Handbook

OUR STORY and CONSTITUENCY

Seventh-day Adventist Christian education began in the Coachella Valley in 1953, when the Indio Adventist School began as a one-room, one teacher school. In 1977, the Palm Springs Adventist School was established to serve the needs of their area.  As the schools increased enrollment over the years and outgrew their respective facilities in the early 1990s, plans were developed to combine the two schools and locate at the new Palm Desert Church site on Country Club Drive in Palm Desert until the Academy’s own site can be established in the future. After months of meetings and preparation, the five-church constituency made up of the Seventh-day Adventist Churches of Desert Hot Springs, Indio Spanish, Palm Desert Oasis, Palm Springs Filipino/American, and Palm Springs, adopted the Constitution of the Desert Adventist Academy at a meeting of the constituency held on April 10, 1994. The first classes of Desert Adventist Academy, kindergarten through ninth grade, started the 1994-95 school year as a split campus on the Indio and Palm Springs sites and were moved into modular units on the Country Club Drive site in Palm Desert on March 1, 1995. The 1998-99 school year began in the school wing of the newly built Palm Desert Oasis Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Modular units were again moved onto the campus the summer of 2001 to provide classrooms for grades 5-8 and then again August 2004 for grades 3-4 and after school care. Upon completion of the final phase of the Palm Desert Oasis Church, which included church offices, board room, gymnasium, and more school classrooms, the modular units were removed in June 2009 and all the grades started the 2009-2010 school year in the school wing of the church.

MISSION STATEMENT   Desert Adventist Academy is a K-8 Christian school committed to its mission of helping every student in building academic excellence with character that will last for eternity.

PHILOSOPHY Here at Desert Adventist Academy we believe in academic excellence through best research and best practice. Our staff is continually finding ways to improve themselves professionally. The, “Character”, word in our mission statement is demonstrated through the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

  • Purpose   Desert Adventist Academy believes that a knowledge of God, communion with Him, and emulation of His character are of paramount importance and endeavors to provide Christian-related education that will help students reach their fullest potential spiritually, mentally, physically, socially and morally.  An understanding of God as revealed in Jesus Christ and the Bible is the only source of true and lasting knowledge.   “True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study.  It means more than a preparation for the life that now is.  It has to do with the whole being and with the whole period of existence possible to man.  It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world, and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.”
  • Spiritual Growth   Desert Adventist Academy provides an atmosphere in which students may become personally acquainted with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  With reverence for God and thoughtful kindness to man, students are encouraged to develop talents, to be practicing Christians, loyal, patriotic citizens knowingly aware of the needs of their neighbors and willing to serve.  A thorough knowledge of the Bible as the Word of God guides and leads toward obedience to God’s Word and His principles.
  • Academic Excellence   Desert Adventist Academy provides an atmosphere in which students will be inspired and motivated to academic excellence, with good study habits which will foster in them to think critically, independently, and creatively.  Course selections will allow students to obtain the academic foundation and building blocks necessary to attain spiritual, professional, and vocational goals.
  • Social Virtues   Students have the opportunity to demonstrate acceptance of and respect for each individual, the rights of others, and an understanding and appreciation for all people and cultures.  Desert Adventist Academy  promotes the self-worth of each student and fosters courtesy, kindness, and compassion toward all persons and respect for the property of others at home, at church, and in the community as well as at school.
  • Physical Fitness   Desert Adventist Academy provides an environment for students to show respect for themselves and learn the value of a temperate life, wholesome recreation and daily physical activity.  Opportunities are given for students to develop physical fitness and practical skills.
  • Moral Integrity   Desert Adventist Academy encourages in our students a desire for truth, integrity and responsibility as exemplified by Christ throughout His life.

 

ACCREDITATION   Desert Adventist Academy is accredited with the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and is evaluated regularly to determine its effectiveness in providing spiritual and educational opportunities for its students.

ADMISSIONS and FINANCES   Desert Adventist Academy was established to provide education for the children of the church membership for grades K-8.  Our school accepts other students in accordance with our general policies, requirements for admission and as space allows.  Desert Adventist Academy admits students of any sex, race, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities for students of the school.   The local Seventh-day Adventist Churches and the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists subsidize Adventist Schools through funds provided and/or donated by church members.

