Handbook

MISSION: “To provide a Christian environment in which God calls all His children to develop and use their gifts for joyful service in His kingdom.”

Greetings and Welcome

Welcome to a new year!   We are a community working together to know, love and serve God corporately and individually.  We hope you will take advantage of every opportunity to be a part of this school, bringing to it all your energies, talents, interests and prayers.

This handbook has been prepared so that you may become familiar with the organization, policies, procedures and services.  As well, it is our intent that students learn the value of being organized and responsible.  We encourage all of our students to become lifelong learners and to take responsibility for their own learning.  If this handbook is used consistently, it will help you to become an organized, effective learner.

The staff wishes you God’s richest blessings in the coming year.

Mission and Vision Statement

"The Society for Christian Education in Southern Alberta (SCESA) seeks to foster, promote, and support Christ-centered education for those who embrace a Biblical worldview as summarized in our Statement of Faith."

As a Christian community we envision our school as a place where:

  • Christ is glorified in everything we do;
  • Quality teaching and learning takes place;
  • Students can express themselves;
  • Students feel accepted, loved, and respected;
  • Christian discipleship and discipline are carried out in love;
  • Students work to achieve their God-given potential in all aspects of their development;
  • Everyone contributes in a positive manner to the schools;
  • Students build God-honoring friendships and relationships;
  • Everyone can develop and talk about their personal relationship with God;
  • Accountability to God and each other is stressed;
  • Academic excellence is striven for;
  • A strong sense of Christian community exists between home, school, and church;
  • Enthusiasm and excitement for learning and teaching is modeled by all;
  • Students may learn to know, love, and serve God; and,
  • Our individuality is known by Christ and celebrated by each other.

ICSS Teaching Staff

Mr. S. Alaric

Mr. M. Bekkering

​Mrs. P. Butler

Mr. D. Degner

Mrs. E. Eelhart

Mrs. T. Hann

Mrs. C. Heins

​Mr. M. Houweling

Miss R. Houweling

 

Mrs. A. Konynenbelt

Mr. T. Kruisselbrink

Mr. H. Middel

Miss M. Milne

Mrs. B. Nieuwenhuis

Mr. V. Peters

Miss K. Schellenberg

Mr. T. VandeGriend

Mr. R. vanSpronsen                 

 

School, Parent, Student Covenant Partnership

As a school, we commit to supporting the school’s mission by:

  • Delivering quality education from a Biblical basis that clearly demonstrates a Christian worldview.
  • Providing a safe, wholesome Christian environment.
  • Providing consistent communication regarding your son / daughter and the school.
  • Providing opportunities for parental input.
  • Providing consistency in application of school policies.
  • Praying for your son / daughter and your family.
  • Assisting students in achieving direction and decision in choice of vocation or profession.

As parents / guardians, we commit to supporting the school’s mission by:

  • Committing to the Biblical basis for Christ-centered education as offered at ICHS.
  • Providing a supportive study environment within the home.
  • Dealing with concerns and conflict following the pattern of Matthew 18.
  • Attending important school meetings such as Parent / Teacher interviews and Society Meetings.
  • Supporting school policies.
  • Honouring our financial commitment in support of my son / daughter’s education.
  • Supporting the school community as we are able.

As a student, I commit to supporting the school’s mission by:

  • Committing to following Jesus through my thoughts, words, and actions.
  • Helping to keep our school clean and safe.
  • Engaging in honest pursuit of knowledge including regular class attendance.
  • Upholding the rules and regulations as set out in this Student Handbook.

Student Code of Conduct

As a Christian Community, our school is committed to an integration of biblical Christianity with all subjects and an integration relevant to one’s personal life, to classroom disciplines, to co-curricular activities and to social experiences in general.

The School is committed to:

  • Provide students with a broad foundation for further education.
  • Train students in skillful use of the tools of language and thought.
  • Assist students in achieving direction and decision in choice of a profession or vocation.
  • Provide for students a wholesome Christian environment conducive to Christian growth and development.
  • Encourage the building of Christian character, strengthening faith in God and in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
  • Promote confidence in the Bible as the standard for faith and practice.

