The Ida B. Wells Community Academy
 

Students, Faculty and Parents Handbook
on Student Rights and Responsibilities
 

novi quid ex Africa!
"Everything new comes out of Africa!"  Pliny



TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why Have a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities?
Standards of Behavior
   The Nguzo Saba
   The Responsibilities of Walimu and Wanafunzi
   The Role and Responsibility of Faculty and Staff
The Ida B. Wells Community Academy Daily Schedule
Important Things to Remember
  Fire Drills
  Help for Students
  Homework
  Honor Roll
  Lockers and Padlock
  Lost and Found
  Make-Up Work
  Personal Belongings
  Room Parties
  School Dances
  School Closings Due to Weather
  School Insurance
  School Breadfast and Lunch
  Student Supplies
  Student Government
  Student Visitors
  Tardiness and Excuses for the Day
  Telephone
Student Educational Services
  Counseling and Guidance
  Library Services
  School Nurse
  The Children's Bank
Standards of Good Student Behavior
Safe Learning Environment Assurance
   Where These Rules Apply
   Attendance and Truancy
   Unexcused Absences and Tasrdiness
   Disruptive Behavior
   Identify Yourself When Asked
Conducting Educational Research
The Students' Basic Freedoms
   Freedom of Speech
   Freedom of Assembly
   Freedom to Publish
   Freedom of Symbolic Expression
Restricted Organizations and Groups
Discrimination and Harassment
Reporting of Discrimination and Harassment
Don't Break These Laws
Searches and Confiscations
Searches for Reasonable Cause
Consequences for Violating Standards of Behavior
   Due Process
Types of Sanctions and Disciplinary Actions
   Simple Discipline
   Short-Term Suspensions
   Long-Term Suspensions
   Expulsions
Appeals for Short-Term Suspensions and Simple Discipline
Hearings and Appeals for Long-Term Suspensions
Hearing Officer
 
 

Why Have a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities?

This Students' and Parents' Handbook was prepared as a summary and reference guide to assist students, parents and administrators in following the Ida B. Wells Community Academy's academic and behavioral regulations. The Statement of Rights and Responsibilities is provided as a guide and should always be referred to should you have any questions. The Statement of Rights and Responsibilities contains the rules of the IBWCA learning community and presents the Standards of Behavior students, faculty, staff and administrators are expected to follow. 

Part I:

Section I:  Standards of Behavior

To be a good student (and faculty member) at the Ida B. Wells Community Academy follows, among other things, a basic three-part set of rules. 

     "Start of the School Day" Program 

         A. At the beginning of each school day, Students and Faculty are required to participate in 

             1. singing the African American National Anthem, "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," 

             2. participating in the daily ritual of "Paying Tribute to the Ancestors" and 

             3. reciting the IBWCA Pledge

         B. Students are required to practice at school, at home, at work and at play the values contained in . . .

The Nguzo Saba
The Seven Principles

  1. UMOJA (Unity)

  2. To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race. 
     
  3. KUJICHAGULIA (Self-Determination)

  4. To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others. 
     
  5. UJIMA (Collective Work and Responsibility)

  6. To build and maintain our community together and make our sister's and brother's problems our problems and to solve them together. 
     
  7. UJAMAA (Cooperative Economics)

  8. To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together. 
     
  9. NIA (Purpose)

  10. To make our collective vocation the building and developing our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. 
     
  11. KUUMBA (Creativity)

  12. To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial then we inherited it. 
     
  13. IMANI (Faith)

  14. To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Section II:  Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers and Students

The Roles and Responsibilities of Walimu and Wanafunzi

THE MWALIMU (TEACHER) MWANAFUNZI (STUDENT) relationship is of major importance and must be understood and adhered to if an atmosphere of learning, discipline, and respect is to be created. In the final analysis, we are all students, but some of us have been students longer and have acquired a body of knowledge that must be passed on to those who are just entering formal life-studies. We call the teacher MWALIMU and the student being introduced to knowledge, we refer to as MWANAFUNZI. No institutions can advance intellectually, culturally, or politically, unless there are dedicated and sincere WALIMU with an equally committed WANAFUNZI. The Mwalimu and the Mwanafunzi are equally responsible to each other and must develop an unbreakable trust between themselves.
The following points should be observed by all WALIMU (Teachers).

            1. Be the example of what you teach. Your personal contradictions can wipe out years of hard work. You must be direction for the young, be what you teach, exemplifying The Seven Principles NGUZO SABA. 

            2. Always impart knowledge with an eye on reality. Pull your examples from the real world that we are involved in daily. High sounding philosophy belongs in philosophy classes that divorce themselves from life. Knowledge without understanding and practical application is like owning land without being able to cultivate it.

           3. Never tire of teaching. An instructor who believes in what he is teaching can teach anywhere and at anytime and is always prepared to teach; his lifestyle should be a lesson. Concentrate on the four ingredients for an African reality: to work, to study, to create, and to build.

           4. The developing of the moral, spiritual, and physical well-being of the students is of the uppermost imperative. A student should never be held back in fact, a teacher should be eager for his student to surpass him; this is a reward for doing his job well.

           5. In order to develop the communal spirit to the highest, the instructor must be conscious of and concerned about the student' s well being outside the classroom. Make sure that the student has all basic needs in order to develop his mind, body, and spirit .

           6. The student should be encouraged to investigate all areas of life-studies. The student should be given equal time and attention in accordance with his personal ability. Push the complimentary and cooperative aspects of learning and encourage involvement with man and nature, and independent study. Never betray a trust, and discipline should be strict, quick, and fair .

           7. All teaching should be based upon tradition and reason, and be taught theoretically and scientifically, the emphasis always on Afrikan man in relation to his community community-centered rather than man-centered; emphasizing the responsibility of the students to their community, organization, and family; always communal ism over commercialism.

The following points should be observed by all WANAFUNZI ( Students ):

           1. The student is the nation becoming. The good student never tires of learning. The secret of knowledge is that the good students can learn anything, anyplace, and any time.

