Parent & Student Handbook 2022-23 Quick Reference Tabs
Be certain to carefully read the “Attendance” portion of the Responsive Education handbook (pgs. 1-2) and the Campus Attendance Flyer available in the front office and at www.FoundersSchertz.com.
In grades K-5th, attendance is recorded at 8 am and 9:30 am. In grades 6th-12th, attendance is recorded in every class period. Please do your best to schedule appointments early in the morning (to arrive at school before 9:50) or late afternoon.
On each morning of an absence, parents should email [email protected] to notify the school of the reason for the absence. PLEASE INCLUDE THE FULL NAME OF THE STUDENT AND GRADE LEVEL IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF THE EMAIL. Written verification signed by the parent/guardian must be received within three school days of the absence. This written communication should be sent to the teacher with the student upon return.
There are two types of tardies issued at our school:
- Late-to-school tardies (applies to all students K-12th).
- Late-to-class tardies (applies only to 7-12th students).
This means that students K-6th can only receive late-to-school tardies, whereas our 7-12th students can receive both types of tardies on any given day.
Because tardiness delays one’s own learning and interferes with the learning of the whole class, disciplinary consequences (including detention or demerits) will be assigned if a student is tardy five or more days within a period of 45 school days. Excessive tardiness will incur an absence for the class, reducing the student’s attendance percentage (90% rule).
Detention will be assigned to students with five late-to-school tardies. Subsequent tardies or missed detention times will result in additional detention and/or escalated disciplinary consequences.
Late-to-class tardies for 7-12th graders are recorded at the beginning of each class period. Demerits and/or detention can be assigned for excessive tardies to class.
To receive credit in a class, a student must attend at least 90% of the days the class is offered. This rule pertains to physical presence. If a student is not physically in class, regardless of the reason (excused or unexcused), the student’s attendance percentage is reduced. A student who attends less than 90% of a class, may not receive credit for the class or “absence fail” the class.
Unless a student has a specifically diagnosed medical condition preventing them from carrying a backpack, rolling backpacks are not permitted on campus. All student backpacks must be school appropriate. Only solid color or simply patterned backpacks and lunchboxes are allowed, free of distracting elements, vulgar language, political statements, or any characters. All student backpacks for grades 6-12th must fit and be kept in their lockers for the duration of the school day.
Throughout the school day, parents must park in the lot in front of the school building. All campus visitors must park in the front lot and check in to the front office. Should this lot become full please park in the side parking lot. The parking in the rear and on the side of the building is reserved for faculty, staff, and volunteers. This is subject to change should construction make it necessary. Student drivers will park in the designated parking area as outlined in the Student Driver section of the handbook.
Student Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures (see website and the back of family pick up number cards for pick up and drop off map)
Please see the drop off and pick up map on the school website for instructions on these procedures.
Cell phone use is prohibited while in the car line and parking lot. Please be kind and courteous to other Founders families, faculty, and staff. You will need to allow cars to merge as you enter and exit the campus and maintain a safe speed.
Safety is our number one concern during student drop off in the mornings and pick-up in the afternoons. The only way to drop off your K-12th grader is through the car line starting at 7:15 each morning. Carline closes at 7:55 and students are considered tardy at this time. If a student is tardy, he/she must be signed in at the front office by the person dropping them off.
K-6th grade students will not be allowed to get into a car unless the driver is displaying the “Pick Up Card” in the windshield. The card should remain visible to staff until the student is in the car. This policy does not apply to 7-12th graders. 7-12th graders will be responsible to get in the correct car. Should drivers forget or lose this card, they will need to park in the front parking lot, come into the office in order to verify identification, and re-enter the pick up line to pick up students. The school will replace the first lost “Pick Up Card” free of charge. Additional cards will cost $2.00 each. “Pick Up Cards” from previous school years are not valid, as well as hand-made cards or photos of cards.
Morning Drop Off - Students may be dropped off beginning at 7:15 am, not before.
