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Handbook – Primary

The Dartmouth Campus

  • Open from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.   
  • 1501 Dartmouth Avenue, Austin, TX 78757
  • Phone: (512) 383-5708
  • Fax: (512) 459-1875
  • Website: www.paragonprep.com

For Preschool – 4th grades, the school day begins at 8:00 A.M. and concludes at 3:00 P.M.

The Koenig Campus   

  • Open from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
  • 2001 West Koenig Lane, Austin, TX 78756
  • Phone: (512) 459-5040
  • Fax: (512) 459-1875
  • Website: www.paragonprep.com
  • For 5th grade, the school day begins at 7:30 A.M. and concludes at 3:00 P.M.
  • For 6th grade, the school day begins at 7:30 A.M. and concludes at 2:45 P.M.
  • For 7th grade, the school day begins at 8:30 A.M. and concludes at 3:50 P.M.
  • For 8th grade, the school day begins at 8:30 A.M. and concludes at 3:35 P.M.

The Paragon Difference

Paragon provides a dynamic, fun, and stimulating environment in exchange for a student and parental commitment to excellence. It is this partnership that makes Paragon a success and an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. Paragon produces students who are well rounded, inquisitive, thoughtful, concerned for others, and devoted to (and knowledgeable about) democratic and entrepreneurial principles. Paragon strives to inspire students to become articulate, ethical, and eager for further learning.

School Philosophy

Our students strive for independence, acceptance, self-expression, and academic and personal success. The path from childhood to adolescence brings new struggles in all areas of life: academic, social and personal. We provide guidance, support, and encouragement so that students experience positive outcomes after encountering the challenges that come with childhood and adolescence. Paragon stresses student responsibility and teaches that self-discipline, goal setting, and teamwork are the keys to academic success. Paragon strives to help students master a core of essential knowledge; learn to think logically and independently; value honesty, self-reliance, and respect for others; and apply their learning to real-world situations.

AfterCare

AfterCare (a paid, after school tutorial time) runs from dismissal until 6:00 P.M. daily on both campuses. Paragon charges $12 an hour for this service for drop-ins, or parents may register in advance for an all inclusive plan for $150 per month. Parents are billed monthly.

Bad Weather Policy

On bad weather days, Paragon will always follow the decisions made by Austin Independent School District regarding delays and cancellations.

Attendance

Students at Paragon must be prompt and regular in attendance. Attendance will be taken each day, and students are expected to attend each day, on time unless they are ill or their parent or guardian has furnished good reason for their missing school. When students plan to be gone from school, they should make every effort to get their work ahead of time and check on what they missed when they return.

When absent, please e-mail notification to office@paragonprep.com by 8:30 AM.

If your child will be absent, tardy, if there will be a delay in picking your child up from school, or if someone new will be picking up your child please e-mail notification to  office@paragonprep.com

Students will be responsible for completing in a timely manner both classwork and homework missed due to absences and tardiness. Students who are absent more than five days in one school year are at risk of losing credit for that school year. Such cases will be reviewed by the school’s administration. Missed assignments are available on the school’s web page after 4:30 each day.

Required Dress

Paragon emphasizes the qualities of neatness, courtesy, self-respect, and mutual respect. The school dress standard plays an important role in learning these principles and fostering an environment of academic focus and appropriate social development.

Allowed:

  • Collared Shirts with sleeves (must be buttoned and cover shoulders and midriffs)
  • Plain sweaters/sweatshirts, and college sweatshirts may be worn over collared shirts
  • Shorts, capris, or pants of any color (shorts may not be rolled up further than manufactured)
  • Caps (follow the expectations within each classroom)
  • College sweatshirts
  • Paragon and college t-shirts on Fridays
  • Closed-toe shoes that are safe and appropriate for the day’s activities
  • Appropriate t-shirts and Paragon issued shorts may be worn for PE.