REGISTRATION FEE:   $320.00 (Non-Refundable) Includes: Workbooks provided & use of textbooks* Student Insurance Computers/Library Music Home & School Disaster preparedness Yearbook   *(Replacement cost will be charged to a student’s account  for lost or damaged textbooks or workbooks.)

TUITION: K-8 Constituent Member* $4,800.00 K-8 Non Constituent Member $5,300.00 (Payable @ $480.00/$530.00 per month, 10 months; August-May) *A constituent member is a person who has membership in one of the five constituent Seventh-day Adventist churches.

PAYMENTS:  Tuition is due the first of the month and is payable by the 10th of the month.  When tuition is not received by the 10th of the month it will be received as late and a late charge of $15.00 will be added to your bill.  If your account becomes 60 days past due, the student may not return to school until the account is paid in full.

FAMILY DISCOUNT: is allowed of $40.00 per month for the second child and each child thereafter for families on regular program.

REGISTRATION POLICY:

  • For returning students: All students planning to return to Desert Adventist Academy must submit an application and deposit fee of $50 to the school office by April 15, for first acceptance.  The full registration fee is required by June 30.
  • For New students: a) All new students from the five constituent churches must submit an application and deposit fee of $50 to the school office by April 15, for first acceptance.  The full registration fee is required by June 30. b) After April 15, applications will be accepted from community students as space is available. c) Students entering Kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before September 1.
  • For scholarship students: Scholarship information is available at the five constituent churches.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION

  • Completed application form with Registration Fee and first month’s tuition in August before school starts.
  • Copy of most recent report card and/or achievement test.
  • Recommendation forms completed by former teacher, principal, and pastor.
  • Signed “Consent for Treatment” and “Child Release Authorization” forms.
  • Immunization verification for all students as required by California law.  Birth Certificate if first entry in any school system.
  • Signed Financial Agreement.  (Available at school business office)
  • Physical examination report for all new and 7th grade students.
  • Placement testing and interview with teacher and principal.
  • Name and address of previous school attended to request cumulative records.
  • Account from previous year of school must be paid in full, if applicable. Please Note:  Final admission pending review by Admissions Committee.  Voted and approved, April 19, 2001, that all paperwork, registration fees, and August tuition payment be turned in before student

FINANCIAL POLICIES   The Desert Adventist Academy School Board attempts to keep the school charges as low as is consistent with good fiscal management.  Desert Adventist Academy reserves the right to adjust charges for tuition and fees at any time should unstable economic conditions warrant such adjustments.  The following financial policies have been adopted by the Board:

  •  All outstanding school accounts, at Desert Adventist Academy or elsewhere, must be settled prior to registration.
  • Desert Adventist Academy will not pro-rate Registration Fees or Tuition for late registrants or prolonged absences if the student receives full academic credit for work completed.
  • When a student withdraws from school, a parent or responsible party must make financial arrangements with the school office.
  • If an account becomes 60 days past due, we WILL ask that the student be withdrawn from school until the amount is paid in full or satisfactory financial arrangements are made with the school office.  Student accounts must be paid in full to receive diplomas.
  • Billings are sent as of the 1st of the month, and all payments are due by the 10th.
  • If a check is returned for any reason, a fee of $20.00 will be charged.
  • Desert Adventist Academy will not accept second party checks or postdated checks.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE   The school has worthy student funds available to student who meet the financial requirments outlined in the program.  Please stop by the fron office to obtain the SAFE application for worthy student aid. Please contact your local church education representative for application and/or information on your church’s education assistance program for assistance through your local church.

 PAYMENT PROCEDURE   All payments should be made payable to Desert Adventist Academy and delivered or mailed to the school address.  Applications and deposits, as well as registration fee balances and tuition payments, may be mailed at any time, including summer recess.  Payment may also be made by credit card.

PRIVATE MUSIC LESSONS   Private piano, violin, wind instrument and voice lessons are available on campus.  Arrangements may be made through the school office.

AFTER SCHOOL CARE   After school care is available for students who cannot be picked up at the end of the student’s school day.  Information regarding times and fees can be obtained from the school office.

