We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Reformed Heritage Christian School. We are looking forward to an exciting year and are eager to personally get acquainted with each student and family, the Lord willing. This handbook was put together to provide a convenient source of information regarding the basic policies and procedures of Reformed Heritage Christian School.
We want the best education possible for your child. A Christian school is an extension of the Christian home in preparing young people for life and eternity. Our purpose is to cultivate your child’s God given strengths and abilities. We thank you for your support and interest in our school. Please remember the needs of our school in your daily prayers. May the Lord bless the combined efforts of church, home, and school to His honor and glory.
Reformed Heritage Christian School Board
The basic admission policy of the Reformed Heritage Christian School Association is outlined in Article XI of the Bylaws:
The Association shall admit students of any sex, race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It shall not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its education policies, admissions policies, and other school‑administered programs.
Enrollment in the Association’s school shall be granted to the children of parents who: 1) subscribe annually in writing to Articles II and III of these Bylaws, and 2) have membership in a church which formally embraces the system of doctrine set forth in the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dordt, the Heidelberg Catechism, or the Westminster Standards.
Enrollment in the Association’s school may be granted to the children of parents who do not subscribe to Articles II and III of these Bylaws but who do regularly attend an evangelical Christian church and annually subscribe to the Statement of Faith.
Statement of Faith
Inasmuch as the school is intended to supplement the training of a Christian home, parents must believe all of the fundamental doctrines of historic Christianity as summarized in the following statement of faith:
- We believe that God used men to write His word; and therefore, it is without error.
- We believe that there is one God who has always existed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We believe that Jesus Christ is both God and man, that He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, arose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and will return in power and great glory.
- We believe that God created the world and humans good, that man fell into sin, and that sin is so serious that only a new birth by the Holy Spirit can save us.
- We believe that both the saved and the lost shall rise again; the saved for heaven, the lost for hell.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in Christ.
Since it is important that there be harmony between the training of home and school, parents should endeavor to provide a Christian home by having family worship, attending public worship, and guiding and restricting children’s conduct and recreations (including such matters as reading, radio and television programs, as well as other recreations) in accordance with the Christian standards laid down in God’s Word. 09/98
Parents who desire to send their children to this school must fill out an application. The Board, or a committee of it, may request an interview with the parents in order to inquire into the matters mentioned above. Parents will be asked to indicate their written agreement with the above requirements annually upon registration of the children for the following school year. Final approval for admission shall be made by the Board.
- Application Forms – An application form may be obtained by calling the school office.
- Interview – Upon receipt of the application form, an interview may be arranged with the parents. A Board member or the administrator will contact you to schedule an interview.
- Testing – If necessary, new students may be tested for placement as to their particular grade level. Applicants will be notified of the testing dates.
- Admission Status – As soon as all admission procedures have been completed, parents will be notified of their status.
Admission of Kindergarten Students
Students whose 5th birthday falls:
1. Before June 1: no pre-admission readiness testing is required.
2. From June 1 through September 1: a pre-admission readiness test is advised.
3. From September 2 through December 1: are discouraged from enrolling. If enrollment is still desired, a pre-admission test is advised, and enrollment requires board approval.
As required by state law, any student attending school for the first time must submit one of the following:
- A statement signed by a physician that they have been tested for and immunized and protected against diseases specified by the Director of Public Health.
- A waiver signed by a parent or guardian to the effect that the child has not been immunized because of religious convictions or other objections to immunizations.
- A request signed by a parent or guardian that the local health department gives the needed protective injections.
The school will record each child’s complete health status in the child’s cumulative record.
Parents must submit a statement, signed by a district, county, or city health department director stating that the child has passed the Department of Public Health Pre-school Vision Screening Test, or signed by a licensed medical physician or a licensed optometrist indicating that the child has had his eyes examined during pre-school years after age three and prior to initial entrance. A vision test is not required if there is a statement signed by a parent or guardian to the effect that the child cannot be submitted to such tests because of religious convictions.
