01/26/17 Introduction On behalf of the faculty and staff of Epic Charter Schools I would like to welcome you to a new way of learning! You have chosen our school and please know we care about each student and want optimal success. Epic Charter Schools is a unique opportunity for students with their parents to partner together educationally while realizing each student’s individual potential. The school was started with the vision of filling a void that exists in our public education system. The goal of the school is to work together to ensure each child’s success. Epic Charter Schools practices consistent, positive, and two-way communication so students and parents will always know the status of the education process. Our teachers and staff will work in partnership with you to create an individualized, educational experience which will bring excitement to the learning process. Students will find they want to continue to learn each and every day. This is a partnership that has been proven to realize individual educational potential. There will be success! Paul MacGregor, Executive Director Epic Charter Schools School Philosophy Our educational philosophy is simple. We believe in parental choice and personalized learning. We offer the finest curriculum choices available for grades TK-12. At Epic Charter Schools we realize that not all students learn the same way. Our education options allow our students to learn anytime and from anywhere at their own pace. We will constantly strive to measure the effectiveness of our school so that every one of our students will succeed. Mission Statement “Fulfilling every student’s individual potential by personalizing an educational plan that focuses on creating a dynamic school and family partnership to achieve optimal student performance.” Vision Statement Epic Charter Schools is dedicated to providing every student with the opportunity to meet their full academic achievement potential. We are committed to reaching this goal by: Offering the finest quality of instructional strategies and curriculum choices. Continuously use assessment to improve our delivery of instruction. Treat our students and parents with respect and have high expectations for achievement. Use current research and resources to be most effective. Academic Calendar Please check our calendar for first day of school, end of semesters, last day of school and other relevant dates. Student/Teacher/Family partnerships that have not met their goal for the academic year will continue beyond the Second Semester deadline until goals have been met or the new academic calendar begins. Year round learning will be utilized as needed to insure students do not fall behind and stay caught up. Student Holidays All holidays are subject to parent/teacher approval or disapproval depending on student achievement levels. Please check our calendar for the noted holidays this year and any updates. Epic Charter Schools is a FREE TK-12 public school provided for parents/students seeking a non-traditional educational setting utilizing internet-based, individualized self-paced instruction provided in nearly any location. A “Need to know – Right to know” rule of thumb should be used when sharing information concerning a student. Please check our calendar for the noted holidays this year and any updates. General Information Face-to-Face Instruction Epic Charter Schools offers individualized instruction to each student through its One-on-One Program. A certified teacher is assigned to each student and works in partnership with the family to teach, coach, and motivate each child. Teachers can interact with the family through a variety of methods: face-to-face instruction, by phone, by text, by email, online chat, and using web based interactive tools. Teachers should make contact with the student daily using the communication method that works best for the family. Once the student is assigned to a teacher’s roster the first meeting should take place within two weeks (14 days). The purpose of the meeting will be to create the Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) and establish short and long term academic goals. The teacher and family will also agree to a schedule and location for face-to-face instruction. This could include the family’s home, teacher’s home or an approved public location. Any location chosen should be as distraction free as possible and should create a safe and positive learning environment. For safety reasons, it is required that teachers only meet with a student alone if it is in a public place. Instructional, face-to-face meetings provide a great opportunity for teachers to target lessons on concepts that students are struggling to master. It is strongly encouraged for families to have bi-monthly instructional meetings with the teacher to ensure students are meeting their academic goals and to address any needed remediation. Each learning session should be at least one hour (2-4 hours recommended). A family can request more or less frequent meeting times. However, the teacher will schedule face-to-face meetings at least once every three weeks (21 days) for instruction, unless otherwise requested by the parent. Communication Epic Charter Schools believes very strongly in communication that is open, two-way, and continuous. Open dialog and feedback allows us to monitor student educational improvement and academic progress. Epic Charter Schools has a service that will allow the school to communicate messages to families within minutes. This system utilizes a variety of communication options: voice mail, email and/or text messages. The school may use this service to share important school-wide information or send reminders for various activities involving student participation. Curriculum Choices There are several curriculum choices encompassing all subject areas along with electives. Information regarding these curricula choices can be found on our website. Each parent or guardian is responsible to make the curriculum choices for their child. Testing Progress Each One-on-One program student will test at the beginning of the year to establish a baseline for academic achievement. A post-test will be administered at the end of each year to establish yearly progress and academic growth. A progress test may be given the latter part of November and/or February to assure academic progress has been attained. In addition to a pre- and post-test and yearly progress test, all students are required to participate in the appropriate grade level exams that are state required tests unless parents opt out of the test(s). Internet Access All Epic Students must have Internet access. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to monitor the student’s internet activity while the student is logged on. Parental involvement is strongly encouraged to hold the student responsible and accountable. Learning Fund Epic Charter Schools provides the unique opportunity for parents to tailor the educational experience to the needs of their child. Each student is allocated a learning fund that allows for individual curricula choice. The fund allows for individual purchase of school related goods and services. Memberships are not paid for through the learning fund but non-academic classes can be considered after curricula and technology are purchased. Also, Epic can not split the cost of any ordered item or curricula with the family nor reimburse parents for any expenses. All purchases of goods must be a minimum of fifty dollars ($50). All services must be requested one (1) full month prior to services being rendered for each student. Family monies may be shared within sibling groups after individual core curricula for each child has been designated. For summer education planning, all item purchases must be completed by March 31. Class/activity invoices must be completed by May 31. All unused learning fund monies will roll over into the next school year. Any debit balances noted at the end of the year will also roll over to the next school year. Late Enrollment Any student that enrolls during the first nine weeks of the school year will receive the full learning fund amount of $1,500. Students that enroll after the first nine weeks will have no learning fund, but will have the choice of either a core curriculum under $200, a laptop or iPad and/or a mifi OR any Core curriculum from the menu without any technology. Technology: Laptops, iPads, and WiFi A laptop computer or iPad will be made available to your child if you do not have a computer at home as long as the child is enrolled in Epic Charter. Textbook and Supplies All textbooks, workbooks, items, and electronic devices purchased through the Learning Fund are the property of Epic Charter Schools. When a unit or course is finished, if the textbook and any items are obsolete, or if a student leaves Epic Charter Schools, all materials must be returned to the school. If any of the textbooks/items cannot be reused due of abuse, the parent will be charged to replace the textbook/items. Academics Graduate Support Manager Responsibilities Each teacher is assigned a graduation support manager. Graduation Support Managers will team with the teachers to guide each student through graduation. Graduation Support Managers facilitate to students through their teachers the options available for graduation success. Grade Promotion Policy Elementary and Middle School grade promotion from one grade to the next shall be based on the following criteria: Completion of curriculum with a grade of 60% or higher – All Subjects. If a student demonstrates a 90 percent proficiency level on a comprehensive standards based exam, the student may be promoted to the next grade. High School grade promotion from one course to the next level course shall be based on the following criteria: High School students who complete the requirements for credit in a course by APRIL 15 can promote to the next level course in that subject area IMMEDIATELY. If a student demonstrates a 90 percent proficiency level on a comprehensive standards based exam in a non-EOI subject, the student may receive credit for the course. Epic Charter School, California Graduation Requirements 2017 A-G Graduation Track – 220 Units A – Social Science 30 Units (one unit of US History, one unit of World History, one half unit of Economics, and one half unit of Government) B – English – 40 Units College Prep (4 yearlong courses) C – Mathematics – 30 Units College Prep (including Algebra I) D – Lab Science – 20 Units College Prep (including Biology, Chemistry, Physics) E – Foreign Language – 20 Units (2 Units of the same foreign language) F- Visual and Performing Arts – 10 units (Visual or performing arts chosen from the following: dance, drama/theater, music or visual art) G – College Prep Elective – 10 Units (One year (two semesters), in addition to those required in “a-f” above, chosen from the following areas: visual and performing arts, history, social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science and language other than English (a third year in the language used for the “e” requirement or two years of another language) Physical Education – 20 Units Electives – 40 Units CA State Graduation Track – 200 Units English – 40 Units (4 yearlong courses)) Mathematics – 20 Units (including Algebra I) Lab Science – 20 Units (including Biology and Physical Science) Social Science – 30 Unit (one unit of US History, one unit of World History, one half unit of Economics, and one half unit of Government) PA/FL/CT – 10 Units (one course in visual/performing arts, foreign language, or career