Annual Financial Report

Student Handbook

Assessment: Student achievement is measured using a variety of assessment tools, including teacher observation and documentation, pre and post-testing, and quizzes, as well as AIMS Science, AZMerit, Stanford 10 and ATI Galileo assessments. Teachers compose narrative progress reports charting each child’s accomplishments and skill levels three times a year. Although teachers are in contact with parents on a daily basis, conferences are scheduled at least twice a year to discuss their child’s progress.  NOTE:  At the beginning of each school year, Highland shall notify the parents of each student attending any school receiving funds under ESSA that the parents may request, and the local educational agency will provide the parents on request (and in a timely manner), information regarding any State or local educational agency policy regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by section 1111(b)(2) and by the State or local educational agency, which shall include a policy, procedure, or parental right to opt the child out of such assessment, where applicable.

Philosophy of Discipline: Students are given freedom of choice and learn to take responsibility for their choices. We emphasize the development of self-discipline and self-control, rather than external control. Discipline is based on the theory of logical and natural consequences, developed by Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs.

Meeting Notices: Public notices of our meetings will be posted on the school calendar on the school website and on the notice board in front of the main entrance of the school.




Notification of Rights under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.  These rights are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the [Name of school (“School”)] receives a request for access.
    Parents or eligible students who wish to inspect their child’s or their education records should submit to the school principal [or appropriate school offi­cial] a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect.  The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the [School] to amend their child’s or their education record should write the school principal [or appropriate school official], clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed.  If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without con­sent.
    One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest must be set forth in the school’s or school district’s annual notification for FERPA rights.  A school official typically includes a person employed by the school or school district as an ad­ministrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board.  A school official also may include a volunteer,  contractor, or consultant who, while not employed by the school, performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, audi­tor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educa­tion record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
    Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.  [NOTE:  FERPA requires a school or school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or student of the records re­quest unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request or the disclosure is initiated by the parent or eligible student.]
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the [School] to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the parent or eligible student, § 99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the school to record the disclosure.  Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.  A school may disclose PII from the education records of a student without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or the eligible student –

  • To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests.  This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
  • To officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34.  (§ 99.31(a)(2))
  • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as the State educational agency (SEA) in the parent or eligible student’s State.  Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of § 99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs.  These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf, if applicable requirements are met.  (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary for such purposes as to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.  (§ 99.31(a)(4))
  • To State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a State statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to § 99.38.  (§ 99.31(a)(5))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to:  (a)  develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b)  administer student aid programs; or (c)  improve instruction, if applicable requirements are met.  (§ 99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.  (§ 99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.  (§ 99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena if applicable requirements are met.  (§ 99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36.  (§ 99.31(a)(10)
  • Information the school has designated as “directory information” if applicable requirements under § 99.37 are met.  (§ 99.31(a)(11))
  • To an agency caseworker or other representative of a State or local child welfare agency or tribal organization who is authorized to access a student’s case plan when such agency or organization is legally responsible, in accordance with State or tribal law, for the care and protection of the student in foster care placement.  (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(L))
  • To the Secretary of Agriculture or authorized representatives of the Food and Nutrition Service for purposes of conducting program monitoring,  evaluations, and performance measurements of programs authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, under certain conditions.  (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(K))


FERPA Notice for Directory Information

 NOTE:  Highland respects your privacy and tries its best to never publish or give out any personal information without written consent. 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Highland with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records.  However, Highland may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the Highland to the contrary in accordance with Highland’s procedures.  The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Highland to include information from your child’s education records in certain school publications.  Examples include:

  • A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
  • The annual yearbook;

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent.  Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.  In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.  [Note:  These laws are Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. § 7908) and 10 U.S.C. § 503(c).]  

If you do not want Highland to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify Highland in writing.  Highland has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Student’s name
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • Electronic mail address
  • Photograph
  • Date and place of birth
  • Dates of attendance
  • Grade level
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended
  • Student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user
  • A student ID number or other unique personal identifier that is displayed on a student ID badge, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user. 


FOOTNOTES:  1.These laws are: Section 9528 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 7908) and 10 U.S.C. § 503(c).



English Language Learner Policy for Placement

Highland Free School has 20 or fewer ELL students total.  All ELL students enrolled in the school will have language driven ILLPs and be mainstreamed into the traditional classroom.  These ILLPs and ELL program will follow recommendations set in place by the ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION SERVICES in the ILLPImplementationPowerPointPresentation and use the forms found in ILLPGuidanceDocument-August2008.  The program will follow ADE recommendations as described below.

