Elementary School Handbook

Dear Parents, Students and Friends,

This handbook is provided to acquaint you with our school’s operational procedures and educational programs. Descriptions of our school’s curriculum, history, philosophy, and religious distinctives have been included to promote your awareness, understanding, and involvement in the educational process of our School. Anyone interested in obtaining additional information is encouraged to call or visit the elementary office. Students, please become familiar with your responsibilities as outlined in this handbook. May these school rules help you to do your part in keeping our classrooms and playgrounds pleasant and safe places in which you and your classmates may study and learn together. Be diligent in your studies, remembering what God has said in His Word, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do with all thy might.” May the Lord bless your efforts, especially in the study of His Word. May you personally experience that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Parents, let us be examples “in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Since in our own strength and wisdom we cannot perform our responsibilities as expressed in God’s Word, let us remember each other in prayer throughout the year, seeking the Lord’s assistance and blessing upon our efforts.

Sincerely,

Nathan Bleeker, Principal

 

Mission Statement

The mission of Plymouth Christian Schools is to provide, as God enables, a Christ-centered educational program dedicated to the glory of God, as an extension of the home and church.  Students will be challenged to develop Biblical values, basic skills, and God-given abilities, grow in knowledge, and explore their interests while seeking God’s will as revealed in His Word, and seeing His handiwork in creation, for their temporal and eternal welfare and the benefit of others.

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School Motto

As God enables — growing in knowledge, striving for wisdom, learning to serve — for His glory.

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Statement of Purpose

The purpose of Plymouth Christian Elementary School is to strive to “train up a child in the way he should go,” for the Lord has promised that “when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).  The home, the church, and the school each have the God-given responsibility to bring up our children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”  (Ephesians 6:4).  While none are able to properly do this of themselves, we must pray and strive to place God and His infallible Word at the center of all subjects studied, instruction given, and policies developed.  Behavior and guidance are directed according to Biblical principles.  Religious instruction is based on the Bible and presented from a truly reformed perspective in accordance with our Doctrinal Standards: The Heidelberg Catechism, The Belgic Confession of Faith, and the Cannons of Dort.  Instruction will be given in all subjects needed for our daily life.  Therefore, not only Biblical Studies is taught, but also a wide range of academic subjects of which each course attempts to draw its basis and theme from the Scripture which “is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness”  (II Timothy 3:16).

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Philosophy of Education

The word philosophy can be defined as “the beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group; a system of philosophical concepts; a theory underlying a sphere of thoughts; a search for truth through logical reasoning; or as a pursuit of wisdom.”  Our philosophy of Christian education comprises our beliefs and our attitudes, as well as our search for, and pursuit of the truth in education.  Specifically, we must address the following questions:

 I. What is our basis of truth and education?

II. What core truths do we believe?

III. What are our purposes of education?

IV. What are our general objectives in education?

V. What are some of our specific objectives in education?

I.  Basis of Truth and Education

We believe that the basis of truth and education must be found in the Triune God and His infallible Word. All core beliefs, all purposes of education, and all general objectives of education must be based upon principles established in the infallible sixty-six books of sacred Scripture.

II. Core Beliefs

Our Reformed philosophy of Christian education is based on certain core beliefs, which we hold to be true.  These core beliefs are explained in our doctrinal standards: the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession of Faith, and the Cannons of Dort.  A short summary of these core beliefs is as follows:

 

We believe that there is one true God, and that He is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, omnipresent, independent, omniscient, indivisible, almighty, perfectly wise, just, gracious and the overflowing fountain of all good.  “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, and only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.  Amen”  (I Tim. 1:17).

We believe that this God, though One in essence, has revealed Himself in three distinct and coequal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”  (I John 5:7).

We believe that God has revealed Himself to man by two means: first, by general revelation through His creation, His providence, and man’s conscience; secondly, He makes Himself far more clearly and fully known by special revelation through His Word, the Holy Bible.  “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”  (Romans 1:20).  “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (Romans 16:26).

We believe that the Bible is not the reflection of the will of man, but that holy men of God spake as they were inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit.  “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”  (II Peter 1:21).  The Bible is the complete and only infallible Word of God delivered to mankind, essential to know unto salvation.  In the English language, we believe that this Word is most accurately and soundly conveyed to us by the King James Version.

We believe that this Word of God not only teaches the truth about God but also about man.  We believe that God created man perfect and upright, and after His own image in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness.  “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them”  (Gen. 1:27).  “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created them”  (Col. 3:10).  “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”  (Ephesians. 4:24).

We believe that man willingly subjected himself to sin and fell from his holy state.  Consequently all are born in sin and will die in sin, unless regenerated by the Spirit of God to find complete salvation in the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”  (Romans 5:12).

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses”  (Col. 2:13).

We believe in the One and only Mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in one Person is both God and Man:

“Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead”  (Apostle’s Creed).

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”  (Acts 4:12).

 

We believe in the Five Points of Calvinism.

1.  In man’s total depravity:

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually  (Gen. 6:5). “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men; to see if there were any that did understand that did seek God.  Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 53:2, 3).

2.  In unconditional election:

“For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy”  (Romans. 9:15, 16).

3.  In limited atonement:

“I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine”  (John 17:9).

4.  In irresistible grace:

“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him:  and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.  Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me”  (John 6:44, 45).

5.  In the perseverance of the saints:

“And I give unto them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand”  (John 10:28).

 

We believe that the Word of God provides clear instruction not only for the way of salvation, but also for man’s everyday life in the world.  We believe that all spheres and domains of life, education inclusive, must be subject to the ordinances and glory of God.  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”  (I Corinthians. 10:3l).

We believe that although infant baptism places us under the privileges of an external (non-saving) covenant relationship with God, we need the personal regenerating work of the Holy Spirit to bring us into the covenant of grace in an internal (saving) covenant relationship with God.  “For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh.  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter: whose praise is not of men, but of God”  (Romans 2:28, 29.  “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”  (John 3:3).

 

III.  Purposes of Education

Upon this Biblical and theological base our purposes of Christian education are founded.  These purposes are as follows:

  1. We must provide education for our children based upon God and His Word because it is God’s command.  “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born: who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments”  (Psalm 78:5-7).
  2. We must provide Christian education because it is our parental responsibility.  We have the same covenantal responsibility as Israel in the Old Testament to instruct our baptized (circumcised) children.  At baptism we are required as parents to answer “yes” to the following question: Whether you promise and intend to see these children, when come to the years of discretion (whereof you are either parents or witness), instructed and brought up in the aforesaid doctrine, or help or cause them to be instructed therein, to the utmost of your power?
    “Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your souls, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth”  (Deuteronomy. 11:18-21).
  3. Education must teach the truth and strive to observe the interrelationship of the truths of God’s Word.  Based on God’s Word, education must provide absolute answers, rather than wavering speculations.  “For the word of the Lord is right; and all His works are done in truth.”  (Psalm 33:4)  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”  (John 14:6).
  4. Education must strive to teach wisdom – a wise and proper use of knowledge – under the humble admission of dependence upon the Holy Spirit who alone can make sinners wise unto salvation.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding”  (Proverbs 9:10).
  5. Education’s prime concern must be the spiritual needs of each student – his/her being prepared for the eternal life to come.  Being totally depraved by nature, children (like adults) stand in desperate need of the regenerating and converting work of God.  Christian education is a means which God may use and bless to this end.  Hence, we are responsible to use these means fully.  “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
  6. Education is training for daily life on earth.  As all life is under Divine ordinance and direction, all studies must be taught in a Biblical context.  Our school curriculum (subjects and courses of study) must be built around, and draw its basis and theme from the Word of God.  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”  (1 Corinthians. 10:31).
  7. Education is moral training.  Our pedagogy (art of teaching), daily interaction, and discipline must be based upon Biblical principles.  “And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:  but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”  (Ephesians. 6:4).
  8. Christian education must pray and plead upon the promise of God that, as a rule, a godly upbringing will be blessed:  “Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it”  (Proverbs 22:6).

 

IV.  General Objectives

From these purposes of Christian education, we may draw our general objectives of education.  The primary objective of true Christian education is that God’s Name may be honored and glorified in the realm of education.  The second major objective is that students may be blessed with a saving knowledge of the Lord and that their lives may be dedications of service to Him in all things, loving God above all and their neighbors as themselves.  In stating these major objectives, as well as the general objectives which follow, we must emphasize two things.

  1.  In teaching, we are completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit to reach these objectives.  Only God can use the means of grace, but we are subject to God’s blessing for the desired result, “I am the vine, ye are the branches:  He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:  for without Me ye can do nothing”  (John 15:5).  “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every Man?  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase”  (I Corinthians 3:5-7).
  2. For a student to truly meet the objectives outlined below, spirit-wrought saving faith must both be implanted and be in exercise.  “For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart”  (I Samuel 16:7b).  “God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin”  (Romans 14:23).

Keeping this in mind, the general objectives of Christian education are as follows:

A Student’s Spiritual Needs

  1. To teach the Bible as God’s inspired, Infallible Word, as an absolute rule for life and to develop attitudes of love and respect toward it.
  2. To teach the basic Biblical doctrines.
  3. To stress the need of personal experiential conversion for each person which takes place through a Divine order of:  misery, deliverance, thankfulness.
  4. To stress the responsibility and accountability of each hearer of the gospel to whom God’s salvation is freely offered.
  5. To teach the personal responsibility of each individual in church life and in society.

A Student’s Personal and Social Developmen

  1. To help the student learn what it means to be a human being:  spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
  2. To promote an understanding of each individual’s responsibility to develop and use their God-given talents and abilities to their fullest potential in a manner pleasing in God’s sight and to the benefit of others.
  3. To teach the value of time as a God-given commodity.
  4. To stress Biblical attitudes toward material possessions and individual responsibility as stewards in this regard.
  5. To promote a spirit of love and respect toward others and the social realization of our need of others.
  6. To develop proper attitudes toward friendship, marriage, family, work, society, and human relations.
  7. To stress proper attitudes toward authority and obedience, to promote self-discipline, and a desire to honor God’s authority above all.
  8. To promote proper health habits, and wise use and physical fitness of the body God has given us.
  9. To teach the personal responsibility of each person’s involvement in family, church, school, and society.

A Student’s Academic and Skill-Training Development

  1. To promote high academic standards for each individual as laboring diligently to develop the talents God has given.
  2. To encourage good study habits as striving to fulfill our God-given responsibilities.
  3. To develop creative and critical thinking for future vocational callings and other God-given responsibilities in life.
  4. To teach the basic skills needed in relating with others in this life;  reading, writing, speaking, listening, and mathematics.
  5. To provide a solid basis in historical heritage, geography, and world conditions, as they relate to the unfolding of God’s plan and concern for others.
  6. To develop an awareness and appreciation for God’s creation with its laws and characteristics, and man’s responsibility in using it wisely.
  7. To develop creative, mechanical, musical, or other God-given talents to be used in a manner pleasing in His sight and for the benefit of others.

V.  Specific Objectives

  1. All lessons must in some way help the student understand how he is to think, speak, and act responsibly before God.  Instruction may be diverse from day to day, but it must relate to some part of a unified whole.  Both deductive and inductive teaching should be used.  Sometimes the general rule is given and explained; students then apply the rule to particular situations.  Inductive teaching, however, provides a variety of exploratory activities, which must lead to a general conclusion.  Both the teacher and student are active in the learning process.  A variety of activities must challenge the student to memorize, discover, evaluate, form hypotheses, draw conclusions, imagine, explore, analyze, and synthesize.
  2. Students must be given encouraging, immediate feedback.  Written and oral comments in addition to grades must be given to help reinforce lesson goals.  Intellectual growth is measured through daily assignments, frequent quizzes and tests, classroom performance, and some standardized examination.  This information is relayed to parents through conferences, progress notices, and report cards.
  3. As teachers provide instruction to students, classroom discipline must be structured so that constructive learning can take place.  Sometimes individual quietness reigns; at other times group interaction occurs.  The teacher must have and enforce a set of rules.  Students must respect the authority of the teacher.  Proper attitudes toward Divine and human authority must be maintained.
  4. Our objective, therefore, is to develop within students knowledge of creation, a spirit of cooperation with fellowmen, and a vital relationship with God by actively teaching, evaluating, and disciplining.
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Practical Emphasis

Archibald Alexander (d. 1851), renowned professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, once wrote:

“The education of children should proceed on the principle that they are in an unregenerate state, until evidences of saving grace clearly appear, in which case they should be sedulously cherished and nurtured.  These are Christ’s lambs whom none should offend or mislead upon the peril of a terrible punishment.  But though the religious education of children should proceed on the ground that they are destitute of grace, it ought ever to be used as a means of grace.  Every lesson, therefore, should be accompanied with the lifting up of the heart of the instructor to God for a blessing on the means. “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth.”  (Thoughts on Religious Experience)

Our Christian schools not only endeavor to stress this historic Reformed teaching doctrinally, but also practically in daily life.  We strive to obey God’s Word where the Lord continually commands His people not to mingle with sinful, worldly people, worldly customs, worldly practices, and worldly places.  Not to merit salvation, but as an inevitable consequence of salvation, the believer will “come out from the world and be separate” as God’s Word commands.

This conservative way of life, however, far from being meritorious, is a spontaneous outgrowth of bowing gratefully under Divine Lordship, for the true Christian will have no desire to set his heart on trivialities of this world that tend to interrupt his close walk with God.  Thus, our schools reject two streams of thought current today.  On the one hand, they reject the Amish line of thought which separates its members totally from the world.  We maintain the Biblical injunction that Christians must remain in but not of the world.  On the other hand, our schools reject the imagined notion that the Christian sanctifies worldly transactions and happenings by his/her presence and intervention.  We firmly believe, for example, that dancing corrupts the Christian more than the Christian sanctifies the dance.

Plymouth Christian Elementary School is far from being a perfect school.  Rather, we hope and pray it may be counted among the number of schools who, by grace, have remained faithful to the truth – Biblically, and practically.  We trust the Lord has enabled us in some measure to carry the banner of truth delivered to us by our Reformed forefathers without compromising or surrendering to corrupt influences which are incessantly at work — forces which seek to destroy the only foundation of salvation (Jesus Christ and Him crucified).

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A Brief History

God’s gracious providential care has enabled our school to begin another year of religious instruction.  It was established under the leadership of Rev. Pieneman, who was highly in favor of wholesome Christian instruction.  In January, 1908, a committee was appointed to investigate the possibility of establishing a school for giving Christian instruction to the youth.  The encouraging report given by the committee prompted a congregational meeting in March at which a school board of nine members was elected.  Rev. Pieneman then suggested that Mr. K. Winters of Rotterdam be called to come and instruct the students in the Dutch language in addition to other subjects.  Mr. Winters accepted the call and became the first principal of Hastings Street Christian School, which had been newly erected in central Grand Rapids that summer.  The school was formally dedicated by Rev. Pieneman on September 7, 1908.

