Inspection
Acorn Montessori Schools are regulated by the Arizona Department of Health Services located at 150 N. 18th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85007. (602) 364-2536.

Acorn Montessori carries liability insurance as required by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Inspection reports are available upon request.

Parental Information
Parents must notify Acorn Montessori of any changes in home or work addresses or telephone numbers.
Field Trips
Should the students at Acorn Montessori attend a field trip, written notice will be sent home of the event, and your signature on a permission slip will be required in order for your child to attend. Children will travel either in a school bus or on foot.  Acorn t-shirt should be worn on all field trips.
Visiting
We encourage parents to visit, to talk with faculty and staff, or to observe class room activities after checking in with the directress. Visitors other than parents will be accompanied by a staff member during their visit.
Food
All children will be served a nutritious lunch and snacks. Children may bring lunch or snacks from home. We support a low-sugar, healthy diet. Snacks are provided to all after care children.
Birthdays
Birthdays can be celebrated with a special snack brought from home. Please give a 1-day notice to the classroom teacher. In keeping with our commitment to the Active & Healthy Schools Program, please choose a somewhat healthy treat such as fruit or yogurt. Bring plates, utensils, napkins and condiments if necessary.
Preschool Financial & Withdraw Policy
We offer competitive fees, which pay for either a part-time or full-time position and is payable whether you child attends or not. Tuition is due before the “close of business” on the 1st of each month. Payments may be paid by check, cash, credit/debit card, money order or cashier’s check. You may also set up payment through your bank using bill pay. The bank will mail the check directly to the school. If you choose to pay with a credit/debit card a 3.3% processing fee will be added to your invoice.

We are a non-profit self-supporting program. Registration and tuition fees cover the operating expenses of the program. Timely payments are expected from all parties for services to continue. We will strive to provide your child with an exceptional educational experience.

If two or more children attend at the same time from the same family, a 5% discount will be applied to the tuition of the additional child.

A 5% discount will be applied for payment of tuition 6 months in advance. For 1 year advance payment, a 10% discount will be given.

Acorn Montessori’s hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. You must contact the school if you are unable to pick up your child before closing. A fee in the amount of $15 per 15 min/child will be charged at the time of pick up.

Late Fee: A late fee of $50 will be assessed if payment is not received by the 5th of each month. If tuition continues to be unpaid through the 5th, your child may not attend until payment or written arrangements are made.

Return check: There will be a $50 service charge for all returned checks.

Withdraw: The fee is covering a position for my child and is due whether or not my child attends. The fees will no longer be payable when my child is withdrawn, which requires a 30 day notice.

Health Policy
Our health policy has been developed with the primary concern for the well-being of your child as well as within the strict requirements of the State of Arizona Department of Health Services.

We will administer medication to a charter school child only with a written statement from the child’s physician stating it is essential the child receive the medicine during school hours. Only medication in prescription containers will be administered.

Parents are expected to pick up their child immediately upon notification when their child is, or may be, contagious or too ill to be at school. State law requires your child be picked up within one hour of notification. You will be notified if your child is injured and requires treatment by a physician.

Acorn Montessori realizes a sick child can place a hardship on work schedules, however, parents should plan with a home sitter on such occasions.

Should your child exhibit any of the following symptoms, we ask that you keep them home from school. We ask parents to notify us upon learning their child is contagious.

* Excessive coughing
* Congested wheeze
* Excessive nasal congestion or green mucous
* Conjunctivitis (pink eye) – your child cannot return to school until symptoms have subsided or antibiotic drops have been given for at least 24 hours
* Vomiting – your child may return to school 24 hours after last incident
* Fever – your child may return to school 24 hours after the temperature has returned to normal
* Chicken pox – your child cannot return to school until the chicken pox sores have completely scabbed over
* Stomach ache – when severe or accompanied by a fever
* Ear ache
* Presence of lice in the child’s hair
* Diarrhea – your child may return to school 24 hours after last incident

Please visit the following website for our lice policy; http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html

Dress Code
Acorn Montessori t-shirt should be worn every Friday.