Not Allowed:

  • Sheer and see-through clothing
  • Skirts or Skorts
  • Sweatpants and athletic shorts (other than at PE)
  • Shorts that do not reach or exceed the student’s fingertips when arms are held to the side
  • Shorts that are rolled up higher than originally manufactured
  • Tights, spandex, leggings, jeggings, and excessively skinny jeans

Other dress, grooming, or accessories that are deemed unsafe, dangerous or disruptive may be prohibited.  On dress-up days, students should be able to change into and out of costumes independently, and all costumes should be modest and tasteful.

Homework and Preparation

To be prepared for each day’s classroom experience, a student must conscientiously complete his/her assignments, both written and unwritten and come with all necessary supplies. The students are encouraged to schedule time each day after school for homework preparation.

Grading and Reporting

Paragon employs a conventional scoring system in grades 3-8. Student grade point averages are calculated using a straight average of their academic courses. 90-100 = A; 80-89 = B; 70-79= C; 0-69 = F. In grades K, 1 and 2, Grades are as follows: E= Exceeds expectations, S = Satisfactory, D = Developing, N = Needs improvement. Paragon observes a trimester schedule with academic reports being sent to parents in November, February, and May. Paragon teachers upload their grades to a parent accessible webpage on a weekly basis for the use of parents and students. Students must maintain an average of 70 in all classes to be eligible to re-enroll for subsequent years of education at Paragon.

Grades and Extracurricular Activities

If a student participates in Paragon athletics and extracurricular activities and their grades fall below a 70 in any class during a trimester, then a meeting with an administrator, coach, student, and parent must occur to develop a plan of action to bring all grades above a 70 for further participation in sports programs and extracurricular activities.

Services Duties

Students will participate in cleaning the school and school grounds on a regular basis. All students will share service duties.  Paragon Knights never walk past a piece of trash!

Testing and Evaluation

A quiz covers material that a student should know from having conscientiously completing the homework. Quizzes are given regularly in most classes and may or may not be announced. A test differs from a quiz in that a test requires special preparation beyond the normal night’s assignment. Teachers generally give students at least one week’s notice before a test, and normally students take no more than one test in the same day. Tests are not normally given on Mondays. Students may take major exams at the end of each trimester that are comprehensive in nature. In addition to tests, which originate in the classroom, Paragon students in grades 2 -8 take nationally standardized tests annually.

Student Discipline

At Paragon Prep, students are expected to act in accordance with the Paragon Honor Code. Classroom discipline is the responsibility of each teacher and the majority of classroom disruptions are handled at the classroom level. If a student’s continued disruptions interfere with the continued progress of the class, a meeting will be arranged with the parents to discuss the student’s behavior and disciplinary action. Minor infractions of the Honor Code will be noted in each student’s Behavior Report. Repeated infractions will result in mandatory attendance in detention. Please note that a student’s (or parent’s) disregard of the rules or personnel of the school may be deemed sufficient cause for dismissal. Nothing in this handbook limits the school from dismissing any student at any time for any reason that the school deems worthy.

Academic Dishonesty

Cheating, plagiarism, and all other forms of academic dishonesty are forbidden at Paragon. A first offense will result in a grade of “0” for the assignment and a parent conference. Subsequent offenses will  include week-long suspensions in addition to a grade of “0” and a parent conference. Repeated offenses may lead to expulsion. Cheating with a device will also cause loss of device privileges.  

Accommodations

At student and/or parent request, students may be granted extended time on exams and/or preferred seating if deemed necessary by the school.

Grievance Policy

If a parent or student has a grievance with a particular teacher about a specific item or event, he or she should contact that teacher to resolve the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved with the teacher alone, parents and students should contact one of the school administrators – Paul Benton, David McGrath or Mark Hathaway. Any grievances that are not with a particular teacher about a particular item or about a particular class should be addressed to one of the school administrators.

