Parent Resources

Louisiana Homework Assistance
Web: http://www.homeworkla.org

Local Libraries
Contact your local library to learn more about their homework assistance and tutoring programs:
Web: http://nolalibrary.org/branches

Department of Children and Family Services
Hotline: 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437)

Web: http://www.dss.louisiana/gov/

 


 

Policies
Please see your school’s Family Handbook for a complete outline of all FirstLine Schools policies.

Included Below:

  • Student/Parent Grievances Procedures
  • Safety, Restraint and Seclusion Policy
  • Mandated Reporting Policy
  • Title IX (Draft)
  • Expectant and Parenting Student Rights Policy
  • Fee Schedule

 

Student/Parent Grievance Procedures 

We share the commitment to accountability that we ask of all our parents and students, and we will address any concerns expeditiously and judiciously. Any parent may bring a complaint to the school director for any reason, including the request to appeal a disciplinary decision. The below process has been established so that students and parents may bring concerns, appeals or complaints to the attention of the appropriate party:

1. If a concern arises from a school situation, students or parents should first discuss it with the teacher, or staff most directly involved.

2. If the students or parents concerned believe that the discussion has not led to a satisfactory conclusion, they may proceed to discuss the matter with a dean of students, assistant principal, or principal in an attempt to reach a solution.

3. If the students or parents believe that the situation still has not been resolved, concerns should be taken to the school director (contact info on the next page). The school director will first investigate the matter to ensure that Steps 1 and 2 have been appropriately documented and completed, then record the complaint and/or appeal and will address any concerns regarding appeal of a disciplinary decision, or any action or inaction taken by the school administration, within three school days of the appeal and within five days from the time the complaint is introduced.

4. If the situation still has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the students or parents, concerns should be directed to FirstLine Schools director of family support services, Linda Brown. Ms. Brown can be reached by phone at 504-579-6551, by email at ltbrown@firstlineschools.org, and by U.S. mail at FirstLine Schools, 300 N. Broad Street, Suite 207, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119. The director of family support services will record the complaint and/or appeal and address it as quickly as possible and no longer than five school days from the time the complaint and/or appeal is introduced.

5. If, following a conversation and/or meeting with the director of family support services and appropriate parties, the situation still has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the students or parents, the matter should be taken to Sabrina Pence, CAO of FirstLine Schools, Ms. Pence can be reached by phone at 504-941-1827, by email at spence@firstlineschools.org, and by U.S. mail at FirstLine Schools, 300 N. Broad Street, Suite 207, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119. If still no resolution the matter should be taken to FirstLine Board of Directors through its Parental Concerns and Complaints Committee. The chair of the board, Mr. Brian Egana, can be reached at: FirstLine Schools, 300 N. Broad Street, Suite 207, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119 or via Najah Shakir at 504-717-6243.

The student or parents may request that the Committee appoint an advocate or representative from the respective school who has no direct involvement or conflict with the matter to participate with the Committee to provide any input into the Committee decision. The parent requesting a representative will be required to complete a release of student information form allowing the selected representative to view the student’s information. The appointed person will be required to execute a Confidentiality Agreement to maintain the integrity of the process and to protect any confidential information that may be necessary to disclose. Emergency issues will be dealt with on an as-needed basis. The Committee, as necessary, shall direct the school director or other responsible party to act upon the complaint and report its resolution to the Committee. The Committee shall render a final determination in writing, as necessary. If after presentation of a complaint to the FirstLine Board of Directors Parental Concerns and Complaints Committee, the students or parents believe that the Board, through its Parental Concerns and Complaints Committee, has not adequately addressed the complaint, they may present the complaint to the charter authorizer, the OPSB for grades K-8, or the RSD for grades 9 – 12, which shall investigate and respond. The authorizer shall have the power and the duty to issue appropriate remedial orders to the Board of Directors of FirstLine Schools.

The OPSB’s Family and Community Specialist can be contacted at (504) 359-5437. The Recovery School District can be contacted through Louisiana Department of Education toll-free center at 877-453-2721. For more information on the disabilities discrimination complaint process please see the Family Center of our website (www.firstlineschools.org) or visit your school’s front office.