technology) Physical Education – 20 Units Electives – 60 Units Honors/Concurrent Enrollment Some of the Epic Charter Schools Curriculum offers advanced placement courses and/or college preparatory courses. These courses will be clearly described. Please contact the Graduation Support Department if you have a student who is interested in concurrent or advance placement courses. They will assist you in that process with the family. All Epic Charter Schools students will be graded in the following manner: A: 90-100 B: 80-89 C: 70-79 D: 60-69 F: 0-59 Regular Academic Course letter grades have the following GPA weights: A: 4.0 B: 3.0 C: 2.0 D: 1.0 F: 0.0 Concurrent Enrollment Concurrent Enrollment course letter grades have the following GPA weights: A: 5.0 B: 4.0 C: 3.0 D: 2.0 F: 0.0 Standard Credits awarded 0.5 credits per 3 college hours Scope and Sequence Review: Based upon a review of the course scope and sequence, syllabus, or course outline a one (1) credit can be awarded for 3 college hours. If the scope and sequence, syllabus, or course outline covers all topics of CCSS or the scope and sequence of the high school course one (1) credit will be awarded. Half day Career Technology courses count as 1.5 credits. For college course not already approved for one (1) credit for 3 college hours a review will be made by the GSM department upon request of the parent or teacher. Advanced Placement/Honors Courses Honors courses are available for students who qualify as part of Epic’s High School course offerings. Currently the College Board doesn’t allow for Independent Charter Schools to be approved as a testing site for the College Board exams, which is what is used by Colleges and Universities when deciding whether or not to award college credit for a college board/AP exam. At Epic we weight Honors and AP courses for GPA calculation the same and encourage students to participate in both Honors courses and Concurrent Enrollment for college credit. However, an EPIC student may sit for a College Board exam at a local approved testing site if the family chooses. Fees for the Advanced Placement/College Board exams can be paid out of the families learning fund if available. Honors Courses Honors Course letter grades have the following GPA weights: A: 4.5 B: 3.5 C: 2.5 D: 1.5 F: 0.0 Graduation Participation In order for a student to qualify for graduation, all coursework requirements must be completed by the official last day of school. Special Education Special Education means “specially designed instruction” at no cost to the parents to meet the unique needs of a child ages 3-21. Epic Charter Schools offers parents full educational opportunities for all students. If you suspect your child may have a disability, or know of a child with a disability who is not receiving a free, appropriate, public education, please contact our Special Education Services Department. Homework Policy Homework is vitally important particularly in a non-classroom based school environment. In fact, quality time on the computer is essential for success. Homework develops good study skills as well as self-discipline. Teachers may assign homework and give deadlines to turn in the required work. Epic Charter Schools considers excessive zeros or refusal to submit assignment a potential truancy issue and will deal with these situations accordingly. Awards and Honors Epic Charter School has two awards, these include: Epic Principal Honor Roll Certificate is awarded to students yearly who earn a 3.50-3.99 grade point average. Epic Superintendent Honor Roll Certificate is awarded to students yearly with a 4.0 grade point average or higher. Weighted courses are included in the average. Clubs and Field Trips To be in an extracurricular activity or to attend a field trip, Epic students adhere to the following: Be in good standing Epic Charter Schools, which means not on the disciplinary plan. Passing all courses. Academic Dishonesty Policy It is the student’s responsibility to understand the Epic Academic Dishonesty Policy. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to plagiarism, copying, and cheating. The most common form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as: taking another person’s work and passing it off as your own. “Another person” can refer to any source other than you. Any work that is not your own, unless cited, may be considered plagiarism. Ask the Epic Charter Schools staff for direction when in doubt. Policy on Academic Dishonesty If a student is suspected of plagiarism, the teacher assigned to the student will meet with the parent/guardian and the student to assess the situation and allow the student to give an explanation. If a satisfactory explanation is given, the situation is resolved. If a satisfactory explanation is not given, the Teacher will advise the School Head and further action may be warranted. If another act of academic dishonesty occurs, the student may receive academic probation and/or withdrawal from school. Withdrawal from School When a student withdraws from Epic Charter School at any time the following must occur: checked in all books, all items purchased with Learning Fund, and all assigned equipment. paid all fines. signed a “Release of Student Records” (parental signature). met with the School Founder and refused all other placements. When the above (4) criteria are met, a Withdrawal Form will be released. Parents will receive a copy of the Withdrawal Form to use when enrolling in a new school. Student Conduct and Discipline Epic Charter Schools sets its goal to help every student fulfill his or her intellectual, social, physical and emotional potential. Everything in and about the school has been designed to create an orderly and distraction-free environment, the Epic Charter Schools administrators and teachers work