Calvary Preparatory Academy Student Handbook
Table of Contents
- Calvary Preparatory Academy Mission Statement
- School Calendar
- Important Dates for 2017-18
- Attendance Records
- Attendance Policy
- Illness/Extended Inability to Participate
- Final Exams
- Vacation Policy
- Grade Determination
- School-wide Grading Policy
- Graduation Requirements
- Acceptance of Credits Issued Outside of COS
- Acceptance of Homeschool Credits
- The Frequency and Nature of Student/Teacher Meetings
- How and When Work is Due
- Late Work Policy
- Academic Integrity
- Dismissal Policy
- Report Cards
- Student Records
- Appeal of Final Semester Grades and Awarding of Credit
- Complaint Response Procedure
- Student Daily Schedule
- Student Daily Life: Free Time
- Student Responsibility
- Calvary Preparatory Academy’s Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLR’s)
- School Culture
- Some Helpful Tips for Students
- Email Etiquette
- Parent Responsibility
- Definitions of Terms
- Feedback: It’s Your School
Welcome to the 2016-17 school year at Calvary Preparatory Academy (CPA). This handbook is designed to familiarize you and your family with some of the features and policies at our school. CPA is serving students across the United States and in several countries abroad, and the size of our school continues to grow. Our programs are briefly described in this orientation packet, but your family will enjoy the greatest success in our program if you discuss your interest and participation in these programs with your teacher.
Calvary Preparatory Academy provides state-of-the-art college preparatory classes to students in all fifty states and abroad in a flexible, accommodating virtual environment; enabling students access to an innovative Christian education regardless of geographic isolation or barriers.
An updated version of the school calendar for the 2015-16 school year can be found on the school’s website. Students in differing cultures and countries may have different calendars. If you have other observances throughout the year please discuss your differing calendar with your teacher. However, please note that Calvary Preparatory Academy staff and services will only be available according to the school’s calendar.
Please note that only dates marked “No School” are school holidays.
- First Day of Summer School Session 1 (Mon, June 12, 2017)
- Last Day to Enroll in Two Classes (Mon, June 26, 2017)
- Last Day of Summer School Session 1 (Fri, July 7, 2017)
- First Day of Summer School Session 2 (Mon, July 10, 2017)
- Last Day to Enroll for Summer School (Mon, July 24, 2017)
- Last Day of Summer School Session 2 (Fri, August 04, 2017)
- First Day of School 2017-18 School Year (Mon, August 28, 2017)
- No School: Labor Day (Mon, Sept 04, 2017)
- Daylight Savings Change (Fall Back/Spring Ahead) (Sun, Nov 05, 2017)
- No School: Veterans Day (Fri, Nov 10, 2017)
- No School: Thanksgiving Break (Mon-Fri, Nov 20-24, 2017)
- No School: Christmas Break & New Years (Several Days, Dec 25- Jan 6)
- No School: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Mon, Jan 15, 2018)
- First Semester Finals Week (Several Days, Jan 15-19, 2018)
- Last Day Fall Semester (Fri, Jan 19, 2018)
- First Day Spring Semester (Mon, Jan 22, 2018)
- No School: Presidents Day (Mon, Feb 19, 2018)
- Easter (Sun, Apr 1, 2018)
- No School (Spring Break): (Several Days, Mar 26-Apr 2, 2018)
- National Day of Prayer (Thurs, May 03, 2018)
- No School: Memorial Day (Mon, May 28, 2018)
- Spring Semester Finals Week (Several Days, May 28- Jun 01, 2018)
- Last Week of School (Several Days, Jun 04-08, 2018)
- Last Day of 2016-17 School Year & Graduation Ceremony (Fri, Jun 08, 2018)
- First Day of Summer School (2018-19 School Year) (Mon, Jun 11, 2018)
Calvary Preparatory Academy will only maintain daily attendance records for full-time* students. Students taking single courses or attending only part-time* will not be counted in the school’s attendance records. The responsibility for student attendance compliance with local/state laws will lie solely with the parent/guardian(s) of the student and not with Calvary Preparatory Academy.
