A Safe Haven for Education and Growth Teaching PreK3–12th Grade Since 1969
Oak Forest Academy
2017 – 2018
Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mississippi Association of Independent Schools
Southeastern Conference of Independent Schools
Louisiana Association of Independent Schools
Oak Forest Academy Administration
Administrator/ Jr. and High School Principal: Jason Brabham
Elementary and Middle School Principal: Kay Christmas
Dean of Students: Phill Junkins
Athletic Director: Patrick King
600 Walnut Street
Amite, LA 70422
Acknowledgment and Contract
The 2017-2018 Oak Forest Academy Student/Parent Handbook is a printed acknowledgment between students and their parent/guardian and the school to provide the best possible education for all students. It is required that students and their parent/guardian sign a statement that they have read the handbook and agree to abide by its policies and rules set forth therein. By signing this statement, students and their parent/guardian agree to be governed by the policies and rules stated in the handbook. Specifically, understanding and agreeing to the following:
1. My child may be photographed for regular school activities and those photographs may be placed in a newspaper or the school’s website.
2. The parent/guardian is responsible for insuring that the dress code is met.
3. Off-campus activities may be considered for continued enrollment at Oak Forest Academy.
4. Corporal punishment may be used on my child.
5. Students in grades 7th-12th may be drug tested.
6. All delinquent amounts must be paid before students are allowed to take mid-term or final exams, participate in any activities, or graduate.
Failure to abide by the handbook policies and rules of by either the student and/or their parent/guardian may result in the student’s removal from the school or other disciplinary action.
Pledge by the Student:
I promise to work very hard to achieve my personal best. I understand that my education is important, and I will try to make the most of every opportunity I have to learn. I will do my best to attend school every day. I will arrive on time and in uniform.
I understand that Oak Forest Academy’s standards for academics and behavior are very high and that there will be consequences if I do not live up to these standards. If I fail to honor any one of these standards, I will take responsibility for my actions, try to learn from my mistake and will work to improve my behavior. I know that I must always work to be a better student, a better citizen, and a better person. I pledge that all of my academic work in every subject will be original. I will not plagiarize, copy, or cheat in any way. I have read the school’s rules and policies and will abide by such.
The Oak Forest Academy Student/Parent Handbook is published by the Administration and Board of Directors and is distributed to the students, parents, faculty, and staff. The purpose of this handbook is to provide helpful and pertinent information concerning all aspects of student life at Oak Forest Academy.
The Administration and Board of Directors try to anticipate as many circumstances as possible. However, if new and/or unusual circumstances arise, the Administration and Board of Directors have the authority to use their discretion in whatever circumstances the handbook may not address. If necessary, the Administration and Board of Directors have the right to amend the handbook when and/or if necessary.
Oak Forest Academy is justifiably proud of its campus and traditions. This handbook is dedicated to our students, parents/guardians, faculty, staff, and all others who make our school a reality by their endless generosity, hard work, and dedication.
Statement of Philosophy and Objectives
Oak Forest Academy offers students opportunities to learn life skills needed to be successful in an evolving and diverse society. Our curriculum is designed to meet the varying needs of our students commensurate with his/her abilities and should inspire and guide students to his/her fullest abilities.
Oak Forest Academy students will be able to:
In February of 1969, a group of teachers and interested parents met in Amite and agreed to form a new school. A ten-acre plot of land was purchased from the McClendon Estate. In July of 1969, ground was broken and cleared by Mr. Emile J. Courtney and Mr. Stanley Anderson. The concrete block building (the present Elementary school), which housed ten classrooms, was built by Amite Building and Supply. The first classes were held in October of 1969 for grades 1st-9th. Mrs. Betty Harrelson served as Principal and second grade teacher. Other original faculty members were Allie Hyde, Marilyn Dees, Sue Frey, Grace Knighten, Mary Barbara Kinchen, Katherine Raborn, Julia Kemp, and Ruby Thompson. The original Board of Directors were Jack Lindsay, Gordon Daniels, Fred Anderson, Roy Stewart, Jr., and Doug Kent. Kenneth Courtney and Lee Gray were added to the Board in July of 1969; and Hank Brumfield and Donald Houeye were added in December. A contest was held for the students to select the school name, mascot, and school colors. Student entries were submitted to the Board of Directors, who made the final decision of Oak Forest Academy, YellowJackets, black and gold.
State Board of Education:
Oak Forest Academy is approved by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for non-public schools; and as such, it adheres to the educational standards established by the BESE Board.
Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS):
Oak Forest Academy is a member of the MAIS. There are 120 schools in this organization. Each school pays a membership fee based on the number of students on the last day of each previous school year. Oak Forest Academy participates in the MAIS athletic programs and meets all educational and athletic regulations required for these activities.
Oak Forest Academy is accredited by AdvancED which was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI); and expanded through the addition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) in 2011. Oak Forest Academy is listed on the International Registry of Accreditation by AdvancED.
Code of Conduct for Students
Receiving a quality, morally based education can best be served when students, parents/guardians, faculty, staff, Administration, and the Board of Directors work together. These relationships should be centered on mutual respect, communication, and courtesy. Normally, differences between these individuals are resolved. However, in some rare cases, the school may find it necessary, in its discretion, to require the parent/guardian to withdraw their child(ren).
It shall be an express condition of enrollment that students and their parents/guardians behave in a manner that is consistent with, but not limited to, the school’s philosophy, objectives, policies, or principles set forth in the handbook. Our principles include, but are not limited to, the following:
The school reserves the right to determine if an action falls short of the principles of Oak Forest Academy. Failure to follow these principles will normally result in a verbal or written warning to the student and/or parent/guardian. However, if the behavior continues, further action can be taken such as suspension of the student, withdrawal of the student, or suspension of the parent/guardian’s privilege to come on the school’s campus and/or participate in any school activities.