towards not allowing misbehavior during school, on school property, or at or during any school-sponsored activities. School Day The school day for an independent study learner varies during the day. The traditional school day is 360 minutes each day. The teacher will consistently monitor the student’s performance in an effort to help the student meet his/ her course requirements. Attendance Whether a school is virtual or brick and mortar, attendance and participation are most important for any student to consistently succeed. Promoting and fostering consistent student attendance requires a commitment from administrators, teachers, parent, and students. Attendance will be monitored through the school office with consistent communication coming from the teacher. Administrative Office Visitation For safety and security purposes, all visitors to the Epic offices including teachers, students, and family members will need to check in at the front upon entering the building. Visitors will also be required to stay in the lobby area until they are escorted into the back office area. Smoking, distribution, and use of tobacco products in any form, as well as the use of simulated tobacco products are prohibited during visitation. Student Contact Policy Only through communication that is positive, two-way, and continuous can students be successful in coursework. It is essential that the student, instructor, and parent maintain contact on a regular basis to discuss student performance. Please be aware that should the student not engage in courses a teacher can request the student’s Learning Fund monies be frozen for any non-academic essential activities until the student has shown academic progress. If the student has not completed coursework or communicated with the teacher within a period of ten (10) consecutive days, the student will be withdrawn from the school. Truancy Only through communication that is positive, two-way, and continuous can students be successful in coursework. It is essential that the student, instructor, and parent maintain contact on a regular basis to discuss student performance. Starting Oct. 1 through the final day of the school year, ANY student who does NOT complete at least five (5) total graded assignments/lessons that are recorded in the grade book by the teacher over the course of ten consecutive school days shall be considered truant and will be withdrawn for truancy. The teacher is responsible for submitting the withdrawal form as soon as a student becomes truant. Parents/Students are allowed to pre-arrange periods with fewer completed assignments than the minimum amount with their teacher ONLY IF the student is 1.) on pace to complete all their courses by the end of the school year and 2.) it is approved by their teacher and principal and will not be considered truant. If a student is withdrawn for truancy and wishes to re-enter the school, the student will be placed on a plan of academic improvement agreed upon by the parent, teacher, and student, and the learning fund will be frozen for all non- academically essential services until the teacher and the teacher’s principal unfreeze the learning fund. Students who have been withdrawn from the school for truancy will be contacted for asset retrieval within two weeks of the withdraw date. Unacceptable Student Behavior As an Epic Charter Schools student, students may not show disrespect to others including teachers and/or staff by using inappropriate language and/or behavior. Inappropriate behaviors include, but are not limited to: any form of bullying or harassment including electronic communications, cheating, plagiarism, forgery, possession of dangerous weapons or firearms during office visitation, or any threatening behavior, whether written, verbal or physical, directed at any person. Cheating and/or Plagiarism Cheating on test, plagiarism, and/or any other type of deception to get credit without effort are unacceptable conduct. Each teacher sets his/her own standards of behavior for his/her classroom, and students are expected to know the standards and procedures for each of their classes. The administration has reviewed and accepted and will support individual teacher standards and procedures for cheating and plagiarism. Abuse and/or Misuse Computers Computer hardware and software are for the benefit of all students. No student may purposefully tamper with either the hardware or the software so that it is inaccessible to other students. School computers are to be used for educational purposes. Abuse and or misuse of computers also including loading private software, checking personal e-mail, or accessing inappropriate web sites using school equipment shall be viewed unacceptable conduct and potential consequences may occur. Computer repairs needed due to sustaining damage from abuse will be charged to the learning fund. Forgery Any attempt by a student to sign a teacher’s, administrator’s, parent’s or guardian’s, and or student’s name to any document will be considered forgery and possible prosecution by legal authorities. Testing In order to meet legal requirements, some students are required to participate in yearly state mandated testing. There is an opt-out option. Epic Charter Schools complies with these laws to maintain its charter status. The School will administer these tests at multiple locations to accommodate student location. Disclaimers Non-Discrimination Statement Epic Charter Schools prohibits discrimination in the educational activities and programs, admission of students and the selection and/or employment on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, veteran status or disability. Epic Charter Schools complies with the federal and state regulations for implementing Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, Title