Tuition is to be paid in 10 equal monthly payments, according to the following schedule: 10% of total tuition bill at registration or by August 1; the remainder is due the first of each month beginning in September and ending in May. Advanced payments may be made. Payments received after the 10th of the month will be considered late, and a $5.00 late fee will be assessed. Tuition payments will not be billed each month. Overdue accounts in excess of sixty (60) days will receive special notification from the Board. This school is totally dependent upon tuition and gifts from friends and family for operating expenses; therefore, it is necessary for tuition to be paid promptly. Parents whose account is in arrears will not be permitted to register their children for enrollment for the next school year.
|Students per family||K||1-6||7-8||9-12|
$1,100 per year for Preschool
The school Board will approve a new school calendar in the spring for the next academic school year. A calendar of the school year may be obtained by contacting the school office.
School will begin at 8:05 AM and will be dismissed at 2:55 PM. Students may not arrive before 7:50 AM and must be picked up no later than 3:20 PM. On half days, students will be dismissed at 11:55 AM.
Kindergarten classes are held three full school days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).
Visits from parents and other interested individuals during school hours must be arranged in advance with the administrator. Classroom observers should seat themselves in the back of the classroom and avoid distracting the teacher or students.
Reformed Heritage Christian School is a closed campus. For the welfare of the students and staff, the Board requires that anyone wishing to visit a student or a staff member during school hours gain approval from the administrator 24 hours prior to visiting except in case of emergencies.
Library Book Selection
The faculty, administrator, and parents should have a part in the selection of materials for the library. Suggestions are to be given to the administrator. Criticism of any material in the school library will be submitted to the Board for evaluation. Criticism must be in writing and include the title of the book, the reason for the objection, and signature of the complainant. (See separate Library Policy)
Chapel services are conducted on the first Friday of each month. Classes have devotions each day with Scripture reading and singing. Both the King James Version and New King James Version are acceptable for memorization or classroom use.
Curriculum and Textbooks
The curriculum of the Reformed Heritage Christian School will reflect a Reformed world and life view. The faculty and administrator will recommend to the Board textbooks which are preferred for each subject.
Students are issued textbooks and are responsible for their upkeep. No marks should be made in the books. The destruction of any textbook is inexcusable. All student textbooks are property of RHCS, and therefore will be returned at the end of the school year. Any textbooks lost during the course of the school year will be replaced at the expense of the student.
Education for Employment
Parents of high school students (juniors and seniors only) may enroll their children in Education for Employment (EFE) classes. Parents are required to get approval from the RHCS Education Committee provided that the students will not miss any required classes for graduation. Parents will do the research, enrollment, and provide transportation for their children. EFE students are to return to RHCS immediately after their EFE class is completed for the day. There will be no reduction of tuition for periods missed at RHCS.
Students must enroll in an early morning EFE class only. EFE students are required to come to RHCS the first day of school. If an EFE class is not scheduled for a chapel day, the student is required to come to RHCS that morning. Parents of EFE students are required to bring a copy of their students EFE report card to the office to be placed in the students file. The EFE grade will be added to the student’s transcripts. Any RHCS EFE student who is dismissed from or drops out of the EFE program will be returned to regular RHCS classes at the discretion of the Education Committee.
Students will be provided with many of the basic supplies, but some materials must be brought from home. Supply lists for each class will be sent home at the beginning of each new school year.
Students will be given class time to complete most assignments and are expected to do neat, acceptable work to the best of their ability. The students are responsible for completing and returning work to the teacher on time. It is very important for the parents to be supportive of each child and the school regarding homework.
- The school year is divided into four quarters. Report cards will be sent home at the end of each quarter. Letter grades will be given for all subjects in Grades 1-12. Progress Rating Codes will be used for all subjects in Kindergarten.
- The Iowa Test of Basic Skills will be administered each fall in Grades 1-8. These standardized tests will be given to assess the instructional program, and evaluate the academic growth patterns of individual students.
- Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held at the end of the first and third quarters.
High School Late Assignment – Make-Up Policy and Incompletes
Assignments are considered late when not turned in for the class period at which they are due. Each day that an assignment is late will result in a 10% reduction of the grad. After three days, the assignment will not be accepted and a grade of 0 will be recorded. An exception to this rule is if a teacher assigns a major (three class periods or more) paper or project required for class credit. This paper and/or project must be completed and turned in even if it is more than three days late.