Section I - Administrative Policies
A. Organizational Setup
Charter and Board of Directors:
Oak Forest Academy was chartered by the State of Louisiana in 1969 under the name of Amite Independent School Corporation. The school is governed by an eleven member Board of Directors. The Directors are elected by the General Membership to serve a rotating three-year term (four new members are elected each year). The Board strives to have at least one member from each geographical area that the school serves. Each year the Board elects a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer (these offices may be combined under one person, such as Secretary/Treasurer) to serve one year terms. The Board of Directors is charged with the management of all affairs of the corporation subject to the provision of its articles of incorporation and its By-laws. The Board meets regularly on the third Monday of each month. Special meetings can be called by the President or Vice-President when necessary.
General Membership Meeting:
There is an annual meeting of the membership of the corporation as determined by the Board of the Directors. Notices are mailed to all shareholders not less than 5 days prior to the meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to elect new board members, cover financial statements, and any other business that may properly come before the meeting.
B. Summary of Duties of Administrative Personnel
This section deals with the specific duties of those individuals responsible for the operation of the school. These positions include the Administrator, Principal, Guidance Counselor, Athletic Director, and Bookkeeper(s). Two or more of these positions may be combined and assigned to a single person, such as Administrator/Principal, and certain duties may be divided among several persons, such as Elementary Principal and High School Principal, as deemed necessary by the Board of Directors.
The Administrator of Oak Forest Academy is responsible for the business management of the school. The Administrator constructs the yearly calendar, and oversees collection of payments to the school and the payment of bills. The Administrator keeps inventory records of school equipment, and supervises services provided to the school. The Administrator is responsible for providing prospective members information concerning Oak Forest Academy; as well as receiving applications for membership and approving the release of records for students transferring. The Administrator issues and collects applications for employment, discusses duties and salaries with prospective employees, makes hiring recommendations to the Board of Directors, and issues contracts for employment as stipulated by the Board of Directors. The Administrator prepares agendas for and attends all Board meetings. Furthermore, the Administrator must work with other administrative personnel to ensure that school policies are carried out. The Administrator may also assume the responsibilities of the Principal.
The Principal is in charge of the academic program of the school. The Principal must also support and have a major administrative part in student activities. The Principal evaluates the academic programs and makes recommendations on resources needed, changes in subject matter, etc. The Principal supervises classroom teachers, submits written reports to the Board of Directors, and advises the Administrator of any problems that arise. The Principal, along with the Administrator, interviews applicants for teaching and coaching positions and makes recommendations for hiring and dismissal of teachers & coaches. The Principal is in charge of teacher-parent and teacher-student relations and arranges conferences as needed. The Principal schedules any student activities that fall within the school day and conducts assemblies and graduation. The Principal assigns teachers to duty stations; and is also responsible for conducting fire and safety drills on campus.
The Guidance Counselor is responsible for constructing a class schedule for grades 7th-12th (to be approved by the Principal) and assigning students to classes. The Guidance Counselor also keeps student records current and on file, and requests records as needed when new students transfer. The Guidance Counselor issues progress reports and report cards for grades 5th-12th. The Guidance Counselor compiles and oversees the forwarding of senior records to the proper college or university if necessary. The Guidance Counselor must also ensure that students meet graduation requirements set by the school and entrance requirements to the colleges of their choice. The Guidance Counselor makes available to the students literature from the various colleges and universities. When requested by the student, the Guidance Counselor will procure specific information from certain institutions. The Guidance Counselor will diligently research all available avenues of student aid, including scholarships, grants, and other financial assistance programs. The Guidance Counselor is responsible for administering Spring Testing for grades K-12th; and also, places orders for textbooks as needed.
The Athletic Director is responsible for overseeing the athletic programs at the school. The Athletic Director, along with the Administrator, interviews applications for coaches and makes recommendation for hiring and dismissal of coaches. The Athletic Director is in charge of scheduling all athletic events, arranging transportation for the team, and securing officials or other necessary personnel for home games. The Athletic Director works with other coaches in obtaining athletic equipment, and keeps an inventory of that equipment. The Athletic Director is responsible for the maintenance of the gym, the football field, the baseball field, and any other athletic facility; and also is responsible for ticket sales at all athletic events. The Athletic Director must attend all home athletic events.
The bookkeeper(s) collects tuition and pays bills under the direction of the Administrator. The bookkeeper(s) maintains balances due for families and informs the Administrator when accounting and bookkeeping problems arise. The bookkeeper works with the school’s accountant in the preparation of monthly financial statements for meetings of the Board of Directors, as well as yearly statements for the general membership meeting.
C. Grievance Procedure
Oak Forest Academy recognizes that harmonious relations with its faculty, staff, parents/guardians, and students can be maintained and improved through effective communications. The Board of Directors adopted the following grievance procedures as a means to examine and resolve possible problems, which relate to the administration of policies of the school.
A grievance is a claim by an employee or parent/guardian, stating that he/she has suffered harm or injury by the interpretation, application, or violation of a contract, a school policy, a law, or a constitutional right.
Any grievance claims shall promptly be presented to the Administrator in writing. Such notices shall be presented no later than five working days after the day on which the alleged grievance occurred. Included with the grievance shall be a detailed listing of all facts that support the position. Also, list the names of any witnesses. These witnesses will be questioned and may be asked to submit signed statements during the grievance process. The Administrator will then schedule a conference with the individual making the claim in an attempt to resolve the grievance. A written decision by the Administrator must be rendered within five working days after receipt of the grievance. The grievance procedure is the only acceptable manner in which Oak Forest Academy acknowledges complaints.
Any public display of outrage by a parent/guardian, student, or faculty member will not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly.
Statement of Admissions:
Oak Forest Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admission procedures, or school-administered programs. However, we do reserve the right to deny admission to or dismiss from the school any student who cannot benefit by the OFA experience based on his/her past academic achievement or whose personal lifestyle is not in harmony with the stated philosophy, objectives, or policies of Oak Forest Academy, or who does not fit into the spirit of the school, regardless if the student has kept all the rules of the school.
There is a 90 day probationary period for all students who enter Oak Forest Academy. During this time, students are evaluated for both academic and behavioral traits. Also, during this time, students may be advised to return to a lower grade if academic proficiencies are noted; and students with major academic and/or behavioral problems will be dismissed from Oak Forest Academy. In such a case, the membership fee will be returned and the membership is voided. However, registration fees and tuition for the 90 day probationary period are not returned.
