Academic Information

ACADEMIC INFORMATION

1.  Curriculum   see NASD Policy IF, IFE and IGA

The Newfound Area School District has developed curriculum in all disciplines.  This information is available to parents/guardians in the media center and/or in the school office.  Each classroom teacher has a copy of the curriculum for the elementary schools.

2.  Homework: A Family/School Partnership   see NASD Policy IKB

Homework is a partnership between family and school, working together to provide a sound and successful educational experience.  Homework is used to expand the child's learning day.  Homework assignments that reinforce, encourage and challenge are employed throughout our academic programs.

At the same time, we value the importance of playtime: time for children to initiate their own options, expand upon their own interests and develop and practice personal social skills among siblings and peers in a less structured environment.

We encourage students to read and or families to read to their children for at least 15 minutes each night.  This is an excellent way to establish a homework attitude while emphasizing the value and joy of books and creating a meaningful family tradition, which can be shared throughout your child’s school years.  A daily tradition of shared family reading provides busy families with some predictable, pleasurable time together and models the value of reading for both pleasure and information.  Often, something read and shared becomes the basis for a rich family discussion.   

Homework is:

Ø  An assignment to be completed by students outside of class

Ø  Assigned to develop good study habits and time management

Ø  Used to reinforce skills and classroom objectives

Ø  Designed to encourage learning

Ø  Related to student's needs and abilities

Ø  Linked to instilling a sense of responsibility

Ø  An opportunity for parents/guardians to become involved in their child's education

Ø  Not to be used as a punishment

If you have concerns over homework assignments or the amount of homework being assigned, please contact your child’s teacher.

Student's Responsibilities:

Ø  Know assignments

Ø  Complete and turn in assignments on time

Ø  Understand that failure to complete homework will affect student progress

Parents/Guardians’ Responsibilities:

Ø  Provide a place to work

Ø  Compliment, encourage, show an interest

Ø  Contact teacher if assignments are causing problems or routinely exceeding guidelines

Teacher's Responsibilities:

Ø  Assign work that is meaningful

Ø  Give assignments based on the needs of the student

Ø  Assess and return assignments

When students are negligent with homework, consequences may include:

·         Sending home reminders

·         Sending home warnings

·         Staying in for recess to do the work

·         Conferencing with the parents/guardians and student to develop a plan

In order to help assist students with homework needs, each elementary school has information on after school programs either at your child’s school or within the community.  These programs provide academic support and enrichment opportunities.  Please contact your individual school for further information.

3. Standards of Quality Work

It is important to distinguish process pieces from public pieces. Process pieces are in-process, practice or review pieces.  Much of the homework is considered processPublic pieces are posted for people to see, usually as a culminating model or as a celebration of knowledge and understanding. Here are some recommended guidelines for public pieces.

Quality Written Pieces:

  • Are clear and understandable
  • Hold interest and are informative
  • Demonstrate correct punctuation
  • Demonstrate correct spelling
  • Are visually neat and pleasing

Quality Oral Presentations:

  • Demonstrate clear focus with supporting details
  • Provide clear answers that make sense
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding
  • Speak with appropriate language and proper usage
  • Speak loudly and clearly
  • Speak with respect and courtesy

Quality charts/graphs/displays:

  • Show imagination and creativity
  • Include accurate information
  • Interest observers
  • Convey information clearly
  • Appear neat and clear
  • Demonstrate creativity
  • Provide carefully labeled and lettered information
  • Include correct spelling
  • Include a title
  • Credit resources
  • Communicate learning

4.  Conferences/Progress Reports see NASD Policy IKAB

Elementary teachers engage students and their parents/guardians in conferences throughout the school year. Upper grade parents/guardians participate in Student-Led Conferences.  During Student-Led Conferences, the student leads the conference and the teacher acts as a facilitator. Parents/guardians of primary age children participate in Student-Involved Conferences. During this conference format, the teacher directs the conversation and the child explains his/her work samples and answers questions.

The objectives of the Student-Led and Student-Involved Conferences are to:

Ø  Engage and include students in reporting their progress

Ø  Provide context for the student’s learning

Ø  Provide an opportunity for the student to articulate his/her own progress, needs and goals

Ø  Promote parent participation

Ø  Help families gain insight about what and how their children learn

Ø  Build confidence, purpose and self-awareness

In addition to the conferences, parents/guardians will be formally informed of their child’s progress during three periods of the school year. 