If a student has three late assignments during the semester, the parents will be notified with the 3rd late assignment via a note that will be sent home. This note must be signed by a parent and returned to the teacher the following school day or the parents will be contacted via telephone.
If a student is absent from school, requests for homework should be made early in the day to allow adequate time for the classroom teacher to write our assignments. For work assigned to the day(s) the student missed, he/she will have two school days per day absent to turn in the work. For example, if a student was absent Tuesday, and Wednesday and returned to school on Thursday, the work due on Tuesday must be turned in on Thursday. The work assigned on Tuesday and Wednesday must all be turned in by the following Tuesday. After that, the late assignment will be due at the beginning of the class period on the first day that the student returns to school unless there are extenuating circumstances.
If an incomplete is received on a report card due to an extended illness or extenuating circumstances, the student will be given six weeks after the end of that marking period to complete the work. Work not completed within this six-week period will then be graded as a zero.
Technology and Internet Policy
RHCS provides students computers and Internet access as an important part of the school’s educational program. Students need teacher approval to access the Internet and are to use the provided log sheet with each use. The door to the computer room must be propped open for monitoring purposes. All student browsing is subject to monitoring by the staff.
Student Internet use is for educational purposes only. Students are to use the Internet for research related to class assignments or projects. Students are not to use the Internet for personal information or communication. Students are not permitted to download, access, or participate in any social networking sites, chat rooms, instant messaging, texting, online games, blogs (except for academic information), video or audio files (except for academic information), or any similar site or activity.
Computer and Internet use is expected to be legal, ethical, and appropriate to our Christian environment. Unauthorized student uses of the computer and Internet include but are not limited to accessing someone else’s files; deleting files or software; and buying, selling, trading, or advertising. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the loss of Internet access and/or other disciplinary action.
Using devices, other than those provided by the school, to access the internet is prohibited unless the student has been given permission by a staff member. If a student is caught accessing the internet without permission, the device may be taken way from him/her.
Grading Scale Policy
The following grading scale is for grades 1-12 and has been adopted by the Board:
- A 97-100
- A- 93-96
- B+ 89-92
- B 86-88
- B- 83-85
- C+ 80-82
- C 77-79
- C- 74-76
- D+ 71-73
- D 68-70
- D- 65-67
- F 64 & below
A second-semester senior who achieves a B+ (89%) average or better during his/her second semester may choose to be excused from the final exam in that subject. All exams will count for 20% of the semester grade. Each quarter will be worth 40% of the semester grade.
The following list of high school classes will not have exams: Calligraphy, Choir, Computer Apps, Computer web, Grammar/Composition, Home Ec., Independent Studies, Logic, Novel Study. P.E., and Speech/Creative Writing.
Student Promotion and Retention
The administrator will promote and retain students based on a mutually acceptable recommendation of the classroom teacher. However, in no case should a child be kept in the same grade for more than two years. When children are not progressing satisfactorily, the teacher will inform the parents and the administrator as to the problem.
At the first parent/teacher conference, parents will be alerted to their child’s failing work. At the end of the third quarter, teachers are to submit names of those students who might benefit by retention. The administrator and teacher will at this time set up a special meeting with the parents concerned. If at this meeting all parties cannot agree to a solution, the matter will be brought to the Board for a decision.
At Reformed Heritage Christian School it is very important that students receive a quality Christian education. The purpose of Reformed Christian education is to prepare well rounded servants for the Lord. We want to ensure this for all our students whether they move on to their calling in the work place or as they go on to further their education. Requiring certain classes and credit amounts is one of the ways that we ensure this of happening. The high school is a four year program any deviation from this will have to be approved by the board. Parents would have to submit a written formal request to the board with grounds for the request. The following is a list of required subjects and the credits that students must complete before graduating from the twelfth grade.
High School Class/Credit Requirements
Bible – 4.0 credits
English – 3.0 credits
Fine Arts – (music/art) 1.0 credit (one semester music required)
Mathematics – 3.0 credits
Physical Education – 1.5 credits (one semester health required)
Science – 2.0 credits
Social Studies – 3.0 credits
Computers – 0.5 credit
Minimum Graduation Credits Required: 25
Recommended Credits for Graduation: 27.0-30.0
Respect must be shown to all teachers, aides, and other students. Cruel teasing of other students will not be tolerated. Respectful language must be used at all times. Food and gum will not be allowed except for special occasions. During class hours, students will need permission to leave the classroom. No littering or marking of others’ possessions will be tolerated.
