Student & family Handbook 2020-2021

The student handbook is subject to changes. 

InspireNOLA Charter Schools

Mission

The mission of InspireNOLA Charter Schools is to transform and inspire an educational movement. 

Values 

Inspiration: We exist to inspire the children of our city through education to maximize their potential and transform society.Aspiration: The school day does not end at 3:00 for InspireNOLA staff. We are continuously striving to make sure every child is successful.Dedication:  We are committed to helping all of our children bring their dreams to fruition.

General Policies and Procedures

Admission and Enrollment 

Admission Requirements 

All InspireNOLA schools participate in EnrollNOLA, the New Orleans common application and enrollment system (sometimes referred to as “OneApp”). InspireNOLA follows the calendar and policies of EnrollNOLA as they related to application, admission, readmission, and transfer of students. For more information, please visit www.nolapublicschools.com or www.enrollnola.org.

Documents for Registration 

As per policy, all InspireNOLA schools require documentation in order for a student to register at an InspireNOLA school (once the student has been placed at or admitted to the school through the EnrollNOLA/OneApp process). To complete registration, a student’s parent or guardian must provide copies of the following documentation:

  • Birth certificate
  • Immunization records
  • Final report card
  • Test scores
  • Parent/guardian identification 
  • Proof of residence (see below for additional information on proof of residency)
  • Transcript from previous high (if applicable and enrolling in high school)
  • Social security card (optional)
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan (if applicable) 

A student may lose their seat at an InspireNOLA school if they do not submit all required documentation by the registration deadline, as established by EnrollNOLA. 

Proof of Residence Requirements

When a student initial registers at an InspireNOLA school or if a student’s residence changes, the parent/guardian is responsible for providing three (3) forms of proof of residence for the new address. Acceptable forms include: lease or rental agreement; cable, internet service, telephone, Sewage and Water Board, or Entergy bill; LA state ID card or driver’s license, and payroll check stub with home address.

InspireNOLA reserves the right to request proof of residence documentation at any time. In the case that InspireNOLA or an InspireNOLA school requests proof of residence, the parent or guardian must provide two (2) forms of proof of residence (acceptable forms are listed above) within five (5) business days. If the parent/guardian fails to do so, the student may be unenrolled from the InspireNOLA school at that time.

All students attending InspireNOLA schools are required to reside in Orleans Parish. 

Attendance

Compulsory School Attendance

The state of Louisiana requires that all children from their seventh to their eighteenth birthday must attend a public school, private school, or must participate in an approved home study program. Any student above the compulsory attendance age who has excessive absences may be dropped from school with the SBLC (school building level committee) recommendation. 

Please note below the Compulsory Attendance Law which all InspireNOLA schools are mandated to follow:

A. Attendance Requirements –State law and school board policy require that elementary students (K – 8th) be present a minimum of 167 days per year. Secondary students (grades 9 – 12) are required to be present a minimum of 83-85 days per semester. (LA Bulletin 741)

B. Penalties – Section 221 of Title 17 of the LA Revised Statues states that the responsibility of a child’s school attendance is placed with the child’s parent or legal guardian. This responsibility includes awakening the child in sufficient time each morning and ensuring that the child, in fact, arrives at school at the appointed time. Any parent, guardian, or tutor found to be in violation of the compulsory school attendance law may be fined not more than two hundred-fifty dollars ($250.00) and/or sentenced to thirty (30) days in jail or both.  If a child is absent or tardy five (5) days from school, parents and/or child may be referred to the Municipal Court or Families In Need of Services (FINS).  

Students are expected to be in school each day. Absent students cannot participate in athletic practices or games the day of the event/activity. Dated, original notes from a parent or doctor must be submitted to the homeroom teacher within a one-week period (5 business days) following the absence. 

Only absences that have been verified by the school social worker or designee are considered excused according to state law attendance requirements.

Types of Absences

  • Excused absences are the following: 
  • Personal physical or emotional illness as verified by a state-licensed physician; 
  • Extended hospital stay as verified by a state-licensed physician; Extended recuperation from an accident as verified by a state-licensed physician; 
  • Observation of a recognized holiday of the student's own faith with documentation provided;
  • Visitation with a parent who is a member of the US Armed forces or National Guard and such parent has been called to duty for or is on leave from deployment to combat (these absences should not exceed 5 days per school year);
  • Travel for educational purposes, including college and university visits, with the approval of the School Leader (Verification of the educational experience must be submitted upon return to school.);  
  • Death in the immediate family with documentation (these absences should not exceed 3 days);
  • National catastrophe or disaster. 

Excused absences allow for the student to make up missed assignments and will not be counted against students in determining whether a student meets attendance requirements.

  • Unexcused absences are absences where verifiable documentation is not provided, the note is provided outside of the specified required time, or fail to meet the criteria as excused. These absences count against the student when determining whether the student meets attendance requirements.

Students attending school-sponsored activities/field trips are considered to be present at school.

Attendance Requirements for Promotion 

Students with more than 10 absences per year may be considered for retention. 

Tardiness

Students arriving to school after the morning tardy bell will be considered tardy to school. Students arriving to school after the stated school start time after 30 minutes of the tardy bell must be accompanied by a parent/guardian regardless of reason to be checked in by office personnel. Tardy students will receive appropriate disciplinary action for repeated tardies. 

Early Dismissal and Check-Out

An early dismissal or check-out from a school day is also considered an absence in the classes missed. Early dismissal or check-out from school requires that the legal parent/guardian be present and provide a current form of legal identification at the time of the early dismissal or check out. Parent/legal guardian/designee must be listed on the students emergency card. 

Withdrawal

InspireNOLA kindly requests that parents/guardians inform the school secretary, data manager, and/or counselor at least one week prior to moving of transferring from the school, or as soon as possible. The parent must sign several forms before the withdrawal procedure can be finalized, and all financial and material obligations to the school must be resolved before the withdrawal will be completed. A student who seeks re-admittance to the school must go through the OneApp central enrollment system process. 

Breakfast and Lunch

A breakfast and lunch program is available to all students each day. Breakfast and lunch will be served at no charge to all students, as all InspireNOLA schools have been selected to participate in the USDA Community Eligibility Provision Program (CEP). 

Special meals will be provided at no extra charge to students with dietary restrictions as documented by a doctor. 

The breakfast and lunch programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability. 

Communication

Contact Information

Parents/guardians are responsible for annually providing current and up-to-date contact information for the student. Each summer before a new school year begins, parents/guardians will be sent a form on which to update their contact information, and then return to school.

In the case that phone numbers or address change during the year, the parent/guardian must complete an enrollment card/form to provide current contact information. In addition to phone numbers and address for the parent/guardian, emergency contact information must be provided for at least two other individuals who may be contacted in case of an emergency. All authorized contacts to whom the school is permitted to release the student to during or after the school day must also be indicated. 

Emergency School Closing

Emergencies, including severe weather and other external factors, may occur throughout the school year. In extreme cases, InspireNOLA may deem it necessary for school facilities to close, as to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. In the event that school closure is necessary, InspireNOLA will alert parents via School Messenger, as well as post over local radio and/or television stations, the InspireNOLA website (www.inspirenolacharterschools.org) and on all InspireNOLA social media channels. 

If students are on campus and an emergency school closure is deemed necessary, parents will be notified via SchoolMessenger. InspireNOLA will also post immediate closure announcements on the InspireNOLA website and social media channels. 

Communication Devices

Cell Phone Policy

Students may use the designated office telephone with permission. Cellular phone usage is not permitted during the school day, unless permitted by the school principal (i.e. innovation Wednesday), including during the lunch period. Student cell phones that are seen and/or heard will be confiscated and securely held in the office of the Dean of Students. Confiscated devices must be retrieved by parent/legal guardian. Discipline polices regarding communication devices will be enforced. 