Timeline for Conferences/Term Dates/Profile of Progress Reports:

Conferences:

First Conference

Ø  Meetings held on or within close proximity to November 10, 2016

Ø  November 10, 2016 is Parent/Teacher Conference Day, which is set aside for these conferences

Ø  Development of academic and social goals

Ø  Discussion of assessment practices and classroom procedures

Second Conference

Ø  Meetings held on or within close proximity to April 5, 2017

Ø  April 5, 2017 is a Teacher Workshop Day set aside for these conferences

Ø  Opportunity to review and reflect on academic and social goals

Ø  Celebration of student work and assessment results

Progress Reports:

Term 1

Ø  August 31, 2016 through November 23, 2016

Ø  Progress Reports sent home on December 2, 2016

Ø  Include academic and social goals from Student-Led Conferences

Term 2

Ø  November 28, 2016 through March 10, 2017

Ø  Progress Reports sent home on March 16, 2017

Term 3

Ø  March 20, 2017 through last day of school

Ø  Progress Reports sent home on last day of school

Ø  Include summary of growth related to academic and social goals set in the fall during Student-Led Conferences

In addition to these formal conferences and reports, teachers may periodically contact you regarding your child’s progress.  Throughout the year, you are encouraged to contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns.

5.  Newfound Area Elementary Schools Media Center Procedures  see NASD Policy IIA, IIAC, IIAC-E, IIAC-R

All elementary school media centers are open during the school day for students to patronize.  Students may borrow a book during their classroom visits to the media center or as opportunities allow.

Students borrowing library materials (books, tapes, etc.) will be expected to be responsible for these expensive items while they are checked out of the media center. 

During the first part of June, the media center staff will begin to gather borrowed materials to assure that all items are returned prior to the close of school.  We will work closely with your child to see that his/her materials are returned.  Our goal is to assist your child in gaining responsibility.  You may be contacted if your child has not returned materials in a timely fashion.  Media center materials that are not returned must be paid for by the student/family so that the materials may be replaced. The media center staff appreciates your support in assuring that all materials are returned for use the following year.

6. Information and Communication Technologies see NASD Policy JFCM

In an effort to integrate technology into the curriculum, the Newfound Area Elementary Schools are implementing technology performance skills.  These skills will be taught and assessed at each grade level by the Information and Communication Technology Teachers.  Since technology will be an important part of the curriculum, we ask that you read the following updated policies.

STUDENT ACCEPTABLE USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES (NASD Policy JFCM)

Purpose of this Document

To establish a policy to promote efficient, secure, ethical and legal use of the Newfound Area School District’s computer information systems.  This policy applies to all users of computer information systems located or accessed in the District as well as users who obtain their access privileges through association with the District.

This policy is written in compliance with New Hampshire State RSA194:3-d School District 

Computer Networks which states,  

I.  Every school district which has computer systems or networks shall adopt a policy which outlines the intended appropriate and acceptable use, as well as the inappropriate and illegal use, of the school district computer systems and networks including, but not limited to, the Internet. 

II.  All users of a school district’s computer systems or networks who intentionally violate the district’s policy and who intentionally damage the computer system or network shall assume legal and financial liability for such damage.  For purposes of this section, “user” means any person authorized to access the school district’s computer systems or networks, including, but not limited to, the Internet.  Source.  1997, 285:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Definition

The definition of “computer information systems” is any configuration of computer hardware and software that connects users.  This includes all internal (intranet) and external (Internet) connections, as well as all of the computer hardware, operating system software, application software, stored text and data files.  This also includes electronic mail, local databases, externally accessed databases, CD-ROM, recorded magnetic or optical media, clip art, digital images, digitized information, communications technologies, and new technologies as they become available.  Stand-alone workstations are also governed by this policy. 

Educational Purpose

The Newfound Area School District (hereafter referred to as the District) provides resources for teaching and learning, communication services, and business data services by maintaining access to local, regional, national, and international sources of information. The public trusts that each member of the school community will use the District’s computer information resources with care and respect and in accordance with the policies and regulations established by the District.  Only authorized users may use District information networks, and the network shall not constitute a public forum.  This policy/Agreement does not attempt to articulate all required and proscribed behavior by computer information systems users.

The District will endeavor to provide a secure and wholesome Internet environment. The District utilizes CIPA compliant content filtering mechanisms to filter Internet access. However, it is possible that a user will be able to find ways to circumvent Internet access limits and controls.  Parents are warned of the potential availability of offensive material on the Internet, and students and parents are advised that the student is ultimately responsible for his/her own conduct on the Internet.

The District will as part of Information and Communication Technologies Instruction review on an annual basis this policy and general Internet Safety guidelines with all students.