 

 

Safety, Restraint and Seclusion Policy

At FirstLine Schools the prevention of crisis incidents and student safety is a top priority. To ensure all students remain physically and emotionally safe at school, teams of qualified professionals and families develop safety and crisis plans to support students in need of additional support and crisis prevention teams are CPI trained each school year.

Restraint is only used as a last resort if a student’s behavior presents a threat of imminent risk of harm to self or others. Only trained FirstLine staff members are authorized to restrain a student. Any type of restraint must be done so that the least amount of discomfort occurs, no physical injury comes to the student, and breathing or the ability to communicate is never disrupted.

Seclusion is a procedure that isolates and confines a student in a separate room or area until the student is no longer an immediate danger to the self or others. Seclusion does not include time-out, suspension, or student requested breaks. Seclusion is only permitted as:

1. A last resort when de-escalation attempts have failed and the student continues to pose an imminent threat to self or others.

2. Necessary to minimize the imminent risk of harm while summoning the assistance of CPI trained personnel, emergency medical service personnel, and/or law enforcement officers when a crime has been committed.
Seclusion used for reasons other than imminent risk of harm and contrary to the above is considered unreasonable and strictly prohibited. Seclusion shall not be used as a disciplinary consequence or to otherwise isolate a student from educational instruction.

3. If an incident of restraint or seclusion occurs, the student’s parent or guardian must be notified immediately. An incident report must be completed, copied, and mailed to the parent or guardian within two (2) school days of the incident. Copies of the incident report will be kept on file at the student’s school and sent to FirstLine Schools’ director of student support services within two (2) days of the incident.

 

 

Mandatory Reporting Policy

If there is cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare is endangered, all FirstLine staff members are
required by law (Article R.S. 14:403) to file a report to the appropriate agency.
All teaching or child care providers (anyone who provides or assists in the teaching, training, and supervision of a child), as well as organizational or youth activity providers (amongst many other mandatory reporters) must report to the proper authorities instances in which they have reason to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare is endangered as a result of abuse or neglect, or that abuse or neglect was a contributing factor in a child’s death.
DCFS toll-free hotline: 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437)

 

 

Title IX Policy

FirstLine Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex, exclude persons from participation or deny the benefit, or subject anyone to discrimination under any FirstLine programs or activities.

Questions regarding Title IX can be directed to:

FirstLine’s Title IX Coordinator
Sivi Domango, Director of Extracurricular and Summer Programming
300 N. Broad St. Suite 207, New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 421-2162
sdomango@firstlineschools.org

The Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1328

 

 

Expectant and Parenting Student Rights Policy

Under Title IX, protections against discrimination on the basis of sex include for those who are expectant or parents.

FirstLine Classes and School Activities

All students must be allowed to continue participating in classes and extracurricular activities even if expecting and regardless of parenting status. This includes participation in advanced placement and honors classes, school clubs, sports, honor societies, student leadership opportunities, and other activities, like after-school programs operated at the school.

Students are allowed to choose whether to participate or not in special instructional programs or classes for expectant or parenting students. Participation is optional, the school cannot pressure any pregnant student to do so. The alternative program must provide the same types of academic, extracurricular and enrichment opportunities as regular programming.

All students must be allowed to participate in classes and extracurricular activities even when expecting and do not require the submission of a doctor’s note (unless the individual FirstLine School requires a doctor’s note from all students who have a physical or emotional condition requiring treatment by a doctor). In accordance with general school policy, all students are required to present a doctor’s note following hospitalization (this is required for any condition or cause, including childbirth).

Expectant students must be provided with reasonable adjustments, like a larger desk, elevator access, or permissions for more frequent trips to the restroom, when necessary because of the pregnancy.

Excused Absences and Medical Leave

Absences due to pregnancy or childbirth will be excused by the school for as long as your doctor says it is necessary.

Returning students from medical leave are allowed the the same academic and extracurricular status recorded before leave began.

Teachers must allow the submission of work after a deadline missed due to an excused absence/medical leave for childbirth. If a grade is based in part on class participation or attendance and class was missed because of pregnancy or childbirth, students should be allowed to make up the missed participation or attendance credits.

