North Okanagan Junior Academy

 

Student Handbook
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   OBJECTIVES

North Okanagan Jr. Academy shares many objectives in common with public education and has, in addition, certain distinctive principles.
SPIRITUAL:      To lead students to the realization of their need for an ongoing and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, recognizing Him as their Savior.
PHYSICAL:       To teach that life and health are God given and that it is our responsibility to preserve and maintain both as an integral part of overall development for service to others.
ACADEMIC:    To provide an academic program designed to equip students with intellectual training and practical skills; enabling them to become efficient, effective workers as they find their place of service.
SOCIAL:       To encourage students to develop a personal concern for their fellowmen, recognizing the intrinsic value of every individual and providing opportunities for positive interaction while preserving respect for individuality.      
   ADMISSION POLICY
Attendance at NOJA is voluntary and admission should be considered a privilege by students who appreciate its unique character and ideals. NOJA is sponsored and mainly financed by Seventh-day Adventists. The school was established for Seventh-day Adventist’s students, however no particular religious affiliation is required for admission. 
Any student and/or parent who expresses and demonstrates a sincere desire for Christian education and pledges to live in accordance to the principles outlined in this handbook is welcome to apply for admission. 
 

Before applying for admission every student and their parent(s) / guardian(s) should become well acquainted with the principles outlined in this bulletin.  It is understood that once a student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) have affixed their signatures to the application form, he/she pledges thereby to comply respectfully and willingly with the program and policies of the school. After consideration of the priorities above, the following will be considered:
1. Students who will succeed in a regular academic stream leading to a Dogwood diploma will ordinarily be admitted.

2. Special Needs Students
   
(a) Students with special needs, whether behavioural or educational, are welcome, provided that their special needs can be adequately met by the school.
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b) In order to assess the needs of students and the ability of the school to meet those needs, the school will require all relevant documents and information (including that listed below) no later than April 30 in the year prior to the September admission date.  Exceptions may be made, including in circumstances of mid-year transfers, on a case-by-case basis involving the Office of Education and depending on how quickly assessments can be completed.
     (c) The school will seek assistance in assessing its ability to meet any special needs.  This assistance will include advice from the Conference’s Office of Education and, when appropriate, from treating or consulting physicians, counsellors or others.  Parents and guardians are responsible for providing complete information and any necessary consents so that the level of accommodation can be reasonably and efficiently assessed.
     (d) All circumstances will be considered in determining whether special needs can be met.  Schools have limited budgets and will access extra government funding whenever reasonably possible when additional services and/or personnel are required to accommodate special needs.  The ability of a school to meet special needs may depend on such funding, which the school does not control.
    (e) If the school concludes that it cannot meet a student’s special needs, the parent/guardians may contact the Conference’s Superintendent of Education and ask to have that determination reviewed. 

All New Students are accepted on a 1-3 month probationary period. 

 
ADMISSION PROCEDURE
The Admission Process: *Please note that the admission process will not be considered complete until all the following applicable steps have been taken.
1. Parents will be expected to fill out our application form disclosing all information pertinent to the education of their child, including relevant medical, behavioural, and academic challenges.
     A) Application for admission must be made on the forms provided by the school and signed by the parent/guardian and the student.
     B) Proof of grade and a copy of the birth certificate and BC Care Card must accompany the application form for all new students.
     C) Proof of Parent(s) Legal Status in Canada as well as Proo of residency in BC must be on file for every family with a  student enrolled at NOJA.
     D) Financial arrangements are considered part of the Registration process and must be made at the time of Registration with the School Treasurer.
2. Parents will be asked to provide extra documentation related to any special needs of students. 
3. A copy of the student’s previous report card must be presented, if the student has previously been enrolled in a school.  Students from non-English speaking schools must present an official English translation of their report card. 
4. The principal or other designated staff member will contact the previous school to review relevant academic, behavioural, medical challenges
 (if the student has attended school elsewhere previously and if the school is in North America.) 
5. An in-person interview will take place with the prospective student, parents, principal and any other staff chosen by the principal. 
6. Incoming international students or students transferring from home schools will be given grade placement screening tests.
When all of the above steps have been concluded, a decision will be made by the school concerning the student’s admission.  Parents or guardians will be contacted and told of the school’s decision.

*Any misleading or inaccurate information, including omission of documented pertinent information, may nullify a student’s acceptance and enrollment in the school.*

 
 

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   ENTRANCE AGE GUIDELINES
Students are admitted in accordance with Provincial guidelines. However, experience has indicated that most students maintain a higher level of adjustment to the school experience if they enter school at a later age.


