STUDENT HANDBOOK 2015-2016
page is an abbreviation of our official Student Handbook, taken from our
Approved Policies. It offers an explanation of our policies and
procedures that clearly outlines expectations for Taos Academy students
and our school community.
mission of Taos Academy is to prepare students in the fifth through
twelfth grade to achieve and maintain a level of excellence by
supporting and promoting academic achievement, strong leadership skills,
and social responsibility. Through the use of innovative curriculum,
leadership training, and enrichment opportunities, we foster a community
of self-motivated, independent, lifelong learners. The partnership of
school, parents, and community creates a learning environment where
students acquire the knowledge, leadership skills, and sense of
responsibility needed to succeed in the 21st century.
vision is to be a model 21st-century learning community developing
strong leaders who have the academic and social skills necessary to
succeed in the modern world.
Turquoise and Gold
and Gold were chosen as the representative colors for Taos Academy
because they represent well-being and excellence. The turquoise gem is
said to bring a sense of happiness and cheerfulness, manifesting as a
feeling of well-being. Gold is a universal symbol of high performance
representing our goal of excellence for all Taos Academy students and
Mission, Vision & School Colors
Table of Contents
Director’s Welcome Letter
Student Code of Conduct
Taos Academy Students and Parents:
to Taos Academy, a State-Chartered public school offering a dynamic and
innovative educational delivery system. It is our privilege to provide
5th -12th grade students with engaging and rigorous core curriculum,
highly motivating elective classes, and leadership and career training
through our state-of-the-art 21st century learning environment.
Academy practices the belief that every learner deserves access to
excellence in educational opportunities regardless of his or her
abilities or location. Our hybrid educational delivery model uses a
unique combination of direct classroom and digital instruction with
proven curriculum to address each learner’s individual needs.
Flexibility in scheduling allows the student to work in our technology
labs or wherever a high-speed internet connection is available. Students
have the option to attend the Taos Academy facility for tutoring,
workshops, and classes in our media arts lab or in our science/ math/
Highly qualified, experienced and licensed
teachers conduct classes both on-site and from remote locations. Each
student is assigned an instructional advisor for consistent contact,
guidance, feedback and encouragement. Tutoring is available for students
in need of some additional support. Teachers also provide support for
career development, leadership training, outdoor education, and
community service learning projects.
All the necessary information for staying current with Taos Academy is posted on our website, www.taosacademy.org.
Please be sure to visit the Taos Academy website often and review our
handbook. At Taos Academy each student is expected to apply themselves
to their academic work, explore personal learning goals in 21st century
classes, and be engaged positively in their relationships with all
members of the Taos Academy community. Taos Academy requires a strong
partnership between school, community, and home. This partnership
establishes critical expectations for each student and supports their
efforts to be successful. Making this effort each day will build the
foundation for success today and in the future.
We look forward to providing one of the most innovative and effective educational experiences available anywhere.
Let’s have a wonderful year, together.
Together in Education,
Traci O. Filiss
Academy’s school day begins at 8:00 and ends at 4:00. Students in
grades 5 through 8 are required to attend campus all day on Monday and
Wednesday. Students in grades 9 through 12, excluding ”College Link”,
are required to attend school on campus all day Tuesday and Thursday
each week. Daily on-campus schedules include on-line academic work,
face-to-face academic instruction dedicated to literacy and math, 21st
Century Learning courses, and one hour for lunch/recess/activity time.
Individual schedules are posted at the start of school and modified
throughout the year as needed. Students may attend TA campus 4.5 days
per week by taking advantage of some of the following extra programs.
Sign up is required to participate.
Student Success Lab: The SSL is a learning lab designed to give students a quiet space with a high speed connection to support success with online courses. SSL is available from 8-12 on a student’s non-scheduled school days by sign up or as required due to lack of success/progress. Friday Math tutoring from 8-12 is also available. Students may be required to attend SSL and/or Friday Math tutoring for lack of progress. Students not proficient in Math and/or Reading or dropping below 2.0 GPA will be placed on probationary enrollment.
Middle-School Plus Enrichment program offers classes to 5th -8th grade students from 8-4 Tuesday and Thursday. This program is designed to further support the learning needs of young students. Sign up is required. Lab fees are applicable.
“College Link” Program: Students in 11th and 12th grade who meet the College Link requirements have the opportunity to participate in our College Link Program allowing students to take UNM classes for dual credit. Students in CL are required to schedule a minimum of three lab sessions per week. See “College Link” section for more information.
Friday “Early College” Program: Students in 9th through 12th grade who do not meet the College Link requirements have the opportunity to participate in our Friday Early College Program allowing students to take UNM classes for dual credit.
“Career Pathway” Program: Students in 10th through 12th grade have the opportunity to gain real word experience and credit through our Career Pathway program. Students follow a career choice pathway of classes, internship and/or volunteer hours to gain the experience and build hire ability in a field of choice.
“STEM Institute”: The STEM Institute classes are optional and are scheduled on non-scheduled school days by sign up only. These classes are offered for exploratory experience in different areas of science, technology, engineering, math and arts. Class dates/times vary throughout the year and are posted in the monthly newsletter as they become available. Lab fees are applicable. Dual Credit is also available.
Alternative schedules must be requested in writing and approved by the Director and will only be granted with permission from the student’s advisor to assure plans for academic success. This includes extended travel, illness and sports.
Alternative schedules must be requested in writing and approved by the Director and will only be granted with permission from the student’s advisor to assure plans for academic success. This includes extended travel, illness and sports.
Students are required to continue online academic work outside the school campus for approximately 4 hours per day
or as needed to stay current with each class lesson schedule. Parents
are required to provide high speed internet access from home with access
to a computer and printer. Parents are also required to electronically
monitor academic progress weekly, we make this easy with weekly emailed
progress update and 24/7 account access. We encourage students to
participate in enrichment activities offered through the community and
at Taos Academy at times when they are not scheduled on campus.