In addition, the great variance in attendance laws from state to state and out of state necessitate that Calvary Preparatory Academy will not be responsible for ensuring compliance with local/state attendance laws for full-time and/or part-time students. By enrolling in Calvary Preparatory Academy, the student is enrolling in a California private school. The responsibility of compliance with local/state attendance laws lies solely with the parent/guardian(s).
* Please see definitions below
Calvary Online School requires all full-time students to work in their courses on each required school day. Please refer to the school calendar for required school days and notify your teacher if you need any days off that aren’t a scheduled holiday. Any unexcused or excused absence must be accounted for.
Full-time students are assigned approximately four to five hours of school work per day, although some days may require either more or less time. Students have flexibility to arrange their schedules throughout the week, however, all full-time students must participate in their classes for at least one hour per required school day. Full-time students who do not meet these requirements will be marked absent.
Student absences will be tracked according to the school’s excessive absence and truancy policy. A full-time student will be identified as excessively absent if the student does not log instructional time for more than 10 consecutive days. If a student is identified as excessively absent the student may be withdrawn from the school.
If an unexpected situation should arise and there is an extended leave of three days or more needed from courses, students must follow these steps:
Determine if Internet access is available (through libraries, etc.)
Contact teachers to explain the situation and to discuss class alternatives with the teacher.
Students will take final exams at the end of both fall and spring semesters. There will not be excused absences allowed for these exams. In order to protect test confidentiality all exams will need to be taken on assigned days.
Students are expected to attend at least 90% of the possible instructional hours for the school year AND must not miss school for 10 consecutive school days. If a family needs to plan a vacation, this vacation must not last more than 10 consecutive days. Assignments that are completed late due to a family-scheduled vacation during school are subject to the late work policy.
Calvary Preparatory Academy grades are determined by the sum total of points a student earns on all grade assignments and tests.
Points earned by student/Total points possible=Grade
Example: A student earns 563/700 points possible. 563/700 = 80%
Please be aware of the school-wide grading policy here at Calvary Preparatory Academy. Please also note that completing the minimum requirements merits only a “C” average grade. Students desiring “A’s” and “B’s” should strive to always go above and beyond the bare minimum requirements when completing their assignments.
- A: Outstanding achievement, far above average, extra effort, well organized and clearly labeled, demonstrating understanding and mastery of subject matter. 90-100% accuracy. (A+ = 99-100%, A = 91-98%, A- = 90%)
- B: Good effort, above average, demonstrates familiarity with subject matter and 80-89% accuracy. (B+ = 89%, B = 81-88%, B- = 80%)
- C: Average, met minimum requirements, demonstrates adequate knowledge of subject matter with 70-79% accuracy. (C+ = 79%, C = 71-78%, C- = 70%)
- D: Below average, less than the minimum requirements, work reflects little effort, assignments incomplete and some missing, work is turned in late, punctuality is a problem, 60-69% accuracy. (D+ = 69%, D = 61-68%, D- = 60%)
- F: Failing, work is far below the requirements, reflects little or no effort, assignments incomplete or missing, demonstrates very little if no understanding of subject matter, attendance and punctuality is an issue, below 60% accuracy. (F = 0-59%)
How to Calculate Your GPA (Grade Point Average)
Your grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of credit hours attempted. Your grade point average may range from 0.0 to a 4.0.
A = 4.00 grade points
A- = 3.70 grade points
B+ = 3.33 grade points
B = 3.00 grade points
B- = 2.70 grade points
C+ = 2.30 grade points
C = 2.00 grade points
C- = 1.70 grade points
D+ = 1.30 grade points
D = 1.00 grade points
D- = 0.70 grade points
WF/F=0 grade points
P/NP (Pass/No Pass) courses are not factored in the student’s GPA
I (Incompletes) and W (Withdrawals) do not receive grade points and do not have an effect on the GPA
Students are assessed in completion of the following activities:
- Written Practices
- Threaded Discussions
- Web Explorations
- Journal Entries
- Class Discussions
- Oral Reports
Some assignments are teacher graded and others are computer graded. During the semester, students and parents can view grades in the grade book for each course. It is important to note that these grades are updated every time an assignment is graded.
