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Student Attendance, Conduct and Behaviour

Riverside Campus Handbook 2018-19

This handbook provides you with information that will help you become acquainted with the aims and objectives of the school, a brief overview of the curriculum as well as practical day-to-day information.

Student Attendance, Conduct and Behaviour

Parental Absences

When your child is in school or on a school trip ISZL operates in loco parentis. In order to fulfil this role, we need the full cooperation of parents and students in observing the rules that ISZL views as beneficial and essential for all involved.

Should all parents and/or normally nominated caregivers need to be away from an ISZL student for repeated and consecutive days and nights during the school week, ISZL requires the contact details of the temporary caregivers of the student so that we may contact them if the need arises.

This contact information should be provided using the Parental Absence Report Form, which can be found in the Child Protection section of the ISZL Parent Portal (www.iszl.ch). The completed form should either emailed or delivered to the school office. Please be sure to submit the Form to both school offices if you have children attending the Zug and Riverside Campuses.

During the absence period, if an emergency arises at ISZL that requires a whole community emergency text message, the message will go the mobile number of the temporary caregivers as well as your mobile numbers.

Attendance

Class attendance is an integral part of the learning process and students are expected to attend school at all times when classes are in session and to arrive punctually. To this end ISZL maintains a register of attendance and lateness for each student. Attendance will be reported to parents when it becomes an issue of concern.

Attendance is also expected at assemblies, homeroom, field trips, Personal Development Week (PDW), sports trips and activities. Teachers, homeroom tutors and activity leaders cannot excuse the absence of a student and should never be asked to do so. Approval for absences must be sought from only the Head of Campus.

Absence from School

Absence due to illness and the unavoidable late arrival or early departure of any High School student should be confirmed by a parent or guardian on the day of the occurrence to the school office before 08:30 by calling 041 768 29 50 or by e-mailing office.riverside@iszl.ch. This also applies to dental and medical appointments scheduled during school hours.

In the event of an absence that is known in advance, i.e. due to unavoidable family or religious commitments, permission for absence should be sought in writing or by e-mail, from the Head of the Campus.

Parents are urged to plan their holidays in such a way that students do not miss any school. In cases when students are taken from school for an extended holiday, the school will not provide supplementary tuition in order to help students make up missed work.

Students and parents must bear in mind that the accumulation of excessive absences for any circumstances may lead to a student being required to repeat a school year or being denied credit for a course. Indeed, persistent absence or deliberate failure to attend classes, without adequate reason, may lead to disciplinary probation or suspension and excessive and unexplained absences can be grounds for a student not being allowed to return to the school for the following academic year or being asked to repeat a year. While there is no clearly defined line, and each case is unique, as an approximate indication of what is meant by persistent absence, anything below 80% attendance would be considered a cause for significant concern. Whilst it is recognised that international families must, by necessity, travel more than most, please remember that our students have a significant amount of course material to master during the year and any absence from school could jeopardise their chances of success.

Classes missed due to school-related trips (extracurricular or subject specific) are excused, although work missed will still need to be completed and arrangements negotiated with the specific teachers. Teachers will establish the due date for the completion of such work as soon as the student returns. Students who miss classes are expected to make every effort to catch up on work missed.

On occasion, students who are involved with high-intensity trainings outside of school may work with the counsellor and assistant principal to make schedule modifications and that better balance trainings and academic performance.

Absence in Case of Illness

Absences/illness should be reported to the school office by the parents everyday the student is away, preferably between 08:00 and 08:45 in the morning, before classes start, so that the subject teachers can be informed.

Values to Support “Respect for Others and Respect for Self”

ISZL seeks to promote a learning environment in which:

  • All children and adults are respected, listened to, treated fairly, involved and trusted
  • Honesty and openness in communication are central to respecting ourselves and others
  • Caring, empathy and kindness for each other are behaviours we promote;
  • Cooperation with people around us is an important skill
  • Name-calling, rudeness, threats and rough behaviour are not used because they may hurt someone’s feelings or cause injury
  • Property and our environment are respected
  • The teachers facilitate the development of self-control/conflict resolution by using guiding techniques that:
  • Involve the students in setting clear, consistent and fair limits for behaviour in the classroom and around the school
  • Value mistakes as learning opportunities
  • Listen when students talk about their frustrations
  • Redirect inappropriate behaviour
  • Teach responsibility for behaviours
  • Help children through the processes to resolve conflicts effectively

Behaviour Expectations

As part of our international school ethos, the school believes that effective self-discipline is a prerequisite for productive education and is based upon “respect for others and respect for self.”

Academic and social success for all students can best be accomplished in a safe climate of respect, responsibility and cooperation.

In partnership with parents we help children to increase their self-discipline, which is essential for acquiring independent and group study habits. Our purpose is to teach children direction and limits, to take responsibility for themselves and to learn the skills of conflict resolution. This is an integral part of the teaching and learning in our school.

All students and parents are expected to be familiar with the expectations outlined in the ISZL Code of Conduct and to uphold these expectations.