Student Health and Medication

Students must receive an annual Physical Exam by their physician. Parents are to submit completed copies of the Health Screening Form, Immunization Record, PE Participation Waiver, and the Student Emergency Information Form by August 1st of each year. Students required to have an emergency inhaler or EpiPen should carry these devices at all times on their person and bring two of the devices and directions for their use to leave at school. First aid and medical care will be administered by Paragon personnel or medical personnel that they select when they reasonably believe it to be required. Other than the emergency administration of inhalers or EpiPens, Paragon personnel will not administer medications to students. Student who are required to take medication during the school day may, with parent permission, bring with them a single dose in their lunchbox or backpack to self-administer. Otherwise, parents are required to come to school to administer medication to their children.

Lice

Neither Paragon teachers nor staff will be checking students on an individual or school wide basis.  Parents/Guardians need to make lice screening a part of their family routine. Parents should check their child’s head each week. If lice are detected, the hair must be treated with a topical medicine before the student returns to school. If the student is treated with a lice comb only, all nits must be removed since untreated nits will hatch into lice.

Parents’ Agreement (From Admissions Contract)

I agree to accept and be supportive of the rules and of the personnel of Paragon and acknowledge that my student’s misbehavior while on campus or off may be deemed sufficient cause for dismissal. Furthermore, I agree to the policy of the school that, until an account is paid in full to date, no student will be permitted to take examinations. Grades, transcripts, and re-enrollment contracts may be withheld as well if accounts are not paid in full. Complete payment of all accounts is due within thirty (30) days of billing. Interest at the rate of 1.5% per month will be charged on past due accounts.

I agree that the student may participate in all school activities, including athletics, and any school-sponsored trip away from the campus unless the school receives my written notice to the contrary.

At school, school events, contests, and competitions, I will: encourage fairness; cheer in a positive manner for all students; not criticize the opponents of our team; and not embarrass my own student by my behavior. I will: allow the coach to do the coaching and the teacher to do the teaching; show respect for the teachers, coaches and game officials by not openly or otherwise criticizing them or undermining their authority in the eyes of my student; and display good sportsmanship as a positive example for my student.

I understand that photographs as well as video and audio recordings may be taken of my student at various times at Paragon. I acknowledge that I do consent to such photographs and recordings of my student’s likeness and/or voice being taken and consent to an understanding that the use of photographs and recordings in which my student is pictured or recorded are for the school’s use, promotional materials, and/or publications and I do not request compensation for the use of my student’s likeness.

I hereby authorize medical personnel selected by Paragon or its agents to provide any medical care to my student, which they reasonably believe to be required. This authorization is unlimited in scope including, but not limited to: authority to order injections, anesthesia, surgery and other invasive medical procedures. By virtue of this authorization, I also agree to assume full financial responsibility.

Honor Code

The Paragon Honor Code plays an important role in maintaining an optimum environment for learning and enjoying school. Students are obligated to memorize and uphold the Paragon Honor Code:

  • I will be respectful of school personnel, fellow students and parents. I will keep all rules as set by the class, teacher and administration. I will not ridicule, ostracize or demean others. I will not do anything to harm other students or the staff.
  • I understand that all students have the right to a quiet and orderly school environment. I will respect this right.
  • I will respect the property rights of all. This means that I will not deface, vandalize or in any way damage the property of fellow students, the staff or the school. I will help keep the classrooms, bathrooms, and outdoor areas clean and orderly.
  • I will be in attendance each day unless sick or specifically excused by the administration. I will complete all homework and class assignments missed due to absence. I understand that I will not be allowed to make up exams missed due to unexcused absences.
  • I will make good use of class time for all academic work. I will complete all homework and class assignments in a timely manner.
  • I will arrive at and depart from school as authorized by my parents or school administration.
  • I will be honest with others and with myself. I will do my own work. I will not copy from other students nor allow others to copy from me. I will not plagiarize or cheat in any way.
  • I understand that chewing gum is not allowed at any time on campus.
  • I will abide by the Paragon dress standard.
  • I will strive for excellence in all things at all times.

