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Student Handbook

A Note to the Parents and Guardians
The purpose of this handbook is to inform parents and students about the practical aspects of life at the Science Leadership Academy (SLA). In addition, there are many people at SLA who are prepared to help make the high school experience as powerful and enriching an experience as possible for students and their families. We look forward to getting to know you and your children. Additional information about the school can be found on our website: scienceleadership.org, and if you have any more questions after reading this document, please feel free to call the school at 215-400-7830.


Table Of Contents
Absentee Policy
Academic Integrity Policy
Acceptable Use Policy
Advisory
Appearance and Guidelines
Assesment at SLA
The Café
Chewing Gum
Classroom Policies
Classroom Schedule
Code Of Conduct
The Elevators
Hours Of Operation
Lateness Policy
Leaving The Building
Lunch and Food Services @ SLA
Marking Periods
ersonal Electronic Devices
SLA Portal
Transportation
Weather and Emergencies


Absentee Policy
On any day that a student is going to be absent due to illness or any other reason, the parent/guardian should telephone the SLA secretary, Diane LoGiudice at 215-400-7830 or email at attendance@scienceleadership.org by 8:30 am. After an absence from any contagious or communicable disease, a note from the family physician or release from the Board of Health should be delivered to the School Nurse or School Secretary. In the case of all absences, students are encouraged to stay current on their school-work using the SLA website to receive assignments and take part in classes.


Academic Integrity Policy
Across disciplines, we value student collaboration and expression of original ideas. The vast majority of students turn in assignments that either meet or exceed our expectations and contain no plagiarized or copied work. In an effort to honor their work, we introduce the following policy to respond to work that has been plagiarized or copied.

Definition of Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty for this Policy: In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a student uses or supplies someone else’s language, ideas, or other original material without acknowledging its source. Including, but not limited to:

• Copying from the Internet or any other source (including putting work into an online translator)

• Copying from another student

• Turning in another person’s work as your own

• Submitting a group project that includes plagiarized or copied work

• Supplying another student with work that is not their own

MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS
If plagiarism/copying occurs on larger assessments in a given academic year (benchmarks, large projects worth 10% of grade or more):
• 1st offense: Students will automatically fail the quarter if the assignment isn’t re-done. Students can re-do the assignment, and any redone project that meets expectations can earn up to a 50%. The re-done project’s grade will be mathematically factored in to determine the student’s final grade for the quarter. If plagiarism/copying is caught at the very end of the quarter, a student will earn an Incomplete for the quarter and will have a maximum of two weeks to re-do the assignment for 50% credit. There will also be a parent meeting with advisors, teacher, and student.

• 2nd offense in any class: Student will fail the course where the second plagiarism occurs for the quarter and there will be a parent meeting with advisors, teacher, and Mr. Lehmann.

• 3rd offense in any class: Student will fail the course where the third plagiarism occurs for the year.

**Group Projects: If a group project is submitted that contains plagiarized or copied work, other group members who didn’t plagiarize will be penalized one full letter grade (10%) for the project, and the group member who plagiarized/copied will fall under the above consequences. If there is a concern about a group member possibly plagiarizing or not completing his or her share of a group’s work, other group members should voice this concern with their teacher as early as possible, and the teacher will work with the group to come up with a solution.
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MINOR ASSIGNMENTS
If plagiarism occurs on other assignments (non-benchmarks; smaller assignments), the following consequences will apply for BOTH copier and copiee:

• 1st offense: 0 and redo for 0 credit, meeting with the advisor and alert parents.

• 2nd offense in the same class: meet with the advisor, teacher, and Mr. Lehmann

Additional offenses in class: parents come in and meet with Mr. Lehmann, possible suspension or failure for quarter depending on the frequency of offenses.

Adapted from the Council of Writing Program Administrators

Student Sign-off

I have reviewed and understand the SLA Plagiarism Policy. All work presented in upcoming projects will be my own; I will not give or receive unauthorized help on any projects during the course of this year.

Signature:


Acceptable Use Policy

Science Leadership Academy values technology and encourages its use in creative ways to support student learning in a safe and secure learning environment. This policy is a guide ensuring the appropriate use as well as safety for all community members. While these technologies provide powerful learning opportunities, they must be used responsibly. To support the technology program, families pay a mandatory annual $40 technology fee. This fee helps pay for insuring the machines, purchasing software licenses and any other technology-related costs that the school incurs. If there is any major damage incurred to a school-issued laptop, and the technology fee has been paid, families are only liable for the deductible. If the tech fee has not been paid, students will be charged the full price of the part.

Families may choose to provide their child with a personal laptop. Students who opt out of a school laptop at the time of laptop distribution will not receive a school laptop at that time. All families are responsible for the technology whether their child uses a school-issued laptop or their own personal laptop.

