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THE JOHN MCKAY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The McKay Scholarship Program for Students with learning Disabilities allows parents the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their child. At times, parents may be dissatisfied with their son/daughter's current school setting or would prefer a smaller and more conducive environment provided by a private school. This scholarship provides parents with the option to transfer the student from their current school setting to a private school of their choice, like EDC Academy of Excellence. We are presently accepting applications for enrollment to this program. First to 12th grades are serviced at the academy. EDC's Academy of excellence objective is to enhance life opportunities and choices of students with learning deficiencies by empowering the individual to reach his or hers maximum potential, developing an increased sense of independence through integrated life opportunities; and providing each individual with a unique educational experience allowing more success with community inclusion. Instruction is individualized, age appropriate, and competency-based. Our main concentration is to offer life skills training coupled with educational curriculum that emphasizes the attainment of greater independence. our classes are comprised of several functional skill categories such as academics, computer training, employment exploration, survival and safety skills and recreation.

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STEP UP FOR STUDENTS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

Step Up For Students provides legislatively authorized K-12 scholarship and related support to give disadvantaged families the freedom to choose the best learning options for their children. Step Up For Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program for low income families. Public education is rooted in the promise of equal educational opportunity, and nowhere is that covenant more relevant than in the lives of children who live near poverty or for students with certain special needs. A quality education should not be determined by financial meansnor disability. Through the scholarships, we empower parents to give their children a chance at a brighter future. The FTC scholarship program was created to benefit children whose educational options are limited by household income. The scholarships are not tied to the performance of public schools nor the students who receive them. The program is different primarily because it directly targets students with the fewest options available. The latest state-commissioned research determined that students who receive the FTC scholarship are among the lowest-performing in the public schools they leave behind. This means FTC scholarship is serving the most disadvantaged children in Florida. Our scholarships provide parents a way to help their children find success. This scholarship is offered as an option the same way public education os offering an expanding array of choices. One common mistake people make about this scholarship is to view it as an indictment of public schools. However, they are intended to strengthen public education by offering options to struggling schoolchildren. We consider ourselves to be partners with public schools, and often use the tagline- "helping public education fulfill the promise of equal opportunity" - that represents a genuine expression of how we view our role in the larger education system.

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EDC Academy of Excellence
Student / Parent Handbook
 
991 NW 54th St.
Miami, Fl. 33127
Tel: 305-758-9910 Fax: 305-758-9929
" Opportunities Change Lives”

A word from our President & CEO
Michael S. Faine:

Welcome to EDC! We are looking forward to an exciting and rewarding school year for all our students.
At our school, we teach academic and survival skills to better prepare the students to function in the community. At EDC, we believe that “Opportunities Change Lives.” We incorporate all areas of prevocational skills into the curriculum in order to better prepare our students to live, work and thrive as independently as possible.  Together, we all can make a difference!!
I am available to you at any time should you have any questions, concerns or suggestions which would strengthen our programs.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Faine
President/CEO
EDC
Private School School Calendar

Currently working on
 First Day of School            Last Day of School

Teachers planning Days    Holidays    Early Release Days
•    Note* On  Early Release Days students are released at 12:30
•    If DCPS is closed due to  HURRICANES OR STORMS we will be closed also
•    Dates are subjected to change

