2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...

 Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools
           Wilhelm Lapica, Principal

             A Tuition – Free Public Charter School
                        Think Global
2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...

   Downtown Doral Charter Upper School’s mission is to provide our students with a comprehensive dual
    curriculum and bicultural/bilingual education through language acquisition and innovative programs,
facilitated by a highly-qualified staff promoting students’ academic excellence creating future world leaders.

                               Board of Directors

      Sam Verdeja                                         President and Board Chair

      Maria Montoya                                       Director

      Vera Hirsh                                          Director

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...
Mission Statement / Board of Directors                                         1
Greetings from the Head of Schools                                             3
Website Calendar / Important Dates                                             4-5
Attendance                                                                     6-8
School Hours / Arrival / Dismissal                                             8-10
Fee Based Extended Hours/ Communication                                        10-11
Conferences                                                                    11
Acceptable Conduct                                                             11
Cell Phones                                                                    11
Code of Student Conduct                                                        11-12
Corporal Punishment Policy / Student Discipline                                12-14
Honor Code/Foreign Language Program/Grading Criteria                           14-18
Home Learning Policy                                                           18-19
Interim Progress Reports                                                       19
Report Cards                                                                   19
Honor Roll / Hall Passes / Breakfast / Lunch                                   19-20
Paypams / Cafeteria Rules                                                      20-21
Parties in School                                                              21
Deliveries                                                                     21
Fieldtrip Policy                                                               21
Technology Use Policy                                                          22
Family Rights and Privacy Act                                                  22
Injuries / Accidents / Medication                                              22-23
Emergency Procedures                                                           23-24
School Dress Code                                                              24
Visitors                                                                       24
Parent Teacher Organization (PTA)/ School Advisory Council                     24-25
Volunteers                                                                     25
Procedures for Addressing Concerns                                             26
Parent Portal                                                                  27
Anti-Discrimination Policy                                                     28
         Appendix                                                              29-46
                 Student Discipline Progression Plan (Student Code of Conduct)
                 Uniform Policy / Student Dress Code
                 School Calendar
                 Acceptable Use Policy for the Computer, Local Area Network, and the Internet
                 Parents Involved in Education (PIE), iReady Policy
                 Handbook, Uniform Policy, Secondary Code of Student Conduct Acknowledgement

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...
A Message from the Head of Schools

Dear Parents:

Welcome! Bienvenidos! Bem-Vindos!

On behalf of the administration, faculty, and staff of Downtown Doral Charter Upper School, I welcome you to our great
school! We believe a happy student is a student that learns. Students at Downtown Doral Charter Upper School will enter
school each day to find a warm, welcoming environment, a place where they are loved, encouraged, and supported.
Within a small classroom setting, students’ individual learning styles are addressed by highly experienced and certified
teachers who bring a passion for teaching and a genuine interest in the success of each child. Through a mentoring faculty,
"I can" is instilled in every student. It's an education that is inspiring, empowering and where a little magic happens every

Downtown Doral Charter Upper School’s unique dual language curriculum prepares students to excel in an increasingly
complex global society. Students have a choice of two tracks: Spanish or Portuguese. Within each track, there will be two
programs, the Bilingual Education Advancement Program and the Bilingual Education Studies Program. All students are
expected to become fully bilingual and bicultural by the time they graduate. Through the courses and schoolwide
activities, students will be immersed in the Spanish and Portuguese cultures, allowing them to develop biculturalism.
Multi-lingual and culturally aware, DDCUS students will be opened to a wider world, and to greater success within it. Our
school also offers students ample opportunities to learn and explore academic subjects, the arts, athletics, and numerous
extracurricular offerings. Students from DDCUS will leave the school prepared for a successful postsecondary education
experience and ready to develop as professionals and global leaders in the 21st century.

This handbook is designed to assist you in understanding the policies and guidelines used at Downtown Doral Charter
Upper School. Please read the handbook and discuss appropriate items with your child. After reviewing the handbook,
please complete the Technology Use Policy, Parents Involved in Education Contract, and the Handbook/Uniform
Policy/Foreign Language Requirement/M-DCPS Student Code of Conduct Acknowledgment of Receipt and Review
pages and return them to your child’s teacher by Friday, August 23, 2019.

We’re excited about the journey we’re about to embark upon and we look forward to the accomplishments we will

Best wishes for a successful and enriching 2019-2020 school year!

Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg
Head of Schools

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...

Please refer to our school website at www.ddcus.org for helpful information such as extracurricular activities,
important dates, and special announcements.

CALENDAR 2019-2020

School Begins August 19, 2019……………………School Ends June 3, 2020

Dates when teacher/students are not in school:
      September 2                                   Labor Day
      November 11                                   Veterans Day
      November 28/29                                Thanksgiving Vacation
      December 23 – January 3                       Holiday Break
      January 20                                    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
      February 17                                   Presidents’ Day
      March 23 - 27                                 Spring Break
      May 25                                        Memorial Day

Dates when there is no school due to Teacher Planning Day:
      September 30                                  Teacher Planning Day
      October 9                                     Teacher Planning Day
      October 25                                    Teacher Planning Day
      November 4                                    Teacher Planning Day
      November 27                                   Teacher Planning Day
      April 10                                      Teacher Planning Day
      June 4                                        Teacher Planning Day


      First grading periods ends                    October 24
      Second grading period ends                    January 16
      Third grading period ends                     March 20
      Fourth grading period ends                    June 3

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...