Paragon’s Daily Policies

MOAT Books

In grades 3-8, MOAT Books (daily planners issued by school) must be initialed nightly by parents and each school day by a teacher – this is the student’s responsibility and no one else’s. They are to be kept neat and in good condition. The outside of the book is not to be decorated or mutilated in any way. Damaged or decorated books will be replaced at student’s expense. MOAT Books should be brought to each class every day. Students must obtain a  Temporary MOAT Book from the Front Desk if the MOAT Book was forgotten.  MOAT Books may be inspected by teachers at any time.  Any student caught taking another’s MOAT Book will serve an immediate detention.

Before and After Hours Policies

Students may arrive at either campus at 7:00 or later. At dismissal times, students should be packed and ready for pick-up. Aftercare is available from dismissal until 6:00.

Drop-off and Pick-up Policies

Parents may either  drop-off and pick-up students from their vehicle in the designated loading zone, or walk their student to  or from the school’s entrance.  Parents should not to enter the school building before the thes start of the school day, as students are to walk independently to their classroom.  Note: no cell phone usage is permitted in the school parking lot.

Phone Calls

Student phone calls are to be made at the front desk on the school phone ($0.25 or one “Setback” per call) or on a student’s personal cell phone at the Front Desk. For medical emergencies or forgotten lunches, students may use the school phone free of charge. Classroom phones are only for teachers.

Building Use and Movement

Students should never open an external door of the school without teacher permission. Students should not be outside the building without a teacher. Students walking in the parking lot must be with a parent or teacher. Be careful on the stairs. Stay to the right, single file. Do not throw anything off the stairs. No students in teachers’ lounge, kitchen, or storage closets. Students may only eat in classrooms with teacher permission and supervision. Restrooms on the 1st floor are for adults only. No running on campus, except in the gym. During classes, students must have a hall pass to leave their classroom. Students should find the shortest and least disruptive route to the restroom or office. Students are only to be in rooms supervised by teachers.

Restroom Policy

Students are responsible for helping keep our restrooms clean. Students are responsible for cleaning up after any messes or trash that they leave in the restroom. If students find a mess or trash in the restroom they are responsible for reporting it immediately to the front desk.

Device Policies for Students in Grades PreK-5th

In general, iPods, iPads, Kindles, laptops, video games, smart watches, and all other fun electronic devices are not permitted at school. Exceptions can be made by specific teachers for specific assignments. Student cell phones must be kept in lockers during the school day (no pockets). Cell phones may be used at the front desk, instead of the pay phone, between classes or used after school is dismissed with permission. Cell phones may only be used to make phone calls to one’s parents or guardians – no texting, photography, music, etc. Breaking any of these rules will result in electronic device confiscation. Confiscated devices can be reclaimed at the front desk after a (minimum) 24-hour delay for a $25 fee (cash only, no IOUs).  Paragon is not responsible for lost, stolen, or broken devices.

Cubbies

All students will have a cubby in which they may store their items. Cubbies located in classrooms may not always be accessible. Students may not take anything out or put anything into anyone else’s cubbie Students may not place themselves or others in cubbies.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found Items will be stored temporarily in a bin. Items that are not quickly recovered may be returned to students and the student will be written up. Unclaimed items will be donated to charity.

Vandalism

Vandalism to school property or property of another person will result in disciplinary action and fines for the amount of the replacement or repair of the damaged property.  Littering and Gum Chewing are not allowed.

Backpacks and book bags

Backpacks and book bags are to remain in cubbies and should not be brought to each classrooms during the day.

Lunch Rules

  1. Water is the only drink allowed in the gym (new floor policy)
  2. Students should remain seated while eating.
  3. Students cannot leave the lunch area for any reason without permission.
  4. No throwing food, climbing, or standing on seats or tables.
  5. Students must clean up after themselves.