CODE of ETHICS and BEHAVIOR  DISCIPLINE   “The object of discipline is the training of the child to self-government.”   Rules and discipline are essential for young people to be successful and happy.  Discipline is designed to be redemptive, remedial, and corrective rather than punitive.  Minor irregularities will be handled by the individual staff member and repeated offenses or major infractions of school rules will be handled by the principal.   When a student’s behavior or attitude is inappropriate, unacceptable or an endangerment to other students or staff, parents will be notified by a phone call and, if needed, a request that the student be picked up for the balance of the day.  Parents must counsel with the teacher and/or principal regarding the incident before the return of the student.

RESPECTFULNESS   The Golden Rule says:  “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”  (Matthew 7:12 RSV)   Those who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ should respect, honor, and uplift one another.  Thus a colleague, employee, volunteer, or student should never be placed in a position of embarrassment or disrespect due to any action or statement that has any explicit or implied sexual, racial, age or ethnic overtones.  To do so is a violation of God’s law and also the civil laws governing our school.   School staff and students are prohibited from engaging in any verbal, visual or physical conduct of sexual, racial, ethnic or age related nature that could create a hostile, intimidating or offensive school environment.  Such harassment is intolerable, against the law, and will result in appropriate discipline, up to and including dismissal.

An individual who experiences such harassment should take one of the following steps:

  • Talk to the individual that is harassing you and tell him/her that you feel uncomfortable and explain why.
  • Speak to your teacher or your principal.
  • Write a statement to your teacher or principal about the incident.

Severe matters will be referred to the School Board, and all situations will be thoroughly investigated in a confidential and objective manner.  

BULLYING   Bullying is any pattern of behavior by a student, or a group of students, that is intended to harass, intimidate, ridicule, humiliate, or instill fear in another child or group of children.  Bullying behavior can be a threat of, or actual, physical harm or it can be verbal abuse of the child.

Examples of “Bullying” may include but are not limited to a pattern of behavior involving one or more of the following:

  • Sarcastic “compliments” about another student’s personal appearance.
  • Pointed questions intended to embarrass or humiliate.
  • Mocking, taunting, or belittling.
  • Non-verbal threats and/or intimidation such as “fronting” or “chesting” a person
  • Demeaning humor relating to a student’s race, gender, ethnicity, or personal characteristics
  • Stealing or hiding books or other personal items.
  • Cyber-bullying is an electronic form of bullying using electronic devices such as email, cell phones, cameras, text messaging, etc., to support deliberate and hostile behavior by an individual or group intended to harm others and will not be tolerated at DAA. Cyber-bullying often occurs outside of school hours on personal or home computers, yet its effects may be felt by students, staff, and administration during the school day.  When those acts threaten others or otherwise disrupt the learning environment, the school may take action, which may result in a wide range of consequences for the student(s) involved.  Those consequences could range from a conference with the parents of the student(s), suspension, or even expulsion from school.  It is also possible that cyber-bullying incidents could be reported to the police, either by the school or the individual who feels harmed by the incident. As part of our commitment to maintain a safe learning environment for all students, Desert Adventist Academy will be vigilant regarding bullying and harassment of all types.

SCHOLASTIC HONESTY   Any use of external assistance during examinations, copying, whispering, talking during tests, using cheat sheets, or someone else’s work for tests or homework are examples of scholastic dishonesty and will be dealt with accordingly. Desert Adventist AcademyAttendance Policy   The classroom teacher takes the attendance on RenWeb which is submitted to the front office on a daily basis.   Attendance will be taken in the following manner:

  • Approximately ten minutes after class beginsIf tardy or absent the students parent will be contacted by phone from the front office and the results will be recorded as either excused or unexcused.   If students have more than 10 unexcused absences he/she will not receive credit for their grade.   If students have more than 10 unexcused tardies that will count as 1 unexcused absence.   What constitutes and excused absence or tardy:
  • Sever Sickness/Illness
  • Doctors appointment (Doctors note must accompany)
  • Death in the Family“Remember when your child is not in school they are falling behind and it affects their academic performance.   Thank you for your help in this matter.”  

SCHOOL and PERSONAL PROPERTY   Students are expected to respect, protect and care for all school (and church) property, teacher and staff property, and the personal property of other students.  Students are expected to use walkways and steps so that lawns, flower beds, planters, and all aspects of the facilities will remain attractive, and to uphold a “No Littering” policy.  The student and/or parent will pay for or replace all property which has been damaged or destroyed willfully or foolishly.

