and students;
  8.    Meet the thirty (30) – hour mandatory parent/guardian volunteer requirement.
  9.    Teach child(ren) the value of education
  10.   Share with child(ren) the responsibility for safety;
  11.   Cooperate with school staff in the enforcement of rules that will ensure an
        orderly, safe and protected environment for all children;
  12.   Support efforts to create an atmosphere for learning in every classroom;
  13.   Discuss with child(ren) his/her daily progress;
  14.   Provide a regular place at home for child(ren) to do homework and to monitor the
        completion of assignments;
  15.   Go through proper channels (approaching school officials first) to seek a solution
        to problem (see Grievance Procedures);
  16.   Respond to a call from a teacher, principal and/or other staff person for a
        conference at the earliest opportunity possible;
  17.   Report to the school front office upon entering the building;
  18.   Not to seek to interfere with classroom instruction and management nor to hold
        unscheduled conference with child(ren)’s teacher when visiting child(ren)’s
        classroom; and
  19.   Pay all outstanding balances – for before/aftercare, breakfast/lunch, textbook
        damage or loss, school facilities and/or equipment damage, etc.

                       Tree of Life Community Public Charter School
                                      Getting Involved

       One of the fundamental principles of the Tree of Life Community Public
Charter School is that parents are the greatest link in the chain of a child’s
education. Parents support student learning by participating in student assessments
and individualized learning plans and by reinforcing school-based learning outcomes. It
is particularly important that every parent/guardian participates as follows:


       It is strongly encouraged that parents confer with their child’s teacher on a
regular basis to be apprised of a student’s performance throughout the year. Such
meetings reinforce the partnership between parent/guardian and teacher and assist the
parent/guardian in knowing how best to direct and encourage the child’s progress.
Conferences should be held primarily by appointment to enable both parties
uninterrupted time. School-wide Parent-Teacher Conferences are held at the
conclusion of each of the first three advisory periods (in accordance with DCPS’ Parent –
Teacher Conference schedule) to discuss and distribute students’ progress reports (report cards).
No conference is held at the end of the fourth advisory. Progress Reports are sent home by
children of grades Pre-K through 4 and mailed to the home of each middle school student.


       Parents may walk students to the classroom before 7:45am yet may not interrupt
teachers when school is in session. Birthday parties during the instructional day are not
permitted. Scheduling of parties during snack time may be requested and arranged with
the Enrichment Coordinator.
       Family involvement sets a strong foundation for our school. We are therefore
committed to creating a school environment where every parent/guardian embraces the
importance of family involvement. All families (to include grandparents, other
family members, support persons) arerequired to commit at least 30 volunteer
hours per year in support of their child(ren)’s education. It has been amply proven that
parent involvement results in more successful schools and successful students. Tree of
Life therefore, welcomes expertise and resources that parents/guardians can share with
the school. The following are suggested opportunities in which such resources and
skills can be shared.

                          Tree of Life Community Public Charter School
                                        Getting Involved

I. Assist at the School

      1.    Share information with a student or class about a hobby;
      2.    Share information with a student or class about a career;
      3.    Share information with students about a country in which you have
            lived or visited;
      4.    Tutor one or a small group of students in reading, math or other areas;
      5.    Serve as a volunteer for students in Before and/or Aftercare;
      6.    Help check a student's written work;
      7.    Help facilitate a club or coach an athletic team;
      8.    Help publish a school or classroom newsletter (this can also be done at
      9.    Help assist with administrative tasks;
      10.   Help students work on a final exhibition or project (this can also be
            done at home or at a work place);
      11.   Help answer the school phone (particularly during Aftercare hours 4pm-
      12.   Help supervise students during school arrival and dismissal in the
            periods and in the cafeteria during lunch;
      13.   Help plan or present a theme-based program for students;
      14.   Demonstrate cooking from a particular country or culture to students;
      15.   Share a skill with the faculty;
      16.   Help students plan and build an outdoor garden or other project which
            beautifies the school;
      17.   Help coach students for academic competitions such as Science Fair or
            Spelling Bee;
      18.   Help with Open Enrollment process; and/or
      19.   Provide transportation for other parents to parent/teacher conferences
            and to other meetings and school events.

