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School Handbook

Table of Contents


Accreditation

The Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School is operated by the Augusta Adventist Church under the auspices of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Seventh-day Adventist schools are accredited by the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities, which is a member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation, an organization approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the purpose of enrolling non-immigrant students.

In Georgia, Seventh-day Adventist school accreditation is additionally approved by the Georgia Private School Accreditation Council, which was accepted by the State Board of Education on August 13, 1998 as an accreditation agency.


 Philosophy of Education

The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes God as the ultimate source of existence and truth. In the beginning, God created a perfect humanity in His image, perfection later marred by sin. Through Christ and His Holy Spirit, God determined to restore humanity to its original state. The basic tenets of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as well as the inspired writings of Ellen G. White, are directed toward God’s restorative plan for fallen humanity.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church operates a system of education to engender belief in these tenets, promoting a vital and sanctifying personal relationship with Jesus Christ and an ardent desire to share that relationship with others.

Seventh-day Adventist education seeks to nurture thinkers rather than mere reflectors of others' thoughts; loving service rather than selfish ambition; maximum development of one’s potential; and an appreciation for all that is beautiful, true, and good. An education of this kind imparts far more than academic knowledge. It is a balanced development of the whole person. Its time dimensions span eternity. In Seventh-day Adventist education, homes, schools, and churches cooperate together with divine agencies in preparing learners for citizenship here on this earth and in the New Earth to come.


Goals

  1. The goals of the Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School are to promote in each student the following:
  2. Acceptance of God and His Word: Each student will be encouraged to surrender his or her whole life to God and use the Bible as a basis for a relationship with Jesus Christ and an authoritative guide in all areas of life.
  3. Family and Interpersonal Relationships: Each student will develop a sense of self-worth, along with skills in interpersonal relationships needed for meeting the responsibilities of family membership and responding with sensitivity to the needs of others.
  4. Responsible Citizenship: Each student will develop an understanding of multicultural diversity and historical heritage, a working knowledge of governmental processes, while affirming a belief in the dignity and worth of others and a responsibility for one’s local, national, and global environments.
  5. Healthy/Balanced Living: Each student will accept personal responsibility for achieving and maintaining optimum physical, mental, and spiritual health.
  6. Intellectual Development: Each student will adopt a systematic, logical approach to decision making and problem solving based on a body of scientific, mathematical, and historical knowledge, within the context of a biblical perspective.
  7. Communication Skills: Each student will acquire optimum competency in verbal and nonverbal communication, in the use of information technology, and in effective communication of one’s faith.
  8. Life Skills: Each student will function responsibly in the everyday world, using Christian principles of stewardship, economy, and personal management.  

Objectives

The objectives of the Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School are to develop in each student the following character traits:

  1. Love and appreciation for the privileges, rights, and responsibilities guaranteed each individual
  2. Wholesome respect and attitude for each unit of society: home, church, school, and government
  3. Total spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health


School Constituency and School Board

The constituency of the Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School is comprised of the members of the Augusta Adventist Church. The Church Nominating committee nominates School Board members for terms of one to three years from constituent members who support Seventh-day Adventist education and represent a cross section of the constituency. Board members are approved and voted by the constituency in a Church business meeting.

The School board functions to oversee the operation of the School within the principles of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the guidelines and policies adopted by the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and the School constitution.

The School Board consists of a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, School Principal/Head Teacher, Home and School Leader, Church Pastor, and regular members. The Pastor, Home and School Leader, and the School Principal/Head Teacher are members of the Board by virtue of their position. Specific officials of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the Southern Union of Seventh-day Adventists are ex-officio members of the School Board.

Regular School Board meetings are open to all constituent members, parents, or guardians who wish to attend, but the School Board Chair must be notified one day prior to the scheduled board meetings. Executive meetings are open only to Board members and parties invited by the Chair.


Personnel

All faculty and staff are active members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in regular standing, and are committed to the success of the program of the school.


Parent Teacher Association

The Augusta Seventh-day Adventist Church has an active Home and School Association, which exists to support the Church’s mission to advance Christian education in the home and school. The Home and School Leader is nominated by the Church Nominating Committee and is approved and voted by the School constituency. Any church member, parent, or guardian of a student enrolled in the school may become a member of the association.