           2. The good student is committed committed to the institution/organization, committed to his people, and committed to the acquisition of knowledge that will aid his people therefore aiding himself.

           3. The good student lives the Black Value System Nguzo Saba and is the example for the younger brothers and sisters .

           4. The good student knows that to move from black purpose to Afrikan Reality four ingredients are needed: Work, Study, Creativity, and Building.

           5. Remember that a student' s conduct outside the organization reflects the organization. To do in justice one day out of 365 days could wipe out the whole year' s work.

           6. The spirit of sharing and learning; must be with the student at all times. But if he does not know any thing there will be nothing for him to share.

           7. The student must develop good study habits, always show a willingness to learn, and always be respectful to the instructor. Address all male instructors with [Mr. or Doctor] and all female instructors with [Mrs., Ms. or Doctor.]

           8. Knowledge without understanding and practical application is useless if you do not understand something ask questions. One who continually asks questions does not show stupidity or ignorance he shows a thirst for knowledge. One who nits and absorbs everything without question is like a sponge with his head is full of water. Challenge your instructors to give you all the knowledge they have.

Excerpted from Haki Madhubuti. (1973). From Plan to Planet. Detroit: Broadside Press.


Section III:  Role and Responsibility of Faculty, Parents and Staff

           1. Never be overawed by authority. Not at any time whatever, nor for any reason whatsoever, can any one with safety or profit permit his faculty-of-thought to take a "sabbatical," least of all when that individual's mind is exposed to the thoughts of other people.

           2. Be open to conviction, but refuse to be convinced until conviction becomes a necessity. In other words, do not imprison your mind in the padded cell of the comfortable rut of your own preferred beliefs, prejudices, biases, or egocentricity.

           3. Read little, think deeply and much. Avoid acquiring the grasshopper mind. Books are highly suggestive, therefore, choose your authors with care. Take time to think through the full implications and connotations of what you read, testing its validity from as many angles as you can. Even nourishing food leads to indigestion if swallowed whole. Avoid mental indigestion at all costs. It is not to be cured merely by going to the Drug Store!

           4. Seek TRUTH and pursue it, to the extent of remaking your own mind no matter what the cost, should it become necessary. Never forget that the "superstitions" of today were the "truths' of yesterday; the "truths" of today will be the "superstitions" of tomorrow. Do not allow them "permanent residence" in your mind. Seek not mere "knowledge" but UNDERSTANDING. Perchance WISDOM may follow. One thing is certain: Only when the rational mind is stilled can the ears of Understanding open to the voice of Wisdom.

           5. If you must lie, lie to others; they will find you out and know you for the fool that you are. But if you lie to yourself, you are a lost fool.

           6. Learn to "think beyond the thoughts of men that lean on things they see." Inevitably they become "obsessed by the perceptible to such an extent that, for them, thinking has become synoymous with repeating parrot-fashion the cast-off-thoughts of others, with less intelligence than the (so-called) "dumb" animals. On no account should you visit that Club, much less join it.

           7. Make it your golden rule, never to be broken, NOT under any circumstances to consult any author on any subject until you shall first have thought deeply about it meditative act and shall have reached some conclusions, no matter how tentative. Remember at all times: NOTHING BELONGS TO YOU EXCEPT YOUR MIND HAS HAD A HAND IN ITS FORMULATION. The moral is obvious: ensure by every means at your disposal, that your mind is actively functioning on oiled wheels, and that it functions as your servant and not your enslaver .

           8. Heed well the words of Herbert Spencer: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance: That Principle is contempt prior to investigation."


First drawn up by Chief Fela Sowande at Howard University, 1969, revised at the University of Pittsburgh, 1973, and restructured at Dartmouth College, July 1975. 
 
THE IDA B. WELLS COMMUNITY ACADEMY

Daily Class Schedule

7:30 - 5:00 
 School Opening and Closing Times
8:15 - 8:30 
 Enter Building and Removal of Outerwear
8:15 - 8:45
 Breakfast Served after Attendance and Lunch Count
       8:45 
 "Start of the School Day" Program and Announcements
 9:00 - 10:00 
 Dismissal to Classrooms: All Grades
Optimal time for  teaching math and language arts is during the morning hours.
10:00 - 10:15 
 Kindergarten Recess
10:15 - 11:15 
 Kindergarten Classtime
11:15 - 11:30 
 Kindergarten Restroom, Cleanup, etc.
11:30 - 12:00 
 Kindergarten: Lunch / Recess
12:00 - 1:15 
 Kindergarten: Nap Time
1:15 - 2:15 
 Kindergarten: Classtime
10:15 - 10:30 
 1st Grade: Recess
     10:30 - 11:30  1st Grade: Classtime
11:30 - 11:45 
 1st Grade: Restroom, Cleanup, etc.
1:45 - 12:15 
 1st Grade: Lunch / Recess
12:15 - 12:45 
 Quiet Time
12:45 - 1:15 
 1st Grade: Classtime
10:30 - 10:45 
 2nd Grade: Recess
10:45 - 11:45
 2nd Grade: Classtime
11:45 - 12:00
 2nd Grade: Restroom, Cleanup, etc.
12:00 - 12:30
 2nd Grade: Lunch / Recess
12:30 - 1:00 
 Quiet Time
   1:00 - 1:30 
 2nd Grade: Classtime
 1:30 - 2:00 
 2nd Grade: Classtime
 1:45 - 2:00 
 1st Grade: Recess
2:00 - 2:15 
 2nd Grade: Recess
 2:15 - 2:30 
 Kindergarten Recess
 2:30 - 3:10 
 Self-Directed Study: All Grades
  3:10 
 Announcements
 3:15 
 Dismissal of First Bus Students
 3:30 
 Dismissal of Walkers and Second Bus Students
*This daily class  schedule is subject to change.