Academy has a closed campus to provide safety for all students. Parents
must give written permission for a student to leave early for an
appointment, unless for an emergency. All students must check out from
the office before leaving early and must have prior parental permission
in writing. Students will not be released for lunch unless picked up by a
parent. Please schedule all appointments on non-campus school days.
visitors to the campus must check in and receive a visitor’s pass at
the front desk located in the reception area. Visitors are to wait
quietly at the reception area. The Receptionist will contact the
appropriate staff member or student who will meet the visitor in the
reception area and escort him/her to the approved destination. Visitors
and parents are not permitted to enter the lab without escort. All
visitors must adhere to all traffic flow signs and parking regulations
including 5mph speed limit. Safety first!
If a student is absent for an on-campus school day, a parent/guardian is required to notify the school before 9 AM each day of absence. Students arriving after 8:00am must sign in at the office. See attendance policy for more information.
Winter Cancellation Policy
will follow Taos Municipal Schools for school closure. Please be sure
you have access to TV, internet or radio broadcasts that will give you
this information. We will follow delay and full day closures only. Mid day closures are at the discretion of the parent depending on safety decisions.
Students will not be released early from school without parent
permission. Parents must give written permission to have students
released early for any reason, unless in an emergency.
student is assigned an instructional advisor responsible for
individualizing programs, monitoring and encouraging progress,
supporting academic success and communicating weekly with students and
parents on progress. Content teachers are also available for tutoring
Academic Course Structure and Progress
TA courses are intended to be completed over the period of a semester
time frame. All courses must be completed in a standard academic
semester to be reflected for credit on a transcript. Students may work
ahead in their classes as they are comfortable, but they must maintain the minimum established pace in all classes as indicated by the student’s progress calendar and meet a minimum mastery level of 70%. Students not completing coursework in the specified time will receive a failing grade and be required to retake the class. See more on Summer School below.
21st Century Course Structure
students are required to participate in either 21st Century Classes
offered at Taos Academy or Dual Credit classes. 21st Century Classes are
designed to support post high school goals and are offered on campus
and/or in the community. Dual credit High School/College classes and
internships can be applied to the required 21st Century credits.
are included as a part of every class. However, students are also
measured through a variety of alternative methods including: portfolios,
demonstrations, presentations, and collaborative projects. This variety
of assessments allows students and teachers to identify strengths and
problem areas and respond to them promptly. When problem areas are
identified, advisors and learners develop strategies to correct the
problem. Students and parents have access to continuous progress reports
and weekly grades for every Taos Academy class. All assessments must be
administered by a Taos Academy staff member.
exams including mid-term and final examinations must be taken in the
Taos Academy’s computer lab, where they will be proctored by Taos
Academy staff. The student must notify their advisor when ready to take a midterm or final examination. Exams opened prior to approval will receive a zero.
enrolled at Taos Academy are required to participate in all
standardized testing as stipulated by the New Mexico Public Education
Department. Participation in these tests is required.
order to receive a high school diploma all students must pass the Math
and Language Arts sections of the 11th grade HSGA/EoC tests.
school students 5th through 8th grade must maintain a 2.5 GPA to be
promoted to the next grade level. Students below 2.5 GPA will be
promoted on probationary placement to determine appropriate educational
Grade classification for high school students 9th
through 12th is determined by the number of credits earned. Minimum
credit for grade classification is as follows:
Freshman (Grade 9) 0 – 5.99 credits
Sophomore (Grade 10) 6 – 11.99 credits
Junior (Grade 11) 12 – 18.99 credits
Senior (Grade 12) 19 - 25 credits
Previous high school transcripts will be evaluated to determine student grade level and courses required for graduation.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
will be calculated on a 4.0 scale. Honors classes will be weighted on a
5.0 scale. Coursework that is not completed at semester’s end will
receive a failing grade which will result in loss of credit.
Academy requires the student to accumulate a minimum of 25 credits to
earn a diploma. Beyond New Mexico Public Education requirements, Taos
Academy students are required to participate in foreign language
development, dual credit or internship, 21st Century Learning training
and community service/leadership. Each student’s individual “Next Step
Plan” that identifies courses required for graduation is developed by
Taos Academy staff with the student and parent.
Withdrawal from a Course
are assigned according to the student’s “Next Step Plan” and graduation
requirements. Any withdrawal from a course requires approval from
Advisor and parent and must be made before midterm to avoid penalty. Any
changes may affect the graduation date and plans. All changes must be
Friday “Early College” Program
Students in 9th through 12th grade who do not meet the College Link requirements have the opportunity to participate in our Friday Early College Program through Career Pathways which allows students to take UNM classes for dual credit.
College Link/Dual Credit Enrollment Agreements
program allows students classified as 11th or 12th graders to earn high
school and college credit simultaneously upon successful completion of a
course. To be eligible to participate in a dual credit program, the
student shall obtain permission from his/her advisor, parent and
Director. Students who are not on track with their regular curriculum or
on any probationary behavior restriction will not be given permission
to take college courses. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA to be
accepted into core academic college classes. Students must obtain a
registration application from their advisor and will be given guidance
towards signing up. It is the responsibility of the student to cancel an
unwanted class before the college’s disenrollment deadline. **NOTE: All
college credit courses are also Taos Academy credit courses; therefore,
all Taos Academy policies apply and will be enforced. Students enrolled
in the dual credit program are required to schedule at least three lab sessions weekly at Taos Academy. Attendance is required on the scheduled days and absences will be handled through Taos Academy attendance policy.
Transcripts and Grade Reporting
reports are issued regularly throughout the semester by the student’s
advisor. Parents and students have access to virtual progress and grade
reports at any time. It is the responsibility of the parent to learn to
access academic reports and monitor progress for student success.
