Parent Handbook

WHAT TO SEND TO SCHOOL ON THE FIRST DAY

  • Food: Pack a large lunch with a snack (tell your child which is which) and several drinks. Try to send a lunchbox that fits easily into your child’s locker. We also suggest using reusable containers with easy-to-open lids. Please remember to include utensils if needed. Drinks should be in resealable containers that fit in the lunchbox. No open containers will be kept in lockers. Be sure to send plenty of food! Otherwise, the children often eat their entire lunch at snacktime, and then there is nothing left for lunchtime. It’s better to send too much food than to have a hungry child at school. Reheating and refrigeration are not available.
  • Is that your water bottle? Water bottles aren’t required, but if your child does take one to school, please be sure it has his/her name on it! Otherwise, the kids often lose track of which is theirs, and we end up with half-full bottles all over the school.
  • Extra clothes: Children in Groups 1 and 2 should always have an extra set of clothing in their locker. (It’s not a bad idea for the older kids, too.)
  • Extra shoes: Children will be changing from their muddy shoes to their indoor shoes any time the ground is wet or messy. Please send in an extra pair of shoes or boots to be kept at school. Or, send a pair of slippers for indoor wear.
  • Sneakers with light-colored soles: These may be the shoes worn to school normally, but are necessary to play in the gym.
  • Label everything: Everything, including clothing, must be labeled with your child’s name. A lost-and-found container is located just outside the door of the Group 4 classroom; please check it frequently.
  • Backpack or Bookbag: Each child should have a backpack or bookbag to carry everything to and from school. Group 1 teachers usually provides the bags.
  • What Else?: Your child’s teachers will notify you about any additional items that are specific to your child’s homeroom.

SCHOOL DAY INFORMATION

School Hours

School hours are 8:45 to 3:15, with half days ending at 12:00. Children should arrive early enough to be ready for class to begin at 8:45. Anyone arriving before 8:30 or remaining after 3:30 (12:15 on half days) must be in the extended care program. Except in an emergency, children must be signed up in advance for extended care. If you need to call extended care during extended care hours, you must call 368-5775.

Daily Schedule

  • 8:45 to 11:45 – Morning classes (with a snack break and recess set by each homeroom)
  • 11:45 to 12:45, or 12:00 to 1:00, or 12:15 to 1:15 – Lunch
  • 12:45 to 3:00 – Afternoon classes
  • 3:00 to 3:15 – Homeroom/job time

Extended Care Program

Extended care is available at NCCL in the mornings from 7:00 to 8:30, and in the afternoons from 3:15 to 6:00. If you need regular care for your child, you can contract by the month. If you only need the service occasionally, drop-in care is always available. A snack is provided in the afternoon program. Care is also available on half-day Fridays beginning at noon and on certain school holidays throughout the year. Care is not available on snow days. Information and contract forms can be downloaded here, or you can pick them up in the school office.

Morning Drop-Off

Parents dropping off children should pull into the last driveway on the left on Phillips Avenue in front of the school. Children should be dropped off after 8:30AM, but early enough to be ready for class at 8:45AM. Some parents prefer to accompany their children directly to their homerooms in the morning. Parking is tight, so please plan ahead.

Afternoon Pick-Up

School ends at 3:15PM. You do not have to park and come into the building. The teachers take the children outside. If you wish to park and there are no spaces in the main lot when you arrive, you might have to circle around and try again, or park at Phillips Park.
Pick up is between 3:00 and 3:30. It is much less crowded at 3:25 than it is at 3:15, so consider coming later.
Children not picked-up by 3:30PM will be considered part of the extended care program.

Please remember that your child may only be picked up by someone designated on the pick up form you have filled out.  If you wish your child to leave school property alone to walk or bike somewhere, a walker’s release must be filled out each school year.  Walker’s Release form here

Parking

Our parking lot is small, so there are times of day (drop-off and pick-up) when there are more cars than parking spaces. Please follow these rules as a matter of safety and courtesy. Remember to be a role model … our children are watching.

