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Parent / Student Handbook

“Education is not the filling of a bucket, it is the lighting of a fire.”
William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Upward Learning Centre is a unique centre with a special makeup. We are one of a small number of centres in the world that are truly integrated. We welcome all students from every cultural and social background, every learning level and ability - providing all students with a unique environment for learning and preparing them for a world of diversity. Our programs, ethos, and methods are Biblically based - promoting the core values of love and acceptance. Together, students are inspired and motivated to become all they can be at their appropriate level of development and are nurtured to fulfill their potential by a caring, capable, and dedicated team. ULC has grown to over 150 students on two campuses over the last four years, and our facilities and opportunities are continually expanding to provide new experiences and skills for students.

We look forward to getting to know you and your children as we journey together to light the fire and prepare your children for the future.

With Kind Regards,
Andrew Coomby

Upward Learning Centre uses the American-based Abeka curriculum at its core, which combined with our unique approach, provides a tailored learning pathway for each student. Our class sizes are small which means that all students can receive a high level of individualized attention. ULC values the trust that parents have given the Team by placing their children in our care.

We strive to nurture students in three main areas of development:

  • Body – By applying good practice health and safety guidelines and information, our goal is to equip students to present their bodies fit for useful service in society.
  • Mind – Logic, objectivity, and reason come from our mind. At Upward Learning Centre, we place great value on developing our students’ minds. Our goal is to give students the necessary tools to contribute their talents and abilities to society now and for the future.
  • Soul – Our emotions and attitudes originate here; so this area is related to a student’s approach towards honesty, dignity, and respect. Our goal in this area is to train and maximize the character values necessary for effective adult life.

Student Hours
Class hours for students are Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

If a student is exempt from Religious Studies or Chapel, they are required to be present and ready for second period classes at 8:30 a.m. If children are dropped at the Centre before 8:30 a.m., they will be included in the Religious Studies or Chapel classes.

Admin Office Hours
Admin Office hours are from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Field Trips
Each student must have a field trip Student Participation Form on file before participating in field trips and off-campus extra curricular activities. These will be distributed to students or parents (depending on grade-level) to be signed and returned to the Admin Office on the following day. Should a parent have questions about a field trip, they should contact the Admin Office.

Communication
There are several ways available to encourage communication between ULC, teachers, and parents: meetings with parents of new students, IEP and progress report meetings, parent/teacher meetings as needed, and written communications (memos, permission slips, WhatsApp, emails, Upward Updates, newsletters, communication journals, etc).

While we encourage communication between parents and teachers, it must be done using the correct process. Only communication via administrative channels will be deemed official.

Telephone messages left by parents or guardians will be given to students only during break time unless it’s an emergency.

If parents wish to drop off lunch boxes, or anything else, this can be done through the Admin Office.

Parent-Teacher Meetings
Parent-Teacher Conferences and other campus-sponsored meetings are an important part of developing a positive partnership between families and teachers. Meetings can be arranged through the Admin Office outside teaching hours

Parent-Teacher Meetings

  1. After GP1 (Compulsory): Progress meeting
  2. After GP3 (Compulsory): Progress meeting

Parent-Teacher Meetings: Students with additional support needs

  1. August/September (Compulsory): IEP meetings
  2. After GP2 (Compulsory): Progress meeting
  3. June/July (Optional): Assessment of new students / End-of-year assessment for continuing students

Additional meetings can be arranged with the Admin Office.

1MK: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Oasis: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

General Education Progress Reports

In order to track and communicate a student’s progress, parents will receive four progress reports per academic year. These are usually issued within two weeks after the end of each grading period (GP).

Special Education Progress Reports

SEN progress reports will be sent out twice yearly: January and June. This longer duration allows teachers to more accurately assess students’ progress.

Weekly reflection sheets and communication books will keep parents continuously updated.

Emergency Communication
If there is an emergency, parents will be immediately notified by a phone call.

Administrative Procedures
Parents or guardians should inform the Admin Office immediately of changes to student addresses, contact numbers, email addresses, and custodial arrangements.

Please inform the Admin Office if:

  • There is a situation which might cause anxiety to your child
  • There are changes to your child’s medication
  • There is a new diagnosis or a change in diagnosis
  • Your child has experienced anything else that might affect their behavior at ULC

Fees and financial information are available from the Admin Office, and the current academic calendar is available online at: www.upwardlearning.net/calendar

Additional Information
Chewing gum, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs are not allowed on campus. Smoking or vaping is also prohibited.

Parents have the most important role in the education of their children. The development of character, attitudes, social skills, and good study habits begin at home. ULC desires to partner with parents to help students develop these traits.

When you enroll your child at ULC, you now have access to a wealth of experience and wisdom. Most people do not receive training for parenthood - so when it comes to issues of raising your children, training and discipline at home, or anything else related to your children, we are always available to listen and help.

In order to facilitate getting to know each other, understand our common needs, and share our common achievements, several events for families are organized each year. Parents are encouraged to attend all ULC family functions with their children. It is important that we all get together to celebrate these things, so don’t miss out on these important events.