Student Dress Code

Our Philosophy

Due to the international nature of ISZL, we strive for a community that is inclusive and accepting of a diverse range of identities. Students have their own perspectives, morals and beliefs, sometimes due to their religion, gender, and nationality. The dress code is applied equally and dispassionately to all.

The school is also responsible for seeing that student attire does not interfere with the health and safety of any student, and does not contribute to a hostile or intimidating atmosphere for anyone--teachers, parents, and students alike.

Operative Clauses

  • Declares that all school staff is responsible for holding students accountable for their dress choices--with no regard for, or discrimination against, their identity.
  • Prevents students from wearing clothing and accessories, such as, but not limited to:
    • clothing that can be interpreted as racist, lewd, vulgar or obscene;
    • clothing that contains fighting words, speech that incites others to imminent lawless action, defamatory speech, or threats to others;
    • clothing that references drugs, alcohol, and other illegal activities.
  • Instructs that clothing must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, breasts (cleavage), and nipples are fully covered with opaque fabric, ensuring all underwear is not visible. Bra straps may be visible as long as it is accompanied by another material on the shoulder. Tube tops are not permitted.
  • Instructs students not to reveal the skin of their stomach and midriff in the space between their shirts and trousers/skirts while in a standing position.
  • Allows the wearing of hats and hoodies with the hood up and other outdoor clothing (i.e jackets) indoors, except in classrooms when lessons are in progress, unless permission is granted from the teacher.
  • Instructs students to wear shoes that are appropriate for the activities throughout the school day. This prevents the use of flip flops, plastic slides and heels above 5 cm.
  • Declares any item that obscures the face in its entirety is not allowed, unless for religious observance or for some other mitigating circumstance approved by the administration.
  • Declares that if these conditions are not met students will be required to put on alternative clothing that will be provided by the school for the remainder of the day, and after multiple warnings, be sent home.
  • Emphasises that students should not be shamed or required to display their body in front of others (students, parents, or staff) in school. “Shaming” includes, but is not limited to:
    • kneeling or bending over to check attire fit;
    • measuring straps or skirt length;
    • asking students to account for their attire in the classroom or in hallways in front of others;
    • calling out students about perceived dress code violations in front of others.
  • Encourages students who feel they have been subject to discriminatory enforcement of the dress code (as a result of gender, race, religion, etc.) to contact the school’s administration.
  • Declares that these dress code guidelines shall apply to regular school days, as well as any school-related events, in or out of school hours, unless otherwise specified.

Jewellery

For safety reasons the wearing of earrings (including studs) string bracelets, or other jewellery is not permitted during sporting activities, PE or swimming. These items are safety hazards not only to the wearer but also to other pupils and staff. If ears are newly pierced studs may remain in place for a period of six weeks only. During this period they must be taped for all physical activities.

Late Arrival

Students arriving late to school should go to the High School office to sign in. The High School Secretary will mark them late. Students late due to transport, unforeseen circumstances or other valid reasons should contact the office as soon as possible and the next day bring a written acknowledgement of this fact by a parent/guardian to the School Office. Students arriving late, even if only by a few minutes, must report directly to the School Office. Repeated lateness will have disciplinary consequences.

Early Departure

Students who need to leave school early for a doctor or dentist’s appointment must bring a signed note from home, send an email or call (but please try to limit requests by phone to emergencies). The student must bring the note to the lesson they need to leave early and then “sign out” before leaving the school. They must sign in again if they return the same day. Under no circumstances may a student leave campus without first reporting to the office.

Departure Due to Illness

If a student becomes ill during the school day, a parent or guardian will be contacted and requested to pick up their child as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should a student leave without seeing the school nurse and receiving permission to leave school. Failure to do this can pose serious health risks and cause great and undue concern for parents and the school.

Attendance during AP Exams for Grade 11 High School Programme Students

Grade 11 students taking AP exams will be granted study leave during the two week period of sitting the exams in May. Students are not required to attend classes during the study leave unless requested to by a subject teacher. If it occurs that an AP exam coincides with a local holiday, we are obliged to give the exams and students will have to attend.

Attendance during IBDP and AP Exams for Grade 12 Students

Grade 12 students taking the full IB diploma or AP exams will be granted study leave prior to the start of the exam period in May. Students are not required to attend classes during the study leave unless requested to by a subject teacher. If it occurs that an IB exam coincides with a local holiday, we are obliged to give the exams and students will have to attend.

Study Leave Procedures

Study leave procedures are determined each year using the following design principles:

  • Study leave is a provision granted to students in order to prepare independently for their examinations.
  • In Grade 12, study leave marks the end of compulsory attendance in a student’s courses. IBDP and AP students are given study leave approximately 14 school days prior to the start of the relevant examination periods, not including the two weeks of Spring Break should it fall in this time.
  • For all other students, study leave periods attempt to balance the integrity of ongoing learning experiences with appropriate opportunities for independent study.

Grade 9 & 10 AP exams (limited number of students only)

Study leave for Grade 9 and 10 students’ AP language exams takes place in the morning before the exams. If the exam is in the afternoon, students do not need to attend the school that morning. Students must return to class after their exam at the start of the next timetabled lesson. Students may make special requests to the Assistant Principal (Academic) which are considered on their individual merits.