  • Please always pull up to the car in front of you so that more cars can get into the parking lot.
  • If you are waiting on Phillips Avenue, pull over to the right so you aren’t blocking the road.
  • Please park only in the marked spaces in the main lot.
  • PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR IF YOU ARE BLOCKING ANOTHER VEHICLE. Even if you’ll “only be a minute,” wait until a spot opens up before you park to go into the building.
  • You can drop off your child on the sidewalk side of the fire lane, but do not leave your car. The Fire Marshal has warned us about that. Please watch your child enter the building before you drive away.
  • The parking lot bordered by the tall wooden fence is for staff only.
  • Phillips Avenue is a no-parking zone.  Another option is the Phillips Park lot, which is less than a five-minute walk away. Turn left out of the school lot, turn right onto B Street, go past the recycling center, and turn left into the Phillips Park lot.
  • When we have events at the school, we get special permission to park on Phillips Avenue and B Street.

Dismissal and Parking Lot Guidelines

School hours are 8:45 until 3:15 pm, 12:00 noon on half days. At 3:15, Group 1 and 2 teachers escort the children outside to be picked up. Older children may exit by themselves. Children will not be released except to a parent or an older sibling unless by prior arrangement. If it becomes necessary for someone other than a parent to pick up your child/ren, verbal or written notice is necessary.

Keep our children safe by adhering to our parking policy during dismissal!

Snack and Lunch

The students take a mid-morning break and have lunch at noon. Many students bring their food and drinks in insulated coolers. Recyclable, resealable packaging is encouraged. No open drink containers in the lockers, please.

Pizza Lunches: Each Wednesday, children can buy pizza and drinks for lunch. We will let you know the cost per slice before the first pizza day. You can send the money in with your child to be collected in the morning. You should still pack a snack with a drink.

Just a reminder: breakfast is essential to good concentration and learning.

Lockers

All children are assigned a locker. Each child has his/her own shelf and shares a lower storage area that has hooks for coats and backpacks and space for extra shoes and lunches. Remember that the lockers are small and shared. Make sure that the items your child takes to school fit into the space available and that your child’s name is on everything. NOTE: Please help your child clear out his/her locker every Friday. The only items that can remain over the weekends are a change of clothes and outside shoes. This reduces the burden on families who clean, and helps keep the school attractive and ant-free.

 Appropriate Dress

In general, each student will need comfortable, utilitarian clothing that can stand a touch of paint or glue. It is extremely important that children are prepared for inclement weather, i.e. boots, mittens, raincoats, snow pants. If children come to school without the necessary clothing for these and other conditions, they may not be able to participate in the activities of their class or may not be able to go outside when appropriate. The clothing needs of students vary, as they will be involved in a variety of activities daily. Younger children require a full change of clothing in reserve left at school. When special needs for trips or activities other than the norm arise, you will receive notification.

Rain or snow can make our play area muddy, so children must always have two distinct types of footwear at school – one for indoor and one for outdoor. If they don’t have the necessary footwear, they will not be allowed out during break and lunch. The purpose of this rule is to preserve our floors from tracked-in mud. Children also need a pair of soft-soled, light-soled shoes to wear in the gym. These may by the same shoes as the “indoor” shoes.

Telephone Calls

Regular line (302)368-7772
Emergency line (302)368-5775

The best times to call to speak with a teacher are: 8:15-8:45, 12-1, 3:15-3:30.

If no one is available to take your call the answering machine will take your message. Extended Care voice mail is checked everyday at 3:15 PM. The Extended Care Director will notify children of changes if necessary. The regular line (368-7772) voice mail is not checked every afternoon, so if you have a message that must get to a student or teacher that day, call on the emergency line (368-5775). Please carry this number with you. Let it ring until someone answers. A teacher will have to leave class to answer the phone, so please don’t use this line unless you have to! Children should only use the school phone for emergencies, not to make social arrangements. This often ties up both lines at 3:15 when many parents are trying to reach the school.

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WEATHER RELATED CLOSINGS

NCCL closings are announced on the NCCL Home Page. The first day of a winter storm we usually follow Christina School District. For subsequent days, we operate separately from the Christina District. Please look at the website. Morning extended care may start late or be canceled.

On rare occasions, we may need to close the school early and/or cancel extended care because of rapidly deteriorating weather conditions. If that happens, we will notify parents by email, post it on the website home page and send a text message to those who are signed up for text messaging. We will contact individual parents by phone if particular children have not been picked up.

We also encourage parents to use common sense. If you commute from far away or live in an area that ices quickly, then your best bet might be to stay home that day. Safety is more important than one day of school.