Students, whether on or off campus, are expected to:

  • Refrain from practices which are Biblically condemned.
  • Uphold behavioral standards which exist as positive applications of biblical principles.
  • Exercise careful judgment in the use of time, energy and material resources.
  • Engage in honest pursuit of knowledge including regular attendance at classes.
  • Respect the property of others and to behave in a manner which reflects a concern for others’ safety and well-being.
  • Uphold the rules and regulations as set out in this Agenda Book.

Discipline is essential in building accountability, responsibility, self-control and respect for others.  You need to understand that you are responsible for your behavior, and that any behavior that disrupts or detracts from the educational and spiritual climate of this school is unacceptable. 

Consequences

Staff, students, parents, and administration all have their part in maintaining this code of conduct. Rewarding fulfilled expectations and consequencing those that have broken must be the responsibility of each and every adult guiding the process.

The staff will

  • teach and reinforce expectations,
  • problem solve through conflict mediation,
  • seek parental supports,
  • model appropriate behaviour,
  • support each other in maintaining a high standard within this code.

The administration will

  • intervene in repeat or serious cases.

The following is a list of consequences used. The primary goal is to include, rather than exclude, students in school programs. While not always applied in this order, the list moves from the less to the more severe consequences:

  • student interview,
  • removal of privileges,
  • detention,
  • parental involvement,
  • withdrawal from classroom,
  • restitution,
  • suspension,
  • individual behaviour plan,
  • expulsion.

You may be suspended by the principal for a period of up to ten days or by a classroom teacher for one class period. If any classroom tests are scheduled or assignments due during the time of suspension, you will not be given an opportunity to re-write (for credit) but will be given a zero for the work missed.

School Routines

Class Rotation

Bells will signal the beginning and end of classes. A warning bell will ring prior to the start of each period. You are expected to be in class before the second bell rings.

Each teacher will outline, at the beginning of the school year, their procedures to follow if you are late for class. If you are having difficulty arriving on time for class, you will required to make up for lost time as well as commit to a plan, developed in consultation with your parents / guardians and the school administration, that will assist you in fulfilling your responsibility to arrive at class on time.

Attendance

Regular and punctual attendance on your part is vital to the process of learning and essential for success in the course. If attendance is irregular, you suffer a loss of experience that cannot be entirely regained. It is for this reason that excessive absences may result in you having to make up time either during the lunch break or after school.

Your parents or guardians are requested to inform the school before 8:45 AM if you will be absent from class.

Absences will be classified as: excused, verified, or unexcused.

  1. Excused Absence: you are out of class for legitimate reasons (as defined by the Alberta School Act) – reasons such as illness, school-based activities, extraordinary family situations, funerals, religious ceremonies, doctor and orthodontist’s appointments. It is your responsibility to make the necessary arrangements to acquire the class material missed and make up assignments or tests as needed.
  2. Verified Absence: you are out of class for reasons that may not be acceptable but your parent or guardian is aware of the absence. Some reasons include: sleeping in, hair/nail appointments, shopping, and skipping one class to study for another. In these cases, it will be up to the discretion of the teacher to allow the student to make up any assignments or tests. Your parents need to verify the absence with either a phone call to the office or a note. If they don’t, the absence will be considered Unexcused.
  3. Unexcused Absence: a student is out of class without a legitimate reason and the parent or guardian is unaware of the absence. You will not be allowed to make up missed work or tests for grades but are encouraged to do the work so that you won’t fall further behind in the class.

When it comes to family vacations, we acknowledge that there are family circumstances that do not allow for summer holidays and, therefore, parents may ask if their children can be excused from school for the purpose of vacation.  We are, by law, in no position to authorize this type of absence. If your parents choose to take you out of school for a number of days, it is your(and your parents’) responsibility to make arrangements to make up the work you missed. They need to know that teachers are not required to give advanced homework.  Upon returning to school, you will be informed of the work missed and are expected to catch up within a reasonable time frame.

