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2023-2024 Parent Packet

WELCOME TO THE 2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR

We are delighted that you have chosen to be part of our community and we look forward to a year filled with exciting learning opportunities and growth.

We understand that the start of a new school year can be a busy time, and we want to make this transition as smooth as possible for you. To assist you, we have compiled a comprehensive Parent Packet. This packet is designed to provide you with all the necessary information, including important dates, policies, and resources, to help you and your student(s) prepare for the upcoming year.

Please take the time to thoroughly review the packet, which includes informative videos and links. We believe that an informed parent is an empowered parent, and we want you to feel confident as we embark on this academic journey together.

Should you have any questions or concerns after reviewing the packet, please do not hesitate to contact your campus front office. Our staff is here to assist you and ensure that your experience at Advantage Academy is a positive one.

Thank you for entrusting us with your student's education. We are excited about the year ahead and we are committed to providing your student with a high-quality education in a nurturing and supportive environment.

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Superintendent Letter

Topics in the above letter

  • Safety and Security
  • Parents as Partners
  • New classroom management program
  • New policies and expectations
  • A champion pledge

INTRODUCTION TO THE 4-DAY INSTRUCTIONAL WEEK

We are excited to announce that Advantage Academy will be transitioning to a 4-Day Instructional Week for the 2023-2024 Academic School Year. This innovative approach to education is designed to promote student well-being, family time, and academic success while maintaining the highest standards of learning.

  • Understanding the 4-Day Instructional Week

    • Our new schedule will consist of four instructional days from Monday through Thursday. Fridays will be a flexible day, offering a variety of opportunities for individualized instruction, small-group instruction, teacher planning, and professional development.
    • For families who require additional care and supervision for their children on Fridays, Advantage Academy will offer a program that provides a safe and engaging environment for your students.
  • Benefits of the 4-Day Week

    • More Family Time: Our 4-day schedule allows families to enjoy more quality time together, strengthening bonds and creating lifelong memories.
    • Reduced Stress: A shorter week means less daily pressure for students, giving them more time to relax, recharge, and engage in extracurricular activities.
    • Enhanced Learning Experience: Our focused and efficient approach to instruction ensures that students receive a comprehensive education, covering all essential subjects and skills within the 4-day timeframe.
    • Attendance Improvement: Extended weekends often lead to better attendance rates, as families can schedule appointments and travel plans without disrupting school days.

INSTRUCTION AND ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS, LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

MEET THE TEACHER NIGHT

Grand Prairie East

  • August 7th - 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Grand Prairie West

  • August 11th - 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Dallas

  • (Pre-K-3rd Grade) August 21st - 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
  • (4th Grade-8th Grade) August 22nd  - 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Waxahachie

  • August 11th - 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

2023-2024 School Supplies

2023-2024 School Calendar

PARENT, STUDENT, & AA COMPACTS

Please read, save, and discuss with your student the Parent, Student & Advantage Academy Compacts

SOARING EAGLES BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL ENRICHMENT PROGRAM

Our Before and After School Programs are currently available at our Waxahachie, Grand Prairie West, and Dallas campuses. The programs are available every school day AND from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on Flex Fridays for those who need childcare! Please fill out a registration form for each program. Complete one form PER student.    For high school students, The Boys & Girls Club of Grand Prairie offers after-school care for students through 12th grade. Transportation from GPE to B&G Club is provided. Contact B&G Club Grand Prairie directly to register your child.

BEFORE SCHOOL PROGRAM

Advantage Academy's FREE Before School Program is available for Pre-K through 8th-grade students. Begins at 6:30 am until the start of the school day. Includes breakfast.

For safety reasons, children who are not registered for the before-school program may not be dropped off before 7:15 am.

To register, please fill out the registration form at the link below.

AFTER SCHOOL AND FLEX FRIDAYS ENRICHMENT PROGRAM

We are excited to offer our FREE After School Program to all Pre-K through 8th-grade students currently enrolled with Advantage Academy! The program begins on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023. The Program will run from 4:10pm (directly following the school day) until 6:00 pm on regular school days, and from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on Fridays.

The curriculum includes academics, tutoring, homework help, enrichment activities such as crafts and fine arts projects, indoor/outdoor physical development activities, and a meal that is provided by CitySquare. 

Note: The program has limited spots and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register as soon as possible to secure your student's spot.

STUDENT BENEFITS & PERKS

F.L.A.G. Program

  • Students that participate in the F.L.A.G. Program will be taught the proper and correct way to handle our flag, be responsible for its care, and will raise and lower the flag each day.
  • Students in the F.L.A.G. Program will be able to participate in extracurricular activities provided by the program, such as field trips to DFW sporting events and experiences.
  • Visit the F.L.A.G. Program Website to learn more. 

INSTRUCTIONAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR ALL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Preparation for Learning 

  • Student

    • 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 to be prepared for possible school closure. 
  • Parent

    • 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
  • Teacher

    • Meet regularly with the 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 the instruction
    • Include instructional support for all learners

Learning & Teaching Expectations

  • Student

    • 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.
  • Parent

    • Access the Parent Portal (grades 3-12) to view student grades.
    • Check in with student(s) to monitor the 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 except for 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.
  • Teacher

    • 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 on time and give feedback in verbal or written form frequently to provide the next steps or necessary academic intervention/extension. 
    • Post grades on time 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 mind-on learning 
    • Deliver instruction that is on-grade level, scaffolding where necessary

Support and Intervention

  • Student

    • Attend intervention/tutorial sessions as established by your teacher or school.
    • Let your teacher know when you are struggling
  • Parent

    • 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.
  • Teacher

    • 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 periods for student/parent support. 
    • Attend and participate in professional learning.

CAREER & TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION (CTE)

  • High school students may participate in one of 4 programs of Study. These programs are designed to introduce them to knowledge and experience in careers beyond high school. CTE Programs of Study.

FAMILY ENGAGED LEARNING APPROACH

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 being 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. 

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 apply. 

PARENT PORTAL ACCESS & SECURITY CODE

  • Parents should use the parent portal often to access their student's 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.

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.  

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

  • Facebook

  • Remind

  • Campus e-Newsletters

    • these are sent to the parent's 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.

STUDENT SERVICES

  • Food Service 2023-2024

    • 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 are not shared with anyone. (REQUIRED FORM) - Please list all 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 the 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 the 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 

BREAKFAST AND LUNCH MENUS

ATHLETICS

  • Athletics (6th-12th grades)

    • Athletic programs will be available for the 23-24 school year. All athletic forms must be filled out to practice and participate in sports. 
    • Athletic Fees (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.)  
      • $85 per year 6-8th grade
      • $100 per year 9-12th grade.
    • REQUIRED athletic documents can be found by clicking here
  • Payment for Athletic Fees

SAFETY & HEALTH

  • 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 a notarized exemption certificate on file before the start of school. Information regarding school vaccination rules for the school year is located in the DSHS Immunization Unit.
    • Immunization form - Texas School and Child Care Facility Immunization

DRESS CODES

  • 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 & no belt loops are 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.
  • Uniform Dress Requirements for In-Person On-Campus Students (GPE)
    • 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
  • 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 to 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.

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, accommodation, 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.
  • 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.   
  • 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 an 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.
  • 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 an 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 the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.    

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, 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) from 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.

Questions: email enrollment@advantageacademy.org