The objectives of the association are:

  1. To promote an earnest study of the principles, purposes, and application of Christian education in the home, the school, and the church.
  2. To support parents in establishing in the home an atmosphere of love and discipline, and of regular Bible study, prayer, and family worship.
  3. To encourage all constituent families of school-age children, to regard Seventh-day Adventist education as the most favorable means for the balanced development and spiritual well being of their children.
  4. To provide social and educational opportunities that involve church members, parents, teachers, and students.
  5. To assist the school in acquiring and maintaining the resources needed for the welfare and benefit of the students, teachers, and school personnel.


Non-Discrimination Policy

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in all of its church schools, admits students of any race to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at its schools, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic background, country of origin, or sex in the administration of education policies, application for admission, scholarship, or loan programs, and extracurricular programs.

Right of Privacy: Student records contain only the factual information necessary for the process of education. Cumulative folders are available for review by the student and his/her parents or guardians (if the student is under 18 years of age), and are not accessible to unauthorized individuals.


Admission

Readiness is a basic factor in accepting a student into the Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School program. Readiness varies with children and must be given individual attention by parents/guardians, and by the teachers and school principal /head teacher. Character and scholastic ability are also carefully considered before the student is accepted in the school program.

The Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School accepts children in accordance with the compulsory requirements of the State of Georgia. The School Board has authority to approve or deny the admission of students. Placement within the system is based upon criteria stated in the policies of the Georgia Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Children, whose birthdays fall on or prior to September 1, may enter Pre-Kindergarten at the age of 4, Kindergarten at the age of 5 and first grade at the age of 6. There are no exceptions to these requirements. A copy of the birth certificate must be on file in the school office.

Application forms may be obtained from the School Office. These should be completed and signed by the parents or guardians and by the student, and forwarded to the school. New students should submit records from the previous school, including the most recent report cards.


Admission of Non Seventh-day Adventists

The Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School accepts non member families subject to the following considerations:

  1. Parents and guardians of prospective students must be oriented to the goals and objectives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and School.
  2. The Bible based curriculum and educational standards of the Seventh-day Adventist Church must be maintained.
  3. Character and scholastic ability must be considered before the student is accepted into the school program.


Grade Placement

The Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School reserves the right to place a student in the grade determined by placement tests and the recommendations of the teachers or school principal/head teacher. Grade promotion is based on the scholastic achievement, the age/maturity of the student, and evaluation by the child’s teacher. Final approval/denial of the request rests with the Georgia Cumberland Conference Education Department.


Registration and Tuition

Each year the Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School Board determines the fees for registration and tuition. Registration and tuition fees cover costs for textbooks, insurance, achievement tests, library books, school records, teacher and personnel salaries, and other required expenses. The school board is committed to supporting all parents or guardians of a child who desires to attain the high quality Christian education offered in our school. At the same time, the board must assert its responsibility to keep the school financially solvent.

Therefore, the school board adheres to a financial policy that clearly specifies the financial obligations for parents and guardians, and outlines specific procedures for obtaining scholarship assistance if needed.