In order to maintain a Christian atmosphere of respect for others and responsibility for one’s behavior, students who violate established rules of conduct will be disciplined. A progressive system of warnings followed by detentions, suspensions, and expulsion will be used.
A student will receive a clear warning for each violation of conduct. Three warnings in the same marking period will result in an automatic detention. Serious violations such as fighting, swearing, vulgar language, cheating, disrespect for authority, willful damage to others’ property, vandalism, or the use or possession of controlled substances will result in an immediate detention or even suspension depending on the severity of the infraction.
Detentions will be held after school hours. Parents will be notified when their child receives a detention. For a student who receives three detentions within one quarter an in-house suspension will result. Suspensions will be decided by the administrator after consulting with Board members informally. Expulsion will be decided by the Board with an opportunity given to the parents to be present during discussion of the matter.
A student’s personal appearance is not only a reflection on his school, but in a Christian school, on Christ Himself. Students should be dressed and groomed in a way that honors God. Standards of cleanliness, neatness, modesty, and appropriate attire apply to all students. This code will apply to all official school functions that take place during the school calendar year.
Parents are responsible for ensuring their child complies with the dress code. Teachers and the Administrator have the authority to interpret and enforce this dress code policy as they see fit, and violations will be addressed with the students privately. If there is a circumstance where the teacher and parents cannot come to an agreement, the Administrator has the final word.
Students may wear the following:
- Individuals, groups, images, or wording that does not conflict with biblical principles
- Shorts during the months of April – October (shorts must fit appropriately, be hemmed, in good repair, and approximately within two inches of the knee). Allowed year-around during gym class.
Students must wear the following:
- Appropriately worn and sized clothing which completely cover shoulders, abdomen, back, personal areas, and undergarments at all times when sitting or standing
- Shoes with socks. High school girls may wear dress sandals without socks or hosiery; flip flops are not allowed.
Students may not wear the following:
- “Gothic,” occult, negative, violent themes and images, or secular bands
- Lettering on the back of pants
- Pajama tops or bottoms
- Tight, form fitting articles of clothing such as bike shorts or yoga pants
- Any article of clothes that have holes that are not permanently repaired
- Oversized / baggy / sagging articles of clothes
- Sports uniforms / jerseys
- Hats or caps in the classroom (permitted outside)
- Athletic attire of any kind outside of PE clothes during gym class
- Sweat pants (allowed for third grade and below)
- Clothing which promotes elementary/high schools other than RHCS
Boys shall be clean-shaven with their hair cleaned, combed, and trimmed above the eyebrows and collar. Earrings and jewelry with the exception of class rings are not permitted.
Girls shall keep their hair clean and presentable with bangs not hanging over their eyes. Make-up, nail polish, and jewelry should be modest.
On outings where swimwear is necessary, swimwear is to be of a modest cut. Girls shall wear a one-piece or tankini. Boys shall wear trunks.
Students will wear church-type clothes to all programs, Grandparent’s Day, and graduation. This will not include jeans. Choir concert participants will dress as instructed by the choir director. In the case of a special event, students will dress as instructed by the administrator or staff. Graduating boys will wear ties and girls will wear either a dress or skirt.
Unnecessarily rough play and unkind actions toward others will not be permitted. Students will be supervised at all times while on the school grounds. A snack will be allowed at mid-morning recess. All trash is to be put in a wastebasket. Unless supervised by adults on field trips, students are to stay on the school grounds and facilities from the time they arrive until dismissal.
The teacher will take the class on one or more field trips during the school year. Chaperones will accompany each field trip. Overnight chaperones must be approved by the Board. A General Field Trip Permission Form must be filled out by a parent or guardian before the student can attend any field trip.
Students will be accompanied by a teacher or chaperone at all times during the day. Chaperones/drivers must be at least 20 years old. Teachers, chaperones, and students alike must comply with the school’s dress code and exhibit Christian behavior at all times. Any tapes, CD’s, videos, DVD’s, or radio programs which misuse our Lord’s name or run contrary to the truths of Scripture may not be played. The use of personal equipment such as portable radios, CD/DVD players, and the like (with or without headphones) is prohibited.