                       Tree of Life Community Public Charter School

                                  Getting Involved

II. Extend Learning by Helping to Arrange Experiences in the Community

     1. Help set up a student community service opportunity at your business,
        organization or agency;
     2. Host a one-day shadow study about your business or organization for
        one or a small group of students;
     3. Help coordinate and/or go on a local field trip with a teacher and a
        group of students;
     4. Help plan and go on an extended (3-5 day) cross country field trip with
        a teacher and students;
     5. Contact a local business or organization regarding possible cooperation,
        and resources; and/or
     6. Help create a natural area/learning space outside the building.

III. Serve on an Advisory or Decision-Making Committee

     1.   Volunteer for the school wide Advisory Council;
     2.   Serve on the school’s Board of Trustees;
     3.   Participate in school improvement initiatives.
     4.   Serve on a school committee which reports to the Advisory Council;
     5.   Serve as an officer or on a committee on the school's PTC;
     6.   Represent the school on a district committee; or
     7.   Help design and/or complete parent and/or student surveys for the school.

IV. Increase Financial Resources Available to the School

     1. Help write proposals which will bring new resources to the school;
     2. Donate materials to the school;
     3. Arrange for a business or other organization to donate monies and/or
        materials to the school; and/or
     4. Help with fund-raising campaigns for the school.

                         Tree of Life Community Public Charter School

                                    Getting Involved

V. Share Information

     1. Serve as a member of a telephone tree to help distribute information quickly;
     2. Read all Parent Notices and Bulletins and communicate with other parents;
     3. Help translate information about the school into a language other than
     4. Help translate at parent/teacher conferences or at other meetings for people
         who don't speak English well;
     5. Write an article to promote school activities for print and electronic
     6. Help create and/or disseminate promotional materials (i.e., flyers, brochure,
         web site, newspaper ad);
     7. Go to another school to provide information about the school;
     8. Write a letter to legislators about the school;
     9. Write a letter to school board members about the school;
     10. Go to a school board meeting to advocate for the school; and/or
     11. Attend and testify at City Council and at Advisory Neighborhood meetings;
     12. Work actively in networking efforts to extend community involvement and
         our involvement in the community; and/or
     13. Arrange for a political leader (mayor, council member, state representative,
         etc.)to visit the school.

VI. Help Other Parents

     1.   Provide childcare and/or transportation assistance;
     2.   Teach or help with a class on ways to be stronger parents;
     3.   Develop and/or participate in a parent support group; or
     4.   Facilitate a parents’ book club or aerobics class.


Expectations (protocol for) of parents/families who volunteer:

     Every parent/family is expected to contribute at least 30 hours of support
      to the school during the course of the school year.

     All volunteer efforts must support the mission of the school and reflect the
      school’s philosophy.

     Parent/family volunteer should sign in upon start of volunteer time (may or
      may not coincide with one’s arrival at school) and sign out and document
      contribution at the conclusion of volunteer time (may or may not coincide
      with leaving school premises). [Documentation form should be posted in every
      classroom and in the possession of other staff persons (if support is provided non-
      instructional staff). Regular documentation is very important as it assists the
      school in accurately recording your involvement and the overall involvement of
      our families.]

     Wherever possible, volunteer assistance should be prearranged with Family
      Support Coordinator (Ext. 29) or other staff persons so as to best maximize
      volunteer efforts. Unscheduled visits and support are always welcome,
      however, interrupting instruction is discouraged.

   If parent/ family is unable to respond to or carry out volunteer
    responsibility, it is expected that parent/family will communicate with
    family support coordinator and/or other staff member in advance or as
    soon as situation becomes known.
   It is at the discretion of school administration to reassign parent/family
    volunteers to other tasks if present assignment/task proves to undermine
    student learning, teacher instruction and/or appropriate school operations.

     No project or activity should be undertaken by any parent or family
      member on behalf of or in the name of the school and/or class without
      receiving prior approval from school officials (conferring with
      administration is always recommended).

