Parent Engagement Policy
It is the expectation of the SCA staff that we work in partnership with the parents of our students. We recognize that parents are the most influential factors in a growing child’s life so we ask that you support us in the following manner:
First, regular attendance is necessary for academic success. If you aren’t in the game, you can’t score. So we need your support in having students at school, on time every day.
Second, homework contributes to student achievement and allows parents to be involved in the educational process. It isn’t essential that you understand every subject, but the fact that you can show an interest in what your student is doing and provide an expectation that they do the work required supports what all research shows as an environment of success.
Third, communication is essential to us working as a team. We don’t want to just speak when there is a problem. Therefore, the district has created the option through the Synergy platform to allow for emails and notes and grades and assignments to be viewed by parents. In that we way, we can stay in touch with each other and not assume that something is happening when it is may not be. So check Synergy regularly. You can find how later in this handbook.
Fourth, create a positive expectation around education. If you can make it a good thing to get up and have the opportunity to learn every day, then your child will come to us eager to learn. It seems that the rest of America wants to promote education as drudgery and busy work. We promise to not just keep your child occupied; we will give them the world if you send them anxious to travel. They watch what you do and listen to what you say, make it positive about education.
The Learner Profile
One of the major foci of the IB is to form internationally –minded people who intentionally recognize their commonality with the rest of the human population.
Therefore; IB learners strive to be:
They work at developing their natural curiosity. Look at any Kindergarten class, people want to know how the world works and what their part in it is, but we breed it out of them. We need to bring that back to the forefront by fostering an environment that encourages that curiosity. Let students discover the satisfaction of being curious.
They explore things that have a global and local significance. They understand that Math is used in English and that Science is a part of Dance and so on. They will not be satisfied with a shallow understanding of any one topic. Enquiring minds want to know.
They instinctively apply critical thinking skills and demonstrate creativity in approaching complex problems. We can no longer accept adequate. A quality thinker can make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Students can get complex ideas across in more than one language, in creative ways that use a variety of modes. This demands an ability to work efficiently and effectively with others.
Students act consistently with a sense of integrity and honesty. They demonstrate a sense of fairness, justice, and respect for others. They take responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those actions.
They get their own culture and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other cultures without being threatened by them. They are expected to get a wide range of perspectives when dealing with any one issue.
Students act out of empathy and compassion. They have a personal commitment to service because they understand the way the world works.
They come at new things with courage and forethought and have the independence to explore new ideas while maintaining the bravery to articulate their own beliefs.
The student is clear about the fact that they are a being that is intellectual, physical, and emotional and that those areas must remain balanced to be healthy.
Students consider and reflect on each and every part of their lives. Nothing is ever finished until you have reflected upon it.
The Teacher Profile
One of the major foci of the IB is to form internationally –minded people who intentionally recognize their commonality with the rest of the human population.
Therefore; IB Teachers strive to be:
We work at developing our natural curiosity. We want to find out about new information and perspectives in both our field of study and Education in general. We aren’t afraid to explore data that might produce information contrary to current thinking.
We explore things that have a global and local significance. We know our material and train and read to keep up. We seek continual realities in regards to students rather than basing perceptions on stereotypes.
We instinctively apply critical thinking skills and demonstrate creativity in approaching complex problems. We can no longer accept adequate and we can’t wait for someone else to tell us what to do. We think individually and as a community.
We don’t keep information and perspectives to ourselves. We collaborate and cooperate so that students find a united effort on their behalf. This requires us to stay current in all forms of communication: speaking in both small and large groups, writing in various mediums including, but not limited to, emails, memos, presentations and articles, as well as informal means as fundamental as conversations in the hall between classes.
Staff acts consistently with a sense of integrity and honesty. They demonstrate a sense of fairness, justice, and respect for others. They take responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those actions. This includes relationships with peers as well as parents and students.
