Gold Coast Prep Handbook
SCHOOL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
After School Program/Extracurriculars
Computer-Based Harassment Policy
Electronic Equipment and Toys
First Aid, Illness, Injury and Medication
Health Examinations and Immunization
Parent Teacher Conferences
Preventing Bullying, Intimidation and Harrassment
Public Displays of Affection
Release of Information
Report Cards/Progress Reports
The mission of Gold Coast Prep School (GCP) is to provide children, preschool through eighth grade, the means to construct knowledge through experience, within the richness of a classical curriculum, informed by emerging research.
Our educational program is designed to foster life-long learners by developing academic skill and proficiency, intellectual curiosity, personal wisdom and virtue, and responsible participation in society.
Sapere Aude: Dare to be Wise.
Vision and Personal Statement of the Founder, Phillip D. Jackson II
I believe that the overarching purpose of a school is to educate for understanding, flexibility of thought and the confidence to act on one’s talents. I want the education provided by Gold Coast Prep to allow our grown children to develop new technologies, lead others in a moral/ethical manner, direct films and musicals, recognize and finance innovative businesses, or write and implement public policy. In summary, I want an education that fosters active and ethical engagement with life and society.
The achievement of this ambitious vision for our children’s future requires careful thought and implementation at the front-end: an elementary school rich with experience in both the creative and scholastic spheres. This thinking has led me to integrate prime elements from the best of both traditional and progressive educational methods that span time and place. Using 18th Century refinements to the classical curriculum, current neuro-scientific breakthroughs, Italian education philosophy, and Asian mathematics, GCP prepares our students for the challenges of a global 21st Century.
SCHOOL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
After School Program/Extracurriculars
The After School Program and Extracurricular Activities begin at 3:00 p.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. Registration is required. Parents may register in the morning for daily After School care or contract for After School care for the school term.
Parents are to notify the school by 10:00 a.m. whenever a student is absent, regardless of the reason. A note or e-mail from the parent must be sent when the student returns to school following an absence. The note should explain the reason for the absence.
Students returning to school following a contagious illness or extended absence of three (3) days or more must bring a doctor’s note to return to school.
If you are planning a vacation while school is in session, please notify your child’s teacher in advance of your departure.
Doors open for students’ arrival at 8:15 a.m. There will be GCP staff member at the curb in front of the school from 8:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Parents may pull up on the west side of Franklin Street and should remain in their cars.
Timeliness is important. Arrival and Dismissal times can be stressful transition times and we want to make the experience as smooth as possible for all the children.
Please make every effort to have your child at school by 8:30 a.m. Late arrivals disrupt classes in progress and also can be awkward for the entering student. If you arrive after 8:30 a.m., please accompany your child to the front office and sign them in.
Members of the Gold Coast Prep community will:
Respect ourselves and others by:
- treating others as we would like to be treated
- speaking honestly and constructively to others
- listening attentively to others
- respecting each other’s personal space
- understanding and obeying class rules
- resolving conflicts peaceably
Help ourselves and others learn by:
- showing respect for adult authority
- using hallways quietly
- using good behavior
- being diligent in our work
- using good sportsmanship in competitive activities
- respect and show concern for shared spaces and materials
- respect and show concern for the academic, social and moral life of GCP
Respect property and shared spaces by:
- treating our own property with care
- treating the school’s and others’ property responsibly
- not taking or damaging property
- using property safely in the proper time, place, and manner
- asking permission before using others’ things
- cleaning up after ourselves
- eating only in designated areas
Help ourselves and others to be safe by:
- walking, not running, in school
- using equipment safely
- seeking help from adults when needed
- notifying an adult of our whereabouts at all times
Members of the GCP community shall not:
- violate the law, such as the law pertaining to illegal substances
- harm or degrade any individual or group by action, threat, or malicious language
- cheat or otherwise act dishonorably in academic work
- infringe upon the property of others
- disrupt, by word or action, an atmosphere conducive to learning in the classroom, good sportsmanship in athletics and congeniality in social situations
- violate the rules and requirements for the use of school facilities
- infringe upon the use of shared spaces and materials by:
- making excessive noise in and around classrooms
- interrupting the safe and orderly flow in hallways, stairways, on playgrounds, and on sidewalks
- disruptive public displays
- defacing, destroying or otherwise damaging buildings, equipment or books
Choosing not to follow this code will result in certain consequences. These consequences will be reasonable, related to the misconduct, and appropriate to the developmental level of the child. There may be one or more of the following:
- Repeating the process in the appropriate manner
- Spending time in a separate place until ready to be part of the group again
- Apologizing to those who were hurt or offended
- Restoring or making restitution for damaged or stolen property
- Notifying parents of the behavior
- Notifying the principal of the behavior
- Dismissing the child from school for the day
- Dismissing the child from school permanently
In order to celebrate a birthday in school, please contact the teacher in order to coordinate before bringing in treats. For out of school parties, invitations may be distributed in school only if there is one for each student in the class. Otherwise, please mail the invitations directly to the student’s home. If your child has a summer birthday, please arrange with the teacher in early May if you wish to celebrate the child’s birthday in class before school recesses for summer.
Computer-Based Harassment Policy
We recognize that computers and the internet have opened new opportunities for communication but also for their own forms of harassment. While we do not seek to regulate private speech among computer users, the terms of harassment as defined here will be applied to blogs and any other postings on the internet generally available to the public. Postings made to blogs and other public websites that refer negatively to members of the GCP community either by name or by inference will be treated as harassment. Just as GCP must protect itself against malicious attacks, it also protects you and all members of the school community from such attacks. For this reason, we consider publications that hurt others to be malicious in intent, and those who publish them will be subject to suspension or expulsion.
This policy covers not only postings from school computers but also those originating on computers outside of school, including personal computers and those in other facilities such as libraries, “cybercafes” and so on. Members of the GCP community must use their good judgment when posting to websites.
GCP views computers and computing resources as important educational tools for furthering its mission. Using these resources is a privilege, not a right. Like all privileges, a set of responsibilities accompanies its proper exercise. This policy defines those responsibilities so those who use their privileges conscientiously can be protected from those who do not. When computer users choose to violate the terms of this policy, they can expect sanctions to be imposed. These may include suspension of computer privileges, disciplinary review, suspension or expulsion from the school, termination of employment, and/or legal action.
Computer users are responsible for: reporting Computing Policy violations, cooperating with system administrators in investigations of system abuse, and behaving courteously, ethically, and legally, even in the absence of reminders.
GCP computing resources are limited and valuable. Users are expected to be good stewards of the investment in computing resources. Theft, vandalism, tampering, destruction, or disregard for the physical condition of computers or peripheral devices is a serious breach of discipline and will be treated that way. Users are expected to report others’ abuse of computers and peripheral devices without hesitation. What this means to you:
- You are to report promptly others’ abuse of computers to school administrators.
- You may not vandalize, steal, destroy or otherwise cause harm to school computing resources.
- You may not engage in any behavior that creates a nuisance for other computer users or staff by altering computer software preferences or configurations.
Software piracy is defined as the installation and/or use of licensed software that has not been paid for. Software piracy is stealing and will not be tolerated in any form. Protected software may not be copied into, from, or by any GCP facility or system, except by license. This applies to copying software between computers within the school as well as copying software between school and home computers.
Anyone using illegal copies of software or distributing software illegally to others may have all computer privileges immediately suspended. As with any form of stealing, software piracy will be reviewed for additional disciplinary action. What this means to you:
- You may not use or install on school computers any software not licensed by GCP.
- You may not take any licensed software from school to use at home or elsewhere.
- When software has been licensed by the schools, you may not assume it is legal to make copies of it to install and/or use on other school computers.
- You may not bring in any licensed software to sell or to lend to someone else, even if you are selling or lending the original disks.
- Only authorized personnel may install software. All software installed on school computers must be licensed by the school.
The GCP network is connected to the internet. Unacceptable actions over the network will not be tolerated and will result in loss of the offending individual’s network access. All users of the GCP facilities are expected to read and abide by the GCP computing policy. All email and web postings must identify the sender clearly and accurately. Anonymous or pseudonymous electronic communications appear to dissociate you from responsibility for your actions and are rarely appropriate. Identifying yourself as another individual may constitute fraud and is prohibited. Any communications that would be improper or illegal on any other medium are equally so on the computer: libelous material, obscene or offensive messages, threats, etc.
Users must not send messages to unwilling recipients. They must never use school computing facilities for harassment, plagiarism, or other illegal or unethical activities.
The GCP policy on freedom from harassment includes electronic communications: “Respect others’ rights to freedom from harassment or intimidation. Do not send abusive or patently unwanted material to others; do not cause others’ work to be disrupted by your actions.”
Do not engage in actions that are politically damaging to the network. The internet accesses a wide world of users; although GCP has a content filter on its wireless network, there is no guardian to filter material that may not be appropriate for students if they bypass this. Access to this material by students may cause GCP to decide to terminate internet access, thus depriving others of a valuable tool. Anyone accessing inappropriate material will have all computer privileges taken away. Anyone distributing inappropriate materials over the network will have all computer privileges revoked and have further disciplinary action taken against them. “Appropriateness” will be determined by GCP. In general, if material gathered from other media is unsuitable for the school environment, the same material accessed via the internet is equally unsuitable and thus prohibited.
Logging onto online chat groups is not allowed. The only exception is those chat groups set up specifically by GCP for co-curricular student use. What this means to you:
- You may not email or post news anonymously or use someone else’s name.
- You may not send unwanted material to others.
- You may not use the network for any activity that is inappropriate in a school environment (where “inappropriate” is determined by GCP).
- You may not log onto online chat groups except to those created by the GCP for co-curricular purposes.
The GCP computing facilities shall not be used to violate copyright and other intellectual property rights. In cases where the law is unclear, such as regarding works published over the internet, users should be conservative and assume that anything published on the internet is copyrighted.
Computers and associated peripherals such as printers and scanners may not be used to create fraudulent or counterfeit documents, such as IDs, currency, tickets, legal documents, etc. What this means to you:
- You may not copy files belonging to others without their permission.
- You may not quote extensively from any source without proper attribution and permission.
- You may not use the computers to create or alter IDs, currency, or other legal documents.
- You may not make unauthorized copies of copyrighted songs or albums, digital images, movies, or other artistic works.
The computer network, computers, hard drives and all connected peripherals located at GCP are the property of Gold Coast Prep School, including all data stored on those devices. Individuals using this computer system are subject to having all of their activities on this system monitored and recorded by GCP. Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring and is advised that when such monitoring reveals possible evidence that violates current GCP Computer Policy, such evidence will be presented to GCP.
Shared resources on the GCP network include file servers and other computers on which users’ work is stored. To protect private information, mechanisms exist to prevent unauthorized examination by others. Attempts to circumvent these mechanisms will be treated as violations of privacy and a breach of ethical standards. Searching through directories and folders to find unprotected information is also prohibited. Information you have not been invited to use is not yours to access. Even if a user’s files are unprotected, it is improper for another user to read them unless the owner has given permission. Any attempt to access another user’s files by any means will result in immediate suspension of all computer privileges and further disciplinary actions. Any attempt to deliberately degrade or disrupt system performance or to interfere with the work of others is a breach of GCP Computing Policy.
GCP reserves the right to limit recreational computing as it sees fit. In general, GCP students and staff may use GCP information technology in connection with the GCP’s core teaching mission. Certain non-core uses that do not consume resources or interfere with other users also are acceptable.
Anyone using the computer network, computers, hard drives, and all connected peripherals located at the GCP expressly consents to have their activities monitored.
In the event GCP needs to evacuate the building, we will relocate to the Solheim Center, 932 N. Wells Street. The children will be retained and cared for until their parents or authorized guardians arrive to pick them up.
There may be occasions when GCP is unable to meet the needs of a child or parent. Circumstances necessitating withdrawal could include:
- Behavior which endangers the health and safety of other children, teachers or themselves.
- Parent refusal to adhere to school policy.
- Failure to pay tuition or fees.
Any other situation in which the child’s attendance in the school program is not in the child’s or school’s best interest.
Disenrollment will be at the discretion of the Head of School.
Our goal is to have a safe and organized dismissal. There will be GCP staff member at the curb in front of the school at 3:00 p.m. Parents may pull up on the west side of Franklin Street and a staff member will escort your child to your car. If you are early, please wait for your child to be brought outside. If you are going to be late, please inform the school and the child will be sent to the After School Program. After School Program fees will apply.
For preschool and kindergarten: Play clothes are recommended for everyday wear. The children are regularly engaged in messy activities. We recommend saving dress clothes for special occasions. Please provide a plastic box containing a change of clothes including socks, underwear, shirt and pants labeled with your child’s name. Please update the change of clothes with the seasons and label all outerwear, hats, mittens, boots, etc. with your child’s name. On Field Trip days, students must wear the GCP polo shirt.
For 1st-8th Grade: Students wear GCP polo shirts.
Students in grades 5-8 change for physical education and must wear the GCP gym uniform.
All students: All students should keep a pair of gym shoes at school to change into for physical education. Backless shoes (i.e., clogs and flip-flops), platform shoes and gym shoes with lights are not allowed for safety reasons.
GCP clothing can be purchased through Flynn O’Hara.
A fundamental role of GCP is to provide its student body with the academic and social skills necessary to become healthy, productive citizens who will contribute positively to the school and community. Substance abuse is inconsistent with the needs of healthy, growing and developing individuals. We are committed to promoting, enhancing and maintaining a drug-free environment.
A person’s use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can lead to the illness of chemical dependency. Therefore, GCP expressly prohibits the use of these substances. The school will intervene with and provide assistance to any student displaying signs of risk.
- No student shall purchase or possess any illegal drug, chemical, alcohol, or a look-alike substance.
- No student shall deliver, transfer, sell or possess with intent to transfer an illegal drug, chemical, alcohol, or look-alike substance.
- No student shall use or be under the influence of an illegal drug, chemical, alcohol, or look-alike substance.
- No student shall possess or have under his control any drug paraphernalia.
- No student shall sell or distribute any drug paraphernalia. Violation of any rule stated in this policy is a severe offense and will result in suspension or expulsion.
A student’s use, possession of, or being under the influence of illegal or inappropriate chemical substances, look-alike substances, or paraphernalia for drug use is prohibited.
In addition, if an adult perceives by a student’s demeanor, smell, or other indications that the student may have violated the above, the student may also be subject to consequences. Consequences may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Parents will be informed immediately and the City of Chicago police department will be contacted.
- Five (5) day general suspension, or
- Three (3) day general suspension AND enrollment in (within two  school days) and completion of a mutually agreed upon drug education program AND completion of a professional chemical dependency evaluation at a mutually agreed upon treatment center. All evaluation information must be shared with the school and all recommendations must be followed.
- Parents will be informed immediately and the police department will be contacted.
- Ten (10) day general suspension and possible expulsion.
- Parents will be informed immediately and the police department will be contacted.
Sale or distribution of or intent to sell/distribute illegal or inappropriate chemical substances, look-alike substances, or paraphernalia for drug use, at school, on school property, at any school-sponsored activity, or anywhere during school hours, will result in the following:
- Immediate notification of parents.
- Immediate ten (10) day general suspension.
- Notification of Chicago police.
- Administrative Committee hearing to consider expulsion.
- Documentation of the offense in the student’s permanent file.
Re-admission to the school is contingent upon student rehabilitation and evidence that the student is no longer engaged in the use, sale or distribution of illegal substances.
GCP uses email and Bloomz as the primary means of communicating with families. If you have not yet submitted a preferred email address, please do so at your earliest convenience. Teachers may not be able to check their email or Bloomz during the school day. Urgent messages should be communicated to the Front Office (312-944-5600), and a message will be delivered to the teacher.
Electronic Equipment and Toys
Electronic equipment, including cell phones, tablets, game systems, iPods, etc., should be left at home unless special arrangements have been made. Toys and other items not essential to teaching and learning should be left at home.
Field trips are an integral part of the Gold Coast Prep experience. Adequate adult supervision is important to ensure the safety of students and to maximize the experience for all. Parent volunteers are important in helping us achieve these goals. When volunteering for a trip we ask that you are able to be fully present in order to provide the quality of supervision necessary for these kinds of endeavors. This means that siblings should not accompany parents and that cell phones (and other electronic devices) should be used only in emergencies. Students must wear the GCP polo shirt on field trips.
First Aid, Illness, Injury, and Medication
In the event that a student becomes ill or seriously injured at school, the parents or authorized guardians will be contacted. If such contact is not made, the child will be appropriately cared for by the School or authorized emergency personnel. GCP stocks minor first-aid supplies and all school personnel are certified in basic first aid.
Whenever possible, medication should be administered by the parents. When this is not possible, the school may give medication according to the following guidelines:
- Parents of children on chronic medication therapy to be administered by the school staff are to secure the following information before the procedure is considered ongoing.
- Letter from the prescribing physician, which includes a statement regarding when to give the medication, how much and possible side effects.
- Medication must be in the original container with an issue date that is current; the name of the child; the doctor; written directions for safe use; dosage, storage requirements and expiration date.
- Written parental consent to administer the medication.
- Medication must always be handed directly to the front office. Medication will be stored in a secure area.
- If there is a reaction to the medicine, a parent or authorized adult will be called immediately. If the reaction is mild, the child may stay in school if the parent so wishes. If a reaction is moderate to severe, a parent must pick up the child. We must then have a letter from the physician with directions for avoiding future problems or giving instructions on how to manage the reaction. It will then be the school’s decision to determine whether to continue administering the medication at school.
- Nonprescription medication may be administered a parent’s dated instructions for administration and dosage in writing. The medication must be in its original container, labeled with the child’s name. The parent also signs a permission slip for the administration of medication.
- Exceptions to this policy are sunscreen and insect repellent products. An authorization form must be completed by the parent for these items to be used at school.
Do not send your child to school if he/she has been ill within the last 24 hours: this means a fever, seriously runny nose, diarrhea, or if he/she has vomited. A child infected with head lice will be sent home. The child needs to be nit free to return to school. Should your child become ill at school, the front office will notify you. Please make every effort to come within the hour.
Health Examinations and Immunizations
GCP recognizes the relationship between academic achievement and health promotion and prevention activities. Healthy students have better attendance and perform better in school. Children must provide timely proof of required immunizations and health exams or they will face exclusion from school. Up-to-date health and immunization records must be on file for each child, in accordance with the State of Illinois regulations. Admission may be denied to students whose records are not current.
GCP’s academic program is meant to develop good study habits, positive work attitudes, reinforce skills learned in school, facilitate discussions and advance the curriculum. We firmly believe that homework is a valuable, age-appropriate component of a GCP education.
Beginning in First Grade, homework is a regular part of each day. The successful student comes to recognize that excellence in academics is the result of close engagement with teachers in school and consistent effort and focus at home. Teachers and families need to work together to help children develop a routine that meets the demands of assignments.
The range of time middle school students spend on daily homework assignments varies greatly. Students report that this range can be extreme, with assignments being completed in as little as 30 minutes, to as long as 3 hours for a group of students with the same set of assignments. This disparity speaks to the wide range of cognitive abilities and social maturity. It is a range that can cause adults to be anxious about workload when, in fact, we must also look closely at skill levels, individual pacing, and learning styles.
Effective communication between home and school is the key to successful management of children’s varying responses to all aspects of school life – including homework. We recognize each child will respond differently to homework assignments. GCP relies on families to monitor their children’s efforts, support GCP priorities, and communicate with the school about their children’s experiences.
GCP’s goals around homework are consistent with our mission. Homework is used to:
- Review and reinforce newly acquired skills – this is how we help our students learn to master important subject matter.
- Prepare students to be active participants in discussions and activities that are designed to help them think critically and creatively.
- Guide students in the application and practice of study and research skills.
- Assist in the formation of positive habits of the mind. These include the executive functions and organizational skills that are developing so quickly in childhood and early adolescence.
Teachers use homework as one way of assessing what a child does and does not understand. Families must use care so as not to interfere with this essential purpose of homework when they correct or directly assist in its completion. Families must allow their children’s homework to inform a teacher accurately.
Similarly, families should stop a child if he or she is taking an excessively long time with his/her work. In general, 1st – 5th Graders should use 60 minutes as the high-end guide for nightly homework assignments; 6th, 7th, and 8th graders should use 150 minutes as their marker. If you find your child consistently exceeds these high-end markers please follow this process:
- Study the situation. Is there a pattern? Does the pattern reflect time management around long-term assignments or difficulty with a specific nightly assignment? Does the pattern make itself visible at certain times of the week/month/semester? Is there a history in previous grades of similar difficulties? How does your child’s learning style influence this pattern?
- If you see a pattern, share your observations with your child’s teacher. Teachers meet regularly to plan workload and discuss the progress of individual students. There are many interventions teachers can present to students, families, or their colleagues to help students manage the workload more effectively.
Parents pack student snacks and lunches. Please exclude glass bottles, soda pop, candy, and foods that need to be heated.
Due to the increase of nut allergies in children, GCP will not serve foods containing nut products. Despite the precautions GCP is taking, it is imperative that you notify the school if your child has a food allergy.
Any food that preschool and kindergarten children bring into the school must be nut-free.
Parent Teacher Conferences
There are two formal parent/teacher conferences during the school year: one in fall and one in winter. On those days, classes will not be in session. This is a time for dialogue about your child and/or the school program. You will want to make child care arrangements for your child during these conferences, as children do not attend.
Teachers are not able to talk with parents about substantial issues before or during class time or at dismissal, but you can make arrangements with your teachers for a mini-conference or phone conference as needed.
Parent Orientation is an opportunity for teachers to explain their curriculum and classroom procedures. It informs parents what their child’s daily classroom work will be, and allows you to begin to get to know the other adults who are very important in your child’s life. Parent Orientation is always the Monday preceding the first day of school. This is an event for parents only.
Any time you need to park your car, please use a legal parking spot. The City will ticket cars. Gold Coast Prep does not reimburse for parking tickets or towing.
All of us at GCP students, faculty, administrators, staff, and parents, expect that we will consistently be treated by others with dignity and respect. We are entitled to freedom from any kind of personal harassment. Harassment is unwelcome, harmful behavior toward another person, or group of people, that is annoying, bothersome, or physically or emotionally threatening or injurious. Harassment can include spoken or written remarks, symbols, caricatures, physical contact, gestures, innuendo, gossip, or phone calls.
We all share the responsibility for ensuring that no form of harassment of others is tolerated at GCP, whether related to race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, physical appearance, or physical or mental capacity. We must work together to be sensitive in our actions and language and to understand that inappropriate words or actions might make others feel uncomfortable, intimidated, or physically or emotionally hurt.
If you feel that you have been the victim of harassment, bring the matter to the immediate attention of a teacher or to the Head of School. In addition, if you observe personal harassment of any member of our community you should exercise your responsibility to report the incident to a teacher or to the Head of School.
Personal harassment is a severe offense. The consequences associated with harassment may include a psychological evaluation of the harasser, a suspension of up to 5 days out of school or expulsion, and possible police/court involvement. In severe cases, GCP will require a psychological evaluation of the harasser before he or she is permitted to return to school.
Preventing Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment
Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important school goals.
Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, military status, unfavorable discharge status from the military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:
- During any school-sponsored education program or activity.
- While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, or at school sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities.
- Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network or other similar electronic school equipment.
- Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school district or school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. This item (4) applies only in cases in which a school administrator or staff member receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred and it does not require a school to staff or monitor any non-school-related activity, function or program.
The following definitions are from Section 27-23.7 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7):
“Bullying” includes cyberbullying and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
Bullying may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
“Cyberbullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. Cyberbullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyberbullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.
“Restorative measures” means a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in school and society, (v) serve to build and restore relationships among students, families, schools, and communities, (vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding of students’ behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school and (vii) increase student accountability if the incident of bullying is based on religion, race, ethnicity, or any other category that is identified in the Illinois Human Rights Act.
“School personnel” means persons employed by, on contract with, or who volunteer in a school, including without limitation school administrators, teachers, school guidance counselors, school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource officers, and security guards.
Bullying Prevention and Response Plan
The Head of School or designee shall develop and maintain a bullying prevention and response plan that advances the school’s goal of providing all students with a safe learning environment free of bullying and harassment. This plan must be consistent with the following requirements:
- The school uses the definition of bullying as provided in this policy.
- Bullying is contrary to State law and the policy of this school. However, nothing in the school’s bullying prevention and response plan is intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
- Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to the School Complaint Manager or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the School Complaint Manager or any staff member. Anonymous reports are also accepted and may be made to the School Complaint Manager through the contact information provided below. Formal disciplinary action will not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Complaint Manager: Linda M. Jackson Asst. Head of School, 900 N. Franklin, Ste. 104 Chicago, IL 60610, firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-944-5600.
- Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, the Head of School or designee shall promptly inform parent(s)/guardian(s) of all students involved in an alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the availability of social work services, counseling, psychological services, other interventions, and restorative measures.
- The Head of School or designee shall promptly investigate and address reports of bullying, by, among other things:
- Making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within 10 school days after the date the report of the incident of bullying was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported incident of bullying.
- Involving appropriate school support personnel and other staff persons with
knowledge, experience, and training on bullying prevention, as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process.
- Notifying the Head of School or designee of the report of the incident of bullying as soon as possible after the report is received.
- Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, providing parents and guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the Head of School or designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying. The Head of School or designee shall investigate whether a reported incident of bullying is within the permissible scope of the school’s jurisdiction and the school shall provide the victim with information regarding services that are available within the school and community, such as counseling, support services, and other programs.
- The school shall use interventions to address bullying, which may include, but are not limited to, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, and community-based services.
- A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying is prohibited. A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be met with disciplinary consequences and appropriate remedial actions consistent with this and other school policies.
- A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information, even if the school’s investigation concludes that no bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or providing knowingly false information will be met with disciplinary consequences and appropriate remedial actions consistent with this and other school policies.
- The school’s bullying prevention and response plan must be based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians.
- The Policy shall be posted on the school’s Internet website and included in the student handbook, and, where applicable, posted where other policies, rules, and standards of conduct are currently posted. The policy must also be distributed annually to parents/guardians, students, and school personnel, including new employees when hired.
- The school shall review and re-evaluate its bullying prevention policy and make necessary and appropriate revisions every two years. The evaluation process may use relevant data and information the school already collects for other purposes. The school must post the information developed as a result of the policy evaluation on the school’s website, or if a website is not available, the information must be provided to school administrators, school board members, school personnel, parents/guardians, and students. This assessment process of the policy’s outcomes and effectiveness shall include, without limitation:
- Frequency of victimization;
- Student, staff, and family observations of safety at a school;
- Identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs;
- The types of bullying utilized; and
- Bystander intervention or participation.
- The bullying prevention policy must be consistent with other school policies.
Public Displays of Affection
When student couples are together in public they have a responsibility to others as well as to themselves to conduct themselves appropriately. Public displays of affection are unacceptable when they embarrass or make others uncomfortable. Examples of such behaviors include, but are not limited to, extended kissing or hugging, lying or sitting together inappropriately, and placing hands on each other in inappropriate ways.
Release of Information
All information in children’s files is confidential. Children’s files will only be released with written permission from a child’s parents or authorized guardian.
Report Cards/Progress Reports
Assessment serves to measure student achievement and to guide instruction. Assessment is an ongoing and daily part of school life. It provides the feedback necessary for students and teachers to promote both the individual’s and the group’s learning processes. In the various subject areas, assessment can take the form of feedback on daily and long-term assignments and activities, conversations with students, test and quiz scores, or any other means by which students demonstrate their understanding of instructional material.
Teachers communicate with families about student achievement via report cards for students Grades 1-8. Report cards reflect the average of testing and quiz scores for the grading period. A minimum score of 80% is required for mastery. Reports cards are provided at the Parent Teacher Conferences and at the end of the academic year. Children in Preschool and Kindergarten receive progress reports at each of the Parent Teacher Conferences and at the end of the year.
On a rare occasion, GCP may be closed because of extreme weather conditions. When this happens, you will receive an email. We will also post any closing at the Emergency School Closing Center which you can access at http://www.emergencyclosingcenter.com
Classes begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m.
The After School Program begins at 3:00 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m.
Please note that after 5:30 p.m., parents of children who have not been picked up from the After School program will be charged one dollar for each minute they are late.
We are very careful about security in our school. Your child will only be released to adults authorized by you. Any changes must be made in writing to the school. We also ask parents not to open doors for visitors. In cases of divorce and separation, notify the front office if there is a change regarding the release of your child to a spouse or ex-spouse. A copy of the court order is required for our files to deny a parent’s pick up of your child.
Sexual harassment is an illegal action that GCP finds unacceptable. Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual attention that makes a person uncomfortable or causes problems in school, work, or in social settings. Some examples are verbal slurs or abuse; suggestive, offensive, or derogatory comments; sexist remarks about someone’s body, clothing, or sexual activity; insults of a sexual nature; requests or demands for sexual favors; catcalls or other suggestive or insulting sounds or gestures; unnecessary and unwanted physical contact; and physical assault.
Students who have complaints of sexual harassment should report them immediately to the Head of School, their teacher, or another trusted adult. Complaints will be considered confidential, and each complaint will be thoroughly investigated. If the evidence supports the allegation that sexual harassment has occurred, corrective action, including the possibility of dismissal will be taken.
Preschool and kindergarten children have a daily morning nut-free snack packed from home.
Children participating in after school extra curriculars may also have snacks that they have brought from home.
If you plan to send in a special treat for your child’s birthday, please notify the teacher in advance. The treat must be store bought in the original packaging. We suggest fruit as an appropriate treat. The treat cannot contain nut products.
Standardized tests are summative and designed to assess student progress. It is important to keep in mind that standardized tests are but one measure of a child’s academic progress. Each spring, GCP administers standardizing tests for children in grades three through seven. Test results and analyses are communicated to parents/guardians when they become available.
We hope you will take ownership in protecting the school’s possessions just as you would your own belongings. Vandalism is illegal and takes something away from everyone in our school community. Defacing or destroying private or public property in school, on school grounds, or at a school-sponsored activity, will require restitution. Other consequences may be suspension, expulsion, or police action.
Gold Coast Prep welcomes family visits. If you are visiting your child’s classroom, the visit should be scheduled in advance with the teacher in order to avoid conflicts with testing and class trips.