On behalf of the faculty and staff of EPIC Charter Schools, I would like to welcome you to a new way of learning!
You have chosen our school and please know we care about each student and want optimal success. EPIC Charter Schools is a unique opportunity for students with their parents to partner together educationally while realizing each student’s individual potential. I founded EPIC One-On-One with the vision of filling a void that exists in our public education system. The goal of the school is to work together to ensure each child’s success. EPIC Charter Schools practices consistent, positive, and two-way communication so students and parents will always know the status of the education process. Our teachers and staff will work in partnership with you to create an individualized, educational experience in which will bring excitement to the learning process. Students will find they want to continue to learn each and every day. This is a partnership that has been proven to realize individual educational potential.
There will be success!
David Chaney, Co-Founder
EPIC Charter Schools
Our educational philosophy is simple. We believe in parental choice. We offer the finest curriculum choices available for grades PreK-12. At EPIC Charter Schools we realize that not all students learn the same way. Our education options allow our students to learn anytime and from anywhere at their own pace. We will constantly strive to measure the effectiveness of our school so that every one of our students will succeed.
“Fulfilling every student’s individual potential by personalizing an educational plan that focuses on creating a dynamic school and family partnership to achieve optimal student performance.”
EPIC Charter Schools is dedicated to providing every student with the opportunity to meet their full academic achievement potential. We are committed to reaching this goal by:
- Offering the finest quality of instructional strategies and curriculum choices.
- Continuously use assessment to improve our delivery of instruction.
- Treat our students with respect and have high expectations for achievement.
- Use current research and resources to be most effective.
Student/Teacher/Family partnerships that have not met their goal for the academic year will continue beyond the Second Semester deadline until goals have been met or the new academic calendar begins. Year-round learning will be utilized as needed to insure students do not fall behind and stay caught up.
All holidays are subject to parent/teacher approval or disapproval depending on student achievement levels. Please check our calendar for the noted holidays this year and any updates.
EPIC Charter Schools is a FREE PreK-12 public school provided for parents/students seeking a non-traditional educational setting utilizing internet-based, individualized self-paced instruction provided in nearly any location. A “Need to know – Right to know” rule of thumb should be used when sharing information concerning a student.
EPIC Charter Schools offers individualized instruction to each student through its One-on-One Program. A certified teacher is assigned to each student and works in partnership with the family to teach, coach, and motivate each child. Teachers can interact with the family through a variety of methods: face-to-face instruction, by phone, by text, by email, online chat, and using web-based interactive tools. Teachers should make contact with the student daily using the communication method that works best for the family.
Once the student is assigned to a teacher’s roster the first meeting should take place within two weeks (14 days). The purpose of the meeting will be to create the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and establish short and long term academic goals. The teacher and family will also agree to a schedule and location for face-to-face instruction. This could include the family’s home, teacher’s home, or an approved public location. Any location chosen should be as distraction-free as possible and should create a safe and positive learning environment. For safety reasons, it is required that teachers only meet with a student alone if it is in a public place.
Instructional, face-to-face meetings provide a great opportunity for teachers to target lessons on concepts that students are struggling to master. It is strongly encouraged for families to have weekly instructional meetings with the teacher to ensure students are meeting their academic goals and to address any needed remediation. Each learning session should be at least one hour (2-4 hours recommended). A family can request more or less frequent meeting times. However, the teacher will schedule face-to-face meetings at least once every three weeks (21 days) for instruction.
EPIC Charter Schools believes very strongly in communication that is open, two-way, and continuous. Although we are an online charter school, we will begin a dialog with you as soon as you become our student. Open dialog and feedback allow us to monitor student educational improvement and academic progress.
EPIC Charter Schools has a service that will allow the school to communicate messages to families within minutes. This system utilizes a variety of communication options: voice mail, email and/or text messages. The school may use this service to share important school-wide information or send reminders for various activities involving student participation.
There are several curriculum choices encompassing all subject areas along with electives. Information regarding these curricula choices can be found on our website. All of our core curricula and for credit classes are correlated to the Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills Objectives as established by the State Department of Education. Students are expected to acquire these skills at each grade level. Each parent or guardian is responsible to make the curriculum choices for their child.
Each One-on-One program student will test at the beginning of the year to establish a baseline for academic achievement. A post-test will be administered at the end of each year to establish yearly progress and academic growth. A progress test may be given the latter part of November and/or February to assure academic progress has been attained. In addition to a pre- and post-test and yearly progress test, all students are required to participate in the appropriate grade level exams of the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test or other state required tests.
All EPIC Students must have Internet access. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to monitor the student’s internet activity while the student is logged on. Parental involvement is strongly encouraged to hold the student responsible and accountable.
EPIC feels that citizenship and community engagement are important, which is why the volunteer program was put in place. We want our families to know we need them to be involved not only with their kids but with our school and their local community. There are dozens of ways that a family can fulfill the requirements. Working with their students on their schoolwork, helping with and attending EPIC school-sponsored events, being involved in their church or community…the list is really endless. Again this policy is there to simply encourage family engagement and partnership with their child’s education, the school, and their local community.
EPIC Charter Schools provides a unique opportunity for parents to tailor individual curricula needs of their child. Each student is allocated a learning fund that allows for individual curricula choice. The fund allows for the individual purchase of school-related goods and services. Memberships/Admissions fees are not paid for through the learning fund, but non-academic classes can be considered after curricula and technology are purchased. Also, EPIC cannot split the cost of an ordered item or curricula with the family nor reimburse parents for any expenses.
All purchases of goods must be a minimum of fifty dollars ($50). All services must be requested one (1) full month prior to services being rendered for each student. Family monies may be shared within sibling groups after individual core curricula for each child has been designated.
For summer education planning, all item purchases must be completed by March 31. Class/activity invoices must be received by May 31. All unused learning fund monies will roll over into the next school year. Any debit balances noted at the end of the year will also roll over to the next school year.
*Note that in order for the Learning Fund to pay a student’s summer invoices (June, July and August) the student must show active status. Which means they will need to be enrolled for the current school year as well as the upcoming school year. Summer invoices cannot be paid for with the upcoming school years funds.
Any student that enrolls on or before October 1st of the current school year will receive the full learning fund amount of $1,000. Students that enroll after October 1st will have no learning fund but will have access to Plato (high school curriculum) or Exact Path (PreK-8th grade) or ABC Mouse (PreK only) or technology on a per-student basis. (Late Enrollment Curriculum subject to change based upon availability).