After some years had passed, buses were purchased to make it possible for more children to attend the school.  The school soon became overcrowded.  Then, in 1955 a new school was built on a four acre tract on Plymouth Avenue on the east side of Grand Rapids.  This building was dedicated by Rev. Lamain in the fall of 1956.

Steady growth thereafter necessitated the construction of three additional classrooms in 1964, and science and library facilities in 1974.  During the summer of 1978, existing school facilities were remodeled so that home economics and industrial arts classes could be added to the curriculum.

During the winter of 1981, the School Board felt an obligation to propose to the consistory and congregation an extension of our school through the twelfth grade.  The need was felt for education which would continue in philosophy and practice to place and keep God’s Word as its basis of truth as defended by our Reformed fathers during the critical teenage years of our youth.  This proved to be a shared concern both of the consistory and congregation, so that in February, 1981, approval was given for the proposed high school.

Later that year, a public elementary school building was purchased, located just west of the existing school, to house the elementary grades K-6.  The original school was then remodeled to provide facilities for the high school students.  The purchase of the elementary building proved to be beneficial as elementary enrollment continued to increase rapidly.  Kindergarten classes became very large and had to be divided into two sections, each with its own classroom.

During the fall of 1985, a Pre-kindergarten program was added to the curriculum at our elementary school.  This addition provided opportunities for pre-school age children to develop the readiness skills which are needed for success in learning during the early elementary years.

By 1987 all classroom space was in use and the need for additional classroom space became crucial.  In the spring of that year a new building project was begun after congregational approval was given, to construct a 7000 square foot, six classroom addition to the elementary building. This was completed during the fall of 1987.

Continued growth in enrollment led to a second addition during the summer of 1990.  A large music room, classrooms and several smaller conference rooms were completed in time for student use during school year 1990-91.

Our elementary resource room was also established in time for the 1990-91 school year. This program provides individualized instructional programs for our students with learning disabilities.  This was a welcome addition for it meant students with significant learning difficulties could remain as members of our school family.

During the summer of 1994 the corporation of the First Netherlands Reformed Congregation of which our school was a part was dissolved.  Our school was reincorporated as an independent entity known as Plymouth Christian Schools Association to be governed by a board of 12 Trustees selected from the First Netherlands Reformed Congregation, Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation and Netherlands Reformed Church of Grand Rapids.

In the spring of 2008, after communicating the current facility needs, the School Board in a matter of a few weeks received the needed donations for three projects. The north-south hall of the elementary building which housed the nine classrooms for grades kindergarten through third grade was completely remodeled resulting in very stimulating, colorful interior.  Funds were also received to landscape the front of the elementary building.  An additional bus storage building was also built which enabled the school to house all of its buses.

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Funding and Management

Our school is supported by direct tuition payments from each of the families with students in the school, and numerous gifts, many of the gifts being “In Memoriam” of members of the congregation and friends who have passed away.  In addition our school receives funds from various churches with children in our school to assist their members in meeting tuition costs

The hand of the Lord has been evident in the affairs of the school to the present time.  Had they been left in the hands of men, it would have come to ruin.  The hearts and hands of many have been inclined to undertake the responsibility placed upon them and with the help of an Almighty God and the prayers of His people, He has made it to prosper.

Note:  A copy of the school bylaws and/or PTA Constitution is available upon request from the elementary office.

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Academic Assistance Program

Goal:  To recognize that each student has been endowed by God with many abilities and to endeavor to teach each student at Plymouth in the least restrictive learning environment that will meet his/her educational needs and encourage him/her to use those God-given abilities to the maximum extent possible.

To meet this goal Plymouth offers three levels of academic assistance in addition to that provided within the regular classroom.

Description of Programs:

  1. Remedial Services:
    a. Remedial services are available to students (usually in small groups) for a maximum of three 20 minute periods per week.  Decisions about students to be included in the program are made by the teacher(s) responsible for the remedial program.  There is no additional tuition charge to parents whose children participate in the remedial program.
    b. Checkpoint: Students who have difficulty with organizational or study skills are eligible to receive remedial assistance in this area. Students must bring their agendas to the remedial teacher or aide before 3:00 p.m. The remedial teacher or aide will check to see that homework assignments are written down on the appropriate date they are due. The teacher or aide will also check the students’ notes to insure parent comprehension of how to help with homework at home. Students may also be required to show the completed homework to the remedial teacher or aide each morning before handing it in to the classroom teacher.
    c. Tutoring/Instruction (small group):  Remedial instruction may be provided outside of the classroom in language arts (reading, spelling, written expression, hand writing) and math for 20 – 30 minutes two or three times per week.  Remedial instruction reinforces classroom curriculum by reviewing or re-teaching concepts previously taught in the classroom.  This instruction is usually provided to students in small groups (two to four) from the same grade level.
    d. Duration of remedial services will be determined by ESSP staff in conjunction with the remedial aide and classroom teacher.
  2. Resource Services: 
    a. 
    Makoto:  A tool used to create new neurological pathways in the brain so that students can access both sides of the brain hemisphere.  The Makoto provides the needed resource for helping students struggling in school to improve on:  quick pattern recognition, peripheral vision, hearing acuity, balance and accuracy in movement, concentration, emotional control and memory.
    b. Modified coursework:  Instruction is available for a maximum of two periods per day for students identified as learning disabled.  Instruction in an individual or a small group setting is provided by a teacher who is certified to teach students with learning disabilities or a trained aide.  Decisions about students to be included in the program are made by the ESSP staff in consultation with the student’s parents.  Each student’s instructional plan is individualized to meet his/her specific educational needs.
    c. ELS (Essential Learning System): A computer-assisted learning program which provides intensive remediation in reading, spelling and written language for approximately 50 minutes five days per week.  Selection of students to be included in the ELS program is made after a recommendation by the classroom teacher or parents and evaluation by the ESSP staff.  Students normally exit the program in two years or less.  Students who have been identified as learning disabled, have a physical impairment which affects learning or have repeated a grade may be included in the program for longer than two years in order to attain maximum benefits.
    d. ESL/ELL/LEP: Students with English as their second language should be placed in courses as close as possible according to age.  They may need to retake some courses since the first year may be primarily focused on learning the language.  Specific helps for these students (based on the recommendation from ESSP staff) may include:

    1. Oral testing: the student is read his/her tests and the reader writes the answers
    2. mentor student takes notes for and works with the ESL/ELL/LEP student to insure that the student has accurate study materials and/or that answers for chapter or test reviews are accurate.
    3. A mentor student/aide/ESSP staff member works/ studies with the ESL/ELL/LEP student to insure understanding of the material before a test is given.Students who participate in the resource program for five or more periods per week are assessed $250 per semester.
  3. Special Education Services:

PCS ESSP Staff will look at individual students on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not we have the services available to best meet their individual needs.  Admission of each student with special needs must have PCS Board approval.

Students with special needs are assessed their designated 1-child elementary tuition rate plus $1000/year (not part of a sliding scale).

Objectives:

1. To help each student set and attain achievable goals and encourage the greatest possible effort from the student, the Resource/Remedial teachers will

  • Maintain frequent communication with regular classroom teachers regarding students receiving academic assistance
  • Endeavor to teach each student using instructional methods that are most appropriate for that student
  • Endeavor to teach each student responsibility for schoolwork using specific organizational techniques (e.g. organized homework folder, homework log, regularly scheduled time for homework)
  • Endeavor to develop student confidence in academic abilities by maintaining systematic record of student goals and skills mastered, giving report card grades for ELS and Resource room, regularly communicating (note or phone) with parents regarding student progress and participation
  • Observe or assist in regular classrooms when appropriate to meeting instructional goals for students experiencing difficulties with schoolwork

2. To maximize each student’s “time to learn” the Resource/Remedial teachers will

  • Train and use in-school volunteers to assist with ELS program
  • Ask for commitment by parents of students receiving academic assistance regarding regular schedule for homework completion, supervision of homework and assistance with review and practice as needed at home
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Curriculum

Prekindergarten Curriculum

Mission Statement

The mission of Plymouth Christian Schools is to provide, as God enables, an educational program dedicated to the glory of God, as an extension of the home and church.  Students will be challenged to develop Biblical values, basic skills, and God-given abilities, grow in knowledge, and explore their interests while seeking God’s will as revealed in His Word, and seeing His handiwork in creation, for their temporal and eternal welfare and the benefit of others.

Goal:  To promote growth and develop readiness skills for Kindergarten in the following areas:

Emotional Growth

  • developing confidence in himself and his abilities
  • experiencing success
  • practicing independence and self reliance
  • developing confidence and trust in others
  • sharing of feelings and emotions and learning to use them constructively

Intellectual Growth

  • exploring, observing and making discoveries about God’s world
  • develop problem solving abilitie
  • sensory awareness (5 senses)
  • recognize colors, letters, numbers and shapes
  • improve vocabulary & communication skills
  • experimenting with tools and other materials
  • express self through language, art & music

Physical Growth

  • develop large and small muscle control
  • establish good health habits
  • learn about nourishing foods
  • participating in group play
  • accepting physical abilities and inabilities of self and others
  • develop good safety habits

Religious Growth

  • listening to Bible stories
  • learning to respect and obey God
  • learning God made the world
  • singing songs to honor God

Social Growth

  • listening to others speak
  • playing & working cooperatively with peers
  • respecting adults
  • learning to share and take turns
  • responding to counsel & discipline of parents & teachers
  • developing responsible attitudes toward manners, feelings of others, property of others and helpfulness

Each week a different unit will be presented, and activities such as stories, songs, art and field trips will focus on this theme.  The program will include both structured and unstructured activities.  Cognitive areas (i.e. language, shape, color, concepts) will be covered but not stressed in general.  Emphasis will also be placed on helping children gain confidence in their ability to learn and interact with their fellow students and teachers.  The daily schedule will include free play, Bible stories, singing, art, sharing time, snack, outdoor or gym play and a monthly field trip.

 

Bible Curriculum

Grades K-6

Goal:  To teach that the Bible reveals God’s plan of salvation for His people and instructs us how we must live, in obedience to God’s word.  cf. II Tim.3:15-17

Description:  The storytelling approach to Bible instruction is used in lower elementary classrooms. In kindergarten, the Bible stories are taken from both the Old and New Testament following essentially the list of stories found in the CSI Course of Study (1953).  Emphasis is placed on Bible verse and Psalter memorization.  The children learn one Psalter each week, which correlates with the Bible story.  Bible verses for each letter of the alphabet are also memorized.  Newsletters will be sent home with students in all grades to inform parents of the Bible stories, verse and song studied each week.

First Grade students begin their Bible study with the creation and continue through the death of King Saul.

Second Grade students begin with the study of King David and continue to the end of the Old Testament.  The New Testament history is studied by third grade students, beginning with the life of Christ and ending with the missionary journeys of Paul.

Older students use Bible workbooks to help them in their study of God’s word.  A more in depth study of Scripture is commenced utilizing note taking skills, written responses to questions and oral and written reports.

Fourth Grade students begin again at the creation and continue up to King Saul’s last days.

Fifth Grade students continue this history up to the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, concluding with a study of the major and minor prophets.

Sixth Grade students study the New Testament from the life of John the Baptist through the missionary journeys of Paul.

Each student continues to memorize weekly memory verses from the Bible and songs of praise from the Psalter and Psalter Hymnal, which relate to the Bible stories and special religious days and events.  During appropriate seasons, all students study the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ as well as the important events of the Reformation.

Textbooks

King James Bible.  Grades K-3: Grades 4-6:  My Bible Guide (CSI).  The Bible History by J. Vreugdenhil (Teacher Resource)

Bible Doctrine Curriculum

The systematic teaching of Bible doctrine is begun in Grade 5 and continues through Grade 6.  Simple explanations of all major Biblical doctrines are given using Bible doctrine workbooks, produced on behalf of the Netherlands Reformed Synodical Education Committee for use in our schools.  Each workbook contains numerous stories and illustrations to help the student understand the doctrinal concept being taught.

Textbooks

Bible Doctrine for Younger Children, Books A & B – Grades 5 & 6.

 

Choir

Choir is open to students in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades.  Choir meets during January and February and schedules performances from late February to May.

 

Computer Curriculum

Goal:  To equip students with a basic understanding of the computer as a God given tool to be used by man in a responsible manner.

Description:

Computer Lab – The computer equipment consists of a total of 32 Toshiba notebook computers and printer. The lab is part of a computer network with links to the school office, Resource Room, and library.

Overall Program – Beginning in the primary grades, the children gain an understanding of what a computer is, its care and its parts.  Students also work with software to develop familiarity with the keyboard as well as further develop skills in the areas of math facts and phonetics.  Upper elementary students focus on keyboarding and word processing skills.  Students improve their keyboarding speed and develop the ability to use the computer as a tool to enhance their learning across the curriculum.

Kindergarten and First Grade:

The student will be able to:

  1. Log in using a password.  Log out and close down the computer.
  2. Learn parts of a computer:  keyboard, monitor, CD/DVD tray, printer, switches, special keys such as return/space.
  3. Access programs on the network.
  4. Choose from a menu.
  5. Use technology to enhance their beginning reading and math skills.
  6. Use technology to develop their God-given talents and to establish a Biblical work ethic.
  7. Learn rules related to computer usage.

At the teacher’s discretion, basic word processing and drawing functions—including open file, save file, insert clip art, page setup, page border, font size and style, copy and paste, insert text box—may be introduced and used to produce short projects.

Second and Third Grade:

Second grade students review computer curriculum of earlier years (parts of computer, special keys, logging in, passwords, basic word processing).  Word processing is used to produce short stories, invitations, book reports and other short projects.  Third grade students learn to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  They work with “All the Right Type.” for six weeks learning to type on the keyboard.  Students learn the functions: insert, font style/size, borders/shading, formula. This knowledge carries over into a PowerPoint project.  In Excel, they create the times tables using formulas. In PowerPoint they produce a slide show of vertebrates/invertebrates (which is a unit in science).   Math Facts is used on a regular basis to master multiplication facts.

The student will be able to:

  1. Use software programs to reinforce and practice classroom instruction.
  2. Use Microsoft Word to compose book reports, state reports, and illustration of story problems in math (clipart),
  3. Show the use of the shift key, centering, backspace, arrow keys, delete, highlighting, font size and style, spell checking, underlining, space bar, and bold type within the above mentioned writing assignments.
  4. Use the Math Facts program to reinforce addition, subtraction, division facts, and master multiplication skills.
  5. Use the applications found in Word, Excel, Power Point and the electronic encyclopedias.
  6. Identify the home keys and know where all of the letters are located on the keyboard.
  7. Assume correct posture when typing.