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   DAILY SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Staff Devotions...........8:00 a.m.
School Doors Open... 8:20 a.m.
Classes begin ............8:30 a.m.
School dismissal…3:15 p.m. Monday -Thursday
                                        1:30 p.m.on Friday
Kindergarten - Tuesday & Thursday — 8:30-3:15 pm.
                                                  Friday --- 8:30 am. - 1:30 pm.

 
STUDENT APPEARANCE

In harmony with the Biblical principles on dress as outlined in 1 Timothy 2:9 students will: 

      "...dress modestly, sensibly and in harmony with what is proper for Christian decency and dignity."

 
Students should take upon themselves the responsibility of presenting a positive example of our school to all who observe it. Therefore, we ask that all students be representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its mission to humanity in all matters concerning dress, hair style, jewelry and make up by basing their choices on the principles of simplicity, modesty, practicality, health, and attractiveness. It is the desire of the School Board and staff that the clothes worn by the students are positive in nature and appearance.

Clothing with slogans or pictures must be in good Christian appearance. Anything bearing symbols of alcoholic or tobacco products, promoting rock groups, or having a sexual connotation are not to be worn.
Students must be committed to be free of all types of jewelry. Make-up, including nail polish and hair color, must be natural in appearance. Modesty should prevail in the selection of any clothing item. (neckline, length, etc.) 
All students are expected to wear a school logo polo shirt each day.    (Colors of polo shirt may include white, navy blue, light blue, or light pink.) As well, every student is requested to have at least one white logo polo shirt for special events. Shirts should be long enough that they can be tucked in. (No bare midriff when sitting or standing).
The dress policy will apply while attending all school-sponsored functions.
We solicit parent/student cooperation in maintaining acceptable standards of dress that conform to these principles.
SOCIAL CONDUCT
NOJA actively supports the development of a student’s social life as a phase of the symmetrical growth of one’s personality. Varied social and recreational functions are planned and student participation is encouraged, not only for the pleasurable experience derived, but for the possibilities they offer for cultural and social growth.
In accordance with the Biblical instruction found in Philippians 4:8
“...fill your minds with things that are true, honest and just. Think about things that are noble, pure and lovely. Focus on good reports about others.”
NOJA will uphold the highest standards of decorum and social graces. The staff/Administration will reserve the right to counsel or discipline individuals who reflect improper conduct or irresponsible behaviour.
“HANDS - OFF” & "NO BULLYING" POLICY
In showing respect for one another we have adopted a "Hands-Off" and "No Bullying" policy at NOJA. Students will keep from engaging in any behaviour that will physically or emotionally harm or hurt another student. This includes any form of hitting, kicking, pushing, pinching, scratching, hair pulling, teasing, name-calling, etc. 
Students at NOJA must choose to walk away from any physical aggression and immediately report the incident to a teacher or duty supervisor.   Anger and retaliation will not be accepted as excused reasons for physically hurting another student.
Also knowing that “play” fighting often leads to students getting hurt or angry students are requested to refrain from this behaviour as well.
ANY infraction of this policy will be deemed serious and will result in disciplinary action.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE 
All pupils enrolled are expected to be punctual and regular in attendance at all school activities including;  field trips, sports days, or other school related events. Valid excuses for non-attendance include the following:
1. Verified student illness.
2. Bereavement.
3. Medical or dental or optometric service.
4. Quarantine.

*Every effort should be made to schedule appointments during non-school hours or vacations so that the school program and the students learning will not be disrupted. Prior written notification must be received by the teacher if absolutely no alternative time for appointments is available. Upon arrival of the parents students are expected to remain in the classroom until dismissed by the teacher.
Except for school activities, pupils are not permitted to leave the school grounds during the school day, except by written permission from the parent or guardian and subject to the teacher's approval.
FIELD TRIPS AND SCHOOL OUTINGS
Field trips and school outings are a privilege and subject to administrative and/or Board approval. Therefore, rules of conduct, appearance, and expectations are the same on trips and outings as at school. We represent our school at all times.
Careful planning goes into every field trip or off-campus activity. Each one is chosen to support and enhance the School Curriculum and is therefore NOT optional.
Digressions from the itinerary, choice of activities, and any other privileges which may be requested are subject to teacher discretion and approval.
Misconduct or any other non-compliance while on a school outing will result in a disciplinary action of both immediate and long range nature. That is, the disruptive student will be put under discipline at the time of the offense and this may also result in further disciplinary action upon return to the School.
SCHOOL SPONSORED PROGRAMS

Throughout the school year students will be involved in community activities and programs. Events students are required to participate in include the annual Christmas concert, Education Weekend, Band & Choir programs, Church Programs, Outdoor School, and scheduled Friday outreach and/or community activities.   Parent involvement is appreciated and encouraged.
  