                                               Gold Day
                Period 1                               7:20 – 8:48
                Zone Period                            8:51 – 9:41
                Period 2                               9:44 – 11:09
                Period 3                               11:12 – 1:07
                         Lunch 1                       11:12 – 11:42
                         Lunch 2                       11:55 – 12:25
                         Lunch 3                       12:37 – 1:07
                Period 4                               1:10 – 2:35

                                               Navy Day
                Period 5                                7:20 – 8:48
                Zone Period                             8:51 – 9:41
                Period 6                                9:44 – 11:09
                Period 7                                11:12 – 1:07
                         Lunch 1                        11:12 – 11:42
                         Lunch 2                        11:55 – 12:25
                         Lunch 3                        12:37 – 1:07
                Period 8                                1:10 – 2:35

TESTING SCHEDULE: (6th – 12th Grade)
Please view testing calendar at www.dadeschools.net or at www.ddcus.org.

*Please be sure not to schedule any vacations or appointments during testing dates.

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...
There are no tuition or registration fees charged for Downtown Doral Charter Upper School. The following fees
are associated with specific programs and are used to provide students with personal consumable items:
     Technology Fee: $20
     Music Fee: $20
     Science Lab Fee:
           o Advanced/Honors: $10
           o Advanced Placement: $20
     Art Fee: $20

Regular attendance at school is of the utmost importance to the learning process. Frequent absenteeism
weakens the student’s interest in learning and his/her scholastic achievement. Students involved in multiple
extracurricular activities are advised to keep track of time lost from class to ensure that extracurricular absences
do not interfere with their academic responsibilities.

Attendance Defined: Students are to be counted in attendance if they are physically present in class for at least
two thirds of the class block, have been excused by the teacher on a class-related assignment or on a school
approved field trip.

*Students must attend at least one full day of school during the first week in order to secure their seat at
Downtown Doral Charter Upper School. If a student does not attend a minimum of one full day of school
during the first week of school, they will be withdrawn and their seat will be given to the next student on the
waiting list.

An excused absence is still considered an absence but makes the student eligible to make-up work within the
parameters established for make-up work (see make-up work policy). Excused absences are counted when
determining eligibility for course credit, field trip approval, and attendance awards. Absences are considered
excused when:
       1. Student illness: Students missing 5 or more consecutive days of school due to illness or injury are
          required to provide a written statement from a health care provider. The written statement must
          include all days the student has been absent from school as well as the reason for the absences. If a
          student is continually sick and repeatedly absent from school due to a specific medical condition, he
          or she must be under the supervision of a health care provider in order to receive excused absences
          from school.
       2. Medical appointment: If a student is absent from school due to a medical appointment, a written
          statement from a health care provider indicating the date and time of the appointment, must be
          submitted to the main office.
       3. Death in the family
       4. Observance of a religious holiday or service when it is mandated for all members of a faith that such
          a holiday or service must be observed
       5. Educational enrichment activity that is not a school-sponsored event, as determined and approved
          by the administration: The student must receive advance written permission from the

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...
administration. Examples of special events include: public functions, conferences, and regional, state
          and national competitions.
       6. Subpoena by law enforcement agency or mandatory court appearance
       7. Outdoor suspensions
       8. Other individual student absences beyond the control of the parent/guardian or student, as
          determined and approved by the administration. The principal shall require documentation related
          to the condition.


Any absence that does not fall into one of the above excused absence categories is to be considered unexcused.
Any student who has been absent from school will be marked unexcused absent until he/she submits required
documentation as specified above. Failure to provide required documentation within three school days upon
the return to school will result in an unexcused absence. Unexcused absences include:

       1.   Absences due to vacations, personal services, local non-school events, program or sporting activity.
       2.   Absences due to students providing day care services for siblings or other family members.
       3.   Absences due to illness of others.
       4.   Absences due to non-compliance with immunization requirements (unless lawfully exempted).


A student accumulating ten or more unexcused absences may have quarterly, semester and final grade(s)
withheld pending an administrative review and completion of assigned interventions by the Attendance
Review Committee.

Attendance is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. In the event that a student is absent from
class, the following guidelines should be followed to arrange for make-up work:
     Students should make up assignments within 48 hours of returning to school from an excused absence.
         It is the student’s responsibility to acquire the missing assignments from their teachers, a classmate, or
         the school website.
     Students should make up assessments or make arrangements to make-up assessments within five (5)
         school days upon returning to school. It is the student’s responsibility to coordinate a make-up
         assessment with their teacher. If it is mutually convenient make-up assessments can occur during;
         morning arrival, afterschool, or during the ZONE period.


A student is tardy when he/she is not in the classroom in his /her seat by 7:20 AM. Students arriving to school
after their designated start time are expected to report to the main office for a tardy pass. Students must
provide documentation in order for the tardy to be excused. Tardies will be excused ONLY for medical
appointments or if the student is sick. If a student is late to school due to a medical appointment, a written
statement from a health care provider indicating the date and time of the appointment, must be submitted to
the main office.
2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...
A student who has three (3)tardies will have to serve a detention.

A student who has nine (9) or more cumulative tardies will not be allowed to participate in performances,
extracurricular activities, and special activities for the remainder of the school year, until they have served a
Saturday Detention (see Saturday Detention Policy).


If a student is in attendance in school, he/she will be considered tardy to class if he/she is not in his/her assigned
seat when the tardy bell rings.

Students who have three (3) unexcused tardies to class will have to serve a detention.

A student who has nine (9) or more cumulative tardies will not be allowed to participate in performances,
extracurricular activities, and special activities for the remainder of the school year until they have served a
Saturday Detention (see Saturday Detention Policy).


Students are expected to be in their first class of the day by 7:20 AM. Instruction begins promptly at 7:20 AM.
We request your cooperation in getting your child to school on time as this will ensure your child the best chance
for a successful day. Students need to learn the importance of regular school attendance. In addition, it is
important that students report to school on time.