Fourth Grade:

  1. Introduce keyboarding skills, software:  All The Right Type (Ingenuity Works).
  2. Identify rules for proper care of computer hardware, software and independent use of lab.
  3. Use the Math Facts program to reinforce addition, subtraction, division facts, and master multiplication skills.
  4. Continue to use the applications found in Word, Excel, Power Point and the electronic encyclopedias.
  5. Computer lab practice – daily 30 minute sessions for 6 weeks.  Integrate use of computers with classroom instruction and activities by making use of the computer lab throughout the school year.

Fifth Grade:

  1. Further develop keyboarding skills, software:  All The Right Type (Ingenuity Works).
  2. Use Word to produce 1-2 page compositions as assigned during school year.  Become skilled in common computer operations including:  save, print, delete, boldface, underline, move text, change fonts & font sizes etc.
  3. Use the computer to develop skills taught in all curricula areas focusing on higher level thinking skills and problem solving.
  4. Use the Math Facts program to reinforce addition, subtraction, division facts, and master multiplication skills.
  5. Continue to use the applications found in Excel, Power Point and the electronic encyclopedias.
  6. Computer lab practice – daily 30 minute sessions for 6 weeks.  Integrate use of computers with classroom instruction and activities by making use of the computer lab throughout the school year.

 

Sixth Grade:

  1. Refine keyboarding skills for speed and accuracy, software:  All The Right Type (Ingenuity Works).
  2. Word processing:  the student will be able to enter a multi-page, double spaced report into the computer, using proper form and spacing.  He/she will be able to use all common word processing commands, import graphics using a drawing program, and assemble a slide presentation.  He/she will design report covers and produce drawings and illustrations for special projects using  paint/draw software.
  3. Use the computer to develop skills taught in all curricula areas focusing on higher level thinking skills and problem solving.
  4. Use the Math Facts program to reinforce addition, subtraction, division facts, and master  multiplication skills.
  5. Continue to use the applications found in Excel, Power Point and the electronic encyclopedias.
  6. Computer lab practice – daily 30 minute sessions for 6 weeks.  Integrate use of computers with classroom instruction and activities by making use of the computer lab throughout the school year.

Geography – History Curriculum

Goal: Students will learn to recognize that God controls all events and that man must be obedient to Divine Law in all personal and societal relationships.  Students will be taught to see that history is God’s purposes being worked out in the affairs of men for the sake of His Church.

Description:  Geography/History (Kindergarten – Grade 3)

Kindergarten:

General introduction to foreign countries, the United States, Michigan, Grand Rapids

  1. Simple map and globe skill
  2. Location of home and school
  3. Conceptual relationship of distance and time
  4. Communication & transportation
  5. Holidays and their meaning
  6. Current events
  7. Characteristics of “The Family”

First Grade:

Students’ interest in their country will be stimulated by studying important symbols, history and places of interest in the U.S.  Students will learn how our country was founded and what our basic freedoms are and meet several famous American patriots before taking a trip across America.  Good citizenship is emphasized and patriotic songs are included.  Some sample chapter headings are: America’s Flag, America’s Freedoms, great people of America, symbols of America.

Second Grade:

Second grade students study the history of the Separatists, Native Americans, colonist, pioneers, cowboys, and immigrants/immigration thru the War of Independence. Reviews basic American freedoms, patriotic holidays & songs. Textbook has lots of pictures, colorful format, with a few geographic concepts also included. The textbook has questions at the end of chapters and vocabulary reviews to enhance student’s retention of concepts. King James Scripture verses are integrated into the textbook material.

Third Grade:

Third graders study a unit of U.S. History from the middle 1400’s through the early 1900’s.  Our study highlights 20 famous American men and women, directing our attention to their particular roles and gifts in America’s heritage.  Some examples of such persons are: Miles Standish, Benjamin Franklin, Robert E. Lee, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  History is upheld as God’s purposes being worked out in the affairs of men.  God controls all and man must be obedient to Divine Law in personal and societal relationships.

Fourth Grade:

A general survey of Michigan (1 semester)

Michigan History and Geography studies include the following topics: early native Americans, Europeans arrive, Michigan becomes a state, life in the new state, Civil War, rapid development, depression, World Wars, modern Michigan, and Michigan government.  The student is made aware of man’s involvement in all of the above by participation in group projects, discussions, map work, reports, videos, and guest speakers. There is a continual effort to introduce current events with a Biblical perspective.  This course demonstrates that mankind affects Michigan history but God created and controls all things.

Fifth Grade:

Old World history and Geography presents the history of the world, from Creation to modern times, from a Christian perspective.

In the first semester, attention is directed to map skills and the ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece and Rome.  We study how God used the ancient cultures to prepare the world for Christ’s first coming.

In the second semester, attention is first directed to the study of the Middle Ages, then later to the study of modern countries of the Eastern Hemisphere.  Students will study the following:  political structures, people and their interrelationships, races and religions.

Students will be involved in reporting on current events, map making, writing a research paper on a selected European country, and the memorization of the Eastern Hemisphere countries and important American creeds.

Geography – Sixth Grade: 

New World History and Geography includes studies of American Indians, forms of government, national heroes, land, people, places and ideas of importance for each region of North and South America.  The course baseline is a thorough review of U.S. History using the thread of a Christian perspective to connect the past with the present.

Class projects and assignments include memorization of states and capitals, important U.S. history dates, U.S. Presidents, American Creed, sections of the Declaration of Independence, research paper on a state of the U.S., report on current events and activities involving topography and map reading, dates and time lines.

Textbooks

Kindergarten:  Social Studies K, Children of the World Visuals & Community Helpers, A Beka Book Publications

Grade 1:  My America, A Beka Book Publications

Grade 2:  Our America, A Beka Book Publications

Grade 3:  Our American Heritage, A Beka Book Publications

Grade 4:  Our Michigan Adventure, Hillsdale Educational Publishers

Grade 5:  Old World History & Geography, A Beka Book Publications

Grade 6:  New World History & Geography in Christian Perspective, A Beka Book Publications

Student Biweekly Newspaper

Upper elementary children receive personal copies of “God’s World” published for each grade level.  This biweekly newspaper keeps students abreast of current, national and world events, and develops an awareness of political and social issues.

Instrumental Music

Description:  Grades 5 and 6:  Instrumental music is a course designed to give students the opportunity to play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument.  The fundamentals of music (tone, pitch, rhythm, balance, etc.) will be enhanced through the playing of these instruments.

First year orchestra students learn how to play their instruments as well as how to read music.

Second year orchestra is a continuation of orchestra I with an emphasis on improving technique and musicality.  Musical selections will include Psalters, Hymns, classical music and music from our American heritage.  Each ensemble will participate in various functions throughout the school year.

Textbooks

Band Today – Books 1 & 2.  Threshold to Music – 2nd edition – Charts 1 and 2.  Recorder Time.  Song Books: Psalter, Psalter Hymnal, Let Youth Praise Him.

Language Skills Curriculum

Grades 1-3: Although the Open Court Reading Series integrates reading with language skills, additional emphasis is brought to bear on language skills through the use of an English textbook series.  Students receive practice in these areas: sentence structure, capitalization and punctuation, correct word usage, plurals, antonyms, homonyms and synonyms, contractions, parts of speech, (nouns, verbs, adjectives) subjects and verbs in sentences.

  • Composition in these grades will involve some of the following assignments each year:
  • Relating of personal experiences
  • Weather diary
  • Storytelling
  • Book reports, reviews, talks
  • Making reports of various kinds
  • Poetry & Letter Writing
  • Summarizing stories and events

Textbooks

Grade 1:  SRA Open Court2000 Reading Workbook,McGraw Hill, SRA Publishers

Grade 2:  English Grade 2, Houghton Mifflin Publishers

Grade 3:  English Grade 3, Houghton Mifflin Publishers

 

Grades 4-6:  These courses are designed to help the students develop speaking and writing skills needed to communicate successfully in life.  Textbooks provide a thorough study of grammar (the parts of speech), word usage, capitalization, punctuation and vocabulary skills.  Literature is used as a model for good writing and to develop an appreciation of the beauty and power of the written word.  Some of the units covered are:

  1. How to master grammar, usage and mechanics
  2. How to write according to a consistent plan
  3. How to build word power
  4. How to develop study skills
  5. How to listen and speak effectively
  6. How to understand and share literature

Writing and speaking assignments include:

  1. Writing a well-planned paragraph
  2. Interviews
  3. Letter writing
  4. Book talks
  5. Making reports, using an outline
  6. Telling a short story

Textbooks

English Grade 4, Houghton Mifflin

English Grade 5, Houghton Mifflin

English Grade 6, Houghton Mifflin

 

Mathematics Curriculum

Goal:  To teach the numerical system as a reflection of the order in God.

Description:  The mathematics program is based on the premise that to learn about math and to become effective problem solvers, children need solid foundations in their facts and skills.  Once basic ideas and skills are developed through ample reinforcement and practice, the students are then directed to apply their newly developed abilities to solutions of realistic problems of daily life.  The skills of estimation and mental math are made an integral part of the instructional program.

Kindergarten:

  1. Classification of objects by:  size, shape, color, function or habitat
  2. Number readiness:  one more, one less
  3. Numbers 1-31:  recognize the numbers and identify a set that has one, two, three, etc. members
  4. Comparisons:  tallest, shortest; longest, shortest; greater, lesser; largest, smallest; heavier, lighter; most, least
  5. Readiness for addition and subtraction:  combination of two sets.  Also simple addition and          subtraction problems
  6. Numeral writing:  write the numbers 1-31 in order
  7. Count and identify numbers 1-31.  Use ordinal numbers, first, second, third.
  8. Find sums and differences in vertical and horizontal form using digits 1-31.

First Grade:

  1. Numbers to 100
  2. Addition and Subtraction Facts to 18
  3. Adding and Subtracting 2 Digit numbers
  4. Time, Money. Measurements
  5. Geometry and Fractions

Second Grade:

  1. Place value and counting
  2. Sums & diff. through 18
  3. Telling time
  4. Problem solving
  5. Column addition
  6. Two digit addition
  7. Money
  8. Sub. with regrouping
  9. Multiplication
  10. Greater and less comparisons
  11. Fractions
  12. Geometry
  13. Metric measurement

Third Grade:

Students will study and learn to add and subtract up to 4 digits, count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s, write numerals and word names from 0 through 1 million along with standard fractions, tell time to nearest minute, write and compare money amount up to $9.99, identify dates on a calendar, multiply up to a 3-digit by 1-digit number, division facts and division up to a 3-digit quotient, write, compare, order, add, and subtract factions and decimals, estimate length, capacity (customary and metric), temperature, weight, compare money amounts, and find perimeter of a polygon.

Fourth Grade:

  1. Counting and place value – read and write 2, 3 and 4 digit numbers.  Using inequality symbols
  2. Addition and subtraction – master addition and subtraction facts.  Add and subtract three and four digit numbers with regrouping
  3. Geometry – Recognize triangles, squares, etc.  Recognize whether an angle is equal, less than or greater than
  4. Multiplication and division – Master basic facts
    Multiply by a 2 digit factor.  Divide by a 2 digit divisor
  5. Measurement – Be familiar with metric units.  Find length to nearest centimeter.  Find perimeter of a polygon
  6. Graphs – Complete and interpret a bar graph
  7. Fractional numbers – Identify fractional parts of a region.  Write a fraction equivalent to a given fraction.  Write a mixed number for an improper fraction.  Adding and subtracting fractional numbers
  8. Decimals – Read and write a decimal involving tenths and hundredths. Add and subtract decimals
  9. Calculators – familiarity and efficiency

Fifth Grade:

Students will study and learn to write word names, identify place value, compare, add, subtract, and round numbers up to 1 billion, estimate and multiply up to a 3-digit by a 3-digit number including decimals, estimate and divide numbers with up to a 2 digit divisor and a 3-digit quotient including decimals, write, find, and compare rations, decimals and percents, estimate and measure length (to the nearest millimeter or 1/16 inch), capacity (customary and metric), temperature in ˚F and ˚C), weight, compare money amounts using the correct units on each, add and subtract fractions (like and unlike denominators), find least common multiples and greatest common factors of 3 numbers, decimals, and mixed numbers, write fractions in simplest form, identify and classify polygon and symmetry, find area of squares and rectangles, find volumes of cubes and rectangular prisms, and read and interpret graphs and find the mean, median, and mode of statistical data.

Sixth Grade:

Students will study and learn to write word names, identify place value, compare, add, subtract, and round numbers up to 1 trillion, estimate and multiply up to a 3-digit number including decimals, estimate and divide numbers with up to a 2-digit divisor and a 3-digit quotient including decimals.  They will write, find, and compare ratios, decimals, proportions, percents, estimate and measure length (to the nearest millimeter of 1/16 inch), capacity (customary and metric), temperature (in ˚F and ˚C), weight, add and compare money amounts using the correct units on each, add and subtract fractions (like and unlike denominators), find least common multiples and greatest common factors of 3 numbers, decimals, and mixed numbers, write fractions in simplest form, identify and classify polygon and symmetry, identify parallel and perpendicular lines, find area of squares and rectangles (using formulas), find volumes of cubes and rectangular prisms, and read and interpret graphs, and find the mean, median, and mode of statistical data.  They will become familiar with exponents and scientific notation as well as square roots.  Calculators will be used primarily to solve word problems after basic calculations skills have been reviewed.

Textbooks

Progress in Mathematics, Grades K-6, Sadlier-Oxford

Progress in Mathematics Workbooks, Grades K-6, Sadlier-Oxford

Music Curriculum

Goals: 

To foster a love for Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs which are part of our church heritage

To teach children their responsibility to worship God in music

Description:  Music is a special gift of God that can be enjoyed by all students at Plymouth Christian Elementary School.  Using the human voice as our instrument, we place a great emphasis on worshiping God in song in our daily school schedule.  Our music program also encourages students to learn the fundamentals of music so that instruments can be used in group situations as well as by the individual student.  In addition, we are constantly reminded of the great heritage of musical literature available for us to enjoy and study.