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JUST FOR PARENTS

"If criticism or suggestions in regard to the teachers' work becomes necessary, it should be made to him/her in private. If this proves ineffective, let the matter be referred to those responsible for the management of the school. Nothing should be said or done to weaken the children's respect for the one upon whom their well being in so great degree depends."
--Education, page 284
 
Because Biblical principles are foundational in our school, we would like to express appreciation to both parents and students who have graciously followed the principles outlined in Matthew 18: verse 15-18 when they perceived a problem developing around a teacher. We encourage you to continue this practice and try to resolve the problem at the appropriate level of authority as outlined below:
 
1. First arrange to talk privately and confidentially with the teacher involved in a kind, Christ-like manner and share your honest concerns and work together to resolve the situation.
 
2. If the issue remains unsolved then it becomes appropriate to share your concerns sequentially at the next level until the problem is resolved:
(a) the School Principal
(b) the Conference Educational Supervisor
(c) the School Board Chair-person
(d) full Board disclosure
  
We appreciate our parents who have consistently:
1. Maintained a regular schedule for: getting up in the morning, meals, work, study periods, worship, and bedtime.
2. Provided attractive, wholesome, well-balanced meals to be eaten in a happy atmosphere. Breakfast is the most important!
3. Supplied a comfortable, quiet place for study.
4. Taken an interest in the student's work and accomplishments.
5. Controlled the television, radio, videos, Nintendo, and other distracting activities during study periods.
6. Communicated with the school and teachers regularly and frequently.
7. Made necessary telephone calls to the school during school hours when the secretary is available or during recess, noon hour, before/after school to speak with a teacher.
STUDENT RECORDS
¨ Affected parents and students (18 or over) have a right to review and copy school records.
¨ The affected parties may challenge the accuracy of student records.
¨ Most educational data, including health information, cannot be disclosed without proper consent.
¨ Appropriate faculty/staff members with a reasonable “right to know” may have legal access to student records.
¨ Officials in another district to which the student is moving may have access to the student’s records. (Records that are hand-carried by a student should not be considered official.)
¨ Records subject to a court order may be made available without consent.
¨ Release of record information to other outside parties can be made only with proper cons.


 
DISCRIMINATION POLICY
North Okanagan Adventist Academy exists to show children Jesus, nurture their love for Him and others, teach them to think, and empower them to serve.
 
    “The safety and well-being of children in Adventist schools is of paramount consideration. Children deserve to be                      protected from abuse, neglect, bullying, harm or threat of harm. Therefore, all Seventh- day Adventist Church, BC                      Conference schools will ensure that children attending these schools will experience a learning environment that enables       every child to feel safe, accepted and respected.
 
Adventist schools will continuously develop strategies to make students feel valued, respected and connected within the school community. This will include the protection of the students’ physical safety, social connectedness, inclusiveness as well as protection from all forms of bullying, regardless of their gender, race, culture, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, while remaining consistent with the Seventh-day Adventist faith-values, cultural perspective and philosophical values."
 
 
 
STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
 
North Okanagan Junior Academy is committed to providing a school environment free from sexual harassment for all students. Incidents of harassment should be reported to school authorities so they may take appropriate action. Students who sexually harass others are subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. Employees who engage in sexual harassment are subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. Sexual harassment of any student by another student or any employee, or other person under the supervision of the school is unlawful and is prohibited.
 
 
Sexual Harassment
 
Sexual harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome or offensive behaviour of a sexual nature that interferes with one's education or right to participate in student activities. Examples of sexual harassment include:
 
(a) sexual advances
 
(b) sexual touching
 
(c) touching one's own clothes or body in a sexual way
 
(d) sexual jokes, stories, drawings or gestures
 
(e) spreading sexual rumours
 
(f) embarrassing whistles
 
(g) insulting remarks about sexual orientation
 
(h) sexually insulting remarks about race, gender, ability or class
 
(i) leering, staring, sexual flirtation, propositioning
 
(j) demeaning nicknames
 
(k) stalking
 
(l) sexually suggestive names written on walls or desks
 
(m) pressure for sexual activity or dates
 
(n)  graphic verbal comments about an individual's body
 
 
 
Guidelines for Responding to Student Sexual Harassment Complaints
 
 
 
Complaints of sexual harassment will be investigated promptly and confidentially. The following principles will guide the school in appropriately responding to a sexual harassment complaint:

     1.  The complaint will be taken seriously. It will be investigated privately and notes will be kept.
     2.  The investigation and response will be age appropriate.
     3.  Discipline will fit the behaviour and age of the offender.
     4.  Progressive discipline will be used unless the first offence is of a serious nature.
     5.  Educating students regarding sexual harassment is the
cornerstone of  prevention and
protection

     6.  Provincial guidelines will be followed in all cases of sexual harassment involving school staff.
 
  
 
After investigation and response, the complainant will be informed that appropriate corrective action has been taken and the victim will be encouraged to report any further events. A written record shall be kept of all investigations.
 