     Persistent and/or flagrant violation of the stated protocol may result in the
      barring of parent/family from all volunteer opportunities.

                              Parent Meetings and Conferences

Back to School       Sept 27, 2012
  Academic            Advisory 1           Advisory 2             Advisory 3          Advisory 4
   Student            Midpoint             Midpoint               Midpoint            Midpoint
                     Sept 28, 2012        Dec 7, 2012           Feb 27, 2013         May 14, 2013
Parent/Teacher       Oct 22, 2012         Dec 14, 2012          Feb 25, 2013         June 3, 2013

                                       Library/Media Center

   The library is available to every student in the school. It contains many volumes of
   resource materials to aid students with their completion of assignments. Many
   wonderful fiction and non-fiction books are available. Students have scheduled access to
   the library with permission. No reference materials may be removed from the library
   without permission. There will be a charge for all library books that are lost or not

   We have a computer lab where students receive technology instruction on a weekly
   basis (and teachers, parents and staff on a regular basis). Internet access is protected by
   firewalls and permission to use the internet must be in writing by the parent.

                                          Safety Procedures

      All visitors and parents must sign in at the security desk and then report to the
       office. Please remember to exit the building at the security desk and sign out.
      Students must notify an adult staff member if anyone is in the building without a
       visitor’s pass.
      No student should open doors for anyone at anytime.
      Emergency Evacuation procedures are in place and reviewed with all students and
       staff members each year.

                                         Fire Drills

Fire drills at regular intervals are required by law and are important precautions. The
alarm is a series of blasts of the bell. It is essential that when the first signal is given,
everyone obeys promptly and clears the building out the nearest door. DO NOT pass
an exit to another when exiting the building. Students should refrain from noise and
remain outside facing away from the building until a signal is given. Teachers should
remember to get their roll book and any emergency information when leaving the
building. Be sure to take roll when outside. Remember to shut doors and windows
when possible. In event of an emergency where we cannot sound the alarm, a code
familiar to staff and students will be used.

Exit Doors are posted in every classroom.

Students are to walk quietly from the building following the directions from their
teachers or staff members to the tennis court area. Teachers will raise a green card if all
students are accounted for.

                                    Property and Litter

The Tree of Life School Family takes a great deal of pride in the appearance of the
school. Every student must do their part by making sure trash is deposited in the trash
containers provided. Respect for school property is expected at all times. Gum and
candy are not allowed.

                            School Lunches and Lunch Rules

Free and reduced Lunch – Students who are entitled to free lunch must secure a lunch
application from the main office. The cost of meals will be sent home.

The cafeteria is also a place where good values can be reinforced and students can enjoy
nutritious meals. Each student is expected to practice the following general rules of
good manners. Please practice and reinforce these rules at home.

   1.   Always use good table manners. Respect yourself and others.
   2.   Leave the table and the surrounding area clean.
   3.   Put trash in proper containers
   4.   Remain in your place in line; don’t cut in line.
   5.   Remain in cafeteria while eating or carrying food or drink.
   6.   Follow the directions of the adult in charge.
   7.   Refrain from throwing food, or trash; no fighting, running, or yelling.
   8.   Speak in soft tones.
                           Student Organizations and Clubs

The school and staff sponsor a variety of student organizations and clubs. Intermediate
and middle students may join the Student Council, Boys & Girls Basketball team,
Yearbook or any other student organization offered by the school or staff. All students
will also have the opportunities to join one of the many clubs such as the Photography
Club, Chess Club, Go Green Recycling, Book Club, Beautification Team, etc. We need
volunteers to help with all clubs. Clubs will meet during the recess/lunch block, after
school or on Saturdays.

                                     Lost and Found

TOL is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. However, if you report the item
immediately, every effort will be made to help. All lost articles that are found will be
turned into the Dean of Students’ office. Student belongings should be labeled.

