Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists




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Student Handbook
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MIDDLETOWN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
70 HIGHLAND AVENUE
MIDDLETOWN, NY 10940
(845) 343-3775
 
 
STUDENT HANDBOOK
 
REVISED JUNE, 2017
 
 
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………..PAGE 2
Accreditation, Mission Statement
PHILOSOPHY AND OBJECTIVES………………………….…………PAGES 2 & 3
ADMISSION………………………………………………………….……PAGES 3 & 4
Non-Discrimination Policy
Application/Reapplication Process
Minimum Age, Physical Examinations
ATTENDANCE…………………………………………………..…….……..…PAGE 4
SCHOOL HOURS……………………………………………………………....PAGE 5
SNOW DAYS/EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSINGS……………………….PAGE 5
 
TRANSPORTATION…………………………………………...……………….PAGE 5
REGISTRATION…………………………………………………...……………PAGE 6
 
TUITION………………………………………………………………..………..PAGE 6
TRANSCRIPTS, GRADUATION………………………………….. …….PAGES 6&7
 
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS………………..…………………………….PAGE 7
INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS…………………………………………….PAGE 8
 
DRESS CODE………………………………………………..….....PAGES 9,10, & 11
DIET AND LUNCH RULES………………………………………..…………PAGE 11
 
 
 
 
 
INTRODUCTION
This Student Handbook has been prepared following the guidelines of the Education Department of the Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and approved education policy as contained in the Atlantic Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Education Code for K-12 Schools. Where applicable, this code will be applied to the Pre-K and Preschool Programs also.
ACCREDITATION
Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists is accredited by the Atlantic Union Conference Board of Education and the North American Division Commission on Accreditation.
The school is now accredited by the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities.
MISSION STATEMENT - THE MISSION OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST EDUCATION
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America operates a system of elementary and secondary education that began in 1872. The church’s unique philosophy of Christian education is based on the Scriptures and the writings of Ellen G. White. All children and youth have been entrusted by the church to the education system for spiritual nurture and educational excellence.
The primary aim of Seventh-day Adventist education is to provide opportunity for students to accept Christ as their Savior, to allow the Holy Spirit to transform their lives, and to fulfill the commission of preaching the gospel to all the world.
The education program is predicated on the belief that each student is unique and of inestimable value, and on the importance of the development of the whole person. Students are educated to accept service as a way of life, to be sensitive to the needs of people in the home and society, and to become active members in the church.
PHILOSOPHY AND OBJECTIVES
Christian education, from its very beginning, has been expected to follow a course distinctly different from that of public education. The prime objective of a Christian curriculum is to assist each student to acquire an intimate knowledge of God’s character, establish a personal relationship with Him, and follow God’s perfect plan for his life.
“Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursuit of a certain course of study. It means more than the preparation for the life that is now. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher, wider service of the world to come.” (Education p. 13)
The membership of the Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists therefore pledges to the utmost of its abilities to give support to the following objectives.
 