Afternoon Pick Up - K-5th Student dismissal begins promptly at 3:30 pm
6th-12th dismissal will begin at 3:45 p.m.
Cell Phone/Personal Electronic Devices
Possession and use of cell phones, computers, e-readers, smart watches, and other devices capable of electronic communications or games at school or school‐related events or activities shall be subject to school approval and regulations. Any such devices may be confiscated, powered on, and searched by school officials if there is a reasonable cause to believe that the devices have been used in the transmission or reception of communications prohibited by law, the Student Code of Conduct, school policy, or school regulation. Students are prohibited from using telecommunications devices, including cell phones or other electronic devices (unless otherwise issued by the school for the purpose of instruction), on school campus before or during school hours. All devices are to remain off and in backpacks or lockers before, during, and after the school day.
Devices that are in sight or heard during the school day will be confiscated. The school will not be responsible for damage, loss, or theft of these items. Once a device has been taken up, the following procedure will be used to return the device:
First Confiscation: The device can be picked up by the parent no earlier than the end of the school day. An administrative fee of $5 will be charged before the device can be returned.
Second Confiscation: The device can be picked up by the parent no earlier than the following school day. An administrative fee of $10 will be charged before the device can be returned.
Third Confiscation: The device can be picked up by the parent no earlier than the following Monday. An administrative fee of $15 will be charged before the device can be returned. Confiscations beyond three will result in an additional $5.00 penalty and suspension from school for each infraction.
Students communicating via technology during the school day will be subject to disciplinary consequences
Any student refusing to give the device to school staff shall be subject to disciplinary penalties in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
Early Check Out
Student check out ends at 3:00 p.m. on regular days and 11:30 a.m. on early release days. Instructional minutes are important; as a result, students will not be sent to the office until the parent/guardian has arrived on campus.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in field trips during the school year. Volunteer parents might be needed to help chaperone. Childcare arrangements must be made for younger siblings of parents going on field trips; siblings cannot be brought on field trips. All volunteers will need to have background checks on file in the school office prior to chaperoning students (Note: Background checks can take 2-3 weeks before completion).
Students must have signed permission slips to attend field trips. Portable audio devices, cell phones, head/earphones, handheld video games, etc. are not allowed to, from, or during a field trip.
Parents chaperoning students are also responsible for the behavior of the students in their care. No inappropriate conversation, words, or inappropriate behavior should be allowed. If a child’s behavior becomes an issue, it should be brought to the attention of a school employee immediately. Chaperones are expected to help teachers maintain respectful, appropriate student behavior for the duration of the field trip. Chaperones should always follow the rules set forth by the teachers and/or school; for example, cell phone use is prohibited except in the case of an emergency. If the students are asked to bring a sack lunch, the chaperone should also bring a sack lunch. The chaperone should not make any extra stops for refreshments not scheduled by the teacher. Chaperones responsible for looking after students should never leave them unattended. If an emergency occurs, please contact the teacher who can handle the emergency. If it is a life or death emergency, call 911. If the students have been instructed by the teacher to be at a certain place at a certain time, it is the responsibility of the chaperone to see that they are there. Chaperones must participate in all the activities of their group. For the safety of the students, if you are not willing or physically able to keep up with the students assigned to you, please do not volunteer. Students must wear FCA school uniforms on field trips.
Late Pick Up
K-5th grade students who are not participating in a school sponsored event must be picked up no later than 4:00 p.m. 6-12th grade students must be picked up no later than 4:15 p.m. Students still on campus after the carline ends will be taken to the school office. Parents must come to the office to sign students out and pay the assigned fee. Late charges of $5 per student for the first minute and $1 for each additional minute (per child) will be accrued payable the following school day in the form of either a check (FCA Schertz) or cash.
Students enrolled in the after school care program will be released directly to the program staff at the end of carline. Students must be enrolled in the program and pay the monthly tuition to participate. Lyceum is not a drop in program.