Graduation requirements for COS include 220 credits earned during the 9th through 12th grades. Five credits are issued for the successful completion of one semester (1/2 school year) of a course. Specific courses may be required within each department. Students who complete the graduation requirements will be awarded a high school diploma.
- English- 40 credits
- Mathematics- 30 credits (Including Algebra)
- Science- 20 credits (Including Biology)
- Social Science- 30 credits
- Bible- 15 credits
- Physical Education- 10 credits
- Foreign Language- 10 credits
- Health- 5 credits
- Fine Arts- 10 credits
- Electives- 50 credits (Including College & Career Prep I and II)
- Total: 220 Credits
Credits will be accepted from transcripts earned at other institutions when an official transcript(s) has been received. Transfer credits are awarded on a case-by-case basis. Transcript analysis will sometimes require further research and contact with prior institutions to determine eligibility of transfer credits.
Calvary Preparatory Academy will accept credits only if the transcript credits are issued by a formal educational agency. That agency needs to have clearly defined course descriptions as well as an established grading scale.
(Students who completed previous years of schooling in a homeschool environment may still be accepted into COS, however, only the credits issued or formally accepted by COS will count towards graduation).
Students of Calvary Preparatory Academy have the wonderful resource of meeting with a teacher specially assigned to them to review their progress and grade their work. For full-time students, these meetings occur once a week, at set times each week, and usually last about an hour. The duration and frequency of meetings for part-time students will vary with enrollment. Please contact your teacher for this information.
Parents are encouraged to join these meetings and can do so by sitting beside the student during the meeting, or by joining from another computer. This allows parents who are at remote locations (i.e. work, traveling) to join the meetings and review the student’s progress. In preparation for these meetings, please keep in mind:
- Calvary Preparatory Academy is hosted in California and uses Pacific Standard Time (PST). You may need to make a mental conversion when discussing times with your teacher. A time zone converter may also be useful.
- Meeting times should ideally be when a parent can join or be available, whether from home or from a remote location.
While students may have assignments scheduled for them on a daily basis, the true due date for all work is at the weekly appointment. At that time, all work prior to, but not including, the day of the appointment is due.
If a student meets with his/her teacher Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. then all work scheduled from Tuesday of the prior week through Monday before the appointment is due.
All assignments are due at the beginning of the appointment, regardless of whether the appointment is missed or rescheduled. Teacher graded assignments that are not completed at the time of the appointment will be entered as zeroes. Those grades can be updated if work is completed according to the following late work policy:
- Work that is completed during or after the appointment, but within the same day will be marked down 5%.
- Work that is turned in after the appointment day will be marked down 10% each school day.
- Finally, work that is not turned in after two school days will not be accepted for credit.
Example: Work due on Tuesday but turned in:
- later the same Tuesday = 5% off
- the next day, Wednesday = 10% off
- two days late, Thursday = 20% off
- more than two days late, Friday or later = No credit
Calvary Prep Students are expected to be persons of moral integrity, modeled after the examples set by Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. Included in that assumption is the expectation that COS students maintain academic integrity at all times. All assignments are assumed to be the student’s original work. Therefore, if the student utilizes any materials that are not his or her original thoughts, the student must properly cite the sources used. A student who fails to abide by these standards will be subject to the following actions:
First offense – The student will receive a verbal warning from the teacher. The student will not receive credit for the plagiarized assignment. The student will be given the opportunity to complete the assignment again but for a possible 50% of the original points. The teacher will notify the parent/guardian of the plagiarism activity.
Second offense – The student and parent will attend a conference with the school Director. The student will not receive credit for the assignment, nor will be able to attempt the assignment again for credit.
Third offense – The student will be subjected to disciplinary action by the Director, up to and including expulsion.
Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. COS defines plagiarism as the use of materials, language, ideas or expressed thoughts from another source without proper citation. The fundamental consideration in plagiarism is ownership. In order to avoid plagiarism, consider who owns the materials.
- If you own the materials, thoughts, or ideas then you have no need to cite a source.
- If the materials, thoughts, or ideas are common knowledge, owned by the public, then you have no need to cite a source.
- If the materials, thoughts, or ideas belong to anyone else, whether in print, on a website, drawn from conversation, etc. then a source must be cited.
Calvary Preparatory Academy recognizes that enrollment is voluntary by both parties: the student/guardian and the school. Both students and guardians agree to the roles and responsibilities in the Enrollment Agreement which they signed upon enrollment. Should there be any occurrence or combination of occurrences of a violation of these roles and responsibilities, the following procedure will govern the disciplinary actions, ultimately leading in consideration for dismissal.
- First violation where role and responsibilities are not met results in a verbal warning.
- Second violation results in student being placed on academic probation.
- Third violation or failure to meet the terms of academic probation may result in student being disenrolled from the school at the discretion of the Director. It is within the discretion of the Director to place additional requirements as terms of continued enrollment, such as, but not limited to: requiring a private tutor at the expense of the parent/guardian.
Fall semester report cards are issued in January, and spring semester report cards are issued in June.
Student records are maintained at the Calvary Preparatory Academy office. Please contact COS to obtain a copy of student records. A copying fee may be assessed. If families change their address, telephone, or place of employment, they must immediately notify their teacher of any changes. Parent/guardians are responsible for keeping contact information current.
Students and parents may appeal a student’s final grade or the school’s decision to award credit for a course up to 30 days after the end of a semester. Appeals will not be considered later than 30 days after the end of a semester.
Calvary Preparatory Academy is dedicated to establishing student/family satisfaction. The following procedure is in place to ensure that designated employees address student/family grievances in a timely manner.
The student and parent(s), custodian(s) or legal guardian(s), must address in writing any concern or grievance to the program director. The program director shall respond within ten (10) working days.
If the concern or grievance is not resolved by the program director, the parent(s), custodian(s) or legal guardian(s) may, within ten (10) working days of the program director’s response, request in writing a meeting (via phone or through a virtual appointment) with the program director to discuss the concern or grievance. He/she shall investigate and respond within ten (10) working days.
If the family’s concern is not resolved at the meeting with the program director, the family may file a complaint with the Calvary Preparatory Academy governing body. The COS governing body may address the complaint directly.
While students do have the freedom of being flexible when they complete their assignments, it is strongly recommended that a fixed schedule be arranged. Take a moment to talk over a daily schedule with your parent/guardian. Sticking to a schedule will greatly increase your performance and will free up more time for other activities.
A program like Calvary Preparatory Academy allows for significantly more free time that is normally lost to bell schedules, role call, travel to and from school, etc. Because of this, Calvary Preparatory Academy students may find they have more free time each day. We strongly encourage students to take this time and engage in parent/guardian approved social activities. This might include a club, sport’s team, community service outlet, youth group, church activities, etc.
What is not desirable is for students to spend the entire day exclusively working on the computer. On the contrary, an efficient management of time will enable students to be considerably engaged in daily social activities.
Calvary Preparatory Academy students are provided with ample opportunities, resources and instructional staff to succeed in this program. However, students still bear the weight of personally committing to their own academic success. Calvary Preparatory Academy students are responsible for the following:
- Daily engaging in assigned academic studies (Daily engagement equates to attendance which is both mandatory and actively monitored).
- Completing all assigned tasks.
- Independently maintaining a successful studying environment.
- Asking for help when needed.
- Regularly communicating with assigned teacher(s) including a minimum of two forms of communication per week.
- Daily checking email correspondence and replying to all forms of communication in no less than 24 hours.
- Keeping parents/guardians informed of progress, grades, and communication from the assigned teacher(s).
- Following School rules and policies.
- Upholding a strong moral ethic with regard to academic honesty; especially in regard to cheating or plagiarism.
Calvary Preparatory Academy Students are:
- Faith-filled Christ Followers who:
- Study and adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ, putting faith into practice in their life decisions and community involvement.
- Motivated, Self-Directed Learners who:
- Manage time efficiently, assume responsibility for their personal life-long learning, demonstrate initiative and integrity in their academic endeavors.
- Critical & Creative Thinkers who:
- Employ critical thought processes such as analysis, induction, deduction, synthesis, evaluation, application and reflection to arrive at applicable conclusions to various inquiries.
- Proficient Technology Users who:
- Fully equip themselves with the latest technologies in order to be effective in a ever-changing, technology dependent world.
- Effective Communicators who:
- Express themselves competently in written and oral form. Demonstrate effective listening and dialoguing skills.
- Academic Achievers who:
- Demonstrate proficiency of curriculum aligned to academic standards
- Are academically equipped to pursue post-secondary education
- Manage an effective learning environment
As part of our mission to deliver Christian education, we desire that all students be actively involved in one or all of the school activities below.
1. Enrollment in Bible Classes
Although only three Bible classes are formally required for graduation, we encourage Calvary Preparatory Academy students to continuously enroll in Bible courses, earning credits toward the Electives department. More about our Bible courses can be found on the school’s website.
2. Participation in the Daily Bible Reading Forum
As a requirement for all full-time students, the Daily Bible Reading forum gives an opportunity for students to read and respond to a daily passage of scripture or devotion. Students post their replies in a forum, along with other students and staff, and then have an opportunity to engage in further discussion. Part-time students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Daily Bible Reading Forum as well.
The following tips will help to guarantee that students are successful in an online learning environment.
- Work Environment: Students are encouraged to select and designate a work place that is free from distraction and is a productive work environment. Depending on the student, this may be a computer room, student’s bedroom, living room, a coffee house, library, etc.
- Schoolwork Hours: Although students are given the flexibility to determine their own work hours, it is strongly recommended that students designate select hours from the day that are solely dedicated for studying. This could be a 3 hour block of time in the morning, followed by a 2 hour block in the afternoon, or evening, for example. It is also suggested that students select work hours in which they know their teachers are available for questions or feedback.
- Note Taking: Almost all online courses offered through Calvary Preparatory Academy have optional note-taking worksheets attached to the online lessons. Students consistently show higher rates of performance when these study sheets are completed in addition to their readings and activities. Depending on student preference, these can either be printed and then completed on paper, or electronically completed in order to save materials.
- Parental Involvement: Perhaps one of the most important tips for success in an online schooling environment is parental involvement. This involvement is a great strength to students working independently in an online school. The majority of online courses offered through Calvary Preparatory Academy offer complete transparency regarding student performance. Parents can check students’ grades and schedules on a 24 hour basis. It is strongly recommended that both the student and parent work out a time each day when work assigned and work completed can be discussed.
- Ask Questions!: Students are not on their own. If you need help with an assignment, ask your teacher and they will address your request via email or a live, virtual meeting.
- Check your email daily: In an online learning environment, students aren’t required to show up to a building each day at 8:00 am. However, students are responsible to maintain consistent contact with the school and their instructors. Regularly checking for new emails will ensure that students are fully informed of any recent updates or responses from their teachers. A turn around period of 24 hours is suggested for all forms of communication. If an instructor emails a student, a response is expected within 24 hours and vice versa.
Email is a common means of communication in Calvary Preparatory Academy. Because of this, Calvary Preparatory Academy holds its staff and students to the following 10 Commandments of Email.
(Please note that these include references to actual Bible verses, which are meant to serve as inspiration for godly behavior when emailing. These verses have been modified to include references to email as necessary. All modifications have been indicated in bold and italics. In addition the original verse is provided as a hyperlinked referenced.)
The Ten Commandments of Email
- Love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and with all thy email. (All we do, including emails, should be done in love towards God).Reference
- Thou shalt email thy neighbor as thyself. Also known as “Email unto others as you’d have them email unto you.” (No one wants to receive a rude or unclear email, so why send one to others?) Reference 1, 2
- Be kind and compassionate when emailing to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (When emailing, be courteous, just as you would when talking to an influential person. If you receive an email that comes across strongly worded, choose to interpret it two degrees more friendly than your initial response)Reference
- If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other’s emails. Reference and “for all who draw the email will die by the email.” (It’s never good to escalate a conflict, or start a “flame war” with emails. Pick up the phone and call instead, paralanguage can help deflate conflict)Reference
- For there is nothing hidden in an email that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed in an email that will not be known or brought out into the open. (There’s no such thing as a private email. Only write what you would want shouted from the rooftops)Reference
- Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone” when considering whether to forward the chain email to a group. (Chain emails and forwarding emails can be obnoxious, avoid so doing as much as possible. When emailing groups, don’t put multiple email addresses in the “To:” field, use the “BCC:” field instead) Reference
- Whatever you email, work at it with all your heart, as emailing for the Lord, not for men” Reference
- Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking in your emails, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (Jokes are rarely understood in emails, keep it simple and professional)Reference
- He said quite openly and straightforwardly in his email subject line, “I am not the Christ.” (Using subject lines helps to clarify your meaning and guarantee your audience understands the correct communication)Reference
- Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” (In a sense, once you’ve sent an email, “It is written.” Only write something you stand by in every situation)Reference
Parents of Calvary Prep Students play two very important roles: provision and supervision.
Parents enable students to be successful by ensuring that students are provided with a safe, noise free, work environment on every school day. Students need also be provided with a computer with stable Internet access. Parents are encouraged to minimize interruptions to students’ schedules presented by irregular travel, unexpected visitors and other events. Finally, it is strongly encouraged that parents provide students a suitable social venue where students can daily engage with their peers. This may be a club, sporting team, gymnasium, youth group, community service group, etc.
Parents of Calvary Preparatory Academy students are granted the role of supervisors within the house. While students may only want to show their work to their teacher, parents reserve the right to be shown student work, progress reports, and any other performance indicators at any time. If a parent feels they may not have all the information necessary to ensure their student is properly performing, they are encouraged to contact their student’s teacher without hesitation.
In addition, parents are encouraged to choose a time of day when the student’s work can be accounted for. This may be an end of the day meeting where the day’s lessons are discussed, progress reports are viewed, and completed assignments are reviewed.
Finally, parents are encouraged to join the weekly meetings with the student and teacher, to stay updated with student progress and upcoming events.
To ensure a successful and rewarding distance learning program, each parent is an essential part of his or her child’s education. Nationwide studies show that students who receive regular support from their parents do better in school. Parents are responsible for the following:
- Contact Your student’s teacher(s) on a regular basis.
- Provide student(s) with access to an Internet connected computer and a telephone
- Provide a suitable place for the student to study and help develop a workable schedule to complete assignments.
- Have funds available for monthly payments.
- Notify the School of any address, phone number and email changes or leave of absence.
- Notify the School if an extension or re-enrollment is needed to finish a course or grade level.
- Notify the School with a “Written Notification of Withdrawal” to withdraw from Calvary Preparatory Academy or drop a course.
- Review and discuss online grade postings regularly with student(s).
Full-Time Students: Students enrolled with COS in five or six classes per semester and/or students attending COS as a primary provider of their education services who may be enrolled in less than five courses due to custom scheduling arising from proximity to completing the graduation requirements or special accommodations made for students with special education needs. Students not meeting these requirements are considered part-time students.
Part-Time Students: Students taking less than five classes at COS and whose primary provider of education services and attendance records are kept elsewhere.
Parents: Parents or legal guardians.
CPA: Calvary Preparatory Academy
Students and parents partner with Calvary Preparatory Academy to make this the most successful program. We strongly encourage families of Calvary Online School to stay involved in the affairs of the school and, whenever possible, contribute their voice to the school’s ongoing development. Comments, suggestions, and all other forms of feedback are always welcomed. In addition, participation in or following the events of the school’s board is encouraged.
We hope that students and parents of Calvary Preparatory Academy truly view this school as their own.