PEOPLE TO CONTACT

For Information Concerning Contact
Specific questions about your child or about classroom activities or curriculum Classroom Teacher
General questions about school philosophy of education, curriculum development Classroom Teacher
Specific questions about your financial account and/or financial aid Treasurer – Tina Maclary
To have an item put on the school committee agenda Meeting Chair – Kate Schultz
Questions about matters covered by committees Chairs of relevant committee (list online)
Question about administrative procedures Director – Bette Balder
Administrator – Heather Healy
To have an item put on the teachers’ meeting agenda Director Bette Balder,
Administrator Heather Healy
Problems or concerns which you have been unable to work out with the teacher Director – Bette Balder
Educational Directors – Kate Kerrane & Kelly Martone
Anything else not listed Director – Bette Balder
Educational Directors – Kate Kerrane & Kelly Martone

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PHILOSOPHY

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.” Plutarch

Our goal at the NCCL is to help children gain an appreciation of learning and to become confident and proactive learners throughout their lives. By providing an environment where children feel free to take risks and to discover and be recognized for their individual skills and talents, we are able to help them achieve this goal.

Because of our small size and emphasis on community, children are in a supportive environment where exploration and self-challenge is not only invited but nurtured. In addition to a 12:1 student to teacher ratio, children spend an average of two years in each homeroom. This allows teachers to really get to know where each child’s strengths and struggles are and help them work through all types of challenges – whether they be academic or social.

At NCCL, social and emotional development is emphasized as much as academic development. We feel it’s important to help children build healthy relationships with their peers and adults and understand that principles like trust, caring, and cooperation form the foundations of these relationships. Ultimately, we hope children become responsible, open-minded, and kind adults who see themselves as world citizens.

We value the Arts. Through art children get in touch with their emotions, thoughts, and dreams. Art teaches children to take risks, problem solve, share ideas, and persevere. We study art history, draw, paint, and sculpt. We perform an annual school play, sing songs each week at All-School Meeting, and everyone participates in chorus. Art enables children to express themselves, discover their relationships with their peers, families, and their world.

We evaluate students at NCCL by assessing their progress in each subject area but we also look at their attributes as a learner – the level and range of curiosity, how they work independently and within a group, and how well they sustain their effort. This allows us to look at the whole picture. Parents receive written reports three times a year and have conferences twice a year where information is shared. Evaluating children in this way helps us see each child as a unique learner, rather than a grade.

We strongly believe that a diverse group allows for a more robust and integrated community. We see diversity in many ways and this has important implications for admissions. We strive to have an ethnically diverse group of children, as well as children who have a range of skills and abilities.

Much of what we do at NCCL is about giving children the space, support, and time necessary for growth. When we do this, children take chances. They immerse themselves in projects, take on challenging problems, and ultimately, responsibility for their own learning. When we provide an atmosphere conducive to these principles, we ignite in children the kind of passion for learning we have ourselves.

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ADMISSIONS

Admissions decisions are made by the staff, based on the needs of the school. Before a child enters the school, we like to interview both parents and have the child visit the school for at least a day. We are able to accommodate a small percentage of students with special needs. Our goal is to have a school population that is well-balanced as to age and gender, with a variety of children from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, and parents who support our educational goals and methods. Priority is given to siblings of children already enrolled in the school.

FINANCIAL AID

NCCL’s budget includes an amount to be awarded as financial aid. The available money is divided on the basis of need among those families who apply. The sole intent of this aid is to make it possible for children to attend NCCL who might otherwise be unable. NCCL receives no outside funding for financial aid. Download financial aid application form.

RESPECT FOR OTHERS

The teachers at NCCL take very seriously their commitment to be positive role models for children. We believe that children learn to be thoughtful and responsible toward themselves and others by being cared for by us in a thoughtful and responsible manner. Because we hope to help our students to grow in initiative and self-confidence, we emphasize praise and appreciation for positive behavior and achievement rather than negative criticism and comparisons. However, inappropriate or hurtful behavior is stopped and a child may be separated from the group or denied privileges for a time if the behavior continues. Whenever possible we allow children to experience and learn from the normal consequences of their behavior.

In the inevitable conflicts that arise from group living, we try to recognize opportunities for children to learn to listen to other points of view, to state clearly their own feelings and perspective, and to try to arrive at mutually agreeable solutions.

By and large, we feel that behavior that occurs at school should be dealt with at school. We involve parents only in unusual cases when we feel that the behavior is so out of bounds or pervasive that both home and school need to be mobilized to help the child bring it under control.

We take the safety of all children very seriously.

If a child’s behavior is dangerous for the other children or adults, or extremely disruptive the child will be removed from the classroom immediately. The parents/guardians will be called to take the child home from school. When a child is sent home from school for this reason there is a conference with the parents and teachers.  At the staff’s discretion there may be a one-day suspension for reflection. There may be other requirements, such as counseling, for the child to continue at NCCL.