Kindergarten:

  1. Introduction to music – singing in a group, listening to music, group activities involving rhythm instruments, singing games.
  2. Introduction to instruments and their sounds
  3. Beginning Threshold to Music charts

First Grade:

  1. Introduction to listening skills with emphasis on the following:  dynamics, pitch, tempo. rhythm, melody and mood
  2. Continuation of Threshold to Music charts
  3. Introduction to written notation in music

 

Second Grade:

  1. Listening to music of great composers
  2. Introduction to instruments of the orchestra as grouped by families
  3. Identification of note values and placement of notes on the staff
  4. Continuation of Threshold to Music charts

Third Grade:

  1. Listening and identifying music of great composers
  2. Introduction to part singing through rounds and canons
  3. Written musical notation, 4/4 and 3/4 time

Fourth Grade:

  1. Introduction to two part singing
  2. Review of musical notation
  3. Learning to play an instrument as an individual and as a group through use of the recorder
  4. Identification of individual instruments of the orchestra

Fifth Grade:

  1. Recognition of individual instruments of the orchestra in music of the great composers
  2. Introduction to playing in a bell choir

Sixth Grade:

  1. Study of great composers – their life and their music
  2. Continuation of listening skills development

Penmanship Curriculum

Description:  The handwriting program incorporates the principles of visualization, verbalization, kinesthetic reinforcement and emotional involvement.  Clear, strong writing models are given with each lesson.  Kindergarten students work through each letter of the manuscript alphabet.  First graders spend the first 2 weeks reviewing manuscript printing in their workbooks.  They continually review correct printing as the letter sounds are introduced in the reading program throughout the year.  Grade 2 marks the transition to the use of the cursive alphabet.  The cursive style is added as a second writing style rather than as a replacement for manuscript writing.  Both styles are reinforced in the grades 3-6 with the clear, fluent writing of cursive receiving the greater emphasis.  Good penmanship is expected of all students in all written assignments.

Textbooks

Grade K:  SRA Open Court 2000 Reading Workbook, SRA McGraw-Hill

Grade 1:  SRA Open Court 2000 Reading Workbook, SRA McGraw-Hill

Grade 2:  Handwriting with a Simplified Alphabet 2c, Zaner Bloser Co.

Grade 3:  Handwriting with a Simplified Alphabet 3, Zaner Bloser Co.

Grade 4:  Handwriting with a Simplified Alphabet 4, Zaner Bloser Co. (1999)

Grade 5:  Handwriting with a Simplified Alphabet 5, Zaner Bloser Co.

Grade 6:  Handwriting with a Simplified Alphabet 6, Zaner Bloser Co.

Physical Education Curriculum

Goals:

  1. The care of our body so we may with vigor seek to serve God and our fellow human beings.
  2. Promote an attitude of Christian love and service to others by the stressing of honesty, cooperation, responsibility, fair play, etc.
  3. Develop an awareness of and appreciation for our wonderfully made beings and a desire for their proper use including such things as posture, etc.
  4. Enhance appreciation for the abilities of others and the acquisition of skills and knowledge relating to various activities.

Description:  Physical education is primarily a learning time.  It stresses, to be sure, physical activity, but the prime aim is not the activity but what the student achieves.  This centers around teaching creative ways to maintain health fitness and opportunities to better understand their bodies in regard to making decisions which are consistent with the Biblical statement that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.

*See curriculum outline on following page.

Textbooks

Physical Education – K-2, CSI, 1996.

Physical Education – 3-5, CSI, 1996.

Physical Education – 6-8, CSI, 1996.

Physical Education Curriculum Outline

  • Motor Proficiency
  • Health Fitness
  • Training the Body (Coordination)
  • Conditioning of the Body

 

Motor Skills Motor Abilities Activities Goal

K – Locomotor movements, sliding, hopping skipping, galloping, etc.

Balance, Posture, Rhythm

Movements, crawling, upper body, abdominal, trunk, thigh, legs.

Good movement base.  Perceptual motor awareness

1st– Locomotor skills & manipulative skills:  catching, throwing, kicking, dribbling

Balance, Posture, Rhythm, Coordination

Repeat K movements & fitness exercises involving kicking, throwing, striking, catching, running & various movement forms

Strength and wind.

2nd – Refinement of skills of Grades K & 1

Balance, Posture, Rhythm, Coordination

Exercise involving balance, speed, agility & coordination, i.e./jumping jacks, squat thrusts, broad jump, shuttle run, etc.

Fitness for speed, agility, power

3rd – Combine Locomotor skills with manipulative skills – dribbling & throwing, catching & dribbling

Power, speed, Agility, Coordination

Format fitness development – drills & exercise routines.   “Daily Dozen” exercises cover all muscle groups varied with exercises learned in Grade 2.

Fitness inventory, strength and flexibility exercise.

4th – Develop Skills

Develop “Leadup” skills and 3rd grade abilities.  Gymnastic skills.

Continuation of 3rdgrade exercises plus a jogging program and calisthenics.

Fitness inventory, respiratory endurance exercises.  Muscular endurance exercises.

5th – Remedial

Develop skills in team sports.  Hockey, basketball, soccer, track & field, football, gymnastics.

25% of P.E. period devoted to calisthenics and exercise to develop muscular endurance.

Fitness inventory, respiratory endurance exercises.  Muscular endurance exercises.

6th – Remedial

Develop skills in team sports.  Hockey, softball, basketball, soccer, track & field, football.

Students use exercise from grades 3-5 to develop a personal fitness program: 25% of P.E. period used to develop fitness goals.

Fitness inventory.  Maintain fitness exercises.

Reading and Literature Curriculum

Goal:  To teach that language is a means of communication given by God to be used for His praise.

Description: The SRA Open Court Reading Program uses synthetic phonics as the basis of its learning-to-read system.  Children are first introduced to the alphabet through a variety of exercises that provide practice in letter recognition and formation.  Then, through the use of picture association, children are introduced to the sounds the letters make, and are taught how to blend sounds into words.  The program builds on what children already know about language (most first graders have an oral vocabulary in excess of 7000 words).  Children learn to pronounce words easily and independently.  Special reinforcement activities help build fluency and comprehension, so that by the end of the first year, most students are well on their way to becoming skilled young readers.

Reading comprehension activities begin very early through the use of teacher directed Comprehension Questions.  In the second half of the year, greater emphasis is given by the use of Comprehension work sheets.

Dictation activities help children learn to write and spell as they learn to read.  Response Card drill reinforces auditory-to-visual concepts in spelling.  Phonetically controlled individual storybooks allow children to experience the satisfaction of reading a complete book independently.

In addition, through the use of a Composition Cycle, children are given an early and frequent opportunity to develop as writers. Their own work is used as the model for functional instruction in grammar, usage, vocabulary, and spelling.

Kindergarten focuses on language and thinking skills.  The language strand prepares children for reading and writing by providing work on letters and sounds, basic vocabulary, and word classification.  As the children learn to recognize, name, and print the capital and small letters of the alphabet, they learn a sound for each letter.  They also learn to recognize sounds in words.  Children’s basic vocabulary is developed at three levels as they learn words for describing locations, actions, uses, shapes, and colors, then use those words to give directions and ask questions.  They further develop oral language and vocabulary skills by examining similarities and differences among various members of a class of objects, such as furniture, foods, and buildings.  The thinking strand helps children develop sound skills in thinking – to become more focused and systematic in their thinking and to be more willing to accept new challenges in learning – through thinking stories and tasks.

Learning activities:

  • Basic Vocabulary
  • Social Development
  • Classification
  • Perceptual Games
  • Thinking Skills
  • Literature

First Grade:This level is designed to create true independence in reading and in writing, to teach encoding skills parallel to decoding skills to identify and help at an early stage those children who have reading problems, and to establish basic comprehension skills.  The program uses intensive phonics techniques, including systematic blending, and multi-sensory methods and materials to teach children all the sounds of the English language and their spellings.  Children learn that spellings form words, words form sentences, sentences form paragraphs, and so on.  Work with comprehension leads them to read critically to gain true understanding of what they have read.

Learning Activities:

  1. Vowel sounds: long, short and irregular consonant sounds and most blends and digraphs.
  2. Dictation of sounds, words, sentences
  3. Proofreading of all work
  4. Introduction to dictionary: Alphabetizing, finding words, spelling helps, etc.
  5. Oral and silent reading and comprehension
  6. Introduction to prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, homonyms, antonyms, rhyming, opposites
  7. Introduction to punctuation (capitals, periods, quotation marks, commas, apostrophes)
  8. Introduction to composition

Textbooks                                                                            

Kindergarten:  Reading and Writing Workbook, Skills Assessment Workbook (SRA Open Court 2000).

Grade 1:  Reading and Writing Workbooks 1 & 2, Decodable Take-home Bks. Level B Set 1 (SRA Open Court 2000).

Second & Third Grade: At these levels, the Open Court Program acquaints children with quality literature as it provides focused and challenging comprehension activities relating to the stories read.

Second Grade Learning Activities:

  1. Review of phonetic sounds
  2. Oral reading-fluency and expression
  3. Writing answers to questions, writing complete sentences, writing longer answers, etc.
  4. Basic dictionary usage
  5. Spelling commonly used words, similar words and words that do not follow the usual spelling rules (dictation work).
  6. Use of punctuation marks, capitalization, basic parts of speech (dictation work).

Third Grade Learning Activities:

  1. Comprehensive skills of synthesizing meaning from what they read – meaning from context, inference, sequence, cause and effect and predicting logical outcomes
  2. Phonetic word attack skills
  3. Read smoothly at an acceptable rate of speed
  4. Develop an appreciation of poetry and other literary forms
  5. Research skills – dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.
  6. Composition ranges from the formation and development of sentences and paragraphs to the writing of letters, informative composition, book reports and short stories.

Textbooks                                                                            

Grade 2: A Flint Holds Fire, (Open Court).  SRA Open Court Book 2, SRA McGraw Hill.  Novels: Sarah, Plain and Tall, Farmer Boy Days, The Courage of Sarah Noble.

Grade 3: SRA Open Court Book 3, SRA McGraw Hill.  Novels:  Little House in the Big Woods, Helen Keller, George Washington Carver.

Grades 4, 5, & 6:  The Open Court Reading and Writing Program, A Beka Company and selected novel materials are used by upper elementary students for reading instruction.  The student readers contain selections from the classics, the Bible and contemporary literature.  Non-fiction selections include a variety of different genres including science and social study selections which relate to topics covered in those courses.  Reading and writing strategies are emphasized.

Textbooks

Grade 4: Over the Moon (Open Court).  Novels:  Charlotte’s Web and Snow Treasure.

Grade 5: Sound of the Sea (Open Court).  Novels:  Island of Blue Dolphins, My Side of the Mountain.

Grade 6: Of People (A Beka Book).  Novels:  The Cay, Johnny Tremain.

 

Science Curriculum

Goal:  To explore all creation as showing God’s handiwork.  cf. Proverbs 25:2

Description:  Our elementary science program presents the universe as the direct creation of the God of the Scriptures and refutes the man-made idea of evolution.  Further, the science books present God as the Great Designer and Lawgiver, without Whom the evident design and laws of nature would be inexplicable.  Instructors give students a solid foundation in all areas of science – a foundation firmly anchored to Bible truth.  The lessons are enriched by laboratory investigations which expand upon and reinforce the concepts taught.  All students are involved in investigations concerning many aspects of the life and physical sciences, such as electricity, magnetism, nature of sound and light, water purification, ecology, and work and energy.  Emphasis is also placed on the identification of many of the animals and plants of God’s creation.

Kindergarten:

Five Senses:  God made me special; ears, nose, skin, tongue, eyes.

Weather-Seasons:  activities for the season, seasonal dress, seasonal appearances – earth

Seeds-Spring:  plant parts; plant needs; use of plants

Animals:  Classification and Characteristics’ mammals, birds, reptiles

Sea Shore:  what it is, birds and animals of; why sea is salty.

Insects & Spiders:  characteristics of; how they are helpful or harmful, metamorphosis

Magnets:  what will magnets attract; what can a magnet pull through; uses of magnets; hands on experiments

* Each unit has hands-on experiments and correlated art work, along with language exercises.

 

First Grade:

Food Groups:  balanced meals; proper nutrition

Five Senses:  experiments with each sense; importance of

Health-teeth:  parts of, sets of, shapes of, jobs of, care  of, brushing, flossing, healthy eating, dentals checkups

Sun, Moon & Stars:  parts of the sun; need for sun; sun’s path’; moon phases, craters; basic constellations; planet names, characteristics, orbits

Pushes and Pulls:  gravity, magnets and magnetic force, mechanical force, friction.

Plants:  parts:  roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds, planting activities – recording growth, life cycles of plants, plant needs and uses of.

Matter:  definition of, matter takes up space, matter can be weighed, 3 forms of matter.

Heat and Air:  heat changes forms and temperature, temperature of air, movement of air (wind),sun’s path, moon phases, craters, basic constellations

Weather:  causes of, air concepts, weather man’s jobs, types of weather, reporting, seasons, cloud types

 

Second Grade:

Solar System:  rotation, gravity, phases of moon, planets-composition & characteristics

Animal Classification:  vertebrates/invertebrates, characteristics of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish

Ecology:  relationships of living things, ecosystems/habitats, getting food, staying in balance, earth cycles and recycling

Earth Science:  layers of the earth, volcanoes / earthquakes, three layers of the earth

Human Body:  basic introduction-muscles, bones etc.

Light/Shadows:  light as energy, how light travels, prisms, colors, refraction, reflection

 

Third Grade:

Five Senses:

Objective:  The students will be able to name the five senses and the sense organ which goes with it.  The students will realize how important our senses are in order to understand the world around us.

Sound:  (no textbook)

Objective:  Students will be able to explain what sound is, how sound travels, how living things communicate and how sound can be made louder and softer.

Simple Machines:  (not in textbook)

Objective:  The students will be able to list the 6 simple machines (Inclined Plane, Wedge, Screw, Wheel and Axle, and Pulley), give examples, and demonstrate at least 3 of the simple machines listed.

Desert and Forest:

Objective:  Students will be able to describe the environment of the desert and the forest and list the plants and animals found in each community.  Students will be able to explain the concept of the food chain.

Rain Forest:  (not in textbook)

Students will become familiar with the animals in the rain forest and the four layers of the rain forest.

Oceans, Fresh Water Life: Microscope Unit  (not in textbook)

Objectives:  1.  The students will be able to name the parts of the microscope and be able to focus the microscopes to look at prepared slides.  The students will also be able to work in groups and prepare their own slides.

2. The students will be able to describe the fresh-water community and the animals and plants found in that community.  The students will be able to describe the life cycle of a frog.

Plants:

Objective:  The students will be able to define a plant in scientific terms.  The students will also plant a garden and observe the changes, which take place.

