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«Ascension Academy Student/Parent Handbook 2014- 15 Academic Year * * * * * * * Mailing Address: PO Box ...»

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* * Mission Statement Ascension Academy provides students with an exemplary college preparatory education in a safe, nurturing, faith-affirming environment.

Board of Regents Russell Long, Ph.D., Chairman Lori Beckham, Vice Chairman Carson Burgess, Treasurer Adair Buckner, Secretary Dr. Lowell Chaffin Freddie Davis, Ph.D.

Ryan Evans Edward Morris Sue Park, Ph.D. Joseph H. Pool, Lifetime Regent Jacque Portillo, P.A.A. President Patrick Swindel, Lifetime Regent Linda Williams Bob Balliett, Regent Emeritus Welcome

To all of our new and returning students and their families:

On behalf of the faculty and staff of Ascension Academy, I invite you to read this year’s Student/ Parent Handbook that will serve as your guide to all you should need to know to have a great year in school. Ascension is a place where you can make great strides in discovering who you are and how your unique skills and talents may be best applied to the pursuit of truth and virtue, veritas et virtus, that we embrace as our motto.

In the early 1990s a group of Amarillo parents concerned about the quality of education available in Amarillobegan making plans to create a fully dedicated college preparatory academy. Why?

They understood the importance that a college education makes for people seeking greater career options and benefits. And they believed that success in college and career requires that schools provide students with a greater academic emphasis than that which could be found in public and private schools in the Panhandle. These visionaries behind Ascension wanted to create a school with… More academic rigor in a pre-AP and AP based curriculum • More individualized attention from classroom teachers • More personalized college guidance counseling • More opportunities to participate in arts and athletics • More accountability for conduct and character • More respect for and sensitivity to spirituality and faith.

• Ascension Academy welcomed its first students in September 2000, and since that time has provided a unique and transformative educational experience for more than 900 young people who have learned, first hand, the difference this school has made in their lives. This year marks our fifteenth year preparing young people to not only get into college, but to succeed and graduate on time. That is our goal.

Last year our students took the top honors in TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools), winning the Henderson Cup. Cardinal athletes, scholars and artists earned the most points of any 1-A school in academic and athletic contests. This year we face even greater challenges as we move from TAPPS 1-A to 2-A, challenging us in competition against larger private schools across Texas.

I hope you will take full advantage of the numerous opportunities offered by our school, each designed to help you grow into the kind of person who will enjoy success in what you do and who will contribute constructively to the world around you.

I look forward to getting to know each of you and working closely with you to help make this a great year in your life and in the life of Ascension Academy.

The Rev. William Summerhill, Ph.D., Head of School 2 General Information The Ascension Academy Handbook contains information that students and parents will need to read and understand to ensure a successful school year. The handbook is organized alphabetically by topic. Throughout the handbook, the term “the student’s parent” means parent, legal guardian, or other person who has agreed to assume school-related responsibility for a student.

Students are expected to:

Give their very best efforts in performing their academic work and in honoring their • school commitments.

Behave responsibly, demonstrating courtesy and respect for the rights of other students • and Academy staff. Student cooperation and respect for the property of others, including Academy property, is essential to maintaining safety, order, and discipline.

Attend all classes regularly and be on time, be prepared for each class, and take • appropriate materials and assignments to class.

Be well-groomed and appropriately dressed each day.

• Ascension Academy has developed a procedure to address unacceptable behaviors and establishes standards of acceptable behavior--both on and off campus--while clearly explaining the consequences for violation of the standards. Students are expected to be familiar with the expectations for conduct discussed in this handbook, as well as with campus and classroom rules, to ensure that we can live and work together as a learning community where mutual respect and cooperation is the order of business each day.

The Student Handbook is updated annually, as policy adoption and revision are part of an ongoing process. Any changes in policy that affect student handbook provisions will be communicated to parents, students, and faculty by email, on the website, and through other appropriate communications. Such changes adopted during the academic year will generally supersede the provisions found in this handbook.

3 Admission to Ascension Academy Students interested in attending Ascension Academy must enter into a process that includes a) an on-campus interview, b) completion of the application packet and supporting reference materials,

c) completion of an admission test, and d) payment of the application fee. The school’s Director of Admission, Amy Moran, in consultation with the school’s admission committee, reviews each application and determines whether or not an invitation for admittance will be extended to that student. The school will hold a place in the appropriate class for each student who accepts our invitation after the enrollment fee has been paid.

Advanced Placement/Dual Credit Courses The mission of Ascension Academy is to prepare students to be successful in the most rigorous college and university programs in the country. The College Board has identified participation in a rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) program in high school as the single most important indicator of achievement in an undergraduate program of study. The high school curriculum at Ascension Academy is designed to prepare students to succeed in the school’s AP classes.

Students are encouraged to take AP tests in the spring of each year in AP classes in which they are enrolled. For students earning a score of 3 or more on an AP test, college credit may be earned during the junior and senior years. Dual credit (DC) and Pre-university Program (PUP) classes (WT) are also available during the junior and senior years. Students must apply for admission and be accepted to an approved college that is offering the dual credit classes.