If there is a second disruptive or dangerous incident the child will be removed from the classroom immediately. The parents/guardians will be called to take him home from school. In this case there may be a 1 to 3-day suspension. The parents/guardians must attend a conference with the homeroom teacher and the administrative director before the child can return to school. There may be other requirements, such as counseling, for the child to continue at NCCL.

If there is a third incident, the child may be dismissed from the school.  As stated in the enrollment contract SECTION 5:  STUDENT CONDUCT
A.  Any conduct by the student which, in the opinion of the staff, or the School Administration, is detrimental to the school or its students, may be deemed adequate cause for the suspension or dismissal of the student.

BULLYING POLICY

Newark Center for Creative Learning is committed to each student’s success in
learning within a caring, responsive, and safe environment that is free of
discrimination, violence, and bullying. Our school works to ensure that all
students have the opportunity and support to develop to their fullest potential and
share a personal and meaningful bond with people in the school community.

Each student at NCCL has a right to:
Learn in a safe and friendly place.
Be treated with respect.

NCCL School recognizes the very serious nature of bullying and the negative
impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to
preventing and tackling bullying behavior. NCCL has adopted the following policy.
Bullying is defined as follows:
Bullying is unwanted negative behavior, verbal, psychological or physical
conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and
which is repeated over time.

The following types of bullying behavior are included in the definition of bullying:
a. deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
b. cyber-bullying*
c. identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, an
bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated incidents of intentional negative behavior, do not fall within the definition
of bullying and will be dealt with, as appropriate. However, when an isolated incident could result in the repeated viewing of an offensive or hurtful public message (i.e. Social media postings), this behavior will be regarded as bullying.

Factors for Determining Consequences:
• Age, development, and maturity levels of the parties involved
• Degree of harm (physical and/or emotional distress)
• Surrounding circumstances
• Nature and severity of the behavior(s)
• Incidences of past or continuing pattern(s) of behavior
• Relationship between the parties involved
• Context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred

Consequences may be:
• Discussion with the teachers and the student who has been bullied.
• Temporary removal from the classroom
• Loss of privileges
• Out-of-school suspension**

* In instances of cyber bullying there will be an immediate suspension.

** In order to return to NCCL after a suspension parents and students must meet with the teachers and the school administration to develop a school behavior agreement. This is a written statement listing steps to be taken to improve behavior. The statement also describes the support to be provided by the school staff and/or the parents.

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ATTENDANCE, ABSENCES, TARDINESS AND EXCUSES

In the event of illness, death in the family, other emergencies, or religious holidays, please notify the school that your child will be absent. If a prolonged absence is expected, please inform your child’s teachers. Gym excuses, as with all others, may be either verbal or written.

NCCL’s policy regarding tardiness and absences emphasizes the importance of students being in school, on time, each school day.  Children are expected to be in their classrooms ready for class by 8:45. Learning at NCCL is based on a student’s active participation in class, cooperative learning, group project work and investigations. Success depends greatly on the students’ regular attendance. When a student is late or absent, it is the student’s responsibility to determine what has been missed and to make up the work.

Days absent and tardy are marked on the student’s attendance sheet and on conference and the end-of-the year reports.

If a student is tardy 6 times, a written warning will be sent to the parents. If a student is tardy 6 more times another written letter will be sent to the parents and a copy will be placed in the student’s cumulative file and the student will be in danger of not being promoted to the next grade.

When a child has missed 10 days of school a warning letter will be sent to the parents. A child who misses 17 or more days of school or is tardy 12 times will be in danger of not being promoted to the next grade. There must be a conference with the parents, the homeroom teachers and the administrative or educational director to determine if it is going to be possible for the child to be promoted. All missed work must be satisfactorily completed before the child can move to the next grade.

According to Delaware State law a student will be considered truant if the student:
a. fails to arrive at school when directed to attend by the person in control of the
student;
b. leaves school property without permission of the principal or designee; or
c. is present on school property but not present at place or class assigned;
d. has accumulated more than twelve (12) tardies to school during the school year.

A truant and the parent of a truant are subject to the administrative procedures, Truancy Court referral, and Court proceedings as established in 14 Del. Code, Chapter 27, Subchapter II. A parent who is determined to have violated Section 2702 of this title is guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor and the penalties are specified in Section 2729 of this title.