Section II: Important Things to Remember

Fire Drills

Fire drills will be held so that students will know the evacuation procedure. When you hear the fire alarm you should immediately walk out of the building according to the route designated 
in each room. Simply follow the arrows and room numbers. Once outside you are to stay with 
your group so that the teacher can check the attendance. 

Help for Students

If you find that you are having difficulty in any of your subjects, please ask for help from your 
teacher. See your teacher before school, after school or during recess. Don't wait too long 
before seeking help. 

Homework

In order to cover the subject matter expected of students, it is essential to assign homework in most of your subjects. Check with your teachers for the proper way to study their subjects. 
Learning to study will be the key to your success. 

Honor Roll

If a student, (grade 6 - 8), has an average of 85 or higher with no grade lower than a 77, his/her name is published on the Honor Roll. This list is posted after each nine-week ranking period.

Lockers and Padlocks

Lockers are assigned to each student in grades six through eight at the beginning of the school year. These lockers remain the property of the School District. For good reason school officials have the right to inspect any or all lockers. If a student wishes to provide his/her own padlock, it is required that a duplicate key or the combination be on file with the homeroom teacher. 

Lost and Found

A lost and found box is located in the front entrance. Students and parents are encouraged to 
check the box for lost items. 

Make-Up Work

When a student is absent, all work including tests and homework assignments must be made up on the student's own time. The normal time allotted for make-up is one day for each day 
absent. However, extenuating circumstances may require the teacher or administrator to grant a longer time period to complete make-up work. 

Any student receiving an incomplete on his/her rank card will have one week (7 days) after the day rank cards are issued to complete assigned work. However, extenuating circumstances 
may require the teacher or administrator to grant a longer time period to complete make- up 
work. (One week equals 7 calendar days.) 

Personal Belongings

All students are personally responsible for their own possessions and belongings. Students are encouraged to mark all clothing (especially physical education material and equipment). 
Please do not leave any of your things lying around. Items such as radios, boom boxes, 
walk-man, radio controlled cars, roller blades, and skate boards should not be brought to 
school. 

Room Parties

Students should not plan celebrations or parties without permission from the teacher and 
principal. 

School Dances

School dances may be held periodically during the school year. These dances will be 
sponsored by the student council or another school organization, after receiving approval from 
the principal. Dances may be open to students of grades 6 through 8, or only 7 and 8, 
depending on the theme, and generally run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

School Closings Due to Weather

Please listen to local television and radio stations. 

School Insurance

The district provides insurance forms from a private insurer for coverage at a very reasonable 
cost. Forms are distributed at school, but all premiums and claims are handled directly by the company. 

School Breadfast and Lunch

Collection of breakfast and noon lunch money will be on Monday mornings in the cafeteria 
(gym) from 7:30 until 8:15. Money brought in during the week should be brought directly to the office. All lunches and breakfasts must be paid in advance on a weekly basis. 

Forms regarding the school lunch program are distributed by the office. Breakfast is available for all students. 

Student Supplies

Students are expected to have their own pens, notebooks, and paper for note taking. Student
possessions should be marked with their name. 

Student Government

The Student Council was organized to promote better pupil-teacher and pupil-pupil relations. 
Members of the student council work on common concerns and various school projects. 

Student Visitors

Students are allowed to bring visitors only if they have made arrangements with their 
teacher(s) and the principal at least one day in advance. Please do not bring a visitor to school without prior approval. 

Tardiness and Excused During the Day

  Late for Class 

You are expected to arrive at class on time. Each teacher is responsible for insuring that 
students are prompt. If another teacher has detained you, you should secure a pass from 
him/her. 

 Late for School 

Please report to the office where you will be marked tardy and a pass to enter class will be 
issued. 

Illness or Injury During School 

A student who is ill or injured should immediately report to a teacher or other adult who will 
take appropriate action. Every effort will be made to contact the parent or guardian but the 
school will secure emergency treatment if necessary. It is the parent or guardian 's 
responsibility to pay for any emergency services rendered. 

Telephone

The telephone may be used by students only in case of emergency during the school day. 
Students will not be called from class to answer the phone. Messages will be taken by the
office and delivered at times that do not interrupt classes. 

Section III: Student Educational Services

Counseling and Guidance Services

Elementary counseling and guidance services are available. Counselors provide services to all students. Through individual and group activities, students learn to improve their conflict resolution and communication skills, study habits, assess their academic abilities, acquire a better understanding of themselves, and learn better coping skills and problem solving behaviors. Counselors are also available as good listeners and play a supportive role to any student with concerns they wish to discuss. 

Private conversations with the counselor will be kept confidential. Any student can see a counselor by asking his/her teacher or by making an appointment at the office. 

Library Services

Library books may be taken out on a weekly basis. Students may go to the library with a 
teacher as part of a class or before school, during activity period, or after school, provided they have a pass from a teacher. 

Students will be required to pay fines for overdue books. 

School Nurse

The school nurse is available to help students with health needs Monday through Wednesday 
from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. 

The IBWCA Children's Bank

The IBWCA Bank is designed to provide its students with a financial, economic and business experience at an early age. It is open on Friday afternoons from 12:00 until school closing at 3:30 p. m. 