Expectant students must be provided with the same special services as students with temporary medical conditions. This includes homebound instruction/at-home tutoring/independent study.

Harassment

FirstLine Schools must protect expectant or parenting students from harassment based on sex, including harassment because of their pregnancy or related conditions. Comments that could constitute prohibited harassment include making sexual comments or jokes about your pregnancy, calling of sexually charged names, spreading rumors about sexual activity, and making sexual propositions or gestures.

Questions and additional resources regarding Title IX and support for expectant and parenting students can be directed to:

FirstLine’s Title IX Coordinator
Sivi Domango, Director of Extracurricular and Summer Programming
300 N. Broad St. Suite 207, New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 421-2162
sdomango@firstlineschools.org

The Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1328

 

 

Student Fees Policy

Background and Introduction
Firstline Schools provides a range of programming to students across academic, social, extracurricular, athletic, and other domains. As public schools, FirstLine will strive to create these programs with minimal contributions (fees) from families and participating students. All fees requested from families will be communicated to families as early as possible, and a clear waiver process will be made available to ensure no undue economic hardship is caused by student fees. In no case will any fee prohibited by local, state, or federal law be authorized by Firstline Schools leadership, and in no case will students be denied or delayed admission to any instructional activity due to failure to pay a fee.

List of Fees
The 2017-18 fees for all Firstline schools are outlined in Firstline Schools Required Fees by School. This list includes the purpose and use of fees, and the amount of each fee.

Collection of Fees

• School Leaders (or their designee) will create a description of all fees to be collected by the school. Schools will make every effort to communicate these fees before the beginning of each academic year and will communicate any updates via school website, direct family communication, or other appropriate means.

• School Leaders (or their designee) will collect fees from families and/or scholars. The standard methods of payment are credit card, check or money orders. Cash is not preferred but will also be accepted.

• In accordance with Firstline Schools Financial Policies and Procedures, the school will generate a receipt or other documentation of the transaction for the school’s records and for those of the family.

Spending of Fees
As a general practice, student fees are designed to offset the cost of programming funded primarily by other funding sources, including recurring per-pupil revenue and philanthropy. School Leaders (or their designee) will determine the appropriate use for funds collected via student fees and will be responsible for clearly communicating these plans to students and families. Typical uses of fees include uniforms, equipment, and transportation for athletic and co-curricular organizations; participation in special events; and other supplementary programming that complements the core mission of the school.

Economic Hardship Waiver
Firstline Schools seeks to balance fairness (i.e., all participating students should pay the same fee) with equity and an acknowledgment of economic hardship facing many families in the communities that we serve. As such, School Leaders (or their designee) will offer fee reductions and waivers to students and families who complete the following steps:

• Make a good faith effort to pay the full fee, including by requesting additional time and/or a payment plan.

• Request a waiver or fee reduction from the School Leader (or designee)

• Provide additional documentation requested by the School Leader (or designee) • Commit to informing the School Leader (or designee) if the family’s economic circumstances change and the fee is able to be paid later in the academic year

The Louisiana Department of Education provides the following examples of a family status that may be grounds to grant a waiver: families receiving unemployment benefits or public assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid; foster families caring for children in foster care; and families that are homeless. School Leaders may use these indicators and other information to make their determination. School Leaders (or their designee) will communicate the decision regarding a waiver on a rolling basis directly to families.

Appendix A – Required School Fees per School

FirstLine Schools – Student Fees 2017-18

SCHOOL REQUIRED FEES/
TYPE AND PURPOSE
AMOUNT DETAILS
Arthur Ashe Charter School K/8th Graduation $50 Cap & Gown
Phillis Wheatley Community School K/8th Graduation $50 Cap, Gown and Activities Week
Samuel J. Green K/8th Graduation $25-$50 Cap & Gown; Student Activities
Joseph S. Clark School I.D. $5 I.D.
Joseph S. Clark
SENIORS ONLY
(Optional final payment due mid February
Graduation Package
• Graduation ceremony at venue –
site security
• Cap and gown (keepsake)
• Miniature Diploma
• Decorations
• Picture on stage
• School Gift
• Cap and gown sitting fee
• Yearbook
$275 Senior Graduation Package