 CHILDREN’S MEDICAL INFORMATION

Emergency Form – Parents must fill out an Emergency Information Form for each child. No child will be permitted to attend school without an Emergency Information Form on file.

Immunization – An Immunization Record must be submitted for each child. All children must have the following immunizations, boosters, and tests before they may attend NCCL: DPT, Polio, Measles, Rubella, Mumps, HIB, Chicken Pox (or have had Chicken Pox), and a TB skin test. Individual children may be excused for religious reasons. Parents must submit documentation to support this claim.

Medication – If a child needs to take medication while at school a Prescription Authorization Form must be submitted and the medication must be given to the teacher in its original container. Children may not self-medicate. Children are never allowed to bring a controlled substance to school or have it in their possession on school grounds.  If a child needs to take a medication that is a controlled substance during the school day, the parents must give it directly to a staff member to be stored in the office.  If a child has a severe allergy, asthma, or another condition that may require immediate medication, the medication must be provided to the teacher before the child may attend school. A Prescription Authorization Form must be submitted and the medication must be given to the teacher in its original container.

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ILLNESS AND INJURY POLICY

For the protection of other children and the staff, children may not attend school when they are ill, i.e., have a fever, rash, upset stomach, etc. Children should not return to school for 24 hours after symptoms have disappeared or until the child’s doctor indicates that the child is no longer contagious.

If a child is ill when he/she arrives at school the parents will be asked to take him/her home immediately.

If a child becomes ill while at school but does not need medical or hospital care the school will make the child as comfortable as possible. Medication may be administered at the discretion of the staff, if parental permission has been given to do so. The school will then call the home. If there is no answer, the school will call the mother’s, father’s and/or guardian’s place of employment, and cell phone and/or pager numbers. If there is no answer the school will call the emergency contact numbers listed on the Emergency Information Form.

If the child has a minor injury the staff will treat it. More serious injuries will also be reported to the parent.

ACUTE ILLNESS OR INJURY PROCEDURE

If a child becomes seriously ill or injured while at school and needs medical or hospital care the school will administer first aid. The school will then call the home. If there is no answer, the school will call the mother’s, father’s and/or guardian’s place of employment, and cell phone and/or pager numbers. If there is no answer the school will call the emergency contact numbers listed on the Emergency Information Form. If there is no answer the school will call the physician. If none of the above answer, the school will transport the child, or call an ambulance to transport the child, to a local medical facility.

Based upon the medical judgment of the attending physician, the child may be admitted to a local medical facility. The parents are responsible for all ambulance and medical expenses required to treat their child.

The school will continue to call the parents, guardians, and/or physician until one is reached.

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CLASS GROUPINGS

We use a variety of criteria for dividing our students into groups. Academic readiness and social and emotional maturity are probably the two most important, although we also try to balance boys and girls within a group.

An area in which NCCL differs greatly from more conventional educational approaches is that there is no lock-step progression from homeroom to homeroom or teacher to teacher. Although as teachers we have specialized somewhat, most of the staff enjoy teaching a wide range of ages and abilities. A child might remain with the same group of children for many years, or might be the youngest in a group one year and then have the experience of being “on top.” Similarly a student could be with the same teacher for two or even three years before moving on to another. Such a situation might have little to do with the child’s abilities. Because we maintain our academic class size at 10-12 students, we are able to accommodate a variety of learning styles and abilities.

SCHEDULES

Each homeroom group has two teachers with whom they spend the day. The teachers plan the daily schedule and form smaller groups from the larger homeroom. Morning classes usually consist of language arts, social studies, and math. In the afternoon we offer a wide variety of classes, including art of many kinds, social studies, music, nature study, and sciences. We also have a Spanish teacher and an art teacher who offer classes for all of the children.

Three or four times a year, for the children in the two oldest homerooms, we have a delightful breather for both teachers and students called Workshop Week. For one week we suspend all regular classes and solicit suggestions for classes from the children. There are three class periods each day, and they meet every day. Everyone enjoys the change, and we return to our regular class schedule refreshed.

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FIELD TRIPS

The curriculum includes lots of field trips. Beginning with short trips into the nearby community, to explore the natural world, and then gradually branch out to places of specific interest such as museums, public services, historical sites, beaches, etc. Camping, hiking, and backpacking trips start early on a small scale and grow in duration and complexity. Some of our traditional longer forays have included the Smithsonian museums, seining at Cape Henlopen, camping at Trap Pond, The oldest homeroom camps for a week at Shaver’s Creek Outdoor Education Center. Many local trips are made to zoos, nature areas, museums, plays, and musicals. We use nearby Phillips Park to help extend interest and activity areas of the school (nature classes, walks, outdoor gym, drawing, and so on).

