Parent Packet 2022-2023
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Parents and guardians, we are so excited to welcome you and your student(s) back to Advantage Academy for the 2022-2023 school year! Please thoroughly review the Parent Packet below, including videos and ALL links. Within this packet you will find all information that will help you be prepared for the new year. If you have additional questions after reviewing the packet, please contact your campus front office.
Topics in above Letter
- Safety and Security
- Parents as Partners
- New classroom management program
- New policies and expectations
- A champion pledge
2. Instruction and Academic Expectations, Learning Environment
3. Parent Orientation and/or Meet the Teacher Events
MEET THE TEACHER dates at all 4 campuses: Dallas, Waxahachie, Grand Prairie West, Grand Prairie East (all fully enrolled GPE high school students will receive their schedule at this event)
Monday, August 15, 2022
7. Instructional Roles and Responsibilities for all Learning Environments
Preparation for Learning
- Be prepared for learning each day and have work and assignments completed and ready.
- Complete coursework by the deadline set by teachers.
- Take all materials and devices home each day in order to be prepared for possible school closure.
- Encourage your child to have their things in their backpack/device and ready for school the night before.
- Create a designated place in your home for your student to use for homework and studying
- Plan appointments and trips so students don’t miss learning time
- Meet regularly with collaborative team and/or attend all training to plan instruction.
- Utilize the district curriculum documents and follow the scope and sequence provided by the academic services department.
- Internalize lessons to provide the best execution of instruction
- Include instructional supports for all learners
Learning & Teaching Expectations
- Attend classes and give your best efforts in your school assignments.
- Participate in learning activities as instructed by teachers.
- Be organized in your work and in getting projects completed.
- Ask questions and communicate with your teacher.
- Be aware of what you should be learning each day.
- Become familiar with online platforms and complete all required work in them
- Turn in assignments on time.
- Access Parent Portal (grades 3-12) to view student grades.
- Check in with student(s) to monitor completion of homework and assignments.
- Discuss your child’s favorite part of their day and what they learned in school.
- Support and encourage your learners
- Provide your child with assistance on their day-to-day activities with the exception of designated independent work.
- Maintain communication with your child’s teacher by phone, email and/or online meetings to create a learning partnership and update personal information every grading period or sooner if there is a sudden change.
- Monitor and ask for evidence that your child is on track with assignments and coursework.
- Teach students how and when to access learning materials through online platforms
- Manage online and offline resources to provide consistency and routines for students.
- Provide clear learning goals for students.
- Check student assignments in a timely manner and give feedback in verbal or written form frequently to provide next steps or necessary academic intervention/extension.
- Post grades in a timely manner according to district grading guidelines.
- Ensure open lines of communication between teachers, students, and parents as we work together to ensure each student is academically and socially-emotionally future ready.
- Provide engaging instruction that incorporates hands-on and minds-on learning
- Deliver instruction that is on-grade level, scaffolding where necessary
Support and Intervention
- Attend intervention/tutorial sessions as established by your teacher or school.
- Let your teacher know when you are struggling
- Allow your child to attend intervention/tutorial sessions as needed.
- Assist in supporting your child’s needs by establishing and managing the daily schedule communicated by the teacher.
- Help your child own their learning. Provide support and encouragement and expect your children to do their part.
- Provide intervention or tutorial sessions as needed.
- Follow student IEPs / 504 accommodations in all learning environments.
- Use data to pinpoint students’ specific needs for enrichment and intervention.
- Monitor student progress with fidelity according to recommendations.
- Provide and communicate office hours or conference period for student/parent support.
- Attend and participate in professional learning.
8. Career & Technology Education (CTE)
10. Student Attendance
Students must be in attendance on a daily basis. All students are subject to the Minimum Attendance Requirements to receive Credit (at least 90% of the days the class is offered). Failure to attend 90% of the scheduled class days in each semester may result in loss of credit and/or not be advanced to the next grade. Students will face truancy charges, if the student is absent from school during the attendance taking period. Click here to review the Attendance Policy.
11. Parent Engagement and Volunteers
Each school year, all volunteers must complete a new background check with a “clear” result and receive approval before volunteering in any school activity/event. You will receive an email within 7-10 work days of your application. Click here for more information or to submit an application.