Section IV:  Standards of Good Student Behavior

IBWCA stresses also a comprehensive set of behavioral standards which include student rights, responsibilities, school rules and community standards. Students should treat others as they want to be treated. Students should be good citizens of the IBWCA learning community. A good citizen of the IBWCA community: 

  • is courteous, safe, and productive;
  • cares about learning; 
  • cares about him or her self; 
  • cares about his or her family, neighborhood and community;
  • strives to help his or her fellow students
  • cares about and thinks of others;
  • desires to excel in school, at home and in life;
  • cares about safety; 
  • follows IBWCA rules; 
  • cooperates with teachers and other IBWCA staff;
  • respects the differences of others; 
  • is responsible for his or her actions; 
  • respects the property of others; and
  • respects the IBWCA facility.
Section V: Assurance of a Safe and Responsive Learning Environment

     Students

  • Students have the right to learn and be safe, and in turn should show respect to others. 
  • Students who violate the rights of others to receive an education will face the consequences of their actions. Violating the rights of others includes being disruptive, harassing others, fighting, stealing and breaking other rules. 
  • Students with disabilities are expected to follow the rules. The Statement of Rights and Responsibilities document will not restrict the rights of these students as they relate to disability laws. 
     Parents/Guardians
  • Parents or guardians are responsible for making sure their children attend school every day, and arrive for school on time. 
     Teachers 
  • Teachers have a duty to teach. 
  • Teachers are responsible for student behavior in the classroom and to provide helpful, constructive direction. 
  • Teachers may remove students from a class or discipline students. Both of these actions, however, must not be done without clear and definite cause.
     The Principal
  • The principal or his or her representative is responsible for making sure students receive an appropriate education.
  • The principal or his or her representative may discipline, suspend and/or recommend students for expulsion for justified reason. 
Where These Rules Apply
  • The Statement of Rights and Responsibilities applies at school and at school activities.
  • In addition, the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities applies to acts that start on the school's premises and are completed off school grounds; on school buses and at school bus stops; they also apply to acts that happen off school grounds but affect the school's reputation or the well-being, safety, or morals of the school's students. 
Attendance and Truancy 
  • Right: All students should start school at the same time to avoid classroom disruptions. 
  • Responsibility: Students must attend school every day during the school year unless excused. 
  • Parents are responsible for making sure students attend school every day and are at school on time. 
Unexcused Absences and Truancy 
  • Tardiness or absence from school without a parent's earlier permission, or for other unacceptable reasons, will not be excused. In addition, truancy violations may be reported to the police. 
Disruptive Behavior is Against the Rules: Cooperate with School Staff 
  • Right: Students have a right to receive their education without disruptive behavior from others. Students also have a right to a safe environment. 
  • Responsibility: Students have a responsibility to cooperate with school staff. Disruptive behavior interferes with school, other students' safety and with school activities. 
      Disruptive, unacceptable behavior includes: 
  • moving around the classroom without permission;
  • breaking classroom or school rules;
  • talking back in a disrespectful way; 
  • being defiant with school staff;
  • swearing, and other unacceptable language;
  • use of put-downs (unflattering gestures or speech); and
  • making an unsafe situation for others, which includes: 
          a. fighting; 
          b. roughhousing, hitting; 
          c. picking on, harassing, bullying; 
          d. making threats; 
          e. throwing objects such as snowballs, rocks, or food; 
          f.  running, pushing, or horseplay in classrooms or halls. 

Identify Yourself to Faculty, Staff and Administrators

  • Right: Students have a right to feel safe by knowing that their parents can be contacted in an emergency and that school staff can identify unknown visitors to their school. 

  • Responsibility: Students and their parents are responsible for giving the school their correct name, address and telephone number. If asked, students must tell school faculty, staff and administrators who they are. 
Section VI: Educational Research or Surveys of Students
  • Right: Parents must give written permission for students to answer IBWCA authorized surveys or educational research questionnaires that ask about personal or private family affairs that are not public information.
  • Responsibility: IBWCA will find it necessay to conduct professional educational research which uses students and/or their parents as respondents. Personal information gained during this research will be kept confidential.
Student surveys: Teachers or school administrators may conduct surveys of students for the purposes of study, the improvement of education, or class assignment. These surveys or questionnaires are governed by the following rules: 
  • A school district, principal or other person in charge of a public school, or teacher in a public school may not administer or permit to be administered in a school, any questionnaire or survey, whether anonymous or not, which inquires into private family affairs of the student not a matter of public record or subject to public observation unless written permission is obtained from the student's parent or guardian. (Included in this restriction are surveys that seek information on the following): 
           a. political affiliations; 
           b. mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or the 
               student's family; 
           c. sex behavior and attitudes; 
           d. illegal, anti-social,
           e. self-incriminating and demeaning behavior; 
           f.  critical appraisals of other individuals with whom the student has close 
               relationships; 
           g. relationships that are legally recognized as privileged, such as those of lawyers, 
               physicians, and ministers; 
           h. income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a 
               program or for receiving financial assistance under such a program); or private 
               family affairs not a matter of public record or subject to public observation. 
  • Surveys or questionnaires not seeking information in the categories described above may be administered to students without parental consent. In addition, it is appropriate to require students to complete these surveys. Inspection by Parents or Guardians of Survey Material:
          a. All instructional materials, including teacher's manuals, film, tapes, or other 
             supplementary materials which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis,
             or evaluation as part of any applicable program shall be available for inspection by the
             parents or guardians of the children. 
  • Use of Information Gathered in Student Surveys: Information gathered in student surveys may be disclosed to organizations conducting studies to develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; administer student aid programs; or to improve instruction. This information may be disclosed without parental consent provided the study is conducted in a manner that does not permit personal identification of parents and students to individuals other than those conducting the study. Further, the information must be destroyed when no longer needed for purposes of the study. 
Section VII: The Students' Basic Freedoms

