11: General Areas of Concern
Agenda Notebooks: Agenda notebooks are issued to all elementary students at the beginning of the school year and are used for training in organizational skills and for a communication tool to parents.
Alternative Activities: Each year students participate in field trips, activities, competitions, etc., which are designed to involve all or most of the students in a given class. Some of these activities require additional costs. Students best benefit from participation in alternative activities; however, VLA realizes that it is not always financially possible for each student to participate. If a parent is unable to afford the cost of a specific field trip, VLA will provide alternative in-house learning experiences for the student. If your child will be unable to participate in an alternative activity, please notify his/her teacher or the school office as soon as possible so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Students participating in any VLA outing are not required to buy a meal on the way to or from the event. Frequently, classes will choose to stop for a snack or meal; however no student is required to participate. Students may bring a snack or bagged meal to enjoy when his/her peers purchase theirs. VLA’s goal is to keep any and all such costs at a minimum and to always avail the parent of the option of not participating if the cost cannot be made to fit the parent’s budget.
Asbestos: VLA is an asbestos free facility.
Bullying: The policy of Victory Life Academy is to forbid bullying as defined below for the protection of our students and staff alike on any school property and/or at any school event. Victory Life Academy is committed to maintaining an environment in which all individuals treat each other with dignity and respect. All forms of intimidation and harassment are unacceptable, and the school is prepared to take action to prevent and correct any violations of this policy.
Definition: What is bullying? In general bullying is the exploitation of a less powerful person, by an individual taking unfair advantage that is repeated over time, and has a negative effect on the victim. The seriousness depends on harm to the victim and the frequency. Bullying happens when someone with more power unfairly hurts someone with less power over and over again. Power may be, but is not limited to physical strength, social skills, verbal ability or another resource.
- Is aggressive behavior or intentional harm-doing
- Can be physical, verbal, emotional or sexual
- Is carried out repeatedly over time
- Occurs within an interpersonal relationship characterized by an imbalance of power
3. Examples of prohibited behavior in regard to bullying: name calling, racial slurs, pushing, crowding, or cornering, hitting, pinching, making fun of a person’s body, telling mean jokes about someone, threatening to hurt someone, displaying obscene gestures, hitting someone or taking things without permission.
4. The Difference between Telling and Tattling: Telling is reporting if someone is doing something harmful on purpose. Telling is when you or someone else needs help, or when you are scared. Tattling (snitching, narcing, ratting) is trying to get someone in trouble, or trying to get attention for yourself.
5. A student or parent who has a complaint alleging sexual harassment or offensive, intimidating conduct of a sexual nature may request a conference with a school administrator. All complaints will be promptly investigated. Every effort will be made to protect the privacy of the parties involved with regard to any complaint.
Bus: A bus route will be considered with a minimum of 15 students from the same area. A Bus Route Agreement must be completed in order to ride the bus.
- Students must cooperate with the bus driver and/or monitor.
- The bus driver and/or monitor is authorized to assign seats.
- Students may not eat or drink on the bus.
- Heads, hands and feet must remain inside the bus at all times.
- Feet must be kept out of the aisle.
- Student must stay in their seat while the bus is moving.
- The back exit door and aisle must be kept free from clutter at all times.
Chapel: Chapel is one of the most important and exciting times at Victory Life Academy. Students will meet to worship and praise, and hear the teaching of God’s Word. Attendance by each student is required. Kindergarten through 6th grade participates in Elementary Chapel. The 7th through 12th grade participates in Chapel on a regular basis. Parents and/or guardians are always welcome to attend Chapel. A visitor’s pass is required before joining your child for Chapel.
Closed Campus Policy: VLA has a closed campus policy which includes all students. During regular school hours a student is allowed to leave campus with an adult provided that the student has received prior written permission from their parent/guardian or the adult is their parent/guardian and that adult has signed them out/in at the front office. The only times a student can sign themselves out is if the student has finished all of their classes for that time period and their parent/guardian has made prior arrangements with administration to allow them to do so, or in extenuating circumstances in which their parent/guardian has received approval from administration.
Students who drive: Once a student’s car is parked on campus, it is to remain there and is off limits during regular school hours unless approval is received from administration.
Contacting Teachers: Parents wishing to contact a teacher or administrator should call the school office between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. If the teacher/administrator is unavailable at the time of calling, the secretary will take a message and have the teacher/administrator return the parent’s call. It is requested that parents honor teachers’ and administrators’ family time and church time and try to contact them during school hours.
Curriculum: Victory Life Academy uses a variety of curricula throughout the various grade levels. Curriculum is reviewed periodically to ensure that the needs of the students are met and also that college entrance requirements are met for the high school student. Adjustments to the curriculum will be made as deemed necessary to give each student the best Christian education possible.