The following process is in place for Unexcused Absences:

  • The school will notify your parents / guardians of the absence.
  • Lost time may need to be made up – either through noon or after-school detentions.
  • You may lose marks in the course under the Class Participation category. 10% of the final course mark is generally allocated to this category.
  • If you accumulate an excessive amount of unexcused absences, you will be placed on probation and will need to commit to a plan, developed in consultation with your parents / guardians, the teacher, and the administration, that will assist you in fulfilling your responsibility to attend class

Study Periods / Spares

If you are in grades 6 to 10, you are expected to take a full course load and will have no spares. If you are in grade 11 or 12, there may be times when you do not have classes. In those cases, you have the option of either leaving the school building, working in the library, or hanging out in the Student Activity Center. In all cases, you are expected to keep the hallways and lobby clear during class time.

Chapels and Assemblies

Chapels and Assemblies are an important part of school life.  They are held for the benefit of both students and teachers alike. Therefore, whether you are in class or in the building on a spare, you are expected to attend. 

Student Deportment

You are expected, as students of a Christian school, to present yourself in speech and conduct in a Christ-like fashion. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Harassment, Intimidation or Threats

All students have the right to be safe and secure while attending Immanuel Christian Schools.  If you are the victim of harassment, intimidation or threats, you should report the problem to a staff member as soon as the offense occurs. 

Dress

As Christians we are called to dress modestly and in a manner that honors God. Clothing also reflects an individual and his / her role. Therefore, at school, your clothing should be appropriate to a Christian school setting.

  • You may not wear clothing that displays vulgar or offensive messages, put-downs, or promotes anti-Christian lifestyles,
  • Clothing or combination of clothing must show no skin between the pants and shirt when standing with arms by your side.
  • Clothing must cover, at minimum, half of the shoulder (use the three-finger guide) and any undergarments on the shoulders.
  • For the females, clothing must be modest in regards to neckline, style and material. Spaghetti straps and low necklines are not permitted. Clothing must cover, at minimum, half of the thigh from the hip to the knee (use the hands-at-the-side guide). 
  • In all cases, clothing must cover all briefs or other undergarments.
  • Visible body piercing is not permitted. The only exceptions are ear piercing and a nose stud (nose rings and hoops are not permitted)
  • Proper footwear is to be worn at all times – Court shoes are to be worn in the gymnasiums to prevent scuff marks on the gym floors. 
  • Hats / toques/ caps are not to be worn in the building during the regular school day.

Failure to comply with this dress code will result in the following two things:

  1. The administration will call your parents to discuss this issue.
  2. If requested by a staff member, you will be required to remedy your dress by changing.

Displays of Affection

Undue displays of affection are to be avoided in and around school property.

Smoke-Free Environment

Our school campuses maintain a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not permitted on school property.

It is illegal according to the Alberta Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use Amendment Act for young persons to smoke or to possess tobacco products. Accordingly, if you are found to be using or possessing tobacco products, whether on or off campus, your parents or guardians will be notified and a letter sent home. If another incident of tobacco use or possession occurs, the school’s police liaison officer will be contacted and you will be charged. The current fine for tobacco use or possession is $115.00. Students who fail to respond to repeated fines may face a suspension.

Drugs and Alcohol

Our aim is to promote a safe educational environment at our campuses and the use of illicit drugs and the consumption of alcohol have no place in the educational setting of a Christian school. If you transport, consume, and/or possess alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs at school, on the buses, or at activities sponsored by the school, you will be immediately suspended and further action will be taken in accordance with the Policies of Lethbridge School District 51.

Dangerous Behaviour

In order to maintain a safe environment, fighting, roughhousing, and running around inside the school are not permitted.

You may not bring knives (including pocket knives), laser pointers, firecrackers, and similar hazardous materials to school, or ignite lighters, matches, or start fires.