Lockers are assigned, furnished, and maintained by the school and remain the property of the school. The decision to assign lockers and locks rests with the headmaster or his designee. Items of non‐school nature should not be placed or kept in lockers. Lockers are subject to inspection at any time without prior notice to or permission from students. A student has full responsibility for the security of the locker and is responsible for making certain it is locked and that the combination is not available to others. The school assumes NO responsibility for loss or damage of any item in a locker, locked or unlocked.
Students are to keep lockers clean and in good condition. Students may decorate the inside of the locker, but not the outside. No stickers or adhesive of any kind can be used on lockers, inside or out. Only appropriate magnetic decoration may be used. Students may be assessed a fine for or asked to clean a locker that becomes dirty or damaged because of their use. Abuse of lockers will result in loss of the privilege and possible monetary compensation for damage in addition to other disciplinary action. Lockers are made available for student use to store school supplies and personal items necessary for use at school. Students shall not share lockers with any other students or use a locker not assigned to them. Students may provide their own combination locks but MUST provide the combination number to the secondary office.
Lost and Found
All personal items (uniform items, bags, drinking bottles, shoes, etc.) must have the student’s name on them. This will greatly assist the office in returning items. Anything (including uniform sweaters) without the student’s name on it will be donated to a charity at the end of each month. Persistent loss of items may lead to disciplinary action.
Lunch and Snacks on Campus
Meals are available for purchase in the cafeteria each day: breakfast is $2.50 and lunch is $3.80 (including white or chocolate milk). Additional milk can be purchased for $0.50 per carton. This payment should be made through Skyward via RevTrak or can be sent with the student in the form of cash or check. An online form must be submitted at the beginning of the school year to determine if a student qualifies for Free or Reduced lunches through the Child Nutrition Program.
Microwaves are available for use by students in grades 3rd and above. Parents should carefully consider the child’s ability to safely use the microwave before sending reheatable meals. Students are given two minutes of microwave use to ensure that all students have time to reheat their food. There is no microwave use for K-2nd grade. The use of microwaves for any student is at the discretion of the cafeteria supervisors, yet the student is responsible for the heating of his or her own food.
Parent/family lunch with students is allowed. We ask that guests sign in at the front office and then sit with their student(s) at the Family Table. Only the student of the guest (no additional classmates) is allowed to dine at the family table.
Third-party food service (Grubhub, Favor, DoorDash) deliveries are not permitted for students.
Only water in a spill-proof container is permitted in classrooms. Other beverages are not allowed.
Students are encouraged to bring snacks for predetermined times throughout the day, as these are not provided by the school or teacher. The times and locations of snacks depend on the grade level and individual classroom schedule. Our academic buildings are PEANUT FREE ZONES. Please do not send snacks that contain peanuts with your student. Students may, however, have peanut products in the cafeteria for lunch. A separate PEANUT-FREE TABLE is set aside for students with allergies while eating in the cafeteria.
Birthday celebrations are allowed only at recess or break times. The items must be peanut free and store-bought with the ingredient label attached for allergy and safety purposes. Grades K-5th will celebrate during their final recess of the day and grades 6th and up will celebrate during their lunch. Students should show charity by distributing invitations to birthday parties at school only if there is an invitation for every student in his/her class.
Messages and Deliveries
It is not possible to receive and deliver telephone messages and/or supplies to students without interrupting classes and interfering with the learning environment that the school staff works so hard to maintain. In the case of an emergency, the school office should be contacted for assistance.
Order of Communication and Grievances
Should parents need to speak about a concern, including a grievance, they should use the following protocols. Issues that arise in a particular classroom should always be addressed to the teacher first since the teacher always has more direct knowledge of the student and the situation than anyone else. Parents of K-12th students should communicate directly with teachers about concerns.
- The Teacher: Parents should always communicate with the teacher outlining the nature of the concern and request a meeting if necessary. Depending on the seriousness of the issue, a school administrator may be present. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for a parent to confront a teacher about an issue with students present, including his or her own. Meetings must be scheduled in advance.
- The Assistant Headmaster: If the grievance cannot be resolved with the teacher and/or the matter regards discipline or a classroom curriculum issue, the parent should schedule a meeting with the Assistant Headmaster (and the teacher) by filling out a Meeting Request Form in the office.