If a student chooses to bring their electronic device to school, the electronic device must be stored in a secure location. Students shall be personally and solely responsible for the security of their electronic devices. InspireNOLA shall not assume any responsibility for theft, loss, or damage of an electronic device or unauthorized usage of any kind on the electronic device. 

Should it be determined that a student’s cell phone contains material subject to criminal laws, school personnel shall confiscate the phone and notify law enforcement.

Communication Devices During Testing

The possession of electronic devices is strictly prohibited during testing situations or other forms of student assessment. School personnel may collect such devices before students are administered an assessment. (The electronic device will be returned to the student after the assessment has concluded.) If a student is found in possession of an electronic device during an assessment, the assessment will cease, the device will be confiscated, and the student’s assessment may be invalidated. Additional disciplinary action may be taken by the school administration. 

Other Electronic Telecommunication Devices 

Electronic telecommunication devices are not limited solely to cell phones; any device that has the capacity to electronically transmit or exchange data, including cellular watches. All electronic devices that have telecommunication ability are subject to the policies and consequences in place for cell phones (i.e. Apple Watches, tablets, etc.). 

Damage to School Property 

It is the policy of InspireNOLA Charter Schools that a student found guilty or responsible for damage or loss to any property belonging to InspireNOLA Charter Schools, a school, or a school employee shall be held accountable for making restitution for said damage. Any student who is suspended for such act shall not be re-admitted until arrangements for payment in full have been made for said damage. 

Emergency Situations

Emergency Contacts

It is the policy of InspireNOLA Charter Schools that upon registration and every year thereafter, the parent/guardian will submit emergency contacts for each student who attends an InspireNOLA school. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to notify the school if emergency contacts changes occur during the school year. 

Evacuation of Building 

Procedures for quick and orderly evacuation of school buildings have been established ad are posted in classrooms and other rooms. 

Alternate off campus re-unification locations may be used. Notification to students’ parents/guardians will be completed bed phone, text, and/or email to the parent/guardian and/or emergency contact information provided during registration and/or annual information updates. 

Students are to familiarize themselves with procedures for evacuation and other emergency situations, and to obey instructions of teachers and staff in all situations. Because the orderly and rapid evacuation of building in an emergency is a serious and urgent matter, student misbehavior will be not tolerated and may result in disciplinary action. 

Grievances

InspireNOLA encourages students and parents/guardians to discuss their concerns and complaints through an informal conference with the appropriate teacher, staff member, assistant principal, or other school personnel. Concerns should be expressed as soon as possible to allow early resolution with the parties involved. 

In the case that the student or parent/guardian is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal conference, the student or parent may initiate the formal process. At this time, they may submit a formal grievance in writing to the Principal. The formal written grievance must be submitted to the School Leader within ten (10) days of the incident or matter. The School Leader will then look into the grievance and claims, determine the appropriate action, notify the person submitting the grievance in writing. 

In the case that the student or parent/guardian is not satisfied with the outcome of the formal grievance result as resolved by the Principal, they may submit a formal appeal in writing. The formal written appeal must be submitted to the InspireNOLA Central Office within three (3) days of receiving notification of the resolution from the Principal. A member of the InspireNOLA Central Office team will determine the appropriate action and notify the person submitting the appeal in writing. 

In the case that the student or parent/guardian is not satisfied with the outcome of the formal grievance result as resolved by the InspireNOLA Central Office, they may submit a second formal appeal in writing to the Chief Executive Officer. The second formal written appeal must be submitted to the CEO within three (3) days of receiving notification of the resolution from the InspireNOLA Central Office. The CEO will determine the appropriate action and notify the person submitting the appeal in writing. 

The determination of the Chief Executive Officer is final. 

If InspireNOLA or its associated schools – through its Title I Programming – is not providing services in accordance with state and federal regulations, a parent may file a complaint in accordance with the Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, which is available online at: http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/osr/lac/28v115/28v115.doc.  Parents may also request a copy of this bulletin by calling the department’s toll free number at 1-877-453-2721.

Immunization Records 

As per Louisiana Law R.S. 17:170, each person entering any school (including elementary and secondary schools) within the state for the first time the time of registration or entry shall present satisfactory evidence of immunity to or immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases according to a schedule approved by the office of public health, Department of Health and Hospitals, or shall present evidence of an immunization program in progress.
  
The schedule shall include but not be limited to measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, and hemophilus influenzae Type B invasive infections. The schedule may provide specific requirements based on age, grade in school, or type of school.  At its own discretion and with the approval of the office of public health, InspireNOLA may require immunizations or proof of immunity more extensive than required by the schedule approved by the office of public health.
 
A student transferring from another school system in or out of the state shall submit either a certificate of immunization or a letter from his personal physician or a public health clinic indicating immunizations against the diseases in the schedule approved by the office of public health having been performed, or a statement that such immunizations are in progress.
 
If booster immunizations for the diseases enumerated in the schedule approved by the office of public health are advised by that office, such booster immunizations shall be administered before the student may enter an InspireNOLA school.

In the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease at an InspireNOLA school, the School Principal or InspireNOLA CEO (or his/her designee) are empowered, upon the recommendation of the office of public health, to exclude from attendance unimmunized students until the appropriate disease incubation period has expired or the unimmunized person presents evidence of immunization.

Medication Policy 

A student who is taking prescribed medication during the school day must have authorized medication administration information on file in the office and with the school nurse.  The form outlines the process for dispensing medication that parents and student’s physician must complete, sign, and return to the school before any prescribed medication may be administered to a student while on school campus.

Students should never be in possession of medication of any kind.  Asthma medication may be carried by the student with written documentation from the physician and on file with the school nurse.  School nurses or trained school employees are allowed to administer auto-injectable epinephrine to a student who the school nurse or trained school employee, in good faith, believes is having an anaphylactic reaction whether or not such student has a prescription for epinephrine.  Breathe sprays/sheets, scented lotions, and colognes pose a health threat and are not permitted at school.  

Non-Discrimination Policy 

All InspireNOLA schools admit students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. InspireNOLA schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, or ethnic origin in its educational policies, admission policies, and athletic and other school-administered/sanctioned programs.

Parents Right to Know Information

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed by the U.S. Congress late last year and signed into law on December 10, 2015. The ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and is the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). 

Under the ESSA, all schools receiving Title I funds must inform parents of their right to ask schools about the professional qualifications of their child’s teachers and paraprofessionals.  All InspireNOLA schools receive Title I funding and we are happy to share this information with you upon your request. Specifically, you may request the following:

  1. Whether the teacher has met Louisiana teacher certification requirements for the grade level and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction.
  2. Whether the teacher is teaching under an emergency or other provisional status through which Washington qualifications or certification criteria have been waived.
  3. The college major and any graduate certification or degree held by the teacher.
  4. Whether the student is provided services by paraprofessionals, and if so, their qualifications

We at InspireNOLA are extremely proud of the quality of the teaching staff at all of our schools. All of our core content teachers have college degrees and many have advanced degrees. In addition, every teacher continues learning through professional development activities and our teachers are evaluated each year to ensure their teaching skills remain at the highest possible level.

If you would like to receive this information, please contact the InspireNOLA Human Resources Department at (504) 227-3057 or hr@inspirenolaschools.org

Protection of Employees

Any individual, including any parent/guardian of a student attending an InspireNOLA school, who physically assaults or threats harm to any teacher, staff member, or employee of InspireNOLA will not be allowed to enter the campus of any InspireNOLA school without prior approval from the School Principal or InspireNOLA CEO. 