Technology: Laptops, iPads, and WiFi
A laptop computer or iPad will be made available to your child if you do not have a computer at home as long as the child is enrolled in EPIC Charter Schools One-on-One program and if student learning fund allocations provide. Laptops are available to the student for a $250 yearly fee. iPad tablets are available to the student for a $135 yearly fee. In addition to the computer/tablet, EPIC will offer students a Mifi device at $480 a year as internet service if student learning fund allocations provide. (Prices are subject to change.) Repair costs to laptops and iPads will be charged back against the student’s learning fund account. The cost of the repair is determined by Beasley Technology. All technology must be returned in good working order if and when the student is no longer an EPIC student.
Fees for Stolen/Lost Technology:
- Laptop: $750
- iPad: $400
- MiFi: $80
Textbook and Supplies
All textbooks, workbooks, items, and electronic devices purchased through the Learning Fund are the property of EPIC Charter Schools. When a unit or course is finished, if the textbook and any items are obsolete, or if a student leaves EPIC Charter Schools, all materials must be returned to the school. If any of the textbooks/items cannot be reused due to abuse, the students learning fund will be charged to replace the item.
For a further explanation of the learning fund please visit: https://epiccharterschools.org/learning-fund
Graduate Support Manager Responsibilities
Each teacher is assigned a graduation support manager. Graduation Support Managers will team with the teachers to guide each student through graduation. Graduation Support Managers facilitate to students through their teachers the options available for graduation success.
Grade Promotion Policy
Elementary and Middle School grade promotion from one grade to the next shall be based on the following criteria:
- Completion of the curriculum with a grade of 60% or higher – All Subjects.
- If a student demonstrates a 90 percent proficiency level on a comprehensive standards-based exam, the student may be promoted to the next grade.
High School Course promotion from one course to the next level course shall be based on the following criteria:
- High School students who complete the requirements for credit in a course by APRIL 15 can promote to the next level course in that subject area IMMEDIATELY.
- Students who score proficient or advanced on any of the End of Instruction exams may receive course credit for the tested subject area. A proficient score will be counted as a “C” and an advanced score will be counted as an “A” when the course credit is recorded on the transcript.
- If a student demonstrates a 90 percent proficiency level on a comprehensive standards-based exam in a non-EOI subject, the student may receive credit for the course.
High School Classification
High School Classification for students is determined by the credit count of the student on the first day of school.
- Freshman= 0-5.75 credits
- Sophomore= 6-11.75 credits
- Junior= 12-16.75 credits
- Senior= 17 or more credits
EPIC Graduation Requirements
There are two diploma tracks available to all students in the state of Oklahoma as outlined in Oklahoma Law 70 O.S. 11-103.6. The recommended diploma track for EPIC Students is the College Preparatory/Work Ready Diploma. An optional, less rigorous track is the Core Curriculum Track. More information regarding the Core Curriculum Track can be obtained through the Graduate Support Department.
EPIC will not approve GED forms for students under the age of 18 years old.
College Preparatory/Work Ready Diploma
Beginning with students entering ninth grade, the following units must be completed:
- Four units of English that may include Grammar, Composition, Literature, or an English course approved for college admission.
- Three units of Mathematics limited to Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Math Analysis, Calculus and AP Statistics.
- Three units of Laboratory Science that are limited to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or any laboratory science course with content equal to or above Biology and approved for college admission requirements.
- Three units of History that include one unit of American History, one-half unit Oklahoma History, one-half unit of United States Government, and one unit from the subjects of History, Government, Geography, Economics, Civics, or non-Western Culture.
- Two units of the same Foreign Language or two units of Computer Technology.
- One additional unit that is selected from the courses listed above.
- One unit of fine arts, such as Music, Art, Drama, or Speech.
- Six (6) elective units.
The twenty-three credits that are required for graduation from EPIC Charter Schools are outlined below. The 23 credits are from the following areas: COURSE CREDITS
- 4: ENGLISH: l, ll, lll, lV
- 3: MATHEMATICS: Algebra l and ll, Geometry, Trigonometry, Math Analysis, Calculus, AP Statistics
- 3: SOCIAL STUDIES and CITIZENSHIP SKILLS: US Government (1/2), OK History (1/2), US History (1) and (1) selected from History, Government, Geography, Economics, and Civics
- 3: SCIENCE: Biology 1, Chemistry, Physics
- 2: COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY or FOREIGN LANGUAGE
- 1: Additional credit selected from any courses previously listed
- 1: FINE ARTS or SPEECH: Music, Art, Drama or Speech
- 6: At least 6 Electives
23 Total credits (units)
EPIC Charter School graduation requirements require 23 units for graduation. You can also view course requirements for high school graduation here.
EPIC Charter Schools examines prior as well as concurrent learning experiences outside of traditional school perimeters. A submitted portfolio can provide the basis for assessing and awarding credits for appropriate learning experience. Please contact Graduate Support for additional information.
Students and the parents of students that complete the requirements to graduate early shall be required to sign a form acknowledging that they have met the requirements for graduation early.
Non Accredited School and/or Home School transfer:
Students who are entering EPIC Charter Schools that were previously in a Non-Accredited School and/or Home Schooled may earn course credit by presenting documentation of mastery of a subject in a school designated assessment from the list provided below. This opportunity is for students that have already received instruction in these courses and have been tested from the list provided below and are not required to take these tests again. Students who score Advanced shall receive an A in the subject. Students scoring Proficient shall receive a B in the subject.
Click the linked text below for designated assessments and scores.