Semester grades and transcripts are updated at the end of each semester.
Academy staff encourages appropriate post-secondary goals. Therefore,
10th grade students enroll in a college/career prep course to prepare
for college testing, study skills, degree exploration and entrance
requirements to specific college choices. We suggest families also
utilize community services to plan for college placement. The Bridges
Project for Education (575.758.5074) is one community service with a
wealth of information to help with post-secondary planning.
College Entrance Examinations
Academy will be facilitating all 11th grade students taking the ACT and
/or SAT. Information on the costs, dates of registration, test
locations and dates of administration of college entrance examinations
may be found on their respective websites:
Academy offers summer school to enrolled students. Students may take
online courses for credit recovery, acceleration, or summer enrichment. Summer
courses are offered for credit and require a $200 deposit, $100 refundable upon successful completion of the class. Students may drop a
class for any reason without grade penalty at/or before midterm. If the
drop is made after the midterm date, the student will receive a failing
grade in the class. Deposit will NOT be returned for dropped classes.
Academy students who maintain eligibility may participate in sports or
other extracurricular activities in accordance with the
Sports/Extracurricular Activity Policy listed below. TA students who are
eligible may participate on Taos Municipal School teams. Students must
have a minimum 2.0 GPA to be eligible to participate in sports.
Academy uses a variety of digital core curriculum designed to motivate
students while meeting or exceeding all national common core standards.
Digital curriculum provides each student with coursework that matches
their personal learning level and prescribes a learning path that best
fits their academic growth. Students are assessed and given an
individual learning plan (ILP) according to their skills assessment, not
grade level. A student may need remediation in one area, yet be strong
in another. This is the beauty of digital education; we can customize
the learning for each student to best fit their needs.
Academy offers elective classes designed for enrichment and to prepare
students with 21st Century skills. Electives are available online, face
to face, and/or for dual credit at the college level for qualifying
Reading, Writing, and Language Arts
Earth & Space Science
Life & Career Skills
All core academic classes are offered with an honors option. AP courses may be available upon request.
21st Century Learning Opportunities
Global Studies Seminar
Career/College Prep Class
Physical Health Education
Others upon availability
What is 21st Century Learning Curriculum?
Life and Career Skills
Flexibility and Adaptability
Initiative and Self Direction
Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
Productivity and Accountability
Leadership and Responsibility
Learning and Innovation Skills
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Creativity and Innovation
Communication and Collaboration
Information, Media and Technology Skills
ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) Literacy
Detailed descriptions available by request.
“A” Level Performance
student’s work exceeds all of the basic requirements of the
challenge/task at a very high level of competence. It is clear, carried
out with unusual precision and skill, and demonstrates an in-depth
understanding and analysis of the content and the challenge itself. The
work is presented in an original and creative manner that communicates
either new insights or intriguing perspectives.
“B” Level Performance
student’s work exceeds all of the basic requirements of the
challenge/task at a high level of competence. It is complete, has no
significant errors, and demonstrates a thorough grasp of the content and
the challenge/task itself. In addition, the work is well presented, and
facts and ideas have been combined in order to generalize or explain
conclusions and interpretations of the ideas and concepts studied.
“C” Level Performance
student’s work satisfies the basic requirements of the challenge/task
at an acceptable level of competence. It shows the required grasp of key
ideas and concepts, is presented in an adequate manner, and conveys the
key ideas of the challenge/task itself. Work at this level meets only
the minimum level of performance and should be considered a point
from which improvement should begin.
“D” Level Performance
student’s work does not satisfy the basic requirements of the
challenge/task and must show improvement. This work demonstrates a
minimal understanding of key ideas and concepts, lacks clarity and
precision in its presentation, and demonstrates little understanding of
the challenge/task itself. This work meets only the minimum level of
competence for granting credit.
“F” Level Performance
student has not met the basic requirements for “D Level Performance” in
the course. All strategies and/or time available to satisfy this
academic requirement have been exhausted, and “No Credit” will be
awarded for this course work.
Available for designated non credit courses only.
Honor roll - must earn 3.0 to 3.49 GPA
High Honor Roll – must earn a 3.5 to 3.79 GPA
Director’s Honors – must earn 3.8-4.0+ GPA
Students will have an individualized educational program aligned to their personal learning goals to ensure success.
Students are required to meet the following rigorous academic requirements:
To meet all state requirements for High School graduation.
To show adequate yearly growth in literacy and mathematics.
To have a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 to be promoted to the next level or required credits for HS.
Mid-level students will successfully complete one academic or elective high school level class to enter ninth grade.
school level students will successfully complete either coursework for
two college-level classes or 200 hours of participation in an internship
Students will participate in leadership training to develop personal and community life goals.
Students will participate in enrichment opportunities to further enhance their educational experience.
will participate in foreign language instruction. Mid High students
receive HS credit with completion of two levels of the same language
Students will show evidence of becoming an
independent, lifelong learner. That is, the student must demonstrate the
ability to pose questions, marshal resources, and pursue learning with
dedication, independence, imagination, and courage through the
development of an end-of-year portfolio.
Two world language credits are recommended for college admission requirement.
Tutoring for Students
on an individual basis, should make arrangements with their
Instructional Advisor for additional help. See also Student Success Lab
Taos Academy staff member can support students in solving both personal
and academic problems as needed. The academy teachers/advisors and
staff can provide assistance with many problems or make viable
suggestions. These individuals make it a point to know students and want
to see each student succeed.
Achieve Better Grades
developing good study habits, each student accepts the responsibility
for completing assignments promptly. This includes being focused and
using lab time wisely, become a better learner every day. Since student
success is a shared concern, parents are asked to encourage their
son/daughter to maintain good study habits and ensure an environment
conducive for independent study.
Keys to Student Success
Support is key to student success -parents can help structure learning
time, monitor weekly progress, encourage success, develop motivation
strategies and get involved with the school.