Freedom of Speech 

  • Right: Students may speak their opinions as long as they do not interfere with others speaking their opinions. 
  • Responsibility: Swearing, slander, racial slurs and other unacceptable language is not allowed. 
Freedom of Assembly
  • Right: Students may meet together with the principal's permission. 
  • Responsibility: Demonstrations or meetings that interfere with learning are not allowed. 
Freedom to Publish
  • Right: Students may express their opinions in publications. Students may hand out fliers, leaflets and newspapers with permission from the principal. Sales of literature not authorized by the Advisory Board is not allowed on school property.
  • Responsibility: Students should use responsible journalism and good judgment in any publications they publish, as defined in the Canons of Journalism which will be available in the principal's office.
  • Right: Faculty also enjoy to right to publish their curriculum related ideas and lessons plans, scholarly articles, and research findings in profession and trade journals, newsletters, webpages, etc.
Freedom of Symbolic Expression: Student Dress Code
  • Right: Every student should have a safe environment in which to learn.
  • Responsibility: Students must wear clean clothes that are safe for the student and others, and are in good taste. 
  • The Advisory Board will prescribe a standard uniform dress code which all student will be required to wear. Parents will be advised of this dress code prior to the start of each school year.
  • Students may wear/display buttons, armbands, flags, decals or other badges unless such items break the IBWCA standard uniform dress code.
Displays Identifying Restricted Organizations and Groups
    Exception: Groups which may threaten the safety of students or others will be defined as gangs and are not allowed. Clothes, jewelry, accessories or looks that might show membership in these and other restricted organizations are not allowed. Participation in restricted activities, including initiation, is not allowed. 
Discrimination and Harassment
  • Right: Students and staff have the right to a school that is free from discrimination, harassment, hazing or violence.
  • Responsibility: Students should respect the differences of others. Harassment is not tolerated. Harassment includes ridiculing, harassing, intimidating or threatening anyone. 
      Discrimination is Not Tolerated
  • Discrimination is showing prejudice by making mean remarks toward others, or using violence, or damaging someone's belongings because of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability or looks. Remarks not allowed include name calling, racial slurs or jokes or threats of harm. 
      Harassment is Not Tolerated
  • Harassment is when someone pesters, annoys, alarms, or abuses another person or group because of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability or looks. Harassment also includes being offensive and creating a hostile, abusive or unsafe school or work environment. 
      Sexual Harassment is Not Tolerated
  • Sexual harassment is behavior that includes unwelcome advances, physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature, which includes but is not limited to: 

  •  

     
     
     
     
     

    a. verbal harassment or abuse;
    b. inappropriate patting or touching. 

Reporting Discrimination or Harassment
  • Students who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed should report it to their school principal. 
  • The IBWCA principal will investigate and inform the IBWCA's Board of Governors who act as its Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EEO/AA) office, and request their advice and adjudication of the incident. 
  • Students may also report the incident directly to an outside agency, such as the City of Akron Equal Rights Commission, the City Ombudsman, the State of Ohio Human Rights Commission, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the Office for Civil Rights.
Don't Break These Laws: They May Be Criminal Acts!
  • Right: Students and staff have the right to be safe. Students involved in crimes threaten the  safety of others in the school community. 
  • Responsibility: Students should avoid bad  situations. If students participate in unacceptable behavior, they must face the consequences of their actions including simple discipline, suspension or being expelled from school. 
  • Students who violate laws, including those listed below, may face additional consequences. This list does not include a definition of all crimes, and is only a summary. 
Aiding and abetting: helping someone in any way commit a crime.
Arson: causing or starting a fire or setting off an explosion, including fireworks.
Assault: injuring someone on purpose. 
Attempt: taking action to commit a crime. 
Attendance: Daily attendance of all who are enrolled in the District schools is required in 
     accordance with State law and School Board rules. Students will attend regularly 
     scheduled classes unless officially excused. 
Burglary: entering an unauthorized room or building illegally, and planning to commit
    a crime.Criminal impersonation: identifying yourself as someone else and trying to be 
    deceitful, or helping someone commit a fraud. 
Criminal mischief: vandalism, including removing, damaging, destroying, defacing, or 
     mutilating objects, materials, or property belonging to others.
Disruptive conduct: Disruptive behavior and/or appearance which interferes with the
     normal school program, the educational process, or the lawful activities of others is 
     prohibited. 
Cooperation with school personnel: Students must obey the lawful instructions of all 
     IBWCA district personnel. 
Extortion or blackmail: threatening others to gain money, property, or to get them to do
     something for you. 
Forgery: signing another person's name on a document, altering a document, or having a 
     forged document. 
Off-campus events: Students at school-sponsored off-campus events shall be governed by
     school district rules and regulations and shall be subject to the authority of school district 
     personnel. 
Reckless endangerment: creating a risky situation that might cause injury to another 
     person. 
Robbery: stealing from another person by force or threatening force. 
Self identification: All students in IBWCA facilitiess or on school grounds, or at 
     IBWCA-sponsored events must, upon request, identify themselves to authorized IBWCA
     personnel or their designee. 
Selling and/or possessing alcohol or other drugs: selling, trading, using or possessing 
     alcohol or illegal drugs. 
  • The school official in charge shall immediately remove from contact with other students anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs and thereupon shall contact the arent/guardian and law enforcement officials. 
  • Smoking and/or possessing tobacco products: using or possessing tobacco, including
         cigarettes, cigars, or tobacco in a container. Students are not permitted to smoke on 
         school property. Using, giving, selling, or possessing cigarettes or other tobacco products 
         is prohibited.
    Soliciting: talking another person into committing a crime. 
    Trespass: entering or remaining on another person's property without permission, or refusing
         to leave if asked by the property owner. 
    Theft: stealing from another person. 
    Weapons and guns and firearms policy: NO GUNS ALLOWED.
    • Students are not allowed to bring weapons or guns/firearms to school or school events. 
    • Weapons that are not allowed at school include guns/firearms (a weapon designed to shoot or explode), pellet and BB guns, air guns, spring guns, zip guns, stun guns, shockers, bombs or other explosives, poison, dangerous or deadly gas, slingshots, bludgeons, throwing stars, knives, clubs, brass knuckles, or artificial knuckles of any kind, numchucks and throwing weapons.
    • Consequences for violating the weapons or guns/firearms policy: 

    •  

       
       
       
       
       

      a. Students found with any guns/firearms face expulsion and arrest. 
      b. Students found with weapons or look-alike weapons (see guns/firearms) of 
          any kind face suspension, or expulsion, and arrest.
       