Searches

It is the policy of InspireNOLA Charter Schools to reserve the right to inspect all school property at any time for weapons, drugs, alcohol, stolen goods, or other materials or objects, the possession of which is in a violation of the Louisiana state, Orleans parish, or InspireNOLA policy when articulable facts lead to reasonable belief that the items sought will be found.  InspireNOLA property shall include, but is not limited to, building, desks, lockers, area, computer, and grounds. 

InspireNOLA shall authorized searches of student and non-students and of any bags, purses, containers, etc., that they bring on to InspireNOLA property or to school-sponsored activities if suspected of any objects that could potentially cause harm and danger to others or themselves. These searches may include the use of hand-held or stationary metal detectors. 

Student Fees

InspireNOLA schools do not have any required student fees. InspireNOLA schools do not charge fees as a condition of or requirement before enrolling in the school, as all students who are placed as per the EnrollNOLA/OneApp process are admitted to the school. InspireNOLA schools do charge fees for specific items, events, or activities that are applicable to the student enrolled. 

Student Privacy 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Directory Information 
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal privacy law that gives parents certain protections with regard to their children’s education records, such as report cards, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact and family information, and class schedules. According to FERPA, parents and eligible students have the right to:

  • Inspect and review the student’s education records;
  • Seek amendment of the student’s education records that are believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights;
  • Consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information, except to the extent that FERPA and the school board authorize disclosure without consent (see below for further information);
  • File with the United States Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by the InspireNOLA Charter Schools Board to comply with FERPA. 

Disclosure without Consent 

Under FERPA, InspireNOLA may disclose information from a student’s education records without the written consent of the parent or eligible student, when the disclosure meets any of the conditions set forth by FERPA, and in accordance with State law. This includes, but are not limited to:

  • A school official having access to student records is:
    • A person employed by InspireNOLA in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position, including health and medical staff;
    • A person appointed or elected to the InspireNOLA Board;
    • A person employed or under contract with the Board to perform a special task for the Board.
  • A school official has a legitimate educational interest to access student records if the official is:
    • Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or contract agreement;
    • Performing a task related to a student’s education;
    • Providing a service or benefit related to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid;
    • Maintaining the safety and security of InspireNOLA property or school grounds; and/or
    • Performing other duties of legitimate educational interest as determined by InspireNOLA’s CEO or his designee on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Disclosures to officials of another school, school system, or post-secondary education institution where the student seeks or intends to enroll will be made without any notification to the parent or student. The transfer of student records may include information on the date of any expulsion and the reason(s) for which the student was expelled. 
  • InspireNOLA may disclose education records or information from education records, without the consent of a parent or guardian who is the subject of the records, to the State and local law enforcement officials and other officials within the juvenile system in accordance with the law.

All students are required to have a parent/guardian complete the Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Student Directory Information Opt Out Form during the initial registration process. (The Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA] and Student Directory Information Opt Out Form can also be found in appendix.) 

Transfer of Personally Identifiable Student Information 

Due to the increasing awareness and concern about the commercial and criminal use of student information, the Louisiana Legislature now requires both the state Department of Education and Orleans Parish School Board to provide accurate information of various transfers of student information.  Please visit https://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/library/data-center/protecting-student-privacy for more information.  To determine what constitutes personally identifiable student information, please see La. R.S. 17:3914(B)(1)(a-c).

Procedure for Inspection of Records

To inspect student records, requests must be made in writing to the School Data Manager. If additional assistance is needed, an additional request may be made in writing to InspireNOLA Charter Schools. Requests should be addressed to Custodian of Student Records; InspireNOLA Charter Schools, 2401 Westbend Pkwy, Suite 4040, New Orleans, LA 70114. 

Amendment to Records

If, upon inspection of a student’s records, a parent, legal guardian, or eligible student believes that the education records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, an amendment to the record may be requested by submitting the requested amendment in writing to Chief Executive Officer; InspireNOLA Charter Schools, 2401 Westbend Pkwy, Suite 4040, New Orleans, LA 70114. Any disagreement or amendment will be attempted to be resolved informally, when possible, through the Chief Executive Officer of his designee. Only the Chief Executive Officer of his designee may authorize an amendment to the education records of a student. If an amendment is not granted, the parent/guardian/eligible student may, within 30 days of the mailing of the notification, request a hearing. The hearing request must be made in writing to the CEO and mailed to the InspireNOLA office address located above. If a hearing is granted, the decision made at such hearing by the CEO or his designee will be final. 

Technology

Electronic Communication 

In addition, InspireNOLA provides age and grade appropriate classroom instruction regarding Internet and cell phone safety.  This instruction shall include, but is not limited to: (1) safe and responsible use of social networking websites, chat rooms, electronic mail, bulletin boards, instant messaging, and other means of electronic communication; (2) risk of transmitting private personal information; (3) recognizing, avoiding, and reporting solicitations by sexual predator; (4) recognizing and reporting illegal activities and communications; (5) recognizing and reporting harassment and cyberbullying; (6) recognizing and avoiding unsolicited or deceptive communications; and (7) copyright laws on written materials, photographs, music, and video.  

Electronic Communication Between Students

Communication between students must be appropriate and in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws. If any form of inappropriate communication occurs between students electronically, which includes sharing of information and/or communication via writing, images, signals, sounds, recordings, data, or intelligence of any kind that is transmitted or shared on any device or means, InspireNOLA will take appropriate action. Inappropriate communication between students may include, but is not limited to communication that may be viewed as bullying, derogatory, threatening, harassing, sexual, lewd, discriminatory, or suggestive in nature. In the case that inappropriate or unlawful communication is suspected, InspireNOLA will initiate a full investigation and will involve law enforcement, if/when appropriate. 

Electronic Communication Between Staff and Students/Parents 

Communication between students and parents with InspireNOLA staff must be appropriate and in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws. All communication, whether in writing, orally, or electronically, is expected to be professional, deemed reasonable and acceptable by any outside person, and limited to information that is school-related. Improper or inappropriate communication between InspireNOLA employees and students and parents may include, but is not limited to, communication that may be viewed as derogatory, threatening, harassing, sexual, lewd, discriminatory, or suggestive in nature, regardless of who initiates the communication. 

Any electronic communication between InspireNOLA staff members and students (whether via InspireNOLA-provided or personal hardware or account) are considered InspireNOLA work produce and subject to public records. This includes sharing of information and/or communication via writing, images, signals, sounds, recordings, data, or intelligence of any kind that is transmitted or shared, including in physical or electronic form. As such, if InspireNOLA employees use a personal cell phone or personal email address to communicate with students or parents, the employee implicitly agrees to provide InspireNOLA access to the cell phone or emails if and/or when InspireNOLA requests to do so. 

School-Provided Technology

InspireNOLA recognizes the importance of technology and the educational benefits available through the appropriate use of technology. As such, computer labs, tablets, and laptop computer carts will be used to support and enhance the educational program. An “Acceptable Use Policy” must be on file before a student may access these resources.  (See appendix for the Acceptable Use Policy.)

Translation/Interpretation Services

InspireNOLA Charter Schools has policies and procedures in place to ensure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation in the educational or extracurricular programming of the school. Written translations and oral interpretations are available for InspireNOLA students and their families. 

Please contact the following individuals for translation services:

  • Spanish: Yecenia Lopez, yecenia.lopez@inspirenolaschools.org or 504-373-6274
  • Vietnamese: Thuyvan Vu, thuyvan.vu@inspirenolaschools.org or 504-372-2646

Transportation

All InspireNOLA schools provide free transportation to and from school to any student living in Orleans Parish more than one mile from their school. Provided transportation mainly consists of yellow school buses.