Senior Class Trip Guidelines
The senior class trip is a culmination of years of hard work in high school. It is to be a time of fun, fellowship, and educational experiences. The trip may take up to three days of school time. A date for the trip must be picked three months ahead of time, and plans must be completed for approval at least three weeks ahead of time. The trip is a privilege and should be viewed as such.
The destination should be decided on by the senior students with guidance from the staff (high school and/or administrator) and parents. Plans should include hotels, fun activities, three (3) education activities (ex. historical sites, tours, museums, zoo, etc.) some restaurant choices if possible, and an estimated budget. Final trip decisions should be presented to the staff, then to the administrator, and then to the Board for final approval.
The class must be accompanied by at least one teacher (this number is subject to change depending on class size). The class must be accompanied by parental chaperones (man for boys, woman for girls – exact number required to be determined by class size and need). Students are always to be supervised during any activity. All class trips are to return to the school facility by 9:00 p.m.
This is a school function so all school rules apply including the alcohol and tobacco policy, field trip policy, and school dress code which includes swimwear.
Students and chaperones will meet each day for devotions which are to be led by the chaperones.
Students will pay for their expenses including but not limited to food, lodging, gas, and activities. Reimbursement for expenses will be offered to chaperones.
Policy for High School Choir Students
Choir concerts and school programs are an essential part of the high school choir class. Attendance to both concerts and programs are therefore mandatory for all high school choir students. Program and concert dates will be scheduled at least three months prior to the event. Illness (and death in the family) is considered an excused absence. Any unexcused absences will result in a student’s grade being lowered a full letter grade. (Example: An “A” with an unexcused absence would result in a “B”.)
Reckless Driving Policy
Due to the limited space and the large amount of children present before and after school, we deem it necessary to assess a fifty-dollar fine for anyone who is driving recklessly in or around the school parking lot. This fine must be paid within two days of student notification of the offence. If the fine has not been paid within this time frame, school-driving privileges will be revoked for the remaining school year. If a student has violated this policy two times within one school year, likewise that student’s school-driving privileges will be revoked for the remaining school year.
Tobacco and Alcohol Policy
If any underage student is caught at any time using any tobacco or alcoholic products, they will serve a three-day in-house suspension. They will also be suspended for a period of ninety days from participation in any extracurricular school activities. This policy is not limited to school hours or school grounds. For all students the use of tobacco and alcohol is prohibited on school grounds. If caught the aforementioned punishment applies.
Guidelines for Friends at Student Council Functions
Students may bring one high school aged friend to student council functions that are after normal school hours. These friends are to be approved by the student council advisors and school administrator at least 48 hours before the function. Those invited are not to be in a boyfriend / girlfriend relationship with anyone within the high school. The friend must be submissive to the adults at the function, and if they become disruptive or disrespectful, they will be asked to leave and picked up by their parents; they will not be allowed back to any future student council functions. If a friend attends a fundraiser, the funds are for student council use only and not for the use of the friend who helped work. If a friend attends a function he/she will be expected to pay the full amount for an activity, and will not receive any discount that may apply to the RHCS high school students.
Student Cell Phone Policy
It is recommended that students do not bring cell phones in to school. If a student brings a phone to school, the phone is to remain turned off in the student’s bag and not to be taken out and used at all during school hours. Students who take cell phones to school-sponsored functions may only use them with the permission of the staff person who is in attendance at the school function.
If this policy is violated, a staff member may confiscate the phone & the phone must be picked up from the administrator by a parent or guardian, and the student will no longer be allowed to take a cell phone to school.
Taking pictures using a phone at school-sponsored activities is acceptable. If the phone has the ability to access the internet on its own, the students are not to use it for that purpose. If they do, the phone may be confiscated.
Sexual Harassment Policy
RHCS is committed to maintain an academic and spiritual environment in which all individuals treat each other with dignity and respect and which is free from all forms of intimidation exploitation and harassment, including sexual harassment. This school is prepared to take action to prevent and correct any violations of the policy. Anyone who violates this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination or expulsion.