School Hours:    Student Arrival    8:00 a.m.
                      Student Dismissal    2:00 p.m.
Arrival: 
It is important that students report to school between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m., as there is no supervision before 7:30 a.m.  Students need to learn the importance of regular school attendance and the impact that regular attendance will have on their academic achievement.
Tardy Policy: 
Arrival after 8:00 a.m. is considered a legal tardy. A student arriving after 8:00 a.m. but before 9 a.m. must request a “Late Pass” from the main office before entering the class room.  This will become an excused tardy. 
•    Parents would be notified in writing after two (2) unexcused tardiness in one month.
After 5 unexcused incidents of tardiness in a grading period:
•    Parents would be asked, in writing to schedule a conference to discuss the seriousness of the matter.
•    Students will not be admitted after 9 a.m. without a parent.
Dismissal: 
Students must leave the school grounds immediately after dismissal. If a parent is going to be late picking up a student please call the main office to arrange the late pick up alternatives.
Only individuals listed on the EMERGENCY CONTACT FORM will be allowed to pick-up students from the school during the school day. A valid photo ID will be required of all individuals picking-up students.
If someone arrives at the school to seek the release of a student and the person’s name is not on the emergency contact card and the person does not have valid photo identification, the student will not be released. 
Transportation: 
EDC’s vans will provide your child/children’s transportation to and from school.  It is very important that children are ready for the van each and every day.  The drivers have been instructed, not to wait longer than 2 min. for any student.  Parents should be aware that dismissal starts at 2 pm; and they should be available or have someone available to receive the child.  In the event that parents anticipate not being at home to receive the child, said child should have a key to enter the house.  The driver will not return students to the school for any reason. 
It will be an inconvenience to other parents and students who are on time to have to re arrange their schedule for somebody lacks of consideration.
If you reside out of the transportation area there will be a $20.00 transportation fee per month.  Please locate the transportation area map, Attachment A 
Attendance: 
There is nothing more important to successful school progress than that of regular school attendance. Students who have excessive absences will fall behind in their academic achievement, which can be followed by course failure.
In accordance with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, EDC has established the following attendance policy:
1.    Students accumulating ten or more unexcused class absences in an annual course, or five or more unexcused absences in a semester, will be subject to the withholding of final credit.  However, parents can request an administrative screening and/or review of all absences by an attendance review committee, consisting of the Program Coordinator, the CEO and the student’s teacher.
2.    The following are considered excused absences as long as proper documentation is provided:
o    Student illness
o    Medical Appointment
o    Observance of a religious holiday or service when it is mandated for all members of a faith that such holiday service be observed.
o    School sponsored events or activity previously approved.
o    Other individual student absences beyond the control of the parent/ guardian as approved by the President/CEO or his designees.
3.    All other absences not listed in item three (3) are considered unexcused.
4.    Students granted an excused absence have the right to make up all class work within a reasonable length of time (to be determined by the classroom teacher).  It is the parent/student’s responsibility to request makeup assignments in a timely manner to avoid academic penalty.
5.    The student is expected to:
•    Take advantage of his/her educational opportunity by attending all classes daily.
•    Provide the school with adequate explanations for an absence by bringing a note from the parent/guardian upon returning to school after an absence.
•    After a prolong illness the student should also provide medical documentation indicating that he/she is ready to resume classes.
6.    The parent is expected to:
•    Report and explain to the school any schedule or unscheduled absence.
•    Be responsible for his/her child’s school attendance as required by law.
•    Be aware that tardiness places his/her child’s learning in jeopardy and interrupts the learning of other students.
•    Stress the importance of regular and punctual school attendance with your child.
•    Personally, contact the school after the child’s absence.
Disciplinary Procedure:
Discipline helps develop self control, character, orderliness and efficiency.  We are never satisfied with merely stopping poor behavior; we desire to teach the student to do what is right. We do not discipline a student out of anger or for the sake of convenience, but with a loving desire to help the student improve his or her behavior.  Though few students desire discipline, they often need it in order to reach their full potential.
Each teacher will establish appropriate procedures for discipline in his/her classroom based on these guidelines. The following list is not all- inclusive. 
1.    Students are expected to respect the authority of all staff. All staff has authority over all students.
2.    Malicious destruction of school property results in the replacement, repair or payment for damages by either the student or his/her parents. 
3.    Students shall help keep the school clean at all times.  For example, gum chewing is prohibited in any area of the school.
4.    Items such as pocket knives, water pistols, matches, radios, cassette or CD players, skateboards, etc. are not permitted at the school.
5.    Student should not leave the school grounds during the school day without permission from the administration.
The Dade County School Board passed a Code of Student Conduct that lists violations and disciplinary action that must be taken in order to deal with the misconduct.