The early release of students causes disruption to the academic performance of all students and may create
safety and security concerns. No student shall be released within the final 30 minutes of the school day unless
authorized by an administrator (i.e., emergency, sickness).Students and their families are urged to arrange
doctor, dental, and other appointments at hours that are not in conflict with school time.

Parents/Legal Guardians needing to sign their children out of school early must have a completed EMERGENCY
CONTACT CARD on file and must present a valid form of picture ID (driver’s license, military ID, etc.). If a student
must be signed out of school early by an adult other than a parent or legal guardian, the adult must be listed in
the AUTHORIZATION FOR RELEASE OF STUDENT FROM SCHOOL section on the bottom reverse side of the
EMERGENCY CONTACT CARD and must also present a valid form of picture ID. If any of the above is not
available, the student will not be released from school early. Persons listed under the EMERGENCY CONTACT
CARD INFORMATION section on the back of the EMERGENCY CONTACT CARD are only authorized to be
contacted in the event that a parent/legal guardian cannot be reached.


The school hours will be from 7:20 AM – 2:35 PM. Students must be in their first class of the day and in their
seat when the first bell rings at 7:20 AM. Any student who is not in their seat at 7:20 AM will be marked tardy
to school that day.

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook - Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, Head of Schools - Downtown ...


Children should not be left unattended or in any classroom without school personnel supervision.
Supervision, by school personnel, is available beginning at 6:45 AM. Upon arrival, students should proceed to
the following locations:

          Grades                  Monday - Friday                 Location
      6th – 8th Grade           6:45 AM – 7:20 AM                CAFETERIA
      9TH – 12th Grade          6:45 AM – 7:20 AM        Sports Café, Media Center
                                                          and Floor 2 Collaborative

Supervision is provided in the identified arrival locations only. Students will be dismissed from the arrival
locations at 7:15 AM. Students should not be waiting outside of their classrooms prior to 7:15 AM. These
procedures will help ensure staff is able to properly supervise and prepare students for an orderly and timely
start of the day.

Drive Thru Drop Off Option - Students can be dropped off at the vehicle drop-off/loading area in the front of
the building. Vehicles will only be allowed to drive in to our pick area coming from NW 54th Street. Vehicles will
only be allowed to make a right turn into the school campus. Staff will be available to greet students as they
proceed to their designated arrival locations. This is the safest, quickest, and most efficient manner to drop off
your child. If you need to communicate important information to the teacher, please use email or a handwritten
note. Teachers will not be available for a conference at this time. Conferences must be scheduled in advance
during a time when teachers are not responsible for any students.

Walker Option – Students who walk to school will be allowed to enter the campus from the south side along
NW 53 St. The entrance to the campus is located near the main office. Students walking to campus will not be
allowed to enter through the gates leading into the parking lot on NW 54th Street.


Drive Thru Pick Up Option - Students will be released to the Drive Thru Pick Up Area. Vehicles will only be
allowed to drive in to our pick area coming from NW 54th Street. Cars will only be allowed to make a right turn
into the school campus. For their safety, students will not be allowed into a vehicle at any other area of the
school grounds not designated as the drive thru pick up area. Vehicles are to enter single file through the vehicle
drop-off and pick-up lane and remain in single file. If you need to communicate important information to the
teacher, please use email or a handwritten note. Teachers will not be available for a conference at this time.
Conferences must be scheduled in advance when teachers are not responsible for any students.

Walker Option - Students who walk home from school will be allowed to exit the campus from the south side
along NW 53 St. This exit is located near the main office. Students walking from campus will not be allowed to
exit through the gates leading into the parking lot on NW 54 th Street.


After school care is provided at DDCUS. The DDCUS Fee Based Extended Hours and Tutoring Program is available
from 2:35 pm to 6:00 pm daily. Activities include homework assistance, use of school recreational facilities and
tutoring (in small group setting).

Students not picked up by their dismissal time will be sent to our Fee Based Extended Hours Program. The
extended hours rate for late pick up is $15.00 per day for students enrolled in the Fee Based Extended Hours
Program and for students not enrolled in the Fee Based Extended Hours Program it is $25.00 per day.

PROGRAM HOURS AND FEES: Below are the hours of operation for our extended hours programs. For more
detailed extended hours program offerings, see our Fee-Based Extended Hours and Tutoring Program

 UPPER SCHOOL                            2:35 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.             $55 per week / $11 per day
 UPPER SCHOOL                            2:35 PM – 4:30 PM                   $47 per tutoring session
 TUTORING PACKAGE                    Tutoring: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

STUDENT REGISTRATION: The one-time annual registration fee of $50 (non-refundable) is due at registration
with a completed application in order to reserve a spot for your child.


Communication is absolutely essential for success in any human endeavor. The administration and staff
recognize this and will strive to facilitate open and frequent communication with parents at all times.

The school publishes a calendar of events on a monthly basis to provide parents, students, and faculty an
overview of the month. School holidays and vacation dates provide opportunities for family vacations; and trips
are to be planned within these dates to ensure maximum school attendance. This calendar is available on the
school website www.ddcus.org.

Go Green:
In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, the school has adopted the Go Green communicator as the
primary means of communicating special events to the school community. The Go Green can be found on the
school website www.ddcus.org under the parents tab. The Go Green is updated every Thursday evening.

Please feel free to consult with the office regarding any problems or questions that concern your child.
However; it is imperative you speak with the child’s teacher first for classroom issues. It is the parents’ and
students’ responsibility to stay informed. We are striving to be a paperless school as well as instill ownership of
learning in our students. Important information will be posted on our school website. Parents should also hold
students accountable for writing down important information.