              Honor Roll, Citizenship, Subject and Attendance Awards

At Tree of Life we celebrate student achievement. Awards are given monthly by class
and announced at closing. Awards include:
                          PautNeteru (Top Honor) (Perfect On-Time Attendance,
                             Outstanding Behavior & Academics)
                          Student of the Month (Outstanding Attendance, Academics
                             and or Behavior)
                          Perfect Attendance
                          On-Time Perfect attendance
                          Most Improved Academics
                          Most Improved Behavior
                          Monthly Homework Completion
                          Outstanding Academics
                          Outstanding Behavior

                          School Support Services

These are the following steps taken to ensure effective processing should your child
                    have an IEP or receive any special services:

        1. Provide a complete and current IEP to school
        2. Provide all evaluations from the previous school
        3. Meet with TOL SPED Coordinator

     Special Education Role:
         To ensure that students with special needs are educated with the non-disabled
         To ensure Parental Rights are disclosed.
         To ensure that records are confidential.
         Offer support to certified personnel implementing the Individual Educational
           Plan (IEP) for that student.
         To foster a good working relationship with parent, student and staff.
         To move students according to their abilities. (if a student is making academic
           progress in the regular classroom, it is the team’s responsibility to re-assess
           the student’s achievement and make plans accordingly).

              We look forward to serving your child as needed within the
                      Special Education Department, Ext. 35

                               School Support Services
                                  Student Support Team

  These are the following steps taken to ensure effective processing of your child
             should he/she be referred to the Student Support Team:

The Student Support Team (SST) process is designed to provide support with
academic strategies and/or behavior interventions for student success. The Tree of Life
Community PCS serves students in grades Pre-K through 8.

The SST members include:

The Principal * Assistant Principal * Educational Facilitator * Family Support
Coordinator – Homeless Liaison * Dean of Students * School Psychologist * The Teacher
* The Parent(s)/Guardian(s) and orExtended Family Member(s) of the student

Below are some examples of the challenges addressed to support the academic,
social skills and learning process for your child/children:

1) A pre-k student is challenged with adjusting to the full structured school day, without a
parent, and or sibling member; learning to adjust to a new environment; and/or having
difficulty with letter formation; and or speaking clearly for others to hear in a classroom
2) A child is having difficulty with reading and or math at their current grade level.
3) A child has become frustrated and their behavior(s) impact their learning within the
classroom setting and or their interactions with adults and or peers.
4) A child is upset and or angry with select dynamics that have occurred and their
emotional state is hindering their ability to focus and or obtain and process new
information within the academic process.
5) A child may need to have materials modified to assist within the learning process.
6) A child may be challenged with their self-esteem and or self-confidence within the
academic process.

As a parent, feel free to request a referral form. You may request the teacher or an
administrator to submit a referral form for your child.

               We look forward to serving your child as needed within the
                      Student Support Team Process, Ext. 16
                 Tree of Life Community Public Charter School
                                School Songs

                  The Tree of Life Self-Respect Song
              (Sung to the tune of “You Gotta Be” by Deseree)

       Verse 1                              (Chorus)

  Listen when our elders speak        Wegotta be
  Be nice with our hands and feet
  We will make our school a place     Wegotta be smart
     That’s safe and proud.              We gotta have heart
                                          We are the tree of Life
  Raise our hand before we speak
   Ask before we leave our seats           Wegotta be cool
        Get permission first               Wegotta great school
   Make sure that we’re allowed.          We are the Tree of Life

             (Chorus)                       We gotta be tight
                                            We gotta be polite
                                            We are the Tree of Life
        Verse 2
  Honor our computer minds                  All I know is Self-Respect
  Run and play at proper times              will save the day.
   We know what is right
    And what is not okay.

  Never push, we wait our turn
Patience helps us grow and learn
  We must do the best we can
  In work and play.

            (Chorus 2x)

                     Written by Yaa Peace, Former Kindergarten Teacher
                                 September 2000

Tree of Life Community Public Charter School
                 School Songs

    “Praise the Red, Black and Green”
 Praise the red, black and green
 My brothers and sisters are being redeemed
 I’m going to open up my eyes and see
 I’m on my way to being free

 The red is for the blood that we shed
 The black is for the race that’s us
 The green is for the land aha
 When black people take their rightful place

 Repeat Chorus

 I woke up this morning with my mind
 Stayed on freedom – 3x
 Hallelujah, hallelu, hallelujah
 What you gonna do,
 I’m gonna to walk about, talk about it, fight for (fight for),
 precious freedom – 3x
 Hallelujah, hallelu, hallelujah

                   (James Weldon Johnson)

Lift every voice and sing, til earth and Heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of liberty
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod.
Felt in the day when hope unborn had died
Yet in the steady beat have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed.