All students who ride InspireNOLA-provided bus transportation must adhere to the following rules: 

  1. Stay seated when the bus is moving.
  2. Keep your hands, feet, elbows, knees, books, pencils, and other objects to yourself.
  3. Keep your voice low.  If your voice can be recognized, you are too loud.
  4. Nothing goes outside the windows, including arms, hands, feet, head, or any other body part.
  5. No teasing or name-calling.
  6. No fighting or horseplay.
  7. No eating or drinking on the bus.Follow the bus driver’s directions.
  8. The following are not allowed on the bus:  tobacco, matches, cigarette lighters, obscene language, obscene gestures, alcohol, drugs, pets, insects, or other animals, glass objects, weapons.
  9. Student may only ride assigned bus. If route change is needed, the parent/guardian must contact their school’s operations manager to request a bus route or pickup/dropoff stop change. (Please note that changes are not immediate and will take time to process.)

Students who do not follow transportation rules will be issued consequence(s) that are appropriate to the severity of the offense. Consequences may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Verbal warning from the driver
  • Driver referral to school administration, who will then conduct a parent phone call
  • Driver referral to school administration, who will then conduct a parent conference
  • Loss of bus privilege (duration is dependent upon the severity and frequency of the inappropriate behavior)
  • Afterschool detention and/or Saturday School
  • In- and/or out-of-school suspension
  • Expulsion

A legal parent/guardian/designee must be at the bus stop with students under 2nd grade.  Complaints regarding transportation or the bus driver should be communicated to the InspireNOLA Central Office; complaints will then be directed to the appropriate personnel and entity. 

No one is allowed access to board the school bus, an unauthorized boarder is anyone other than a student, First Student employee or school/ district administration. Parents are never allowed to board a bus for any reason.

Truancy 

As per Louisiana law R.S. 17:233, any student who is a juvenile and who is habitually absent from school or is habitually tardy is considered truant. 

A student shall be considered habitually absent or habitually tardy when either condition continues to exist after all reasonable efforts by any school personnel, truancy officer, or other law enforcement personnel have failed to correct the condition after the fifth unexcused absence or fifth unexcused occurrence of being tardy within any school semester.

The School Principal (or his/her designee) shall notify the parent/guardian in writing on or before a student's third unexcused absence or unexcused occurrence of being tardy, and shall hold a conference with such student's parent or legal guardian. This notification shall include information relative to the parent/guardian's legal responsibility to enforce the student's attendance at school and the civil penalties that may be incurred if the student is determined to be habitually absent or habitually tardy. The student's parent or legal guardian shall sign a receipt for such notification.

The term "tardy" shall include but not be limited to leaving or checking out of school unexcused prior to the regularly scheduled dismissal time at the end of the school day, but shall not include reporting late to class when transferring from one class to another during the school day.

The School Principal/designee will make a Family In Need of Services referral to Juvenile Court when the school has established that the student is truant. 

Uniform Policy

The specific school uniform policy for each InspireNOLA school is available on the school website and from the school office. 

  • Shirts: All students are required to wear the school uniform shirt, embroidered with the official school logo. Shirt tails are to be tucked in and may not be worn outside of the pants.
  • Bottoms: Pants are to be dress, non-denim, uniform type slacks. Pants are to be the appropriate size for the students, must fit properly at the waist, and may be neither too tight nor too baggy. Bell-bottom, cargo, corduroy, patch-pocketed or jean type pants are not allowed as part of the uniform. Pants are to be hemmed (shoe-top length) and have no frayed edges or cut bottoms. 
  • Undershirt: Only plain white undershirts may be worn underneath uniform shirts 
  • Belts: Traditional solid black uniform belt
  • Socks: Solid white crew socks
  • Shoes: All black, closed-toe tennis shoes. Black and white saddle oxfords may be worn by female high school students. 
  • Outerwear: In cold weather, students may wear the school sweatshirt or jacket over their uniform shirt. No other outerwear may be worn when inside the building.
  • Accessories: Hats, caps, hoods, bandanas, handkerchiefs, visors, hair curlers, gloves, headdress, and sunglasses (unless prescribed by a physician) may NOT be worn in the building or in class during the regular school day. Excessive jewelry or jewelry including hoop and dangling earrings may not be worn. Stud type earrings are allowed. 
  • Bookbags: Students are only allowed to bring and/or carry mesh or clear book bags with them to and at school. Mesh book bags are available for purchase from the school front office. 
  • Student IDs: To ensure student safety and campus security, students will wear IDs daily while on the campus. Failure to wear ID will result in a detention.  The cost of a replacement ID will be $10.00.
  • The School Principal, in cooperation with the sponsor, coach, or other person in charge of an extracurricular activity, may regulate the dress and grooming of students who participate in the activity.  Students, who violate dress and grooming standards established for such an activity, may be removed or excluded from the activity for a period determined by the School Principal or sponsor.

The School Principal has the authority to allow all or part of the student body to vary from dress code and establish a particular mode of attire for special occasion days or for a particular school-sponsored or school-related activities (i.e. Spirit Fridays).

Visitor Policy

For the safety and security of the educational environment at InspireNOLA, all visitors must first stop at the security desk and/or front office before proceeding to any other area of the building. All visitors must sign in the visitor log when they arrive, and must sign out when they leave. In addition, visitors are required to wear a visitor’s badge at all times while in the building. 

Visitors are allowed on campus at the discretion of the school leader and InspireNOLA reserves the legal right to limit or prohibit individuals on campus who harass, threaten, harm, or disrupt the safety and peace of the education environment. 

Volunteers and Chaperones

Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year all volunteers and chaperones must be cleared through the InspireNOLA Human Resources (HR) office. Volunteers and Chaperones are no longer categorized as Level I and Level 2 and all must be cleared through a background check with the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. InspireNOLA is also no longer using the BeenVerified system. InspireNOLA covers the full cost of the background check and no money should be collected from the volunteer or chaperone. 

Anyone that is not a full-time InspireNOLA employee that will have any interaction with students has the opportunity to potentially be alone with students must have a background check. This includes but is not limited to: field trip chaperones; part-time athletics coaches or trainers; assistant band directors or support; extracurricular or club ongoing volunteer; tutors; and community members who routinely volunteer in our schools. 

To obtain a background check, the individual should contact the school secretary during the month prior to the expected event or when the interaction with students will begin. The school secretary will provide the individual with all forms; the individual should complete all forms and submit to the school secretary. The school secretary will then submit the completed forms to the InspireNOLA Human Resources office. A member of the HR team will contact the school to alert them when the chaperone/volunteer should report to the Sheriff’s Office to complete their background check; the school secretary will then inform the individual. Human Resources will also inform the school when the background check results have been received by the HR office.

Individuals should be aware at times it can takes up to 2 weeks for background check results to be received. Therefore, the individual should submit the background check application the month prior to the volunteer or chaperones expected event. For example, if the individual is interested in chaperoning a November 1st event, the fully completed background check paperwork and forms must be submitted to HR no later than October 1st. However, please do not submit a background application more than 60 days prior to the event. 

This is an annual process. If the individual completed an OPSO background check for the 2019-2020 school year, they must once again be re-screened for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Academics & Athletics

Advanced Placement 

High school students may take Advanced Placement (AP) courses that are offered by the school. Upon completion of the AP course, students take an AP exam in May that is administered through the College Board. Depending on the score earned by the student and the specific requirements of the college or university, the student may earn college credit or advanced placement. Please check with the high school counselor to determine which AP courses are offered at each school. 