Additionally, since the operation of the school depends upon the collection of tuition, the ability of the applicant for admission to meet their financial obligations will be a factor in the consideration for admission approval.
Membership and Admission:
In order for a student to attend Oak Forest Academy, a family membership must be obtained. A formal membership application must be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval and a membership fee paid. Details of this procedure are set forth in the Charter and By-laws of the school. To register for classes, a registration fee for each child must be paid each year. Upon entering Oak Forest Academy for the first time, complete registration forms for each student must be completed. If the student is transferring from another school, Oak Forest Academy requests all records of the student from the previous school.
No student who is married, previously married, pregnant or a biological parent will be allowed to enter school or to continue as a student at Oak Forest Academy. As a Christian organization, we strongly oppose abortion and encourage students to accept their responsibilities as parents. Pregnant students will be encouraged to earn a high school diploma through correspondence courses, obtaining a GED, or other means that meet with accreditation standards.
Advance registration for returning students begins on the first Tuesday in February. When registration fees are paid, the student's name is placed on a class list, and a place is reserved for that student. Anyone registering after the registration deadline will be placed on a waiting list. Once that class has filled, no one will be admitted until the number on the waiting list warrants adding another class. If your child is not registered before the registration deadline, Oak Forest Academy cannot guarantee that your child will be enrolled for the year.
If a child is registered after the deadline, there will be a $50.00 late registration fee per month per student assessed. For a child to be registered, all tuition, fees and late charges must be brought up-to-date before the child is considered registered. If tuition is delinquent and is not brought up-to-date by the first of the next month, the child will lose his/her place on the list of returning students or will not be able to return to class.
Students will be registered and given priority in the following order and must register during the designated registration period:
First Priority: Students currently enrolled in Oak Forest Academy and children of faculty members at Oak Forest Academy.
Second Priority: Siblings of currently enrolled students and students entering Oak Forest Academy who had a sibling that graduated from Oak Forest Academy within a three-year period must register within the designated registration period.
Third Priority: Children of alumni must register within the designated registration period.
Fourth Priority: Students who did not attend Oak Forest Academy the preceding year or those who were enrolled the previous year but withdrew before the end of the year.
To qualify as a sibling, the child must be physically residing in the same residence as the sibling and the OFA member must have legal and physical custody of the child.
If a registered student does not report to school on orientation day, the place will be held for a period of two weeks. During this time, the school will try to contact the parent/guardian to see if the child will attend Oak Forest Academy. At the end of the two weeks, the place will be filled if needed. Also, if Oak Forest Academy receives a request for that student's records from another school, the place will be filled. The registration fee will not be refunded.
Please note: When a registration period ends, that priority is lost.
E. Tuition and Fees
$750.00 per family (effective September 1, 2009)
Membership fees are payable at the time application for membership is made. This fee must be paid before any action on the application can be taken. Once approved, this fee in non-refundable and the membership is non-transferable.
$150.00 per child each year
The registration fee must be paid when the student is registered for class. If a child is registered after the registration deadline, there will be a $50.00 late registration fee assessed for each month after the deadline. Any late fees must be paid along with the registration fee before the child is considered registered. Registration and late registration fees are non-refundable.
$50.00 per child each year
The technology fee must be paid when the student is registered for class. This fee is used to provide the most current network infrastructure and internet access possible.
Building Maintenance Fee:
$300.00 per family
In order to maintain our rapidly aging facilities, a building maintenance fee has been established. Each OFA family will be required to contribute $300.00 anytime between registration and June 1st of the school year.
At Oak Forest Academy we offer 3 different options for the payment of your child’s tuition.
Class fees or dues may be collected from Junior High and High School students to defray the cost of activities. This cost should not exceed $10.00 and is a non-refundable fee. These fees represent only those paid directly to the school and collected in the administrative office. Other clubs that students and parents may join are responsible for the collection of their own dues and fees.
All outstanding balances (i.e. tuition, class dues, lunchroom balances, athletic dues, etc.) are reviewed periodically. All delinquent amounts must be paid before students are allowed to take mid-term or final exams, participate in any activities, or graduate. Additionally, the school reserves the right to withhold a student’s records, if the student withdraws and has any outstanding balances until all outstanding balances are paid in full.
Please note: There will be a $20.00 charge assessed for all checks returned to the school for NSF. In the event that two checks are returned to the school, only cash, money orders, or certified checks will be accepted for payment of fees.
F. Student Insurance
Oak Forest Academy provides all students a supplemental accident insurance policy. This supplemental policy will cover students for accidents that occur during the school day or during a school sponsored activity, including athletic events. Claims cannot be made until a personal insurance policy claim is filed. Subsequently, a claim may be filed with the school’s insurance carrier. Claim forms may be obtained in the administrative office.
G. School Closure due to Severe Weather
Prior to school opening:
If there is a tornado or hurricane warning issued for Tangipahoa or St. Helena Parish, the following agencies will be notified if the school is closed for the day: radio stations WABL (AM 1570), WKJN (FM 103.3), and Tangi (FM 96.5); or television stations WAFB (Ch.9) and WBRZ (Ch.2); or visit www.actionnews17.com. Additionally, all families will be notified via a Parent-Alert.
During school hours:
Action taken will be based upon existing conditions and what is believed to offer the best protection for the students. Procedures for safeguarding the students are setup, and drills for such are conducted. In most cases of severe weather, a student is as safe at school as he/she would be anywhere. If the school is closed during the day, the radio and television stations listed will broadcast the information. Please listen to these stations, and do not contact the school unless these stations cannot be received.
Additionally, in winter, if snow or ice has accumulated on roads and/or bridges or is forecast to do so, school will be closed automatically.
H. After School Care
After school day care is provided on Mondays through Fridays for students in PreK-6th grade from 2:45 pm to 5:30 pm.