Financial Policies

  1. Registration and Technology fees are not included in tuition. The $350 Registration fee is due upon registration. The $300 Technology fee is due by 5 August, along with first month's tuition. 
  2. Students with an outstanding balance will not be allowed to register until after the balance is paid in full. Arrangements must be made in writing with the school treasurer or person designated by the school board for payment of any outstanding balance. Students will not be allowed to attend class until registration is completed.
  3. Tuition is paid on a ten month schedule and is expected on or before the 5th calendar day of the month. There is a multiple child discount. The second child will receive a 10% discount on tuition only. The third child will receive a 15% discount on tuition only. The fourth child will receive a 20% discount on tuition only. The first child will NOT receive a discount (oldest child is considered the first child).  Tuition is nonrefundable if the child has attended school for any portion of the month.
  4. Students with unpaid accounts after the 5th of each month may not be allowed to participate in field trips.
  5. Payments may be mailed or forwarded to the school treasurer, who is the person designated by the school board to collect funds for the school. In the event that the treasurer is not accessible, the school board has authorized the school principal/head teacher for this purpose. These are the only persons who may receive funds on behalf of the school.
  6. Parents or guardians of a student with unpaid tuition or late fees by the 10th calendar day of the month will receive a reminder that their balance is past due. If arrangements have not been made by the 20th of the month, a $20 late fee will be billed to the account and the school board will be notified. At that time, the board may decide to suspend the child until payment is made. If the financial account is in arrears by 2 months or more, the account may be turned over to a collection agency.
  7. Parents or guardians of a student in our school, who are unable to meet their financial obligations to the school must follow one of the following procedures:
    1. Request Scholarship Funds from the Church and School Scholarship Assistance Committee. This committee distributes scholarship funds based on financial need, availability of funds, church membership, and other criteria. The school board and the school do not determine how these funds are disbursed. Contact the School Treasurer for details. 
    2. Arrange a payment plan with the school treasurer to be submitted for approval to the school board. The plan must be in writing and signed by the treasurer and by the parents or guardians of the student. Contact the school treasurer for details.
  8. The school will not issue a report card for any student who has outstanding debt to the school. The school treasurer will hold report cards until the student has paid the debt in full and settled the financial account with the school. Also, the school will not forward transcripts, release records, or issue diplomas for students who have an outstanding balance.
  9. Payments must be made by cash, check or money order for tuition, field trips, hot lunches, etc. Postdated checks will not be accepted. Payments can also be made online by credit card and debit payments. A 3% service fee will be billed to all accounts for credit/debit card transactions. Meals and field trips will be billed monthly.


Hours of Operation

The school has scheduled hours from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Teachers are on duty until 4:00 p.m. Aftercare is available with prior arrangement. Please make every effort to adhere to this schedule. Families whose children remain after 3:45 PM will be charged a $20 late pick up fee.


After-Care Policy

Aftercare is only available on a prepaid, prearranged basis. For more information please contact us.


School Closings

In general, the school will close if the Columbia County Public Schools are closed due to severe weather or other emergency.


School Attendance

The Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School must meet the standards set by the State of Georgia for school attendance. Students who miss 10% or more of the required school hours may fail promotion.

The School Principal/Head Teacher may authorize absences of illness of the student, death in the immediate family, medical or dental appointments, prolonged family travel, or other emergencies.

Following an unexpected or unauthorized absence, the student must bring a written excuse from his parents or guardians upon return to the school. The student must be responsible for making up any required school work.

Parents/Guardians arriving after 8:15 a.m. are required to park and walk their student into the school building. All tardy students must be signed in by the parent/guardian at the office


Student Conduct

The Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School is concerned about the balanced development of the whole person- body, mind, and spirit – and seeks to ensure that youth receive an excellent physical, mental, moral, social, and practical education. Parents and teachers must be united in these educational goals.

For this purpose, students shall conduct themselves in accordance with the standards of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the policies, rules, and regulations of the Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School.

Students are expected to:

  1. Demonstrate respect and courtesy towards teachers, school personnel, visitors, other students and property at all times.
  1. Obtain permission from parents or guardians and from the teacher or school principal/head teacher prior to leaving the school property for any reason.
  1. Participate in all required curricular activities as determined by the teachers and school principal/head teacher.
  1. Abide by the policies, rules, and regulations in this handbook and those enacted by the school administration.

The following are strictly forbidden:

  1. Possession or use of weapons of any kinds, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, hazardous substances, non-prescription medication, or drugs (illegal or otherwise).
  1. Indecent, disruptive, or disorderly behavior; profane or indecorous language; and possession or use of material that is offensive or of questionable moral value.
  1. Possession or unauthorized use of radios, recorders, beepers, cell phones, or other electronic devices.
  1. Fights, scuffles, or aggressive behavior in any form (physical or verbal) even if provoked.
  1. Eating or snacking outside of appropriate times.
  1. Pets or other animals brought to he school property, except as authorized by the school principal/head teacher.
  1. Bullying or hazing of any kind (to include on-line activity).


Student Discipline

Discipline in the Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School is designed to be redemptive, remedial, and corrective rather than punitive. The school seeks to help students model their behavior after the example of Jesus Christ.

