The Student Handbook is given to every student and sponsor upon entering the school. It contains an explanation of all of the rules governing the High School program including the reason we have the rule in the first place. The handbook is excerpted below with information not found elsewhere on this site:
Purpose: The purpose of grades is to allow the student and the teacher to have immediate feedback on how well the student is learning in each subject.
1) Each student should strive to achieve a grade of at least 80% in each class. However, the minimal passing grade in The Community School is 70%. A student is considered to be in crisis in a subject if the student has an average below 70%.
2) In individualized courses, a student is required to demonstrate a grade of 80% or above before moving on to new material.
3) Regular progress reports are given with grade averages in each subject.
4) The school operates on a system of 3 trimesters with each averaging 56 class days. Detailed report cards are given at that time to allow students and their sponsors to review progress and adjust any habits that may need to be improved.
Enrichment & Extra Credit
Purpose: The purpose of enrichment is to assist the student in improving his or her understanding of the subject and to improve the student’s grades toward success in each subject area.
1) Any student may request enrichment and it may be required for any student who has an average below 70% in a course.
2) Enrichment can include additional materials, individual tutoring, assistance with reading when testing, or extra credit assignments. This assistance may be written into an agreement that reflects the input of the student, teacher, and sponsors.
3) Students may request extra credit in most subjects to enrich their understanding of the course material. Extra credit will be factored into quiz and test grades.
Purpose: The purpose of good attendance is to assure that the student doesn’t fall behind in his or her studies and to develop good habits for life.
1) For an absence to be considered excused: a) it must be unavoidable, and b) the student needs to have called the school as early as possible and no later than 10:00 and c) the student must bring in missed class work and assigned work when he or she returns to school.
2) A student should call the school between 7:00 and 7:30 if he or she is going to be late or absent. The student needs to talk with a member of the staff. Texting is not accepted.
3) If a student has three unexcused absences in a row, then he or she is automatically dropped from the roll.
Purpose: The purpose of good self-care is both to promote an individual’s own good health and to recognize that a student is part of the school community.
1) A student is expected to practice good hygiene on a daily basis. This includes: bathing and washing the body, brushing teeth and using deodorant. Students should make sure that their clothes are clean and odor free. Care should be taken to not use excessive perfumes, body washes or other substances.
2) Students are expected to come to school mentally alert. To accomplish this, a student should make sure to have a good night’s rest, allowing sufficient time for sleep, usually 8-9 hours.
3) It is required that students not use or possess drugs or alcohol or be involved in the drug trade whether in or out of school.
4) Although there is no specific dress code in the school, students are expected to dress appropriate for a learning environment. Clothes that promote drugs, violence, or hatred are not appropriate.
Purpose: The purpose of independent study (homework) is to enable students to advance at a faster pace academically and to encourage independent interaction with the material.
1) Students are required to attend study session immediately following the class day. All independent study assignments are due at the end of the session. If a student’s assigned work is not complete by the end of the study session, then the student must notify the teacher and is responsible for completing the work at home.
2) It is the student’s responsibility to be prepared for school each day with all work completed and placed in the bins before leaving school.
3) Independent Study sessions are always fully staffed. If a student needs help with assigned work, then it is his or her responsibility to ask for help from the staff.
4) If a student does not bring in assigned work for a given day, then he or she will need to make it up that day – before school, during break and after school if necessary.
5) If a student is absent, it is his or her responsibility to get the class work and assignments and to bring them to school the next day. These arrangements need to be made prior to ten o’clock on the day that the student is absent.
Purpose: To assure that the school operates in a clean environment, to keep costs down, and to develop student responsibility; each student is required to assist in the maintenance of the school.
1) Each student is assigned an area of the school to thoroughly clean and maintain on a daily rotating basis.
2) Clean Up is performed every class day at 4:30. Students are expected to be co-operative with those who have clean up duties and to not mess up an area that has been cleaned.
Purpose: The purpose of tuition is to help pay for copy costs, supplies, books and other costs of operating the school.
1) Tuition is set at the beginning of each term. It is currently $25 per week.
2) Tuition is charged for every week or partial week that the student is enrolled in the school until the student: a) notifies the school that he or she is leaving or b) is dropped from the roll.
3) Students are required to pay tuition on the 1sst day of each week, but may pay in advance on either a weekly, biweekly, monthly, or annual basis.
4) If a student owes tuition then he or she will not be able to take books home. If a student is 2 weeks behind in tuition and has not made arrangements with the school, then he or she will no longer be allowed into class until the tuition is brought up to date and may be dropped from the roll.