Students may not wear clothing that present a hazard to the health or safety of the student or others in the school. This includes, but is not limited to:

* Piercings, with the exception of the ears
* Pajama slippers, flip flops, or shoes without a back strap
* Clothing / jewelry that can be used as a weapon, including spiked collars, choke chains, belts/necklaces with metal studs

Also, students may not wear attire that will materially interfere with schoolwork, create disorder or disrupt the educational program. This would include:

* Skirts or shorts that are shorter than fingertip length
* Blouses or shirts that do not cover the midriff when arms are raised.
* Inappropriately revealing clothing such as transparent clothing, spaghetti straps, low cut blouses/shirts and pajamas.
* Exposed underwear such as bras and boxer shorts
* Pants that have excessive / revealing rips or holes
* Visible permanent or temporary tattoos
* Shoes with wheels, cleats or studs.
* Clothing or accessories that have statements, pictures or symbols that represent prejudice, obscenity, vulgarity, sex, drugs, alcohol or tobacco.

Students may:

* Wear hats and sunglasses outdoors.
* Wear modest makeup including lip gloss, eye shadow, eye liner and mascara.

Anti-Discrimination Policy
Acorn Montessori Charter School is committed to providing all students with a safe and supportive school environment. Members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect. Teachers and other staff members are expected to teach and to demonstrate by example that all members of the community are entitled to respect.

Harassment of a student by another student or by a teacher or other staff member is a violation of school policy. This includes (but is not limited to) harassment based on race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or disability. Punishable harassment is conduct, including verbal conduct, (1) that creates (or will certainly create) a hostile environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being; or (2) that is threatening or seriously intimidating.

Sexual harassment is a form of harassment that also violates school policy. Punishable sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance or sexual conduct, including verbal conduct, (1) that is tied to a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or to a student’s physical or psychological well-being; (2) that creates (or will certainly create) a hostile environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being; or (3) that is threatening or seriously intimidating.

To prevent harassment in the first instance, staff members should teach — teach why harassment is wrong and teach that tolerance and respect are essential to a free society. In response to an act of harassment, staff members should intervene immediately to stop the harassment and, if appropriate, should punish the harassment promptly, consistently, and proportionately to the seriousness of the act. But the response should not end there; rather, staff members should deter future harassment with continuing lessons of tolerance and respect.

Note: Schools should develop and publicize rules that explain how harassment can be reported and how reports of harassment will be handled. In some cases, schools are required to do so by federal law. These rules should require staff to report harassment to a designated school official; should prohibit retaliation against anyone who reports harassment; and, to the extent possible, should protect the confidentiality of anyone who is involved in a report of harassment.

Discrimination Policy
Acorn Montessori Charter School is committed to equal opportunity for all students and all staff.

It is District policy that no one shall be treated differently, separately, or have any action directly affecting him or her taken on the basis of race, religion, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability where a person is otherwise qualified or could be with reasonable accommodation.

The immediate remedy for any act of discrimination shall be to end it, treat the individual equally, and, as much as practically possible, to eradicate any effects of discrimination. Discipline should be imposed where appropriate.

Electronics Policy
Acorn Montessori Charter School has an open door electronics policy. Students may bring electronics as needed for after school activities. However, students are not permitted to use any electronic device (mp3 player, cell phones, PDA’s) while on the school grounds. Ues of electronics devices by students may result in confiscation of the device. It will be held until the student’s parent/guardian comes to claim it. School personnel are not responsible for items lost or stolen.
Behavior
Acorn Montessori Charter School students are expected to follow all rules and regulations of the school. If there is problem with a student a Behavior Referral Form will be filled out and appropriate administrative decisions will take place. Click here to view a copy of the Behavior Referral Form.
The following items are not permitted on school grounds
* Laser pointers
* Aerosol cans of any kind
* Water balloons
* Water guns
* Gum
* Obscene or profane material
* Cigarettes
* Matches or lighters
* Tobacco in any form
* Any weapon of any sort
* Any other item deemed inappropriate by the administration.
Bikes & Skateboards
Students who ride their bikes to school are asked to bring locks from home to lock their bikes up in the gated area. Skateboards will be stored in the Principal’s office for the school day.
McKinney Vento Homeless Education