VI, Section 504, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Copy and Search Fees The School Leader shall charge a fee to recover the reasonable direct costs of copying district records. The School Leader shall also charge a fee for the direct costs of searching for School records sought for commercial purposes or for searches that cause excessive disruption to the School’s essential functions. In no case shall a search fee be charged for records sought in the public interest including, but not limited to, releases to the news media, scholars, authors, and taxpayers seeking to determine whether officials of the School are honestly, faithfully, and competently performing their duties as public servants. The School has established the following fees for document copying of records and/or document search: 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 14 25¢ per page Research and Compilation $15.00 per hour Those making requests will be required to make payment for the records and copying and/or search fee in advance of receiving the records. Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) Notice The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. They are: The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the School a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School Leader will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the School to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing. The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorized disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosed to School officials with legitimate educational interests. A School official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health of medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performance of his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the School discloses educational records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. (Note: FERPA requires the School to make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.) “School officials” are School employees with general or specific responsibility for promoting the educational objectives of the School or third parties under contract with the School to provide professional, business and similar administrative services related to the School’s educational mission. Individuals whose responsibilities place them within this category include teachers; advisers; counselors; deans, department chairpersons, directors, and other administrative officials responsible for some part of the academic enterprise or one of the supporting activities; health staff; administrative and faculty sponsors of officially recognized clubs, organizations, etc.; members, including students and alumni, of official committees, staff personnel employed to assist School officials in discharging professional responsibilities; and persons or entities under contract to the School to provide a specific task or service related to the School’s educational mission. Access by these officials is restricted where practical, and only to that portion of the student record(s) necessary for the discharge of assigned duties. “Legitimate educational interests” are defined as interests that are essential to the general process of public education prescribed by the body of policy adopted by the governing board. Legitimate educational interests would include teaching, research, public service, and such directly supportive activities as academic advising, general counseling, discipline, vocational counseling and job placement, advisement, medical services, safety, and academic assistance activities. In addition, the School officially recognizes appropriate co-curricular activities that are generally supportive of overall goals of the institution and contribute generally to the well-being of the entire student body and specifically to many individuals who participate in these activities. These activities include varsity and intramural sports, specific interest clubs, and student government. The right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office U. S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, S. W. Washington, D. C. 20202-5920 NOTICE TO PARENTS REGARDING RELEASE OF DIRECTORY INFORMATION The FERPA, a federal law, requires that the School, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, the School may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without a parent’s written consent, unless you have advised the School to the contrary in accordance with School procedures. “Directory information” which is information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. The term “directory information” may include the following: Student’s name Address Telephone listing Electronic mail address Photograph Date and place of birth Major field of study Dates of attendance Grade level Participation in officially recognized activities and sports Weight and height of members of athletic teams Most recent school attended The School has not included any of the above listed categories of student information within the term “directory information.” As a result, unless a parent or eligible student notifies the School in writing within thirty (30) calendar days of enrollment of each school year of their election to have the School release any of the above information (each category of information must be specifically requested), the School will not disclose any information which may be considered “directory information.” Disclaimer The policies and regulations of Epic Charter Schools, or any changes to the policies and regulations after the publication of this guide supersede all information provided in this handbook. For more detailed information, families are encouraged to contact the administration office or access updates online.