|ACT Mathematics Subset|
|ACT Science Subset|
English & Writing Subsets
|9/15 & After||Proficient||Advanced|
|combined 30;||combined 46;|
|neither below 14||neither below 22|
|and 23 writing||and 32 writing|
|Prior to 9/15||Proficient||Advanced|
|combined 30||combined 46;|
|neither below 14||neither below 22|
|and writing 8||and 10 writing|
|9/15 & After||Proficient||Advanced|
|combined 32;||combined 48;|
|neither below 15||neither below 23|
|and 23 writing||and 32 writing|
|Prior to 9/15||Proficient||Advanced|
|combined 32||combined 48;|
|neither below 15||neither below 23|
|and writing 8||and 10 writing|
|10/15 & after||460||540|
|prior to 10/15||42||52|
|10/15 & after||490||570|
|prior to 10/15||46||55|
|10/15 & after|
|prior to 10/15||42||52|
|10/15 & after|
|prior to 10/15||34||51|
|10/15 & after|
|prior to 10/15||37||53|
|Advanced Placement: AP|
|AP Us History||2||3|
|AP English Language & Composition||2||3|
|AP English Literature & Composition||2||3|
|CLEP College Algebra||30||40|
|CLEP College Algebra||40||50|
|CLEP General Biology||2||3|
|CLEP History of US I & II||Combined 60||Combined 80|
|IB Math Methods; Standard Level||2||3|
|IB Math Studies; Standard Level||2||3|
|IB Mathematics; Higher Level||2||3|
|IB Math Methods; Standard Level||2||3|
|IB Math Studies; Standard Level||2||3|
|IB Mathematics; Higher Level||2||3|
|IB Math Methods; Standard Level||2||3|
|IB Math Studies; Standard Level||2||3|
|IB Mathematics; Higher Level||2||3|
|IB Biology; Standard Level||2||3|
|IB Biology; HIgher Level||2||3|
|IB US HIstory; Higher Level||2||3|
|English; Standard Level||2||3|
|English; Higher Level||2||3|
|English; Standard Level||2||3|
|English; Higher Level||2||3|
|Credit Course||Terranova Subject Areas||Proficient||Advanced|
|US History||Social Studies||670-723||724+|
|English II||Reading & Language||670-723||724+|
|English III||Reading & Language||670-723||724+|
Non-Accredited School definition: Any school that does not have an accreditation from a state or national accreditation service is considered a Non-Accredited School.
Some of the EPIC Charter Schools Curriculum offers advanced placement courses and/or college preparatory courses. These courses will be clearly described. Please contact the Graduation Support Department if you have a student who is interested in concurrent or advanced placement courses. They will assist you in that process with the family.
All EPIC Charter Schools students will be graded in the following manner:
A: 90-100 B: 80-89 C: 70-79 D: 60-69
Regular Academic Course letter grades have the following GPA weights:
A: 4.0 B: 3.0 C: 2.0 D: 1.0
Students do not receive a failing grade. Students will continue to perform work in a class until they produce passing academic work product. If a student exits the school before completing a course, that course is not listed on the student’s transcript. The student’s transcript contains all completed courses. The student’s transcript and an Exit Grade Report listing their current courses and grades are sent to the student’s new school.
Concurrent Enrollment course letter grades have the following GPA weights:
A: 5.0 B: 4.0 C: 3.0 D: 2.0
- Standard Credits awarded 0.5 credits per 3 college hours
- Scope and Sequence Review: Based upon a review of the course scope and sequence, syllabus, or course outline a one (1) credit can be awarded for 3 college hours. If the scope and sequence, syllabus, or course outline covers all topics of PASS or the scope and sequence of the high school course one (1) credit will be awarded.
- Half day Career Technology courses count as 1.5 credits.
- For college course not already approved for one (1) credit for 3 college hours, a review will be made by the GSM department upon request of the parent or teacher.
Advanced Placement/Honors Courses
Honors courses are available for students who qualify as part of EPIC’s High School course offerings. Currently, the College Board doesn’t allow for Virtual Charter Schools to be approved as a testing site for the College Board exams, which is what is used by Colleges and Universities when deciding whether or not to award college credit for a college board/AP exam.
At EPIC we weight Honors and AP courses for GPA calculation the same and encourage students to participate in both Honors courses and Concurrent Enrollment for college credit. However, an EPIC student may sit for a College Board exam at a local approved testing site if the family chooses. Fees for the Advanced Placement/College Board exams can be paid out of the families learning fund if available.
Honors Course letter grades have the following GPA weights:
A: 4.5 B: 3.5 C: 2.5 D: 1.5
In order for a student to qualify to participate in EPIC’s annual June graduation ceremony, all coursework requirements must be completed by the official last day of school.
Should a student complete all graduation requirements before the end of the school year, he/she will still be invited to participate in EPIC’s annual graduation ceremony in June. Should they require proof of high school graduation prior to June the following year, a diploma and/or other such proof of completion of high school will be provided to them upon request.
High school students not classified as seniors at the beginning of the school year have the opportunity to accelerate their coursework and participate in the June graduation ceremony provided they complete all coursework requirements by the official last day of school in the same calendar year as the annual June graduation ceremony.
- Pre-qualification for Commencement
- All students with projected June graduation dates will be formally invited to participate in graduation after March 1. Notification will be made by both email and in writing to their home address. Students who have already completed high school graduation requirements during the school year also will be invited to participate in graduation after March 1.
- From March 1 through the official last day of school, all other students who attain an anticipated graduation date of the annual June graduation ceremony will be invited to participate in that ceremony.
- Valedictorian and Salutatorians
- Valedictorian and salutatorian status will be determined by the weighted cumulative grade point average of all seniors as of the end of the first semester of their senior year. To be considered, a student must pace to the end of the first semester of their senior year no later than April 30. Students who completed all graduation requirements during the first semester of the school year also will be considered for valedictorian and salutatorian status.
- Salutatorian distinction will be awarded to anticipated graduates whose weighted cumulative grade point average is between a 4.01 and a 4.25. Such students will receive a salutatorian medal at the graduation ceremony.
- Valedictorian distinction will be awarded to anticipated graduates whose weighted cumulative grade point average is higher than a 4.25. Such students will receive a valedictorian medal at the graduation ceremony.
- The three graduates with the highest weighted grade point averages will be invited to give remarks at the June graduation ceremony. Should more than one graduation ceremony be held due to the size of the graduating class, the three graduates at each ceremony with the highest weighted grade point average will be invited to give remarks.
- Superintendent’s and Principal’s Honor Roll
- Superintendent’s and Principal’s Honor Roll status will be determined by the weighted cumulative grade point average of all seniors as of the end of the first semester of their senior year.
- Superintendent’s Honor Roll is a distinction for all students earning a 4.0 and they are awarded a double blue and gold honor cord at graduation. Principal’s Honor Roll is a distinction for all students earning between a 3.5 and a 3.99 and they are awarded a white honor cord at graduation.
- To be recognized in the printed graduation program as a Superintendent or Principal Honor Roll honoree, students must have completed the first semester of their senior year no later than April 30.
- If through accelerated learning, a student finishes both his/her first and second semester of their senior year between April 30-May 30, he/she will still be recognized as a Superintendent or Principal Honor Roll honoree by virtue of them wearing an honor cord during the ceremony. However, they will not be listed in the program as such an honoree as the program is printed between May 1-May 30.
- Graduation Program
- To be guaranteed listing in the June graduation program, a student must have a projected graduation date of June of that school year and no later than May 1 of the same school year due to the program being printed between May 1-May 30.