All students remaining on campus after 3:15 pm must be under the supervision of one of the following:
1. A teacher for academic or disciplinary work
2. A coach for athletics
3. The extended day care program
4. An activity group sponsor
Section II - Academic Policies
A. Grade Reports
Progress reports are issued in the middle of each nine week period. They reflect the student’s current grade level in the courses listed. They are not part of the student’s permanent records, but are merely provided to show where more study may be needed. The progress reports are emailed directly to the student and parent/guardian. They need not be signed or returned to the school unless requested by teacher.
Report cards are issued at the end of each nine week period and indicate the letter and numeric grade attained by the student in each class. These report cards become part of the student’s permanent grade records. Students in grades 1st-12th will receive printed report cards at school. Parents/guardians are emailed report cards.
Grading scale for grades K-12th:
94-100% = A (4 grade pts.)
85-93% = B (3 grade pts.)
75-84% = C (2 grade pts.)
66-74% = D (1 grade pts.)
0-65% = F (0 grade pts.)
B. Academic Policy
· Students must maintain a 77% average on all classes for each nine week grading period.
· Students who fail to maintain a 77% average on all classes will be placed on Academic Probation for the next nine week grading period.
· Students who have a failing grade in two or more classes will be placed on Academic Probation for the next nine week grading period.
· Students on Academic Probation will attend a study hall for a minimum of three hours per week.
· Students who fail to achieve a 77% average during the probationary period will be placed on Academic Suspension for the next nine week grading period.
· Any student who is failing 50% of their classes during any nine week grading period will immediately be placed on Academic Suspension.
· Any student with a grade average of 65% and below during any nine week grading period will immediately be placed on Academic Suspension.
· Any student on Academic Suspension will not be allowed to participate in any extra-curricular activities for a period of nine weeks. These activities include, but are not limited to: sports, spirit groups, dances, Prom, field trips, club activities, etc.
C. Promotion for Grades 1st-8th
Grades 4th 8th:
Administrative placement will be considered using the following guidelines:
D. Grading System for Jr. High and High School
E. High School Curriculum
The following is a list of the courses required for graduation from Oak Forest Academy:
4 units of English:
English I, English II, English III, and English IV
4 units of Science:
Biology I, Physical Science, and two of the following Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, or Physics
4 units of Math:
Algebra I, Geometry, and two of the following Algebra II, or Adv. Math, Statistics
4 units of Social Studies:
American History, Civics, World Geography and World History
2 units of Physical Education
1 unit of Computer Science
5 units of electives
24 total units are needed for graduation
Classifications of Students:
The following guideline is used to determine a student’s grade classification:
0-4 units - Freshman (9th grade)
5-10 units - Sophomore (10th grade)
11-16 units - Junior (11th grade)
17 or more units - Senior (12th grade)
Because graduation requirements call for a total of 24 units, each student should take seven classes a day, except for seniors, who can schedule fewer than seven and have the proper number of units to graduate. Students have two weeks after the beginning of school to add and/or drop classes. Freshmen and Sophomores must take six academic courses and a physical education class.
Students in grades 9th-11th should take seven subjects to ensure the proper number for senior year. Oak Forest Academy will not accept the GED test as meeting the requirements to participate in graduation. College early admissions students may participate in graduation after a registration fee has been paid. Requirements for early admissions are set by the Louisiana Department of Education.
Criteria for Valedictorian and Salutatorian:
Beginning with the Class of 2020, Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be selected from the students with the highest and second highest final numeric average (not GPA). Only students who have taken the TOPS Core Curriculum and who have attended Oak Forest Academy for four consecutive years (grades 9th-12th) are eligible for these honors. In the event of a tie, those students tied will share the recognition of Valedictorian or Salutatorian.
Criteria for Honor Graduates:
To be an Honor Graduate a student must have an overall GPA of 3.2. This is a cumulative GPA that begins in the 9th grade.
Please Note: The graduation requirements stated above are only the requirements for graduation from Oak Forest Academy. If a student is interested in attending college, then he/she should be certain that the admission requirements to that college are met as well. College entrance requirement information can be obtained from the Guidance Counselor.
TOPS CORE CURRICULUM
(For High School Graduates of 2018 and later)
For The Tops Opportunity, Performance and Honors Awards
As of September 30, 2014
ENGLISH = 4 units
1 unit English I
1 unit English II
1 unit English III
1 unit English IV
MATH = 4 units
1 unit Algebra I
1 unit Geometry
1 unit Algebra II
(Integrated Mathematics I, II, III may be substituted for the Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II sequence)
1 Unit from the following: Algebra III; Advanced Math - Functions & Statistics, AdvancedMath - Pre-Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Probability and Statistics
SCIENCE = 4 units
1 unit Biology I
1 unit Chemistry I
2 units from the following:
Earth Science; Environmental Science; Physical Science
SOCIAL STUDIES = 4 units
1 unit U.S. History
1 unit from the following: Civics, Government,
2 units from the following: Western Civilization, European History, World Geography, World
History, History of Religion
Regulations to consider when scheduling classes:
Section III - Student Policies
All rules and regulations stated in the Statement of Admissions and Code of Conduct will be adhered to. In addition, students must observe the following regulations and policies. These rules are in effect for the purpose of providing a school environment in which each student can take full advantage of all opportunities to achieve a quality education, and take part in meaningful activities.
Students are to conduct themselves in a proper manner at all times, both in the classroom and on the campus, and at all school sponsored activities, on campus and away from campus. The lack of discipline on the part of any student will not be tolerated. Failure to comply with all regulations will result in disciplinary action being taken against the student. Minor acts of misconduct will result in detention and/or restrictions placed on the student. Progress reports for such students will show a need for improvement in behavior and/or attitude.
A. Dress Code
The dress code is an important part of the discipline of the school. All students should take pride in their appearance and be appropriately dressed the entire school day and at school events except for special dates as set by the Administration. Additionally, a student’s attire (including but not limited to grooming, make-up, hair, jewelry, etc.) should not be distracting from the learning environment nor be a safety factor for any of the school’s curricular offerings.
· Must be a solid color (black, white or gold).
· Must be a polo style knit (short or long sleeved) with 2, 3 or 4 buttons at the top front with collar.