Parent Support Strategies
- Provide a quiet study place, consistent time, and materials needed.
Plan for your son/daughter to average 45-55 minutes per class per day.
Encourage and inspire them towards accomplishing all educational goals.
Learn how to access progress and grade reports to monitor success.(ie pacing guides)
Check progress electronically at least weekly to support successful completion.
Support self-study efforts and good work habits.
with the student’s advisor to develop and maintain a learning program
that is aligned to the student’s interests, educational goals and state
Participate in at least two school functions per year.
Provide healthy lunch and snacks. Provide timely transportation to and from school as well as other scheduled activities
Collaborate with other parents to support the hybrid schedule of Taos Academy Charter School.
Encourage student engagement in non academic opportunities at TA.
Student Success Strategies
Develop good study habits
Read and understand your lesson before you begin answering the assigned questions.
Take notes on the lectures, online content assignments and lab assessments.
Submit lessons equivalent to one lesson per subject per day.
Be an independent learner and do your own work.
Get extra help by asking your Instructional Advisor for help.
Schedule a time to meet with your Instructional Advisor at school during regular school hours if needed.
Access tutoring options quickly so you don’t fall behind.
Look for extra-curricular activities. Get involved with the many activities that the Taos Community has to offer.
with other students – make a study date or meet in town at one of the
many internet cafes to do schoolwork before some other activity.
Remember that your learning is your responsibility.
Instructional Advisor Support
Assist students to create individual learning plans to promote academic success.
Engage students in activities to enhance learning and promote continued learning.
Provide timely instructional feedback and academic support.
Monitor students’ progress (pace and grades).
Monitor progress towards graduation and career or college readiness.
Provide students with guidance for finding and using internet resources.
Communicate concerns and/or positive progress with parents and students weekly.
Be available for extra tutoring needs when necessary.
Encourage student engagement in non academic opportunities at TA.
Content teachers support students in the teacher’s highly qualified areas.
Collaborate with 21C teachers to enrich programming.
Student Success Lab and Student Success Contracts
further support student success, Taos Academy has implemented a Student
Success process. The process begins when a student falls behind their
pacing calendar in any subject. The instructional advisor will start
with verbal encouragement to catch up and strongly suggest attending the
SSL (student success lab) on non scheduled school days or Friday for
When the student falls below 70% actual grade in
any one class, the student and parent are given a written warning for
lack of progress. If the student does not meet their target calendar
schedules in every class within 1 week or continues to fall behind, an
absence is recorded and a parent, student, teacher meeting may be
scheduled. The advisor may also suggest extra time for tutoring.
Absences will accumulate each week until the student is back on
If the student continues to stay behind in work the
advisor may place the student on a “Student Success Contract”. This step
is designed to help the student get back on track and provide more
structured time. Students on contract are required to
attend the Taos Academy Student Success Lab on non-school days Monday
through Thursday 8 -12 for a period of 30 days. Absence for lack of work
does not accrue during this period. Appropriate placement may be
discussed with parents, student, advisor and Director if the student
continues to struggle.
The Student Success Lab is designed to be a
quiet, focused and productive learning environment. Disruption of the
lab will not be tolerated. Parents will be called to pick students up if
they are disrupting the learning environment. Continued disruption of
the lab will result in loss of the privilege to attend the SSL.
Academy sets forth the following policies: In accordance with the
Charter School Act, any student, regardless of where he/she resides in
New Mexico, may attend Taos Academy. Taos Academy’s enrollment policies
prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color,
gender, national origin, religion, or need for special education
services. These policies are necessary in the event that enrollment
applications exceed the enrollment capacity. If it is the intent of the
parents to enroll their student, the parent must submit an electronic Letter of Intent
during our enrollment period for each student. Intent letters are
accepted throughout the year and are added to the lottery selection. Any
student with a submitted letter of intent that is not selected by the
lottery will be placed on a waiting list.
Taos Academy holds the right to place students on probationary enrollment.
to the nature of the hybrid model of instruction, we ask that students
only withdraw from Taos Academy at semester intervals. If this is
unavoidable please give us a 30 day notice of withdrawal. Upon
terminating enrollment at Taos Academy Charter School, for any reason,
please follow this procedure.
Inform the instructional advisor, and the office with as much notice as possible, preferably with minimum of thirty day notice.
Complete and return the withdrawal form to the office.
Schedule a final conference with the director and instructional advisor.
a withdrawn student chooses to re-enroll, a new letter of intent is
required and the student will be placed into the lottery or at the
bottom of the wait list.
Students not in attendance, physical or
online, for 10 consecutive school days will voluntarily relinquish
lottery position unless arrangements have been made with the Director
prior to the absence. See absence policy for more detail.
accruing 20+ absences, physical or online, per semester will
voluntarily relinquish lottery position unless arrangements were made
with the Director prior to the absence. See absence policy for more
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
TAOS ACADEMY: Where each individual aspires to be part of a community of learners that support and celebrate a passion for excellence.
rights and responsibilities are part of the life of every school. The
Taos Academy Leadership Program is designed to assist students in
developing the skills needed to make prudent and respectful decisions so
their actions are aligned with their responsibilities. The Student Code
of Conduct outlines these rights and responsibilities. In the
educational setting, rights provide individuals with the basic framework
for making sustained progress toward worthy goals. Individual
responsibilities make those rights possible.
recognizes that learning to make decisions is a process. One component
of this learning process is being held accountable. The rules and
standards outlined in this handbook have been developed to protect the
rights of everyone, to insure that all students and staff are treated
with compassion and respect, and to assure that our school operates in a
safe and orderly manner.
In order to attain these objectives, all
members of the TAOS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL community must adhere to
certain guidelines in the daily activities of this campus.