Athletic Event Conduct 

InspireNOLA is proud to offer a variety of athletic events that students may participate in and that students, families, and community members may attend. The following expectations regarding the conduct of participants and spectators at athletic events are to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all parties. 

The following are prohibited from any and all individuals who attend InspireNOLA athletic events:

  • Fighting
  • Damage to public or private property
  • Throwing of objects
  • Using or displaying obscenities
  • Harassment of participants, game officials, or spectators
  • Entering restricted areas without authorization
  • Consuming or possessing any alcoholic beverages 
  • Using or possessing unlawful drugs or any weapons that may be injurious to self or others 

English as a Second Language 

Students whose primary language is not English will receive support services from an ESL teacher.  The ESL teacher will service the students on a regular basis and work on current class work, and will work together with the regular education teacher to provide support for the student.  

All InspireNOLA schools offer language assistance services in person and over the phone.  If in need of additional translation services, please contact the school leader. Additionally, important documents and parent communications will be translated before being mailed home or sent home with students. All students are required to have an up-to-date Home Language Survey completed during the initial registration process. (The Home Language Survey can be found in appendix.)

Extra-curricular Participation and Eligibility

InspireNOLA recognizes that in order to develop well-rounded individuals, our students must have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities. 

Service clubs provide leadership opportunities for our students while instilling in them the desire and the need for helping others. Academic clubs seek to extend the classroom curriculum in areas of interest to the students. Performing groups encourage our students to explore and develop their creative talents. InspireNOLA also offers a full range of athletic opportunities for our students.
 
All students are encouraged to participate in at least one activity. However, each student’s primary responsibility is to perform to the best of his/her ability academically. Participation in extra-curricular activities begin in the classroom. Absent students may not participate on days they are absent from school activities or events occurring during their suspension period. Students suspended or excluded from school due to behavioral concerns cannot participate in extracurricular activities. Participation in athletics, clubs, and other organizations is a privilege, and not a right. 

A designated staff member monitors all students involved in extracurricular activities weekly for their current grades. Any students in these groups who have a D or F will have an action plan that must be completed before they can be cleared for full participation.

  • Students who have a D in a class will be required to attend 45 minutes of tutoring or study hall prior to attending practice. They may still participate in practice and games/events, as long as they complete the required amount of tutoring.
  • Any student with an F on their current grades will NOT be allowed to participate in any practice or game/event until that F has been raised and removed from their grades. These students must still attend tutoring.
  • The staff member who is monitoring the grades will communicate with affected students and sponsors the academics status of students who are not meeting grade requirements.

Field Trips

Field trips are taken to enrich the curriculum.  Classes periodically visit educational destinations.  Permission slips are sent home prior to each trip indicating date, amount, and special information.  All due dates and timelines will be strictly enforced.  Students not adhering to the timelines – or the student code of conduct – will require a legal parent or guardian to accompany the student.

Gifted and Talented 

Admission into Gifted and/or Talented classes is limited to those students who have been evaluated and meet the requirements for gifted as defined by the State of Louisiana.  For more information, please visit https://www.louisianabelieves.com/academics/gifted-and-talented-students. 

Grading Policy

Grading Scale

InspireNOLA Charter Schools shall use the following uniform grading system for students enrolled in all grades 1‐12 for which letter grades are used. This grading scale shall also apply for advanced course work, International Baccalaureate, Dual Enrollment, Gifted and Talented, and/or Honors. Kindergarten will receive a standards-based report card graded using the scale below.

1-12 Grading Scale
Grade
Percentage  Quality Points 
 A 100-93 4.0
 B  92-85 3.0 
 84-75  2.0
D  74-67  1.0
F  0-66  0.0

 

Kindergarten Grading Scale

4 scholar exceeds expectation
3 scholar meets expectation
2 scholar is progressing towards expectation
1 scholar has not yet met expectation

GPA Scale (9-12)
Grade Regular Courses  Honors, Gifted, & AP Courses
 A  4.0  5.0
 B 3.0  4.0
 C  2.0  3.0
 D  1.0  2.0
 F  0.0  0.0

 

Citizenship Grading Scale

O Outstanding
S Satisfactory
N
Needs Improvement
U
Unsatisfactory

Coursework Grading Grades 1 – 8

Teachers should share a syllabus that outlines the work of the course and the grading requirements with each pupil and parent during the first week of classes each year or semester with appropriate follow-up reminders. The syllabus should give parents and pupils a clear definition of what the pupil must accomplish and show how the grade will be earned over the duration of the course.  

Individual students’ grades and averages are expressed as alphabetical grades. Numerical grades are converted to alphabetical grades for placement on the official documents: Roll Book and PowerSchool (which will print onto report cards).  Please see grading scale for conversion of percentage to letter.

The following grading category weights are to be followed: 

Andrew H. Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, McDonogh 42, & Pierre A. Capdau Charter Schools:

  • 30% Daily Assignments (Do Now, Performance Tasks, Exit Tickets)
  • 40% Weekly Quizzes/Weekly Tests/Major Projects (teacher-made assessments) 
  • 20% Quarterly Exams (interim/teacher-made quarterly exam)
  • 10% Daily Homework and Class Participation

Alice M. Harte Charter School:

  • 55% Summative Assessments (Tests, Projects, teacher made assessments)
  • 20% Classwork (Do Now, Performance Tasks, Exit Tickets, Quizzes)
  • 10% Quarterly Exams (interim/teacher-made quarterly exam)
  • 15% Daily Homework

After a student returns to school from an absence, he/she has the same number of days as the absence to make-up missed work for full credit. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain any make-up work from his/her teacher.  Extra credit will be offered at the teacher’s discretion.

Coursework Grading Scale for Grades 9 – 12

Teachers should share a syllabus that outlines the work of the course and the grading requirements with each pupil and parent during the first week of classes each year or semester with appropriate follow-up reminders. The syllabus should give parents and pupils a clear definition of what the pupil must accomplish and show how the grade will be earned over the duration of the course.  

Individual students’ grades and averages are expressed as alphabetical grades. Numerical grades are converted to alphabetical grades for placement on the official documents: Roll Book and PowerSchool (which will print onto report cards).  Please see grading scale for conversion of percentage to letter.

The following grading category weights are to be followed:

  • 40% Major Assignments – minimum of four grades plus midterm 
    (tests, lab reports, projects, papers, performances, midterm –weighted as two tests) 
  • 40% Minor Assignments – minimum of 25 grades
    (homework, classwork, do now, exit ticket, quizzes, mini-projects, lab components, short writing assignments)
  • 20% Final Exam
    (includes EOC as the final exam in applicable courses)

The following grading category weights are to be followed for students with disabilities identified under IDEA who meet the participation criteria found in Bulletin 1530Louisiana’s IEP Handbook for Students with Exceptionalities, §405.B and R.S. 17:183.2:

  • 45% Major Assignments – minimum of four grades plus midterm 
    (tests, lab reports, projects, papers, performances, midterm –weighted as two tests) 
  • 50% Minor Assignments – minimum of 25 grades
    (homework, classwork, do now, exit ticket, quizzes, mini-projects, lab components, short writing assignments)
  • 5% Final Exam
    (includes EOC as the final exam in applicable courses)

After a student returns to school from an absence, he/she has the same number of days as the absence to make-up missed work for full credit. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain any make-up work from his/her teacher.  Extra credit will be offered at the teacher’s discretion.