 

Fourth Grade:

Scientific method:  observation, analyze, hypothesis, test hypothesis (investigations)

Insects:   life cycle, design, motion, defense systems, communication, habitats, social activity

Birds:  identification, observation, feeding, baths & houses, design for flight, field markings

Matter:  (water, air, weather) – water as a resource-energy-atmospheric, states of water (condensation & evaporation), atmosphere, weight & pressure, wind, weather forecasting

Magnets & electricity:  electrical charges, flow of electrons, electrical current and magnetic fields, volts, amps, ohms, and laboratory investigations / applications

Oceanography: currents, continental slope-shelf, ocean floor, open sea, exploration, waves and salt water, fish, sea mammals, invertebrates

Plants:  design, conifers & deciduous, flowering, seed design, seed disbursement, germination, poisonous plants, usefulness

 

Fifth Grade:

Investigating Nature: (scientific method) – mysteries around us, focus on experimental process (hypothesis, procedure, results, conclusion), the detective’s tools, golden rod  jungle,  composites

Vertebrates and Mammals:  define each class, identification, characteristics,

Energy (light):  definition of, reflection, refraction, spectrum, eyes

Earth Science:  structure of earth, soil, classification of rocks, minerals, metals, fossil fuels, geysers, caves, fossils, dinosaurs

Energy and Engines:  simple machines, force, motion, electricity & magnetism, work-energy, water and wind power, matter, internal combustion, jet propulsion, rocket engines

Astronomy:  atmosphere, sky

Weather:  water vapor, winds, fronts, temperatures, clouds, atmosphere, storms

 

Sixth Grade:

What is science and scientific method: methodology, making slides for the microscope, using the microscope

Invertebrates:  characteristics of, identification of major phylums

Birds:  review of structure and characteristics of Michigan birds, and the sounds they make

Earth science:  review rock cycle and mineral identification, earthquakes and volcanoes, fossil fuels

Astronomy:  space travel, laws of motion, acceleration, inertia, centripetal & centrifugal force, and locating/identification of constellations and deep-sky objects

Matter:  in depth study of  its properties, atomic theory, chemical reactions, symbols & notation

Electricity:  study of electrical circuits, generation of electricity, electric motors

 

Textbooks

Grade K Science: Level K, CSI, God’s World K, A Beka Book

Grade 1 Science 1, Bob Jones University Press

Grade 2 Science 2, CSI, 2004 ed.

Grade 3 Exploring God’s World, A Beka Co.

Grade 4 Understanding God’s World, Understanding God’s World, Activity Book,  A Beka Co., Electricity and Magnetism, MacMillan/McGraw-Hill

Grade 5 Investigating God’s World, A Beka Book

Grade 6 Observing God’s World, A Beka Book

Spelling Curriculum

Description:  Good spelling habits are emphasized in all of the student’s daily work with the basic spelling skills developed in a student workbook. Students practice a full range of language arts skills such as word building, dictionary skills, proofreading skills, making real-world connections, and developing writing mechanics to help them become better spellers, readers, and writers.  The program uses word lists based upon dependable spelling patterns, and frequency of exposure so that each student is given repeated practice and encouragement to use the patterns common to every day use.

Textbooks

SRA Spelling, levels 2-6, SRA McGraw-Hill 2009

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Enrollment

Admission Policy

General: Students may enroll in Plymouth Christian Elementary School at any grade level from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.  Beginning age requirements are the same as the Michigan Public Schools.  Children enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten must be four or five years old, respectively, by December 1 of the same year.  Students entering first grade must be six years old by December 1..

No child shall be excluded from admission on the grounds of race, national origin or color.

As Plymouth Christian Schools is based on religious principles taught in the Word of God and viewed as part of a three-fold link consisting of home, church, and school, it is necessary that all students admitted to the school live under the active care of parents or guardians who regularly attend a Protestant church that agrees with the teachings of God’s Word.  To uphold this requirement, as a condition of enrollment, parents of students accepted for enrollment will be asked to sign the Registration Statement which indicates they agree to have their children instructed according to the Scriptures as explained in the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt.

Transportation: Plymouth Christian Schools provides transportation of the students to and from school, within approved geographic areas.  Parents are assessed a fee based upon the location of their bus stop and frequency of use.  For fee assessment purposes, there are three transportation zones, each of which is measured by the distance from the school to the student’s bus stop.  (Zone fee for both a.m. and p.m. transportation is at full rate and a.m. or p.m. only is ½ full rate.)  Plymouth Christian will strive to provide a bus stop that is convenient for the parents.  The school will also do its best to minimize the length of time that students are on the bus.  However, the school reserves the right to determine bus stop locations and the amount of time an individual student is on the bus.  The Transportation Supervisor and Committee determine the actual bus stops in July prior to the school year.  Routine transportation is restricted to young 5’s thru 12 grade.

Enrollment Procedures

All parents who are member of non-supporting churches are asked to follow this order to student admission.

  1. Obtain a copy of the PCS school brochure and complete the Application for Admission.
  2. Meet with the school administrator, tour the building, and obtain and study a copy of the Parent-Student Handbook.
  3. Complete the necessary admission form, and submit it to the school office.
  4. After the application has been reviewed and the interview with the administrator completed, an interview with the Education Committee of the School Board may be arranged.  Except in cases of single-parent families, both parents should be present at the interview.
  5. If a student is accepted for admission, parents will be asked to sign the Registration Statement.

Registration dates for older students will be published in the school newsletter.  For a complete enrollment policy, contact an administrator.

Parental Agreement

Please read the following items carefully:

  1. 1.    I believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and that this Divine Word of God has been clearly and consistently defined in the Belgic Confession of  Faith, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort.
  2. 2.   I agree with the Plymouth Christian Schools Association Statement of Purpose:  “The purpose of Plymouth Christian Elementary School is to ‘train up a child in the way he should go’; for the Lord has promised that ‘when he is old, he will not depart from it’  (Proverbs 22:6).  The home, the church, but also the school, has the responsibility to ‘bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:4).  While no one is able to properly do this of themselves, we must pray and strive to place God and His infallible Word at the center of all instruction given and policies developed.  Behavior and guidance will also be directed according to Biblical principles.  Religious instruction will be based on the Bible and explained in accordance with our Doctrinal Standards:  The Heidelberg Catechism, Confession of Faith, and the Canons of Dort.  Instruction will be given in all subjects needed for our life in society, with the distinction, that each course will attempt to draw its theme from the Scripture which “is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.”
  3. 3.   I will support the school in its policies, operations, and tuition payments as outlined in the school handbook.
  4. 4.   I understand that Plymouth Christian Elementary School carries no insurance to cover liabilities with respect to school related injuries.  God has commanded us to “Acknowledge Him in all our ways”, etc. (Lords Day 10), “for God’s providence goeth over all things”  (Matthew 6:24 and 34).

 

Part-Time Student

Plymouth Christian Schools open its doors to part-time students in all classes (K – 12) subject to the following conditions:

  1. Parents must follow normal admissions procedures.
  2. Students and parents are subject to all school policies.
  3. Part-time students will be considered for courses which have not reached the maximum number of students.
  4. Elementary options would be morning (4/7 time), afternoon (3/7 time) or particular days to join science, library, physical education, and/or music classes.
  5. High School options would include any courses.  If study halls are included between courses, the charge for a study hall monitoring fee would be 1/4 the course charge.
  6. Students who attend 50% or more will be included with all class trips (except the Washington D.C. trip which is open only to full-time 12th grade students).  Course specific trips will include all students in that course.
  7. Since adjustments may need to be made to staffing/hours, part-time enrollment should normally follow these procedures:
    a.    Indicate an interest each year ASAP
    b.   Apply for admission by April 1
    c.    Register by April 15, and request classes
    d.   Receive final notification of classes by August 1 for elementary
    e.    Receive final notification of classes by August 15 for HS courses.  (Enrollment of part-time students at the high school level will be finalized after full-time students have had at least one week to make scheduling adjustments (approximately August 1 – 10).
  8. The cost per course would be 1/6 of the tuition rate for a single student (at elementary or high school level) as determined by April 1 preceding the year.
  9. The cost for 2-day courses would be 1/15 of the tuition rate for a single student (at elementary or high school level) as determined by April 1 preceding the year.
  10. Part-time payments must be paid in advance for at least one semester at a time.  These payments would be due August 15 and January 15.
  11. One-way busing could be considered with appropriate fees by consultation with the Transportation Committee.

Tuition Schedule 2011/2012

Tuition rates for students in grades K-6 reflect a compromise between two types of tuition plans:

  1. To have each family pay a set rate for each of their children (placing an almost impossible burden on large families).
  2. Have each family pay the same median tuition rate regardless of family size (penalizing small families).

The tuition plan adopted for students in grades K-6 places an approximate full cost tuition fee on the first child attending from a family with the second, third, and fourth child’s tuition fee being proportionately less and additional children attending for a nominal fee.

Tuition rates for school year 2011/12 for students in grades Pre-K – 6 are as follows:

Pre-K (2-1/2 Days)                       $755                       + $20 Registration

Pre-K/Y 5’s (3-1/2 Days)               $1,070                   + $20 Registration

Young 5’s (4-1/2 Days)                 $1,425                   + $20 Registration

Kindergarten (4 Day)                    $4,060

1 Child (1st– 6th)                         $5,840                   In addition to the tuition charges, a Bldg. Use

2 Children (K – 6th)                      $9,860                   Fee of $80 each (maximum of $320), and/or a

3 Children (K – 6th)                      $13,200                 Transportation Fee is assessed based on your

4 Children (K – 6th)                      $17,600                 Busing Zone,  Zone 1 fee is $250, Zone 2 is

5 Children (K – 6th)                      $17,600                 $370, Zone 3 is $500.  AND  (if 4 children in

Maximum                                    $20,000                 the elementary) an elementary premium of $320.

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Policies and Procedures

Absences

Plymouth Christian Elementary School, although a private school, is subject to the laws and regulations of the State, governing educational institutions.  State school attendance regulations permit absence from school only in case of illness or personal emergency.  However, an absence due to a family trip may be considered excused if proper notification has been given to the office in advance and if the staff feels the absence will not be detrimental to the student.  Make-up of all assignments missed will be the responsibility of the student and his parents and must be completed in a period of time not to exceed the length of the absence.

If a child is going to be absent or arrive late to school, parents should call the school office between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.  If this time frame is impossible, a message can be left on the answering machine or another student in the family can notify the office upon arrival at school.  If a student is reported absent by a teacher and the office has not received notification, the school secretary will call home to make sure nothing has happened to him or her between home and school.

Awards

At the end of the school year a special awards assembly will be held to recognize various achievements of elementary students.

Good Citizenship Awards will be given out to the most deserving students from each elementary grade.  These awards will be based on attitude and conduct rather than academic achievement in school.

Perfect Attendance Awards will be given to all students who have had perfect or near perfect attendance during the school year.

Special Music Awards will be given to those students who have willingly given of their free time to participate in elementary choir in order to further develop their musical abilities.

Staff-Parent-Board Relationships (Matt 18)

In Matthew 18, Jesus lays down three steps for addressing offenses. The first is for the offended person to speak privately and personally with the offender. This should be done confidentially and without attracting attention to the process.  Sadly, there is a growing practice for those who have spoken with a teacher, when asked if they have followed Matthew 18, to say that they have, and to then feel that they are free to speak to whomever they please about the situation. The entire process as explained by Christ is to limit the number of individuals involved in order to protect everyone involved – the accused person from defamation and the accuser from generating gossip.

John Calvin wisely lays his finger on the root of the problem today, when he states in his commentary on Matthew 18:15, “The design of this is, as I have said, is to hinder charity from being violated under the pretense of fervent zeal. As the greater part of men are driven by ambition to publish with excessive eagerness the faults of their brethren, Christ seasonably meets this fault by enjoining us to cover the faults of brethren, as far as lies in our power; for those who take pleasure in the disgrace and infamy of brethren are unquestionably carried away by hatred and malice, since, if they were under the influence of charity, they would endeavor to prevent the shame of their brethren.” Calvin clearly reminds us to exercise the law of kindness and charity, for “Charity is kind…vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil…beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things…” (I Cor 13)

The following will be placed in the PCS Newsletter periodically (at least at the beginning of each school year):

A friendly reminder from the School Board:

We realize how each of you in our Christian school community is concerned about ordering your footsteps according to God’s Word. As a result, we remind you at the start of the new school year that whenever you have a concern, we are commanded by Christ to first speak with the person(s) involved. Following Christ’s Matthew 18 principle is the only God-ordained means for resolving issues. “Order my steps in Thy Word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 119:133)

The basis for a Scripturally-directed procedure to handle interpersonal relations is found in Matthew 18. The application of this Scripture passage is found in the answer to question 112 of the Heidelberg Catechism: “What is required in the ninth commandment?” The answer states “that I defend and promote as much as I am able, the honor and good character of my neighbor.”

Students

  1. In the event that a student is concerned or confused by what a teacher has stated, it is preferential in following Christ’s command for the student to speak immediately with the instructor during class to clarify the statement. This offers an opportunity for a teacher to explain a misunderstood comment to the entire class. Both parties need to discuss this in a non-confrontational way.
  2. The student may decide to ask for clarification after class, but it should be done sooner rather than later so that the teacher may provide further explanation to the class in a timely manner.

Parents

  1. If the student brings his or her concern home to their parents, it is incumbent on the parents to follow Matthew 18:15-17 and to contact the teacher directly to address the concern, while at the same time realizing that they are obtaining their information second-hand, since they (the parents) were not present during the lesson. The possibility exists that there was a misunderstanding and that the air may be cleared to the satisfaction of both parties. The issue must be addressed in a spirit of cooperation and mutual concern. If afterwards both parties are satisfied, then the matter is settled and must not be shared with others.
  2. If after repeated attempts to solve a problem with the person directly involved is unsatisfactory, the administration should be informed of the situation, and his help sought in finding resolution.
  3. If the parents, teacher involved, and administrator cannot solve the issue after repeated attempts, the matter should be referred to the Education Committee.
  4. Throughout the entire proceedings, no party is at liberty to discuss the situation with others. Confidentiality must be maintained.

Teachers

  1. A teacher should seek to resolve a problem by speaking directly with the person(s) involved as soon as possible. An early response will often resolve the problem before it becomes larger, while at the same time promoting unity and trust.

Administrators

  1. The administrator should communicate directly to the teacher any parental, staff, or constituency concerns and encourage the parties to meet and resolve any misunderstanding, speaking the truth in love.
  2. The administrator should become involved only after earnest attempts have been made to establish direct communication between the parties involved to resolve any issue.
  3. When administrators do become involved in the process, they should keep notes of the concerns and meetings (dates and details) in order to have a clear record to refer to as issues are dealt with.