Every student is required to take all of the assessments mandated by the State and Federal Departments of Education to meet graduation requirements. If a student does not take a required examination, they must apply to the Superintendent for an exemption which will be granted on a case by case basis for a good cause.
EPIC Charter Schools has elected to administer the ACT as their locally selected nationally recognized assessment for college and career readiness.
Special Education means “specially designed instruction” at no cost to the parents to meet the unique needs of a child ages 3-21. EPIC Charter Schools offers parents full educational opportunities for all students. If you suspect your child may have a disability or know of a child with a disability who is not receiving a free, appropriate, public education, please contact our Special Education Services Department.
Homework is vitally important, particularly in a virtual school environment. In fact, quality time on the computer is essential for success. Homework develops good study skills as well as self-discipline. Teachers may assign homework and give deadlines to turn in the required work. EPIC Charter Schools considers excessive zeros or refusal to submit an assignment a discipline issue and will deal with these situations accordingly.
House Bill 1476: The Passport to Financial Literacy Act, 2007
House Bill 1476 created The Passport to Financial Literacy Act, July 1, 2007. The law requires that Oklahoma students beginning with the seventh grade in order to graduate from a public high school with a standard diploma, students shall fulfill the requirements for a personal financial literacy passport. The requirements for a personal financial literacy passport shall be satisfactory completion in all areas of instruction, as listed in the bill, during grades seven through twelve. (See: http://ok.gov/sde/personal-financial-literacy)
The certified teacher assigned to your child will conduct four (4) parent/teacher conferences, one per quarter or as requested by the parent.
EPIC Charter Schools recognizes the tutoring of students can be helpful to student achievement. As a school, we pride ourselves on the attention we give to our individual students. Tutoring assistance will be available to all qualified students enrolled in state-tested subject areas on an as-needed basis.
Gifted & Talented Program
A Gifted and Talented program will be made available to students within grades Pre-K through 12 who meet the qualifications to be considered for placement. This is an optional program and will not negatively affect a student’s education if the family decides to opt-out of the program. Parental permission will be required for any individual administration of a nationally standardized test of intellectual ability for those who are found eligible for program consideration. Parents will also be provided notification of program options that best fit student’s academic needs. Please contact the office for additional information.
Awards and Honors
EPIC Charter Schools has two awards, these include: EPIC Principal Honor Roll Certificate is awarded to students yearly who earn a 3.50-3.99 grade point average. EPIC Superintendent Honor Roll Certificate is awarded to students yearly with a 4.0 grade point average or higher. Weighted courses are included in the average.
Clubs and Field Trips
To be in an extracurricular activity or to attend a field trip, EPIC students adhere to the following:
- Be in good standing with EPIC Charter Schools, which means not on the disciplinary plan.
- Passing all courses.
Academic Dishonesty Policy
It is the student’s responsibility to understand the EPIC Academic Dishonesty Policy. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to plagiarism, copying, and cheating. The most common form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as: taking another person’s work and passing it off as your own. “Another person” can refer to any source other than you. Any work that is not your own, unless cited, may be considered plagiarism. Ask the EPIC Charter Schools staff for direction when in doubt.
Policy on Academic Dishonesty
If a student is suspected of plagiarism, the teacher assigned to the student will meet with the parent/guardian and the student to assess the situation and allow the student to give an explanation. If a satisfactory explanation is given, the situation is resolved. If a satisfactory explanation is not given, the Teacher will advise the School Head and further action may be warranted. If another act of academic dishonesty occurs, the student may receive academic probation and/or withdrawal from school.
Withdrawal from School
When a student withdraws from EPIC Charter Schools at any time, the following must occur:
- checked in all books, all items purchased with Learning Fund, and all assigned equipment.
- paid all fines.
- signed a “Release of Student Records” (parental signature).
- met with the School Founder and refused all other placements.
When the above (4) criteria are met, a Withdrawal Form will be released. Parents will receive a copy of the Withdrawal Form to use when enrolling in a new school.
Student Conduct and Discipline
EPIC Charter Schools sets its goal to help every student fulfill his or her intellectual, social, physical and emotional potential. Everything in and about the school has been designed to create an orderly and distraction-free environment. The EPIC Charter Schools administrators and teachers work towards not allowing misbehavior during school, on school property, or at or during any school-sponsored activities.
The school day for an online learner varies during the day. The traditional school day is 360 minutes each day. The teacher will consistently monitor the student’s performance in an effort to help the student meet his/ her course requirements.
Whether a school is virtual or brick and mortar, attendance and participation are most important for any student to consistently succeed. Promoting and fostering consistent student attendance requires a commitment from administrators, teachers, parents, and students.
Administrative Office Visitation
For safety and security purposes, all visitors to the EPIC offices including teachers, students, and family members will need to check in at the front upon entering the building. Visitors will also be required to stay in the lobby area until they are escorted into the back office area.
Smoking, distribution, and use of tobacco products in any form, as well as the use of simulated tobacco products are prohibited during visitation.
Student Contact Policy
Only through communication that is positive, two-way, and continuous can students be successful in an online course. It is essential that the student, instructor, and parent maintain contact on a regular basis to discuss student performance.
Students are required to complete a minimum of 40 assignments per quarter. Students enrolling in the school after the beginning of the quarter will have their minimum number of assignments reduced on a pro-rata basis based upon the date their enrollment is approved. Students enrolled FOR THE ENTIRE QUARTER with an attendance rate of 76% or higher shall not be withdrawn for truancy, but students below the 76% attendance rate shall be withdrawn for truancy upon completion of the quarter. Any student withdrawn for truancy may re-enter the school at any time. Students NOT ENROLLED FOR THE WHOLE QUARTER that do not complete at least 9 fewer assignments than the required pro-rated minimum number of assignments based on enrollment date shall be withdrawn for truancy upon completion of the quarter.
Students may be manually withdrawn for non-communication and no completed assignments in 10 consecutive school days, or that have communicated, but not completed any assignments in 15 consecutive school days.
If a student is withdrawn for truancy and wishes to re-enter the school, the student will be placed on a plan of academic improvement agreed upon by the parent, teacher, and student, and the learning fund will be frozen for all non- academically essential services until the teacher and the teacher’s principal unfreeze the learning fund.
Students who have been withdrawn from the school for truancy will be contacted for asset retrieval within two weeks of the withdraw date. Any students withdrawn for truancy should return assets immediately unless they re-enroll within 30 days of withdrawal.