If a student is using their own device, all troubleshooting, wifi connections, and technical assistance will have to be through the manufacturer of the laptop in use by the student. SLA does not have the resources to break-fix/troubleshoot any opt-out laptops, this includes Chromebooks of any kind. SLA does not provide loaners for personal laptops that are being repaired, however, should a student choose to opt-in to a school laptop, one will be issued to the student. Once a school laptop is issued, however, it may not be turned in until laptop collection at the end of the school year and is considered the student’s responsibility, even if they choose to continue the use of a personal laptop.
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The following rules apply to any device connected to the School District of Philadelphia’s network. Learning always takes priority while using SLA’s wireless and hardwired internet connections.The following guidelines apply to any school device, whenever it is in use, and any device logged into the School District of Philadelphia’s network. Some of these rules differ for home use, so it is the responsibility of the student to know the difference and to adhere to the School District of Philadelphia’s network rules and Acceptable Use Policy while in school.

Do not touch or explore data on another personʼs laptop/device unless invited by the owner
Only access areas of the network you have been given permission to access at school
Do not load any game, video or music file on your machine that is not paid for or have the rights to use by you.
Do not play games at school, unless school and parent approved
Do not chat online or play music/videos unless given permission by your teacher
Do not post or send any message/picture/sound/video that is obscene, rude, harassing or insulting to anyone
Do not attack, threaten or intimidate another student via technology (or otherwise)
Do not take pictures or post pictures of others without asking their permission
Do not take up bandwidth by downloading movies, music, pictures, or by playing online games
Do not store data on the hard drive, all personal files must be saved on an external hard drive/cloud space
Do not download any illegal materials or intellectual property that was not purchased by you
Peer to peer file sharing is strictly prohibited and monitored by the School District of Philadelphia
Do not plagiarize, for more information see SLAʼs academic integrity policy
Do not forward or send any content not directly associated with your learning
Do not deliberately or negligently spread viruses, malware, or spyware

Science Leadership Academy and The School District of Philadelphia will monitor user data and internet access and has the right to check the contents of any electronic device brought onto the schoolʼs premises or on any official school event. Educational use of the network and computer resources takes precedence over non-educational use. This statement covers (but is not limited to) the use of any and all electronic devices owned by the school and by the students that are brought onto schoolʼs premises or at other official school functions.

An email address with the suffix @scienceleadership.org will be provided to all students. Students may use this to communicate with parents, teachers, friends, experts and fellow students around the globe. This address is to be used for all school-related business. Your private account should be used for all other communications. Communicating online is very much like communicating with people in person. You must be respectful of others at all times. Remember that all email & Canvas messages can be read by the SLA Technology Team and the administration. Donʼt write anything you would not want to share with teachers and parents.

While many members of SLA, including staff members, use instant messaging and blogging software to communicate, part of the learning experience at SLA is to responsibly use these types of communication methods as part of your school day.

Above all follow the school rules:

Respect Yourself   ~   Respect the Community  ~  Respect SLA as a Place of Learning

*this policy is subject to change at any time – last update: 8/28/17
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Advisory

The purpose of the Advisory class at SLA is to provide academic support to students and to foster a sense of community within the school. Advisory is a safe-haven for students founded on confidentiality and mutual respect. It provides a place for a student to express themselves about issues that are important to them, including transitioning from middle school into high school, managing homework expectations, peer pressure, conflict resolution with teachers, and more.

Parents/guardians should view the advisor as their first link to the school. They should email/phone the advisor about matters such as extended absences and/or special issues, or to check on a student’s progress.

Parents/guardians and their child meet with their child’s advisor once a semester to review the student’s academic and social progress, and to discuss the student’s achievements and challenges. Whenever possible, students are paired with an advisor for their entire high school career. Therefore, advisors have the advantage of looking at a student’s academic and social adjustment to high school holistically and across disciplines. As students advance to the junior and senior years, Advisory discussions also deal with course choices and college-preparation issues and activities. Advisory meets Mondays and Thursdays from 3:05-3:50 pm.
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Appearance and Guidelines

SLA students must dress respectfully in such a way that their dress does not interfere with another student’s learning. In addition, all students are required to keep a white lab coat at school for use at important events such as EduCon, the Franklin Awards and other special days. 9th Graders will be required to wear their lab coats every Wednesday during the Wednesdays @ The Franklin program.

Students should be aware that teachers can require students to wear lab coats in class—many science teachers will require lab coats when working in the lab.  Students are expected to purchase their lab coat on the first day of school.