Care of School Property

Do not deface, scratch or damage school property such as desks, lockers, walls, floors, furniture, sports equipment, school bus seats, and textbooks.  Anyone responsible for such damage will be assessed the full replacement or repair cost. 

Acceptable Cell Phone / Personal Electronic Device Usage

The use of all electronic equipment, including cell phones and Smart phones, is subject to the Technology Usage Agreement that you have signed at the beginning of each school year. 

You are permitted to use your personal electronic devices including cell phones and Smart phones during the breaks and your spares. However, during class time these devices must be turned off and not used unless your teacher has given express approval.   Teachers may decide, at certain times or in certain situations, to permit personal electronic devices into their classrooms as part of a teaching strategy.

The consequence of unauthorized use of your phone / PED in the classroom is:

  • First offense: Phone is confiscated for the remainder of the school day and your parents will be notified.
  • Second and subsequent offenses: Phone is confiscated and your parents will be notified. Return of your phone is subject to a $75.00 fine that will be donated to a charitable organization of your choice.

Building and Grounds

Learning Commons

The Learning Commons serves students as a center for research activities and recreational reading and is open during regular school days from 8:30 AM to 3:15 PM. 

Leaving School Property

If you are a student in grades 6 to 9, you may not leave the school grounds during the school day. Exceptions may be made for specific situations with express parental consent.

If you are a student in grades 10 to 12 you may leave the school grounds during your spares and your breaks. If you do leave, we expect you to act in a respectful way towards the neighbors that border our school. This means we all help maintain a safe and clean environment.  This is demonstrated by:

  • Driving slowly and quietly around the school
  • Refrain from any littering by using the garbage bins provided

Automobiles and Parking

If you drive your vehicle to school, you need to register the license plate at the front office. You may park your vehicles in the lot north of 6th Avenue or in the far west end of the staff parking area. 

If you drive inappropriately and in an unsafe manner, you will be referred to our Lethbridge Police Services’ School Liaison Officer.

Lockers

You will be issued a locker on the first day of school. Any pictures you wish to hang in your locker should be easily removable and should show good taste in keeping with the character of a Christian school. You are responsible for the condition of your lockers. If, during the year, your locker is damaged or does not function properly, the principal or vice-principal should be notified. To minimize theft, as few valuables as possible should be stored in your locker. If possible, the school will help recover missing articles, but cannot assume responsibility.

Only school-approved locks can be used on your locker. These locks can be obtained from your homeroom teacher (Middle Years) or from the Assistant-Principal (Senior High). All non-approved locks will be cut off.

Privacy Note: As a school we need to balance the school's responsibility for maintaining order, discipline, and a safe environment on one hand, with that of the student's legitimate rights of freedom and liberty on the other. Parents and students need to know that it is a matter of law that student lockers and desks are school property and remain, at all times, under the control of the school and students should have no expectation of privacy therein. Searches of lockers or desks (but not the personal contents that are in the lockers or desks) may be undertaken by the Principal or Assistant-Principal for any reason, at any time, without notice and without student consent. Students are expected, however, to assume full responsibility for the security of the contents of their lockers and desks.

Posters and Notices

Materials for display in the hallways or foyers must be approved by the Principal. Materials for display in the classrooms must have the approval of the classroom teacher.

Telephones

There is a telephones available for student use located in the main foyer.

Video Surveillance

You should be aware that our school has video surveillance cameras in the hallways and entrances.  The primary purpose is to enhance the safety of our students and to deter theft and vandalism.

Evaluation

Academic Achievement

You are expected to apply yourself diligently to your work. The school recognizes the differences in the ability and aptitude of its students and seeks, as much as possible, ways to meet both your interest and your abilities.

Homework

Completing daily homework assignments is a vital and necessary step in ensuring that good academic achievement is possible. We strongly encourage you to use a planning calendar so that you can keep a record of your responsibilities in an orderly fashion. Teachers will discuss homework completion problems with your parents.