FERPA Rights: Parents and eligible students of Victory Life Academy have the following rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the FERPA Policy approved by the Victory Life Academy Board of Education:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records.\
- The right to exercise a limited control over other people’s access to the student’s educational records.
- The right to seek to correct the student’s educational record, in a hearing if necessary.
- The right to report violations of the FERPA to the U. S. Department of Education.
- The right to be informed about FERPA rights.
Parents or an eligible student may request a copy of this FERPA policy in writing or in person from the school office. Copies of educational records may be obtained from the appropriate school office. If needed, the district will arrange to provide translations/interpretations to non-English speaking parents in their native language or to the visually impaired in their mode of communication. All rights and protections given parents under the FERPA and school policy transfer to the student when he or she reaches age 18 or enrolls in a post-secondary school. At that time, the student becomes an “eligible” student.
Fire and Tornado Drills: Regular fire and tornado drills are conducted throughout the school year. Evacuation and action plans are posted throughout the facility.
Field Trip Permission Slips: All students are required to have on file a Parental Release and Agreement Form which gives permission for the student to participate in school field trips and alternative activities. Prior to a field trip, parents will be sent a field trip permission slip. This lists dates, time and any special requirements, i.e., lunch money. This must be returned on or before the field trip date.
General Classroom Information: Students are not allowed to bring electronic equipment or magazines to school unless granted permission by administration. (For cell phones see Wireless Telecommunication Devices)
Food and beverages are to be consumed only in designated and supervised areas.
Inclement Weather Closure: VLA announces all school closures on:
- KTEN – Channel 10 KLBC
- Radio 106.3 fm KXII
- Channel 12 KLAK
- Radio 97.5 fm
As a general rule, if the Durant Independent School District is closed due to bad weather, VLA will also be closed. VLA reserves the right to close independent of the DISD because of students that travel long distances (i.e., Sherman, Denison, etc.). If VLA does not close for weather and the parents deem the roads unsafe to bring, or for their student to drive to school, the absence will be an excused absence.
Lunch: Students may bring their lunch or eat from the school cafeteria. Cafeteria lunches are free for all students. Menus for the cafeteria are distributed to students and posted throughout the school. Microwaves are available; however, refrigerators are not available for student use. Parents are welcome and encouraged to join their child for lunch in the cafeteria. You must obtain a visitor’s pass before joining your child for lunch. VLA is a closed campus and students who drive may not leave campus for lunch. Students may go off campus with a parent/guardian providing the parent/guardian signs the student in/out at the receptionist office.
Parent Action Committee (PAC): Parents are encouraged to attend PAC meetings. These meetings are for the express purpose of helping parents better assist their children to learn, mature, and succeed at Victory life Academy.
Personal Property: Victory Life Academy is not responsible for personal property left in student lockers or in any of the campus buildings or on any of the grounds or facilities of these said premises. It is suggested that the student’s name be marked on all personal property with permanent marker. Items left in the “Lost & Found” will be donated to the clothing bank on the 1st and 15th of each month.
Physical Education: K5 through 6th grade students participate in physical education on a rotating weekly schedule. 7th through 12th grade students are offered physical education as an elective in lieu of Performing Arts. Parents may request that a student be excluded from physical education for medical reasons for up to three (3) days or longer if instructed by physician, by sending a note to the P. E. teacher and/or class teacher and notifying the school office of this information.
All students must wear appropriate tennis shoes during physical education classes and during all athletic practices and events. Students are required to have a pair of gym shoes dedicated to play on the gym floor. Street shoes are not allowed on the gym floor in order to preserve the floor.
Sex Education: VLA believes that it is the parents’ responsibility to teach sex education to their own children. However, in an effort to partner with parents and students, as scheduling permits VLA may offer _________ classes. In such case parents will be notified in advance of the material covered and will be given an opportunity to “opt out” their child’s attendance. If “opt out” is preferred VLA will provide an alternative class.
Solicitation on Campus: Students are not allowed to sell any items at the school without first obtaining permission from the school’s administration. Any items to be sold must be accompanied by an official letter from the parents requesting that such sales be allowed by the school. VLA does not endorse the selling of items at the school nor the items sold. Any such sales allowed will be the extreme exception rather than the rule.
Supplies: Elementary students (K to 6th) can obtain a Supply List from the school office. Middle school and high school students can obtain a Supply List from the school office the week prior to school or at the Parent Orientation meeting.
Student Drivers: Students with a valid driver’s license may drive to and from school. Prior to using their own vehicle, students must complete the Student Driver Authorization form. Students are to adhere to safety standards:
- speed of 10 mph in the parking lot, or less as safety mandates
- entering and exiting parking lot as designated by administration
- driving only in the designated areas in the parking lot
- parking in the designated student parking section
Failure to have the appropriate permission forms on file in the school office, failure to adhere to the above safety standards or reckless driving will be met with disciplinary action.