Monitoring/Data Retention Policy

1.    During school, teachers and staff will supervise students while accessing appropriate materials.  Outside of school, families bear responsibility to guide their children as they access the Internet just as parents do with other information sources such as television, telephones, movies and other potentially offensive media.

2.    Network administrators will review files and communications periodically to maintain system integrity and ensure that users are using the systems responsibly. 

3.    All log files used by the District for monitoring purposes generally will be purged from the system 90 days after the file creation date.  These will include all logs currently generated by District firewalls in all schools and the SAU office. 

4.    All logs and files created on the servers are considered District property.  Any right of privacy the user may otherwise have to material that the user has accessed through or stored on District information networks is hereby waived.  Students have no rights of privacy with regard to the use of the District’s information networks. 

5.    Log file information may be disclosed to persons to the extent provided by law.  Any person seeking to view the log file must submit a written request with the Superintendent.  An Information Technology Services (ITS) designee for the District will then assist the person viewing the files to prevent the disclosure of personally identifiable student information and other information exempt from disclosure under the law.  In other words, a person will not be given log files containing exempt information on disks to take home and filter on his/her own.  A person who wishes to review a large number of log entries may be charged an appropriate fee.

User Responsibilities

1.    Successful operation of the computer information systems requires that all users conduct themselves in a responsible, decent, ethical and polite manner while using the computer information systems.  The user is ultimately responsible for his/her actions while accessing the computer information systems. 

2.    Users will not respond to any illicit or suspicious activities.  Immediately report such activities to an administrator, teacher or staff member, or a District technology administrator. 

Usage Guidelines

Acceptable Use  

1.    Access to the computer information systems within the District is a privilege and must be treated as such by all users.

2.    Computer information systems will be used only for the purposes of academic search, education, and school-related business and operations.  User electronic collaboration activities, such as assigned sau4.org accounts, should conform to the purpose, goals, and mission of the District and to each user's role and responsibilities. Users shall have no right to privacy while using the District's Internet or electronic collaboration tools. These tools may not be used for personal purposes during school hours.

3.    Any system which requires password access or for which the District requires an account will only be used by the authorized account user.  Account owners are ultimately responsible for all activity under their accounts. 

4.    The resources of the District are limited.  All users must exercise prudence in the shared use of these resources.  Downloading large files is permitted only if authorized by a District administrator. Sending, receiving or failing to delete excessive amounts of e-mail is prohibited. 

5.    All communications and information accessible via any District computer information system shall be treated as District property. 

6.    All software installation will be done by personnel authorized by ITS. 

7.    All software used on District equipment must be licensed to the District.

8.    The use of personal computers in school is allowed for academic purposes, but such usage must comply with all guidelines set forth in this Agreement.  The personal computer may not be used on the District network.  The School District shall not be liable for damage, theft or loss.  

Unacceptable Use

The District has the right to take disciplinary action, remove computer and networking privileges and/or take legal action, for any activity characterized as unethical and unacceptable.  Unacceptable activities constitute, but are not limited to, any activity through which any user: 

1.    Violates such matters as institutional or third-party copyright, license agreements or other contracts.  The unauthorized use of and/or copying of software is illegal.  

2.    Interferes with or disrupts other network users, services or equipment.  Disruptions include, but are not limited to:  distribution of unsolicited advertising, propagation of computer worms or viruses, distributing quantities of information that overwhelm the system, and/or using a District network to make unauthorized entry into any other resource accessible via the network. 

3.    Seeks to gain or gains unauthorized access to information resources. 

4.    Uses or knowingly allows another to use any computer or computer information system to devise or execute a scheme to defraud or to obtain money, property, services, or other things of value by false pretenses, promises or representations. 

5.    Destroys, alters, dismantles or otherwise interferes with the integrity of computer-based information and/or information resources. 

6.    Invades the privacy of individuals or entities. 

7.    Uses the computer information systems for commercial or political activity. 

8.    Destroys, modifies or abuses the hardware or software in any way. 

9.    Installs unauthorized software for use on District computers. 

10. Modifies computer configuration settings including but not limited to file sharing configurations and network settings without prior authorization of ITS.

11. Uses the computer information systems to access inappropriate materials. 

12. Acquires, communicates, creates, submits, publishes, displays or participates in any defamatory, inaccurate, racially-oriented, offensive, abusive, obscene, pornographic, profane, sexually-oriented, illegal, harassing, vandalizing, violent, inappropriate or threatening materials, messages or activities on District computer information systems. 