If you don’t have access to the internet, please inform the main office.


Parent-Teacher conferences are an important part of the school program. Give your child the security of feeling
the cooperative spirit that exists in a friendly parent-teacher relationship.

It is the desire of the administrators and the faculty to be of service to both parents and students, and every
teacher welcomes a conference with any parent. At no time is it appropriate for a teacher to meet with parents
while students are present, including the arrival time from 7:00 – 7:20 AM or dismissal time. Therefore,
conferences need to be scheduled ahead of time, so the teacher and/or administrator will be available to meet
with you.

Conferences require a scheduled appointment. Please contact the teacher via email or call the front office to
schedule an appointment. Please allow 24 hours for a response.


The policy of Downtown Doral Charter Upper School requires the maintenance of an atmosphere of cordiality,
courtesy, and consideration. This kind of atmosphere can be established and preserved only by a concerted,
sustained effort on the part of all students and staff members, in collaboration with parents.


Possession of a cellular telephone is not a direct violation of the Code of Student Conduct. However, the
possession of a cellular telephone which disrupts the educational process and the use of the cellular telephone
during school hours are unacceptable. Parent must refrain from calling their children during school hours. Any
cell phones in use during school hours, this includes the arrival time from 7:00 AM – 7:20 AM, will be confiscated
and will be kept in the main office. Cell phones will only be returned to the parent. Parents must come in person
to the main office to pick up the cell phone. The school is not responsible for any cell phones not picked up by
the last day of school. Students who bring a cellular telephone to school do so at their own risk. DDCUS is not
responsible for lost or stolen cellular telephones or any other electronic device.


The student’s conduct, to a great extent, determines the full development of his/her potential for learning and
the development of positive relationships. DDCUS follows the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Student Code
of Conduct. The Code of Student Conduct addresses not only the role of the parents, the students, and the
school but also specifies grounds for disciplinary action, procedures to be followed for acts requiring disciplinary
action, (i.e., suspension), and the rights and responsibilities of students.
The Code of Student Conduct can be accessed at: http://ehandbooks.dadeschools.net/policies/90/. If families
are in need of a hard copy of the M-DCPS Student Code of Conduct, please notify your child’s teacher and a copy
will be sent home with the student.


The administration of corporal punishment is strictly prohibited. Downtown Doral Charter Upper School utilizes
diverse alternatives in handling discipline problems. In essence, corporal punishment is not deemed appropriate
as a disciplinary measure and under no circumstances is it permitted. Strategies teachers should use in
encouraging positive behavior include but are not limited to verbal praise, notes / phone calls home, classroom
responsibilities, etc.


Discipline is the process of changing a student’s behavior from inappropriate to exemplary. We are never
satisfied with merely stopping poor behavior. We desire to teach the student to do what is right. Students are
not disciplined out of anger or for the sake of convenience, but with the intention of helping the student make
appropriate choices. Though few students desire discipline, they often need it in order to reach their full

Each teacher will establish appropriate procedures for discipline in his/her classroom based on the following
guidelines. Please note that this list is not all-inclusive.

   1. Students are expected to respect the authority of school personnel, which includes but is not limited
      to: administration, teachers, staff, and substitutes.
   2. Students are expected to respect all other persons, including, but not limited to other students and
   3. Malicious destruction of school property results in the replacement, repair or payment for damages by
      either the student or his/her parents. The placement of stickers on school property is forbidden.
   4. Students shall keep the school clean at all times. There is to be no gum chewing in the school building
      or on the school grounds.
   5. Items such as water pistols, matches, radios, cd players, skateboards, Gameboys, iPod, smart watches
      with internet capabilities, trading cards, Silly Bandz, toys,, etc. are not permitted at school.
   6. Real or toy weapons, knives, guns or any device intended to harm others are strictly prohibited.
      Violations of any of this rule will result in an automatic 10-day suspension and possible expulsion
      from the school, as per the Code of Student Conduct.
   7. No notebook, albums, magazines, lunchboxes, backpacks, etc. will be permitted that carry pictures or
      slogans referring to the drug culture or alcohol, profanity, or inappropriate content.
   8. No profane, abusive or slang language is to be used.
   9. Aggression, drugs, and alcohol will not be permitted. Please refer to the Code of Student Conduct.
      (Students that push, hit, bite, kick, harass, bully or use the internet in a negative way will be given
      consequences as indicated in the Code of Student Conduct.)

Infraction System

Infraction notices are issued to students for disregarding a school regulation. Three infractions automatically
merit a detention. Some infractions are more severe and will result in appropriate consequences beyond an
infraction notice as determined by the Miami-Dade County Schools Code of Student Conduct.

When a student violates a school/classroom regulation, the teacher has the authority to reprimand the
student by issuing his/her own set of classroom consequences. Should there be no indication of improvement,
the student may be given an infraction and/or be referred to an Administrator. Infractions remain on file
during a student’s years at DDCUS and are taken into consideration by the administration when determining
consequences for subsequent infractions earned.

The administration of Downtown Doral Charter Upper School reserves the right to classify any infractions
issued as minor or severe.
The consequences for receiving an infraction may include but is not limited to the following:
     Detention: every three (3) consecutive infractions automatically generate a Friday detention.
     Suspension: as determined by the Student Code of Conduct
     Removal of leadership positions and/or Honor Society/Club memberships
     Loss of privileges (field trips, athletic participation, dances, clubs, etc.)
     Saturday Detention: every 3 Friday detentions automatically generate a Saturday Detention
     Failure to attend a Saturday Detention automatically removes the privilege to participate in all
       extracurricular activities for the current school year.
     Recommendation for Expulsions: as determined by the Code of Student Conduct
     Police Involvement: as determined by the Code of Student Conduct

An infraction issued for cheating, even as a first offense, may result automatically in detentions, loss of
privileges, removal from leadership and honor society/club membership, and/or a referral.