1.   To integrate such subject matter into the curriculum and communicate such attitudes to the students through the teachers so as to make the aim of education and redemption one.
2.   To lead each student into a personal knowledge of and fellowship with Christ and to be a betterment to himself, his family, church, and community.
3.   To prepare students in the foundations of learning and skills needed for continuing education and service both in this life and the life to come.
4.   To train each student to think and to evaluate resources at his disposal so as to be able to discern between Biblical and non-Biblical values.
5.   To teach students the dignity of labor by requiring participation in the management of and responsibility for school and church owned property.
6.   To educate in an atmosphere that promotes such Christian graces as self-control, cheerfulness, cleanliness, courtesy, gratitude, respect and reverence.
ADMISSION
The Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists is operated for the benefit of Seventh-day Adventist children from the Middletown Seventh-day Adventist constituent church. It is the desire of the School Board that every boy and girl of school age be in our school.
Students of other religious beliefs are welcome provided there is an opening and that they will always show respect for the Word of God, maintain a reverent attitude during religious programs and classes, and observe all regulations of the school. 
Only students who are in full harmony with the standards of Christian education and who will cheerfully endeavor, with the help of God, to live in harmony with the principles and regulations of the school should apply.
NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
Greater New York Conference K-8 schools, of which Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists is a part, do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of programs of education, admissions policies, or in any activities made available to students.
Seventh-day Adventist schools usually do not have the equipment or staff necessary for special education; therefore, they may not be able to accept students who have severe mental, physical or social handicaps.
APPLICATION/REAPPLICATION PROCESS
Application/reapplication forms may be obtained from the principal. These must be submitted to the principal, who presents them to the Admissions Committee for consideration and recommendation to the School Board. The School Board has final approval for all admission.
Readiness Tests are required for incoming Kindergarten and 1st grade students. Students entering other grades are required to have transcripts and may be requested to take placement tests. 
NO STUDENT WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENROLL WITH AN UNPAID SCHOOL ACCOUNT.
MINIMUM AGE
In harmony with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and School philosophy that children should not be sent to school at too early an age, no pupils will be admitted to the following grades or programs unless they will have attained the appropriate age by September 15. 
Preschool - - Age 3
Pre-K - - - - Age 4
Kindergarten - Age 5
1st Grade - - - Age 6
PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS
All required physical examinations are the responsibility of the parents and must be completed by the end of the first week of the school year. The medical forms may be obtained from the principal. A medical examination of all new pupils and pupils in grades 2, 4, and 7 is required. New York State laws require that no student be accepted without proof of up-to-date immunizations that are required by the state. This proof must accompany the medical forms. 
All new students must present a copy of their birth certificate.
ATTENDANCE
All pupils enrolled in the Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists are expected to be punctual and regular in attendance. The attendance records of a pupil who is tardy more than 20% of the time for a school period, will be taken to the School Board for review. A pupil who is absent as many as SEVEN days out of a school period of nine weeks for whatever cause, may forfeit his period grades UNLESS it is evident to the teacher that the work has been satisfactorily made up.
Acceptable excuses for nonattendance:
Verified illness of the student.
Medical, dental, or optometry service
Quarantine
Bereavement
STUDENTS RETURNING TO SCHOOL AFTER AN ABSENCE OR TARDINESS MUST BRING A NOTE OF EXPLANATION SIGNED BY THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN STATING THE REASON FOR SUCH ABSENCE OR TARDINESS.
SCHOOL HOURS
Preschool to 8th Grade      Monday through Thursday - 8:00 A.M. - 2:45 P.M.  
Friday - 8:00 A.M. - 1:30 P.M.

After School Programs are available.  Make arrangement with staff responsible for after school program. 
 
      
Students should not arrive at school MORE than 15 minutes before school starts and must leave the school grounds WITHIN 15 minutes after school dismisses. In case of transportation problems, arrangements should be made IN ADVANCE with the principal. Persistent disregard of these times may lead to referral to the School Board. A Before School Care charge may be imposed. After-School Care is available in emergencies following the 15 minute dismissal time at the rate of $5 for the first half hour, and $10 for each half hour after that payable at the time of pick up.
STUDENTS NOT LEAVING BY THEIR USUAL MODE OF TRANSPORTATION MUST GIVE THE PRINCIPAL AND/OR THE TEACHER A WRITTEN PERMISSION SLIP SIGNED BY THE PARENT. 
ARRANGEMENTS SHOULD BE MADE THE NIGHT BEFORE NOT DURING THE SCHOOL DAY. 
Please Note: Sending a note that your student will be riding home with another student on a different school district’s bus does NOT mean your student will be allowed to ride that bus! Other school district bus drivers will NOT pick up your student even with a note from the parents and principal! These drivers and buses are controlled by the various school districts, not Middletown Christian School.
SNOW DAYS/EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSINGS
In case of weather-related or other emergency adjustments to the regular school schedule, families are encouraged to check the School’s Website: mcssda.org after 6:00 A.M. for school closings and delays information. Parents who do not have access to the web will be notified by telephone. Middletown Christian School may call in an announcement for our school to local radio stations. You will be notified if arrangements have been made for this. In most cases, Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists will follow the MIDDLETOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT for delays or closings. However, occasionally our school calendars are different. If the school district you live in has a delay or closing when Middletown Christian School is open, your student will be given an excused tardy or absence.
PUBLIC SCHOOL BUSING TRANSPORTATION
Written requests for transportation should be submitted by parents of children attending non-public schools by APRIL 1 or within thirty days after establishing residence in the district. Parents should obtain request forms from local school busing departments. The principal of Middletown Christian School has copies of many of the local school districts busing request forms.
REGISTRATION
The Registration Fee and one month’s Tuition must be paid on Registration day. A 2-week grace period may be allowed in extenuating circumstances if arrangements are made with the School Board Chairperson AND the Church School Treasurer.
The Registration fee includes student insurance, book rental, workbooks, library fees, art supplies and other student related expenses. The Registration Fee is non-refundable.
TUITION
Tuition is due on the 1st day of each calendar month after the first payment on Registration day. There will remain nine other payments from September to May. All payments must be made by the 10th of the month. Exceptions can only be made upon special arrangements with the Financial Committee of the School Board.
Checks or money orders are to be made payable to: MIDDLETOWN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL.
Mail remittance to:
            School Treasurer
            Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists
            70 Highland Avenue
            Middletown, NY 10940
 