Restricted Materials and Actions

To keep users and our information systems secure, the following is NOT allowed: 

1.    Use of personal email accounts.  Users may not access these accounts from the school network.

2.    Use of peer-to-peer file sharing programs.

3.    Use of Instant Messaging unless for use authorized by ITS. 

4.    Use of online games, unless for educational purposes. 

5.    Use of chat rooms unless with prior approval of ITS. 

6.    Use of social networking sites, unless for educational purposes and with prior approval of ITS. 

7.    Downloading to and/or storage of illegal or copyrighted files on District equipment.

8.    Disclosure of personal contact information such as name, address, or phone number.  Do not give out any personal information and never arrange to get together with someone you meet online. 

9.    The use of student’s full name, address or email address in conjunction with a photograph.

10. Opening unknown e-mail attachments or introducing computer worms or viruses.

11. Attempting to subvert network security, impair functionality of the network, or bypass restrictions set by the network administrators. Assisting others in violating these rules by sharing information or passwords.

12. Distributing "junk" mail, such as chain letters, advertisements, or unauthorized solicitations.

13. Users should ask their instructor about questionable e-mail usage.

District Rights

The District reserves the right to:

1.    Monitor all activity. 

2.    Make determinations on whether specific uses of a network are consistent with network usage guidelines. 

3.    Log network and monitor disk space utilization by users. 

4.    Determine what is appropriate use. 

5.    Remove a user’s access to the network at any time it is determined that the user engaged in unauthorized activity or violated acceptable use procedures. 

6.    Cooperate fully with any investigation concerning or relating to the District’s network activity. 

District administrators and staff have the right to review any material stored on District computers and to edit or remove any material, which they, in their sole discretion, believe, may be unlawful, obscene, abusive, or otherwise objectionable. Students have no right to privacy with regard to the use of the District’s computer information systems.  The District reserves the right to record all electronic addresses to which students send or receive information through the District’s computer information systems.  The District retains ownership and possessory control of the District’s computer information systems and all information sent, received, created, accessed or stored therein.  District computer information system administrators may review computer files and communications at any time, without advance notice to students, in order to maintain system integrity and ensure that users use the system responsibly. 

The District does not warrant that the functions of any District network, or any network accessible through District resources, will meet any specific requirements the student may have, or that the network resources will be error-free or uninterrupted.  The District shall not be liable for any direct or indirect, incidental, or consequential damages (including lost data or information) sustained or incurred in connection with the use, operation, or inability to use District networks and resources.

The use of the District network(s), including access to public networks, is a privilege which may be revoked by network administrators at any time for any reason, including, but not limited to, for violation of the Newfound Area School District Student Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technologies policy.  The Newfound Area School District will be the sole arbiter(s) of what constitutes a violation of the Newfound Area School District Computer Student Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technologies policy. 

Consequences of Violations 

The Newfound Area School District values the appropriate and responsible use of its computer information systems.  Any system user identified as a security risk or violating District computer guidelines will be denied access to the District’s system.  Violations will be tracked from year to year, but for the purposes of assigning consequences violations will be absolved each year. A violation of any of the rules and guidelines outlined in this Agreement will result in the following consequences: 

First Infraction:  removal from the computer information systems for one week (5 school days) 

Second Infraction:  removal from the computer information systems for up to 25 school days 

Third Infraction:  removal from the computer information systems for up to 90 school days.

Infraction of this policy may result in further disciplinary action based on the rules outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.  Infractions of an illegal nature will be reported to local legal authorities.  Loss of privileges to use computer information systems may also result in a grade reduction or loss of credit for any classes in which computer information systems are used.  School administrators of Newfound Area School District reserve the right to modify the consequences outlined above if deemed appropriate based on specific circumstances. 

Disclaimer

The Newfound Area School District makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing. The Newfound Area School District specifically disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of information obtained through the network and Internet and use of any information obtained is at the user’s risk. 

7. USE OF STUDENT WORK/STUDENT PHOTOGRAPH (NASD Policy JFCN)

The Newfound Area School District may, as part of regular classroom learning activities or as part of information and communication releases, publish or post student work and photographs of students to the public. Specifically, the District may:

·         Post student work and/or student photograph on the Internet to both District owned and other educationally related websites including but not limited to blogs, wikis, and podcasts;

·         Post student work and/or student photograph as part of classroom projects, bulletin boards, movies, and slideshows;

·         Post student work and/or student photograph to District publications including but not limited to newsletters, brochures, and public presentations;

·         Release student work and/or student photograph to local newspapers.

In all cases student work and/or photograph will be accompanied by first name, last name and grade. No other identifying information will be provided.

If a parent/guardian does not want the Newfound Area School District to display his/her child’s work or photograph without prior written consent, the parent/guardian must notify the District in writing by September 15th.