· Monogrammed with the approved school logo only.
· White button down blouses with a peter pan collar may be worn under a jumper (when this type of blouse is worn under a jumper, it does not have to be monogrammed).
· Undershirts and undergarments must be plain white or black with no designs, emblems, insignias, monograms, logos, etc.
· All tops must be the appropriate size and fit (i.e. no tight fitting garments can be worn); and must be tucked in.
· Must be a solid color (khaki).
· Must be a uniform style skirt, skort, walking shorts or pants.
· Cargo style pants, capri-length pants, leggings, jeggings, or “skinny” jeans or pants are not allowed.
· Split bottom or frayed pant legs are not allowed.
· The length of skirts, skorts, and walking shorts must be no more than 3” above the knee.
· Must be a solid color (black or white).
· Designs, emblems, insignias, monograms, designs, etc. are not allowed.
HAIR BOWS AND ACCESSORIES:
· Must be black, white, gold or khaki or any combination of these four colors only.
· Bows that contain the same colors of the approved Friday t-shirts are allowed.
· Must be a solid color (black, white or gold).
· Must be a polo style knit (short or long sleeved) with 2, 3 or 4 buttons at the top front with collar.
· Monogrammed with the approved school logo only.
· Undershirts and undergarments must be plain white or black with no designs, emblems, insignias, monograms, logos, etc.
· Must be a solid color (khaki).
· Must be a uniform style walking shorts or pants.
· Cargo style pants are not allowed.
· Split bottom or frayed pant legs are not allowed.
· Hair must be clean, neat, and properly combed.
· Hair should not be dyed any color other than a natural shade (blonde, brown, red or black); or excessively dyed, bleached, or tinted.
· Hair length in the front should not extend lower than the top of the eyebrow. The back must not extend lower than the top of the shirt collar. The sides must not extend lower than the top of the ear; and may not be tucked behind the ears.
· Mohawks, rattails, spiked hair, etc. are not allowed.
· Facial hair is not allowed; and students should be clean shaven before school each day.
· Sideburns must not be any lower than the earlobe.
· Earrings to school or any school related function are not allowed.
Outerwear (ALL grades):
Is defined as any vest, jacket, and/or sweater that zips, buttons, and/or snaps from top to bottom and/or that is pulled over the head.
· Must be a solid color only (black, white or grey).
· Must be one of the approved school uniform outerwear tops purchased from the Jacket Junction.
· Or must be monogrammed with the approved school logo only (ex. logo on the uniform polo style knit shirts).
· If the outerwear has a design, emblem, insignia, monogram, or logo (ex. Nike, Under Armour, Champion, etc.) it should not exceed more than 2 inches.
· Outerwear included in current team player packs is acceptable, but must be worn with uniform pants or shorts.
· A uniform shirt and belt must be worn underneath all outerwear.
Heavy Outerwear (PREK3-6th):
Is defined as a large coat or heavy jacket that is worn in extreme weather conditions.
· Can be any color.
· Should be removed in the classroom.
General requirements for girls and boys:
o Must be closed toe with a back.
o Sandals, slippers or moccasin styles are not allowed.
o Shoes with shoelaces must be properly tied.
· Shirts must be long enough to be tucked in and remain tucked in at all times.
· No hats or caps are to be worn on campus during school hours.
· Visible tattoos and body piercings are not allowed.
· Official school uniforms (i.e., cheerleaders, dance team, athletes) may be worn for special related activities during the school day, but spirit group’s daily dress code shall conform to dress code regulations.
· Other special occasions requiring a modification of the dress code shall be approved by the Principal.
Dress Code Violations:
If a student is in violation of the Dress Code, the student will be sent to the Principal or his/her designee. If the determination is made that the student is in violation of the Dress Code, the following steps will be taken:
1st Offense: The student will receive a written warning and the parent/guardian will be notified.
2nd Offense: The parent/guardian will be notified of the violation and the student will be given morning detention on the following day at 7:30 am.
3rd Offense: The parent/guardian will be notified of the violation and the student will be given morning detention on the following day at 7:00 am.
4th Offense: On the fourth dress code violation (per semester), the student will be given a full Saturday detention (8:00 am-12:00 pm and a $50.00 fine).
Please note: Girls and boys who do adhere to the hair guidelines
will be issued a warning and given two nights to cut and/or
modify their hair accordingly.
B. Gender Segregation
Oak Forest Academy aims to support all students while ensuring their safety, comfort, and privacy; and ensuring equal opportunities for students to participate. Thus, as a general rule, students should be separated by gender in overnight school activities (i.e. field trips, lock-ins, etc.), as well as the use of separate restrooms and locker rooms. A student’s gender should be determined by that which is stated on their birth certificate. However, should a student express a need or desire for increased privacy, reasonable alternative arrangements may be provided like the use of a private area. Furthermore, activities that may involve the need for accommodations to address student safety, comfort, and privacy concerns will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by the Administration and Board of Directors.
Absences from School:
Regular attendance by a student is necessary in order for the student to do his/her best work. Students Pre-K-8th must be present a minimum of 160 days to be eligible to receive credit for the year's work. Secondary students must be present a minimum of 80 days per semester in each course to be eligible to receive credit for that course.
When it is necessary for a student to be absent from school, parents/guardians of grades PreK3-6th are to notify the teacher(s) via email by 8:00 am; and parents/guardians of students 7th-12th are to notify the Dean of Students via email by 8:00 am.
State law states that students in 9th-12th grade cannot have more than eight absences per class per semester. Absences are classified according to the following designations:
Accepted (Medical) Absence: Day(s) not to count on the 8-day rule because the absence was for a doctor-excused period of illness, funeral services of close family members, school functions or for circumstances approved by the Principal. Doctor excuses are to be presented within two days upon students return to school to be counted as an accepted absence (including the day student returns). An excuse should be emailed to his/her teacher or faxed to 985-748-4320.
Excused (Parent) Absence: Day(s) to count on the 8-day rule. Within two days of returning to school, the student must bring a note from a parent/guardian requesting that the student be excused. An excuse should be emailed to his/her teacher or faxed to 985-748-4320.