Education Committee

  1. If all of the preceding attempts described above have failed after repeated attempts to resolve the issue, the parents and teacher should meet with the Education Committee to discuss the situation. (The administrators are also members of the Education Committee.)
  2. It is part of the responsibility of the Education Committee to determine what corrective action (if any) needs to be taken. Following such a determination, all parties are to maintain confidentiality regarding the issue and its resolution.

Board Members

  1. A Board Member should discretely decline to hear grievances from any party, and instead direct them to follow Matthew 18 as it is outlined above. Only in the event of extremely compelling circumstances should a Board Member deviate from this process, and then it would be advisable for that Board Member to direct the concerned party to contact the Education Committee.

Busing Boundaries

The map below represents the general area within which our school buses provide transportation to the elementary and high school buildings.  Families are urged to consider these boundaries when considering the purchase or construction of a new home.  Families located outside these boundaries often must provide their own transportation to the nearest bus stop within this area.

Bus Discipline Policy

Bus Discipline:

Riding: our buses is a privilege.  Therefore students are expected to closely observe the following written guidelines set by the transportation committee.

In order to insure that riding the bus is a safe and positive experience for each student, it is necessary that rules and regulations be adopted and enforced.

No student should conduct himself or herself in any manner which jeopardizes the safe operation of the bus.  Any distraction or disturbance which draws the driver’s attention from the road could result in an accident causing injury and possible death of other students.  The driver’s authority on the bus is absolute.  Thus, disturbances on buses will be handled according to the severity of the act and the age of the student and may result in suspension of the privilege of riding the bus.

Note:  Sleds, skis, suitcases or other large items are not allowed on the bus.

Minor Infractions:

Minor infractions shall be handled initially by warning or light punishment, for example, sitting in front of the bus or cleaning up litter.  Persistent minor infractions shall be reported to the principal on the form provided.  All drivers are required to keep a file on all minor infractions (student names, date of incident, and details).  In the case of minor infractions it is important that the drivers communicate with parents.  Usually a phone call will resolve problems before they become major.  When the driver sees behavior that could become a larger problem, it is vital that the driver contacts the parents and let them know what is happening.  If the behavior does not change then the principal shall be notified so further action can be taken.

The following listing of minor infractions is provided for the purpose of example only and should not be considered complete.  Any similar infraction shall be considered improper behavior and dealt with accordingly.

  • Whistling
  • Excessive noise
  • Eating on the bus
  • Rudeness
  • Standing on the bus
  • Failure to remain in seat
  • Littering
  • Bullying (shoving,teasing)
  • Scuffling
  • Not following dress code
  • Use of radios or CD/tape players
  • Annoying Conduct
  • Running by/around the buses

Procedures for Handling Minor Infractions:

  1. After the first offense the driver shall instruct the student as to the improper behavior, inform the student that the incident is being logged, and log the incident.
  2. Upon the second offense the driver shall again instruct the student, log the incident and contact parents.
  3. A third offense will result in a misconduct report filed with the building principal.  It shall include a record of action taken under steps 1 and 2.  The principal will take appropriate action according to the offense and mail a report to parents.  (High School students will be given a demerit.)
  4. Further misbehavior will result in a second misconduct report filed with the building principal.  The Principal will take appropriate action according to the offense and mail a report to parents.  (High School students will be given a demerit.)

Major Infractions

Major infractions will be reported to the principal on the misconduct form provided for immediate appropriate action.  If the infraction is of such importance that action is needed before the next morning, the driver will call the principal and report the incident immediately upon completing the route.

A major infraction is any action or behavior that is destructive to property or jeopardizes the safety of students, drivers, or other persons or other vehicles.  The following list of major infractions is included for the purpose of example and should not be considered complete.  Any similar infraction not included shall be considered as improper behavior and appropriate action taken.

  • More serious levels of or repeated minor infractions
  • Inappropriate language/profanity
  • Lighting matches/smoking on the bus
  • Throwing objects in or out of the bus
  • Forcible pushing, fighting, or tripping
  • Hanging out of the window
  • Spitting
  • Tampering with bus equipment
  • Threatening bodily harm
  • Use or possession of alcohol or drugs
  • Destruction of property
  • Refusing to obey the driver
  • Improper boarding/departing procedures
  • Bringing articles on the bus of injurious or objectionable nature
  • Exiting the bus at an unauthorized stop (railroad crossings, stop signs, etc.)
  • Other behavior relating to safety and respect for others

Procedures for Handling Major Infractions

As needed, the bus driver shall:

  1. Inform the student of his/her misbehavior
  2. Submit a bus incident report form to the building principal
  3. Record and file the report

In addition, the student will be suspended from riding the bus.  Suspension of bus riding privileges will in most cases take place the next school day.  (Demerits in the following chart refer to high school students.)

  1. First Offense                     demerit                                    1 week off the bus
  2. Second Offense                 demerit                                    2 weeks off the bus
  3. Third Offense                    demerit                                    The remainder of the year off the bus

Students may lose bus riding privileges for the remainder of the year at anytime if the violation is of a severe enough nature and the administrator and driver have determined that continued bus riding privileges would present a safety hazard for others.

PRE-SCHOOL/YOUNG 5’S BUS POLICY

If a student is registered for the developmental kindergarten, (Young Fives), the student is eligible for transportation on a regular education bus regardless of age. However, if a student is registered in the PK program, the student is to be transported on a bus equipped with seat belts, car seats, and booster seats. Therefore, PK students are not eligible for transportation on a regular education bus.

CHILD ABUSE POLICY

Plymouth Christian Schools Association (“the School”) desires to insure that each child within the care of the School can develop a healthy spiritual and academic life within a caring and loving Christian community environment free of unwanted abuse.  The goals of the policies and guidelines stated in this document include:

  1. Protecting all children using our facilities from all forms of abuse, especially sexual abuse;
  2. Protecting individuals who interact with children on behalf of our organizations, both volunteer and paid staff, from false allegations of child abuse; and
  3. Protecting the integrity of our School.

Therefore, it is the policy of the School to protect all children participating in our organizations from all forms of child abuse, including:  physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, sexual molestation, exposure to sexually explicit materials, etc.  It is also the policy of the School to encourage all individuals associated with it to avoid even the appearance of such named conduct in order to prevent any potential misunderstandings that may give rise to false accusations against an individual interacting with the children.  Any violation of this policy involves activities which are explicitly outside the scope of responsibility, duties or activities of the School.

A. DEFINITION OF IMPORTANT TERMS

  1. Child:  A person under the age of 18 years or a student at the School.
  2. Child Abuse:  Harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare which occurs through non-accidental physical or mental injury; as well as any sexual abuse of a child.
  3. Individual Interacting with a Child:  All teachers, principals, aids, employees, counselors, and volunteers who work in any capacity with children at the School.
  4. Sexual Abuse:  Engaging in any sexual contact of any nature with a child, the sexual exploitation of a child, and/or disseminating, exhibiting or displaying sexually explicit material to a child, regardless of whether such conduct is with or without the knowledge or consent of the child.  Sexual abuse may be violent or non-violent.

B.  CONDUCT PROHIBITED

  1. Child Abuse:  An individual interacting with a child shall not engage in any form of child abuse directed towards the child.
  2. Reasonable Force Exception: An individual interacting with a child may use reasonable physical force upon a child as necessary to maintain order and control in the school and at school related functions for the purpose of providing an environment conducive to safety and learning. In maintaining that order and control, the person may use physical force upon a child as may be necessary for one or more of the following:
    a.    Disruptive Behavior. To restrain or remove a child whose behavior is interfering with the orderly exercise and performance of school functions if the child has refused to comply with a request to refrain from further disruptive acts.
    b.   Self-defense. For self-defense or the defense of another.
    c.    Threat. To quell a disturbance that threatens physical injury to any person.
    d.   Weapon. To obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object upon or within the control of a child.
    e.    Property. To protect property.

C. REPORTING & INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES

It is recognized that despite precautions, instances of suspected child abuse may arise within the School.  When instances of suspected abuse by any individual acting on behalf of the School in any manner become known to an individual, he or she has a moral and a legal responsibility to report the situation to the proper authorities (teachers or administrators).

Communicable Diseases

A description of the common communicable diseases, their incubation periods and early symptoms is listed below for your convenience.

  • Chicken Pox – 2-3 weeks incubation, mild fever at time of eruption which looks like water blisters.  Exclude contact only with first signs of illness. Return to school: when lesions are dry or not more than 7 days.
  • Common Cold – 1/2 – 3 days incubation.  Running nose, eyes water, slight fever, “feels bad”.  Exclude contact only with first signs of illness.  Return to School:  maximum of 3 days.
  • Fifth’s Disease – 4 -14 days incubation.  Low grade fever and tiredness and then a red rash appears on the cheeks giving a “slapped face” appearance.  No longer contagious once rash appears.
  • German (3 day) Measles 13-31 days incubation.  Mild symptoms of head cold for 1-2 days followed by eruption on face and body.  Exclude contact only with first signs of illness.  Return to School:  upon recovery with minimum of 4 days.
  • Impetigo – Blister appearing sores on the skin.  Exclude contact only with first signs of illness.  Return to School:  upon recovery with minimum of 4 days.
  • Influenza – 1-3 days incubation.  Fever, distress, aching in back and limbs, sore throat.  Exclude contact only with first signs of illness.  Return to school:  when recovered.
  • Infectious Hepatitis – Average 25 days incubation.  Usually tired with yellowish complexion.  Exclude contact only with first signs of illness.  Household contact should have medical care.  Return to school:  written approval from physician with statement of any limitation of activity.
  • Measles – Regular – 10-15 days incubation.  Moderate fever, puffy, watering eyes.  Lining of cheeks and lips studded with small bluish white spots.  1-2 days later rash appears on skin.  Exclude contact only with first signs of illness.  Return to school:  upon recovery with minimum of 7 days.
  • Mumps – 12-26 days incubation.  Swelling of glands in neck below and in front of ears. First one side and then the other.  Return to school:  when swelling and fever have gone down.
  • Pediculosis – head lice.  Lice and nits in the hair.  Observe daily.  Check family members.  Return to school:  After treatment by a physician or when free from lice and nits.
  • Pink Eye – 2-5 days incubation.  Red eyes and lids.  Observe daily.  Exclude contact with first sign of illness.  Return to school:  upon recovery.
  • Ringworm of skin and scalp.  Circular patches of dry skin on any part of body and/or scalp.  Inspect skin for evidence of infection.  Return to school:  as directed by physician.
  • Scabies – Days, maybe weeks of incubation.  Extreme itching of skin where mites have burrowed under skin.  Exclude contact with first signs of illness.  Return to school:  after seen and treated by a physician.
  • Scarlet Fever Scarletine – 2-7 days incubation.  Sudden onset, usually with fever, sore throat, vomiting and headaches.  Family to be isolated and/or treated with antibiotics & observed daily for signs.  Return to school:  upon recovery when signs of illness are completely gone.
  • Shingles – Herpes-Zoster. Painful, small, water-like blister in groups on the skin along nerve pathways.  Exclude contact with first signs of illness.  Return to school:  when lesions are dry or not more than 7 days.
  • Strep Throat – 1-3 days incubation.  Rapid onset with fever, sore inflamed throat & exudative tonsillitis or pharyngitis.  Exclude contact with first signs of illness.  Return to school:  after seen by a physician & under antibiotic treatment for 24 hours.
  • Whooping Cough – Begins as ordinary cough, becoming more persistent and worse at night with vomiting.  Non-immuned shall be excluded from school & contact with others for same length of time as patient.  Return to school:  upon recovery with a minimum of 21 days after development of paroxysmal whooping cough.

 

Crisis Response Manual

Each staff member has been provided with a copy of our Crisis Response Manual as a quick reference guide to use in a crisis.  A planned and organized approach has proven to be much more effective in reducing the emotional and social impact of a crisis within the school.  Each staff member is required to become familiar with the Crisis Manual’s procedures and to adhere to them as much as possible in dealing with emergency and crisis situations.

 

Daily Time Schedule

8:25                 Students enter the building

8:30 – 9:20       Devotions and 1stperiod

9:20 – 10:05     2nd period

10:05 – 10:20    Recess

10:25 – 11:10     3rd period

11:10 – 11:55     4th period

11:55 – 12:10     Lunch

12:10 – 12:35    Recess

12:40 – 1:20      5th period

1:20 – 2:00       6th period

2:00 – 2:15       Recess

2:20 – 3:00       7th period

3:05                 Dismissal

Daily Work

Be sure that your child is taking home the corrected and graded papers the teacher has returned to him/her.  Check with the teacher if he/she is not doing so.

Take time to discuss the papers with your child.  If a student realizes that parents and teachers are both interested in his/her work, he/she is more apt to do the best of which he/she is capable.

Discipline

Discipline must be maintained in the school to provide an appropriate environment for scholastic achievement.  Our goal in teaching children proper ways to conduct themselves is found in Scripture, “As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).  Discipline must be medicinal in nature and as such be administered in love, fairly and consistently when problems and concerns arise.  The teaching staff will use their own judgment in dealing with problems requiring discipline.  If serious or persistent concerns arise, consultation with parents will be initiated and the problem may be referred to the administrator.

Corporal punishment, if required, will be administered only by the teaching staff and then in the presence of an adult witness.  The physical contact should be limited to the bottom or if appropriate, the hands may be slapped.  If the infraction requires physical punishment, the student’s parents must be contacted either before or as soon as practical after administering the discipline.

Students will be made aware of all rules at the beginning of each school year.

 

Dress Code

Personal appearance reflects on the name of our school, as well as the Christian name that we bear.  Therefore, the Board, the staff, and parents must insist on a personal appearance in school which reflects Biblical standards of decency and modesty (see Eccl. 11:9-10; 1 Peter 5:5, I Tim. 2:9, Deut. 22:5).  While attempting to set guidelines for a positive appearance, we have sought to develop a standard which will reflect favorably on our student body, and on the Christian nature of our school.  Styles change from year to year.  Often these styles attempt to call special attention to oneself, and thereby challenge the accepted standards of our school system.  We must not follow every trend, and thereby compromise our moral principles. When in doubt, the student should not wear it!

Every work place has a dress code.  Some require uniforms, some have certain safety requirements, and some have certain types of clothes that are acceptable.  Students at PCS learn that, in addition to reflecting Biblical standards of decency and modesty, a dress code is normal for the work environment.  Learning to follow a set appearance code is also a job preparation skill.

APPEARANCE CODE

The school reserves the right to final interpretation in both the stated personal appearance code and any other similar violations that go against the intent of the code. The dress code shall be enforced, not only during school hours, but also for activities before and after school, such as community service work, field trips, or other school functions.