The School Board will review accounts that are carried over into the following month.
A surcharge may be levied on all accounts not received by the 15th of the month.
A fee will be charged for all returned checks and from then on only cash, money orders or cashier’s checks will be accepted.
 
The following policy will be implemented for all unpaid accounts:
1.         Should an account be unpaid for one month, a letterwill be sent requesting payment.
2.         Should an account be unpaid for two months, a letter will be sent that the student will not be allowed to return unless the bill has been paid.
3.         Failure to comply will result in dismissal of the student from the school.
 
TRANSCRIPTS AND 8TH GRADE GRADUATION
 
1. No transcripts will be sent for a student leaving Middletown Christian School of S.D.A. until the student’s account has been paid in full.
 
2. No final report card will be issued at the close of the school year until the student’s account is paid in full.
 
3. In order for a graduating 8th grade student to participate in graduation exercises, that student’s account must be paid in full before the graduation day.
 
NO STUDENT WILL BE RE-ADMITTED AT THE BEGINNING OF A SCHOOL YEAR WHO CARRIES A BALANCE DUE FROM A PREVIOUS SCHOOL YEAR.
 
 
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
 
1.   Parents should see that their children attend school every day, arriving on time but not earlier than 15 minutes before the opening of school.
1.      Parents should pick up children not later than 15 minutes after school dismisses and/or insist that their children return home immediately after school. 
2.      Parents should send a written note to school for each tardiness and absence of their children.
3.      Parents should be considerate of their students learning time and the supervision and safety needed for students at school. Please follow the following guidelines:
a.      Please call the school before 7:45 A.M. and leave a message on the answering
machine if you wish to notify the teacher that your student will be sick that day. Also if you plan to pick up assignments, leave a message with what time you will be coming and the telephone number the teacher can reach you to clarify if there is a problem.
b.     If you need to make an appointment with a teacher or you need to give or get more information about something, please call the school after 3 P.M. or leave a message for the teacher to return your call on the answering machine. It is difficult for the teachers to take calls when the students are entering school, being taught at school, or being dismissed.
c.   Parents should make arrangements for their students OUTSIDE of school hours and send written notes to school with the changes that need to be made. 
d. Parents should call the school DURING school hours ONLY IN AN EMERGENCY!
5.   Parents are urged to make appointments to visit the school and acquaint themselves with the program. Parents should confer with the teacher AFTER school hours rather than during classes. Arrangements should always be made with the principal before visiting the school.
6.   Parents who have a complaint or problem with the school should follow Jesus’ counsel in Matthew 18: 15-17 and follow this procedure:
a.   Go to the teacher involved. If not resolved,
b.   Go to the principal. If not resolved,
c.   Go to the School Board Chairperson. If not resolved,
d.   Go before the School Board. If not resolved,
e.   Go to the Greater New York Conference Superintendent of Education.
This concept is Bible-based, and as Christians we should settle our problems in a way which preserves the self-respect of all involved.
 