Unexcused Absence: Day(s) to count on the 8-day rule, and no make-up work is allowed, thereby a student will receive a zero (0) for all work missed during the absence. Absences due to oversleeping, missing a ride to school, car trouble, rain, vacation (or going out of town), visiting friends or relatives, helping to care for others in the family, etc. will be unexcused unless permission is granted by the Principal before the absence.
Please note: Only with a doctor’s excuse will the absence not count on the 8-day rule; and not an excuse written by a parent/guardian stating the student was sick. Make-up work is allowed for accepted and excused absences only.
After returning to school, students who have accepted or excused absences have one class day for every day they missed to make-up work (not counting the day of return). The teachers will work with students so that make-up work for eligible students can be completed in a timely manner. Unless agreed upon by the teacher, this time period would never exceed the number of days missed plus one day.
Tardiness is not acceptable. The homeroom bell rings each morning at 8:00 am; and the tardy bell rings at 8:05 am. During the day, a tardy bell rings four minutes after each class begins. Students entering class after that time will be considered tardy. If a student does not enter the classroom within 20 minutes after the period starts, he/she is counted absent and that absence will apply on the 8-day rule if it is unexcused. Any student who is caught “cutting” class will be subject to severe disciplinary action.
· 5 unexcused tardies = $25.00 charge and (1) unexcused absence
· 10 unexcused tardies = $50.00 charge and (1) unexcused absence
· 15 unexcused tardies = $100.00 charge and (1) unexcused absence
Tardy counts start over each nine weeks.
Participation in School Activities:
Any student who is absent more than four hours during the school day cannot participate in any school activity for that day, including athletic events, unless special permission is given by the Principal or his/her designee. Special arrangements should be made prior to the absence.
D. Drug Testing Policy
The Board of Directors and the Administration instituted random drug testing for grades 7th-12th, as well as for the faculty, staff and Administration. There is no reason to suspect a drug problem and steps have been taken to prevent such problems.
Students, faculty, and staff are chosen on a random basis. Therefore, if a student is selected, it in no way indicates that he/she is suspected of drug use. A urine sample will be taken at school and sent to a laboratory for analysis. A numbering system known only to the Administration is used for identification purposes. If a test returns positive, a conference will be arranged with the parent/guardian.
Specific Testing Procedure:
a) The Administrator will schedule a conference with the student’s parent/guardian.
b) Additional drug testing will be required through the school at the parents’/guardians’ expense in order to continue enrollment at Oak Forest Academy.
c) A professional evaluation and possible counseling may be required at the parents’/guardians’ expense in order to continue enrollment at Oak Forest Academy.
d) Dismissal will occur after receiving a second positive drug test.
Plagiarism is defined as “the taking of someone else’s words or ideas and presenting them as your own without proper documentation or proper citation” (Hodges Harbrace Handbook, 478-479). Removing a few words, replacing a few words, or even using the same sentence structure of another, is considered plagiarism too. Committing plagiarism is taken very seriously at Oak Forest Academy. If a student in grades 7th-12th commits plagiarism on any essay, assignment, or report (research paper included) in any class, a grade of zero (0) will be assigned to the plagiarized work.
F. Social Media
In the spirit of respect for Oak Forest Academy, the use of technology should in no way embarrass, threaten, or defame another student, faculty or staff member, Administration, the Board of Directors, or the school itself. Posting inappropriate material on any social networking or other websites can lead to disciplinary action. Additionally, students should be aware that electronically transmitting inappropriate images of themselves or others is an illegal activity and the school reserves the right to act on this type of behavior.
G. Cell Phones and Electronic Devices
Cell phones and electronic devices such as, but not limited to iPods, iPads, laptops, kindles, mp3 players, cd players, digital cameras, etc. are not permitted during school hours. These devices must be kept out of sight, turned off, and in a safe place. Use of electronic devices is only allowed under the direct supervision of Oak Forest Academy faculty or staff; and then for educational purposes only.
Further, the school reserves the right to examine all students’ cell phones and electronic devices on suspicion of wrong-doing and upon reasonable belief that evidence of such wrong-doing is present on the cell phone or electronic device examined.
If a student is found using a cell phone/electronic device during school hours without permission, he/she is subject to the following penalties:
1st Offense: Phone/electronic device will be confiscated, the student will be fined $25.00, and a request to return cell phone/electronic device form must be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to school the following day.
2nd Offense: Phone/electronic device will be confiscated, the student will be fined $50.00, and a parent/guardian must request to return the cell phone/electronic device in person at the school office.
3rd Offense: Phone/electronic device will be confiscated, the student will be fined $100.00, and the phone/electronic device will be kept in the administrative office for the remainder of the school year.
Please note: Oak Forest Academy is not responsible for lost
or stolen cell phones/electronic devices.
H. Driving on Campus
When arriving on campus, students should park personal transportation in the designated areas only. The designated areas for student parking are the 2nd and 3rd rows away from the gym/cafeteria. The 1st row is for faculty and staff only. Students are not allowed to park beside the baseball field or behind any buildings.
Students are not allowed to return to their vehicles until they leave for the day. Students are not to sit in any parked vehicle on the campus during the school day. Students should lock their vehicles for protection of their personal property. Everyone must observe caution when driving on the campus at all times. Driving on the campus is a privilege, and failure to adhere to these rules and regulations will result in the loss of that privilege.
I. Leaving Campus during School
· Students in grades PreK-3–6th grade should be checked-out before 2:15 pm.
· Students cannot be called to the office to check-out until the parent/guardian has arrived to pick them up.
J. Lunchroom Procedures
Lunches are served each day except for half days prior to the Christmas holidays and mid-term and end-of-year exam days. Lunch payments must be made weekly or monthly. Teachers in PreK-6th grade will collect lunch money in the classroom. Students in grades 7th-12th are only allowed to pay lunch money in the cafeteria prior to 8:00 am. A drop box is in the cafeteria for lunch payments or questions regarding lunch accounts. Students receive a picture I.D. card that is scanned daily to deduct lunch fees from the student account. No student will be allowed to use another student’s ID card.