While students can put personal touches on their lab coats, we ask that they respect the uniform and the school community, and are appropriate in their consideration of decorations. Students can always speak to a faculty member to gauge whether a certain personal touch is appropriate. Students who inappropriately adorn their coats may need to purchase a new one. Students are expected to be dressed respectfully, neatly, and modestly in clothing suitable for school.


Assesment at SLA

Students at SLA are assessed through a variety of means with a focus on project-based learning and our five core values of inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection. Our students do not take the School District of Philadelphia benchmark exams; rather, they complete projects in every subject that are assessed based on the SLA rubric
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The Rubic
Exceeds Expectations = 20 – 19 points

Meets Expectations = 18 – 16 points

Approaches Expectations – 15 – 13 points

Does Not Meet Expectations – 12 – 0 points

Design –
Does the student plan and structure the project thoughtfully and purposefully?

Knowledge –
Does student demonstrate the understanding of ideas through inquiry, research, analysis, or experience?

Application –
Does student use a variety of skills and strategies to apply knowledge to the problem or project?

Process –
Does student take the necessary steps to fully realize the project goals?

Presentation –
Does student effectively communicate the central ideas of the project?

See below for a photo of the proper rubric layout. The descriptions in the empty boxes are filled in according to the subject and project nature.

Report Cards at SLA
All report card grades are graded on the A, B, C, D, F scale, rather than a 0-100 numeric scale. As such, on the report card, grades look like this:

95 – A, 85 – B, 75 – C, 65 – D, 55 – F

There are no percentages of grades between the 95, 85, 75, 65, 55 grades for final quarter grades or for final cumulative grades for final course grades.

Teachers grade individual assignments as outlined in their course syllabus and course requirements. Generally, an A would be a grade between a 90-100, a B would be an 80-89, a C would be a 70-79, a D would be between a 60-69, and a failing grade would be below a 60.

Narratives/Standards-Based Reporting
The purpose of standards-based report cards is to communicate information about student progress and achievement with regard to specific overarching content standards/skills across disciplines. These reports are formative, as they are meant to help students improve in specific skill areas in core classes throughout each year. Additionally, standards-based reporting will help students, parents, and teachers track skill development and progress vertically as students move through different levels of courses within each discipline.

The purpose of a narrative report card is to give parents, advisors, and students a qualitative overview of how the student is performing daily in the classroom setting. The reports are filled with observations, suggestions and assessed critiques of the whole student.

These reports come out at the end of the first and third quarters. They are discussed with students, advisors, and parents at the report card conferences. Ask your advisor for more information.

Process for standards:
Each department collaborated to create discipline and/or course-specific standards for each course. These standards are meant to be overarching skills that are continually assessed throughout the course (roughly 4 – 6 standards per course). Throughout the course of the school year, each standard is assessed (usually multiple times) in each class. Projects, in-class assignments, labs, quizzes, and student-generated reflections are all examples of how student progress is tracked with regard to specific standards. Twice per year (after the first and third quarter), students are given a narrative report card in addition to their school district report card, and part of the narrative report card is their standards-based report for each class. On a student’s standards-based report card, they are given feedback on their progress for each standard on a 1 – 4 scale (1 meaning Not Currently Meeting Expectations, 2 meaning Approaching Expectations, 3 meaning Meeting Expectations, and 4 meaning Exceeding Expectations). During parent-advisor report card conferences, advisors, parents, and students go through their report cards for each class, and the standards-based report card serves as a skill-specific progress report for each course.
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The Café

The Café is a gateway to the school and it is the first space that visitors and guests see. It was designed to give the students a warm and inviting place to gather and eat. As such, students should respect the café and keep it clean. This means conducting oneself in an appropriate manner and caring for this very visible part of the school environment by doing such things as throwing away trash.
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Chewing Gum

Students are not permitted to chew gum at The Franklin Institute.


Classroom Policies

Parents/guardians should be aware that while there are universal guidelines at SLA, teachers may have different classroom procedures regarding hats, food, etc… We expect all students to respect those guidelines. Students who cannot abide by the classroom policies and, therefore, are asked to leave class more than once in a school year may have to have their parents come in and follow them through several class periods so that parents can observe student behavior.
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Classroom Schedule

SLA’s class schedule is rather unique. Classes meet for 65 minutes four times a week at different times during the day. Classes meet during the letter bands, for example, a student might have English during A Band. The class period schedule is as follows:

All 9th Graders take The Franklin Institute Course from 1:30 – 3:45 on Wednesdays. All 10th – 12th Graders are involved in their Independent Learning Plan / Internships from 1:30 – 3:45 on Wednesdays.

Teachers are in Faculty Workshops from 1:45 – 3:15 every Wednesday.

