Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:
It is our pleasure to welcome you to another successful year at Soaring Heights Charter School. Everyone joins us in saying that we are happy for you to be part of the Soaring Heights family.
The education of your child begins in your home. The school staff wants to support and enrich your child’s development by providing direction so that, together, we will create an environment in which learning is prioritized and social, emotional achievement is cultivated. The home and the school must join together to help students develop study skills, impulse control, self-motivation and a keen sense of responsibility.
This planner is filled with important information. We suggest that parents and students review the contents together. If you have questions that remain unanswered after reading the planner, please call the school office. We know that open and clear communication between school and home is vital to the success of our educational program.
The Soaring Heights Student Planner, sponsored by the Adult Guild, was designed to assist your child in organizing his/her daily, weekly, and long-term assignments. We know this system can improve your child’s organizational skills. In addition, we’re sure that the planner will serve as a reference for parents as they seek to provide academic support at home. Soaring Heights’ parents are our partners in the important job of educating the children of this community.
We welcome your participation and support during the school year and solicit your membership in the Adult Guild. Working together, we will be able to reach our collective and individual goals. We look forward to celebrating with you the achievements of our students.
Soaring Heights Charter School Staff
SOARING HEIGHTS CHARTER SCHOOL
The mission of Soaring Heights Charter School is to prepare a growing number of students for a lifetime of learning as productive citizens in the technological age by training them how to communicate and listen effectively, think critically, solve problems, act responsibly, value their accomplishments, and achieve a high level of academic excellence. By integrating communication training into every aspect of school life, faculty and staff create a safe, open, learning environment, and develop positive, productive relationships among students, parents, members of the community, and themselves.
The school’s breakfast program begins each day at 7:55 a.m. and ends at 8:15 a.m. Please have your child at school no later than 8:25 a.m. each day. Children should not arrive earlier than 7:55 a.m. or remain on the school grounds later than 3:00 p.m. unless they are participating in a supervised activity. Please be advised, even during inclement weather, students are not permitted to enter the building prior to 7:55 a.m.. Supervision WILL NOT be provided for students who arrive before 7:55 a.m. or remain later than 3:00 p.m.. The above procedures are designed for the safety and well-being of your children.
Any child who arrives late for school six (6) times during a single marking period shall receive a one-day out-of-school suspension. The child must return for a conference with his/her parent/guardian before being readmitted to school following the out-of-school suspension.
Reporting an Absence
If your child is going to be absent, please call the following number 201-434-1007.
Home practice will be assigned to all students. Students must record their assignments in this Student Planner. This book will help students manage their time and home practice. Parents can check assignments by utilizing the home practice hotline after 4:00 p.m. at 201-434-2006 or the school website www.shcsjc.org located under the Academics tab. Completed and accurate home practice assignments will improve your child’s academic skills and overall grade.
Home Practice When Absent
When your child is absent from school he/she is responsible for the assignments. Please call the home practice hotline or check the school website after 4:00 p.m. Books can be picked up in the office at the end of the school day or sent home with another child, when requested before 12:00 p.m.
New Jersey State Law mandates that all students entering Soaring Heights Charter School for the first time must provide proof of immunization against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, mumps, measles, chicken pox, and rubella. A physical exam is required for all students entering kindergarten, fourth and seventh grades. All students entering or attending sixth grade must receive one dose of meningococcal-containing vaccine and the Tdap vaccine.
Soaring Heights’ school staff is prohibited from providing or administering any medication, including aspirin, to students.
Students needing occasional medications, such as penicillin, etc., for colds, earaches, and sore throats, are to take these medications at home if possible. Medication that is prescribed three (3) times a day can be given before the student comes to school, after school, and again at bedtime. However, if medication MUST be given at school, it must be personally delivered to the nurse by the parent and accompanied by a written authorization from a doctor that includes the name of the medication and instructions for its administration (time and dosage).
School Breakfast and Lunch
In order for Paid or Reduced status students to participate in the school’s breakfast and lunch program, please send your check or cash along with the completed menu in a sealed envelope to the school by the Friday prior to the new lunch week. Please write each student’s name, grade, and the amount enclosed on the outside of the envelope. In the event of a Friday absence, please follow the above procedure upon returning to school. Meals may NOT be purchased on a daily basis.