Unacceptable Student Behavior
As an EPIC Charter Schools student, students may not show disrespect to others including teachers and/or staff by using inappropriate language and/or behavior. Inappropriate behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- any form of bullying or harassment including electronic communications,
- possession of dangerous weapons or firearms during office visitation,
- any threatening behavior, whether written, verbal or physical, directed at any person, or
- inappropriate clothing.
Cheating and/or Plagiarism
Cheating on tests, plagiarism, and/or any other type of deception to get credit without effort are unacceptable conduct. Each teacher sets his/her own standards of behavior for his/her classroom, and students are expected to know the standards and procedures for each of their classes. The administration has reviewed and accepted and will support individual teacher standards and procedures for cheating and plagiarism.
Abuse and/or Misuse of Computers
Computer hardware and software are for the benefit of all students. No student may purposefully tamper with either the hardware or the software so that it is inaccessible to other students. School computers are to be used for educational purposes. Abuse and or misuse of computers also including loading private software, checking personal e-mail, or accessing inappropriate websites using school equipment shall be viewed as unacceptable conduct and potential consequences may occur. Computer repairs needed due to sustaining damage from abuse will be charged to the learning fund.
Any attempt by a student to sign a teacher’s, administrator’s, parent’s or guardian’s, and or student’s name to any document will be considered forgery and possible prosecution by legal authorities.
Technology Acceptable Use Policy
Students are encouraged to use technology in a variety of ways to support their individual learning styles and to express their creative talents. The use of technology is a privilege not to be abused. The school’s technology policy applies to all authorized users who access the school’s network or equipment using school-owned or personal equipment, including wireless devices. The school reserves the right to restrict or remove access to school technology for violations of this or any school policy.
The parents or guardians of EPIC students are responsible for monitoring and controlling the use of school technology in accordance with the Technology Acceptable Use Policy.
- The technology resources are provided to support the educational and administrative activities of the school and should be used for those purposes. Use is a privilege, not a right.
- Use should always be legal, ethical and consistent with the school’s Mission Statement and general standards for acceptable behavior.
- Incidental personal use of the school’s technology resources must not interfere with the school’s ability to use the resources for professional and academic purposes and must not violate other school policies.
- Except as authorized by the Superintendent or their designee, use of the school’s technology resources or data for personal use, business, political campaigning or for commercial purposes is prohibited.
An authorized user is any person who has been granted authority by the school. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. By accessing the school’s network using school-owned or personally-owned equipment, you have consented to the school’s exercise of its authority and rights as set out in this policy with respect to any such equipment, as well as with respect to any information or communication stored or transmitted over such equipment. Whenever a user ceases being a member of the school community, they no longer have authorized access to the school’s technology resources and any and all school property must be returned to the school.
The school reserves the right to access, view or monitor any information or communication stored on or transmitted over the network and systems, or on or over equipment that has been used to access the school’s network and systems.
Behavioral Health Services
At EPIC Charter Schools, we are committed to providing opportunities for students’ academic success. We also believe in supporting the positive emotional development and wellness of the student. EPIC has partnered with an agency to offer behavioral counseling services to any EPIC student in need of counseling. Some of the services offered:
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation
- Play Therapy
- Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
- Crisis Intervention
- Family Therapy
- Substance Abuse Therapy
- Wellness Recovery Action Plan Services (WRAP)
A referral form is available on the website. Once completed, the parent/guardian will be contacted within 48 hours to schedule an initial appointment.
In order to meet legal requirements, all students from grades 3 – high school are required to participate in yearly state-mandated testing. There is no opt-out option. EPIC Charter Schools complies with these laws to maintain its charter status. The School will administer these tests at multiple locations throughout the state to accommodate student location.
Reading Sufficiency Act
The Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) states that a third-grade student cannot be promoted to the fourth grade if he or she scores Unsatisfactory on the reading portion of the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test (OCCT). Children who score Limited Knowledge (typically a second-grade reading level), Proficient or Advanced will not have to be retained. The State Department of Education has additional information on this law and its exemptions. Please visit http://ok.gov/sde/parents-guide-third-grade-reading-retention.
Third Grade Retention Policy
Oklahoma’s current law requires that third-grade students who score at the unsatisfactory level on the reading portion of the third-grade criterion-referenced test shall not be promoted to the fourth grade unless they meet the exemptions set forth in this policy under section II.
- The parent of any student who is found to have a reading deficiency and is not reading at the appropriate grade level beginning with the first grade class of 2011-12 and has been provided a program of reading instruction shall be notified in writing of the following:
- That the student has been identified as having a substantial deficiency in reading;
- A description of the current services that are provided to the student.
- A description of the proposed supplemental instructional services and supports that will be provided to the student that are designed to remediate the identified area of reading deficiency.
- That the student will not be promoted to the fourth grade if the reading deficiency is not remediated by the end of the third grade unless the student is exempt for good cause as set forth in Section II of this policy.
- Strategies for parents to use in helping their child succeed in reading proficiency.
- While the results of the criterion-referenced test are the initial determinant, it is not the sole determiner of promotion and that portfolio reviews and assessments are available.
- The specific criteria and policies of the school district for midyear promotion.
- For those students who do not meet the academic requirements for promotion at the end of the third grade school year, EPIC Charter Schools may promote the student for good cause only according to one or more of the six good cause exemptions:
- ELL Students
ELL Students are Identified English Language Learners (ELL) on a screening tool approved by OSDE of Bilingual/Migrant Education and have a Language Instructional Educational Plan in place prior to administration of the OCCT and have less than two years of instruction in an ELL program.
In addition to the good-cause exemptions, requests to exempt students from the academic requirements for promotion to the next grade shall only be made upon documentation submitted from the teacher of the student to the school principal that indicates that the promotion of the student is appropriate and is based upon the record of the student.
- OAAP Students (IEP Students assessed with OAAP) – Students with disabilities on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) who are assessed with Oklahoma Alternate Assessment Program (OAAP)
- Alternative Assessments – Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of performance (minimum of 45th percentile) on a state-approved alternative reading test
- Portfolio – Section 1210.508C (K) states that a student who scores an Unsatisfactory on the third-grade reading portion of the OCCT may be promoted to fourth grade if the student qualifies for one of the six good cause exemptions.
- IEP Student who has been retained once – Students with disabilities who take the OCCT and whose IEP states that they have received intensive remediation in reading for more than two years but still show a – deficiency in reading and were previously retained in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, or third grade (or in a transitional grade).
- Regular education student who has been retained twice – Students who have received intensive remediation in reading for two or more years but still have a deficiency in reading and have already been retained in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, or third grade (or in a transitional grade) for a total of two years.
III. Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, EPIC Charter Schools shall:
- Conduct a review of the program of reading instruction for all students who score at the unsatisfactory level on the reading portion of the criterion-referenced test and did not meet the criteria for one of the good-cause exemptions. The review shall address the additional supports and services needed to remediate the identified areas of reading deficiency. The school district shall require a student portfolio to be completed for each retained student.
- Provide to students who have been retained with intensive interventions in reading, intensive Instruction services and supports to remediate the identified areas of reading deficiency, including a minimum of ninety (90) minutes of daily, uninterrupted, scientific-research-based reading instruction. Retained students shall be provided other strategies prescribed by the school district, which may include, but are not limited to:
- small group instruction,
- individual instruction by teacher or tutor,
- more frequent progress monitoring,
- tutoring or mentoring,
- instruction through
- appropriate reading core and supplemental programs (computer generated and traditional print format),
- specific targeted reading lessons provided by the teacher or tutor for the parent and the student and extended instruction time during the school term and summer reading instruction
- Provide written notification to the parent or guardian of any student who is to be retained that the student has not met the proficiency level required for promotion and the reasons the student is not eligible for a good-cause exemption. The notification shall include a description of proposed interventions and intensive instructional supports that will be provided to the student to remediate the identified areas of reading deficiency;
- Provide parents of retained students the district’s policy on midyear promotion.
- Provide students who are retained with a high performing teacher who can address the needs of the student, based on student performance data.
- Provide students who are retained with at least one of the following instructional options:
- supplemental tutoring in scientific-research-based reading services in addition to the regular reading instruction. ,
- a parent-guided “Read at Home” assistance plan, the purpose of which is to encourage regular parent-guided home reading
- an individual mentor or tutor to provide targeted instruction.
Reading sufficiency testing will be conducted in EPIC Charter Schools to ensure that each student has attained the necessary reading skills upon completion of the third grade. Every student enrolled in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades shall be assessed for the acquisition of reading skills for the grade level in which enrolled.
The plan shall include a program of instruction, Academic Progress Plan, (APP) in reading designed to enable the student to acquire the appropriate grade level of reading skills. The plan shall also include, but not be limited to:
- Additional time sufficient for the development of reading and comprehension skills of the student;
- Tutorial instruction as needed during the regular school term and during the summer; however, such instruction may not be counted toward the 180 day school year required by law;
- The five essential elements of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, reading fluency and comprehension.
The program will be continued until the student is determined not to be in need of remediation. The district reading sufficiency plan shall be adopted and annually updated, with input from school administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and if possible a reading specialist. This plan shall include a plan for each site, which includes an analysis of the data provided by the Oklahoma School Testing Program and other reading assessments utilized. A committee will be established at each school site to determine the reading assessment plan for each student for whom a plan is necessary. The committee shall be composed of educators and, if possible, shall include a certified reading specialist. A student’s parent or guardian shall be included in the development of a plan for that student.
A new reading assessment plan shall be developed and implemented for any third-grade student in need of remediation as determined by multiple ongoing assessments and reading assessments administered in the Oklahoma School Testing Program. If possible, a fourth-grade teacher shall be involved in the development of the reading assessment plan. The new plan shall include specialized tutoring and may include a recommendation as to whether the student should be retained in the third grade at the close of the year. The student’s parent or guardian shall be included in the retention consideration.
Policy on Midyear Promotion
Retained students may only be promoted midyear prior to November 1 and only upon demonstrating a level of proficiency required to score above the unsatisfactory level sufficient to master appropriate fourth-grade-level skills, as determined by the school. A midyear promotion shall be made only upon agreement of the parent or guardian of the student and the school principal.
Oklahoma Core Curriculum Tests (OCCT) For Grades 3-8
For the OCCT, Reading and Math tests are administered in Grades 3-8; Science, U.S. History, and Writing are given in Grade 5; Geography is given in Grade 7; and Science, U.S. History and Writing are given in Grade 8. The Writing portion for Grades 5 and 8 are given separately from the other subjects. This test is dually aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards and the College and Career Readiness Standards for Writing.
Health and Safety
The EPIC website has a health resources page available for parents to access on a variety of health subjects including but not limited to: screenings, disease, prevention, and preparedness. Also included on the website is the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s listing of health departments across the state.
Medical Emergency Response Plan
First Aid, Emergency Treatment, and Administration of Medication for Students
To establish procedures for the administration of emergency first aid services at Epic, including first aid, emergency treatment, and administration of emergency medication for students.
Procedures established in this policy shall be followed during the school day, at Epic-sponsored activities, and other Epic property.
- The provisions of this policy are intended to meet student health needs during minor and major injuries or medical emergencies.
- To ensure student safety, EPIC has adopted the position that parents and guardians shall administer medications at home whenever possible.
- The EPIC recognizes that accidents and medical emergencies can and do happen; therefore, EPIC has adopted guidelines to prepare staff members to provide first aid and emergency care during these unexpected events.
- It is the express policy of Epic to call 911 or other appropriate emergency medical services in any situation in which there is a possibility that a serious medical condition exists.
FIRST AID AND EMERGENCY TREATMENT
- First aid shall be provided to students, Epic staff, and campus visitors for minor situations.
- Any Epic staff member that provides CPR will complete training in CPR provided by the American Heart Association or another nationally recognized training organization.
- First aid supplies shall be kept in central locations, where they will remain clean, dry, and available to all personnel.
- Since students may have epileptic seizures and/or asthma attacks or other health conditions at Epic, teachers shall be made aware of appropriate procedures for handling these conditions and for calling 911, Emergency Medical Services (EMS).When an emergency exists, Epic staff members will implement appropriate emergency procedures,
- Any staff member can contact 911, EMS and is encouraged to do so.
- Staff members at Epic shall administer emergency procedures needed in life-threatening situations. In general, those trained shall be staff members most likely to be in immediate proximity to the student, staff person, or visitor in the event of an emergency.
- At least two employees shall have current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid or shall have received training, within the last two years, in emergency first aid and CPR through the American Heart Association or another nationally recognized training organization.
- The School will comply with Oklahoma Education Code Section 20 regarding the administration of medicine to students, including medical marijuana. Emergency Injections: epinephrine auto-injectors prescribed for students with identified allergies:
- When a licensed medical professional believes that epinephrine to treat an allergic reaction is necessary during Epic hours, it will be administered in EPIC by staff. Auto-injectors will be supplied by students.