The administration of Downtown Doral Charter Upper School reserves the right to issue consequences in a
manner other than those mentioned above when necessary.

Friday Detentions

Friday Detention is assigned from 2:40 PM – 3:40 PM on Fridays for students who have accumulated three
minor infractions or three tardy arrivals to school and/or class. The following are regulations that pertain to
students issued a detention:
     Lack of transportation does not exempt a student from detention. Students and parents are
       responsible for making appropriate transportation arrangements so that the student can attend
       detention on the assigned date and time.
     Students who fail to arrive on time to detention may earn another infraction and/or detention.
     Students in detention may not access digital devices of any type unless authorized by the detention
     Saturday detentions are three hours long and have start and end times designated by the Principal.
     Students are responsible for informing the Administrator prior to a scheduled detention of any reason
       that would prevent the student from attending a scheduled detention. Only an Administrator may
       excuse a student from a detention.
     Requests for changes to a detention date must be done 48 hours prior to the date of the detention via
       email to an Administrator. The Administration determines if the request is approved.

   Students who fail to serve detentions of any type maybe be issued further disciplinary consequences.

Drugs and Alcohol Policy

The use or possession of illegal drugs or illegal mood-altering substances, alcoholic beverages, drug-related
paraphernalia, or the abuse of prescription or over the counter drugs by any student on school property or while
attending or participating in any school sponsored activity or at any time the student is wearing a school uniform
is forbidden. Transgressions of this rule will result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Code of Student

Student Searches

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom from unreasonable search and seizure of
personal property. Penumbral privacy rights codified by the Florida Constitution and related caselaw also limit
meritless intrusions not warranted by competing governmental interests. Nevertheless, a student’s individual
rights must be balanced against an administrator’s responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of
all students. Accordingly, the search and seizure of student-owned property is permissible in the event that an
administrator has developed a well grounded suspicion that the student has committed a crime, violated a
school rule and/or endangered the safety of other students or employees.
Loss of School Privileges

Students who have earned excessive infractions may lose specific privileges for the duration of their DDCUS
career or for a determined amount of time. Students may be denied participation in extracurricular events,
athletic events, club memberships, leadership positions, Honor Societies, and class activities as a consequence
for violating school regulations.


A student may be suspended from school for a serious violation of rules, accumulation of infraction points,
and/or habitual conduct problems. Suspensions can be indoor or outdoor at the discretion of the
administration. Suspensions will be handled in accordance with the MDCPS Code of Student Conduct. The
following are regulations that may pertain to students issued a suspension:
     On the day of an indoor suspension, the student is prohibited from attending any classes. The student
       is assigned work which must be completed in a place designated by the school administration. If a
       major test is scheduled for this day, it may be administered by the school administration.
     On the day of a suspension, the student may not attend any curricular, co-curricular, or extra-curricular
       activities. This includes participation in athletics, club events, and curricular activities. An outdoor
       suspension also bars the student from attending a school game and/or function as a guest (at home or
       away) for the duration of the suspension.
     A student who is suspended is responsible for arranging with his/her teachers to make up any work
       missed while serving the suspension. Failure to do so may result in a zero for work missed.


   A. Purpose

Downtown Doral Charter Upper School is dedicated to protecting the academic integrity of the school,
   encouraging ethical behavior among its students, and fostering a climate of fair competition.

B. Scholastic Dishonesty Policy Statement

   All forms of scholastic dishonesty are prohibited, whether related to written or oral examinations,
   tests, quizzes, papers, homework, classwork, computer-based assessments, projects, portfolio pieces,
   presentations, or other academic undertakings. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to,
   cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation, copyright violations, collusion and any other act that
   compromises the integrity of a student or intrudes, violates, or disturbs the academic environment of
   Downtown Doral Charter Upper School.

   Cheating is to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. In education cheating includes,
   but is not limited to, the following actions:
       The copying of homework and/or reports from other students
       The copying of books, magazines, and online resources
       The exchange of information on any exam, quiz, testing procedure, homework, class
           assignment or project
       Working together with another individual on an assignment without authorization from the
       Looking at a book, notes, digital devices, or another person’s paper during an exam
       Giving work or information to another student to be copied and/or used as his or her own
                o Giving someone answers to exam questions
                o Informing another student of specific questions that appear or have appeared on an
                o Giving, distributing, or selling, a test, term paper, report, project, or other restricted
                   written material to another student
       Acquiring testing materials through any inappropriate means
       Any dishonest act that gives an unfair advantage on an assessment

   Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. In
   education, plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:
        The attempt of an individual to claim the work of another as the product of his or her own
           thoughts, whether the other’s work is published, or the work of a fellow classmate
        Improper quotations or paraphrasing text or other written materials without proper citation on
           an exam, term paper, project, research paper, homework, or other written materials submitted
           to a teacher as the student’s own work
        Handing in a paper to a teacher, which was purchased from a term paper service
        Presenting another person’s academic work as that of the student
        Using materials received from the internet and trying to pass it off as one’s own work
        Any other attempt to pass off someone else’s ideas as one’s own

   Misrepresentation is an act of commission or omission with intent to deceive. In education, the intent
   is to deceive a teacher. Misrepresentation includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:
         Lying about family or personal circumstances in order to gain academic advantage for oneself
           or others

   Changing answers on graded materials
              Having another person complete an assignment
              Fabricating data/information
              Any other act with intent to deceive a teacher

   C. Consequences for Scholastic Dishonesty

       Violations of the Honor Code accumulate throughout a student’s tenure at Downtown Doral Charter
       Upper School and prior offenses are considered in assessing penalties.