Graduation/Senior Information 

Graduation Participation 

Graduation is a joyous occasion that celebrates the accomplishments of students who have fulfilled all requirements. In order to participate in a school’s graduation ceremony, students must meet all graduation requirements set forth by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which includes, but is not limited to, passing all required courses and meeting all End-of-Course/LEAP 2025 requirements. Details on Louisiana graduation requirements may found at https://www.louisianabelieves.com/courses/graduation-requirements

TOPS

In order for a student to qualify for college benefits through the Louisiana Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), specific requirements as set by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) must be met. Parent and guardians should consult the TOPS website (https://www.osfa.la.gov/tops) for requirements, specific information, and potential changes to the program. 

Homebound Services 

Homebound instruction shall be provided by a properly certified teacher on the eleventh school day following an absence of more than 10 consecutive school days for a qualifying illness.

Homebound instruction, at a minimum, shall be provided in the core academic subjects:

  • English;
  • mathematics;
  • science; and
  • social studies.

A minimum of four hours of homebound instruction shall be provided per week, unless the student's health as determined by a physician requires less. Consideration shall be given to the individual need for services beyond the core academic subjects for students with disabilities.

Homebound services may be provided via a consultative model (properly certified regular or special education teacher when appropriate, consults with the homebound teacher delivering instruction) for students needing such services less than 20 days during a school year.

The proper form for homebound services may be obtained from the school nurse. 

Homeless/Transitional Students

Each school receiving homeless/transitional student(s) will enroll the student(s) immediately after receiving proper documentation from OneApp. The school will direct the family to the onsite  McKinney – Vento Program Liaison who will assist with additional services and procedures. 

Placement and Promotion 

InspireNOLA policy regarding placement and promotion of students can be found in the InspireNOLA Pupil Progression Plan, which may be viewed at www.inspirenolacharterschools.org. 

Plagiarism 

Plagiarism is the act of taking the words of another person and using them as one’s own. This includes copying words or ideas from a book, magazine or other print source, downloading material from the Internet and copying work from another student. In the last case, both the student who does the copying and the student who allows the copying are equally guilty. If plagiarism occurs, disciplinary action that is commensurate to the action, severity, and intent will be issued. 

Pupil Progression Plan

InspireNOLA Charter Schools’ Pupil Progression Plan (PPP) contains a full description of the academic and promotional policies for all InspireNOLA schools. This handbook contains many, but not all, of the policies contained in the PPP. If you would like to view the InspireNOLA PPP, it is available online at www.inspirenolacharterschools.org. 

Special Education 

All students identified by an Individual Education Plan (IEP) receive special education services that are appropriate to their evaluation and IEP. 

For more information regarding Parent/Student Rights in Identification, Evaluation, and Placement according to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 & Title II of the American Disabilities Act of 1990, please refer to “Your Child’s Rights: 6 Principles of IDEA” in the appendix.

Discipline 

Behavior Infractions and Offenses
Tier I Offenses

Tier I offenses may result in the expulsion of the student committing the offense. Tier I offenses include, but are not limited to: 

  • Distribution of drugs
  • Possession of drugs
  • Weapons
  • Dangerous substances and implements
  • Assault with a dangerous substance or implement
  • Battery and aggravated assault
  • Illegal sexual activity with another
  • Sexual activity on school premises 
  • Robbery
  • Unlawful entry
Tier II Offenses

Tier II offenses may result in the suspension of the student committing the offense. Tier II offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Acts that threaten the safety of others
  • Bullying and intimidation
  • Sharing sexually explicit material 
  • Theft
  • Drug use
Tier III Offenses 

Tier III offenses may results in a detention or other school-issued consequence, including but not limited to: parent conference, Saturday detention, in-school intervention, and referral to RTI. 

Consequences

Detention
Suspension

Suspension is defined as the loss of privileges to any and all school activities for the duration of the suspension period.

Suspensions shall be preceded by an informal conference conducted by the Dean of Students or his/her designee between the student, and, when practical, the teacher, supervisor or school employee who referred the student. At the conference, the student shall be informed of the reason for the disciplinary action and the evidence against him/her; he/she shall be given the opportunity to present his/her version and evidence in support of his/her defense.

At the time of the suspension, the Dean of Students or his/her designee shall contact the parent/guardian by telephone or in person. The parent/ guardian shall then be officially notified of the reason(s) for suspension, the length of suspension, and the date and time when the student may return to school via the school’s Suspension Form, which goes home with the student.

Parents have a right to file an appeal to a suspension, within five (5) days, in writing, with the School Leader. The School Leader or his/her designee will determine whether to uphold, reverse, or modify the decision to suspend the student. Decisions of the School Leader may be appealed in writing to InspireNOLA Charter Schools within five (5) days.

Expulsion 

InspireNOLA leaders cannot expel a student; leaders can recommend a student for expulsion. If a school leader recommends a student for expulsion, the student will be suspended pending a hearing for a recommendation for expulsion. The student will then have the expulsion hearing, during which the Student Hearing Office will determine if the recommendation will be upheld, reversed, or modified. 

Expulsion is defined as the complete denial of all school services until the end of the school year.

  • The student is entitled to a hearing to determine whether the student should be expelled. The Student Hearing Office of the Orleans Parish School Board shall hold the hearing within ten (10) school days after the principal or his/her designee determines that an act for which the consequences may be expulsion has occurred.
  • The student or parent/guardian is entitled to file an appeal of the expulsion. The Student Hearing Office will hear the appeal. The Student Hearing Office will determine whether to uphold, reverse, or modify the decision to expel the student.
    More information on processes and procedures of and contact information for the Student Hearing Office can be found here: https://opsb.us/departments/student-hearing-office/.

Discipline Procedures for Students with Disabilities

Discipline 

If a school has documented reasons to believe that keeping a student in his/her current school is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or to others, the school should request an emergency hearing to ask a hearing officer to transfer the student to an IAES for up to 45 school days. The student remains in the IAES pending the decision of the hearing officer or until the expiration of the 45 day or code violation time period (If less than 45 school days), whichever occurs first, unless the parent and school personnel agree otherwise.

The School’s Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) Committee must determine whether the behavior is related or not related to the student’s disability. At least one person on the committee must know the student and one other must be knowledgeable of the student’s disability. The parents/guardians must be notified of the review and at least three documented attempts to reach the parents/guardians must have been made by the school to include them in the meeting. If the parents/guardians do not respond or participate, documentation of their absence must be included. The MDR Committee reviews all relevant information in the student’s file, including the IEP in making the determination. 

Reporting Illegal Activities

Nothing in this handbook prohibits school personnel from reporting a crime committed by a student with a disability to appropriate authorities or prevents State law enforcement and judicial authorities from exercising their responsibilities with regard to the application of Federal and State law to crimes committed by a student with a disability.

School personnel reporting a crime committed by a student with a disability must ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of the student are transmitted for consideration by the appropriate authorities to whom the agency reports the crime. Records must be transmitted only to the extent that the transmission is permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. 

Seclusion and Restraint Procedures 

Notification Requirements

Families must be notified within 24 hours if physical restraint/holding skills or seclusion is used on their child.  Date, time, method and person contacting the guardian must also be documented (form for documentation included in Appendix).  Copies of documentation should be signed by the person completing form and the School Leader.  Copies of documentation must be sent within 24 hours of action to the parent/guardian, Chairperson, Network Personnel (and if the student has an exceptionality), and School Leader.  

Training Requirements

All school administrators and behavior facilitators are required to be trained in the network-approved safety training program. InspireNOLA’s approved safety training program is Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NCI) Program by Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). Social workers, teachers, related service providers, nurses, paraprofessionals, school bus drivers, bus attendants, cafeteria workers, custodians, and other school system personnel will be trained on an as needed basis.