Please read this document carefully. Understand your responsibilities as a student, and agree to follow all of the guidelines listed within this handbook.
Academy is a closed campus. Once students enter the building for the
school day, they are not permitted to leave campus unless checked out by
a parent, guardian or other approved release privileges are granted by
the Director. Parents must give written permission for a student to
leave early for an appointment, unless for an emergency. All students
must check out before leaving early and must have prior parental
permission in writing. Students will not be released for lunch unless
picked up by a parent. Please schedule all appointments on non-scheduled
school days. “College Link” students are exempt from closed campus
who wish to drive to school must obtain a school driving pass. To obtain
this pass bring a copy of driver’s license, proof of insurance and
registration, and an approval letter from parent. The pass is subject to
safe driving inspections and can be revoked for lack of academic
progress, behavioral misconduct, and/or lack of adherence to school
traffic safety signs and parking regulations. Speed limit is 5mph.
Director can revoke a pass at any time. Students may not visit or sit in their cars during the school day, without an escort.
Taos Academy is not responsible for the safety of vehicles or contents within the vehicle parked on campus.
attendance purposes students must maintain a minimum performance
standard and maintain an identified pace. The Learning Management System
(LMS) provides teachers, parents and students with consistent and
current updates of student performance.
All student activity is recorded.
This includes: log in and log out time, lessons completed, time spent
on assignments, grades and information about work completed and current
status in each course. Students have a beginning and ending date for
each course and a weekly work schedule to keep pace with the semester
Academic Absences: Students will receive an absence
for lack of progress in their classes. When the student reaches below
70% actual grade in any class, the student and parent are given a
written warning for lack of progress. If the student does not meet their
target in every class within 1 week or continues to fall behind, an
absence is recorded and a parent, student, teacher meeting may be
scheduled. Absences will accumulate each week until the student is back
on schedule. If the student continues to stay behind in work the advisor
may place the student on a “student success contract”. Students on
contract are required to attend the Taos Academy Student Success Lab
Monday through Thursday on their non-school days 8:00 -12:00 for a
period of 30 days.
Physical Absences: Students will also receive an absence
when not in attendance for scheduled activities or for scheduled
on-campus days. All alternative schedules must be submitted in writing
from parent/guardian and approved by Taos Academy Director and the
student’s advisor. Students with 10 recorded absences in one semester
will be reported to the local truancy agency. Parents are notified with a
warning at 5 absences. Students not in attendance, physical and/or
online, for 10 consecutive school days or 20 recorded absences per
semester will voluntarily relinquish lottery position unless
arrangements have been made with the Director prior to the absence.
Policy stands for all students unless arrangements have been made in
writing with the Director prior to the absence.
Tardy Policy: Students arriving after 8:00am must sign in. Students will receive an absence for every third tardy arrival.
Student Network Account and Electronic Communications
Please be advised of the following information before using Taos Academy network accounts:
Academy students will be able to access the computer network on a
regular basis for electronic e-mail and the Internet, including their
coursework. To gain access to e-mail and the Internet all students under
the age of 18 must obtain parental permission.
The following practices while using Taos Academy electronic mail and accessing the Internet shall be prohibited:
Any use for political or commercial purposes
The use of electronic mail in any matter that is contrary to school policy
Any use of profanity or inappropriate language on electronic mail
Any use that disrupts the educational and administrative goals of the school
Any use of the account by anyone but the authorized owner of the account
Any reproduction of copyrighted material without explicit permission
Access of material that has been deemed inappropriate for school use
Sending or receiving offensive messages or pictures
Harassing, insulting, or attacking others
Damaging computers, computer systems, or computer networks
Using another’s password
Trespassing on another’s folders, work or files
You may only log onto one machine at a time
DO NOT share your user-name or password with anyone.
You are responsible for ALL activity while your account is logged in. If you walk away from a computer while logged in, you are still responsible.
Read the Discipline Matrix in the Code of Conduct.
If you use or plan to use technology to do harm, you risk losing your
network privileges – and access to your courses – as well as being
suspended or expelled from school.
All activities on our school network ARE monitored and logged including personal laptops.
Violations may result in loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action.
and students will be allowed access to Internet resources with the
understanding that some material that can be accessed on the Internet is
inaccurate; additionally, some resources contain material that is
deemed contrary to prevailing community standards and is inappropriate
for classroom use, and that access of such resources will not be
The school will provide a computer interface to
Internet services that students should use in accessing instructional
and reference material on the Internet. This interface will be designed
so that objectionable materials are not easily available (for example
LightSpeed to filter objectionable material); however, the Internet is
designed in such a manner that all material contained within it are
accessible using various search and retrieval tools. Students and
Parents must be informed that inappropriate materials could be
encountered during students’ research to achieve valid instructional
objectives. If inappropriate material is inadvertently encountered,
students are required to notify TA staff immediately and shall disengage
from the material. Students and teachers must be instructed in the
necessary procedures of evaluation of information and resources as part
of their ongoing education for life in modern society.
School Wear Policy
are expected to be neat, clean, and appropriately dressed for learning
while on campus or on school sponsored field trips. Interpretation and
discretion of the following dress code is subject to administrative
discretion. When, in the judgment of the Director, a student’s
appearance, mode of dress, and/or cleanliness is distracting and
disruptive of the learning process, or constitutes a threat to safety or
acceptable standards of sanitation, the student may be required to make
requested modifications or be suspended until such modifications are
accomplished. The Director shall be responsible for determining good
grooming, proper dress and attire of the students. Additional dress or
appearance standards are specified in the following policy. To avoid
loss of learning time, students will be offered alternative clothes to
wear through the day. Refusal to accept alternative clothes will result
in dismissal from school and parent notification.