Food Policies

Students are responsible for coming to school prepared with lunch, snacks, and a Paragon Official Water Bottle full of water, every day. Students may bring a lunch from home or purchase lunch through Lunchtray (Monday – Friday) or Paragon’s Fast Food Friday program on Fridays. Lunches purchased through Lunchtray or Paragon must be ordered in advance and cannot be bought to replace a forgotten lunch the day of.  If a student comes to school without a lunch the student’s parent will be called by their child. Paragon teachers and staff are not responsible for providing students with lunch or snacks.

Students must supply themselves with adequate snacks for the day. A snack break is scheduled each morning, but snacks will not be provided. Healthy snacks are highly recommended: fruit, crackers, protein, trail mix, veggies etc. Candy, for example  is not considered an acceptable snack.

Students need to bring a Paragon Official Water- bottle (POW) full of water to school each day. Students are responsible for keeping track of their water bottle and staying hydrated. Please label the water bottle. Additional POWs are available for $1.  Only water is permitted in academic classes, PE and the gym.

Sharing food or water bottles is not allowed. Students may not share their food of any kind because of possible food allergies and parent preferences.

Wasting food is not acceptable. Students may not throw away packaged and un-opened food unless it is past the expiration date. Students are expected to take home leftover food that may be eaten later.

Microwave ovens are available to warm students’ lunches. Students should bring meals that require 1 minute or less of heating time, as we all have to take turns.

Liquid lunches such as soup or chili should be sent to school in a thermos or plasticware of some sort. Cans of liquid with pull-off metal lids should be avoided due to the dangers of spills and cuts.

On special occasions such as birthdays and holidays, parents may coordinate with the home-room teacher to bring in non-food treats for their child to share with the all the other students in their child’s grade. Examples include special pencils, erasers, stickers, bookmarks, etc. Due to the many food allergies and dietary restrictions of our students, Paragon Primary no longer celebrates children’s birthdays with food.

Birthday Policies

We know that having a birthday is a big thing to many of our students.  We’d love for them to celebrate with us here at school.    On a student’s birthday, he or she may:

  1. Check out and wear one of the Paragon Birthday Capes
  2. Have their parents join us for lunch
  3. Have their parents bring them an extra special lunch
  4. Bring non-food treats for their grade-mates, like pencils, bookmarks, etc.  – no food treats on birthdays.

Make-up Work Policies

Making up work as soon as possible is always best, but your teachers expect you to make up any assignments missed within one week from the day you return.

If you are absent the day before long-range assignments or projects are due, you are expected to come to school prepared to submit or present when you return. The same applies to long-announced tests. Teachers are happy to discuss options if you feel circumstances have truly interfered with your ability to be successful.

Be sure to talk with teachers at appropriate times about missing assignments. You should use the time before your first class begins, as well as the mid-morning break time. Please do not use passing periods or class time; your teachers want to be sure that they have plenty of time and attention to catch you up and answer all of your questions.

Anti-Bullying Pledge

At Paragon, we want to provide an environment where everyone supports positive social interactions, inclusiveness and prevents bullying before it starts.  “Bullying” means unwanted aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance. In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include these two characteristics:

  1. An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  2. Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

The three types of bullying:

  1. Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Examples: Name-calling, Inappropriate sexual comments, Taunting, Threatening to cause harm.
  2. Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Examples: Leaving someone out on purpose, Telling other children not to be friends with someone, Spreading rumors about someone, Embarrassing someone in public.
  3. Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Examples: Hitting/kicking/pinching, Spitting, Tripping/pushing, Taking or breaking someone’s things, Making mean or rude hand gestures

Where and When: Bullying can occur during or after school hours. Bullying can happen in the school building, on the playground, or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in your neighborhood, on the Internet or on your cell phone.

As a student at Paragon, I pledge to:
Not bully others,
Report bullying behavior that I see to a Paragon adult,
Take a stand against bullying behavior.