Physical Restraint Guideline

Physical restraint/holding is permitted only under the following conditions:
1. If the student’s behavior presents a threat of imminent risk of harm to self or others. 
2. As a last resort to protect the safety of self and others.
3. In a manner that causes NO PHYSICAL INJURY to the student. 
4. Results in the least possible discomfort to the student.
5. Does not interfere in any way with a student’s breathing or ability to communicate with others.
6. Does not involve the use of any form of mechanical restraint.
7. The student is not physically restrained/held in a manner that places excessive pressure on the student’s chest or back or that causes asphyxia.
8. Applied only in a manner that is directly proportional to the circumstances and to the student’s size, age, and severity of behavior.
9. When school administration and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NCI) Team determine that physical restraint/hold is not effective, the student’s parent/guardians will be notified. School administration will determine the appropriate action (e.g., contact Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Medical Services).
Physical restraint/hold is prohibited:

  1. As a form of discipline or punishment.
  2. As a threat to control, bully, or obtain behavioral compliance.
  3. For the convenience of school personnel.
  4. When unreasonable, unsafe, or unwarranted.
  5. If the student is known to have any medical or psychological condition that precludes such action (as certified by a licensed health care provider in a written statement provided to the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled).
Monitoring & Documentation

Physical restraint/holding require monitoring, documentation, and analysis of data collected:

  1. Continuous monitoring.
  2. Documentation every five (5) minutes (with adjustments made accordingly).
  3. Student is released/removed as soon as the reasons for the action have subsided.
  4. Parent/guardian, Director of Special Education (if student with exceptionality (and Leader notified in writing (Restraint/Holding/Seclusion Report forms in Attachments).
    a. Within 24 hours of EACH incident of seclusion/restraint/holding
    b. Reason for seclusion/restraint/holding
    c. Description of procedures used
    d. Length of time of seclusion/restraint/holding
    e. Names and titles of school employees involved
  5. Person/Employee who used seclusion/restraint/holding shall complete Seclusion/Restraint/Holding Report Form for each incident of restraint/seclusion/and holding.
  6. Documentation of incidents of seclusion and/or holding shall be reviewed at least once every three (3) weeks for students whose challenging behavior continues or escalates.
  7. When student is involved in three (3) incidents in a single school year, convene the IEP team to review and revise the student's behavior intervention plan to include appropriate and necessary behavioral supports.

Seclusion data must be analyzed at least annually. These procedures should be reviewed and revised as necessary during the interim period to ensure appropriateness and effectiveness.

It is recommended that data will be used to track the number of incidents of seclusion by student, staff, and type of incidents; and other factors, such as precipitating events and other observable factors.

Physical restraint documentation

If a student in your school becomes a danger to themselves or others AND is restrained by one or more staff members for any amount of time, you must complete InspireNOLA’s Physical Restraints Form. Follow these steps after an incident involving a physical restraint is resolved:

  1. Notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student who was restrained on the same day that the incident occurred.
  2. Document the incident using the Physical Restraints Documentation Form within 48 hours 
  3. Ask all participants and witnesses to review the documentation form and sign page 2.
  4. Meet as a school leadership team with the participants/ witnesses to the incident and debrief what occurred. Determine as a group if procedures were followed according to CPI training standards and network policy.
  5. Ask members to sign off on the conclusions of the debrief meeting. Participants that disagree may submit a separate statement regarding their conclusions.
  6. A copy of the completed form with original signatures must be kept on file in the school director or principal’s office.
  7. A scanned copy of the completed form must also be sent to the Exceptional Student Support Team within 48 hours.
  8. If a student has an IEP, a copy of the form should be given to the Special Education Reporting System (SERS) Coordinator who will enter it in SER. 

Additional Discipline Information 

Bullying

InspireNOLA Charter Schools believes that all students have a right to a safe and health school environment.   We promote mutual respect, tolerance, and acceptance among students, staff, and volunteers.  Behavior that infringes on the safety of any student will not be tolerated.  A student shall not bully or intimidate any student through words or actions.  Such behaviors include, but are not limited to direct physical contact, verbal assaults, the use of electronic methods, and social isolation and/or manipulation.

  • Any student who engages in bullying will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.  A student may also face disciplinary action that includes: loss of privileges; reassignment of seats in the classroom, schedule, cafeteria, or school bus; detention; in-school suspension; out-of-school suspension; and/or expulsion.
  • Students are expected to immediately report incidents of bullying to the principal or designee.
  • School staff and/or administrators will promptly investigate each complaint of bullying in a thorough and confidential manner.
  • If the complaint student or parent of the student feels that appropriate resolution of the investigation or complaint has not been reached after consulting with the school principal, the student or the parent of the student should contact the local superintendent or his/her designee.
  • InspireNOLA prohibits retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the complaint process.
  • If necessary, counseling and other interventions will also be provided to address the social-emotional, behavioral, and academic needs of students who are victims of bullying and students who commit an offense of bullying.

This policy applies to students on school grounds, while travel on a school bus to and from school, or a school-sponsored activity, and during a school-sponsored activity.

Students, parents/guardians and other school personnel may report incidents of bullying to an administrator, teacher, counselor, or other staff member orally or in writing.

More information regarding bullying and the bullying hotline can be found here: https://opsb.us/report-bullying/

Title IX Policy on Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Misconduct 

Introduction

InspireNOLA community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of sex/gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct, examples of which can include acts of sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. All InspireNOLA community members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. InspireNOLA believes in zero tolerance for sex/gender-based misconduct. Zero tolerance means that when an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, protective and other remedial measures will be used to reasonably ensure that such conduct ends, is not repeated, and the effects on the victim and community are remedied, including serious sanctions when a responding party is found to have violated this policy. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. 

Title IX Investigations Procedures:

InspireNOLA does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities, curricular and extracurricular and, accordingly, all staff, teachers, employees, and students abide by the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and its implementing regulations.  Title IX regulations apply to athletic programs and to safeguard the rights of students in a wide range of educational settings by requiring InpsireNOLA to promptly address such conduct when it occurs on campus or in connection with any educational program or activity within the United States.

Sexual misconduct in its many forms involving students is explicitly prohibited, whether such conduct occurs on or off campus, during or after school hours, during or directly related to school-sponsored activities, or at a time and/or place directly related to school functions or an employee’s school-related duties.  The policy also applies to InspireNOLA staff and employees.

It is the intent of InspireNOLA to maintain an environment free from sexual misconduct including sexual assault, sexual harassment of any kind, relationship violence, non-consensual sexual conduct, dating violence, stalking, and child sexual abuse.  This policy commands that no student shall be subjected to sexual assault or sexual harassment by other students or InspireNOLA staff or employees or third parties such as vendor(s) or visitor(s).

This policy shall be enforced and the accompanying procedures shall be implemented regardless of whether a complaint has been filed with or an investigation has been instituted by any law enforcement agency.

Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) or to InspireNOLA’s Title IX Coordinator: Candice Frazier (contact information: (504) 227-3057 and  candice.frazier@inspirenolaschools.org). InspireNOLA has also identified the following individuals as its Title IX personnel: Dr. Wylene Sorapuru (contact information: (504) 913-1157 and wylene.sorapuru@inspirenolaschools.org) or Emily Hartnett (contact information: (504) 227-3086 or emily.hartnett@inspirenolaschools.org). 