The following principles govern the administration of discipline in the school:

  1. The School Principal/Head Teacher is responsible for establishing disciplinary procedures for student actions that violate the policies, rules, and regulations of the school, in compliance with the policies of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the standards of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
  1. The School Board provides guidance in disciplinary policy or procedures, approves major disciplinary decisions, and makes recommendations to the school administration whenever breach of conduct has occurred that is serious and is brought to the attention of the board by the school principal/head teacher. Actions recommended by the board will be carried out under the authority of the school principal/head teacher.
  2. Acceptable discipline includes detention, suspensions, dismissal, and/or other penalties. Corporal punishment in any form is not acceptable for students in the school.
  1. The teachers or other personnel of the school handle minor misbehavior or irregularities. Teachers will establish a set of rules and penalties for student misconduct, which is approved by the school principal/head teacher and must be observed by the students. Repeated offenses will be referred to the school board.
  1. For behavior resulting in detention, suspension, or dismissal, parents/guardians will be immediately notified. Detention or suspension of a student for up to three days does not require approval of the school board. Suspension that exceeds three days or dismissal of a student will be approved by the School Board.
  1. Any serious or major violation of school rules and regulations will lead to immediate suspension. Any violation that involves physical violence or threats constitutes grounds for immediate withdrawal.


Parent Teacher Conference

The teachers and School Principal/Head Teacher will regularly hold scheduled Parent-Teacher conferences during the school year to discuss each student’s scholastic progress and needs. In addition, parents or guardians may request a meeting at other times during the school year with the teacher or Head Teacher. These meetings must be arranged beforehand and should occur outside of regular school hours.


Report Cards and Transcripts

Report cards are distributed at 9-week intervals. Parents or guardians may also receive interim progress reports. Official records will be forwarded to another school system or prospective employer at the written request of the former student or the former student’s custodial parent or guardian (if the student is under 18 years of age).

The School Treasurer will withhold Report Cards at the close of the school year if the student’s account is not paid in full. Also, the school will not forward transcripts, release records, or issue diplomas for students who owe the school. Please refer to the school financial policies or contact the school treasurer with any questions.


Dress Code

General: All uniforms must be clean and in good condition, not frayed or tattered. Pants or shorts must be fitted at the waist and shirts or blouses must be worn tucked in at the waist. Any type of jewelry is strictly prohibited(all bracelets, necklaces, rings earrings, chokers, and chains, etc.).

Color Choices

  • Pants/Shorts: Navy Blue, Khaki, or Dark Brown
  • Shirts: Any Solid Color Polo

Shirts

  • Short-sleeve or long sleeve – Knit polo shirt with three-button placket and flat knit ribbed cuffs.

Pants

  • Flat front or double pleated double knee pants.

Shorts

  • Pleated/Flat front shorts of knee length.

Socks

  • Solid color to match outfit.

Shoes

  • Required, must be clean, in good condition and appropriate for gender.

Headdress

  • Prohibited inside the school. (Includes: Novelty or custom character hats or headbands)

Belt and straps

  • If worn must be secured at the waist and it must buckle.

Sweaters

  • When required due to weather, a solid-color pullover v -neck, crew neck sweater, ribbed sweater vest or flat v -neck cardigan is expected.

Coats and Jackets

  • Prohibited inside the school. For outside use only.

Exceptions to the dress-code must be approved in advance by Principal.


Internet Acceptable Use Policy

The school administration recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for students to access the internet and use it as a learning tool. However, the risks from exposure to unsuitable material and/or correspondence with indecent individuals mandates strict rules be enforced for students who use the internet. The Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has adopted an Internet Acceptable Use Policy to be enforced in the school.

All students who access the internet from our school computers must read, sign, and abide by rules outlined in the Internet Acceptable Use Policy agreement. Parents/ guardians must also read and sign the document, by which they consent to the use of the internet by the student.

Internet Acceptable Use Policy agreements from grades K-2, 3-6, 7-8 are available from the School Principal/Head Teacher.


Medical and Safety Information

All new students require a recent medical examination (within 3 months of enrollment), as do students entering 4th and 7th grades. All students must also have current immunization records (Georgia Form 3032). Exemptions for immunizations are allowed for medical reasons or based on religious beliefs. However, for a child to be exempt from immunizations on religious grounds, the parent or guardian must furnish the school with a notarized affidavit stating that immunization conflicts with his or her religious beliefs.

The school principal/head teacher must be informed of any medical conditions that may affect the performance of the student, including the use of prescription medication.