    • Weapons and Firearms: Students shall not carry on their person, or place anywhere on school property, or in the vicinity of a school sponsored event, any firearms or other weapons, except as assigned to students for, and used during, a regular course of instruction. However, if in a regular course of instruction or during an authorized activity, a weapon is used in an unauthorized manner, the student will be in violation of this provision. Students found with any firearms* while subject to the jurisdiction of the school are subject to expulsion and arrest. Students found with weapons, or look-alike weapons of any kind, while subject to the jurisdiction of the school are subject to suspension or expulsion, and arrest. 
    • A "firearm" is defined as: (1) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to, or may readily be converted, to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (2) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (3) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (4) any destructive device. A "destructive device" is an explosive, incendiary, poison gas, bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, or any other similar device. 
    Searches and Confiscation
    • Right: All searches should take place in the presence of the student and another person. The search will be done in a way that shows respect for the student and their belongings.
    • Searches of Lockers and Desks
              a. The IBWCA owns and controls lockers and desks, and other property assigned to 
                 students.
              b. The IBWCA may conduct random searches of student lockers or desks to find out if
                 students are following laws and school rules. 
    • Notices of  IBWCA's right to random searches are posted throughout the school, and students will be told at least once each semester that searches can happen at anytime, with or withoutadvance notice. 
    Searches Based on Reasonable Cause 
    • Searches occur only after evidence has been presented that established a justified reason. The school principal may inspect and search a student's locker or desk, vehicle, belongings and outer clothing if the principal believes the search will turn up evidence that the student has broken the law or rules of the school. Evidence that may be found in the area searched includes, but is not limited to, drugs, weapons, stolen goods or dangerous, illegal or prohibited matter. 
    Part II:

    The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities constitutes the IBWCA Board of Governors Board policy on matters pertaining to students'  rights and responsibilities. In any case of conflict between the Statement of Rights and  Responsibilities and any other IBWCA policy or procedure, the Statement of Rights and  Responsibilities shall take precedence unless specifically limited by such other Board of Governors policy. 

    Due Process

    The constitutional rights assured to all citizens of the United States Constitution and the Consitituion of the State of Ohio includes the guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Students are recognized as "Persons" under these constitutions and a system of constitutionality and legally sound procedures has been developed for the administration of discipline in the schools. 

               1. The hallmark of the exercise of  disciplinary authority shall be fairness. 

               2. Before the imposition of a disciplinary action, a student shall be given an opportunity to contest any alleged facts leading to the proposed disciplinary action and to present his or her version of the facts. 

    Further Assurances

                1. A primary responsibility of the Ida B. Wells Community Academy and its professional staff shall be the development of an understanding and appreciation of our representative form of government, the rights and responsibilities of the individual and the legal processes whereby necessary changes are brought about. 

                2. IBWCA is a community and the rules and regulations of the IBWCA are the laws of that community. All those enjoying the rights of citizenship in the IBWCA community must also accept the responsibilities of citizenship. Among the responsibilities of school citizenship are respecting the laws of the community and the rights of other citizens and contributing to the fulfillment of educational purposes through cooperative conduct. 

                3. Young people in the United States have the right to receive a free public education, and deprivation of that right may occur only for just cause in accordance with due process of law. 

                4. Students have the rights of citizenship as defined in the United States Constitution and its amendments; and these rights may not be abridged, obstructed or in other ways altered except in accordance with due process of law. The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States prohibit states from unduly infringing upon the rights of speech and expression. In the school setting this restriction on state action limits the manner and extent to which schools may regulate the speech and expression of students. In order to curtail First Amendment rights, school authorities must show that the failure to do so would create a material and substantial disruption of school work and discipline. 

               5. Administrators and teachers also have rights and duties. The teacher is required by law to maintain a suitable environment for learning, and administrators have the responsibility for maintaining and facilitating the educational program. 

               6. The principal, or his or her designee, is authorized to recommend expulsion, and to suspend or discipline students for cause. The teacher has the authority to temporarily remove students from a class or discipline students for cause. The following rules, regulations and due process procedures are designed to protect all members of the educational community in the exercise of their rights and duties. 

               7. Students with disabilities are subject to and shall follow the rules and regulations set forth in this Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and shall be disciplined under these policies. The policies set forth in this Statement of Rights and Responsibilities shall not restrict the rights to which these students are entitled under the disability laws. Discipline under these policies shall not be in violation of the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or any modifications of the school's disciplinary sanctions which are set out in individual IEPs. 

              8. Jurisdiction: The following rules apply on campus, at Ida B. Wells Community Academy activities on and off campus, on school buses and at school bus stops. The Ida B. Wells Community Academy jurisdiction also applies to acts which start on school campus and are completed off school campus. In addition, criminal acts which occur completely off campus but which have direct and immediate affect either on Ida B. Wells Community Academy decorum or the welfare, safety or morals of students fall under the jurisdiction of the school. 

    The commission of, or participation in, any criminal activity in school buildings, on Ida B. Wells Community Academy property, on school buses and at school bus stops, at school activities on and off campus, and acts which occur completely off campus but which have direct and immediate effect either on school decorum or the welfare, safety or morals of students is prohibited. Disciplinary action may be taken by the Ida B. Wells Community Academy regardless of whether or not criminal charges or prosecution result. 

    Section I: Consequences of Violating Standards of Behavior

    Types of Sanctions and Disciplinary Actions

    1. Simple discipline: Any disciplinary action against a student other than suspension or expulsion. No simple disciplinary action shall be taken in such manner as to prevent a student from accomplishing specific academic grade, level, or graduation requirement, provided that credit may not be granted for irregular attendance as described in the Secondary and Middle Level Administrative Manual. Simple disciplinary actions may include the denial of the privilege to participate in school sponsored extracurricular programs, social events and senior graduation ceremony. A student can be subject to such simple disciplinary sanctions in addition to suspension or expulsion. Prior to the imposition of simple disciplinary action, the student will be given written or oral notice of the charges against him/her, and if he/she denies them, an explanation of the evidence the administrator has, and an opportunity to present his/her side of the case will be granted. This explanation and opportunity to present facts may occur immediately after notice of the charges is given to the student. 