  • NO ELECTRONICS  including iPods, iTouch, Tablets, MP3 players, electronic games, and or any other electronic devices, are not allowed on campus.  CELL PHONES must be off and can only be used with permission by their teacher and in their presence only.
  • BICYCLES: All Bicycles must be walked on campus to a designated site.
  • SKATES, INLINE SKATES, and SKATEBOARDS may not be brought on campus at any time.

Students must obtain permission from their teacher before bringing such items as pets, toys, special projects, etc. to school.

Any hazardous, dangerous, or harmful items (such as knives) will be confiscated. 

Desert Adventist Academy reserves the right to search student backpacks and personal belongings for objects or materials deemed non-compliant with school rules and regulations, or which threaten the safety of the school or its students.

 CLOTHING and APPEARANCE   The dress policy of Desert Adventist Academy is designed to promote an image of excellence.  The dress and appearance standards exist as guiding principles aimed at modesty, comfort, practicality, cleanliness, health and safety.  The administration and faculty recognize the importance of self-expression and independence.  The image that a student creates is a reflection of the student’s commitment to Desert Adventist Academy’s standard of excellence.  The following code has been developed to assist students in understanding the image that is appropriate for participants in Desert Adventist Academy’s academic program.

  • School uniform tops are to be worn during school and after school care hours unless told otherwise by school personnel.  Uniform tops (polos) with school logo can be purchased from Normans Uniform Company. Information for purchasing can be obtained in the front office
  •  Modest pants, shorts, skorts, or skirts of a khaki color are to be worn with the uniform top.  Neither jeans or athletic style shorts or pants are a part of the school uniform.
  •  Pants and shorts should fit properly at the waistline (as a reference, pants should stay at the waistline with or without a belt).  Shorts/skirts must be of a modest length, finger-tip length or longer from knee.  This applies to athletic attire as well.  No spandex athletic shorts are to be worn.
  • Clothing should be neat and in good repair (no torn, frayed or inappropriately patched clothing).
  • Appropriate shoes are to be worn at all times.  Beach flip flops are not acceptable footwear.
  • Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry are not to be worn at school or school functions.  This includes clear studs and anything that covers jewelry, i.e. Band-Aids, tape, etc.
  • Hats and caps may not be worn in classrooms.  Hats and caps worn on campus should be neat and appropriate for school.  Bandannas are not allowed at any school function.
  • The use of cosmetics, including nail polish, that attract undue attention should be avoided.  Hair and cosmetic colors should be natural in appearance.

The dress policy of Desert Adventist Academy applies to all school events, on or off campus. THE FINAL DETERMINATION OF APPROPRIATE DRESS, RESTS WITH THE FACULTY.

 

 ACCIDENTS and MEDICATIONS ACCIDENTS AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS All certified school personnel are trained in first aid and CPR.  Standard first aid procedures are followed in the case of student injury and parents will be notified.  If there is a serious injury, professional medical care will be enlisted and parents will be notified immediately.   Desert Adventist Academy has a Campus Disaster Plan.  There are supplies, food, and water stored on campus should our students and staff have to stay on campus for an extended period of time.

ACCIDENT INSURANCE   Accident insurance is provided for all students enrolled.  A brochure on school insurance will be given to each family at registration or at the beginning of the school year that explains the amount and kinds of coverage included.  Reports of accidents should be made promptly to the teacher, principal, and/or school office.

STUDENT MEDICATIONS   No faculty or staff may dispense medication to any student for any reason.  Teachers are not to diagnose a health condition or give any internal medications, including aspirin, Tylenol, etc. except as follows. Any student who is required to take medication during the regular school day as prescribed by a physician may be assisted by designated school personnel if the school has on file both:   1. A written statement from the physician detailing the time schedules, amount, and method by which the medication is to be taken. 2. A written statement from the parent or guardian of the student requesting that the school assist the student in taking the medication.

GENERAL INFORMATION/STUDENT PLEDGE   It is understood that every student who applies for admission to Desert Adventist Academy pledges to willingly observe the school regulations on and off campus and to uphold the Christian principles upon which the school operates.  The student also pledges to perform, according to ability, all assigned duties in connection with the school.  All students will be asked to sign a student pledge on the first day of school.