We have come over away that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path thro’ the blood of the slaughtered
Out from the gloomy past til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has by thy might, led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Lest our feet stray from the place our God where we met thee
Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee
Shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand
True to our God, true to our native land.

     Tree of Life Community Public Charter School


               I AM GOOD
            A NEW DAY FOR ME
            TODAY I AM GOOD

                 AtibaVheir, PhD

           Tree of Life Daily Pledge
           We are born of an old seed
        We are growing from a deep root
         We are part of a strong branch
          We are the sweet fruit of the
               African Family Tree
              Wherever we may go
              Wherever we may be
                 I am part of you
                You are part of me
   And the fruit don’t fall too far from the Tree
   We are the hopes and dreams of all humanity
             We are the Tree of Life

               Camille Yarborough

         Tree of Life Community Public Charter School

                    AFRIKAN PLEDGE

                 We are an Afrikan people.

               We will be leaders and workers
               to bring about positive change
                       for our people.

                 We stress the development
                 of our bodies, minds, souls
                     and consciousness.

Our commitment is to family development, self-determination,
              self-defense and self-respect
                       for our race.

              Tree of Life Community Public Charter School

                         Rooted In A Child’s Success

One of the most accurate predictors of a student’s achievement in school is a
student’s family becoming involved in the child’s education at school. Assisting
in school or program events/activities communicates to a child “I care about what
you do here.” We want all families to feel appreciated and welcomed, and eager to
assist in the way they can.

Chart your course thus far. Tally the number of points based on your support
and involvement. Calculate points per multiple occurrences within each
category. We thank you in advance for your contribution and look forward to
the commitment that you will extend throughout the year.

Referred A Family And They Enrolled              4 Hours
Spent At Least One Hour In The Classroom
     (Other Than First Day of School)            2 Hours
     Provided Resources to the School            2 Hours
     Identified Resources/Services               2 Hours
     Field Trip Attendance                       6 Hours
     School Beautification/Enhancement           2 Hours
     Before/After Care Assistance                2 Hours
     School Programs                             2 Hours
     Parent Conferences                          2 Hours
     Village Meetings                            2 Hours
     Family Orientation                          2 Hours
     Donations                                   2 Hours
     Other                                       1 Hour

                                     Total         ____ Hours

Parent/Family Name

Child’s Name/Grade


                                A CHAIN OR LINK
Symbol of unity, responsibility, interdependence, brotherhood and cooperation.

                   The symbol reflects unity and responsibility.
                 Its meaning relates to the concept of connection
     With cooperation, it relates human beings to the links of a chain, where the
   interdependence of each person (link) determines the success of the community
                  (chain).This is the symbol of human relations.


                 Symbol of excellence, genuineness and authenticity.
     It relates to the genuineness and authenticity of an object. It reflects excellence
    and is intended to discourage satisfaction with work, behavior of lesser quality or
                                     of second nature.

                             To have foresight.
                              To be prepared.


Symbol of justice, fair play, freedom, peace, forgiveness, unity, harmony and
                      the avoidance of conflicts of strife.
           No one should bite another, outrage or provoke another.
               Tree of Life Community Public Charter School

                     Tree of Life Community Public Charter School

                 STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT &

I have received a copy of the Parent-Student Handbook. I have read and am
willing to adhere to Tree of Life’s policies and procedures that serve to foster a
healthy learning environment for my child(ren) and assist in preparing him/her
in becoming a productive citizen. I understand that my child(ren)’s failure to
adhere to the policies and procedures may negatively impact the success of my
child(ren) and/or result in adverse actions or referrals by the school.

Child(ren)’s Name(s) & Grade(s):             Name               Grade

Parent/Guardian Signature:



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