When you choose to work here you are supporting the goals of the Flint Community Schools and the International Baccalaureate process and are expected to operate with flexibility in adapting to these constructs. Being open to new and/or different frameworks is a cornerstone to creating a culture of productivity. This would include reporting out via criteria scoring as well as traditional grading, focusing your teaching using coordinated Unit Planning and working collaboratively among a few possibilities.
Staff acts out of empathy and compassion. They treat each other, students and parents as they wish to be treated. When you care about people you get things done because that is what needs to happen, not because it is in your job description.
Staff comes at new things with courage and forethought and have the independence to explore new ideas while maintaining the bravery to articulate their own perspectives.
The staff is clear that 5 people shouldn’t be doing 95% of the work. It is expected that you be part of a variety of committees and informal groups that support the important work we do here.
Staff is expected to reflect AND share on lessons taught, trainings attended and information gained. If you learn the meaning of life, it doesn’t matter much if you don’t share it with others.
The Middle Years Program
Southwestern Classical Academy is a program dedicated to serving the committed learners in the city of Flint. It seems therefore; worthwhile to explain briefly what the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is about so that we are all working off the same page. First is the Middle years Program which serves all of our 7th through 10th graders:
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging program of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
„h Students are expected to be able to communicate fluently in each of their subject matters. Thus by the end of the 10th grade year they will not only have mastered a World language, but how to talk about some aspect of a Fine Art, Mathematics, History and so on.
„h Communicating what students know is achieved through project and inquiry-based education. Students will be able to make connections across subjects and demonstrate their knowledge in authentic formats, not just on traditional “tests”.
„h Project-based education leads to criteria grading. There is a section later in this handbook to help you with that.
„h As human beings, we share one world. It is important that students understand the world outside of Flint, Michigan. Your students will be asked to be internationally minded, considering perspectives other than of their own in order to prepare them for being part of a global community.
„h Students will be asked to reflect on all projects. Reflection is the key to the program’s success for both students and teachers.
In their final year, students will also undertake an independent ‘Personal Project’ to demonstrate the development of their skills and understanding.
Course of Study 7-10
Beyond barriers of language, the discovery of the cultural values of civilizations through their artistic production is one of the best ways to promote international understanding.
Students are brought into contact with the art forms and aesthetic values of other cultures as well as their own, and are helped to develop perceptions between ideas and art. They are also encouraged to identify particular creative abilities and to master techniques appropriate to that form of expression.
Visual Arts, Vocal Music and Instrumental Music are available to all students in grades 7-10
The aim of humanities in the MYP is to encourage students to gain and develop knowledge, conceptual understanding, research skills, analytical and interpretive skills, and communication skills, contributing to the development of the student as a whole. Humanities courses aim to encourage students to respect and understand the world around them, and to provide a skills base to facilitate further study. This is achieved through the study of individuals, societies and environments in a wide context: historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural.
7th Grade- World Studies
8th Grade- US History to 1900
9th grade- US History 1900-present
10th grade- Civics & Economics
Language A is defined as the student’s best language. At FSCA this is English. Language is the
basic tool of communication in the sense of enabling a student to understand and be understood, and to establish their own identity. Language is also the avenue by which one gains access to literature and thereby to the cultural treasury of civilization.
7th grade- Writer’s Craft
8th grade- Genre Studies
9th grade- American Literature
10th grade- Great Essays
The primary aim of Language B is to encourage students to gain competence in a modern World
Language other than their mother tongue, at SCA this, for the majority of our students will be
Spanish or French. The long-term goal is that of balanced bilingualism.
All SCA students will study a second language in grades 7-10; Spanish and French are always
offered; other languages such as German, Latin or American Sign Language may be available.
Mathematics in the Middle Years Program aims to provide students with an appreciation of the usefulness, power and beauty of the subject. One aspect of this is the awareness that mathematics is a universal language with diverse applications. The Middle Years Program promotes an understanding of how cultural, societal and historical influences from a variety of cultures have shaped mathematical thought.