· Students should empty all of his/her trash in the trash cans.
· No destructive activity is tolerated.
· Students Pre-K-11th grade must eat in the cafeteria, unless given permission to eat elsewhere.
· Seniors may eat in the assigned area at lunch only.
· No food or drink is to be brought out of the cafeteria or consumed out of the cafeteria without permission.
· Students should not order out and have food delivered by anyone; and group deliveries are not permitted.
· All students should eat cafeteria lunches unless they bring a bag lunch.
K. Routine Regulations
Two dances, Homecoming and Prom, are annual events at Oak Forest Academy. The Homecoming dance is sponsored by the Senior class and Prom is sponsored by the Junior class. Both dances are special nights for OFA students. Thus, we wish to maintain the integrity and formality of these nights by implementing the following dress code.
Any student or their date that does not adhere to the dress code may not be admitted into the dance. If a student brings a date from another school, it is their responsibility to make him/her aware of OFA’s dress code policy. If a student is in doubt or has any concerns about the appropriateness of their attire, it is their responsibility to seek prior approval from the Principal.
The Administrator and the class sponsor must approve all activities of a class, and all are under the control of the class sponsor/teacher. All dances must be chaperoned by two faculty members, two Board Members, and the Administrator or his/her designee.
From time to time, individual student organizations or classes will hold informal dances or sock hops. These are approved by the Administrator in advance and must follow the regulations for dances and other student policies.
M. Special Events
There are numerous special events such as, but not limited to academic and athletic banquets, the Baccalaureate Ceremony, Graduations, the Personality Presentation, and the Junior/Senior Ring Ceremony. These events are special; and thus, must be treated as such in every way including a student’s behavior and dress. Any student that does not adhere to the dress code for these events may not be admitted into the event.
N. Teacher and Student Parties
Teachers are responsible for parties given only at school and are given at their discretion. Parties given at private homes or other private places are generally not considered a school-sponsored function; and therefore, are not the responsibility of the school.
Section IV- Discipline
Students are expected to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior or disrespect for the Administration, faculty, staff, other students, or the school itself either at school or at school related activities will not be permitted and/or tolerated. Disciplinary cases will be dealt with in a positive manner appropriate for the circumstances.
Conduct referral forms are used for referring students to the administrative office for disciplinary reasons. The appropriate administrator will complete the form and the necessary corrective measures will be taken; and parent/guardian notification will be made if necessary.
Please note: If a student is present when wrong doing is evident (such as dipping, smoking, vandalism, use of alcohol or other drugs, etc.), it is that student’s obligation to remove her/himself immediately from that situation. Otherwise, she/he shares in the consequences related to such misbehavior which may include detention, suspension or dismissal.
A. Disciplinary Methods
Teacher Initiated: Each teacher will administer immediate disciplinary measures to bring about desired changes in a student's conduct, work habits, and/or general attitude. Parent/guardian conferences will be scheduled if a student's disruptive behavior becomes repetitive.
Administrative Referrals: Students are sent to the office for conferences and remedial action when the teacher's action is ineffective or if instances are severe.
B. Disciplinary Actions
Morning Detention: Student is required to report to the
disciplinarian’s office at 7:00 am or 7:30 am before school and is not allowed to interact with peers during lunch period.
Saturday Detention: Student is required to report to the high school office on a designated Saturday and perform school improvement service(s) until 12:00 pm (4 hours); and is required to pay a $50.00 fine.
Corporal Punishment: A reasonable paddling may be
administered upon parent request.
Suspension: Occasionally students have to be suspended out-of-school for infraction of rules that are designed to insure the smooth operation of Oak Forest Academy. If a student is suspended, the following penalties are imposed:
Expulsion: Any offense committed by a student considered to be a major offense by the Principal will result in immediate suspension or expulsion. Expulsion is permanent; hence, once expelled, or asked to leave, a student may not return to Oak Forest Academy nor participate in any school functions.
C. Disciplinary Procedures
The punishments below may be administered when any of the offenses listed are committed or any other behavior is deemed inappropriate by the Principal:
1. Cheating (plus a grade of zero (0) on the assignment, test, etc.)
2. Excessive class disruption
3. Abusing school property
5. Use of profanity
6. Out of class without permission slip
7. Threatening or verbally abusing another student
8. Violation of dress code
Suspension: (One to three days as determined by the Principal or his/her designee.)
1. Three detentions
2. Cutting a class (plus a zero (0) for that class)
4. Vandalism (to include restitution)
5. Defacing school property (i.e. books, bus, lockers, desks, etc.)
6. Skipping school or leaving campus without permission
7. Possession or use of tobacco products on school grounds
8. Possession of pornographic materials
9. Stealing (to include restitution)
10. Fighting or provoking a fight
11. Failure to bring prescription medications to the office
12. Threatening another student.
1. Disrespect to faculty or staff
2. Threatening faculty or staff
3. Possession of a firearm or other weapon
5. Any action, which poses a danger to other students, faculty, or staff
6. Possession of or use of alcoholic beverages or tobacco at school or school related activities
7. The possession and/or intent to distribute drugs
8. Destruction or major damage to school or faculty property
9. Molesting students, sexual harassment, or indecent behavior
10. After three suspensions
12. Student convicted of a felony
Section V – Athletics and Spirit Groups
Oak Forest Academy offers a wide range of athletic activities to both boys and girls in grades 7th-12th. All athletic activities are operated under the MAIS Athletic Rules and Regulations as stated in their By-laws. These are updated each year and specific statements for each activity can be found in these By-laws.
Sports offered to Oak Forest Academy students:
Football: Boys in grades 5th-12th
Basketball: Boys and girls in grades 3rd-12th
Track: Boys and girls in grades 3rd-12th
Baseball: Boys in grades 5th-12th
Softball: Girls in grades 7th-12th
Soccer: Boys and girls in grades 5th-12th
Grades 7th-12th participate in organized sports through the MAIS Athletic Program. The class rating (A, AA, AAA, AAAA) is evaluated every two years and can be changed as enrollment fluctuates. The census is based on the first 20-day session report every other year. The officials for sporting events are members of the MAIS official’s organization. Rules are defined in the official MAIS sports rulebook.