There are occasions when spontaneous investigations and visits take place.These are short-distance treks without parental permission slips. For most class and school trips you will receive permission slips with full explanations of event, time, and dates. Our parents enjoy participating in trips by chaperoning, driving, etc. A fee is charged to finance the costs of some trips. No child will be excluded due to inability to pay. You may contact the Administrative Director if you need assistance in this area. One objective of class trips is to familiarize our children with the resources available to them in a diverse community and to learn how to utilize them. Children are involved in the preparations necessary for trips, which can include site selection, planning, purchasing, preparing foods, and packing.

FIELD TRIP DRIVERS’ POLICY

Due to insurance company requirements, anyone driving on field trips has to provide the school with:

  1. A copy of your driver’s license,
  2. A copy of your automobile insurance card,
  3. A copy of your car’s registration,
  4. Your driving record,*

The records that you provide to the school will be confidential. Only NCCL staff and possibly the insurance company will see them.

*Delaware residents may give the school permission to access your driving record. Out-of-state residents must procure their own driving record. The school will reimburse you. You must have at least 5 years driving experience, no prior DUI, no suspension within the last 3 years, no more than 2 violations/accidents or 6 points on your record.

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HOMEWORK

“How much homework will my child have?” is a frequently asked question. The answer, of course, is that it will vary. We do not give homework simply in order to occupy a child’s time outside of school, because we think it essential that children have important and stimulating lives that have nothing whatever to do with school. Generally speaking, we begin giving homework to some children in Group 1, primarily to familiarize them with the idea of taking something home and bringing it back the next day. Then, as children mature, they receive small assignments to reinforce the day’s lesson.  Homework assignments are often individualized within a class. As children get older they will receive a variety of homework types: some due immediately, some due the following week, and some longer projects that require learning to pace one’s work. A great way for parents to help is to provide a regular place and time when it is expected that nothing else will happen besides homework or recreational reading, if no homework has been assigned. We also believe it is important for parents to talk with their child about assignments and offer support. Because assignments and children vary, it’s best to talk with your child’s homeroom teachers if you have any questions about how much help you should offer.

ALL-SCHOOL MEETINGS

All-School meetings are held once a week so that students and teachers can discuss common concerns. The older children are responsible for planning and leading these meetings. Meetings can be called on short notice when necessary, and can involve part or all of the school.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

All classes have gym scheduled each week. We try to accommodate both those children who thrive on team sports and those who prefer individual efforts. We are fortunate in being so close to Phillips Park and its playing fields, tennis and basketball courts, and play equipment. During inclement weather we use our gym.

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SCHOOL VISITS

Parents are encouraged to participate in and visit classrooms whenever possible. NCCL believes a parent’s active involvement in a child’s education and school makes a real difference in how a child relates to the school. If you would like to visit, contact the teacher for a time, as schedules can vary.

CONFERENCES AND REPORTS

Instead of letter grades, NCCL offers conferences with reports twice yearly and a yearly written report. The yearly report consists of an overview of the class activities and specific sections on your child’s development, both academic and social. A parent may request a conference at any time convenient to both teacher and parents. A portfolio of your child’s work is available for you to enjoy at any time.

Classroom meetings for parents are planned several times a year for the purpose of group discussion of child development, school philosophy, and NCCL curriculum.

LIBRARY

NCCL has a lending library for students. Please help your child to take responsibility for the care and return of borrowed books. Teachers have lots of ideas for additions to our library. Birthday donations in your child’s name, gifts, and memorial books can be purchased from these suggestions or from your own favorites. Donations of used books are welcome, also.

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COMMUNITY SERVICE

Occasionally an individual class or the school as a whole will undertake a service project. In the past we have collected items for the needy; had a sister school in Nicaragua for which we collected classroom equipment and materials; collected clothing for disaster victims; raised money to re-establish a forest in South America; and recycled aluminum to sponsor a foster child. We also sometimes participate in activities such as the MS Read-a-thon, and Jump for Heart.

SCHOOL FUNCTIONS AND SOCIALS

Parents and teachers often organize social events such as concerts, guest speakers, game nights and picnics. Parents are often invited to help with special events and trips. Usually the students make their own party foods and do the planning for holidays and special occasions.