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
1.    Parent Contact
2.    Warming
3.    Referral to McKay Program Coordinator
4.    Detention
5.    Parent/teacher conference 
6.    Work Detail
7.    Suspension
Emergencies:
Illness: The importance of regular attendance cannot be over-emphasized, but students should not be sent to school when they are ill.  If a student becomes ill during school hours and appears that he/she would be best cared for at home, the parents will be contacted. There are very limited facilities in the school, making it impossible to keep sick students for long periods of time.  School personnel must be notified of any student’s chronic condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or seizures.
Injury: If a student becomes injured while in school grounds the teacher will send students with minor injuries to the front office to clean up the injured area and get a band aid.   If the student is unable to be moved the teachers will notify the Program Coordinator.  Although the agency has trained personnel that can administer basic first aid, the agency will notify the parents and call the emergency rescue unit for critical injuries that require the type of care that school personnel cannot offer.
When ever an accident occur an incident report will be completed and filed on the appropriate record.
Medication: It is the policy of Exceptional Development Corporation that the school will not be responsible of administering or handling any prescribed or non prescribed medication to students.  All EDC students on medication should schedule their intake of medication around EDC’s classroom hours (before or after).  Students who are able to self-medicate must submit a letter from their parent, guardian or applicable provider and physician.  This letter should identify the medication, its purpose, the side effects and the dosage.  In addition, this letter must also indicate that the student is authorized to self-medicate.  The students will then be solely responsible for the administration of their own medication.  The student should only carry the medication needed for the time they will be in school; the medication will be kept in the Program Coordinator’s office.  EDC will not be responsible for the lost of medication.
Field Trips:
Field Trips can be a learning experience and several field trips would be scheduled as teaching tools for academic and community inclusion skills.  Participation in field trips is a privilege therefore; students may be excluded from participation in any trip due to undesirable or inappropriate behavior or conduct.  Students serve as representatives of the school and their behavior should be an exemplary one.
Parents are encouraged to become involved in school activities as they may be asked to assist the teachers as chaperones.
Grading Policy:
The following is the scale used to determine your child’s grades:
Grade    Numeric Value    Verbal Interpretation    Grade Point Value
A    90%-100%    Outstanding Progress    4
B    80%-89%    Good Progress    3
C    70%-79%    Average Progress    2
D    60%-69%    Improvement Needed    1
F    0%-59%    Failure    0
In accordance with State and District laws all students are required to have a total score of ten (10) points per subject for the four annual grading periods, to pass each course. Half of the requirement must be met with the first half of the school year and the other must be acquired in the second half of the school year.    
Any student not meeting these requirements may face failure for the school year.
 
Grievance Procedure:
All students’ rights are respected and any identified problems will be addressed and resolved, in a timely and satisfactory manner.  In the event of a conflict or dissatisfaction the student can discuss the problem with the teacher and try to get a resolution.  If there is no resolution the student and the parents can file a formal complaint about what is bothering them with the McKay Program Coordinator.  All complaints must be recorded on the grievance log.
A satisfactory resolution must be developed within three (3) days.  If not accomplished, the complaint should be forwarded up the chain of command.  Each one has three working days to resolve your grievance in writing.  The President makes the final decision for EDC.  If you are not satisfied at this point, you should report your grievance to an advocate outside this agency.
If students or parents have a grievance or complaint it is required that they follow these recommendations:
•    Carefully analyze the problem and gather all the FACTS.  Schedule an appointment to see your child’s teacher, and maintain a rational attitude about the situation.
•    At no time should a parent directly approach a student, other than their own.  Parents who have a conflict with a student other than their own child are requested to speak to the Administration.  .  Parents do not have the right to confront another student without that student’s parent present. 
Student’s Responsibilities
Students have the right to feel safe from threats and bodily harm. Disruptive behaviors are never acceptable, and when they occur, they will result in, exclusion from participation in class activities, suspension or expulsion.
Students are not permitted to bring the following items to school:
Beepers/ Pagers / Knives
CD player / Radios / Cap/water guns
Toys / Mace / Pepper Spray
Cellular Phones    Any item that can be considered a weapon
Any of the above items brought to school will be confiscated from the student and held until the parent come to retrieve it. Please be advised that the school is in no way responsible for the loss, theft or damage of contraband items.

Suspension and Expulsion:
The CEO and or the McKay Program Coordinator may recommend expelling the student for the following:
1.    Possession, use of or threat with a weapon including, but not limited to, a gun, knife, razor, explosive, ice pick or club.
2.    Possession, use of or distribution of a substance capable of modifying mood or behavior.
3.    Using any article as a weapon or in a manner calculated to threaten any person.
4.    Engaging in less serious but continuing misconduct including, but not limited to, the use of profane, obscene or abusive language, or other acts that are detrimental to the educational function of the school
Suspendable offences include but are not limited to the following:
1.    Fighting or other dangerous and/or disruptive behavior.
2.    Smoking on school grounds.
3.    Being under the influence or having alcoholic beverages on school grounds.
4.    Defacing or vandalism of school property.
5.    Igniting any flammable substance.
Please note that if a student get suspended or expelled from EDC, they may lose their scholarship and will have to return to the public-school system. 
Telephone:
The school has a business telephone to help transact the business of the school and the lines must be kept open. Students may not use the telephone except for emergencies. Student cell phones are not permitted in school at no time.

Visitors:
All visitors must sign in and see the McKay Program Coordinator, in the main office before entering a classroom.