12. Parent Portal Access & Security Code
Parents should use the parent portal often to access your students' grades and attendance. The login code information will be provided to parents in mid-September by the campus registrar. Click here to access the Parent Portal.
13. Parent Contact - Emergency Calls, Report Cards, etc.
Please click here to fill out the parent contact form if there have been any address, email or phone number changes since you enrolled. Use this form all year for changes so the school can continue to reach you in case of emergency, medical needs, teacher calls, report cards, etc. or contact the campus registrar/attendance staff.
14. Main Communication Tools
- School Messenger - Sign up for a School Messenger account so you can manage & view school/district messages and/or review past messages. https://go.schoolmessenger.com/#/account/signup You may call 214-276-5839 for questions (this system does not change your information in the school’s records, contact your registrar/attendance).
- Website Calendars - District Events/Sports Calendars
- Facebook - @advantageacademyeagles district page and 4 campus Facebook pages
- Remind - download smartphone app & signup or on a computer (Remind is used by some staff for teacher/principal messages to parents and/or high school students)
- Campus e-Newsletters - these are sent to the parents email address(es) provided and sent out each month by the campus beginning in October. Parents must have an email address on file with the campus registrar.
15. Student Services
15.1 Food Service 2022-2023
All PK-12 students will receive a free breakfast & lunch.
- Low income levels do not need to be met or verified this year but each family needs to fill out an online socioeconomic form as soon as possible. Your income information and confidential information is not shared with anyone. (REQUIRED FORM, list all of your students on 1 form)
- Advantage Academy will offer healthy meals to all students at no cost under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) funding option. What is (CEP) and what does it mean for Advantage Academy families?
- CEP is a school meal funding option of the National School Lunch Program that enables schools to provide FREE meals to ALL students. Regardless of the household income.
- CEP eliminates the out-of-pocket costs of school meals for all families and reduces stigma for students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals.
- CEP eliminates any concerns of unpaid school meal debt; helps families make ends meet at a time when many are facing loss of jobs and reduced wages.
- CEP eliminates having to give a student an alternate meal because the meal balance has exceeded the limit and/or the student cannot pay.
- We are excited about providing healthy nutritional FREE school meals to our Advantage Academy students for the next 2 years.
- For any questions and/or concerns please contact our Child Nutrition Department at 214-276-5848. Be sure and read our School Lunch Talk Brochure
15.2 Breakfast/Lunch Menu (Menu will be available soon. Website menu has download & print capability): https://www.advantageacademy.org/Page/1070
15.3 Athletics (6th-12th grades) - Athletic programs will be available for the 22-23 school year. All athletic forms must be filled out in order to practice and participate in sports. Athletic Fees= $85 per year 6-8th grade, $100 per year 9-12th grade. This is a one-time yearly fee and includes uniform and participation for as many sports as the student participates in, for the entire school year.
- Payment for Athletic Fees: Click here to pay athletic fees by credit card through MySchoolBucks Secure Online Shopping Cart.
15.4 After School Enrichment Program begins September 6th: PreK-8th Grade @ Dallas, GPW & WAX
- Advantage Academy will be providing a Free after school tutoring and enrichment program for PreK-8 students until 5:35pm each school day but parents MUST register their student in advance. (Pre-K full-time or PM Pre-K students)
- Click here for more information about the before and/or after school programs
- Registration form required - 1 form per student
- SPACES ARE LIMITED!
15.5 Before School Program Information: PreK-8th Grade @ Dallas, GPW & WAX. Note: Pre-K is only available for Full-time & AM students. Begins at 6:30 am.
- This is a free option provided by Advantage Academy. Students must be pre-registered to attend.
- Click here for more information about the before and/or after school programs
- Before school registration form required - 1 form per student
16. Safety & Health
16.1 Immunizations - School vaccination rules are in effect for the school year regardless of whether the education is received via virtual learning or on campus, or notarized exemption certificate on file PRIOR to the start of school. Information regarding school vaccination rules for the school year is located on the DSHS Immunization Unit.