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LOST AND FOUND

There is a receptacle next to the group 4 door where things left around the school are collected. Please check this frequently; the things left at the end of the school year are given away. We discourage children bringing money, “TV” toys, jewelry, and expensive sports items to school. Our play equipment and materials are carefully selected to support our curriculum and to promote cooperation and sharing. Please feel free to share books and materials that relate to current areas of study or of special interest to your child. We will try, but we cannot guarantee their safe return.

CELL PHONES AND ELECTRONICS

Cell phones brought to school must be kept in backpacks/book bags at all times and turned off. They may not be used on school property at any time unless directed by a staff member. Students who need to contact their parents may do so on one of the school phone lines with staff permission. Likewise, a parent who needs to contact a child can do so on the regular phone line in non-emergency situations, and on the emergency phone line in the case of a definite emergency. The regular phone line will be answered by a staff person if possible. If not, a message can be left on voice mail. Voice messages will be checked several times during the day. The emergency line will be answered by a staff member. 

Music listening devices may be used only at break and lunch or with the permission of a staff member. All material on the device must be appropriate for the range of students at NCCL. The parent is responsible for making sure that this is the case. If a parent has a question about appropriateness, he or she needs to contact a staff member before the device is brought to school. Any music listening device that is also a phone or has internet capabilities falls under the guide lines used for Cell Phones. That means they are not allowed to be used on school property. 

Laptops, tablets, E-Readers (Kindle, Nook etc.) and handheld games may not be used at school. They must be turned off and kept in backpacks/book bags at all times.

We understand that your child may have shows, music videos, or other clips on their devices. Students are not to play those here at school. They tend to discourage rather than compliment social interactions and are more difficult to monitor for teachers.

If a student is found using any electronic device without direct permission of a staff member, it will be taken and kept in a locked cabinet until a staff member can meet with a parent.

We appreciate your help as we try to keep up with the technological advances the kids bring to our school. So much of it is great but we all need to be proactive to keep it a positive influence in their lives.

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COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS

We hope parents will assume the responsibility for bringing their concerns and/or suggestions to the appropriate staff people before a problem develops. An open exchange between parents and teachers provides the optimum learning environment for us all. Concerns about classroom performance or behavior or personality conflicts within the groups should first be discussed with the child’s homeroom teacher. If a situation remains unresolved at this level, other staff members or the Director, Bette Balder, are available to help find a solution. For financial questions, call the treasurer, Tina Maclary. Please tell us your concerns. We can only be helpful if we know a problem exists.

TERMINATION OF CONTRACT

If NCCL determines it cannot meet the student’s educational, behavioral or medical needs, we reserve the right to terminate the enrollment contract and unenroll the student at any time during the school year.

EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD may use the Federal Relay Service.

Or you may contact us at the following address:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520

 CORPORATE AND COMMITTEE STRUCTURE

NCCL is a non-profit corporation. The corporate board is made up of representatives from the teachers and the parents (minimally the current chair of the School Community Meeting) and additional non-staff members. The corporate board meets regularly and makes decisions about the management and day-to-day running of the school, decisions about hiring and firing. Decisions about the curriculum are made by the staff, and the corporate board may review any of these decisions at its yearly meeting.

The School Community Meeting is composed of the Parent Chair, Parent Secretary, Administrative Director of the School, Educational Directors, Chairs of each parent committee, and all current parent or guardians of students in the school. Items may be added to the agenda by any member of the school community.

Each year the School Community Meeting reviews the year’s finances and works out a budget proposal for the coming year. The tuition for the coming year is based on this budget. Also at this meeting the parent body must select from a slate prepared by the School Community Meeting its elected officers: the chair and the secretary. In order to provide continuity to the School Community Meeting, these generally serve for a minimum of two years.

General Responsibilities

Board of Directors
“Manage the property and business of the corporation”

Members:
President – Ann Brown
Vice President – Sean Kerrane
Secretary – Heather Healy
Treasurer – Tina Maclary
Directors –
Bette Balder – School Director
Kate Schultz -School Meeting Chair
Marilynn Magnani – past teacher
Mat Marshall – alumnus, Director of Communications for the Delaware State Senate Majority

School Community Meeting 
“Advise the Board of Directors on the management of the business and affairs of the corporation”

Responsible for advising the board on general policies and procedures including financial policy, budget, service obligations, etc.