5) If a student leaves the school with tuition owed, then the amount owed will be deducted from the book deposit before the deposit is refunded. Book deposit refunds are mailed within five days of all books being returned in good condition.
Purpose: The purpose for student sponsors is twofold. Each student needs individual support and encouragement. Also sponsors are an important source of support for the school.
1) Each student is required to have at least 2 active sponsors from among family and other important adults in his or her life.
2) Each sponsor is to fill out a form of sponsorship, attend an interview at the school, regularly contact the school about student progress, attend meetings and events, and support the student and the school.
3) If a student has difficulty in finding sponsors, then the school will assist the student in finding sponsors.
Purpose: The school encourages familiarity with the use of computers and other electronic devices and believes in proper protocols in their use.
1) Computers are to be used for school use only. They are used for all writing projects and reports and work is to be saved in each student’s designated folder. Students will use the computers for teacher-guided research as part of the curriculum. Computers cannot be used to go on to social networking, gaming, file sharing, or porn sites.
2) Cell phones and any texting device must be turned off and then turned in no later than 7:45 each morning. Phones may be used during the 2 designated break periods and must be turned in 2 minutes prior to the end of each break. If a student does not turn in his or her phone or texting device during class, it is considered a violation of the Honor Code.
3) Calculators cannot be used for either class work or independent study unless specified in the course.
4) MP3 or other music players cannot be used or in view during class or independent study.
Purpose: The school operates within an organized structure and teaches these methods to the students in order that that we can operate efficiently and the students can concentrate on their academic development.
1) Students are to label all of their work in the school with their names, dates and identifying information.
2) Tabs need to be moved to current assignment in all notebooks except math.
3) Students are not to scribble or draw in or on their school texts, notebooks, folders, tests or dittos.
General Courtesy & Safety
Purpose: A safe and comfortable atmosphere is essential to the learning process and to create a pleasant work environment.
1) Students are expected to exhibit good manners by greeting staff and each other when arriving and by shaking hands and saying goodbye when leaving. Requests should be preceded by the word “please” and “thank you” should always be expressed to show appreciation.
2) Students are to greet guests in the building making them feel welcome and helping them when needed.
3) Students should fully participate in class in a way that adds to the understanding of all students. A student should be attentive and not distract others. It is important to neither dominate the conversation nor interrupt others when a person is talking.
4) Drinks are allowed in class as long as their use is not disruptive to the learning process. Students cannot leave the class for drinks.
5) Students need to clean up after themselves.
6) Students are not to leave the school premises during the school day.
7) The Community School is a smoke free environment. Neither staff, students, nor visitors are to smoke in or around the building.
8) Students are to be considerate with the food. It is important to share and not take more than your fair share. Food should never be wasted.
Purpose: Good communication and healthy relationships are important ingredients of success both for the individual student and the school.
1) Regular communication with the teacher directly and through journals is required and helpful.
2) If a student or sponsor has a problem or concern, then it should be discussed before it grows into an even larger problem.
3) Texting is not an acceptable means of meaningful communication with the school either by a student or a sponsor.
Concerns, Criticism, & Accountability
Purpose: The school is always seeking to be our best and operating with integrity and honesty consistent with the mission and the Honor Code. It is important that all concerns, criticisms and complaints are dealt with directly and promptly to keep this goal true.
1) If a student, sponsor, or any member of the school community has a concern or complaint about the staff, program, or operation, then the issue should be brought directly to the President of the Board of Trustees’ attention (Tom Culotta).
2) If a student, sponsor, or any member of the school community has a concern or complaint about the staff, program, or operation, then the issue should be brought directly to President of the Board of Trustees’ attention.
3) If a person is not satisfied with the resolution of the problem, then the issue can be brought directly to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees (David Bayer).
Class Size and Student to Teacher ratios
We believe in manageable class sizes that are conducive to creating a positive learning environment and adequate interaction between the student and teacher. Our policy regarding class size and student to teacher ratios reflects this belief.
The student:teacher ratio for instruction in all credit courses in The Community School shall not exceed an average of 16:1.
All teachers in The Community School responsible for development and oversight of curriculum and instruction shall at minimum meet the standards for teachers in nonpublic secondary schools established by the Maryland State Department of Education.
|Location||2939-41 Huntingdon Avenue
corner of 30th & Huntingdon
|Mailing Address||337 West 30th Street
Baltimore MD 21211
Board of Trustees
|Cell Phone||(410) 804-4849|
|Chairperson||W. David Bayer|
|Cell Phone||(443) 690-4560|
|Mailing Address||2937 Huntingdon Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21211