16.2 Immunization Requirements & Locations, medication forms, etc. - Texas School and Child Care Facility Immunization
17. Dress Codes
17.1 Uniform Dress Requirements for In-Person On Campus Students (GPW, Dallas, & WAX)
- School Uniform Tops (shirts, blouses): Monday-Thursday - all GPW, DAL & WAX on campus students are required to wear the standard approved polo by these grade colors. AA logos are not required: 6th-8th Navy Blue; 3rd-5th, Hunter Green; PreK-2nd Red
- Friday Tops: Advantage Academy Spirit or approved School Club t-shirt is required.
- Spirit Shirts - Shirts may be purchased at $8/ea ($10/ea for 2X & up.) Buy online now
- Bottoms (Pants, Skirts, Shorts): Monday-Thursday - All GPW, DAL & WAX students are required to wear standard approved chino/khaki style bottoms, colors include (Khaki/Tan or Navy Blue); worn at the natural waistline; sagging is not permitted. (zipperless pants & with no belt loops is recommended for Pre-K & 2nd.)
- Friday Bottoms: Jeans may be worn (Student pays $1.00). Jeans may not include writing; cuts; frays; or excessive fading.
- Jean Pass - You may purchase a $25 yearly Friday Jean Pass in our online shopping cart located on our website under the “Our Parents” main tab. You will receive a receipt by email.
- Please visit the link to view the Elementary and Middle School Dress, Grooming and Accessories Code
17.2 Dress Requirements for GPE 9-12 Campus
- GPE Secondary students are not required to wear school uniforms or Friday spirit shirts. Students must be in full compliance with all secondary dress requirements. All dress must be school appropriate.
- Please visit the link to view the High School (GPE) Dress, Grooming and Accessories Code
17.3 District Handbooks - Please visit the school’s website for more information concerning the Student-Parent Handbook, Secondary Handbook, Student Code of Conduct and other Handbooks and Policies.
Please read the NEW Cell Phone and Electronic Device Use Policy. NOTE: Please be sure to select the link above then read and discuss the district’s new cell phone policy with your student(s) BEFORE the school year begins.
My School Bucks online purchases link for PreK-8 Friday spirit shirts and jean passes, 6-8th sports, etc, New students will checkout as a guest until their child receives their 6 digit student ID # after they start class. You may add all AA students into your account once you receive their ID #’s to create a full account. The MSB link is also located on our website under the “Our Parents” tab.
18. Special Programs
18.1 Special Programs - Advantage Academy offers a variety of services to meet the diverse needs of students. Every child is unique, and figuring out how each student learns best is one of the missions of the Special Programs department. We are committed to supporting those who need specialized support, accommodations, or modifications to be most successful. Advantage Academy implements a Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) to ensure the needs of every student are identified and supported.
To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
18.2 Child Find - Child Find refers to the process of “finding” children who may have a disability that warrants special education instruction or services. Advantage Academy partners with many educational and medical entities across the State in identifying, locating, and evaluating all children with disabilities in the State of Texas.
18.3 Multi Tiered System of Support - Concerns about a student’s health, cognition, development, progress, achievement, or speech should be discussed with classroom teachers or campus principals. Campuses have Student Support Teams (SST) designed specifically to discuss these types of concerns. Gathering data and input, brainstorming solutions, testing ideas, and making strategic plans are all duties of the SST committee, of which parents/guardians are a member. Please contact your campus administrator to schedule a SST meeting.
Additional questions or concerns should be shared with the Special Programs department. If a full individual evaluation is deemed appropriate, then determinations for services through special education can be made. Referrals for special education evaluations (including speech therapy) may originate from the parent, guardians, administrators, teachers, or students.
18.4 Special Education Programs - Advantage Academy supports the learning of students who are identified with a disability that are included in the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), a federal law that makes available a free and appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. Services at Advantage Academy are outlined below; also review the IDEA Family Fact Sheet (Click here for Spanish Version) and the Updates in Special Education Family Fact Sheet.(Click here for Spanish Version)
- Speech Therapy - Students who are identified with a speech impairment receive speech therapy during the school day. Services are provided by a licensed Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or a SLP Assistant in a small group or one-on-one environment. Speech therapy is scheduled in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) through Special Education.
