Family Handbook

Welcome to Harmony Hills Academy

You’ve chosen a private school — an institution which has the freedom to determine its own direction and maintain its own standards. Your family is now part of the HHA traditions of passing on these expectations.

Please note that as we are an establishing school, we will make changes to the handbook as needs arise.  We will post changes and send messages to students and their families for these changes.

Who’s Who?

The Teachers not only work with your child in the classroom, they serve children’s best interests throughout the school. The teachers serve as your contact with the school — they are in the best position to help. Their ideal is to work with you as partners. In a private school, taking a concern to what parents may see as “the top” — the administration– actually slows down the response time: the matter is usually referred back to the teachers. Teachers want you to keep in touch; just email or phone in advance to set a convenient time.

Because you have selected a private school to meet the unique needs of your child, the final responsibility for seeing that your school stays on course, furthering the direction and mission originally set by the school’s founder rests with the Board of Directors. In private schools, educational principles, not popular opinion, dictate this direction. The Board members are responsible for keeping their eyes on the big picture; they leave the school’s daily operation to the Head of School. They do not ordinarily hear complaints, sit as a court of appeals, or overturn the Head of School’s decisions.

Attendance Policy/ School Hours

The campus opens at 7:00 A.M. for before school childcare. (Opening and closing times may vary by community needs.)  Classes begin at 9:05 A.M. and continue to 3:45 P.M. As a general rule, our students are expected to be on time each day as the morning meeting establishes our daily agenda and lets students settle in for the day.

Regular attendance at school is necessary for academic and social success and therefore absences should be kept to a minimum. Absences for personal illness are excusable. Medical, dental and optical appointments should be scheduled outside of school hours whenever possible. Frequent absences or tardies, for other than the above reasons, may adversely affect school performance. Please email the classroom teacher to inform him/her of your child’s absence .

After arrival at school, students must remain on campus until picked up by a parent or other authorized person. Students are released only to authorized persons. Please send a request in writing to authorize your child’s release to a person other than a parent and have that person sign your child out in the Attendance folder.  After school care runs 5:45 P.M  (Opening and closing times may vary by community needs.)  A fee of $1.00 per minute is charged after this time.

Bus Rules (We are acquiring into a bus for field trips.)

  1. Board the bus quietly and find a seat.
  2. Remain seated at all times while the bus is in motion. Sit facing forward with your back against the seat.
  3. Please be respectful to the bus driver and teachers and follow their directions.
  4. Promptly obey all directions of the driver. Our bus driver will conduct bus safety lessons at the beginning of the school year.
  5. Riding the bus is a privilege. Failure to follow the bus rules may result in loss of that privilege.

Dress Code

We strive to create an atmosphere of care and respect.  Appropriate student dress is an integral factor in creating a healthy educational setting.  The appearance of the students has a definite influence on the performance of schoolwork, the social atmosphere of the classroom, the comfort of other students, and the perceptions of younger students.

Students spend time outdoors everyday and should be dressed appropriately for the ever changing Colorado weather.  Be familiar with the day’s forecast and work together with your child to prepare for the conditions of the day.  Clothing should also be appropriate for the daily exercise activities.  We will have stretching/yoga exercises daily and then be on a short schedule of alternating activities – such as dance, karate, ball games, etc.  We will notify you of the exercise schedule.

As we cannot place a determined set of rules for all types of dress, the final determination will rely upon the lead teacher.  We appreciate the cooperation of all in encouraging clothing that is functional and contributes to a healthy learning style.

We recommend that each student keeps a change of clothes, including shoes, in his/her cubby for emergencies or particular activities for the day that may require different attire.

Emergency Procedures

Our Emergency Preparedness Plan calls for the help of every staff member on campus and is designed to communicate plans to the staff and students; safely evacuate children and adults from buildings and playground areas; care for the physical, emotional and medical needs of the children and staff in the first hours after an emergency; and provide for extended care of students and staff if necessary. Fire drills are scheduled during the school year.

Guidelines Concerning Sick Children

Students with a temperature one degree or more above normal should not attend school.

Temperature should be normal for 24 hours and there should be no vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours before the child returns to school.

Parents who are notified of a child’s illness should make every effort to come and pick up the child as soon as possible. If a child is too ill to be with other children in a regular school program, the child should not be sent to school. There are no facilities for the care of sick children.

Physicians Release is required for any injury which requires medical attention (stitches, head injury, fracture, orthopedic appliance usage, etc.) and any communicable disease (rashes of any kind, measles, mumps, conjunctivitis, impetigo, etc.). Students will not be allowed to return to class without a release from their physician.