       Consequences for Scholastic Dishonesty may consist of:
           Zero points for the work in question
           An issued infraction for cheating
           Notification to parent
           Detention
           Removal from or ineligibility for leadership positions, honor society membership, or other
             extra-curricular participation
           Removal or suspension from sports teams and other teams and/or clubs representing
             Downtown Doral Charter Upper School
           Ineligibility for school trips, competitions, and/or activities. Refunds are not given when a
             student is denied attendance due to behavioral issues

   D. Student Responsibility

       At Downtown Doral Charter Upper School, a student’s commitment to honesty and personal integrity
       is assumed and expected at all times. Students are expected to report violations of the Honor Code to
       teachers, a member of the Guidance Department, an administrator, or a trusted member of the
       faculty. Moreover, all students are responsible for clarifying, with the corresponding faculty member,
       any ambiguities about violations of the Honor Code on an assignment.

ACADEMIC PROGRAM - Please see http://ehandbooks.dadeschools.net/policies/93.pdf for
information regarding the requirements and procedures for students to progress from one grade to the next,
kindergarten through grade 12 and adult education. The information presented in this document is derived
from requirements set forth by Florida Statutes, State Board of Education Rules and Policies established by the
School Board of Miami-Dade County.

CURRICULUM BULLETIN Please see http://ehandbooks.dadeschools.net/policies/29.pdf for
information regarding requirements for progression from middle school to high school for high school
graduation, for college and career planning, and for athletic team participation.


At the core of the Downtown Doral Charter Upper School mission and vison is our Foreign Language Program.
The Foreign Language Program includes one mandatory foreign language class and one mandatory foreign
language humanities class per year. The Foreign Language Program has two tracks:
           1. Bilingual Education Advancement Program: designed for students articulating directly from
                Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School or for students who have a strong background in
                the Spanish or Portuguese Language (as determined by the Foreign Language Screening).
           2. Bilingual Education Studies Program: designed for new applicants who do not have a strong
                background in Spanish or Portuguese (as determined by the Foreign Language Screening).

Students who are accepted to Downtown Doral Charter Upper School, either from the elementary or through
the lottery process, must remain in the language program they originally selected. Students will not be
allowed to transfer from Spanish to Portuguese or vice versa. Students can however transfer between the
BEAP and BESP programs based on current academic achievement in the foreign language. Any transfers
between the BEAP and the BESP require both teacher recommendation and approval from school




                                                                   GRADE         HONORS GPA      ADVANCED
  6th – 9th Grade    NUMERICAL
                                      VERBAL INTERPRETATION        POINT VALUE                   PLACEMENT
                                                                   (GPA)                         GPA
  A                  90-100%          Outstanding progress         4             5               6
  B                  80-89%           Above average progress       3             4               5
  C                  70-79%           Average progress             2             3               4
  D                  60-69%           Lowest acceptable progress   1             1               1
  F                  0-59%            Failure                      0             0               0
  I                  0                Incomplete                   0             0               0


                    Effort grades are utilized to convey to both students and their parents, the teacher’s evaluation
                    of the student’s effort as related to the instructional program. Effort grades reflect a student’s
                    desire to learn. These grades are independent of academic and conduct grades.

                           1       An effort grade of “1” indicates outstanding effort on the part of the student.
                           2       An effort grade of “2” indicates satisfactory effort on the part of the student.
                           3       An effort grade of “3” reflects insufficient effort on the part of the student.


Conduct grades are to be used to communicate clearly to students and their parents the teacher’s
              evaluation of the student’s behavior. Conduct can be defined as how the student refers to others
              in a socially acceptable way. These grades are independent of academic and effort grades.

                      A      A conduct grade of “A” reflects excellent behavior. The student consistently
                             demonstrates outstanding behavior, consistent with classroom, school, and
                             district standards.
                      B      A conduct grade of “B” reflects consistently good behavior. The student meets
                             established standards for student conduct.
                      C      A conduct grade of “C” reflects satisfactory behavior. The student’s overall
                             behavior is generally acceptable according to established standards of conduct.
                      D      A conduct grade of “D” reflects that there is improvement needed in the student’s
                             overall behavior. The student does not consistently demonstrate behavior that is
                      F      A conduct grade of “F” reflects unsatisfactory overall behavior. The student
                             regularly violates established classroom, school, or district standards of behavior.

The purpose of home learning is to develop study habits in children early on in their academic lives. It is also
used to reinforce concepts that have been taught or to work on projects that have been assigned. If a child does
not understand his/her assignment after trying to do it at home, please send an email to the teacher. We highly
encourage that students use appropriate channels to communicate directly with their teachers concerning their
home learning assignments.

Home learning provides an opportunity for remedial drill, for developmental practice, for enrichment activities
and for the development of study skills and self-discipline.

Parents and students need to be reminded that it is good training to set aside a special, quiet place and time
either in the afternoon or early evening for a child to spend studying or reading for pleasure. This would help
to foster good study habits and improve a child’s reading ability.

A.     Home Learning Provides:
       a.    Reinforcing skills already taught
       b.    Making up work when a child has been absent
       c.    Doing new and interesting special projects
       d.    Utilizing skills learned in school, such as reading a book for enjoyment
       e.    Seeking parental help with drills, such as number facts and spelling
       f.    Viewing educational TV programs

The amount of time on home learning should be reasonable and should depend on the age of the child, his/her
ability and grade level. DDCUS follows the Miami Dade County Student Progression Plan when determining the
amount of home learning assigned. Below you will find the guidelines used for assigning home learning.