Please note: SLA students may remain in classes, have activities at the Franklin Institute or have Independent Learning Program obligations on days when other School District of Philadelphia schools have an early dismissal for staff development afternoons. Please refer to the SLA calendar for more information.
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Code Of Conduct

At SLA, we have come together to try to further each other’s knowledge, wisdom, and abilities. To do that, we all need to feel safe, valued and respected. To that end, we offer the following three guidelines for student behavior:

Respect and care about yourself.
Respect and care about the community and its members.
Respect and care that this is a place of learning
All other specific guidelines for behavior stem from these simple statements.

Disciplinary actions for students who violate any or all of these codes of conduct range from parent conferences, to loss of privileges, to suspension and/or expulsion from SLA. Students and families should be familiar with the School District of Philadelphia’s Code of Conduct that can be found at www.philasd.org.
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The Elevators

SLA shares the main elevator with our neighbors and both our neighbor and the owners of the building have asked that students not ride the elevators as the elevators have broken down through frequent student use. Therefore, students are not allowed to use the elevators without an elevator pass or authorization from a teacher. Students who use the elevator without permission will be subject to a $20 fine.


Hours Of Operation

The school building is open from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday. The first class starts at 8:15 am every morning, and school ends at 3:05 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, 3:30 pm on Wednesdays (including ILP, Capstone and TFI) and 3:50 pm on Mondays and Thursdays.
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Lateness Policy

School starts at 8:15 every morning. The school opens for student access at 7:00 am, so there should not be a reason for students to time their arrival so closely as to risk being late. Students who have accrued 4 unexcused latenesses within a one month period will have to have to serve a Saturday detention.  Saturday detentions will take place once per month at SLA from 9 am – 11 am.

Latenesses that are the result of doctor visits or other extenuating circumstances, accompanied by a note, will not count toward detentions. Train delays that are not reported by SEPTA are not excused. Seniors who do not have a first-period class do not have to report until the second-period.

If you know your child will be late, please email attendance@scienceleadership.org or send in a note and cc your child’s advisor.

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Leaving The Building

Students may not leave the building during school hours without a note. Students must sign out, in the main office,  before leaving for any reason.


Lunch and Food Services @ SLA

Lunch policy is as follows:
All students are entitled to a free breakfast, and students can receive lunch (free, reduced or full-price) according to School District of Philadelphia regulations.

Students may be in the Cafe, on the second floor up to the Fire Doors (including the Library,) or in a classroom with permission (and attendance) of a teacher.

Students are not allowed outside for lunch without express written permission from SLA administration.

There is no “passing time” between the lunch periods (SLA lunches are 65 minutes long, longer than most high school lunches,) therefore students should plan accordingly and not be late to their class after lunch.

Students are expected to respect the school and assist SLA staff in keeping the lunch areas clean.


Marking Periods

SLA follows the School District of Philadelphia high school calendar for marking periods. Please Note: SLA students may remain in classes on days when other School District of Philadelphia schools have an early dismissal for staff development afternoons. Please refer to the SLA calendar for more information.
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Personal Electronic Devices

At SLA, we are proud to be a 21st century school and we promote responsible and thoughtful use of personal electronic devices. However, cell phones, iPods, PDA’s and other items should not interfere with the learning process. Teachers reserve the right to confiscate a student’s device if it is interfering with class. The first time a student’s personal electronic device appears to be a nuisance, it will be taken away and returned to the student at the end of the school day. Parents/guardians will need to come to the school to collect their child’s personal electronic device the second time it is confiscated.
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SLA Portal

SLA’s website includes a portal that gives students access to many of the web-based communication and publication tools including SLATE and Canvas — our on-line course software, and GSuite tools. It enables teachers and students to create online spaces for each course, allowing them to communicate about assignments, school events, and more. Parents and guardians can check student assignments by emailing the child’s advisor for login access. The School District of Philadelphia also has a parent portal for formal grades and progress on standardized testing. In addition, parents will receive frequent emails from the school via our parent list-serv. We will subscribe all requested email addresses the first week of school. If you do not receive the parent emails. Contact your child’s advisor with any questions or concerns about the Portals.
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Transportation

The following buses and trains stop near the building at 55 N. 22nd StreetSEPTA Routes 7, 33, 38, 48 and Green Line trolleys. Free transpasses are available from SEPTA for students who live at least 1.5 miles away from the school. TransPasses will be handed out on the first day of school during advisory.

Students taking Regional Rail can upgrade their student transpass at these SEPTA locations.
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Weather and Emergencies

SLA is a School District of Philadelphia(SDP) school and operates the same as other Philadelphia public and charter schools do. Please listen to your local news stations, or go online to philadelphia.cbslocal.com or www.philasd.org to check for school closings due to inclement weather or weather emergencies. SLA’s school code is 2650. SDP also puts this kind of information on their Facebook page
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Last modified: August 15, 2018