Our progression of math courses for grades 7-10 include: General Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. Students will be placed in the appropriate math course based on their prior learning experiences and achievement
Course of Study 7-10 (contd.)
The aim of this course is to cultivate a healthy and active lifestyle for students. It therefore advocates activities that are not only enjoyable but also contribute to healthy living. Students are helped to develop the motor skills necessary to enable them to participate successfully in a variety of physical activities, and to learn about the nature of physical fitness.
Students will participate in a physical education course for one semester each year in grades 7-10
The study of science aims to provide students with both a body of knowledge and an understanding of the scientific approach to problem solving. The ability to formulate hypotheses, design and carry out experiments to test them, and evaluate results constitutes the framework within which specific content is presented.
7th grade- General Science
8th grade- Earth Science
9th grade- Physical Science
10th grade- Biology
Our technology courses are essentially concerned with solving problems in an effort to stimulate students’ ingenuity and to encourage them to combine intellectual talents and practical skills.
This subject area is valuable for reinforcing and integrating skills learned in other disciplines, especially in the presentation and handling of data and the processes involved in the design and manufacture of a product.
Students will participate in a technology course for one semester each year in grades 7-10
**At the end of grade 10, students will be allowed to choose between the International
Baccalaureate Diploma Program or a Traditional Program for completion of their high school graduation requirements.
Absence: An absence is arrival to the class after the first 20 minutes of the class period or failure to remain in the class for at least 30 minutes unless a valid pass (principal, assistant principal, counselor, or teacher) is provided.
COMPULSORY EDUCATION UNDER MICHIGAN STATE LAW15 MCL 380.1561(1)
The Michigan compulsory attendance law requires every parent, guardian, or other person who has charge of a child from the ages of 6 to 16, to send the child to a public or a state approved non-public school. A child who turns six years old before December 1st of that year must be enrolled in school. The compulsory attendance law is designed to require school attendance and to ensure that no child is denied the opportunity to receive an education.
The responsibility for good attendance is a collaborative effort. Successful implementation of this policy requires cooperation among all members of the educational community, including parents, students, teachers, administrators, and all staff members.
PARENT/GUARDIAN ATTENDANCE RESPONSIBILITIES
Make daily school attendance a priority in the home. It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to ensure that their children attend school regularly and arrive on time.
Parents are required to provide their current home address, telephone number, emergency number(s), and a list of adults to contact in the event of an emergency. Parents are to notify the school immediately when a change occurs in address, telephone number, emergency numbers, and emergency contact information. Student’s contact information needs to be current in order for schools to deal with any emergency that may arise. When a student is absent from school, parents/guardians must contact the school to report the absence. Be aware of the attendance/tardy policy and procedures as listed in the Code for Student Conduct.
Parents are expected to make immediate contact with teachers for make-up assignments and class work that their children have missed during their absence. A doctor’s verification is required in order for an absence to be excused.
STUDENT ATTENDANCE RESPONSIBILITIES
Students must attend school daily and be on time. Students must attend all classes and participate fully. Students must be aware and follow the attendance/tardy policy and procedures as listed in the Code for Student Conduct. Students are expected to make immediate contact upon return with their teachers to make up assignments and class work they have missed during their absence whether excused or unexcused. Upon returning to class, the student has five days from the date of the absence to make-up work.
Any deviations from this policy are at the principal’s discretion.
Expectations for Students
In all IB World Schools, students are expected to complete Community Service. Community service is an important part of Flint Southwestern Classical Academy. The following shows a graduated scale from the 7th to the 10th grade Community Service Requirements.
Grade Number of required Service hours
Community Service hours may be completed in the summer prior to the beginning of school. Students need to document hours and write their reflections on the Community Service Log. The signature of the supervising adult must be part of the documentation. Completed Community Service Logs are to be turned in to your Class Advisor.
IB MYP COMMUNITY SERVICE INFORMATION
• In general, activities cannot be performed in private residences unless part of a group undertaking (for example,
Habitat for Humanity).
• The adult certifying the activity must be present while the activity is being performed (unless it is a parent).