Grade 11 AP Exams

Study leave does not mean that students cannot work on campus. We encourage students to study in the library or in class. Study leave may not be granted to students for whom there are academic concerns. In its place, supervised study on campus will be arranged.

Which classes run?

  • Grade 11 IB classes run throughout the study leave and exam period. During a student’s study leave, students are strongly encouraged to attend whenever possible.
  • Grade 12 classes offer revisions sessions from the start of study leave until the beginning of the IB exam week.
  • AP classes offer revision sessions from the start of study leave until the beginning of the AP exam week. For those Grade 11 students whose study leave has not yet begun, attendance remains compulsory until their personalised study leave begins.
  • ISZL classes (non-AP, non-IB) run until the AP exam week. Attendance is compulsory in these lessons until the student’s personalised study leave begins. During the AP exam weeks, classes continue to meet at the discretion of the class teacher and in consultation with a student or students.
  • ISZL and AP classes resume as normal after the AP exam week. AP classes with two or more Grade 11 students will offer intellectually engaging enrichment courses connected to their subject discipline.

Grade 11 students will be given a personalised study leave programme using the following guide:

  • For students with five APs or more, optional study leave begins approximately 14 days prior to the AP exam week, including the days of Spring Break.
  • For students with four APs or more, optional study leave begins approximately 14 days prior to the week in which their AP exams begin, including the days of Spring Break.
  • For students with three APs or fewer, study leave begins from the first day of the AP exam week. This guarantees all students at least three consecutive days of study, inclusive of weekends, before their first exam.
  • Students without AP exams will meet with the Assistant Principal prior to the exam week to construct a self-study plan, at school, for the two weeks of the AP exams.
  • Grade 11 students may make special requests regarding their personalised study leave which are considered on their individual merits.
  • During a student’s personalised study leave period, students must sign in and out at the office to indicate their presence on campus.

Grade 11 IB German Anticipated Students

Students are not required to attend lessons the day before their exams and on the morning of the exam should the exam by in the afternoon. Students will be required to attend lessons once their exam is complete.

Grade 12 AP and Diploma students

The last school day for Grade 12 students will be approximately 14 school days prior to the relevant exam periods. Unlike the Grade 11 students, this does not include the days of Spring Break and so, depending on when this particular holiday falls, students might have up to four weeks of independent study time in the immediate lead up to their examinations. During the period of study leave until the start of the examination period, Grade 12 subject teachers will be offering optional revision classes during the regular Grade 12 timetable. If attending, students must sign in and out at the office.

Campus Boundaries and Off-Campus Privileges

Grade 12 students recieve off-campus privileges shortly after the beginning of the year, whereas eligible Grade 11 students have this privilege during the second semester. For both Grades 11 and 12, students are permitted off-campus during the school day only if parents have agreed to such privileges. Students not in these grades need to stay on campus and can face disciplinary sanctions if they fail to observe this rule.

If they have received permission to do so, Grades 11 and 12 may leave the school campus during the day but must sign out when they depart and back in upon their return. A sheet for this purpose is posted in the school office so that in the event of an emergency we know who is and is not in the building. This simple requirement we take very seriously due to the implications; students who fail to sign in and out may lose their off-campus privileges.

If a Grade 11 or 12 student does not have a class, he/she may wish to study in the dining hall or in the library (the library for quiet study only). Though it is rare for students in Grades 9 or 10 to have an open block in their schedule, they should report to the library for a study hour.

Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking (including juul and all other e-cigarettes, i.e., vaping)

Drugs, tobacco and alcohol are banned from campus and from all school-related activities. The school believes that the use of illegal drugs presents grave potential dangers to the individual and to the school community. It is prohibited that a student be in the possession of, under the influence of, or in any way involved in the traffic or usage of illegal drugs while on the school premises or off campus. If a student breaks this regulation, he or she may be expelled.

Tobacco is harmful to one’s health and we cannot condone its use. Students at the school who smoke are not allowed to do so on campus or within sight of the school campus. Students found smoking will receive a warning letter sent home and thereafter face further disciplinary action.

Students are not allowed to consume alcohol on any school-related activity. Any student under the influence of alcohol or drugs at school or on a school related activity will face serious disciplinary consequences.

Disciplinary Action

In most cases of disciplinary incidents the emphasis falls on responses that are most likely to further a student’s growth; counselling, encouragement, explanation and obligations to improve own work. However, as much as we wish to nurture individual growth, we also have a responsibility to the wider school community. Therefore, any disciplinary measure is informed by a standard of high expectations and a commitment to send a clear message to the school community at large on the kind of behaviour that will and will not be tolerated at school.

Students who break major school rules, or who persist in violating other school rules, may be sent to the Head of Campus who may, at his/her discretion, take one or more of the following actions: reprimand a student, assign minor punishment, notify the student’s parents, suspend the student pending a conference with parents, refer the matter to the Director, or in serious circumstances recommend expulsion of a student to the Director. Our expectations of students and the disciplinary system of ISZL are detailed in the ISZL Code of Conduct. When on a trip, a student may be sent home at the parents’ expense if he or she violates a major school rule or is deemed to act in a way that causes harm to himself, herself, or others.

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