Academic Honesty

While it is tempting for students, in a wide range of ways, to claim credit where it is not earned, it is imperative to maintain high standards of academic honesty at a Christian school. You are expected to be honest in all dealings with others and in meeting course requirements. Not only does plagiarism and other forms of cheating undermine your integrity and honesty, it also makes it very difficult for a teacher to determine the extent to which you have achieved the curriculum expectations being evaluated in a given assignment or test. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with methods of avoiding plagiarism, and for consulting your teacher to seek help when in doubt.

The simplest definition of plagiarism is presenting as one’s own, the ideas, words, work, or homework of others, or taking personal credit for the words and ideas of others presented in print, electronic, and/or verbal forms.

Plagiarism can take many forms and applies to both written and non-written work, including but not limited to essays, reports, labs, projects, exams, journals; computer programs, models, spreadsheets, web pages, databases; math calculations, derivations; diagrams, charts, graphs, tables, drawings, artworks, photographs, maps, music/ compositions, posters, and oral presentations.

Some examples include:

  • Submitting work that you have done under someone else’s name or submitting work someone else has done under your name.
  • Using essays/assignments/information from Internet sites or individuals and passing the essay/assignment/information in as your own work.
  • Quoting directly - or indirectly (paraphrasing, summarizing, etc.) - from any source without proper citation. To clarify: ‘any source’ does not simply mean books but can include television, radio and film; Internet sites; interviews; and computer programs. Basically, you must cite anything that you did not come up with on your own.
  • Writing an assignment for someone else or allowing someone to copy your assignment for them to submit for credit.
  • Taking a test for someone else.
  • Self-plagiarism is submitting work for a class that you have already submitted to another class for credit without obtaining the teacher’s permission. The consequence for this is the same as other forms of plagiarism

The consequences for plagiarism are:

  • The teacher of that subject will contact your parent(s).
  • If this is your first incident of plagiarism, you will be expected to resubmit the assignment.
  • For any and all subsequent incidents of plagiarism, you are still expected to re-submit the assignment but will earn a zero grade. Repeated offences can result in a suspension and a failure in the course

Examinations

Comprehensive examinations will be developed for most subject areas in grades 9 to 12.  These examinations will either be developed locally by Immanuel Christian School or provincially by the Alberta Department of Education. Barring extenuating circumstances, you are to write exams during the scheduled exam period.

Health and Safety

Medications

The administration of any non-prescription medications (e.g. Tylenol) cannot legally be given by any staff member.

Illness and Accidents

If you become ill during school, the teacher will inform the front office and admit you to the infirmary.  Your parents will be contacted and a decision made to either pick you up or have you remain at school until regular dismissal. In the case of an accident causing bodily harm or suspected harm, we may take you to the hospital for treatment. 

Emergency Procedures

To prepare for an emergency event, various drills will be held on a regular basis. It is important that during all drills, you are to conduct yourself orderly, quietly, and quickly. During the first week of classes, the staff will inform you of the various emergency procedures.

School Closures

Throughout the winter we could be faced with hazardous weather conditions that may result in school closure. If school is closed, an announcement will be made over the following radio stations: 93.3 FM, 98.1 FM, 94.1 FM, 95.5 FM, and 107.7 FM. We will also announce it on our school’s Facebook site. As well, bus drivers may cancel their run if they feel it is unsafe. In this event, the driver will contact the families involved.

Technology Usage Agreement

Immanuel Christian Secondary School is blessed to have a set of technology resources which can complement the teaching and learning of our school. It has been argued that “Computer technology is part of the latent potential that God placed in creation and that we are called to discover and develop. As a consequence of the fall, there are distortions in the use and place of technology. As Christians, we are called to reject technicism in all its forms, and work to shape technology in ways that answer God’s call to look after the earth and to show love to our neighbours”. Thus, Technology usage at ICSS is conducted under the same rules and values as any other activity at the school. This means that use of technologies – whether owned personally or by the school – should always reflect our Christian values of academic honesty, high ethical standards and moral responsibility. Appropriate use demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, and system security mechanisms. At the same time, the school has a responsibility to ensure that all students are able to work and learn in a safe and secure environment that respects privacy and enhances the learning environment.