Rules for eligibility in Oak Forest Academy athletic activities:
1. Must be a registered student at OFA and attend school on the first day of the school year to be eligible to play sports for that calendar school year.
2. Must be a member of the Booster Club (see Section VI, Part A).
3. Must be a bona fide pupil of the school, attend regularly, carry a minimum of four academic subjects, and a passing grade must be made in three subjects at each grading period. Any student on Academic Suspension will not be allowed to participate in any athletic or extra-curricular activities for a period of nine weeks. These activities include, but are not limited to sports, spirit groups, dances, prom, field trips, club activities, etc. Athletes will not be allowed to practice during an ineligible period.
4. Cannot be 19 years of age before August 1st of the school year.
5. Must provide a birth certificate to verify age.
6. Must pass a physical examination; and a doctor must certify that the student is physically fit to take part in athletic activity.
7. Must have insurance coverage.
8. Transfer students must comply with Transfer Student Rules for eligibility as outlined in the MAIS By-laws.
Coach’s Control: In all athletic activities at Oak Forest Academy, the coach of the sport has control over the activities of the player in that sport (i.e. playing position, playing time, etc.).
Travel for Athletic Teams: The coach and Athletic Director will arrange for team travel. All members of the team will travel to and from any athletic events off campus by means provided, unless the parents of the players request permission from the team coach to provide such transportation.
Parental concerns regarding their child’s particular sport must be handled as follows:
B. Jackette Dance Teams
The Varsity Jackettes are for girls in grades 10th-12th; and the Junior Varsity Jackettes are for girls in grades 7th-9th. Try-outs for Varsity and Junior Varsity Jackettes are held yearly. These groups provide halftime entertainment at all Oak Forest Academy football games, some basketball games, pep rallies, and local parades; as well as compete in local competitions.
The Junior Jackettes are for girls in grades PreK4-3rd; and the PeeWee Jackettes are for girls in grades 4th-6th.
The Varsity Cheerleaders are for those in grades 10th-12th. The Junior Varsity Cheerleaders are for those in grades 7th-9th. Try-outs for Varsity and Junior Varsity Cheerleaders are held yearly; and all cheerleaders attend summer camp each year where they learn new stunts, cheers, and pep rally skits. The Varsity and Junior Varsity Cheerleaders cheer at all Oak Forest Academy football games and plan and cheer at all pep rallies, Also, they participate in some local parades; as well as local competitions.
The PeeWee Cheerleaders are those in grades 5th-6th.
Please note: Under no circumstances is a parent/guardian to address a concern with a coach/sponsor at a practice or game without scheduling an appointment. Any public display of outrage by a parent/guardian towards a coach/sponsor may result in the student’s dismissal from that sport or spirit group and the parent/guardian being banned from athletic contests, events, etc.
Section VI - Clubs and Organizations
A. Booster Club
The Booster Club assumes most of the financial responsibility for all of the sports programs at the school. All families with a student participating in any athletic program are required to join. Families without a student participating are also encouraged to join and take advantage of membership benefits. To receive maximum benefits, families should join at the beginning of the school year.
All Booster Club members are required to participate in Booster Club activities including fundraisers, work days, working at athletic events, etc. Booster Club meetings are held weekly during football season; and monthly thereafter. All Booster Club members are encouraged to attend meetings.
Membership options prior to July 1st are:
Athlete/Student Membership: Dues of $125.00 for one athlete, $175.00 for two athletes or $200.00 for three athletes per family per year. Students are issued an athletic pass to enter all regular scheduled athletic events held at Oak Forest Academy during the year.
Sibling to an Athlete/Student Membership: Dues of $25.00 for one sibling, $50.00 for two siblings or $75.00 for three siblings per family per year. Students are issued an athletic pass to enter all regular scheduled athletic events held at Oak Forest Academy during the year.
Couple Adult Athletic Pass: Dues of $170.00 per year. Entitles two adults admission to all regular scheduled athletic events held at Oak Forest Academy during the year.
Single Adult Athletic Pass: Dues of $85.00 per year. Entitles one adult admission to all regular scheduled athletic events held at Oak Forest Academy during the year.
Student/Child Athletic Pass: Dues of $65.00 per year. Admits one student/child to all regular season home events. This pass is for any student that does not have an Athlete/Student Membership.
Please note: After July 1st, there is a late charge of $10.00 per membership.
B. Fellowship of Christian Athletes
The purpose of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is "to present to athletes and coaches, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the Church."
C. Student Government Association
The Student Government Association (SGA) serves as a liaison between the student body and the Administration. At the end of each school year, grades 6th-11th elect SGA senators, as well as the SGA President and Vice-President. Two students from the upcoming grades 7th-12th are selected to serve as senators. The outgoing President and Vice-President represent the senior class the following year.
D. Beta Club
The membership of this club is composed of those students from grades 10th-12th who have a GPA of at least 3.5. The Beta Club provides service projects for the school and the community.
E. Junior Beta Club
This club is composed of students in grades 7th-9th who have a GPA of at least 3.5. This club performs services projects for the school and community throughout the year.
F. Interact Club
This is a service club and is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Amite. The club has 36 members who are first approved by the school and then voted upon by the club members. They submit an application for membership if they are interested in being a member of Interact. The club has service projects for the school and the community; as well as several fundraising projects each year. Funds earned are used to send members to District Interact Convention.
G. Teacher-Parent Club
The Teacher-Parent Club (TPC) is an organization composed of parents of Oak Forest Academy students, as well as teachers and other Oak Forest Academy family. The TPC is instrumental in volunteering to assist teachers in various activities and raising funds that directly benefit the students and teachers.
H. Patron’s Club
The Patron’s Club was established in 2006 by a group of grandparents of students, both past and present and friends of Oak Forest Academy who desire to work together to add financially to the school. The Patron’s Club works diligently to raise funds to purchase items for the school that are considered to be the “extras” for students and faculty. The Patron’s Club meets on the 4th Tuesday of every month.