Health Services

As a courtesy to parents, medications being taken by our students on a short term or long-term basis will be given during school hours as time permits. NO GUARANTEE can be made, however, of timely administration. If it is crucial that a dose not be missed, or if time is not flexible, it is advisable to keep the child at home until the condition has stabilized. Medications will be dispensed only on the written permission of the parent and doctor and a daily supply MUST be brought to the school in a pharmacy prescription container or it cannot be given. All medications should be picked up at the end of each week and at NO time is any kind of medication to be carried by the student or stored in a lunch box or desk.

Lunches

Lunches must be brought from home daily.  Please do not send glass containers.   We will have a small supply of snacks and simple sandwiches for students to have in case of emergencies.   Well-mannered eating behavior is expected at all times and students are required to clean up after themselves and discard all trash when finished eating.  This important social skill will be taught her at Harmony Hills Academy and we believe strongly that parents also teach their children social manners when eating at home or another location.

Parking Lot

Parking is very limited in our small lot.

Please follow the parking lot TRAFFIC PATTERN:

When we have our determined parking locations, parking protocol will be established.

Thank you for your courtesy and help.

Playground Rules

  • We WALK through the campus, playground and equipment areas.
  • We never pick up or throw sand or rocks.
  • We don’t climb the trees.

We obey the rules for using:

Slides and Swings:

  • We slide sitting down ONLY.
  • We don’t walk up the slide.
  • We wait at the top for the person on the slide to go ALL the way down.
  • We SIT on the swing seat.
  • We don’t “twist” or “bail out”.
  • We don’t climb on the chains or frames.
  • We don’t push other children on the swings.
  • We never walk in front of someone as they are swinging.

Climbing Bars:

  • We hang from our arms only – never upside-down.
  • We don’t crawl, sit or walk across the top.
  • We climb down carefully – we don’t jump off.

 

Open Playground:

  • We practice catching and receiving.
  • We use SOFT balls and toys only.

Picnic Tables:

  • We eat our snacks here and throw away the wrappers.

Student Conduct

Harmony Hills Academy is a private, compassionate school, and as such expects kind behavior from its students. The “Golden Rules” will be created together by the class; each student must read them with his or her parent, sign the bottom portion, and return it to the school. The Golden Rules are incorporated herein. Among other things, a HHA student is expected to:

  1. Behave in a kind, courteous and responsible way at all times.
  2. Arrive at class on time each day, work diligently, and help others.
  3. Care for personal and school property and respect the property of others.
  4. Remain only in areas of the school designated for student use and supervised by an adult.

Matriculation is a privilege and choice by all involved.  Any serious infraction of the basic rules of acceptable behavior may result in loss of privileges, including matriculation. In addition, HHA is committed to providing an environment free of discrimination. Actions, words, jokes or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, etc. will not be tolerated. Our character development program helps students practice positive behavior patterns. At Harmony Hills Academy we respect individual differences which exist among us. Students are not to harass, abuse, bully, tease, threaten, torment, humiliate, or intimidate other students either physically, mentally, or emotionally. Actions such as name calling, unwelcome physical contact, and insults are detrimental to a positive school environment, and will not be tolerated. Students are expected to treat each other with courtesy and respect at all times.

Students are not to bring to school: skate shoes, weapons, or any item not relating to our unit of study. Trading or game cards should be kept at home for weekend play. Toys brought for after-school play should be kept in a backpack or school bag during the day, and marked clearly with the child’s name. HHA cannot be responsible for lost, stolen or broken items.

Superheroes and the imitation of superheroes are common events in the lives of children. When this play becomes too aggressive or out of control, we need to look for different ways to help children express themselves. Please – no Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, etc. at school. Take note of the attitude toward school and learning expressed on such programs

Access to Student Records

It is the policy of HHA to provide custodial parents and non-custodial parents equal access to all the official records and reports regarding their children, as well as school announcements and related information. Each is also provided equal access to the children, the teachers and administrators, without notification of other parties, UNLESS such access is limited by a court of law.

Books and Supplies

Hardcover textbooks and some reference materials are supplied for the students’ use during the school year.  HHA students are also supplied with consumable workbooks and activity books, teacher-prepared lessons and arts and crafts supplies. You will receive a letter from your child’s teacher indicating supplies that should be brought from home.

Book Bags

Books and supplies may be carried inside book bags or back packs only if the pack is small enough to fit completely in their designated cubby.  A standard sized backpack should be sufficient to hold their materials.

Homework

Homework is considered an extension of classroom instruction. Assignments given in class may want to be completed at home, based on student choice or request upon teacher if the assignment was not completed in class.  We understand the family schedules may be hectic in the mountain area and we want to honor family time.  The best way to do “homework” is to make time for family games, reflect on weekly class work and reading and writing as a family.

Students who are absent due to illness may not have “make-up” work as in a traditional classroom setting.  Daily work is a guided discovery and it is hard to predict what your child may miss.  We will attempt to complete all missed work in the classroom where the teacher can direct the learning.  We may ask for your support t home as well.