ULC looks for positive support from parents in administering its policies. Criticism of our Centre and team members affects the students' emotional and academic stability and also affects the teacher-student relationship. Please call the Admin Office and schedule a meeting with the relevant parties as soon as a concern arises. We will make every effort to discuss the issue openly with the goal of finding a solution.

  • Be kind and respectful to others.
  • Be inclusive in all your activities.
  • Respect staff authority.
  • Cooperate with a willing attitude.
  • Act in a responsible manner at all times.
  • Pay attention to all instructions.
  • Attend all your classes and be on time.
  • Bring all necessary materials to class and complete assignments on time.
  • Do your best with every task.

In order to maintain a clean and healthy environment for all our students, we ask that parents do not bring their children to the Centre if they are sick or displaying symptoms of illness.

If your child has ANY communicable illness, please notify the Admin Office as soon as possible.

If your child has allergies, please make sure the Admin Office has been notified in writing.

Please note the following guidelines concerning sickness:

  1. A child must be well enough to participate in class
  2. A child with a temperature of 100°F or 37.7°C or above must stay at home. If a child develops a fever of 100°F or 37.7°C or above during the day, he or she will be sent home
  3. A child may return to the Centre after they have been free of fever for 24 hours without the use of medicines
  4. A child with uncontrollable diarrhea must be kept at home
  5. A child who has been vomiting within the last 24 hours must stay at home
  6. A child who is diagnosed with strep throat must have been treated with prescribed medication for 24 hours before returning to the Centre
  7. A child diagnosed with bacterial conjunctivitis (pink/red eye) must have used prescribed medication and have a doctor’s release/report before returning to the Centre
  8. For a child diagnosed with chicken pox or measles; the lesions must be crusted over, fading and/or disappearing for at least 48 hours prior to returning to the Centre. The child must also be free of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicines.
  9. A child diagnosed with mumps must not attend the Centre until the fever and swelling has disappeared for at least 14 days
  10. A child diagnosed with ringworm must be treated for 24 hours before returning to the Centre. The infected area must be kept covered until completely healed
  11. A child with impetigo must be free of weeping lesions. The lesions must be covered and continue to be medically treated for 24 hours before returning to the Centre
  12. A child with head lice must have been treated with medicated shampoo and must be cleared by a Centre team member before returning to the Centre
  13. A child diagnosed with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease must present a doctor’s release/report before returning to the Centre. IMPORTANT: Once diagnosed, the parents must advise the Centre immediately to enable precautions to be taken to minimize the infection of the other students.
    1. Asthma pumps must be sent to the Centre and the Admin Office must be informed in writing
    2. If a child becomes ill while at ULC, the parent will be notified. The child will be placed in the sick bay until a parent comes to pick up the child
    3. In case of an extreme emergency, when a child’s health is at risk, an ambulance will be called and a member of our Team will accompany the child to the hospital. Parent/guardian/authorized adult will be contacted immediately. If contact cannot be made with the parents, the Team will call the emergency contacts provided by the parents.

Often, the word discipline carries ideas of harsh punishment. Punishment should not be confused with discipline as the word really means to disciple or to train. We will use the word discipline in the training sense. Every contact between child and parent, or child and team member, trains a response in a child.

With regard to discipline, ULC and parents should work together for the success of each student. We must cooperate closely in this critical area. Questions or problems may arise between the student and the Team. Occasionally, the Team may be unaware that a problem even exists. If questions or problems are brought home, please phone or visit the Admin Office so that a cooperative effort may be made to resolve the problem. Please check the source of the issue with us first.

Each child has a unique personality and responses. Therefore each team member’s response to a child may be different. Discipline will be carried out whenever necessary, according to the individual circumstances.

It is expected that each student will maintain a high standard of personal conduct. This standard will also be demonstrated by the Team. Neither the Team nor students should tolerate profanity, disrespect, or obscenity in word or action. In fact, the opposite traits should be displayed at all times: kindness, patience, cooperation, respect, and words of encouragement.

Our Team follows specific steps when classroom discipline is necessary:

  1. Students will be asked to stop what they are doing
  2. If they continue to misbehave, they may be asked to leave the room and do their work in an alternative environment
  3. If further discipline is needed, the Principal will give appropriate consequences and will inform the parents
  4. Repeat offenders will receive more severe consequences which could include suspension or expulsion from ULC as determined by the Management

Teenage Relationships
Wholesome friendships are encouraged at ULC. However, promiscuous displays of affection are not permitted at any time while on campus. Our Team will provide guidelines in this context when the need arises and will help to guide teenagers through the complexities of development at this age. Constant communication between the parents and the Team can help to eliminate difficulties in these turbulent years, and together, we can help these young adults find their place in society.

Students will be allowed to bring cell phones and other devices to the Centre. However, unless a teacher specifically requests the use of the device, they MUST be switched off. Devices will be confiscated if used without permission. Confiscated devices may be collected from the Admin Office at the end of the day.

In the case of an emergency, parents will be contacted through the Admin Office. Should there be an emergency at home, please contact the Admin Office to pass on the relevant information or to talk to your child.

ULC will not be responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen property, including electronics.