What to Do if You Experience or Observe Harassment
Students who feel that they have been subjected to conduct of a harassing nature are encouraged to promptly report the matter to one of the school’s officials. Students who observe conduct of a harassing nature are encouraged to report the matter to one of the school officials. All complaints will be promptly investigated.
Every effort will be made to reasonably protect the privacy of the parties involved in any complaint. The school reserves the right to fully investigate every complaint, and to notify a student’s parent/guardian, the school board, and appropriate government officials as the circumstances warrant.
Radios, tape recorders, skateboards, rollerblades, or other items that would be unnecessarily distracting or unsafe may not be brought to school.
Public display of affection will not be allowed.
Absence and Tardiness
When a student is going to be absent or late, a parent is required to call the office by 9:00 AM or send a note. A staff member will call home if a student is late and the school has not been informed. Upon receiving a phone call or note, an absence or tardiness will be considered excused if there is a valid reason. The student will be allowed to make up any work missed.
Absence or tardiness not accompanied by a phone call, note, or verbal explanation will be considered unexcused. Any student that is absent in excess of 10 days within a semester must meet with the administrator to discuss the circumstances behind the absences.
Parents are strongly encouraged to plan trips and vacations during times that school is not in session. When this is not possible, a written request must be made in advance and approved by the administrator in order to be considered an excused absence. Class work is due when the student returns to school.
Doctor, Dental, and Other Appointments
Parents are encouraged to schedule appointments after school hours or on days that school is not in session. When this is not possible, the parent must contact the office by phone or note prior to the appointment.
High School Tardy Policy
When a student is late to school or late to class, he/she will be marked tardy by the teacher. A student is tardy when he/she is not in his/her homeroom when the bell rings first thing in the morning, or within one minute after the bell has rung at breaks or at class changes. When a student receives a fifth tardy in a quarter, he/she will serve a detention of 30 minutes with his/her homeroom teacher where he/she will work on homework. If the student has no homework, a classroom clean-up job will be assigned. The sixth tardy of the quarter will be a 40 minute detention, and all other tardies that quarter will be a 50 minute detention. Detentions need to be served within 2 school days of receiving it. Parents will be informed of the student’s third and fifth tardies. When a quarter ends, the process will start over. Teachers will take into account severe weather which may cause delays of arrival on those mornings.
Requests for homework when a student is ill should be made early in the day to ensure time for the classroom teacher to write out assignments.
Out of courtesy to the students, staff, and other families associated with the school, parents are urged to keep their child home if symptoms of a contagious disease are observed. Symptoms such as fever, sore throat, vomiting, coughing, stomachache, headache, achiness, skin rash, and intestinal upset are often associated with contagious infection. Parents of students exhibiting these symptoms while at school will be asked to take the child home as soon as possible.
The decision to close school due to communicable disease outbreaks is at the discretion of the administrator. Consultation on such decisions will be provided by the School Board President or in his absence, the Board Vice-All.
No staff member may administer any medication to any student for any reason without written authorization from the child’s parent. In the event that prescription or non-prescription drugs must be taken during school hours, parents must provide written instructions to the teacher for administering the medication.
Authorized non-prescription drugs will be kept in the school office.
Parents or guardians must complete an emergency authorization form indicating their child’s doctor and a person to contact if the parents or guardians cannot be reached in an emergency situation. Copies of these forms will be carried by teachers on all field trips.
Weather Related School Closings
Tornado – In the event that a Tornado Watch is issued, school will continue as normal. Dismissal will be as scheduled. Parents may come to pick up their children if they so desire. In the event that a Tornado Warning is issued, the students will go into the hallway and assume a defensive position. School will NOT be dismissed until an all clear is given.
Snow Days – Generally when Kalamazoo Public Schools are closed, we will be closed. There may be circumstances when we may stay open. This will decided by the school board president in consultation with school administrator. School closing for snow days or other reasons will be announced over WKZO 590 AM, WKPR 1420 AM, WOOD TV Channel 8, and WWMT Channel 3. The announcement should start by 6:45 AM. An email will be sent to families at that time concerning the closing.
The school has a general liability insurance policy.