- Only premeasured doses of epinephrine (Epi-Pen or Epi-Pen Jr.) may be given. The injection will be given immediately after report of exposure to the allergen or at the prescribed student’s request due to onset of allergic reaction. Type of exposure (e.g., ingestion, skin contact, inhaled) as well as specific allergen must be indicated on the licensed medical professional’s order.
- The Epic shall contact EMS IMMEDIATELY (if available, send another staff
- person to dial 911) and the parent or guardian when a student has been given epinephrine.
- With a diagnosis of asthma, and orders from a licensed medical professional, a student may be permitted to carry and use an inhaler for asthmatic conditions.
- A second inhaler, to be used as a back-up, may be kept in an Epic-approved location accessible by the student with appropriate staff supervision as required.
At least two faculty and/or staff members are qualified in CPR after taking and passing the CPR requirements of the Red Cross. Training will be conducted annually.
EPIC Charter Schools prohibits discrimination in the educational activities and programs, admission of students and the selection and/or employment on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, veteran status or disability. EPIC Charter Schools complies with the federal and state regulations for implementing Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, Title VI, Section 504, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
Any EPIC teacher, counselor, nurse, or administrator having reasonable cause to suspect that a child seen in the course of professional duties has been abused or neglected shall immediately contact the county child welfare unit of the Department of Human Services (405-521-3646) and inform the agency of the facts and circumstances which led to the filing of the report. It is not the responsibility of the school personnel to prove that the child has been abused or neglected, nor to determine whether the child is in need of protection. School personnel shall not contact the child’s family or any other person to determine the cause of any suspected abuse or neglect. No EPIC Charter Schools employee shall be discharged from employment for making a report of child abuse or neglect. Further, state law provides immunity from any civil or criminal liability arising from making such a report, if the report is made in good faith. Finally, state law also provides protection of the identity of any individual who makes such a report.
Open Records Act
It is the policy of EPIC Charter Schools (the “School”) to recognize and facilitate the public’s right of access to and review of School records so they may exercise their right to be informed about the School. Records of the School and its employees shall be open for inspection or reproduction during regular business hours. The School is not required to release information contained in its records except in conformity with the provisions of the Open Records Act, Title 51, Oklahoma Statutes, Section 24 A. l, and only to the extent that said Act does not violate Federal Law. All confidential student records as defined by state and federal law shall remain confidential and accessible only to authorized personnel. Additionally, the School Leader may establish reasonable rules of procedure by which public records may be inspected.
Copy and Search Fees
The School Leader shall charge a fee to recover the reasonable direct costs of copying district records. The School Leader shall also charge a fee for the direct costs of searching for School records sought for commercial purposes or for searches that cause excessive disruption to the School’s essential functions. In no case shall a search fee be charged for records sought in the public interest including, but not limited to, releases to the news media, scholars, authors, and taxpayers seeking to determine whether officials of the School are honestly, faithfully, and competently performing their duties as public servants. The School has established the following fees for document copying of records and/or document search:
- 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 14 25¢ per page
- Research and Compilation $15.00 per hour
Those making requests will be required to make payment for the records and copying and/or search fee in advance of receiving the records.
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) Notice
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the School a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School Leader will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the School to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorized disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosed to School officials with legitimate educational interests. A School official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health of medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performance of his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the School discloses educational records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. (Note: FERPA requires the School to make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.)
- “School officials” are School employees with general or specific responsibility for promoting the educational objectives of the School or third parties under contract with the School to provide professional, business and similar administrative services related to the School’s educational mission. Individuals whose responsibilities place them within this category include teachers; advisers; counselors; deans, department chairpersons, directors, and other administrative officials responsible for some part of the academic enterprise or one of the supporting activities; health staff; administrative and faculty sponsors of officially recognized clubs, organizations, etc.; members, including students and alumni, of official committees, staff personnel employed to assist School officials in discharging professional responsibilities; and persons or entities under contract to the School to provide a specific task or service related to the School’s educational mission. Access by these officials is restricted where practical, and only to that portion of the student record(s) necessary for the discharge of assigned duties.
- “Legitimate educational interests” are defined as interests that are essential to the general process of public education prescribed by the body of policy adopted by the governing board. Legitimate educational interests would include teaching, research, public service, and such directly supportive activities as academic advising, general counseling, discipline, vocational counseling and job placement, advisement, medical services, safety, and academic assistance activities. In addition, the School officially recognizes appropriate co-curricular activities that are generally supportive of overall goals of the institution and contribute generally to the well-being of the entire student body and specifically to many individuals who participate in these activities. These activities include varsity and intramural sports, specific interest clubs, and student government.
- The right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office U. S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, S. W. Washington, D. C. 20202-5920
NOTICE TO PARENTS REGARDING RELEASE OF DIRECTORY INFORMATION
The FERPA, a federal law, requires that the School, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, the School will not disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without a parent’s written consent, unless you have advised the School to the contrary in accordance with School procedures. The term “directory information” may include the following:
- Student’s name
- Telephone listing
- Electronic mail address
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Grade level
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Most recent school attended
As a result, unless a parent or eligible student notifies the School in writing within thirty (30) calendar days of enrollment of each school year of their election to have the School release any of the above information (each category of information must be specifically requested), the School will not release directory information.
Photo, Video, Website, and Social Media Release Form (Opt-Out)
On occasion, representatives from and/or employees of EPIC Charter Schools may wish to photograph, video record, and/or interview individuals in connection with school programs, projects, or events. In order to release photographs, video footage, and/or comments, and/or to post on school website(s), social media networks and print materials, EPIC Charter Schools is offering this form as notice to opt-out of such releases for your student(s). To opt-out of media release for your student, please click here to complete and submit the opt-out form (no action is needed if you do not elect to opt-out).
Title I Parental Involvement Policy EPIC Charter Schools
EPIC Charter Schools has developed a written Title I parental involvement policy with input from Title I parents during the annual Title I Parent Meeting. It has distributed the policy to parents of Title I students through newsletters, emails, and distribution at parent meetings held throughout the state. The policy describes the means for carrying out the following Title I parental involvement requirements [20 USC 6318 Section 1118(a)-(f) inclusive].
Involvement of Parents in the Title I Program
To involve parents in the Title I program at EPIC Charter Schools the following practices have been established:
- The school convenes an annual meeting to inform parents of Title I students about Title I requirements and about the right of parents to be involved in the Title I program.
- The school offers a flexible number of meetings for Title I parents, such as meetings in the morning or evening.
- The school involves parents of Title I students in an organized, ongoing, and timely way, in the planning, review, and improvement of the school’s Title I programs and the Title I parental involvement policy.