The following are considered inappropriate dress for Taos Academy students:
short-shorts, mini-skirts, oversized sagging pants, oversized sagging
shirts, strapless tops, spaghetti straps, low cut tops, see through
material, exposed midriff / back area, shoulder straps less than 1 inch
wide, insignias representing drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, violence,
gangs or foul language, or any other attire that may be disruptive or
unsafe in a learning environment.
Any and all exposed undergarments. i.e.: bras, underwear, boxer shorts.
Other dress items inappropriate to wear at Taos Academy include but may not be limited to:
gear (bandannas, hairnets, hats, or hoods) sunglasses, chains, spiked
jewelry, or any other accessory that may be disruptive or unsafe in a
learning environment. Head gear and sunglasses can be worn outside,
though not within the learning environment. Head coverings associated
with religious dress are acceptable.
Approved styles are:
or long sleeved. Collared, turtleneck or mock turtleneck, sleeved
t-shirts, and dress shirts that meet the appropriate dress requirements.
No skin should be shown between the bottom of the shirt/blouse and the
top of the pants/skirt when arms are stretched upward. No undergarments
should show under or through the shirt. Shirts worn out can be no longer
than fingertip length, shoulder straps must be at least 1 inch wide,
and neckline can be no lower than 3” below collar bone.
Approved styles are:
Pants of all kinds are acceptable that meet appropriate dress requirements.
Note: Pants must fit at the waist or hip, and be properly hemmed or cuffed. No undergarments should show above, below or through the pants. Tight fitting, stretch type pants are not allowed. Also, pants that are frayed, ripped, torn, or have holes are not allowed.
Approved styles are:
Shorts - no higher than five inches above the knee (tight fitting, stretch type are not allowed).
Skirts - no higher than five inches above the knee (tight fitting, stretch type are not allowed).
Skorts no higher than five inches above the knee (tight fitting, stretch type are not allowed).
Jumpers no higher than five inches above the knee (tight fitting, stretch type are not allowed).
Dresses - no higher than five inches above the knee (tight fitting, sleeveless or backless, and stretch type are not allowed).
Note: Slits in Skirts, Dresses, or Jumpers can be no higher than the point where longest extended finger ends when student is standing up straight.
Winter coats, winter jackets are for Outside wear only.
If a jacket is worn inside a building it must remain open. Sweaters –
pull-over, cardigan, or button-down – Sweatshirts, Blazers, Vests – must
be appropriately sized. Items worn Inside the school building for warmth Must meet the Dress Code
Footwear All students must wear appropriate protective footwear.
Any “style” that disrupts the educational process or endangers other students.
Headgear such as bandanas, hats, and sunglasses may be worn outdoors only.
Belt loop chains or wallet chains, spiked jewelry, and extended belts.
items or accessories which advertise, display, or promote any drug
(including tobacco and alcohol), sexual innuendo, violence, foul
language, weaponry, profanity, hatred, or bigotry toward any group.
Code of Conduct and Student Consequences
following TA Code of Conduct has been adopted to protect and foster
respect for the rights of TA students and staff. The school is a
community and the rules and regulations of the school are the laws of
that community. All persons enjoying the rights of citizenship are
subject to the laws of their community. Each carries with it a
corresponding obligation. The right to attend Taos Academy Charter
School is not absolute. It is conditional on each student’s acceptance
to abide by the laws of the school community until and unless the rules
are changed. The Director, advisors, and school staff are
responsible for maintaining school order and discipline, facilitating
the education program by ensuring an orderly, safe environment. In
discharging their duties, all school employees have the right to be free
from intimidation or abuse and have their lawful requests and
instructions followed. The following disciplinary matrix is designed to
serve as a guide when administrators are determining consequences.
Nothing contained within this matrix should prevent an administrator
from using his or her own discretion in regards to a particular
situation. Administrators will investigate all possible disciplinary
situations and assign consequences in a fair and consistent manner in
conjunction with the Governing Council policy. The following represents
the recommended guidelines in the disposition of discipline situations
at TA. Therefore, depending on the circumstances of the behavior or
education status, responses may vary from situation to situation at the
LUNCH DETENTION (LD) Loss of Extended Lunch Privilege
Lunch Detention will occur for the 40 minutes of lunchtime within the school day.
Students’ assigned detention will report to the lunch detention
supervisor promptly at 12:00. Students will be given 20 minutes to eat
quietly at a separate detention table. After which, they will
participate in community service tasks such as cleaning the lunch room,
main labs, classrooms, and the outside grounds.
FRIDAY DETENTION (FD) – Friday detention will be scheduled from 8:00 to 12:00.
Students’ assigned Friday detention will report to the detention
supervisor promptly at 8:00. Students will participate in community
service tasks such as cleaning the lunch room, main labs, classrooms,
and the outside grounds.
IN SCHOOL SUSPENSION (ISS)
in school suspensions will be scheduled at the discretion of the
disciplinary team. Students may be required to serve on non-scheduled
school days. All suspensions are reported and tracked in the student’s
permanent school records.
OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION (OSS)
who are suspended from Taos Academy Charter School are prohibited from
being on the campus or in attendance at any school activity or event for
the duration of their suspension.
parent meeting to develop or review a behavior plan/contract must occur
prior to the student returning to school. Students are required to
maintain contact with their advisor and continue academic coursework
OSS WITH HEARING (OSSH)
is the Director’s discretion to recommend a hearing for student
habitual behavior. Expulsion from Taos Academy will be decided in
collaboration with the Governing Council, Director, Parent and student.
Disciplinary action may result in the loss of privileges to attend scheduled trips or events.
Academy has a no-restraint safety policy. If a student becomes violent
on campus or is in need of immediate removal due to safety concerns, the
parent will be notified and the local police department will be
If an incident is
considered exceptionally flagrant, then a higher consequence, including
but not limited to a disciplinary hearing, may be warranted. In some
cases with Level III infractions, a DPS (department of public safety)
referral may be warranted. In both cases administrative discretion will
Apology letters are required for all offenses.