PARENT COMMITMENT   Parents are expected to promote and support the policies and personnel of Desert Adventist Academy, to speak positively about the school, and to direct any questions or concerns to the appropriate individuals.  The following procedure is based on the Biblical model of Matthew 18 for resolving differences:   1. Request a conference with the teacher. 2. If resolution is not attained, a conference with the teacher and principal may be requested. 3. If still unresolved, request another conference which shall include the School Board Chairperson and/or Pastor. 4. If the difficulty remains unresolved, a Board review may be re quested.  The problem should be submitted in writing.  Should the problem involve a school employee, it must be reviewed in executive session with the SECC Superintendent of Schools or his designee.

PARENT/TEACHER COMMUNICATION REGARDING ACADEMICS   RenWeb Student Data System  – Parents Web please come to the office to learn how to access this system.   Mid-Term Grades – At midpoint of each nine week grading period, a progress report will be issued to parents if the student is earning a grade of D or F in any subject.   Quarter Grades – Every nine weeks a report card will be issued to the parents/guardians of each student.  Parents are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their child’s teacher.   Parent/Teacher Conferences – In November and April, parent/teacher conferences are scheduled.  All parents are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to discuss their child’s progress with the teacher.   Testing – A regular program of standardized testing is administered each year for all students in grade three and above.  These free tests are used in the evaluation of student’s needs.  The test results will be presented at the November parent/teacher conferences.

ACADEMIC PROBATION   Students who fail to meet the minimum standard of a 2.0 GPA or have less than a C– grade for any class are subject to being placed on academic probation.  Such students will be dealt with on an individual basis.  Academic Probation means a student will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities such as the sports program, yearbook, or music groups that miss school days due to performances off campus.

PARENT VISITATION   As a courtesy to both the teacher and the students, no parent should interrupt a class to converse with the teacher or a student.  Appointments to see teachers need to be made for after school hours.

TELEPHONE   School telephones are for business use only.  Students will not be called from class to answer the phone, or permitted to make phone calls except: in case of emergency.

FIELD TRIPS

Drivers must:

  • Be over 21 years of age.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have Bodily Injury coverage of $15,000/$30,000 and Property Damage coverage of $5,000.
  • Have current copies of both driver’s license and insurance coverage (Declaration Page) on file in the office prior to each trip.
  • Provide copy of driving record.
  • Have a completed Transportation Information form on file in the school office.
  • Have Background Verification Report on file in school office.
  • Adhere to all posted speed limits while on trip.
  • May neither consume nor provide for another any alcohol or judgment-impairing drug substance prior to or during the event.
  • Follow the guidelines given per field trip.
  • Drivers are asked not to smoke in the presence of students while on the trip.
  • Ensure that each child and the driver have and use a seat belt; vans may not carry more than 8 people, including the driver.
  • Must not make any unplanned stops—only those designated by the teacher.
  • Ensure that no child under 12 years of age sits behind an airbag.

VOLUNTEERS   All volunteers must have a Background Verification Report on file in the school office.

HOME and SCHOOL CONNECTION – PURPOSE and FUNCTIONS   Desert Adventist Academy realizes the importance of cooperation between students, teachers, and parents in striving to meet the objectives of the school; therefore, parents of the school become members of the organization at the time of registration.  Active participation in the programs and activities of the organization strengthen the connection between the home and school. Please be sure to fill in the interest form and submit it to the office by August, 2017.

PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES   Helping with Social Events –  Pancake feeds, camp-outs, teacher appreciation day and much more…   Fund Raising Activities where students, parents, church members, friends, and community participants work together to raise money for Desert Adventist Academy and Home and School projects may include:  Letter Writing Campaign promoting Community Service Project Work-a-thon or DAA Walk/Jog-a-thon, GAO Magazine fundraiser, the Fall Harvest Festival or Winter Carnival, Red Apple  and the Eugene Robinson Memorial Golf Tournament.  Something for everyone and fun times for all!   Help with Coaching a sport – Volleyball, Basketball, Crosscountry running, Soccer, Golf.   Helping with school field trips –  Ski day, Living desert education day, Soak City USA water park day, and other class field trips.