- The school provides parents of Title I students with timely information about Title I programs in a variety of meeting throughout the school year.
- The school provides parents of Title I students with an explanation of the curriculum used at the school, the assessments used to measure student progress, and the proficiency levels students are expected to meet.
- If requested by parents of Title I students, the school provides opportunities for regular meetings that allow the parents to participate in decisions relating to the education of their children.
EPIC Charter Schools distributes to parents of Title I students a school-parent compact. The compact, which has been jointly developed with parents, outlines how parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement. It describes specific ways the school and families will partner to help children achieve the State’s high academic standards. It
addresses the following legally required items, as well as other items suggested by parents of Title I students.
- The school’s responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction
- The ways parents will be responsible for supporting their children’s learning
- The importance of ongoing communication between parents and teachers through, at a minimum, annual parent-teacher conferences; frequent reports on student progress; access to staff; opportunities for parents to volunteer and participate in their child’s class; and opportunities to observe classroom activities
Building Capacity for Involvement
EPIC Charter Schools engages Title I parents in meaningful interactions with the school. It supports a partnership among staff, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement. To help reach these goals, the school has established the following practices.
- The school provides Title I parents with assistance in understanding the State’s academic content standards, assessments, and how to monitor and improve the achievement of their children.
- The school provides Title I parents with materials and training to help them work with their children to improve their children’s achievement.
- With the assistance of Title I parents, the school educates staff members about the value of parent contributions, and in how to work with parents as equal partners.
- The school coordinates and integrates the Title I parental involvement program with other programs, and conducts other activities, such as parent resource centers, to encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children.
- The school distributes Information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities to Title I parents in a format and language that the parents understand.
- The school provides support for parental involvement activities requested by Title I parents.
EPIC One on One Charter School Foster Care Plan
Under the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Section 1112(c)(5)(B) Title I educational stability provisions take effect on December 10, 2016. By such date, each school district shall have a Foster Care Plan developed and disseminated to all stakeholders.
In Section 1111(c)(5) of ESSA, the school district must collaborate with the Child Welfare Agency and Tribal Child Welfare Agencies (CWA) to implement the Title I educational stability provisions. Therefore, each school district shall develop a clear, written Foster Care Plan. As such, the Foster Care Plan for EPIC Charter shall be as follows:
- LEA Point of Contact and responsibilities.
The superintendent will designate at least one person to serve as the Foster Care Point of Contact (POC). The POC may also be the homeless student coordinator. This designation will occur by December 10, 2016, and shall be updated annually. The name of this person will be turned in to the OSDE through the online Grants Management System by September 30th of each year. If additional staff members are needed to meet the requirements, the superintendent will make assignments as deemed necessary. The POC will work in the best interest of the child to ensure that all educational requirements are being met.
The POC will work closely with the CWA to:
- Coordinate with the corresponding child welfare agency POC to implement Title I provisions;
- Lead the development of a process for making the best interest determination;
- Document the best interest determination;
- Facilitate the transfer of records and immediate enrollment;
- Facilitate data sharing with the child welfare agencies, consistent with FERPA and other privacy protocols;
- Develop and coordinate local transportation procedures;
- Manage best interest determinations and transportation cost disputes;
- Ensure that children in foster care are enrolled in and regularly attending school; and
- Provide professional development and training to school staff on the Title I provisions and educational needs of children in foster care, as needed.
- Decision-making process.
A committee will meet to determine if the school of origin is not in the best interest of each foster care child and the appropriate placement of the child. The committee will be comprised of the site administrator or representative, the LEA’s POC, and a member of the CWA. In emergency circumstances the CWA has the authority to make an immediate decision regarding
the school placement, and then consult with the LEA and revisit the best interest determination of the child.
In the event of a disagreement regarding school placement for a child in foster care, the CWA will be considered the final decision maker in making the best interest determination. The CWA is uniquely positioned to assess vital non-educational factors such as safety, sibling placements, the child’s permanency goal, and other components of the case plan. The CWA also has the authority, capacity, and responsibility to collaborate with and gain information from multiple parties including parents, children, schools and the court in making these decisions.
- The type of documentation or records that should be shared between parties.
Foster care parents, social workers or other legal guardians will be allowed to immediately enroll children in foster care in the school district without having the necessary paperwork (birth certificates, shot records, academic records, special education records, etc.) This is to help aid the student with a smooth transition into the district. The receiving school district will contact the school district of origin for the records and make adaptations as needed. After enrollment, the following guardianship or legal custody documents shall be provided for verification by the foster family or CWA:
- Power of attorney
- Court Order
EPIC Charter will share education records with the CWA that are allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other state privacy laws. This allows educational agencies to disclose without parental consent educational records, including IDEA, of students in foster care to the CWA.
- Collaborative structure, such as regularly scheduled meetings, in which relevant
individuals can participate in a particular process.
The POC will meet with the site administrator, school counselor, classroom teacher, and foster parent as needed to discuss the progress of the child in foster care and will document the results of meetings. All decisions will be made utilizing a collaborative team approach to determine what will be in the best interest of the child.
- The best interest determination document regarding the child’s school placement (school of origin or the receiving school).
EPIC Charter shall utilize the sample form (available by clicking here) from the Oklahoma State Department of Education in making a “best interest” determination for each child in foster care. The final determination as to what is in the best interest of the child will be made by the CWA.
Print the form on School Letterhead and Individualized for Each Student’s Best Interest Determination Evaluation.
- Transportation procedures.
Children in foster care will be entitled to transportation services in the same manner as all other children in the school district. In addition to regular transportation routes, the school district will collaborate with the CWA when transportation is required to maintain children placed in foster care in a school of origin outside their usual attendance area or district when it is in the best interest of the student. Under the supervision of the superintendent, the POC will invite appropriate district officials, the CWA, and officials from other districts or agencies to promptly arrange cost-effect transportation for the student.
- Responsibilities and costs related to student transportation.
EPIC Charter district will collaborate with the CWA to develop and implement clear, written procedures governing how transportation is provided to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin. The school district will also work with the CWA to reach an agreement in regards to covering the transportation costs. The agreement will cover how the transportation will be provided, arranged, and funded for the duration of the child’s time in foster care. Each agreement can/will vary greatly because the unique needs of each child should be considered in making the decision on transportation.
The policies and regulations of EPIC Charter Schools, or any changes to the policies and regulations after the publication of this guide supersede all information provided in this handbook. For more detailed information, families are encouraged to contact the administration office or access updates online.