Reintegration/Mediation meetings are required for all OSS offenses.
For more information on specific offenses and actions see the discipline matrix of the full downloadable PDF handbook here.
the purposes of school board policy, a "weapon" is any firearm, knife,
explosive, or other object, even if manufactured for a nonviolent
purpose that has a potential violent use. Additionally defined as a
"weapon" is any "look-a-like" object that resembles an object that has a
potentially violent use, if, under the surrounding circumstances the
purpose of keeping or carrying the object is for use, or threat of use,
as a weapon.
protection and security of individuals and property on the TA campus,
the search of individuals, including students, their personal effects,
desks and vehicles on school property, will be activated as permitted
under federal and state law. Such searches may be conducted without
prior parental consent or the presence of a parent. In certain
circumstances random searches of personal effects, district property
(such as lockers and desks) and vehicles on campus may occur, including
random searches with the assistance of canines. Any illegal or
unauthorized objects found in any search are subject to seizure. Taos
Academy Director can dispatch local Police Department at his/her
discretion. Parents will be notified upon dispatch.
the protection and security of individuals and property TA will use
video surveillance equipment. TA employs a comprehensive system of
cameras which are used to provide a safe and secure educational
environment. Cameras are located inside and outside the buildings.
commit plagiarism when they use someone else’s words, ideas, or
creative productions as if they were their own. In publications,
plagiarism is illegal, and in scholarly work it is unethical.
Assignments are plagiarized if they are completed in whole or part by anyone other than the student who claims credit.
Copying and pasting homework, computer work, test answers, or creative productions of any kind is plagiarism.
a paper or signing a name to a creative project that has been
originated in any way by another is plagiarism. Students should correct
or edit their own work.
Plagiarism can occur from printed
material, the internet, as well as from people, but students can avoid
plagiarism by precisely quoting borrowed material and carefully
crediting the source. Students must submit their own work for credit.
Any student who allows someone else to copy his or her work will receive the same consequences as the plagiarizer.
is committed to providing a safe, positive and productive learning and
working environment. The use of Electronic Devices increases lab
disruptions and results in an increased possibility of inappropriate
communications. The term “Electronic Devices” shall mean any and all
devices which accomplish their purposes electronically and include,
without limitation, cell phones, pagers, electronic emailing devices
(e.g., Blackberry), radios, tape players, CD players, DVD players, video
cameras, iPods or other media players, laser pointers, portable video
game players, personal laptop computers, cameras, and any device that
provides a wireless, unfiltered connection to the Internet.
the use of any and all Electronic Devices by students during the school
day, whether on-campus or during a school-sponsored event must have
prior approval. The “school day” shall mean the normal hours of
operation of the school. While students are not prohibited from
possessing Electronic Devices, unless otherwise prohibited by law or
policies, rules or procedures, the Electronic Devices must be turned
“off” and stored in a student’s backpack or purse, or vehicle. This
Policy does not apply to the sanctioned use of Electronic Devices by
teachers, or students under the direct supervision of their teacher, for
educational purposes (medical contact to parent).
Electronic Devices in violation of this policy shall result in the
confiscation of the Electronic Device. After the first offense, the
student’s parent may recover the Electronic Device from TA
administrative office at the end of the school day. After the second
offense, the student’s parent/guardian shall be notified that the
student has twice violated this policy and that the parent/guardian must
recover the Electronic Device from the TA administrative office with a 1
day ISS. After the third offense, the Electronic Device will be
confiscated for the remainder of the school year. Electronic Devices
that are not recovered at the end of the school year may be disposed of
by TA. A student who violates this policy more than two (2) times during
the school year also may be subject to discipline for engaging in
willfully disruptive conduct.
TA shall not be liable or
responsible for the loss of or damage to any Electronic Device brought
to school and / or confiscated from a student pursuant to this policy.
PDA-Public Display of Affection
PDA or public display of affection is defined as the show of affection between two people on Taos Academy campus.
Appropriate PDA: Holding hands, less than 3 second hug, kiss on the cheek.
Inappropriate PDA is defined as any show of affection beyond those listed above.
of concerns for safety and security, skateboards and rollerblades are
not to be used at anytime on campus. Bicycles shall be dismounted once
on campus and secured to one of the bike racks provided. TA is not
responsible for any loss, theft, or damage of skateboards, rollerblades,
bicycles, etc. brought onto campus. Bicycle and skateboard use to and
from school requires use of a helmet (effective July 1, 2007 - new state
Habitually Disruptive Behavior
disruptive behavior is defined as a student who fails to comply with
policy or is a disruption in the classroom, on school grounds, in school
vehicles, at school activities or events at least five times during the
school year for behavior which is initiated, willful and overt and
which requires attention of school personnel to deal with the
harassment regarding student-to-student, adult-to-student and
student-to-adult conduct means unwelcome or unwanted conduct of a sexual
nature (verbal, nonverbal, or physical). Any sexual harassment should
be reported to a staff member immediately.
Bullying (face-to-face or cyber)
is an act of aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another
person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an
individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.
Bullying behavior includes name calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, exclusion from social situations, physical abuse, or coercion. Bullying will not be tolerated at TA.
Destruction of School Property
must respect the Taos Academy Charter School property. Current
replacement price is imposed on any lost or excessively damaged
equipment or educational materials. Grades and Transcripts may be
withheld for any delinquent accounts.
Health and Wellness
Students who experience health problems during the school day must report to the administration office.
Students are evaluated by the staff for emergency health problems.
Students will be assessed and an attempt to reach the parent will be
made. Attempts to reach a parent will always occur when a health problem
exists or an injury is sustained during the school day. If the health
office staff has assessed the student as able to remain in school and a
parent cannot be reached, the student will be returned to class. Parents
or other designated emergency contacts must pick up the student from
school and sign them out in the office. Parents are requested to report
any serious injury or ongoing health conditions that occur throughout
the school year to the health assistant or director to support
educational success and recovery. For severe illness or injury cases,
Holy Cross Hospital will be dispatched.