  1. All clothing must be neat and clean, without holes, rips, or tears.
  2. Jackets and hats must not be worn during classes.
  3. Shoes/sandals must be worn at all times. Flip flops are not acceptable footwear in the elementary building.
  4. Slogans/phrases are not allowed on clothing.  Certain brands, such as “No Fear,” which imply unbiblical principles are not allowed.  Clothing must not idolize a character, or advertise anything objectionable (alcohol, cigarettes, professional sports teams, TV stars, etc).
  5. Lest it be thought that the Word of God is being trivialized, no verse or phrase of the Holy Scriptures is permitted on articles of clothing.
  6. No unusual or shocking hairstyles are permitted, including the dyeing or bleaching of hair to unnatural colors, as determined by the Administration.
  7. No fads, including tattoos and display of undergarments, which draw or seek undue attention, are allowed.
  8. No sleeveless or see-through shirts, tops, or dresses are allowed.

Boys

  1. No “parachute” pants, “pajama” style, or sweat pants are permitted.  (Most acceptable pants have zippers.)
  2. Sweatpants are only allowed during times of physical exercise.
  3. No earrings, nail polish, or other items considered feminine may be worn.
  4. No over-the-collar hair lengths are permitted.
  5. A shirt must be worn at all times.

Girls

  1. Tops
    Tops must not be suggestive or revealing, that is, low-cut, see-through, tight-fitting, or short. Midriff skin may not be exposed when the arms are stretched out and raised to shoulder height.
  2. Skirts/Dresses
    a.    They must not be tight-fitting.
    b.   The length must extend to the knee or lower.  They should be no shorter than 3 inches from the floor when in a kneeling position.
    c.    No split skirts are allowed.
    d.   When dresses have slits in the front and side, those slits must be no shorter than the above standard.
  3. Pants
    Pants are not allowed as regular school attire.
  4. Earrings
    No earrings is the preferred standard.  Studs only are permitted.
  5. Make-up – Only clear nail polish and lip-gloss is allowed.

ENFORCEMENT

  1. The teacher will keep record of multiple offences and inform the principal.
  2. The student’s parents will be informed.
  3. Repeated offenses will earn additional consequences including “in school” suspension.

We ask that students follow this policy, and dress with moderation, thus reflecting the accepted standards of our school.  Parents are also asked to observe these standards when they are in our school buildings and at school functions.

 

Education Records

Student education records are records that are directly related to a student, and maintained by Plymouth Christian Schools (PCS).  Student education records are directly accessible only by school officials with legitimate educational interest.

Student education records or copies thereof may be inspected/reviewed and reasonable explanation/interpretation requested by a student’s natural parents or guardian upon request.  This includes both biological parents regardless if separated, divorced, or non-custodial unless a legally binding document revokes these rights.  When a student becomes 18, his parent’s  “student education records” rights transfer to the student.

Parents may request amendments to the student education records (including deletions).  Only PCS administrators may remove materials from student education records.

PCS will obtain parental written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records to third parties (non-parent).  PCS may disclose information designated directory information without written consent, unless parents have informed PCS in writing that this information not be disclosed.  Directory information is used in school publications such as the following:

  • The annual yearbook
  • The School Directory
  • Honor Roll or other recognition lists
  • Graduation Programs

Directory information is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released.  It may be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent.  Outside organizations include: but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.  PCS has designed the following information as directory information:

  • Student name
  • Participation in PCS activities
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • Photograph
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Grade Level
  • Recent educational institutions attended

PCS will annually notify parents of students regarding their rights under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

PCS will maintain a record of parties obtaining access to student education records.  The record will include party’s name, date of access, and purpose for which access is allowed.  Access does not have to be documented for parents, school officials with legitimate educational interest, and parties with written consent from a parent.

PCS designated the school secretaries as the “Custodian of Records” whose responsibility is to ensure the confidentiality of student education records.

For every student enrolled in PSC a student education record shall be maintained, consisting of all the information that affects the decisions made about the education of the student that is maintained by PCS.  PCS will update the information in the student education records annually.  The list of documents to be filed in Student Education Records include:

  • Scholastic data sheet-form 100A
  • Parent-teacher conference reports
  • Standardized and diagnostic test results such as the IOWA
  • Immunization records
  • Enrollment information sheet
  • Medication administration daily log
  • Resource instructor and Remedial assessments and evaluations
  • Evaluations by outside agencies if not labeled or declared “confidential” by a PCS administrator
  • Letters of commendation/reprimand and/or description of special achievements
  • Record of hearing and vision screening results
  • Annual snapshot of student (optional)

PCS shall also maintain a confidential file for students to store information of a highly sensitive nature.  The following shall be placed in the confidential file:

  • Notes and observations prepared by and for the exclusive use of a teacher or administrator and that are not used in making program placement decisions.
  • Counseling records relating to a student that may be personal, sensitive, or embarrassing to the student.
  • Any information that identifies a student guilty of a criminal violation of law.
  • Access to information stored in the confidential file is by administrator permission only.
  • All information in the confidential file will be maintained for a period of one year after the student ceases to be enrolled at PCS.  After which time they will be destroyed completely and confidentially.

PCS will retain student education records until a written request is received to forward the record to another school or until a period of 7 years has past since the student ceased to be a student at PCS.

When retention of student education record is no longer necessary, they will be destroyed completely and confidentially.

 

Fire-tornado-Disaster/intruder Drills

Six fire drills, two intruder drills, and two tornado drills are held periodically during the school year to acquaint students with appropriate procedures in case such emergencies occur.  During fire drills students practice leaving the building quickly through appropriate exits and regroup at designated areas on the west or east side of the school building. Two intruder drills are conducted to ensure staff and students know and practice proper procedures should such a crisis develop Tornado drills are held during the year to acquaint students with their designated shelter areas and with the proper safety procedures in the event of such an emergency.

 

Health Services and Safety Procedures

Every effort is made to provide and maintain safe conditions in the school.  During the morning and afternoon recesses and the lunch hour, teachers/aides, on a rotating basis, monitor all outdoor activities.  When accidents do occur, the school gives first aid.  If your child is hurt or becomes ill in school, a member of the school staff will get in touch with you at once.  You may be asked to take your child home or to your family physician for medical attention.

First aid is administered at school for minor injuries.  In case of more extensive injuries, instructions given by parents at the time of registration will be followed.

Kent County Health Technicians administer hearing and vision tests to elementary students at regular intervals (usually every other year).  Any of these tests will be given to pupils in other grades during the intervening years upon request of the parents or teacher.

 

Home schooling Policy

We encourage interaction between our schools and families which have chosen to home school their children.  We invite them to take advantage of several opportunities to participate in activities which we offer, namely:

-5th & 6thgrade instrumental music (twice per week for 40 min)

-computer keyboarding (6-week course)

-choir (1 day per week for approximately 6 weeks)

-physical education (2 days per week)

-summer camps

-submissions to Arts and Crafts PTA

-field trips

-IOWA Tests of Basic Skills testing (grades 1-6)

-Resource Room Services (ELS Program, Makoto)

-Kindergarten readiness testing

 

The following was adopted as a schedule guideline for home-scholars using our services:

Field trips – Actual cost, if any (see attached policy)

Testing – Cost of the test, plus $15

Classes – Prorated, using the current tuition rate

Choir – $15

Other – Actual cost incurred by the school, as determined by the administrator

 

Class Trips for Home-school students

Students who attend 50% or more will be included with all class trips (except the Washington D.C. Trip which is open only to full-time 12thgrade students).  Course specific trips will include only students enrolled in that course.  Participants must pay normal fees.

Subject to Administrative approval, class trips (K – 6, 8th Lansing, 9thChicago) are open to home-schooled children from the following churches:  Covell NRC, First NRC, Heritage NRC, Kalamazoo NRC, Providence Reformed, and Free Reformed subject to the following:

  1. Normal fees must be paid.
  2. In addition, to help share the cost of bus expenses and teacher time (which PCS parents pay through tuition), the family (or students if in grades 7 – 9) should provide 5 hours of school service or pay 50% more than the cost of the trip.  School service includes helping with Soup Supper, Sub Sales, School Sale, Auction, Accelerated Reader Program, etc.).
  3. Available seats will be determined after normal sign-up.
  4. Reservations must be made before deadlines.
  5. Administrative approval will be based on class size, class make-up, teacher requests, and available seats.
  6. If the parent does not accompany the child, the Emergency Authorization Form and Class Trip Agreement Form must be completed prior to the day of the trip.

 

Homework

Homework may be assigned on a regular basis in the upper elementary grades.  At times, however, assignments, special projects, experiments, or make up work will need to be finished at home in lower grades.  Students occasionally may also be assigned extra practice in areas where they are experiencing difficulties and this may be sent home for completion with parental assistance.

 

Inclement Weather Conditions

Pupils are expected to spend their time before school and during recesses out-of-doors.  In case of inclement weather, students may remain in school but must be quiet and orderly.  The amount of rainfall, the wind chill index as well as the temperature will be considered. Students are kept in school when the wind chill index is at or below 0 degrees F.

All school cancellations because of weather conditions will be carried on WOOD radio.  In the event that tornado or severe weather conditions materialize, the following emergency procedures are followed:

  1. Severe Weather Warning – possible existence of severe thunderstorms and wind.
  2. Tornado Watch – conditions are such which could develop into possible tornado.
    In situations 1 and 2 above, we hold school as usual and dismiss at regular time always keeping abreast of latest developments.
  3. Tornado Warning – a tornado has been sighted in Kent or adjoining counties and is moving in this general direction.

In situation 3 above, we move children to designated areas in school.  We do not dismiss until all-clear bulletin is received.  Parents may pick up children should they elect to do so.  Please do not call school unless it is an emergency.

Library

All elementary students visit the library at least once each week to check out and return books.  If a student has an overdue book, he/she will not be able to borrow another book until the overdue book is returned.  Books are circulated for a one-week period.  The number of books to be borrowed at one period of time is determined by grade level.  (First – two books; etc.)

If a student loses a book, he/she must pay the replacement cost of the book.  If a student damages a book, he/she will pay the estimated cost of repair.  Any parents who are interested in volunteering a few hours each week at school as a library or teacher’s aid, may contact the elementary librarian or the principal.

Reading of good literature is further encouraged by the following:

  • Providing a library of approximately 4000 volumes of fiction and non-fiction reading material
  • Teacher and Librarian supervision and guidance of students during library visits
  • Use of “suggested reading lists” for grades 3-6
  • Assignment of special research and reading projects
  • Teaching of mini units in all grades by school Librarian on Library skills

 

Lost and Found

Our school has a lost and found box located near the school office.  Parents are encouraged to check this box for missing items when they visit school.  We cannot assume responsibility for lost items not claimed within a reasonable length of time.  At the end of the school year, all unclaimed items go to a charitable organization.

Parents are encouraged to mark clearly with student’s name or initials all boots, book bags, shoes, lunch pails, etc

 

Non-Custodial Parent Rights

A.   It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide an Administrator of PCS with a certified copy of any custody decree and any superseding court order that curtails the rights of the non-custodial parent or has any other information that PCS is expected to take into account. If the non-custodial parent provides such documentation to PCS, the custodial parent shall be informed and given an opportunity to verify the documents.

B.   When a conflict arises relative to a non-custodial parent’s access to a child who is a student at our school, the most recent court order or decree in the possession of the Administrator shall prevail.

C.   Requests by a non-custodial parent to visit with or talk to a child shall be subject to the most recent court order or decree in the Administrator’s possession that relates to the subject matter.

 

Report Cards and Grading

Report cards are issued every six weeks.  These are to be signed by parents and returned to school as soon as possible, but not later than one week after issuance. Be sure to study the “check” or “comment” part of the card carefully since this indicates attitudes and effort.  In some ways it is more significant than the letter grades on the card.  Avoid comparing marks between siblings, friends, etc.  The important thing is that each child should use the talents God has given him/her to the fullest extent possible.

Teachers will be happy to schedule a conference, set up email communication, and/or make phone calls to discuss concerns in any area in which you feel your child is not doing as well as he or she could.

 

Rules of Conduct-Elementary Students

Classrooms and Halls

  1. Desks – students
    a.  Discourage from the beginning any writing or marking on desks.  (Clean regularly.)
    b.  Create an atmosphere of pride and respect toward property belonging to others.
    c.  Desks may be moved with discretion – straighten them out at night.
    d.  Chalk-boards, counters, doors, and windows are your responsibility – clean properly.
  2. Halls – outside room – Coat rack and ledge are to be kept in order – free from unnecessary articles.
  3. Teachers must supervise dismissal and entrance of students and be in their rooms/hallway when students enter the building from the playground.
  4. Each teacher will escort their students to the buses at dismissal time.  A bell will signal the arrival of buses at which time students should exit the building to board the buses.  “Lining Up” upon entrance will be done at designated areas of entrance.
  5. Room furniture may be arranged at teacher’s discretion but must be returned to an orderly row by row position at the end of the school day to facilitate cleaning.
  6. Pictures, posters, etc. should be attached to classroom walls using poster putty (not tape).
  7. Upon dismissal at the end of the day students using movable chairs should place them on top of their tables.
  8. Dismissal may be staggered slightly to avoid congestion in halls and bus loading areas.

All students shall walk at a safe pace when leaving the school buildings to board buses and when exiting school buses to proceed to the school buildings.

Gym

  1. No student shall engage in any unscheduled gym activity without prior permission from the principal.  No student shall engage in any play activity in gym without proper footwear (gym shoes only) and adult supervision.
  2. No student may work the gym shades.
  3. Gym closet door must remain locked at all times.
  4. After each gym activity, instructor with students’ help must return equipment neatly to gym storage room.  Gym equipment may not be taken out of doors by students unless used for teacher directed activity and retuned to gym at conclusion of activity.
  5. 5th& 6thgrade girls must wear PCS gym shirts for P.E. classes if wearing a skirt or pants.

Playground

Note:  Staff members leaving the building for playground duty, should exit the building using the exit door by the computer lab.  The exit door shall be unlocked by the teacher at the beginning of the recess period and locked upon reentering the building at the end of recess.  This is the only door allowing entry during the recess period for students who have an injury or other appropriate reason.