- The Headmaster: If the grievance cannot be resolved with the teacher and the Assistant Headmaster, the parent should schedule a meeting with the Headmaster by filling out a Meeting Request Form in the office. The Assistant Headmaster and teacher may attend if deemed necessary by the Headmaster. Please consult the RES Parent/Student Handbook for additional information on grievances.
Pets On Campus
Pets of any kind (other than service animals) are not permitted on campus. They present a possible safety and sanitary concern for students and families.
Student Drivers and Parking
Parking a vehicle on campus is a privilege. The school is not responsible for damage to a vehicle
that occurs while it is on campus. A student has full responsibility for the security of his or her
vehicle and must make certain that it is locked and that the keys are not given to others.
Vehicles parked on campus are under the jurisdiction of the school. School officials may search any vehicle any time there is reasonable cause to do so, with or without the presence of the student. A copy of the student’s up to date driver’s license and insurance must be on file in the school office.
Students are not allowed to visit their vehicles during the school day for any reason. Students are not allowed to leave campus during the school day except for extenuating circumstances at the administration’s discretion. Students may not drive non-family members without written parental approval from each of both students’ parents.
Parking Fee - Students who drive to campus must park in the designated student parking area in the front lot. Students are required to purchase a parking sticker from the school office each year; the failure
to purchase a sticker will be considered a parking infraction and will result in appropriate
disciplinary action. The parking fee is $10.00 per year.
Operation of Motor Vehicles on Campus - Any law or ordinance regulating traffic on a public
highway or street also applies to the operation of a vehicle on campus. In addition to potential
city citations for violation of motor vehicle traffic laws or ordinances, students will receive a
warning and referral to the assistant headmaster’s office for the following violations:
- failure to park in a designated student parking area,
- parking in a fire lane, crosswalk, ramp, or handicapped space,
- double parking,
- jumping (driving over) a curb,
- ignoring instructions from school faculty, staff, or volunteers monitoring the parking lot,
- parking on a water sprinkler, or
- driving recklessly.
A student who has had parking privileges revoked may have his or her car towed at the student’s
Founders Classical Academy welcomes family volunteers. In fact, they are vital to making our school the best it can be. Every minute a volunteer provides is appreciated. We do require our volunteers to fill out an online application annually. To sign up go to https://responsiveed.tedk12.com/hire and type volunteer in the search field below “Job Listings”.
Volunteers must check in and check out at the school office each day they are serving on campus. Siblings may not accompany their parents when parents are volunteering when school is in session. Volunteers should always follow the rules set forth by the teachers and/or school; for example, cell phone use is prohibited except in the case of an emergency. Volunteers are asked not to interrupt a classroom for any reason other than an emergency. Classroom disruptions (no matter how quiet) detract from teaching and learning.
Volunteers may occasionally overhear confidential school or student information. Failure to keep confidences may result in a parent’s inability to continue as a volunteer.
The Hoplite Council is the parent organization that exists to support the education of children at Founders Classical Academy by fostering positive relationships among school parents, faculty, and staff and by sponsoring assistance to FCA faculty in a variety of ways. Every parent or legal guardian for a student at the school and all administrators or teachers are volunteer-members. Please refer to the Hoplite Council’s website at www.fcahoplites.org to review specific information about member obligations, officers, elections, annual meetings, volunteering, fundraising, and committees.
Visitors on Campus
When you visit our campus this school year, please be patient and prepared. Safety is our top priority.
- Visitors should come to the main campus entrance with their ID
- There, you will find a buzzer and an intercom.
- Press the buzzer and the receptionist will ask questions about why you are wanting access to the campus and then unlock the door.
- Once inside, you will need to sign in and present identification that will be scanned and logged.
This protects both the visitor and the students.
If you are going to the lunchroom, a classroom, or volunteering in another part of the school, you will be issued a visitor’s name tag, so people on campus know you are supposed to be on campus.