  1. Computers are provided to you for educational and course related purposes only. This is a privilege and not a right – inappropriate use may result in the cancellation of that privilege.
  2. Computer accounts are intended for the use of a single individual. Your account password is your signature. If you lend it to somebody else, you then accept the responsibility for what they do in the system. It is strongly recommended that you keep your password a secret. Should you discover that somebody else knows your password, you need to make arrangements to have it changed.
  3. You are expected to use the computers for academic purposes. You are also expected to help maintain the safety and integrity of the network by not installing any software, unless authorized by a staff member, not tampering with any of the files – either on the network or on the computer, not playing games, not accessing chat lines, not downloading software, not accessing other network accounts, not circumventing the school’s internet filter, or by vandalizing hardware or computer data.
  4. All communication and information accessible via the computer resources shall not be regarded as private. You agree and consent to allow Immanuel Christian School personnel to review with or without notice any and all files, data and messages to ensure that you are using the system responsibly at all times. This also applies if you connect your personal computer to the school’s network (either by cord or by wireless).
  5. Use of the Internet is solely for educational and school-related purposes and must be in keeping with the Christian character of the school.
  6. Your use of Personal Communication Devices – such as iPods, MP3 players, cell phones – and other digital technologies – such as cameras and PDAs – shall not contradict our Christian principles, disrupt the educational process, school programs or activities, or in a manner that violates personal privacy and confidentiality, law, or school rules.
  7. Failure to respect these responsibilities and live up to them will result in appropriate disciplinary action that could include, but is not limited to, a loss of privileges.

School Bus Regulations

Welcome to the Society’s transportation system.  We hope that you enjoy your travels on the society’s bus fleet.  It’s the Transportation Committee’s responsibility to get the students to school safely and on time, at a minimum cost to the society, and with minimum conflict between drivers, children, parents and administrators.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Parental Responsibilities

For the safety of the students who ride the bus, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are suitably dressed for the weather.  Parents should also have a contingency plan in place for the care of their children, should it become necessary to close the school during adverse weather conditions.

Extreme weather conditions

Typically, the Society’s policy is that the ICES and ICSS bus fleet shuts down when the temperature reaches -30 degrees Celsius.  However, the decision to shut down is not automatic, ie, it is not just based upon what the thermometer says.  For example, there may be days when -30 degrees Celsius is reached, however the weather is clear and calm.  The bus fleet may continue to operate on such days.  If the decision is made to shut down the fleet, parents are advised by the local radio stations and by the busing telephone chain as early in the morning as possible. If the gravel roads become treacherous in extreme conditions, the bus operator may call the parents to drive to meet the school bus.

Student Discipline Issues

Depending on the severity of the event, the principal and the school board are not limited to the disciplinary procedures described here.  For example, an event may be so serious that the principal may recommend immediate expulsion, without the following procedures.

Immediate removal from the bus

The bus operator may suspend a student from riding on the bus for a very serious incident without first consulting the administration.  The bus operator must then immediately inform the parents and the administration as well. For example, if a student is being disruptive on the bus and his/her behavior potentially affects transportation safety, the bus operator may ask the student to leave the bus at the very next stop (as long as there is a consenting adult home at the time).The bus operator should then call the student’s parents and advise them that their student has been removed from the bus and will need a ride home. The bus operator would then advise the school principal at the first opportunity. Note that this suspension is for one day only. The principal may or may not choose to record the event as an INCIDENT.

Minor Incidents

For a minor incident, the operator has the option to call the parents himself or herself and not involve the principal.  If the bus operator decides the incident is serious enough to involve the principal, he or she shall use the Discipline Report Form.  However, the principal may subsequently decide that a bus operator has downplayed a serious event that requires follow-up by the principal.  In such a case, the principal may require the bus operator to complete a Discipline Report Form.