Action steps range from a verbal admonishment to notification of parents and/or revoking of the privilege to drive to and from school.
Student Information: Parents/guardians are responsible to keep the school office informed of changes of address, telephone numbers, place of employment of both parents, and the current name, phone number and address of the person(s) to be contacted in case of an emergency.
Sexual Harassment: No staff member or student will harass another employee or student in reference to sexual relations. Any harassment should be reported immediately to a member of administration.
Telephone Use: Students will not be called to the telephone except in the case of an emergency. The office telephones are for business and emergency use. Students should not receive or make personal calls on office phones.
Visitors: All visitors must check in at the office. Visitors include family members, potential students, and anyone who is not currently on staff or enrolled at VLA.
Parents of students are always welcome to visit their child’s classroom with administration approval. New prospective students to Victory Life Academy are also welcome to visit the school and classrooms with administration approval. We ask that no friends of students visit the classroom or cafeteria.
Wireless Telecommunication Devices: No student may use any wireless telecommunication device during regular school hours or school-sponsored activities, unless granted permission by administration.
Cell phones are to be turned off during class hours (from 8:00 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.). Phones are to be turned into the teacher at the beginning of class.
Non compliance with this policy will result in:
First offense: The wireless telecommunication device will be taken away from the student and will be turned into the office for one day and the following day after.
Second offense: The wireless telecommunication device will be taken away from the student and will be kept in the office for three days upon arrival to school.
Third offense or more: The wireless telecommunication device will be taken away from the student indefinitely upon arrival to school.
Social Media Policy:
Victory Life Academy understands the importance of students engaging, collaborating and sharing in the fast-moving world of the Internet and “social media” such as “Facebook”, “Twitter”, “Shutterfly”, “Wikipedia”, “blogs” and many other online tools through which people connect and share information. With this in mind, Victory Life Academy has developed the following guidelines to provide direction for students when participating in online social media activities.
- Be aware that all existing policies and behavior guidelines extend to school-related activities in the online environment as well as on School premises. Generally speaking, with respect to social media, Victory Life Academy will not regularly monitor the language and/or actions on such media. Victory Life Academy will defer to the user policies of the individual social medium. However, Victory Life Academy will hold students accountable for conduct violations reported or learned from student uses of social media. Additionally, in the event there is a cause to suspect violation of this policy, students are required to open social media sites to the Victory Life Eagle upon request.
- Also understand that as a Victory Life Academy student you represent the school even when you are not posting to social media during class time, and you should follow these guidelines anytime you post material that could identify you or your relationship to the school.
- Be aware of what you post online. Social media venues are very public. What you contribute leaves a digital footprint for all to see. Do not post anything you wouldn’t want friends, enemies, parents, teachers, or a future employer to see. Remember that once you send a message or picture there is no way to take it back.
- Follow the school’s code of conduct when writing online. It is acceptable to disagree with someone else’s opinions, however, do it in a respectful way. Make sure that criticism is constructive and not hurtful. What is inappropriate in the classroom is inappropriate online.
- Be safe online. Never give out personal information, including, but not limited to, last names, phone numbers, addresses, exact birthdates, and pictures. Do not share your password with anyone besides your parents and teachers.
- Cyber-bullying will not be tolerated. Harassing, denigrating, impersonating, tricking and cyber-stalking are all examples of cyber-bullying. Don’t be mean. Don’t send emails or post comments with the intent of scaring, hurting, or intimidating someone else. Please immediately tell your teacher or another school official if you are a victim of cyber-bullying.
- If in doubt remember “Be respectful, be careful, be responsible, and be accountable.”
- Furthermore, any violation of this policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal from the Academy.
Video Surveillance Cameras:
In the daily operation of Victory Life Academy, the safety of property, visitors, staff and students is protected and maintained by means such as, but not limited to, alert observation by staff as well as video surveillance cameras.
- VLA balances the security of benefits derived from the use of video surveillance with the privacy rights of visitors, staff and students. Therefore, all video surveillance cameras are placed in public places on the premises such as, but not limited to, hallways, classrooms, foyers and stairwells.
- All requests to view video records should be directed to Chief of Security.
- Access to the video surveillance records, e.g. logbook entries, CD, video tapes, etc. shall be restricted to authorized personnel, and only in order to comply with their roles and responsibilities as authorized by the Chief of Security.
- When recorded images from the cameras must be viewed this must only be undertaken by Chief of Security, in a private, controlled area that is not accessible to other staff and/or visitor that are not authorized by the Chief of Security and/or his designee.