  
Legal Duty to Report
 
All school personnel at North Okanagan Junior Academy who have reason to believe that a student has been or is likely to be harmed physically, abused sexually or exploited sexually by a parent or other person are legally responsible under the Child, Family and Community Service Act to report promptly to a child protection social worker. Although it is the recognizable duty of the school to report child abuse and neglect it is not the duty of the person making the report to determine whether the abuse/neglect happened, is happening, or will happen. This is the responsibility of the child protection social worker.
 
All school personnel are to read, familiarize themselves with, and follow the guidelines outlined in the booklets Supporting our Students A Guide for Independent School Personnel Responding to Child Abuse and The B.C. Handbook For Action on Child Abuse and Neglect. These booklets are kept on file in the school office.
 
 
  
 
Role of School Personnel
 
 * observe indicators of abuse or neglect.
 
 * accept disclosures from students  keep written documentation.
 
 * promptly report to a child protection social worker at the Ministry for Children and families’ Office@:
 
                       Armstrong – 558-2700
 
                       Enderby - 832-1726
 
                       Vernon - 558-2700
 
                       Salmon Arm - 832-1719
 
* notify the Principal of the report.
 
* give emotional support to the student.
 
 
Role of the Principal
 
*ensure a safe school environment for the student.
 
* facilitate the investigations of the child protection social worker /or police.
 
* refer inquiries about child protection and investigations from parents to the child protection social worker.
 
 
 
Confidential
 
School personnel are to share information regarding an allegation of child abuse and/or neglect only with those persons who have a legitimate reason for knowing the information. This would include child protection social workers, the police, the school principal, and/or other school personnel when deemed necessary.
 
 
 
 
STUDENT CONDUCT
 
The Staff and Administration of NOJA are committed to providing a safe learning environment where every student chooses to live by the principle Jesus taught in Matthew 7:12      “Treat other people the way you would like them to treat you.”
 
Every student at NOJA is part of a TEAM that will work together, learn together, play together, and together develop a healthy respect for God, His Word, teachers, staff, fellow students, visitors, and for his/herself. Courtesy, kindness, and understanding should be revealed at all times.  Students are to measure and make their choices based on the virtues of Philippians 4:8
 
“Finally, brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
 
Out of respect for the religious and moral convictions of the School Board, The Teachers and Staff, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church that operates and financially supports this school, every student and parent is requested to fully cooperate with the behaviour expectations of this handbook.
 
All administrative and/or disciplinary regulations adopted and announced have the same authority as those published in the school bulletin. As time passes and experience indicates, regulations may be revised. Any given alteration will take precedence over previously publishedor announced regulations. 
 
 
VANDALISM
 
Breaking and entering or any form of vandalism is a civil offense and will be treated as such. It is also sufficient reason for suspension from school.
 
Parents/Guardians will be billed for labour and materials for damaged property or equipment at the school resulting from either deliberate or careless behaviour of their child.
 
 
 
 
“OFF LIMIT” AREAS
 
 
 
There are a number of areas in the school that are considered “Off-Limits” for students unless they are specifically requested to be there by a staff member. These include but may not be limited to: 
 
1. The Furnace and/or electrical rooms.
2. The Storage Rooms - Book Room, Art Room & Music Room
3. The Shop
4. The Kitchen
5. The Photocopy Room
6. The Principals Office
7. Beyond the Main desk in the Library/Office
8. The Gymnasium Stage
9. Teacher/Staff Lockers, cupboards, desks 
 
 
 
 
 
ADMINISTERING MEDICATIONS TO STUDENTS
 
 
 
Teachers at North Okanagan Junior Academy do not diagnose health conditions or give any internal medication, including Aspirin or Tylenol to any student except as follows:
 
 
 
Any student who is required to take, during the regular school day, medication prescribed by a physician may be assisted by the designated teacher IF the school receives:
 
    a. A written statement from the child's physician detailing the time schedules, amount, and method by which such medication is to be taken.
 
    b. A written statement from the parent or guardian of the student indicating the desire that the school assist the student in matters set forth in the physician's statement.
 