Download the entire document here: Mckinney Vento Acorn Montessori

Acorn Montessori

Educational Policy to Implement the McKinney-Vento Act

Homelessness exists in the Tri City Area, and that includes the Prescott Valley Community. A combination of many factors causes families to leave their home such as high cost of living, and poverty. Many of our youth leave their homes due to abuse, neglect, and family conflict. Children and youth who have lost their housing live in many different places including motels, shelters, shared residences, transitional housing programs, campgrounds, even cars. This lack if permanent housing can lead to potentially serious consequences physically, emotionally, and mentally. Acorn Montessori will ensure that all children and youth enrolled will receive a free, appropriate, public education, and are given an abundance of meaningful opportunities to succeed on their educational journey at our School. Acorn Montessori will always follow the requirements set forth in the McKinney-Vento Act.

Statement of Assurance

Acorn Montessori Charter School shall provide an educational environment that treats all students with dignity and respect. At Acorn Montessori it is our policy to view all students as individuals. This in mind, our policy will not refer to children as homeless, they will instead be referred to as children and youth in transition. Federal Law states that every child and youth in transition shall have access to the same full educational opportunities to meet state and local academic achievement standards as students who are not in transition. This commitment to the educational rights of children and youth in transition, and unaccompanied youth, applies to all services, programs, food programs, transportation programs, and activities provided or made available. Acorn Montessori will ensure that children and youth in transition are free from discrimination, segregation, and harassment.

Information regarding this policy will be included in our enrollment packet and made available throughout the year.

Definitions

Children and Youth in transition means children or youth who are otherwise legally entitled to or eligible for a free public education and services, under the McKinney-Vento Act. They lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who are:

  • Living in a shelter

  • Living in temporary shared housing

  • Living in a transitional living program

  • Living in a hotel/motel

  • Living in campground or similar situation

  • Living in an abandoned building

  • Living at a bus station, in a park, in a vehicle

  • Living at a primary nighttime residence that is a private or public place not appropriately designed for or meant to be used as regular sleeping accommodations for a person.

  • Migratory children and youth who are living in a situation described above

A Child or youth shall be considered in transition for as long as he or she is in a living situation described above.

Unaccompanied youth means a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, and who is in transition as defined above. The general term “youth” in the phrase children and youth in transition also includes unaccompanied youth.

Enroll and Enrollment means being a member of a school and participating completely in school activities.

Parent or Guardian means a person having legal or physical custody of a child or youth.

School of origin means the school the child or youth attended when last permanently housed, or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.

Liaison is the staff member who is designated by our LEA and each LEA in the state as the person responsible for carrying out the duties assigned to the liaison by the McKinney-Vento Act.

Identification

Together, with school personnel, and community organizations, our McKinney-Vento Liaison will identify children and youth in transition within the Acorn Montessori Charter School district. The Liaison will train the school staff on the possible indications of homelessness, on sensitivity in identifying families and youth in transition, and the procedures to make the Liaison aware of the information indicating homelessness. The liaison will also instruct all office personnel to inquire about possible homelessness upon enrollment and withdrawal of every student and to inform the Liaison if homelessness is indicated. Community partners in identifying indications of homelessness may include shelters, motels, campgrounds, homeless outreach organizations, faith-based organizations, legal services, welfare departments, and other social agencies.

The Liaison will keep data on the number of children and youth in transition in the Acorn Montessori Charter School district. This data will include where they live, their academic achievement (including all standardized testing and assessment results), the reason for and enrollment delays, interruptions in their education, or school transfers.