 
INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS
 
All students are expected to live up to the standards set by the school. Seventh-day Adventist schools are established for the young people of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who come for the purpose of doing earnest, faithful work, and who have a desire to develop a Christian character. It is understood that every student who presents himself/herself for admission to the school thereby pledges to willingly observe all its regulations, to uphold the Christian principles upon which the school is operated and to the best of his/her ability perform all school duties assigned. It is also understood that to break his pledge forfeits the student’s membership, and if he/she is retained in the school, it is only at the discretion of the faculty and of the School Board.
Pupils will adhere to the following rules that will make our school a smoother running and more professional body.
 1. There will be no chewing gum on the school premises. (Only exception is when a teacher makes an exception for an educational purpose and then gum must only be used for the designated purpose at the designated place.)
 2. All students MUST adhere to the requirements of the DRESS CODE.
 3. Shoes that make black marks should not be worn. Rubber-soled shoes should always be worn in the gymnasium.
 4. The NO BORROWING or LENDING procedures will be enforced as far as reasonable and possible. In an emergency, the child may ask the teacher for temporary supplies, but each student must do his/her best to anticipate his/her needs and purchase and keep on hand the requested school supplies.
 5. Any books or workbooks lost, damaged or destroyed, must be paid for or replaced.
 6. In order to run a successful school each student must realize the need to cooperate fully with the teacher and with the other students in order that each person may get the most from the school year both spiritually and scholastically.
 7. Possession or use of tobacco, alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs are prohibited.
 8. Knives, air rifles, toy guns, firearms, firecrackers, matches, or explosives are not allowed on the school premises or on the person.
 9. Possession of pornographic material is prohibited.
10. Possession of media equipment or software is prohibited on the school premises. (Exception only when the teacher and parents have made a special arrangement ahead of time.)
11. Cell phones should be turned off and out of sight during school hours. The privilege of bringing a cell phone to school will be revoked if the cell phone is turned on or causes a distraction.
12. Students are to refrain from foul or offensive language.
13. There will be no gambling, betting, possession of playing cards or other gambling devices.
14. It is considered a very serious offense for a student to set off a fire alarm.
15. Toys are only allowed in school with advance permission from the teacher.
16. It is a serious offense to tamper with, misuse or abuse school equipment.
17. Parents will be required to replace or pay for damage done should there be willful or negligent destruction of property.
DRESS CODE.
 
The Middletown Christian School of Seventh-day Adventists believes that all students who attend should show by their manners and by their dress that they are Christian young people. Correct principles in dress should be observed just as carefully as other principles of Christian living.
Students are expected to abide by the following guidelines:
1.   Bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings are NOT to be worn; aren’t part of the uniform.
2.   Obvious makeup, colored nail polish, or any cosmetics that detract from the natural appearance and attractiveness of the individual are NOT to be used.
3.   Hairstyles should be chosen that will give a neat, trim, and well-groomed appearance. Extremes will NOT be permitted.
4.   Gym clothes will be worn ONLY on Tuesday and Thursday when Gym Class will be held, unless specifically notified otherwise.
5.   T-shirts and Sweatshirts are NOT part of the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday school uniform and should not be worn for regular classes. T-shirts worn under the school uniform should not have writing and pictures that show through the uniform or are inappropriate for a Christian school.
6. Middletown Christian School allows a grace period at the beginning of the school year and when a new student enters the school, to purchase and receive the appropriate school uniform. During this time, the student is to follow the UNIFORM GUIDELINES FOR GIRLS OR BOYS as closely as possible including:
            Girls - wear a blouse and jumper or skirt.
            Boys - wear dress slacks and shirt with tie.
7. In the event that a school uniform has become very soiled or needs mending and cannot be worn for a day, the student will follow the uniform guidelines in #6 above. (This should only happen in rare circumstances - not weekly or more often and the situation should be remedied immediately.)
If the student has no appropriate clothes, then he/she should remain home until the cleaning or mending has been completed. This will be considered an unexcused absence.
8. The Formal Dress Uniform is required to be worn the first week of school for inspection, for special occasions or events, and should be available for use upon request.
9. Uniform Inspection will be conducted periodically throughout the school year.
Uniform Guidelines for Girls
Formal Dress Uniform (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & whenever required)
1. Girls are to wear
A.     A solid navy knee-length pleated uniform jumper (Adventurers) or
B.     A solid navy knee-length pleated skirt with a navy vest (J.C. Penney).
2. A tucked-in light blue short or long sleeve oxford shirt.
3. 
A Navy Blue Blazer--with the School Logo (mandatory for grades K to 8).
4. A uniform plaid or solid navy tie.
5. Navy or black ankle socks, kneesocks, tights, or flesh-toned nylons. 
6. A solid navy cardigan (buttons down the front next to opening) sweater may be worn during cool weather. NO SWEATSHIRTS OR T-SHIRTS ARE TO BE WORN OVER THE UNIFORM! If a Middletown Christian School Sweatshirt is worn over the Uniform to school, it must be removed when the students arrive at school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
7. Solid black rubber-soled (that leave no skid marks) shoes. Heels and sandals are not to be worn.
 