InspireNOLA shall require any complaint or witness of any student (or adult) engaging in sexual harassment reported to any InspireNOLA staff or employee to be immediately reported to the Title IX Coordinator.  The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for having the complaint investigated by the Title IX investigators and may assist in same.  The right to confidentiality, both of the Complainant and Respondent shall be respected.  Dr. Wylene Sorapuru shall serve as the Decision-Maker and review all evidence and materials gathered and presented by the Title IX Coordinator and Investigators.  If the act or acts involve possible criminal conduct, the appropriate police authorities should be notified.  A substantiated charge against a student or employee shall subject that individual to disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion (or termination of school staff/employee), consistent with the provisions of this Handbook.

If the victim of the alleged sexual harassment is a minor student and if the alleged harassment falls within the definition of abuse as found below, then all school employees with knowledge shall be considered mandatory reporters and the allegations must be reported to child protection or law enforcement as provided by state law.  Such reporting must be made in addition to any procedures for handling sexual harassment complaints.

Definition

Under the revised Final Rule of the U.S. Department of Education – Title IX sexual harassment now includes any of three types of misconduct on the basis of sex, all of which jeopardize the equal access to education that Title IX is designed to protect: any instance of Quid Pro Quo harassment by a school's employee; any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person equal educational access; any instance of sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Examples include, but not limited to:

  1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: 
    • Submission to such conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining or retaining employment, of promotion, or of a student's education; or
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication is used as a factor in decisions affecting an individual's employment or promotion or a student's education including any aid, benefits, services or treatment; or
    • Such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or education, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or education environment.
  2. Verbal harassment or abuse; uninvited letters, telephone calls, or materials of a sexual nature; inappropriate and uninvited leaning over, cornering, patting or pinching; uninvited sexually suggestive looks or gestures; intentional brushing against a student's or an employee's body; uninvited pressure for dates; demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning an individual's employment, promotion, or educational status; uninvited sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions; demanding sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment with regard to an individual's employment, promotion or educational status; any sexually motivated unwelcome touching; or attempted or actual rape or sexual assault or battery.

Violations

Students and employees are encouraged and expected to immediately report.

A report or complaint (verbal or written) of an alleged violation of this policy must be sufficiently clear and explicit so that it can be recognized as a legitimate report of sexual misconduct or harassment or retaliation.  This mean that the report or complaint must, at a minimum, include: (1) a description of an alleged act of sexual misconduct or harassment or retaliatory conduct, including the date, time, and place it allegedly occurred; (2) identity of the alleged victim; (3) identity of the alleged harasser; and (4) identity of the reporting person.

Nonretaliation

Retaliation against any employee or student who brings sexual harassment charges or who assists in investigating such charges shall be prohibited.  Any employee or student bringing a sexual harassment complaint or assisting in the investigation of such a complaint will not be adversely affected, discriminated against or punished because of the complaint.

InspireNOLA uses the preponderance of the evidence (also known as “more likely than not”) as a standard for proof of whether a violation occurred. Resolution proceedings, legal terms like “guilt, “innocence” and “burdens of proof” are not applicable, but InspireNOLA never assumes a responding party is in violation of this policy. Resolution proceedings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources.  

Appeal Procedure:  


Each party has a right to appeal the final written decision and findings of the Decision-Maker. Specifically, both parties have the right to appeal from a determination regarding responsibility, and from a InspireNOLA’s dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein, on the following bases: procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter, newly discovered evidence that could affect the outcome of the matter, and/or Title IX personnel had a conflict of interest or bias, that affected the outcome of the matter.  All appeals should be sent in writing to the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of InspireNOLA at jamar.mckneely@inspirenolaschools.org.  All decisions made by the CEO are final.

Section 504, Title II, and Age Act Grievance Procedures

Grievance procedures for formal, written grievances by complainants who are considering bringing a formal grievance may at any time meet with the InspireNOLA Coordinator, who ensures the rights of employees, students, and third parties under Section 504, Title II, and Age Act protections. The designated Coordinator, who will discuss the matter and describe the formal grievance process, can be reached in person or through the submission of a written grievance at:
Candice Frazier – Section 504, Title II, and Age Act Coordinator
Director of Human Resources
2401 Westbend Pkwy, Suite 4040
New Orleans, LA 70114
(504) 227-3057 or Candice.Frazier@inspirenolaschools.org 

Alternatively, if the designated Coordinator is unavailable, or is implicated in the alleged grievance, the complainant can contact the Deputy Coordinator:
Emily Hartnett – Deputy Coordinator
Deputy Chief of Strategy & Advancement
2401 Westbend Pkwy, Suite 4040
New Orleans, LA 70114
(504) 227-3086 or Emily.Hartnett@inspirenolaschools.org 

a. A formal grievance process is initiated when a complainant submits a written statement to the InspireNOLA Coordinator alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, or any retaliation for exercising rights relevant to Section 504, Title II, and/or the Age Act. In the statement, the complainant is encouraged to request any relief sought from InspireNOLA. Prompt submission of formal grievances is encouraged. 

b. The InspireNOLA Coordinator will consider the written grievance, and may dismiss the grievance without further process or review if the InspireNOLA Coordinator determines that the grievance on its face is outside the scope of these grievance procedures. Retaliation against an individual for filing a complaint or cooperating in an investigation is strictly prohibited, and the school will take actions necessary to prevent such retaliation.

c. If the grievance is not dismissed, the InspireNOLA Coordinator will interview the individual who submitted the written statement. Depending on the circumstances, the InspireNOLA Coordinator may also interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the grievance through a thorough and impartial investigation process. The InspireNOLA Coordinator will also make reasonable effort to interview the alleged discriminator(s)/harasser(s), if such persons are identified by the complainant or by other gathered evidence. Additionally, the complainant and any alleged discriminator(s)/harasser(s) identified will be notified that they may present witnesses and evidence to the InspireNOLA Coordinator. The investigation shall be carried on discreetly, maintaining confidentiality insofar as reasonably possible while conducting an effective investigation. 

d. The InspireNOLA Coordinator will determine whether the complainant was subjected to discrimination or harassment under any InspireNOLA program or activity, using a preponderance of the evidence standard. During this process, the InspireNOLA Coordinator will prepare a written report setting forth findings, conclusions, and actions to be taken, if any, with all involved parties. 

e. While the time it may take to investigate and resolve a grievance will depend on a variety of factors, including the nature and scope of the allegations, the InspireNOLA Coordinator will seek to resolve the grievance within 60 working days of receipt of the grievance. Within this timeframe, the investigation of the grievance will be completed by day 45 of the outlined process, and both parties involved will receive a response regarding the outcome of the complaint by day 60 of the outlined process. Throughout the process, the InspireNOLA Coordinator will keep the participants informed of the status of the investigation.

f. Upon resolution of the grievance by the InspireNOLA Coordinator, all parties will be made aware of the outcome through written notification. A complainant or respondent (respondent defined as the individual alleged to have engaged in the discriminatory conduct) who is dissatisfied with the final decision of the Coordinator has the right to appeal the decision. An appeal can be filed within 15 working days after receiving written notice of the investigation’s outcome. If an appeal is filed, both parties will receive the results of the appeal by day 30 from the date that the appeal was filed. Appeals will be handled using the above outlined grievance procedures, and the point of contact to appeal a decision is:
Emily Hartnett – Deputy Coordinator
Deputy Chief of Strategy & Advancement
2401 Westbend Pkwy, Suite 4040
New Orleans, LA 70114
(504) 227-3057 or Emily.Hartnett@inspirenolaschools.org 

g. If any investigation determines that discrimination or harassment occurred, the school will take steps to address the problem and prevent its recurrence. 

Contacting InspireNOLA Charter Schools
Address: 2401 Westbend Pkwy
Suite 4040
New Orleans, LA 70119
Phone: (504) 227-3057
Fax: (504) 227-3099
Website: www.inspirenolaschools.org

 

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