Family trips sometimes occur during a school week.  We understand that family time is critical to child development.  We ask that you take some time to “journal” about the trip and share with their classmates upon their return.

Student Portfolios & Academic Expectations

Parent conferences with teachers are scheduled as needed or requested by the parent or teacher. Parent and teacher communication is critical to child academic and social growth.  Teachers will be in contact with parents as needed. Students will not receive traditional report cards.  Instead students will have portfolios and a checklist of objectives.  It is clear to the students and parents as to the strengths and goals for the next unit of study.  Portfolio and objective checklists may be viewed at any time and shared with families as we progress throughout the year.

Our goal is to make the students feel successful, accomplished, and goal oriented.  Clear expectations will be a defining role in their academic growth.

Birthdays, Holidays, etc.

Birthdays are important milestones in a child’s life! If your child wishes to share treats with the class, please let the teacher know several days in advance, so that time may be set aside from the regular program. To avoid hurt feelings, party invitations, Valentines, etc. should not be distributed at school unless everyone in the class will receive one.

A special way for your child to remember this special day is by making a hardcover book donation to our Library. Your child will feel special if he/she chooses a pick of interest that can be shared with the entire school.

Field Trips

Class field trips to points of interest such as museums, libraries, shows, etc. are conducted during the school year. In all instances where students leave campus under the auspices of Harmony Hills ACademy, a signed parent consent form (Trip Slip) is required. Trip slips are distributed a few days prior to the activity and must be returned to the teacher prior to the scheduled outing. Details of each trip are given on the form. See the “Special Events Calendar” in our monthly newsletter, The Pinecone, for upcoming trips. If questions should arise, please phone the school office. Blank field trips slips are also available on the web site if you have lost one.

Library

There is a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction titles, as we begin our HHA Library.  We will purchase books throughout the year as needed resources for units of study.  Donations of books and assistance are always welcome!  We will take special Library field trips to the local library to check out books.  The books in our library will stay at HHA, unless there is a special request in writing; lost or damaged books will need to be replaced by the person responsible.

Lost and Found

All items found on the yards or in the classrooms are placed in the bins marked “Lost and Found”. Every effort is made to return items to their owners, however HHA is not responsible for lost items. All jackets, sweaters, backpacks, lunch boxes, etc. should be clearly marked with the student’s name. All unclaimed items will be donated to charity when it becomes “too” full..

Communication

Parents and students are kept informed of upcoming events and deadlines through our monthly newsletter, THE HARMONY HILLTOP, as well as reminders in our Twitter account, on our website, and through occasional flyers.

Parent Involvement

Success in school is often the result of close teamwork between parent and teacher. You can help your child by asking about the goal your child worked on that day, providing a quiet time and place to work at home (when needed), reading with or to your child, and letting your child know that doing his or her best in school is very important to you.

We welcome our Harmony Hills parents to become involved with their child’s learning experience. Teachers need parents who can help plan and carry out class parties, chaperone field trips, make costumes and props for class plays, volunteer in the classroom, or act as guest speakers or resource persons on topics of their special interest and expertise. Please let your child’s teacher know how you can help.

Snacks

Snacks such as crackers, dried fruit, breakfast bars will be provided daily in a snack store for the before/after school program. The student snack store is designed to help students’ budget money for a week of snacks and determine pricing to make the opportunity costs we all encounter in life.  Students will be using “Harmony Bucks” they receive each Monday to help them plan for the week.  Bulk snacks donated to the snack store are appreciated.

Special Interest Opportunities

HHA students may have many opportunities to pursue special interests. Our after school schedule will provide a balance of active and quiet activities.  We will be looking into classes such as Dance, Drama, Karate, Art, etc.  These classes will be in addition to tuition costs. These opportunities will be provided based on parent/student request.

Physical Education

Every student is expected to participate in physical education class each day. Expectations are to  participate in order to learn and grow, exercise effort, demonstrate  a positive attitude and learn new skills. To be excused from participation in P.E. activities for one to three days requires a written note signed and dated by a parent. After three days, a doctor’s note is required. We encourage a change of clothes or wearing appropriate clothing to school based on the physical exercise of the day.  Notice will be provided, however, change of plans can always be expected due to weather, technical difficulties, design of academic activity, etc.

Telephone

The telephones we will use are mobile phone based.  You will have phone access to teachers and personnel working in the school for emergency contact throughout the day.

Student Organization Projects

The students at HHA will be required to work on community based projects to show how “Harmony Hills Academy students care about our community.”  These projects throughout the year will demonstrate the good character and leadership quality of our students.

Traditions

HHA students are justifiably proud of their school and will be well known for their good sportsmanship, friendliness, and remarkable manners. Character Develpoment is an integral part of our curriculum.