Dress Code:
Students should take special pride in their appearance as well as their behavior.
At all times students are expected to dress appropriately and be well groomed. EDC uniform consists of a Moss Green or White shirt, Khaki pants, skirts, or shorts. 
The following items are not permitted to be worn in school:
•    Hats/caps
•    Sun-Visors or Sunglasses
•    Halter, tank tops or off the shoulder tops
•    Shirts printed with design, logos, stripes or improper slogans
•    Short, mini skirts more than three (3) inches above the knee
•    Cut-off, ragged or faded jeans
•    Flip-flops or open toe shoes
•    Curlers in hair
•    Pants below the waste line showing the boxer shorts
•    Shirts must have a collar and must be long enough to be tucked inside of pant/skirt waistbands. 
•    The only permissible T-shirts for school are the EDC T- shirt that should be worn on your scheduled P.E. day. 
Students who come to school without observing the dress code will have to call a parent or guardian and have proper attire brought to them.  Otherwise the student will be sent home for the day.  No excuses will be tolerated. 
The only days that students may be out of uniform are when they are scheduled to report to P.E., Fridays when they dress casually or the first Monday of each month for the dress-up day.  However, in uniform or out of uniform, students must be dressed appropriately. 
The first Monday of each month has been set aside as dress-up day.  On this day students should dress like if they were going for a job interview or to work in a professional work setting. 

Personal Belongings: 
EDC is not responsible for any books or personal belongings that are misplaced, lost, or stolen. School officials reserve the right to search book bags or other student property (such as, handbags, notebooks, etc.) when deemed necessary to uphold the basic responsibility of the school regarding discipline, safety, and the maintenance of an educational atmosphere. Contraband items (electronics, weapons, sprays of any kind, including perfume, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and pornographic materials) will be confiscated and may be used as evidence in disciplinary cases. Refusal to be searched or to cooperate will be considered to be an admission of guilt, and full consequences may apply.
Homework:
Students are expected to complete assigned homework and /or projects as required. Failure to complete homework assignments will result in a detention and possible reduction of letter grade.
Students Supplies
All students are responsible for their own supplies. The teacher or the school will not supply students with pencils, pens or notebook paper. 

Standards of Ethical Conduct EDC Academy of Excellence
(Adapted from the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida and Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida)
1. Our school values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.
2. Our primary concern is the student and the development of the student's potential. Employees will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.
3. Concern for the student requires that our instructional personnel: a. Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student's mental and/or physical health and/or safety. b. Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning. c. Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view. d. Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student's academic program. e. Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement. f. Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student's legal rights. g. Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination. h. Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage. i. Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.
4. Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of colleagues, of students, of parents, and of the community, employees of our school must display the highest degree of ethical conduct. This commitment requires that our employees: a. Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings. b. Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition if otherwise qualified, or social and family background deny to a colleague professional benefits or advantages or participation in any professional organization. c. Shall not interfere with a colleague's exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities. d. Shall not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual's performance of professional or work responsibilities or with the orderly processes of education or which creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment; and, further, shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination. e. Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague.
Training Requirement
All instructional personnel and administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct.
Reporting Misconduct by Instructional Personnel and Administrators
All employees accepting or offering favors: Reports of misconduct committed by employees and/or administrators should be made to Michael Faine/CEO (305)758-9910. Legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services. Policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student are found in the main office in EDC’s Handbook and EDC’s website @www.edcacademyofexcellence.com
Reporting Child Abuse, Abandonment or Neglect
All employees and agents have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Call 1-800-96-ABUSE or report online at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/. Signs of Physical Abuse: The child may have unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, or other injuries; broken bones; or burns. A child experiencing physical abuse may seem withdrawn or depressed, seem afraid to go home or may run away, shy away from physical contact, be aggressive, or wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries. Signs of Sexual Abuse: The child may have torn, stained or bloody underwear, trouble walking or sitting, pain or itching in genital area, or a sexually transmitted disease. A child experiencing sexual abuse may have unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively, fear a particular person, seem withdrawn or depressed, gain or lose weight suddenly, shy away from physical contact, or run away from home. Signs of Neglect: the child may have unattended medical needs, little or no supervision at home, poor hygiene, or appear underweight. A child experiencing neglect may be frequently tired or hungry, steal food, or appear overly needy for adult attention. Patterns of Abuse: Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors. While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serious indicator and should be reported. Liability Protections Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or required by law, or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action. (F.S. 39.203) An employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under F.S. Chapter 760. (F.S. 768.095) and administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. Examples of misconduct include obscene language, drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating or testing violations, physical aggression