Students are responsible for paying the fees associated with AP tests and with enrollment in dual credit classes.

AP Classes in 2014-15 Dual-Credit Classes in 2014-15 AP English III English IV AP English IV Pre-calculus math AP Calculus-AB US History (Junior year) AP Biology Life Science AP Government Government AP US History AP Latin V Alternatives for Gaining Academic Credit A student may earn credits toward graduation through the alternatives listed below. Permission from the Head of School (or designee) must be obtained before participating in any of these


1. Correspondence or online courses offered through an approved university for high school students in grades 9-12. The student pays all fees.

2. Dual credit courses held on college campus for qualifying high school students in grades 11-12. The student pays all fees and provides own transportation.

3. Amarillo College’s Access Program is available to high school students in grades 11-12.

The student pays all fees and provides own transportation.

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Absence – Each student will be allowed eight (8) excused absences per semester for nonrelated Ascension Academy School sponsored events. These absences will include sick and personal leave days. A student may be excused for a temporary absence resulting from any cause

acceptable to the teacher or Head of School, including the following:

for personal illness, illness or death in the immediate family • observance of religious hold days, including traveling for the purpose • treatment by healthcare professionals if the student begins classes or returns to school on • the same day of the appointment or treatment.

A student absent from school for any reason, other than for a documented health care appointment, will not be allowed to participate in school-related activities on that day or evening without approval by the Head of School. Students must be in school for no less than half a day in order to participate in an extra-curricular activity taking place after school or in the evening of the day of their absence.

Parent Request for Pre-Approved Absence – Students who have a planned absence unrelated to an Ascension Academy event or illness must get a Parent Request for Pre-Approved Absence form from the Dean, Assistant Dean or Mrs. Fix. This form allows the student to get his or her homework prior to the absence. The form must be filled out, signed by the teachers, and then returned to either the Dean or Assistant Dean by the student no less than three (3) days prior to the absence.

Penalty for Excessive Absences – A student accruing nine to eleven (9-11) absences in one semester will result in a five (5) point grade deduction given on his semester grade for all classes in which the absences have taken place. A student accruing more than twelve (12) absences in one semester will result in a ten (10) point grade deduction, not to exceed more than one letter grade, from his semester grade for all classes in which the absences have taken place. Appeals may be addressed to the Head of School and Academic Standards Committee.

Students who are over eighteen when they enroll A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her eighteenth birthday is required by state law to attend each school day and is subject to the same attendance expectations as all other students of Ascension Academy.

Students who feel ill must be seen by the nurse If the nurse deems the student able to go back to class the student must attend class. If a parent arrives to pick up their student without being called by Ascension staff the student will be given

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Medical Appointments Parents should not schedule students to miss classes due to doctor or dental appointments unless these cannot be otherwise scheduled outside the school day. The class time missed by students and the impact their absence has on their classmates and their teacher seriously affect the progress of the school’s academic program.

Extended Absences Due to Illness Students who miss three consecutive days due to personal illness must bring a physician's or health practitioner's note, regardless of the number of accumulated days. For all extended absences due to illness the parent will need to meet with the school nurse and either the middle school or high school counselor before they return to classes. A plan will be discussed and implemented to keep the student in academic compliance, taking into consideration the student's health issues.

When a child must be absent: Due to illness or medical reason The parent should call the office and ask to speak with the school nurse. Mrs. McClellan is on duty from 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. daily and should be informed about the reason why the child will not be in school that day. If Mrs. McClellan is not available, information will be given to Mrs. Fix who will inform Mrs. McClellan who will follow up with a call as soon as she is able.

Extended Illness – For students who experience long-term medical issues, the parent/guardian must contact the school nurse to set up an appointment with her and the MS or HS counselor. A plan will be discussed and implemented to keep the student in academic compliance, taking into consideration the student’s health issues.

Make-Up Work – Students who have excused absences may make up work missed and will be given one day per day of absence to complete and turn in the work, not to exceed five (5) days. For extended excused absences, arrangements can be made between the student and teacher to set a deadline for the make-up work to be completed.

Tardiness at the start of the school day A student is tardy if he/she arrives after the 8:00am bell sounds. At that time the inner doors to the school will be locked, making it necessary for the student to go to the office to get a tardy pass from Mrs. Fix or her designee admitting them to their 1st period class. Each student is allowed three (3) excused tardies per semester for 1st period classes. Each subsequent tardy will be marked as unexcused; for every additional two (2) unexcused tardies, an absence will be given in the 1st period class. Parents and student will be notified by the Dean or Assistant Dean when the student has three (3) tardies.

Tardiness to class between periods 2 and 9 Each student will be allowed three (3) unexcused tardies each six week grading period. The fourth (4) unexcused tardy will result in the student visiting with a Dean, MS with Mr. Reid and HS with Mrs. Chase. For every three unexcused tardies to one class an absence will be given. A 6 student may receive a detention, 10th -12th graders loss of use of the common area if applicable, and the parent will be notified.

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