  1. No throwing of wood chips or any playground debris.
  2. Slides are to be used for sliding down the rails only.  No climbing up the rails or interfering with students sliding down the slides.  The large slider may be used by children in grades K and 1 at the discretion of their teachers.
  3. Bicycles may not be ridden on the school playground.  They must be properly parked on school property and not used during the school day.
  4. Only one person at a time may play on a swing.  Students must operate swings in a seated position.
  5. Only basketballs, tennis balls and soft playground balls are allowed on paved playground area.  This area is for limited activity games.  Tackle football, lay wrestling and tripping are not permitted at any time.
  6. Playground Area Assignments:
    a.    2nd grade – southeast corner of large playground
    b.   3rd grade – center section of east large playground.
    c.    4th grade – north side of gym and upper elementary classrooms by softball backstop.
    d.   5th & 6th grades – northeast corner of large playground and ball diamond
  7. Play wrestling, tripping or pulling of students’ clothing is not allowed anywhere in play area.
  8. Students may not leave the school grounds during the school day without permission from their teacher or principal.
  9. Snowballing is permitted only when it is teacher supervised and takes place during the students’ gym time.
  10. No students may play beyond the school boundaries nor in the school parking lots.
  11. Playground equipment (balls) on the school roof may be retrieved only by adults.  No students are allowed on school roof at any time.
  12. Students must show respect and use appropriate language at all times to all school staff members, parents, and fellow students.
  13. Students who continue to misbehave after the first warning by playground supervisor are to be sent to their classroom to be disciplined by their homeroom teacher.
  14. Students are to remain outside for the duration of recess period unless they have a good reason for coming inside such as an injury, urgent bathroom needs, etc.  Note:  Only the east door of school is open for such entry.
  15. No playing in water puddles on the playground.
  16. Students are to dispose of snack wrappers and baggies before exiting the paved playground area.  Wastebaskets are located at each exit door and one outside as you enter the playground from the computer room exit.
  17. Students may use roller blades at school on paved playground areas provided they were helmets.  Outdoor hockey may be played provided school provided hockey sticks are used and soft hockey pucks.

School Buildings & Grounds

  1. Students must be quiet in the halls and show respect and consideration for others by not running, pushing or causing unnecessary disturbances.
  2. Students must use their assigned bathrooms.  Student bathroom visits should be periodically monitored by teachers to insure proper behavior.
    a.    Bathrooms in East corridor are for grades 4, 5 & 6.
    b.   Bathrooms in main hall and at East hall entrance are for grades K, 1, 2, & 3.
  3. Students may not leave the school grounds during the school day without permission from their teacher or principal.
  4. Students are expected to show respect for school property.  Litter must be disposed of properly, school equipment must be used carefully and all student activities should be relegated to the proper areas of the school building and grounds.
  5. Students must show respect to all teachers, school staff, parents and fellow students.  Respectful conduct and language is required at all times.
  6. No students may play beyond the boundaries of the school grounds nor in the school parking lots.
  7. No student traffic is permitted through the main front entrance doors of the school during recess periods and noon hour.
  8. Bicycles may not be ridden on the school playground.  They must be properly parked on school property and not tampered with during the day.
  9. Students must request permission to enter teachers’ lounge, school office; or storerooms.  Elementary students may not operate school equipment.
  10. Students should not use the school phone ;for unnecessary calls.  Urgent calls may be made with teacher permission.  A charge of 10¢ per call will be made.
  11. All students are to spend recess ;and noon hours; outdoors unless:
    a.    They wish to use the library for reading or study with supervision of librarian.
    b.   They are participating in or are spectators at an intramural game in the gym.
    c.    The weather is such that it could prove injurious to the health of students, in winter when the wind chill index is -10° or lower.
    d.   A note from parents requesting permission for students to remain indoors for health reasons is received.
    e.    They receive teacher permission to remain indoors for study, project completion, etc.
  12. Bathrooms:  There is to be no unnecessary activity in the washrooms.
  13. No transistor radios;, “walkie-talkies;”, tape recorders;, calculators, electronic games; and articles which could be used as weapons, etc. are allowed at school unless permission has been received from the principal in advance.
  14. Each teacher shall set the rules in his/her classroom governing students.
  15. In general, no student traffic will be permitted through main west entrance door of school during school hours.
    a.    Student playground entrance and dismissal routes:

    • Grade K shall use the east door of the kindergarten room when dismissal for recess and noon hour and shall also enter through the same.
    • Grades Pre-K, Young 5’s, 1, and 2 shall use the south exit doors.
    • Grade 3, 4, & 5 shall use the east exit doors.
    • Grade 6 shall use the southeast exit door by the computer room

    b.   Student bus dismissal routes p.m.:

    • Grade K shall use east classroom door and south exit doors.
    • Grades 1A, 3, 4, 5, & 6 shall use the west main entrance doors.
    • Grade Pre-K, Young 5’s, 1B & 2 shall use the south doors.

 

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER PRIVACY POLICY

It is the policy of the School to protect the confidentiality of Social Security numbers obtained in the ordinary course of School business from students, employees, vendors, contractors, customers or others. No person shall knowingly obtain, store, transfer, use, disclose, or dispose of a Social Security number that the School obtains or possesses except in accordance with the Act and this Privacy Policy.  (A copy of the complete policy is available from an administrator.)

Student Medication Guidelines

A list of health concerns must be compiled each year from information provided by parents.  However student health concerns are not noted “in their files.”  Because of state and federal regulations, this information cannot be passed on from year to year.  Please inform us about your child’s health concern at the beginning of the school year even if he/she has a chronic condition.  It is recommended that you bring the health concern to the attention of the teacher verbally or in writing.  If it is information that other staff members should be made aware of, let the teacher know that as well.  Please call the school office if there is a health concern you would like to discuss in more detail.

School personnel are frequently asked to administer aspirin, antacids or antibiotic ointments by both students and their parents.  Compliance with such requests is contrary to good health practices, and against state regulations. If it is necessary for an elementary student to take medication at school for a short-term concern, the following guidelines must be followed:

  1. The student’s parent/guardian must provide the school with written permission and request to administer medication.
  2. Written instructions which include name of student, name of prescription medication, dosage, time to be administered, route of administration, and duration of administration must accompany the medication.
  3. Prescription medication must be administered by one adult in the presence of a second adult, with both individuals being designated by the school administrator.
  4. Prescription medication should be brought to school by the parent/guardian unless other safe arrangements are necessary and possible (e.g., distance of child’s home to school).
  5. Parental or guardian request/permission and physician’s instruction should be renewed annually, or more often if necessary.
  6. Prescription and medication supply renewal should be the responsibility of the parent/guardian.
  7. Prescription medication left over at the end of the school year should be picked up by the parent/guardian or the school will appropriately dispose of the medication, and record this disposal on the medication log.  Disposal should be witnessed by a second adult.
  8. Non-prescription medication (such as Tylenol) will be administered as needed in the office and a log will be maintained.

Self-Administration/Self-Possession

Definition:  Self-administration means that the student is able to consume or apply prescription and non-prescription medication directed by the physician without additional assistance or direction.  Self-possession means that under the direction of the physician, the student may carry medication on his/her person to allow for immediate and self-determined administration.

  1. The student’s parent/guardian must provide written permission and request to the school to allow the student to self-possess and self-administer medication.
  2. Written instructions which include name of student, name of medication, dosage, time to be administered, route of administration, and the physician/provider instruction that the student may self-possess and/or self-administer must be provided to the school.
  3. The parental or guardian request/permission and physician’s instructions should be renewed annually, or more often, if necessary.
  4. All medication should be kept in a labeled container as prepared by a pharmacy or pharmaceutical company and labeled with dosage and frequency of administration.  This language also pertains to refills.
  5. The building administrator may discontinue the student self-administration privilege upon advance notification to the parent/guardian.

Since we are required to report any communicable disease to the county health department, parents are requested to inform school immediately if their child contracts a communicable disease.

 

Sunday

Since Sunday is the Lord’s Day, the school is closed and is not available for normal use.  Students and staff are prohibited from participating in a school-sponsored activity that involves an over-Sunday stay unless they are in a Christian home environment and attend the public worship services in one of our member churches on the Sabbath.

 

Supervision Times

Playground supervision is provided at the following times:

Before school:  8:15 – 8:25 am

Morning recess:  10:05 – 10:25 am

Noon recess:  12:10 – 12:35 pm

Afternoon recess:  2:00 – 2:20 pm

Students arriving prior to 8:15 am must remain in the building until 8:15 am.

Supervision is also maintained during student boarding of buses upon dismissal in the afternoon.

Students remaining at school after 3:15 pm should wait for those picking them up inside the building.

When weather conditions warrant (heavy rain, extremely cold weather) outdoor recess is cancelled.

 

Supplies

The students are supplied with all their day to day needs such as paper, pencils, erasers, crayons, and scissors, but also their textbooks.  These remain the property of the school, and we expect the students to give them proper care.  Students must pay for textbooks and supplies which are damaged by improper use or other negligence.

Our play areas can have puddles and wet areas in spring and winter, so we suggest that parents send students to school with adequate rainy day wear.  The children also need gym shoes to play in the gym.  Kindergarten students need small rugs on which to take their afternoon naps.  At times during the school year, students may need an old shirt to protect their clothing during art classes.

 

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Special Assemblies

Special assemblies are held throughout the school year to commemorate special religious seasons, to observe patriotic and historical events, and to encourage student involvement with missions, helping the handicapped and others in need of assistance. Elementary students also invite their parents, grandparents and friends to school several times each year for special programs which include scripture recital and vocal / instrumental presentations.

September – Constitution Day Assembly

A presentation is given by members of the staff intended to enhance students’ understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

October – Reformation Day Assembly

All students sing Reformation Day Psalters and hymns, recite a memory verse and engage in activities designed to increase their understanding of Reformation Day history at an assembly.

November – Thanksgiving Day Assembly

Students at each grade level present a Thanksgiving Psalter or hymn and an appropriate memory verse to the entire student body and grandparents at an assembly.

December – Christmas Program

Students are divided into 3 groups – K & 1, 2 & 3, 4, 5 & 6 – which then sing Christmas songs and recite related scripture verses for parents, grandparents and friends.  The program of song & scripture also includes instrumental pieces for the band and stringed instrument group usually at the Fine Arts Center at Calvin College.

January – Spelling Bee

Students in grades 5 & 6 as part of their Language Arts classes, will study spelling word lists and participate in a school spelling bee to determine a middle school winner.  Winners go on to compete in regional meets with other schools.

February – Patriotic Day Assembly

All students at an assembly will sing Patriotic Psalters and hymns, recite a memory verse and engage in activities such as making a presentation dealing in some way with patriotism, flag displays, reports on Lincoln and Washington, recitations of patriotic addresses etc.

February – March – Instrumental / Choir Program

Students in grades four – six who are part of the school band or choir present a program of songs and instrumental music under the direction of the band and choir directors.

March – Mission Week Activities

Students focus on the purpose and importance of missions in Bible classes, classroom devotions, and special activities across the curriculum.  Mission songs and Scriptural verses are learned and sung together at school assemblies as an all school activity.  Mission fund raising is also conducted throughout the week.

May – Mother’s Day Program

Students in grades pre kindergarten – three present a program of Psalters and Hymns as well as Scripture recitations to their mothers in the elementary gym.

Graduation Exercises

Sixth grade students participate in graduation exercises held during the school day in the elementary gym during the last week of school.

 

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Special Student Activities

Chapel:  Chapel services for all elementary children are generally conducted on a biweekly basis.  The services, led by ministers from First Netherlands Reformed Congregation and Heritage Netherlands Reformed congregation alternately, include Bible reading and exposition, question and answer period, singing of Psalters and prayer.

Track & Field Competition:  In the spring of each year, upper elementary students compete as part of their physical education class in track and field events.  Ribbons are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each event.  (May)

Arts & Crafts Fair:  The Arts and Crafts Fair presents students in grades K-6 an opportunity to develop their skills and talents in the area of science, crafts and the Fine Arts.  (January and February)

Hot Lunch Program:  Hot lunches are served generally twice a month on Fridays throughout the school year to all elementary students.  Hot lunch dates are listed on the school calendar and will be announced also in the school newsletter.  A fruit punch drink may be ordered on hot lunch day for a 20 cent charge.  White or chocolate milk is included free of charge to students throughout the school year.

School Picnic:  All students, parents, grandparents and friends of Plymouth Christian Schools are invited to a school picnic held at Douglas Walker Park at the end of the school year.

 

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Suggested Time Allotments

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A Guide to Time Use

Approximate Minutes Per Week

Activity 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade 5th Grade 6th Grade
Devotions & Bible 225 225 225 225 225 225
Church History 45
Math 125 150 175 200 225 225
History/Geography 100 100 125 180 180 180
Science/Health 90 90 90 180 180 180
Reading-Listening 300 300 275 180 180 180
Language 100 100 125 180  180  180
Penmanship 100 100 75 50 40 30
Spelling 100 100 100 75 75 75
Lunch 20 20 20 15 15 15
Physical Education 45 45 45 90 90 90
Recess 55 55 55 55 55 55
Art/Crafts 75 60 60 45 45 45
Music 40 40 40 45 45 45
Library 30 30 30 30 30 30
Computers/KeyBoarding 30 45 45 45

Testing Program

A.  Standardized Assessment for Grades 1-6

Achievement tests are administered annually to all students in grades 1-6.   These standardized tests  measure individual student achievement in the areas of reading, mathematics, and language arts.  Student achievement is reported as grade equivalent (norm-referenced scores) and as percentile scores relative to other students at the same grade level nationally.  Test results are reported to parents on a form sent home with students.  This form provides test scores, a graph of percentile bands, and details of skills tested. The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (form A) are given in October.

B.  Kindergarten Readiness Screening

This screening is given to all children pre-registered for kindergarten during the spring preceding their entrance into the school program. The Gesell Developmental Screening Test is used to determine kindergarten readiness for all in-coming children and to prevent early school learning difficulties by identifying their developmental levels and learning styles. Oral sections measure language skills, attention span, and accuracy of personal knowledge talking about themselves and their families. Children are asked to name animals and discuss their favorite activities. A paper-and-pencil section assesses dominance, neuromuscular development, fine motor skills, and task-appropriate behavior. Children are asked to write their names, copy geometric figures, write numbers, and complete a drawing. A building-block section, which involves building increasingly complex structures with a set of cubes, measures fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and attention span. Each child is evaluated based on a developmental schedule, and he or she is assigned a “developmental age” (DA).

The screening does not label or categorize children and it does not measure a child’s intelligence quotient.  The screening will:

1.    Help children master the pre-academic skills related to reading by placing them properly.

2.   Help parents understand the importance of early identification of learning problems and give ways to help their children.

The kindergarten and resource room instructors administer the screenings.  A conference is held later with the parents to discuss the screening results and future placement suggestions for their children.

In addition to the readiness screening, the children are invited to visit the Kindergarten classroom for a full day of orientation.  In this way the children have an opportunity to become familiar with our Kindergarten and the school environment.

Revised 11/1/11

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