Regular Uniform (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays when formal not required)
1. Girls may wear Uniform Navy Dress pants with a black belt or knee-length navy skirt or knee-length navy jumper.
2. A Navy Blue Blazer--with the School Logo (mandatory for grades K to 8).
3. Navy or black ankle socks, kneesocks, tights, or flesh-toned nylons. 
4.   A Solid Navy cardigan (buttons down the front next to opening) sweater may be worn during cool weather. NO SWEATSHIRTS OR T-SHIRTS ARE TO BE WORN OVER THE UNIFORM! If a Middletown Christian School Sweatshirt is worn over the Uniform to school, it must be removed when the students arrive at school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
5.   Solid black rubber-soled (that leave no skid marks) shoes. Heels and sandals are not to be worn.
Uniform Guidelines for Boys
Formal Dress Uniform (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & whenever required)
1.   Uniform solid navy dress slacks (may be pleated) with a black belt.
2.   A tucked-in light blue uniform short or long sleeve oxford shirt.
3.   A Navy Blue Blazer--with the School Logo (mandatory for grades K to 8).
4.   A plaid or navy uniform tie.
5.   A navy vest or solid Navy cardigan (buttons down the front next to opening) sweater may be worn during cool weather. NO SWEATSHIRTS OR T-SHIRTS ARE TO BE WORN OVER THE UNIFORM! If a Middletown Christian School Sweatshirt is worn over the Uniform to school, it must be removed when the students arrive at school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
6.   Navy or black socks.
7. Solid black rubber-soled (that leave no skid marks) shoes. Sandals are not to be worn.
 
Regular Uniform (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays when Formal not required)
1. Uniform solid navy dress slacks (may be pleated) with a black belt.
2. A Navy Blue Blazer--with the School Logo (mandatory for grades 1 to 8).
3. Navy or black socks. 
4. A solid navy cardigan (buttons down the front next to opening) sweaters may be worn during cool weather. NO SWEATSHIRTS OR T-SHIRTS ARE TO BE WORN OVER THE UNIFORM! If a Middletown Christian School Sweatshirt is worn over the Uniform to school, it must be removed when the students arrive at school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
5.   Solid black rubber-soled (that leave no skid marks) shoes. Sandals are not to be worn.
 
Physical Education Uniforms (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
Students should come dressed in their Physical Education Uniform on the days of regularly scheduled PE classes. 
 
The School PE Uniform consists of:
 
1. Navy Middletown Christian School of S.D.A. T-shirt or Sweatshirt
2. Solid navy athletic pants
3. Well -constructed athletic shoes (that leave no skid marks)
 
P.E. Uniform T-Shirts, Sweatshirt, and also Ties can be ordered through Middletown Christian School. 
 
Dress Code Violations
Each 9- week grading period a student will receive the following consequences for violating the dress code:
1.   First Offense: A warning note will be sent home with the problem checked. 
The parent is expected to sign and return the note. If the student is without a tie, the tie will be provided by the school (if available) at a rental rate of $1 per day. The $1 should be returned with the signed note the next school day.
2.   Second Offense: A second note will be sent with the problem checked. The parent is expected to sign and return the note.
3. Third Offense: A third note will be sent with the problem checked and notification that
     the parent must come to the school for a conference.
 
Should further violations of Dress Code occur, the student’s name will be brought to the School Board.
 
DIET AND LUNCH RULES
Parents should provide their own children with a well-balanced lunch. Parents are expected to uphold the standards of our church in relation to diet and health. This would include refraining from the use of pork products. A nutritionally well-balanced, vegetarian lunch is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Beverages containing caffeine or alcohol are NOT to be used on the school premises. Fruit juices or water are appropriate beverages. Parents are ENCOURAGED to refrain from including “junk” food, sodas, and sweets with the student’s lunch.