School personnel should not assist in administering medication to students unless the parent requests such assistance in writing and a doctor provides written instruction. The parents or guardians of the student must sign a form authorizing teachers to dispense prescription medication.

School personnel are equipped to handle only minor emergencies. In the event of an emergency or major injury, 911 will be called. The principal/head teacher may send a student home who is ill, in need of medical attention, or is considered a health risk to others. Children who have had a fever must be free of their fever for at least 24 hours before returning to school.

The school makes provisions for adequate student accident coverage. Our school is required to conduct regular fire, tornado, and other emergency drills in accordance with local and state laws. Regular safety inspections of all school facilities and properties are conducted.


Asbestos Management Plan

The inspection and management plan for Asbestos-Containing-Building-Materials required by the Federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act has been performed for this facility. The management plan has been submitted to the state for review and approval, and a copy is on file at the school office, and is available for public inspection upon reasonable notice. No asbestos was used in the construction or is used in the maintenance of the school building.


Student Off-Campus Activities

Advance notices will be sent home informing parents or guardians of any trip that would take the student away from school property. Consent forms must be signed and returned by a parent/guardian prior to the scheduled off-campus activities. Parents of pre-kindergarten students must transport and chaperon their child if they wish to attend the off-campus activities.


Lunch

Students should bring their own lunches, which should provide a balanced, nutritious meal for proper growth and development. Hot lunches will be available for purchase. Lunches will be billed on your monthly statement.


Personal Property

Students, parents, guardians, or visitors who bring personal property or effects to the school are solely responsible for these items. The school is not liable for loss or damage to personal property.


Visitors

The school welcomes visitors who wish to observe students and teachers during regular school hours. Visits must be brief, unobtrusive, and visitors must register with the school office before entering a classroom.

Students must obtain permission from their teacher at least one day prior to bringing visitors to the school. An adult must accompany any children who visit the school.

The school expects visitors to abide by the rules and regulations of the Augusta Adventist Church and Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School during their visit. The Church and School facilities are private property and the Church Pastor and or School Principal/Head Teacher have the right to ask that a visitor leave the school grounds for any reason.


Implementation and Enforcement of Policies, Rules, and Regulations

The Augusta Seventh-day Adventist School reserves the right to formulate, implement, and enforce the policies, rules and regulations that govern the school, through the actions of the school administration, the school principal/head teacher, and the school board. The school is guided by the principles of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the policies of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

To assure safe and proper operation of the school, the administration and the board may enact policies, rules, and regulations throughout the course of the school year, which shall have the full force and effect of those previously enacted.


Conflict Resolution Procedure

Parents or guardians must follow these procedures in sequence to resolve grievances and complaints that pertain to school teachers or personnel:

  1. Complainant should individually meet with the teacher or personnel member to attempt to resolve the complaint or grievance. These should not be discussed with any other party under any circumstances.
  1. If the complaint or grievance remains unresolved after meeting with the teacher or personnel member, the complainant should discuss these concerns with the School Principal/Head Teacher. A meeting with the three parties should be arranged. The Principal/Head Teacher will chair the meeting and must keep minutes of the meeting for review by all parties at the completion of the meeting and for documentation at the school office.

If the complaint or grievance involves the School Principal/Head Teacher, the School Board Chair facilitates the meeting and notifies the Office of Education of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventist.

  1. If the complaint or grievance remains unresolved after the meeting between the three parties, the complainant should appeal to the school board in writing. At this juncture, the Office of Education will be directly involved, and a representative invited to attend the school board meeting.

All parties, including the complainant and the teacher or personnel member will be invited to the school board meeting in Executive session. Both parties will have opportunity to state their position, discuss the issues pertaining to the complaint or grievance, and express how they propose to resolve the conflict.

When the Board Chair determines that both parties and Board members have fully addressed their concerns, the parties will be dismissed. The school board will then proceed to fully discuss the issues presented and render a decision. The board chair will inform both parties, verbally and in writing, of the decisions and actions taken by the board.

  1. If any of the parties involved are not satisfied with the decisions or actions taken by the school board, they must notify the school board chair in writing, clearly stating reasons for dissatisfaction. The chair will consult the Conference Office of Education for direction