Student Performance and Evaluation
Report Cards will be distributed at the end of each marking period. This is a means of informing parents/guardians of each student’s progress, or lack of progress, in each subject. Student’s progress can be viewed on www.oncourseconnect.com
A+ = 97 – 100
A = 90 – 96
B+ = 87 – 89
B = 80 – 86
C+ = 77 – 79
C = 70 –76
D = 67 – 69
U/F = BELOW 67
Progress reports are a means of communicating to parents/guardians how their child is performing both academically and behaviorally. They will be distributed half-way through each marking period.
Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
In order to provide a safe and civil environment necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards, Soaring Heights Charter School prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying. The school expects students to conduct themselves with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, and to treat school facilities and equipment with care. There will be consequences, and appropriate remedial action will be taken, in cases where students commit acts of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying. Stephanie Mastropaolo is the HIB Coordinator and Lisa Dinallo is the HIB Specialist. They may be reached at (201) 434-4800.
Students are expected to act in a responsible manner at all times. It is not possible, nor is it desirable, to delineate rules covering every possible situation which a student will encounter. Common courtesy and sensitivity to the rights of others will guide students properly in most situations. However, it should be clearly understood that all pupils are held accountable for their actions.
The staff requests parental support in helping to maintain appropriate conduct in the school. Children’s behavior should reflect self-respect and consideration for the rights, feelings, and property of others.
Change in Student Information
In order to be able to contact families at all times, it is imperative that the school be notified immediately of a change of address, home, cell, or office telephone number, or of a change in emergency information during the academic school year. Please make sure to notify the school should any changes occur.
When severe weather creates hazardous conditions, the regular school schedule may be suspended or modified to ensure students’ safety. It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to monitor news reports via the radio/television. Announcements are normally broadcast between 6:00 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. on WNBC, Channel 4 as well as on www.shcsjc.org. You will also receive a telephone call from One Call Now.
Fire Drills and Security Drills
Every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of your child during normal school hours. Periodic fire drills and security drills are executed to assure students learn proper safety procedures and adhere to all safety guidelines.
The Adult Guild is a vital part of our school program. We encourage parents to support the Adult Guild by becoming active members. A successful school needs the services of the Adult Guild. Special guests are invited to present information at the meetings which are scheduled periodically throughout the school year on the first Thursday of the month.
Cell Phones and Electronic Devices
Students who bring a cell phone or electronic device with them to school may not use them on school premises and/or school field trips. Cell phones and electronic devices must be brought to the office or given to the classroom teacher at the beginning of the day and picked up at dismissal. If a cell phone or electronic device is seen or goes off in class, the device will be taken away from the child and an adult must pick up the device from the school.
Student Dress Code
- Collared Shirts—plain, solid white, light blue or navy.
- Sweaters- plain, solid, navy WITHOUT HOODS.
- Khaki skirts or shorts should be no shorter than one inch above the knee.
- Long-sleeve shirts worn under short sleeve shirts must be a solid color (white or navy).
- No leggings, jeggings, stretch pants, skinny fit pants, jeans, low-rise pants or tight fitting pants.
- No midriff showing. If you raise your hands over your head and your midriff shows, your shirt is too short and not appropriate.
- No undergarments or shorts may be showing under your clothes.
- No undersized (tight) or oversized (baggy) clothing.
- No jeans, denim pants or skirts.
- No flip flops, sandals, open toe shoes or slippers. Feet must be enclosed.
- No hats may be worn inside the building.
To be worn only on gym days
- Sweatpants, sweatshirts and shorts must be only black without stripes or writing other than the school logo.
- No hooded sweatshirts. Sweatshirts must be black pullovers without hoods.
- Shirts must have the school logo. A walk-a-thon shirt is acceptable.
- Sneakers should have white soles or say “no skid marks” on the sole.
- No jerseys or oversized T-shirts.
- No leggings, jeggings, stretch pants, skinny fit pants, low-rise sweatpants or tight fitting pants.
*Please note: If a student isn’t dressed in proper attire, his/her parents/guardians will be called to provide an appropriate uniform.