Grades 6 – 8: 85 minutes per night, five days per week
Grade 9 – 12: 120 minutes per night, five days per week

These times do not reflect the additional 30 minutes of required reading for all students. Participation in the
Dual Language Program and/or Advanced Classes (Honors and Advanced Placement) often requires additional
home learning assignments on a daily basis.

Assignments must be completed on time and properly written. The only acceptable excuse for not completing
home learning is the student’s illness or a written note stating an emergency, which prevented home learning
from being completed. If a student fails to bring in home learning, he/she should complete it for the following

Teachers keep daily records of home learning assignments which are used in determining quarterly grades. If a
child fails to complete home learning, there may be consequences in the classroom. If a child continually fails
to complete home learning, consequences may include detention. It is important to note that home learning
is the student’s responsibility.

Students will be required to write down their assignments on their iPad (various agenda apps will be provided
to students). Parents are to ensure that home learning is completed, and all communication has been reviewed

The parent’s responsibility is to provide a quiet environment and assistance when needed. In addition,
parents may help in the following ways:
    Show an interest in your child’s work.
    Provide a place and time for quiet study.
    Encourage home reading and facilitate access to diverse book options.
    Review the homework for neatness and completeness.
    Discuss problems related to home study with your child’s teacher/counselor.

Interim Progress Reports go home no later than the fifth week of each marking period. They are sent out at this
time to inform parents and allow the student time for improvement before the report card grade is determined.

Parents are to sign the Interim Progress Report and return it to the homeroom teacher.

Report Cards are sent home four times per year every nine-week grading period. Students are assessed in all
subject areas they are taught. Report cards reflect academic achievement, effort, and conduct for children in
6th — 12th grade.

Important Dates
 Interim Report Distribution                       Report Card Distribution
 September 20, 2019                                November 8, 2019
 December 6, 2019                                  January 31, 2020
 February 21, 2020                                 April 13, 2020
 May 1, 2020                                       June 19, 2020

Principal’s Honor Roll     Superior Honor Roll           Honor Roll
 GPA                  4.0                        3.60-3.99                     3.00-3.59
 Academic Grades      A’s only                   A’s and B’s only              A’s and B’s only
 Conduct Grades       A’s only                   A’s and B’s only              A’s and B’s only
 Effort Grades        All 1’s                    1’s and 2’s                   1’s and 2’s

Perfect Attendance School Recognition – 100% Attendance is for the grading period with no absences and no



Students should travel through the hallways quietly to avoid interrupting ongoing classes. For safety reasons,
students should walk on the right side of the hallway and keep their hands, feet and other objects off the
corridor walls.


At no time is a student allowed to be out of the classroom during class time without an official hall pass and
unless it’s an emergency.


The National School Breakfast Program was enacted to ensure that school children are being served a nutritious
breakfast daily. Our school offers a breakfast at no charge to all students. The breakfast at no charge is not
dependent on the student qualifying for free/reduced meals at lunch. It is available daily from 6:45 a.m. – 7:15


The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs as administered by Miami-Dade County Public
Schools provides free and reduced priced meals for children unable to pay the full price. A nutritious lunch costs
$2.50 per day. Applications for Free or Reduced Priced meals are available in the school office and on the
Parent Portal. Parents must apply for this benefit yearly. Applications should be completed and returned by
Friday, August 23rd for students starting school at the beginning of the school year. Students who enroll after
the school year has begun must return their free/reduced lunch application with their registration packets. A
random selection of applicants will be asked for additional information regarding verification of income.
Notification pertaining to qualification for free/reduced lunch will be sent promptly. Parents are responsible
for providing lunch for their children until the application is approved; however prior year lunch status is valid
for the first two weeks of school only.


Miami-Dade County Public School’s Department of Food and Nutrition allows parents/guardians the
convenience to pay online at https://paypams.com/ via the internet or by telephone for their child’s/children
meals with a credit or debit card. The parent/guardians will create a lunch account online for the child and will
be able to access the following:
    a. View the account balance
    b. Schedule automatic payments
    c. Receive low-balance e-mail reminders
    d. View a report of daily spending and cafeteria purchases


Behavior: Conduct in the cafeteria reflects a student’s home training. Students should eat in an atmosphere
that is conducive to good habits. Please discuss good cafeteria manners with your child. Students will receive
a consequence for improper cafeteria behavior.

    1.   Use indoor voices during lunch.
    2.   Do not play with food or throw food.
    3.   Always be courteous to the cafeteria workers.
    4.   Always use acceptable table manners.
    5.   Raise your hand for assistance.
    6.   Remain seated during the lunch period.
    7.   Discard the trash appropriately when the lunch period is over.

No parties will be allowed in school. Parties should be celebrated outside of school hours, off campus, with friends and


Classes will not be interrupted for deliveries, messages, or to see a student. There will be no food deliveries for
students. Please make arrangements for your child’s lunch ahead of time.

Should an emergency occur where a parent wishes to speak to their child, an administrator must be contacted.


As a learning experience, teachers may plan field trips. Parents may be asked to assist the teacher as chaperone.
In order to chaperone, a parent must be cleared as a volunteer. Parents serving in this capacity may not have
other children accompany them.

Participation in field trips is a privilege. Students serve as representatives of the school; therefore, they may be
excluded from participation in any trip for any reason relating to academics, excessive behavior/conduct
problems and/or attendance.

Written parental permission must be given for students to participate in field trips. The teacher will send home
permission slips and information about each field trip 2-4 weeks prior to the field trip date. Money and
permission slips must be turned in according to the teacher’s instructions, prior to the field trip, or the student
will not be permitted to participate in the field trip.