- Content Mastery - This is a service provided to students identified as having a special need. Content Mastery is support and guidance given to the student in very small chunks throughout the week. A special education professional meets with the student to check in, monitor, and discuss academic, social, and behavioral challenges that student is working to overcome. Content Mastery is essentially a form of progress monitoring.
- Inclusion - Inclusion is a service provided to students in special education who are typically working on or near grade level. This model is one in which the special education teacher, other professional, or paraprofessional works collaboratively with the general education teacher to meet the needs of all students in the classroom and to provide the needed specially designed instruction and accommodations or modifications for the special education students in the classroom.
- Resource - The Resource Program is designed to serve students receiving special education services who have been identified as needing extensive modifications and accommodations that cannot be provided in the General Education classroom. Typically, Resource instruction is provided by a Special Education teacher in a small group or one-on-one environment outside of the General Education classroom.
- LIFE - The Learning in a Functional Environment (LIFE) program is a self-contained educational program for students with significant developmental disabilities in grades K-8 that access the state standards through pre-requisite skills. In addition to academic instruction in all core subjects, the LIFE program also provides instruction in communication, daily living, and vocation. The LIFE program is a district centralized program located on our Dallas campus.
- Related Services - Students diagnosed with a qualifying disability under IDEA may require other services, such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, or Adaptive PE. Related Services that are determined by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee to be necessary and appropriate will be scheduled in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and provided to the student during the school day in the environment deemed most appropriate to the goals and the services outlined in the IEP.
18.5 Section 504 Accommodation Plans
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. In school, placement for a student in this program is made through the Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) referral process. At the end of this process, a committee evaluates whether given condition(s) are verifiable, and if the condition(s) significantly impact one or more major life activities.
Section 504 ensures that eligible students with a disability receive equal access to services that are provided to non-disabled students and provides protection from discrimination based on the disability. Review the Section 504 Family Fact Sheet for more information. Spanish Version.
18.6 Dyslexia Services
Dyslexia is a brain-based learning disability that makes learning to read, write, and/or spell difficult despite adequate instruction and intelligence. Students who are demonstrating characteristics of dyslexia should first be discussed at the campus Student Success Team (SST) meeting. If the committee determines that a dyslexia evaluation is necessary, then a referral will be made to a diagnostician who will evaluate if this disability is impacting the student. See Dyslexia Family Fact Sheet for more information. Spanish Version.
Dyslexia therapy is provided by a licensed therapist in small group or one-on-one sessions throughout the week. This therapy can be built into a 504 Plan or an Individual Education Plan (IEP) through Special Education.
The Dyslexia Handbook published by the State of Texas has recently been updated. The Dyslexia Handbook 2021 includes updates for families: Important Dyslexia Changes for Families to Understand. Spanish Version.
18.7 English as a Second Language Program
- English Language Learners - ESL programs are designed to make grade level academic content accessible to English learners. ESL programs target English language development, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, through academic content instruction that is linguistically and culturally responsive. This means that the ESL program uses the academic, linguistic, and cultural background of English learners as a platform for acquiring grade level content material in English.
- Advantage Academy’s ESL content based program model is an English acquisition program that serves students identified as English learners through English instruction provided by an appropriately certified ESL teacher under the TEC, §29.061(c), through English language arts and reading.
- The goal of the ESL content-based program is for English learners to be immersed in the language with their peers while building full proficiency in English, in order to participate equitably in school. This model targets English language development through academic content instruction that is linguistically and culturally responsive in English language arts and reading. English learners receive all content area instruction (English language arts and reading, mathematics, science, and social studies) by ESL certified teachers.
- Academic instruction is provided by teachers who:
- are trained in effective second language acquisition methods;
- understand the specific language needs of English learners and how to address them;
- recognize the benefits of an English learner’s academic, cultural, and linguistic background; and
- can adapt instruction, pacing, and materials to target an English learner’s language proficiency level.
- Linguistic accommodations on state assessments can be provided as needed. Meaningful participation in subjects such as art, music, and physical education will be provided alongside grade level peers.
- To see an overview of the model implemented at Advantage Academy and a breakdown of the identification process, please review The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program document.