TA Policies in accordance with the New Mexico State Department of Health, Office of School Health are as follows:
than meter dose inhalers, NO medications are to be carried by students
on campus. This includes both prescription and over the counter
Parents who wish to have
over the counter medications available for distribution to their student
during the school year must obtain an over the counter medication form
from the administrative office and return it with the medication in the
original container. The medication will be provided as needed to the
student in the administrative office.
who require prescription medication during the school year must obtain a
prescription form. It must be filled out by the prescribing Physician
and the lower parent release part signed by the parent. It must then be
returned with the medication in the original prescription container and
the script must match the Physician orders. Prescription
medications will be given within one hour of the time due and students
will sign for their dose. This is assisted self-administration. When
students fail to present to the office for their medication, every
attempt to locate them and provide it to them will occur. However, due
to emergencies this may not always be possible. If your student
consistently has to be called to the office for medication, the health
staff will request a parent meeting with you to determine the best
solution to this problem. When a student has run out of medication, the
bottle will be sent home with the student and the parent will be called.
Parents should bring their students’ medication to the office at the
start of the school day when possible.
caught in possession of either prescription or over the counter
medications during the school day may be subject to Level III
disciplinary measures. Students who either give or sell
prescription drugs or over the counter medications to other students on
campus will be subject to Level III disciplinary measures under selling,
distributing or exchanging an illegal substance. It is imperative to
understand that both over the counter and prescription drugs have
different effects on individuals and could cause great harm or even
death when given to someone for whom it was not intended.
Medications and Over the Counter Medication will not be kept year to
year. Students or parents must pick up the medications in the health
office by the last day of school. All medications left at school will be
discarded on the last day of school. Physician orders
for medications expire at the end of the school year, as do over the
counter parent permission slips.
Academy will provide special education services in accordance with
mandates of law, the Public Education Department, and Taos Academy
Special Education Policies and Procedures Manual. Please see Special
Education policy and procedures for more detail.
Participation in interscholastic activities. This includes all sports
teams as well as any after school activities from which students request
From the NMAA Section VI - Eligibility - 6.1 Sports Participation:
participation in interscholastic activities plays a significant role in
personal and educational development. Participation is a privilege, not
Students who participate in
interscholastic activities represent the school, depict its character
and serve as role models to other students. Accordingly, participants
are subject to a standard of academic performance and to higher
standards of conduct both in and out of the school setting. Continued
participation in interscholastic activities is conditioned upon
observing and maintaining such standards.
From NMAA Section X: Charter School / Alternative School / Home School Student Participation
… a charter school student is eligible to participate in school
district activities at the public school in the attendance zone in which
the student resides, according to the New Mexico Activities Association
As a state charter
school, students at Taos Academy are able to participate in district
sports and clubs and are subject to all NMAA regulations. They are also
subject to our school policies while attending interscholastic
activities outside of our campus.
In addition to the NMAA guidelines, Taos Academy Charter School has adopted the following policy as they pertain to our school.
Student who wishes to participate in an interscholastic activity
outside our campus must complete an “Off Campus Sports and
Extracurricular Activities Form”. Student may obtain this form from
their Adviser or School Registrar. Student should allow ample time for
all signatures and to be sure they are academically eligible before
attending any practices.
B. TA will determine initial eligibility
of participation based on most recent academic transcript. Student must
have a minimum 2.0 GPA in order to start participating in the activity
with no more than 1 F. If a student does not have this GPA, they will
not be allowed to join the off campus activity. This is NMAA policy and
all students/schools in the state are bound by it.
C. Once a
student has been found eligible and form has been submitted to their
Adviser, they are allowed to leave TA campus at 3:00 (or appropriate
time based on activity) on their regular school days. Students are
required to provide TA with schedule of all practices and games prior to
participation. Students must acquire this from their coach and provide
information to their Adviser.
D. Further eligibility will be
determined as per Taos Academy’s regular academic policy which can be
found in Student Handbook. Please note the following specifics as they
relate to a student leaving early for extra-curricular activities:
Academy students are aware of their grades and progress on a daily
basis. It is therefore the student’s responsibility to keep grades above
70% in all classes in order to be able to leave school early for
measure is Sunday’s Edgenuity progress report. Students are subject to
all academic policies regarding Academic Warnings, Academic Absences,
and Academic Contract.
If a student
falls below the 70% grade threshold in any class one week, they will get
a warning from their adviser as part of our regular academic process.
They must coordinate getting their grades up by the next Sunday report.
Student should coordinate resets / re-grades with their advisor in a
timely manner in order to have ample time to bring up grades before
Saturday’s weekly cut-off and Sunday’s progress report.
a student continues to be behind a second week, they will receive an
Academic Absence and should continue to work with their adviser to get
grades up by the next Sunday report. (See week 1)
3 weeks behind academic target, a student is no longer allowed to leave
campus early AND goes on Academic Contract. A student who is on an
Academic Contract will be considered ineligible for the entire contract
E. Since the NMAA requires an eligibility check
every 9 weeks, Taos Academy will be providing progress reports (GPA) to
the Athletic Director of the public school or to the Director of the
extra-curricular activity according to their date for eligibility.
Students must be aware that if they do not have the required GPA on that
date, they will be considered ineligible to participate for the rest of
the season. This date usually falls on a Friday and therefore may be
before TA’s weekly Sunday progress report. No prior notice to student is
needed since TA students can check their grades on a daily basis and
should already know from their coach when the 9-week eligibility check
student handbook policies are abbreviated from Taos Academy Approved
Policy. For more detail on a particular process or policy please refer
to Taos Academy Policy and Procedures available at Taos Academy.