Downtown Doral Charter Upper School is committed to providing students with access to sound educational
technology to enhance their learning and help them become global leaders. Downtown Doral Charter Upper
School is equally committed to providing a safe learning environment where students appropriately use
technology to enhance their education. For more information regarding the acceptable use policy for
technology at Downtown Doral Charter Upper School please see the appendix item titled Technology Use


The revised Family Rights and Privacy Act became a Federal law in November 1974. The intent of this law is to
protect the accuracy and privacy of student educational records. Without your prior consent, only you and
authorized individuals having legitimate educational interest will have access to your child’s educational records.
In special instances, you may waive this right to privacy to allow other agencies working with your child to have
access to those records.

Requirements for School Entry:
1. a complete Florida Certification of Immunization – Form DH 680 - according to grade level
2. State of Florida School Entry Health Exam –Form DH 3040 - no older than 12 months
3. Tuberculosis Clinical Screening, PPD or Chest X-ray.



If a child is hurt at school or becomes ill, we will do everything possible to make him/her comfortable. You will
be called immediately and if you cannot be contacted, we will contact the person you have listed on your child’s
emergency contact card. Please make sure that your emergency contact card information is updated. In the
event of a serious or life-threatening emergency, the school will call 911 in addition to contacting the parent or
an emergency contact. If your child contracts a contagious disease or head lice, please call the office so we may
alert other persons that may have been exposed. A doctor’s clearance note is required prior to readmitting to
class any student who has contracted a contagious disease.


The administering or dispensing of any medications (including non-prescription medication) to students by
employees of Downtown Doral Charter Upper School without specific written authorization by the physician
and parents of the student is forbidden. If it is absolutely necessary that the child take any medication while
he/she is in school, and a physician’s form is not signed, the parent may come to the school to administer
medication personally. A physician’s form may be obtained from the school office. The medication will be kept
in the office and will be administered by office personnel. Students should complete the Authorization for
Medication Form (FM-2702) and submit to the school office. Students are not allowed to have any medication
(not even over the counter medication) in their possession. Parents must pick up and drop off medicines in
the office. Students are responsible to come to the office at the appropriate time to ask for their medication.
It is not the responsibility of the office staff to remind the student. Please inform your child’s teacher of any
medication procedures. All students enrolled in Downtown Doral Charter Upper School are students of Miami-
Dade County Public Schools, subject to applicable policies and entitled to the same rights.



Your child’s safety is paramount. We need to be prepared for the unexpected. We hold monthly fire drills,
lockdown drills, and extreme weather procedures. Under extreme circumstances should we need to evacuate
the building, the local police will assist in determining the location the students would be held. Under no
circumstances will parents be allowed to pick up their child during an evacuation period.

Students will only be released to the people identified on the emergency contact form. Please bring proper
identification (a picture ID) when picking up your child. Keeping this in mind, please notify the office
immediately when there is a change in home/cell phone numbers.

Accident Reports

Any student who witnesses an accident or is injured in school should report it immediately to the nearest staff

Code Yellow/Code Red

In the event of an emergency, the primary responsibility of all school personnel is to provide for the safety of all
students. In the event a school administrator announces a possible threat to students and staff safety within
the community (Code Yellow), or an imminent threat to students and staff safety within the school (Code Red),
students, faculty and staff will comply with all the procedures outlined in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Critical Incident Response Plan and remain on lockdown until a school administrator makes an “All Clear”

Closing of School

The emergency closing of DDCUS for any cause, such as weather or in which the safety of individuals may be
endangered, is at the discretion of the Head of Schools. In the event Miami-Dade County Public Schools closes
all its schools, DDCUS will also be closed. Please tune in to your local news station in the event of severe
weather. If DDCUS is closed when Miami-Dade County Public Schools is open, parents will be notified as soon
as possible.

Fire Drills

Ten fire drills will take place according to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Policy and Emergency
Procedures. At the sound of the emergency bell, students must stop what they are doing and follow the
teacher’s instructions. They must clear the building promptly by the prescribed route. Any student who is in the
hallway or the restroom at the sound of the emergency bell must proceed to the nearest exit and locate a
teacher or school employee. Students, teachers and staff must remain outside the building until permission is
given to reenter.


Downtown Doral Charter Upper School is a mandatory uniform school. It will be strictly enforced. Please visit
our website at: www.ddcus.org for uniform information or contact Ibiley Uniforms at 305-625-8050. See
appendix with details regarding dress code.


Visitors, INCLUDING PARENTS, are NOT permitted to go to their child’s classroom unannounced during school
hours because this disrupts normal routine and instruction.

For the safety and protection of all students, visitors (including parents) are to report directly to the main office.
They are NOT admitted into the building or classrooms unless the visitor has received a pass from the office,
and teacher has been advised.

No student will be permitted to leave the building with anyone unless the student has been properly signed out
in the main office.


There are three parent organizations/associations at Downtown Doral Charter Upper School: The Parent
Teacher Organization (PTO), the Spanish International Parent Association (SIPA), and the Portuguese
International Parent Association (PIPA). They are an important part of our school community. Parents and staff
work together in these organizations to promote understanding and continual improvement of the educational,
social, and physical climate of the school community. A great portion of each child’s day is spent at school;
therefore, his/her growth and development becomes a joint responsibility between the home and school.
Everyone is urged to become active in helping further the goals and growth of the parent associations.

Officers will be elected yearly according to the PTO’s bylaws. The PTO will sponsor fundraisers throughout the
school year. Monies generated by fundraising events will be used to purchase items voted on by the PTO

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