School Selection

All children and youth in transition have the right to stay at their school of origin or attend any school that housed students would attend who live in the area where the child or youth actually lives. Keeping students in their school of origin is important for both the student and our district. Students who change schools have been found to have lower academic performance and test scores than their peers who do not change schools. Even academically stable children and youth in transition, that change schools often, have been shown to have lower test scores. Keeping students in their schools of origin gives them a better opportunity to grow both academically and socially, while allowing the school of origin to benefit from the enhanced test scores and achievement shown as a result of student continuity. Therefore, in school selection, children and youth in transition will remain at their schools of origin to the greatest extent feasible, unless the parent or youth decides differently. Students may stay at their school of origin the entire time they are in transition and until the end of the school year that they become permanently housed. This also applies to children or youth that lose their housing between school years. McKinney-Vento eligible students have the right to select from the following schools:

  • The school the student attended when last permanently housed (school of origin)

  • The school in which the student was last enrolled (school of origin)

  • The school in the attendance area in which the student lives (school of residency)

The feasibility of staying at a child or youth in transition’s school of origin will be determined according to the best interest of the child, based on the needs of that student, and the decisions of their parent or the wishes of the youth. Possible feasibility are as follows:

  • Safety of the student or youth in transition

  • Continuity of academic instruction

  • Time remaining in the current school year

  • Possible area of family or youth’s future housing

  • Possible length of stay in transitional living situation

  • Where siblings go to school

  • Whether the student has special needs that would make the commute harmful

Services that are required to be provided through the McKinney-Vento Act, such as transportation availability to and from the school of origin, and services under federal and other programs, will not be feasibility determination factors.

Enrollment

It is essential that children and youth in transition maintain consistent and uninterrupted instruction to achieve academic success. However, the realities of mobility during transition may make providing enrollment documents unavailable. The school selected for enrollment must enroll any child or youth in transition immediately. Enrollment may never be denied or delayed due to the lack of required documents including:

  • Proof of residency

  • Transcripts (they will be requested and obtained by the selected school’s registrar. Placement, until records are received, will be determined based on information obtained from that student, or the student’s parent/guardian)

  • Immunization, health, medical, or physical records- the Liaison will assist.

  • Proof of guardianship

  • Birth Certificate

  • Any other documents required for enrollment

  • Unpaid school fees

  • Lack of dress code clothing requirements

  • Anything related the student or youth in transition’s living situation

Immediate enrollment is also required for unaccompanied youth. They may be enrolled by a parent, caretaker, older sibling, themselves, or the McKinney-Vento Liaison.

Transportation

Transportation is a vital part of the ability for students and youth in transition to attend instruction and curriculum at their school of origin, and to avoid added social, emotional, and mental stress to an already difficult situation. At the parent’s request, transportation shall be provided to and from the school of origin for a child or youth in transition, and will be provided free of charge, for the duration of time the child has the right to attend that school, as defined previously, including during dispute resolution. The McKinney-Vento Liaison shall request transportation to and from school of origin for unaccompanied youth. The length of the commute will only be taken into consideration based on potential harm to the student. (Please refer to the feasibility considerations above). Parents and unaccompanied youth must be informed of the right to transportation before they select a school to attend.

The Liaison at each campus in the Acorn Montessori Charter district will use the district’s transportation form to process transportation requests. Upon completion and processing of the form, transportation will begin without delay. If the student in transition is attending Acorn Montessori Charter School, we shall arrange transportation. This transportation will include not only transportation to and from our school, but also any other transportation services offered to housed students.

McKinney-Vento student transportation costs will be provided by Title 1 funds that have been set aside, and our Maintenance and Operating funds.

Services

At Acorn Montessori Charter School, enrolled children and youth in transition shall be provided services comparable to enrolled housed students, including:

  • Transportation (described above)

  • Title 1 (described below)

  • Special Education, if eligible

  • English Language Learning, if eligible

  • School nutrition programs, and National School Lunch Program

  • Before and after school programs

Acorn Montessori Charter School acknowledges that children and youth in transition have statistically higher occurrences of special needs and are frequently not evaluated so appropriate services can be provided. A child or youth in transition, suspected of having an unevaluated disability, is ensured a timely completion of a full evaluation. If a child or youth in transition has an existing Individualized Education Program (IEP) it will be immediately implemented. Necessary IEP meetings or re-evaluations shall then be expedited. If complete records are not available, IEP teams must use their best judgement, in coordination with Administration, to choose the best course of action according to procedures and provision of services, the goal being to avoid interruption in appropriate services.