Members:
Chair -Kate Schultz
Secretary – Tiffany Brake
Members of the Board of Directors
School Director – Bette Balder
Committee Chairs
All Contracted Parents

Staff
Responsible for curriculum; enrollment; scheduling and grouping of classes; staffing; staff evaluation; purchase of educational supplies.

 Director and Administrator
Responsible for implementing policies and procedures; enrollment and admissions; coordinating committee activities, committee assignments, service obligations, chairs School Service committees; daily plant maintenance; compliance with state regulations.

Treasurer
Responsible for implementing financial policy; collecting tuition and buy-out fees; paying bills.

POLICY PROHIBITING SEXUAL AND UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT

A. Sexual and Unlawful Harassment Prohibited
NCCL SCHOOL does not tolerate harassment of any of employees, students, Board members,
parents or visitors on the school’s premises and in connection with any school related activities.
Any form of harassment related to an individual’s race, color, sex, gender, religion, age, national
origin, handicap or disability, citizenship, familial, marital, sexual preferences or military status
or any other protected characteristic is a violation of this policy and will be treated as a
disciplinary matter. All employees are responsible for ensuring that the workplace is free from
all forms of sexual and unlawful harassment. Sexual and other forms of prohibited harassment in the workplace are also forms of employment discrimination that is prohibited by law.

B. Harassment Defined
“Sexual Harassment” refers to any sexual attention, sexual advances, requests for sexual
favors and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Such conduct is unwelcome; or
a) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or
condition of an individual’s employment; or
b) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis
for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an
individual’s work performance; or
d) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or
offensive working environment
The term “harassment” also includes:
a) Offensive sexual remarks, sexual advances or requests for sexual favors
regardless of the gender of the individuals involved.
b) Offensive physical conduct, including gestures and touching, regardless of the
gender of the individuals involved.
c) Offensive pictures, drawings, cartoons or photographs or other communications,
including e-mail. Verbally abusive comments that include derogatory statements
based on an individual’s race, color, sex, gender, religion, age, national origin,
handicap or disability, citizenship, familial, marital, sexual preferences or military
status.
d) Threatening reprisals for an employee’s refusal to respond to requests for sexual
favors or for reporting a violation of this policy.
e) An intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment may be created by the
existence of such circumstances as those described in the preceding paragraph or
other circumstances creating a discriminatory working environment.

C. Persons Covered
This policy prohibits harassment of all NCCL SCHOOL employees and all applicants for
employment, students, parents, Board members and visitors of NCCL SCHOOL.

D. Enforcement of the Policy
The School’s Administrative Director will act as the primary Enforcement Officer of
this policy and is responsible for its dissemination throughout the school and enforcement.
a) Harassment of an employee in connection with either another employee or a nonemployee
[examples: parent or student] must be reported to the Administrative Director.
b) If an employee’s supervisor is the offender, then the harassment is to be reported
to the Administrative Director.
c) If an employee should experience harassment by the Administrative Director
then the employee must report this directly to the Board President. All employees have the right to go directly to the Board President toreport the harassment. Any time a complaint is not being handled properly, the Administrative Director the Board President needs to be contacted immediately.

When an incident is reported to the Board President, the Board President will conduct a thorough independent investigation with both the person making the accusation and the person accused of the incident. This process and all relevant information will be conducted in a timely, consistent, professional and confidential way. At the conclusion of the investigation the Enforcement Officer [Board, the Administrative Director]will determine if the incident meets the criteria of harassment. The Enforcement Officer willinform the parties to the investigation as to the final outcome of the investigation. The Enforcement Officer is responsible for the implementation of any further action(s). Allcomplaints will be kept in confidence. The Administrative Director will keep the President of the Board of Directors advised of any ongoing harassment investigations and provide to the Board an annual summary of harassment investigations, if any.  Retaliation in any form against a complainant who exercises his or her right to make a complaint under this policy is strictly prohibited, and may result in appropriate disciplinary action, including termination of employment.  It is the policy of NCCL SCHOOL that all employees have the responsibility to ensure a harassment free workplace, as such, complaints and issues raised by employees in good faith will be investigated thoroughly and confidentially. Any employee who is determined, as a result of investigation, to have engaged in sexual or unlawful harassment, or retaliation, in violation of this policy, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

E. Information on Policy
The NCCL Staff Handbook contains information about sexual and unlawful harassment and this policy to ensure that all employees are aware of the various forms that sexual or unlawful harassment can take, understand there is no tolerance policy for sexual and other harassment in any form, and review expectations for enforcing this policy.