Physical Education is an integral part of the instructional program. All children will be required to participate unless a doctor’s note is presented. Gym uniforms and sneakers are required in order for your child to participate. Failure to follow the gym uniform policy will result in a lower grade.
Textbooks are loaned to your child by the school and should be treated as borrowed property. Students must pay for textbooks that are lost or damaged. Please be aware that water damage can occur when walking to school/home during inclement weather when books are not properly protected inside book bags.
Special Education and Section 504 Policy
Soaring Heights Charter School provides a free and appropriate education for every child enrolled in the school. Furthermore, the school has procedures in place governing interventions for students in the general education program, such as Intervention and Referral Services. If such interventions are not effective, these issues may be referred to the school’s Child Study Team. When appropriate, Child Study Team case managers will make referrals to community agencies.
If you have any questions regarding the school’s Section 504 policy and procedures, you may contact Myra Ibarra, Section 504 Coordinator. She may be reached at Soaring Heights Charter School, 1 Romar Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07305, or by phone at (201) 434-4800.
Gifted and Talented
Soaring Heights Charter School Gifted and Talented Program is designed for students when compared to their chronological peers, possess or demonstrate exceptionally high levels of ability in one or more content areas. The various Gifted and Talented programs are created by Soaring Heights staff and are designed to engage and challenge the students. The Enrichment Program begins in October and continue through May. Topics and activities vary from year to year.
Within the regular classroom, teachers differentiate instruction to challenge, motivate and engage the higher learners. The students for the enrichment program are selected by teacher recommendation, MAPs and NJSLA Assessment scores. Students in the program will work in small groups with two instructors to engage with complex information, abstract ideas, and advanced skills twice a week for 17 weeks. Students will take a pre and post test for each unit to determine growth in the topics studied. All gifted students will be included regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, income or language.
Gifted and Talented Appeal Process
Overview: New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:8-3.1 defines students who are gifted and talented as those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability in one or more content areas when compared to their chronological peers in the local district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.
The complaint shall include:
- The name, address, and contact information of the complainant;
- A statement that identifies Soaring Heights as not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and the specific facts on which the allegation of non-compliance is based.
An individual who believes that Soaring Heights has not complied with the provisions of this Act may file a complaint with the Director. Based on the decision of the Director the individual may file a petition of appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees.
- The complainant shall submit to the school in writing the specific concern.
- The Gifted and Talented Coordinator shall notify the Director of such grievance.
- The grievance committee and the Director shall hear the grievance within 30 days. The Committee shall then make the recommendation for action or non-action. This recommendation will be discussed with the appealing party in a schedule meeting with 15 days.
- If the recommendation is that the student will now be eligible for the Gifted and Talented services, he/she may begin receiving services as soon as the parent/guardian signs the permission slip.
- If the recommendation is that the student is determined to be not eligible for the Gifted and Talented Program, a written appeal may be made to the Soaring Heights Board of Trustees, which shall have the final decision.
FERPA and PPRA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327).
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232h; 34 CFR Part 98) applies to programs that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). PPRA is intended to protect the rights of parents and students. For additional information, you may call (202) 260-3887.
When celebrating a child’s birthday in grades K-4, only store-bought or bakery cupcakes are permitted due to the fact that a number of our students have food allergies. Thank you for helping us keep our children safe while they enjoy the occasion at hand. In order for this activity to be scheduled into the school day with the least interruption to the academic program, a two-day notice is required for a birthday celebration in class. This precaution will allow parents to provide a substitute for children who have allergic reactions to certain ingredients found in cupcakes. By giving early notice, no one will be left out of the party.
In order for parents and teachers to work collaboratively and best serve our students’ needs, all parent-teacher meetings will be attended by a minimum of two staff members. All parent-teacher meetings must be scheduled in advance so that an appropriate amount of time may be allocated.
Scheduled Meeting Policy
If a parent/guardian is more than 15 minutes late for a scheduled meeting, the school may not be able to honor the meeting time. Therefore, the parent/guardian must reschedule the meeting.
It is the policy of Soaring Heights Charter School not to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, religion, national origin, or disability in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices.