NCA Handbook

Parents’ Role

As parents, you play an important role in our school. Please become familiar with the policies and procedures in this handbook. Additional notes and news items will be sent home to keep you informed. You are encouraged to offer your talents, suggestions, and comments, as well as provide the financial and moral support, which contribute to a quality program. Field trips and parties depend on parental involvement. There are two scheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences per year (beginning and end of year). Of course, both parents and teachers are encouraged to schedule other conferences as needed.

Understanding Your Child’s Growth & Development

The director will take the opportunity from time to time to share research or pertinent information through email or printed information with parents regarding the growth and development of young children.

Donations

Nacogdoches Christian Academy collects unrestricted donations to support our mission. If you believe an error has been made in connection with your donation, contact us at 936-462-1021. We will endeavor to work with you to correct any such error, and if necessary, make any correction that is appropriate. If you change your mind about donating to Nacogdoches Christian Academy for any reason, NCA is happy to honor your decision as long as you present a written request for a refund (return of donation) within 7 calendar days of the date on which you made the contribution.

Nutrition

Lunch & Snacks

Full day students need to bring a lunch from home every day. There is a microwave for reheating food. Please follow these guidelines when sending microwave-able food:

  • Send food in microwave-able containers if it is to be heated.
  • Send a plastic spoon/fork if it is needed.
  • Send a napkin to cover the item in the microwave.
  • Limit the number of times per week that microwave-able food is sent. Only teachers are allowed to operate the microwave, and most teachers also need to eat their own lunch during this time.

All items in the lunch should be ready-made and easy for your child to handle. Teachers are available to assist with lunches, but students should learn to open most containers independently. Send items that your child will eat, but keep your child’s health in mind. In order to keep your child’s food safe, please consider sending your child’s lunch in an insulated lunch kit along with a re-freezable ice pack to keep it cool.

There is an official snack time for all classes. Please include a small, simple-to-eat, healthy snack with your child’s lunch each day. Students will drink water with snack. Do not include a drink for snack time. Teachers will provide individual classroom instructions on this subject.

All students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to school. Please be sure that the bottle has a tight fitting, non-leaking lid or top.

Mondays will be “Pizza Day” at NCA! Students will have the opportunity to order one or two slices of pizza from an inspected restaurant along with a fruit/vegetable, and milk for a specific cost. More details to come.

In the case that a child does not have a snack, we will provide a healthy snack for your child. In the case of a forgotten lunch, we will do our best to contact you; however, if that attempt is unsuccessful, then we will create a healthy lunch from the supplies that we have on hand.

In creating your child’s lunch and snacks, please keep in mind that 1/3 or more of your child’s daily dietary intake will be consumed while in school. If you need ideas for healthy snack or lunch options, please feel free to talk to your child’s teacher or the director.

Breastfeeding

Our school welcomes and supports all parents, including breastfeeding mothers. Our school provides a private, quiet, and soothing room with comfortable seating for use when breastfeeding your child. Should you need, breastfeeding education and local community support resources are available in the office upon request.

Health & Wellness

Vision & Hearing Screenings

Children that are 4 years of age by September 1st of the current school year will be required to have vision and hearing screenings. These may be conducted by your child’s physician or the director will schedule a time for a licensed professional to come and conduct screenings on those children who meet this requirement.

Immunizations

Prior to the first day of classes, new students must provide verification of a physical exam by a physician within the previous year. All students must meet the immunization requirements by the State of Texas. Please be sure that you provide a current immunization record each year. Exceptions to this policy must meet the standards established for state licensing.

Absences

We ask that parents notify the school office as soon as possible if a child will not be attending and the anticipated length of absence. In cases of illness, it may be necessary to provide a doctor’s authorization to return to school for certain illnesses. As tuition is charged on a monthly basis, and the payment ensures your child’s continued enrollment, no credits will be given for missed days.

Illness

Students who are ill belong at home. Please use the following guidelines to determine if your child is well enough to attend school:

  • Your child has been free of fever for twenty-four hours.
  • Your child does not have a green or yellow nasal discharge.
  • Your child ha not had vomiting or diarrhea for twenty-four hours.
  • Your child does not exhibit other behavior that might indicate illness.

If you send your child to school with any of these symptoms, we will call you to come and take your child back home. If your child becomes ill during the day, we will isolate him/her from the other children to the best of our ability and then notify you. Please keep the school office informed of changes in phone numbers or of changes in your daytime location so that our information will always be current. In the case of an extreme emergency or illness, we will immediately call 911.

Pest Management Policy

Pest Management Policy – Structural and landscape pests and the pesticides used to control them can pose significant problems for people, property and the environment. NCA shall incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures for control of structural and landscape pests.

IPM focuses on preventing or suppressing pests using tactics that minimize the impact of control activities on the health of humans and other non-target organisms. The Director of NCA will serve as the IPM coordinator. Objectives of the IPM program will include:

  1. Elimination of threats by pest to the health and safety of students, staff or the public.
  2. Prevention of loss or damage by pests to school structures or property.
  3. Protection of environmental quality inside and outside school buildings.
  4. Enhancement of the quality of life for students, staff and the public.

Integrated Pest Management Procedures:

IPM procedures shall determine when to control pests and whether to use mechanical, physical, chemical, sanitation, horticultural or biological controls. IPM practitioners depend on current, comprehensive information about the pest, its environment and pest control methods.

The intended goal of IPM principles is control of unacceptable levels of pest activity and damage using the most economical means while creating the fewest possible hazards for people, property and the environment. Pesticides will be used only after determining that no other control option is acceptable or reasonable. This school will use IPM principles to manage pest populations, in every case consider the full range of alternatives including talking no action. IF pesticides must be used to meet pest management goals, NCA will choose the least toxic material available and will comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations governing pesticide storage, transportation and use.

Notification:

NCA will notify the school staff and students of upcoming pesticide treatments by notices posted at the school and sent via e-mail to parents who wish to be informed in advance of pesticide applications.

NCA will maintain a Products Usage Record, Labels and MSDS Sheets on every pesticide used.

Preventing & Responding to Abuse & Neglect of Children

NCA staff is required to do an annual training on child abuse and neglect. Training includes methods for increasing employee and parent awareness of issues regarding child abuse and neglect, including the warning signs that a child may be a victim of abuse or neglect, and methods for increasing employee and parent awareness of prevention techniques for child abuse and neglect. Training also includes strategies for coordination between our school and the appropriate community organizations and what actions to encourage parents to take if a child who is a victim of abuse or neglect should need to obtain assistance and intervention.

Emergency Preparedness Plan

Evacuation:

  1. The first responsibility of staff in an emergency is to move the children to a designated safe area or alternate shelter known to all employees, caregivers, and volunteers. The safe and alternate shelter is Rock Haven Nursing Home, located at 401 SE Stallings Drive, Nacogdoches, TX 75964. Their phone number is (936) 569-9411.
  2. Children will walk to Rock Haven Nursing Home if NCA is uninhabitable.
  3. Emergency evacuation and relocation diagrams are available in the office and are posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway.
  4. Staff will take Emergency Cards with them, as well as a Class Roster. The Roll will be taken as the students are leaving the building and again when safely located at the evacuation center. Each teacher will be responsible to assure the attendance of the students entrusted to her. Emergency Contact Cards include parental emergency contact telephone numbers and authorization for emergency care, the child’s doctor’s name and telephone number and hospital preference.

Communication:

  • In the event of a relocation emergency the emergency number is (936) 569-9411(Rock Haven).
  • The NCA emergency contact number is (936) 305-5351 (First Church of the Nazarene) or (936) 585-3232 (Melissa Hughes, Director’s cell number).
  • If available, land lines will be used to contact parents, emergency personnel, health departments and Child Care Licensing.
  • If land lines are unavailable, the staff will use their personal cell phones to communicate.

Essential Documentation:

The parent and emergency contact numbers for each student will be documented on an Emergency Card that the teacher will take with her to the relocation shelter. Emergency medical authorizations are included on the Emergency Card.

Hours & Schedules

Schedules & Important Notices

Classroom Daily Schedules can be found posted in the child center’s office, as well as, right outside your child’s classroom door. Other important notices to parents will be sent home in your child’s take-home folder, written on the chalk board sign that is located by the front doors or a parent e-mail will be sent out.

Arrivals & Departures

Students may be dropped off for the Early Bird Class as early as 7:30 am where they will remain until the classroom teacher is ready for her class at 8:25 am. Those arriving after 8:25 will take their child directly to the classroom. Preschool classes begin promptly at 8:30 am. Please do your best to have your child here on time. Tardiness affects the entire class.

Parents will park in the parking lot east of the school building entering through the glass doors on the south side of the building. Staff members will be there to assist you and your child as you sign them in for the day.

Full day students will dismiss at 3:00 pm. We offer After Care each day, from 3:00-6:00 pm, for those families who need additional child care.

Release of Students

Students will be released only to their parents or to such persons who have been designated by the parents and listed on the Registration and Emergency forms. Parents must send a note or contact the director by phone if there is a last minute change of plans or emergency. Please be prepared to show a driver‘s license as identification if there is any question.

Chapel

Every class attends Chapel one morning per week. Chapel is taught by the Children’s Pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene, and the lesson is presented in an age-appropriate manner. In Chapel we sing, pray, and discuss practical biblical concepts. There is no denominational doctrine taught during Chapel. Lessons focus on biblical truths that can be put immediately into use by the students. Some of these lessons include God’s love, God’s forgiveness, kindness, love for one another, and other important life lessons. Parents are always welcome to come and visit Chapel services.

Holiday Celebrations

We celebrate many holidays with special parties. Parties are planned by room mothers and carried out according to the guidelines set by the teacher and the school. We ask that all parents sign up to help with one or more parties.

School Closings

Please be familiar with the dates on the Nacogdoches Christian Academy calendar. We do not always run concurrently with local school districts. However, in case of bad weather, please follow instructions given by NISD on local media stations for the first day. After the first day of school cancellation, listen for our school’s specific instructions. After the first day, you may also call the school’s phone number for more specific/detailed instructions on the answering machine. You can also view our calendar and check your e-mail for further updates and closings.

School Cancellation Procedure

The procedure for school cancellation due to weather is as follows:

  • Listen to the local radio/tv stations (KSWP, KFOX, KTRE TV, KETK TV, etc.) for school closings.
  • If NISD will close, our school will close too. If NISD will begin late, our school will begin late too.
  • You may also call the school’s answering machine @ (936) 462-1021. A message regarding school closings or delays will be recorded ASAP.
  • Email notifications will be sent regarding delays or closures.

Information will be updated throughout the day, so please check back for the latest information. Do your best to listen to the radio/tv or call the school office to hear the recording. Please try not to call the director or teachers at home. This will tie up the phone lines and delay notifications for everyone else.

Field Trips

Field trips are planned during the year to stimulate awareness and to extend the classroom experiences. A note will be sent home and an announcement will be posted by the classroom door and on the front door to notify parents about trips. Parental participation is essential for excursions. Every student must have a signed parental permission slip and must wear a seat belt. If you volunteer, as a parent, to join the class on any field trip, please do not bring any other siblings on the field trip. As a parent volunteer, you have the very important role of helping to supervise the students in that class. Siblings are usually younger and sometimes distract the parent volunteer and the class. If your child cannot participate in a field trip, you will need to make other arrangements for your child during the time the class is away from school.

The Texas Department of Public Safety requires all children younger than 8 years of age unless taller than 4 feet 9 inches to be secured in the appropriate child safety seat system. It is the Parent’s responsibility to provide an appropriate child safety seat for all school field trips. If an appropriate seat is not provided, the student will not be allowed to ride in the designated field trip driver’s vehicle.

Discipline

At Nacogdoches Christian Academy, we believe that discipline is something we do for a student, not a punishment administered to a student. We use a positive approach to achieve acceptable behavior by a student and to help him/her work well within a group. Our policy does not include spanking. If a student cannot cooperate within a group and follow the classroom rules, he/she will be removed from the group. He/she will be supervised by a staff member during this time. If that student continues to be uncooperative, a parent will be called to come to the school.

Each teacher has an individual classroom discipline plan filed in the office and approved by the director. These discipline plans are presented at Parent Orientation in each classroom and available upon request from the teacher or office staff.

When necessary, In-School Suspension may be assigned. ISS will be held in the small office in the workroom. The student will be isolated to the ISS room for the duration of the time deemed necessary by the Director. The student will be required to complete all work assigned in the classroom without the aide of the teacher. The Director will oversee this disciplinary measure.

The student will only be allowed to leave the ISS room for a drink or to go to the restroom when allowed. The student will eat their lunch there. The student and their parents should consider ISS a drastic attempt to change an unacceptable behavior. If In -School Suspension is not effective, or is not carried out, the result will be expulsion from Nacogdoches Christian Academy. Once a student is expelled, they will not be reconsidered for enrollment at any time in their academic career.

The Student Code of Conduct should be read and signed by the student and their parents. This will be filed in the student’s permanent file and is considered an agreement between Nacogdoches Christian Academy, the student, and parents regarding the expected conduct of the student.

Policies & Procedures

Parents are welcome to review and discuss with the Director any questions or concerns about the policies and procedures of the school. Parents will be notified of policy changes by e-mail and notes sent home. Most policy and procedure changes occur before the beginning of the school year and are documented in the Student Handbook and reviewed at the Parent Orientation meeting in August. Parents are welcome to contact the Director to make an appointment to review or discuss any questions or concerns about policy and procedures, to observe your child, to ask questions about NCA’s operation or program activities. Parents may come to observe their child or have lunch with their child at any time without prior approval. Parents must sign in on the Visitors’ Sign In Sheet which is just inside the office door. Parents are welcome to review our copy of the minimum standards and NCA’s most recent licensing inspection reports.

Dress Code

Nacogdoches Christian Academy t-shirts may be purchased at the beginning of the school year or any time in the school office. Shoes should be tennis shoes which are lace or Velcro closed shoes. Please avoid sandals or boots. The students are involved in a variety of learning experiences that involve jumping, climbing, skipping, running and hopping; and therefore, good fitting, comfortable, light-weight shoes are a must. If a student does not have appropriate footwear they will not participate in recess due to safety issues.

Girls:

  • Shorts should be worn under dresses, jumpers, and skirts to allow for playground activities and circle time. Shorts, skirts, jumpers, and skorts should be an appropriate length (as children grow and mature, what was appropriate last year might not be appropriate this year). Shorts and skorts should not be shorter than where fingertips touch the thigh when standing straight.
  • Pants should fit properly and not “sag” nor should they be too tight. Pants should not have rips, holes or frays. When necessary, wear a belt.
  • Earrings, if worn at all, should be small, stud varieties with only one earring in each ear – no dangling or large earrings.
  • Jewelry, if worn at all, should not be excessive – we are not responsible for lost or broken items. This is also a safety issue.

Boys:

  • Pants should fit properly and not “sag”. Pants should not have rips, holes or frays. When necessary wear a belt.
  • NO EARRINGS should be worn in order to avoid distraction.

Pet Visits

We are required to notify parents when animals are present at school. Please clear it with your child’s teacher before bringing pets to school. We must post a notice on the front door 48 hours in advance of the pet‘s visit.

Birthdays

Parents should contact their child’s teacher before making any birthday plans concerning your child’s class. Birthday favors are not allowed. No private party invitations may be passed out at school. Balloons and flowers will be kept in the office until the end of the day.

Items From Home

Please do not allow your child to bring toys or electronic equipment to school without prior permission from the teacher. We reserve the right to search all backpacks, book bags, desks, and other personal items. Please understand that this policy is in place for the safety and protection of the entire student body.

Possession of Electronics

Students are not permitted to possess such items that include but are not limited to radios, CD players, tape recorders, camcorders, DVD players, MP3 players, i-pods, laser pointers, cameras, electronic devices or games at school, unless prior permission has been obtained from the teacher/director. Without such permission, teachers will collect the items and turn them in to the office to be retrieved by a parent. Repeated misuse of electronic devices may result in further disciplinary action. Nacogdoches Christian Academy will not be responsible for lost or stolen items or items left at school by the students.

Screen Time

There is minimal opportunity for screen time at NCA due to the curriculum and structure of the day. Teachers may show age appropriate movies or use the internet on occasion; however, this is done on an approval basis.

Outdoor Participation

Outdoor activities are a part of each day’s schedule unless it is raining or uncomfortably hot or cold. All students will participate in outdoor activity time unless we have a written note from you explaining why your child is to be kept indoors and for what length of time. Students excused from outdoor participation will need to stay in the office area where they can be supervised by staff.

Contact Information

Parents may visit the school at any time during the school’s hours of operation. If at any time you have questions or concerns about policies and procedures at Nacogdoches Christian Academy, please follow this procedure:

  1. Speak to the teacher about the question/concern.
  2. If the situation is not resolved, speak to the director.
  3. If the situation is still not resolved, speak to a current Parent Representative.

The Parent Representative will try to resolve the situation. If it cannot be resolved, the Parent Representative will bring the matter before the school board. The staff at Nacogdoches Christian Academy will do its best to hold each particular situation in confidence. Please do your best to follow the proper procedure when trying to resolve questions, concerns, or conflict.

We are licensed by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. All current licensing certificates, inspections and standards are available for inspection on a bulletin board in the main hallway of the school and in the office. If you have a concern regarding licensing policies, procedures, or standards, you may contact:

  • Local Licensing Agent – 936-404-2489
  • Abuse and Neglect Hotline – 1-800-252-5400
  • Website – www.txchildsearch.org

Updating Parent Contact Information

It is, also, very important that the school has the most up-to-date contact information for you in the event that an issue arises or that there is an emergency where we need to contact you. The best way to update your information is to send an email or note to your child’s teacher or to the school office reporting the changes to be made. Information that may need to be updated would include cell phone number, home address or emergency contact name and number.