With the Liaison’s assistance, school personnel shall refer enrolled children and youth in transition to appropriate health care services, including dental and mental health services.

Parents or guardians of children and youth in transition will be informed of all educational and educational related opportunities, and the availability for them to meaningfully participate in their student’s education. This will be done in a manner understandable to parents or guardians.

Attendance

Any tardiness or absences related to the living situation of a child or youth in transition, regardless of the attendance policy, shall be excused. Any tardiness or absences not related to the living situation of a child or youth in transition shall be recorded according to the Acorn Montessori Charter School Attendance Policy.

Disputes

The parent or guardian of a child or youth in transition may file a complaint with Acorn Montessori Charter School over disputes that arise regarding anything in this policy, including enrollment, transportation, services, or fair treatment of the student. The School must respond and attempt to resolve the issue quickly. During the dispute procedure, the student must be immediately admitted to the selected school and provided appropriate educational services, transportation, free nutrition, and Title 1 services until the final resolution of the dispute is reached. The McKinney-Vento Liaison will assist in making decisions, providing notice of any appeal process, and filling out the dispute forms. The parent or guardian of the student will receive an understandable written explanation of the decision and will be informed of the right to appeal. The parent or guardian of the student shall be referred to the Liaison, who shall ensure them that the student is enrolled in the selected school, receiving all entitled services, and that the dispute shall be resolved as quickly as possible. The parent or guardian of the child or youth in transition shall be given every opportunity to have meaningful participation in the dispute process. The Liaison shall keep records of all disputes to determine whether there are any delays or denials of the enrollment of the child or youth in transition.

Meals and Nutrition

Acorn Montessori Charter School is dedicated to the health of the whole child. This includes proper nutrition which is profoundly important to learning. To ensure that children and youth in transition are getting proper nutrition while at school, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has determined that all children and youth in transition are automatically eligible for free meals. The student’s name must be submitted to Acorn Montessori’s Food Service’s Department for immediate processing upon enrollment.

Title 1

The profound difficulties experienced by children and youth in transition put them at significant risk of academic regression that warrants additional support. These students are automatically entitled to, and shall be provided with, Title 1 services. Title 1 funds will be used to provide educational support services to children and youth in transition, both in school and outside of school to help remove possible difficulties that may prevent regular attendance.

Acorn Montessori Charter School shall assess, report on, and include children and youth in transition in accountability systems as required by federal law and U.S. and Arizona Departments of Education.

Training

The Acorn Montessori Charter School’s McKinney-Vento Liaison will conduct a training session at least once each year for all staff. This training will include procedures, as well as, sensitivity and awareness practices. Training will focus on staff awareness of homelessness in our community, procedures to expedite assistance, compliance with policy, and very importantly, approaching the issue with sensitivity and dignity toward the child or youth in transition. Please refer to the “Identification” portion of this policy.

Coordination

The McKinney-Vento Liaison shall coordinate with, and seek support from, public and private service providers in the community, any Acorn Montessori Charter School service departments, Liaison’s in neighboring districts, and the State Coordinator for the Homeless Children and Youth:

Silvia Chavez

Arizona Department of Education

1535 W. Jefferson Street

Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Phone (602)542-4963

Email alexis.clermont@azed.gov

Website- www.ade.az.gov/asd/homeless

The coordination of all public and private agencies will be encouraged to support the Liaison in implementing this policy, keeping in mind our motto-

Children First, Always”

References

  • The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

  • Title 1, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

  • Child Nutrition Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • The Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • The Arizona Department of Education

  • The U.S. Department of Education