Internet access is provided for students and staff. The following must be observed during internet usage:

  • The network and all technologies are intended for educational and work-related purposes.
  • All activity over the network or using Centre technologies may be monitored and web activity records may be retained indefinitely.
  • Access to online content via the network may be restricted in accordance with our policies.
  • Chat groups and social media should not be accessed during class times.
  • Students are expected to follow the same rules for good behavior and respectful conduct online as they would offline.
  • Misuse of Centre resources can result in disciplinary action including: notification to parents; suspension of network, technology, or computer privileges; or suspension from classes or Centre-related activities.

The complete MINDSPACE Media Policy is available from the Admin Office.

Fresh water dispensers are available within the Centre to ensure students can maintain adequate hydration. Cups are not available; please send your child with a refillable water bottle.

The Centre provides a selection of nutritious snacks and lunches for students through the on-site Will You? Cafe. Please see the Admin Office for more information.

If you do not wish to subscribe to meals from the Will You? Cafe, please send a nutritious snack and lunch with your child every day. Students learn and behave better when they are not hungry. There are two breaks in the day for eating - morning snack break and lunch.

When a student turns fifteen, they will be allowed the privilege of leaving campus to buy food at lunch time, as long as parents have previously signed the consent form which is available at the Admin Office.

Prohibited Foods
In support of the diversity of our student body, pork is prohibited on campus.

Discouraged Foods
Foods high in sugar content or preservatives are discouraged.

Since we are a secure campus, students are to be dropped off in the foyer. Parents may not enter the Centre unless asked to do so by a team member.

ALL visitors are required to check in with the Admin Office before entering the Centre.

Students may be dropped at the Centre between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. There will be a team member in attendance at the door during this time.

After classes, the students may be picked up between 3:00 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Student Lateness and Absence
Students are expected to arrive and be in class on time each day. Unexcused lateness along with absenteeism will affect a student’s grades.

More than 5 days absent per grading period is reason for concern. If a student’s absences exceed this, the following consequences may apply:

  • Meetings with parents
  • Report card withheld or an incomplete on the report card
  • After-school one-to-one tutoring (subject to fees)
  • Attendance at summer school (subject to fees)

Pick-up of Students
Unless the proper form has been signed, students must be collected from the Centre by a parent, guardian, or authorized adult (over the age of 18 years). To allow collection of your child by another adult, please fill out the necessary form which can be obtained at the Admin Office. If the need arises for an unexpected pick-up, please call the Admin Office to give approval to a non-authorized adult.

When a student needs to be picked up early, the parent, guardian, or authorized adult must complete and sign the necessary form which can be obtained at the Admin Office.

If a student is still at the Centre at 3:15 p.m., they will automatically be enrolled in the after-hours program, HIFK (Honey, I Forgot the Kids). Students will be supervised by a teacher or TA and will be able to study or complete homework.

HIFK (Honey, I Forgot the Kids) Program Fee Structure:
Time of Collection Chargeable Amount Per Student

3:15 - 3:30 p.m.            RM 10

3:30 - 3:45 p.m.           RM 20

3:45 - 4:00 p.m.           RM 30

After 4 :00 p.m.           RM 60 per student / per hour for emergency care

After hours fees are payable in cash, at the time of collection of the student. If you need more information or have any questions, please speak to the Admin Office.

Students Leaving the Centre Alone
Permission for your child to leave the Centre alone after classes can be granted after the proper form has been signed and returned to the Admin Office. MINDSPACE will not be responsible or liable for any misadventures, accidents, or injuries to the student once he or she has left the Centre.

At this time, ULC does not require a uniform; however, students are expected to dress appropriately.

  • Hair must be clean, well-groomed, and out of the eyes
  • Length of hair is not important as long as it meets health & safety requirements in labs, kitchen, and other work areas
  • Male students with long hair are required to keep it tied up in a ponytail, bun, or braid throughout the day
  • Students are allowed to dye or streak their hair only using natural colors and shades (blonde, brown, black, natural red, and burgundy)
  • Unconventional hairstyles and cuts, unnatural color (green, blue, pink, multicolored, etc) are not acceptable
  • Hats, caps, hoodies, beanies may not be worn in the Centre by males or females
  • Lower apparel: defined as pants, capris, shorts, track pants, skirts, dresses
    • Must reach at least to knee level and be worn at the waist
    • Ripped and torn jeans are not acceptable
  • Upper apparel
    • Shirts must have sleeves covering the shoulders
    • Chests must be covered modestly
    • No midriffs showing
  • Sleepwear, pajamas, swimwear or boxer shorts may not be worn as outerwear
  • Clothing must not present or suggest offensive language or images, advertise illegal substances, violence, tobacco, or alcohol products
  • No tongue or lip rings may be worn. Small nose studs are acceptable
  • Shoes and socks may be worn in class, or just socks
  • The Education Management Team has the final word on appropriate apparel and hair style
  • Unless there are cultural or religious reasons, these dress codes will apply to all. Any exceptions must have prior approval from the Education Management Team

MINDSPACE t-shirts should be worn on Fridays and for field trips.