    When simple discipline involves the denial of the privilege to participate in extracurricular programs, social events and senior graduation ceremony: The school principal shall endeavor to notify the parent/guardian of the student by telephone of the pending charges against the student prior to imposition of this type of simple disciplinary action. The decision of the school principal will be provided in writing to the student and his/her parent/guardian. Simple discipline involving the denial of the privilege to participate in extracurricular programs, including senior graduation ceremony, may be appealed as set forth in Paragraph 5 below. 

    2. Short-Term Suspensions: Denial, without a formal hearing, of the right of school attendance either from a single class or any full schedule of classes for a limited period of time not to exceed five (5) school days. Short-Term Suspension: A short-term suspension is a
    suspension ordered for any reason by the school administrator where the disciplinary action will not exceed five (5) school days. Prior to a student being placed on short-term suspension, the student must be given written or oral notice of the charges against him/her, and, if he/she denies them, an explanation of the evidence the administrator has, and an opportunity to present his/her side of the case. This explanation and opportunity to present facts may occur immediately after notice of the charges is given to the student. Notice to Parent/Guardian: The school administrator shall endeavor to notify the parent/guardian of the student of the pending suspension by telephone and in writing. The student and/or his or her parent/guardian shall be provided written and/or oral notice of the suspension prior to the time the suspension is to commence, unless notice is not possible prior to suspension because the student's presence poses an immediate or continuing danger to him/ herself or other persons or property, or an ongoing threat of disruption of the academic process. 

    A student may appeal a short-term suspension under the process set forth in Paragraph 5 below. The short-term suspension will be enforced immediately and the student shall remain away from school unless or until an informal hearing is requested. Upon receipt of a hearing request, the suspension will be delayed and the student shall be allowed back in school pending the informal hearing, except as set forth in Section 5 below. A student on short-term suspension is encouraged to contact his or her teachers regarding daily class reading and assignments. A student will be allowed to complete, for credit, class work and assignments missed during the short-term suspension. 

    3. Long-term Suspensions: Denial of the right of attendance from any single class or any full schedule of classes for a stated period of time greater than five (5) school days. The following limitations shall apply to all long-term suspensions: 

                  a. No student shall be suspended from an elementary school for more than forty-five (45) consecutive school days. 
                  b. No student shall be suspended from a secondary school for more than ninety (90) consecutive school days. 
                  c. A student on long-term suspension is encouraged to contact his or her teachers or counselor regarding daily class reading and assignments. However, a student on long-term suspension is not allowed to make up graded work which is handed in or completed during class. 

    When the school administrator, the Chair of the Advisory Board, or their designee, recommends long-term suspension, a written notice shall be delivered by mail or in person to the student and his or her parent/guardian. An attempt at telephonic notification will also be made. This notice shall state: 

                      (1) the specific charges against the student; and 
                      (2) the student's right to a hearing; 
                      (3) the recommended sanctions.

    For students experiencing disabilities, the written notice shall also include a copy of the Parents' Rights Handbook: and, as soon as possible, a Multidisciplinary Team meeting will be held to determine if the student's behavior is related to the disability.

    Within five (5) school days of receipt of this notice, the student and/or the student's parent/guardian may request a hearing in writing. If a request for hearing is not received within the five (5) day period, the student and his or her parent/guardian shall have waived his or her right to a hearing. If a hearing is requested, it shall be held as promptly as possible after receipt of the request, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Paragraph 6 below. The long-term suspension will be enforced immediately and the student shall remain away from school unless or until a hearing is requested. The submission of a written request for a hearing shall delay further imposition of any remaining portion of the suspension pending the hearing, except as set forth in Paragraph 6 below. 

    4. Expulsion: The denial of the right of school attendance, either from a specific school or from the District, for an indefinite period of time. No student shall be expelled unless other means of correction have failed or would not be adequate in bringing about proper conduct. In addition, the matter of an expelled student's further education shall be referred to the appropriate Instructional Division Executive Director. 

    When the school administrator, or the Chair of the Advisory Board, recommends expulsion, a written notice shall be delivered by mail or in person to the student and his or her parent/guardian. An attempt to make telephone notification will also be made. This written notice shall state: 

                  a. the specific charges against the student; 
                  b. the student's right to a hearing; 
                  c. the recommended disciplinary actions. 

    For students experiencing disabilities, the written notice shall also include a copy of the Parents' Rights Handbook; and, as soon as possible, a Multidisciplinary Team meeting will be held to determine if the student's behavior is related to the disability. 

    Within five (5) school days of receipt of this notice, the student and/or the student's parent/guardian may request a hearing in writing. If a request for hearing is not received within the five (5) day period, the student and his or her parent/guardian shall have waived his or her right to a hearing. If a hearing is requested, it shall be held as promptly as possible after receipt of the request, following the procedures set forth in Paragraph 6 below. The student shall remain away from school until a hearing is requested. The submission of a written request for a hearing shall delay further imposition of any remaining portion of the expulsion, pending the hearing, except as set forth in Paragraph 6 below. 

    Students expelled from the Akron Public Schools, as well as from the Ida B. Wells Community Academy, may apply for admission or readmission to the Ida B. Wells Community Academy by written application to the Chair of the Ida B. Wells Community Academy Advisory Board. Students must apply in writing and must document that they have met the conditions for return required by the Ida B. Wells Community Academy. Additional conditions and requirements may be set for admission at the discretion of the Chair of the Advisory Board, his/her designee, or the Board of Governors prior to consideration for admission by the Advisory Board. Upon admission to school, written conditions related to placement and attendance will be formulated. Continued permission to attend the Ida B. Wells Community Academy will depend on adherence to these written conditions. 