• The activity should involve interaction with others.
• Community service activities cannot include any activity from which the student is rewarded either financially
or with some other benefit (for example, extra credit for a class).
• All forms of duty within the family (for example, mowing the lawn, fixing the house, or making dinner) cannot
be used for community service.
• Community service activities cannot be part of an academic assignment for a class, but classes can do group
activities for community service.
How do students keep track of their hours?
Service hours are to be kept on the service log form and must be verified by the signature of the adult supervising the activity. After completing each activity, fill out the Journal Entry form on the back of the log. Be sure to follow the directions given on the form. Turn in all forms to your class advisor.
Examples of Community Service
Playing instruments in church
Babysitting for free
Volunteer at art festival
Schools filling packers
Visit to nursing home
Pick up litter
Help at bake sales
Evaluation of educational software
Organize 4-H fair
Face Painting at fair
Work at homeless shelter
Concerts (not graded)
Counselor at camps
Clean up playground
Girl and Boy Scouts Service activities
Pick up trash on bike path
Relay for Life concession stand
Passing out newsletters
Free yard work
Washing neighbors cars for free
Taking care of plants for absent neighbors
Summer folder stuffing
The Diploma Program Grades 11-12
Why participate in the IB Diploma program?
While the IB program is a rigorous pre-collegiate curriculum, it also challenges students to think about global issues, cultural assumptions and our place in the world community. The program requires a deep focus in many areas, both academic and non-academic. Students move beyond the classroom, become involved in service in their community, and work creatively. Students are challenged to think about what knowledge means in the various disciplines they are studying.
Universities in the United States and around the world recognize the IB Diploma and give credit for it. Additionally, IB students are 21.4% more likely to be admitted into 10 of the nation’s most prestigious universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford.
Diploma Program Requirements, completed over 2 years:
Participate in and complete assessments for six IB courses, one from each group:
3 Higher Level courses (HL)
3 Standard Level courses (SL)
Complete Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course
Submit an original Extended Essay (EE), an in-depth study (no more than 4,000 words in length of a limited topic chosen by the student and supervised by a mentor.
Complete a Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Plan of at least 150 hours divided among the categories completed over two years
What IB classes are offered for grades 11 and 12?
Group1: World Literature HL
Group 2: Spanish HL or SL and French HL or SL
Group3: World History HL
Group 4: Chemistry SL or HL or Physics SL
Group 5: Mathematics SL with calculus and Math Studies SL
Group 6: Music HL or SL and Visual Arts HL or SL
(+) Theory of Knowledge
Diploma Program Testing: To be awarded the IB Diploma, students must earn “Diploma Points” based on both internal and external assessments. Failure to complete the EE, CAS, or TOK requirements will result in students’ ineligibility to receive the IB Diploma.
There is a cost associated with DP testing, however, state and federal subsidies may be available to those students who qualify.
Creativity, Activity and Service
Students electing to continue on with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in grades 11 and 12 will be required to participate in a program of creativity, action, and service (CAS) comprising of at least 150 hours divided amongst the three areas. Completing and recording CAS activities are primarily the responsibility of the student, however, each diploma candidate will be supported by a teacher-mentor at the school.
Why CAS? Because you are more than just a grade point average. CAS is intended to move you out of the academic arena and help you learn through life experiences. Yes, as an IB student, we know you are involved in many interesting activities. What we are asking you to do is consider how these activities help you to become a better person. CAS is about:
Reflective thinkers—you understand your own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
the willingness to accept new challenges and new roles
awareness of yourselves as members of a community with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
being an active participant in sustained, collaborative projects
Balance—you enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.
Creativity: arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Program.
Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.
CAS should involve:
real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes
personal challenge—tasks must extend you and be achievable in scope
thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting
reflection on outcomes and personal learning.
All proposed CAS activities need to meet these four criteria. CAS activities should continue on a regular basis for as long as possible throughout the program, and certainly for at least 18 months