 
 
Such medication must be delivered to the school in the original container bearing the pharmacy label. This label must contain the name and place of business of the seller, the serial number and the date of such prescription, the name of the person for whom such drug is prescribed, the name of such member of the medical profession who prescribed the drug, and must bear directions for use as prescribed by such member of the medical profession.
 
 
 
GYMNASIUM USE
 
The gymnasium is available for student use at the discretion of the teachers. Students are permitted in the gymnasium ONLY when a designated adult supervisor is present. At all other times the gym is “Off-Limits.”
 
Everyone using the gym must wear indoor footwear with non-marking soles.
 
 

 
ELECTRONICS
 
Students are advised that if they bring a cell phone or laptop, ipad, etc. to school at NOJA, they are RESPONSIBLE for it; NOJA will not be held responsible for loss or damages.
              1)  Phone is to be turned on silent (vibrate) when at school and on the bus.
              2)  Phone is NOT to be used during class time.
              3) Laptop computers, ipads can be used at school for school work only.
 
 
 
ITEMS TO LEAVE AT HOME
 
 
There are a number of items that students are respectfully requested NOT to bring onto school property either on their person or in their personal belongings. We appreciate the following items remaining off our school campus:
 
1. Guns, knives, swords, or any other fighting weapons including those in the form of toys - out of respect for our Christian values and the perceived threat these items give to others.
 
2. Gum - out of respect to our custodial staff and school property.
 
3. Any form of alcohol, tobacco (including vapour products), drugs, or caffeinated drinks - out of respect for our bodies and health principles.
 
4. Faddish items that may distract from our academics and values or that may cause unnecessary rivalry among students; Example: Pokemon Cards, Electronic Games, i.e. Game Boy, or any personal listening devices.
 
5. Any books, magazines, music, or pictures not consistent with our Christian values at NOJA.
 
6. Any form of fireworks, explosives, or ammunition (including caps).
 
 
 
Other items may be included in this list if Teachers/Administrators deem it necessary or appropriate.
 
Please note that bringing ANY of the above mentioned items to school will result in non-returnable confiscation of the item(s).
 
 
SCHOOL DECORUM
 
The primary reason for being at school is to gain an education. This is best facilitated when our surroundings are neat, orderly, and reasonably quiet. For this reason we ask that students take pride in their surroundings by:
 
 
1. Keeping their personal space such as desks, lockers and shoe cubbies neat and clean at all times.
 
2. Using trash cans for their intended use.
 
3. Only walking in halls and classrooms.
 
4. Speaking softly when you are inside the school building.
 
5. Changing to your indoor shoes when inside the school building.
 
         6. Help maintain the general appearance of the school by participating in 
                 daily school chores as assigned by the staff.

 
 
   TRANSPORTATION - SCHOOL BUS
 
The bus route is established by the School Board in consultation with the bus driver and any requests for route change must be Board approved.

It is a privilege and a convenience for students to ride the school bus. Safety is the number one factor to consider when riding the bus and all students MUST follow the instructions of the bus driver as well as the guidelines listed in this handbook. Failure to do so will result in loss of bus riding privileges.

Students will leave the bus only at their regular stop unless they have provided written permission from parents or guardians and this has been given to the bus driver.
  
Written permission from a parent/guardian granting permission to accept alternate rides must be presented to the teacher/principal before students will be allowed to accept rides with others.

PLEASE REMEMBER:

    1.  The Bus Driver, as well as the Principal, has the authority to suspend any student from riding the bus for failure to comply with bus regulations either printed in the handbook or as requested by the driver. 

     2.  Students will sit only in their assigned seats.  
     3.  Students will stay seated at all times when the bus is in motion and will keep arms, legs, heads, and all objects inside the bus.  
     4.  Students will ride the bus QUIETLY, speaking softly only to those sitting next to them.  
     5.  All food brought on the bus is to remain in lunch kits, backpacks, etc. and is not to be eaten on the bus.  
     6.  As elsewhere on school property, students will show respect to one another and will follow the "Hands Off" policy when on the bus or at the bus stops.

Failure to comply with bus regulations will result in verbal warnings, written warnings, and loss of bus riding privileges. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
COMMUNICATION
 
 
NOJA NOTES  is a weekly publication and is distributed to students every Wednesday that school is in session.  This is the official comunique between the school and the home.

A yearly calendar, outlining most of the major school events and holidays, is available at Registration.  Any changes to the calendar will be noted in NOJA NOTES and will take precedence over the calendar.