    5. Appeal procedures for short-term suspensions and simple discipline:

    NOTE: These appeal procedures apply to short-term suspensions and all simple discipline except the denial of participation at a student's senior graduation ceremony. Simple discipline prohibiting a student's attendance at graduation may be appealed under the procedures set forth in Paragraph 6 below. 

                 a. After notification of the short-term suspension or simple discipline, the student or his/her parent/guardian may request an informal hearing. The request shall be in writing. The submission of a written request for a hearing shall delay further imposition of any remaining portion of the suspension, pending the informal hearing. However, a student will not be allowed back in school or allowed to participate in school related activities pending a hearing if, in the judgment of the school principal, the presence of the student poses an immediate or continuing danger to himself or herself, other persons or property, or is an ongoing threat of disruption to the educational process. Failure to submit a written request for a hearing until after the completion of a suspension shall constitute a waiver of any right to such a hearing. 
                 b. The hearing shall be held as soon as possible after receipt of the written request and shall be before an individual or discipline committee other than the individual who imposed the suspension. No persons other than the student, the parents/guardians, and the individual who imposed the suspension may attend the hearing. However, the individual designated to hold the hearing may, in his/her sole discretion and considering issues of confidentiality, allow other persons to be present as requested by the student or administration. In addition, the individual holding the hearing may allow those with knowledge of facts relevant to the suspension/simple discipline to attend the hearing to describe their knowledge of the facts. The decision of the designated individual will be announced in writing within one (1) school day after the hearing ends and shall be final. There is no right of appeal to the Board of Governors. 
    A disciplinary action of simple discipline may be combined with a long-term suspension or expulsion. In such instances, the disciplinary actions are treated as separate and distinct and the simple discipline may only be appealed under the informal appeal procedures provided for in this section. This does not limit the right of a student to request a formal hearing for a long-term suspension or expulsion which is imposed in addition to the simple discipline. 

    6. Hearing and appeal procedures for long-term suspensions, expulsions, and simple discipline prohibiting attendance at a student's senior graduation ceremony: 

                  a. Imposition of discipline pending a hearing and appeal: If a student and/or the student's parent/guardian requests a hearing in writing within five (5) school days, the suspension or expulsion shall be delayed pending the hearing and the student may return to school. However, the long-term suspension or expulsion shall not be delayed pending a hearing if, in the judgment of the school principal, the presence of the student poses an immediate or continuing danger to him or herself, other persons or property, or an ongoing threat of disruption of the educational process. In such instances, the student shall remain out of school, and related school activities, pending the hearing and appeal process. 

    The Hearing Officer: The Hearing Officer shall be appointed by the Chair of the Advisory Board or his/her designee and shall conduct the hearing in accordance with these rules.  The following procedural guidelines shall govern the hearing: 

                    a. The parent/guardian/student may be present at the hearing and the student may
    be represented by legal counsel or other spokesperson/advocate. 
                    b. Prior to the hearing, the Ida B. Wells Community Academy will provide to the student all documentary evidence upon which it intends to rely. 
                    c. Both the student and the Ida B. Wells Community Academy shall have the opportunity to present their versions of the relevant facts, submit the evidence upon which they rely, and question witnesses. The student shall be allowed to observe all evidence offered against him or her. However, the Ida B. Wells Community Academy shall not be required to reveal the names of student witnesses or require student witnesses to testify where to do so would subject them to a risk of retaliation or harm. In addition, consistent with federal and state law, the Ida B. Wells Community Academy shall not disclose the contents of other student's records where such disclosure has not been authorized by the student's parent/guardian, or by the student if at least 18 years old. 

    The hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses. All relevant, not unduly repetitious, evidence shall be accepted. All witnesses presenting testimony before the hearing officer shall be sworn to testify truthfully. The hearing authority shall make his/her determination solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing. A tape-recorded record shall be made of the hearing by the Ida B. Wells Community Academy. Within three (3) school days after completion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall provide a written decision upholding, modifying, or rejecting the recommended long-term suspension or expulsion. The student and his/her parent/guardian shall be provided a copy of the decision within five (5) school days after completion of the hearing. 

    If the Hearing Officer upholds or modifies a long-term suspension or expulsion, so that suspension time remains, the suspension will be enforced immediately upon receipt by the student and parent/guardian of the Hearing Officer's decision. However, the student shall be entitled to return to school if the student or his or her parent/guardian appeal the decision under the procedures set forth in Paragraph 6(d) below. Nevertheless, where the presence of the student poses an immediate or continuing danger to him or herself, other persons or property, or an ongoing threat of disruption to the educational process, then the student's suspension shall not be delayed  pending an appeal. The student and his/her parent/guardian shall have five (5) school days after receipt of the written decision to appeal the decision to the Advisory Board. The request for appeal must be in writing. The letter must describe the reasons for appealing directly to the Advisory Board. The letter must be based on either a substantial and significant misunderstanding of the facts or that the student was not given due process as specified in this document. The following procedural guidelines shall govern an appeal to the Advisory Board: 

              1. The Board or its designee will schedule and hold a meeting to review the matter as promptly as possible after the receipt of such an appeal. The Advisory Board shall notify the student and his/her parent/guardian at least three (3) school days prior to the scheduled meeting. 
              2. At that time, the student, his/her parent/guardian or spokesperson shall have the right to present oral and/or written argument.
              3. Consideration by the Advisory Board will be restricted to evidence in the record submitted during the hearing, although the Advisory Board may consider, in its sole discretion, any new relevant evidence not available at the time of the hearing. The Advisory Board, in deciding the appeal, shall consider:

                  a. Whether the decision was arbitrary or capricious; 
                  b. Whether the decision was supported by substantial evidence in the record; and 
                  c. Whether the disciplinary action was fair and reasonable in light of all circumstances. 

    The Board, or its designee, shall issue a written decision within five (5) school days after the meeting. The student and his/her parent/guardian shall be provided a written copy of the decision, which shall be final and binding. 

    Application for re-admission: In no circumstances shall either a long-term suspension or expulsion prevent a student from submitting an application for re-admission prior to the termination of the sanction. Applications for re-admission shall be submitted to the Chair of the Board of Governors. 
     

                                       DRAFTED: 3-28-1999
     

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