Our Elementary School K-6 program will include:

  • a mainstream classroom teacher who will document ILLP requirements
  • two hours of explicit ELD
  • one hour reading block
  • one hour writing block
  • teachers who will utilize strategies appropriate for working with English language learners and follow ESL standards of instruction
  • the use and documentation of formative assessment

Highland Free School will insure that:

  • The teachers have an ILLP for each ELL student.
  • Specific ELP standards are included on the ILLPs.
  • The ILLPs accurately reflect the SEI allocations as per the models.
  • The instruction matches the ILLP.

There is evidence of differentiated instruction for the English Language Learners (ELLs).


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that protects the rights of students with disabilities.  In addition to standard school records, education records for children with disabilities could include evaluation and testing materials, medical and health information, Individualized Education Programs and related notices and consents, progress reports, materials related to disciplinary actions, and mediation agreements.  Such information is gathered from a number of sources, including the student’s parents and staff of the school of attendance.  Also, with parental permission, information may be gathered from additional pertinent sources, such as doctors and other health care providers.  This information is collected to assure the child is identified, evaluated, and provided a Free Appropriate Public Education in accordance with state and federal special education laws.


Each agency participating under Part B of IDEA must assure that at all stages of gathering, sorting, retaining and disclosing education records to third parties that it complies with the federal confidentiality laws.  In addition, the destruction of any education records of a child with a disability must be in accordance with IDEA regulatory requirements.


For additional information or to file a complaint, you may call the federal government at (202) 260-3887 (voice) or 1-800-877-8339 (TDD) OR the Arizona Department of Education (ADE/ESS) at (602) 542-4013.  Or you may contact:


Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C.  20202-5901




Arizona Department of Education

Exceptional Student Services

1535 West Jefferson, BIN 24

Phoenix, AZ 85007


Child Find Policy

Highland Free School will ensure that all children with disabilities within the boundaries of the public agency, including children with disabilities who are homeless or wards of the State, and children with disabilities attending private schools or home schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated.

Highland Free School will ensure that all children with disabilities within the boundaries of the public agency, including children with disabilities who are homeless or wards of the State, and children with disabilities attending private schools or home schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ’04)  34 CFR §300.111 Child Find

1) Highland will identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities within their population served who are in need of special education and related services.

This must include:

  1. a) Children who are homeless;
    b) Children who are highly mobile, including migrant children; c) Children who are wards of the state; and,
    d) Children who are attending private schools or home schools.
  2. 2)  Child find must also include children who are suspected of being children with a disability and are in need of special education, even though:
  3. a) They are advancing from grade to grade or
    b) They are highly mobile children, including those who are migrant children.
  4. 3)  Each public agency will maintain a record of children who are receiving special education and related services.

Arizona Administrative Code (AAC)  R7-2-401.C Public Awareness

Highland shall inform the general public and all parents within its boundaries of responsibility of the availability of special education services for students aged 3 through 21 years and how to access those services, including information regarding early intervention services for children aged birth through 2 years.

AAC R7-2-401.D Child Identification and Referral

1) Each public agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its school-based personnel and all parents written procedures for the identification and referral of all children with disabilities aged birth through 21 years.

2) Each public agency will require all school-based staff to review the written procedures related to child identification and referral on an annual basis and will maintain documentation of the staff review.

3)  Identification (screening for possible disabilities) shall be completed within 45 calendar days after:

  1. a) Entry of each preschool or kindergarten student and any student enrolling without appropriate records of screening, evaluation, and progress in school; or
  2. b) Parent notification of concern regarding developmental or educational progress by their child aged 3 through 21 years.

4)  Screening procedures shall include vision and hearing status and consideration of the following areas:

  1. a) Cognitive or academic; b) Communication; c) Motor; d) Social or behavioral; and e) Adaptive development.

5)  For a student transferring in to a school, the public agency shall review enrollment data and educational performance in the prior school. If there is a history of special education for a student not currently eligible for special education or of poor progress, the name of the student shall be submitted to the administrator for consideration of the need for a referral for a full and individual evaluation or other services.

6)  If a concern about a student is identified through screening procedures or review of records, the parents of the student shall be notified of the concern within 10 school days and informed of the public agency’s procedures to follow up on the student’s needs.

7)  Each public agency shall maintain documentation of the identification procedures utilized, the dates of entry into school or notification by parents of a concern, and the dates of screening. The dates shall be maintained in students’ permanent records.

8)  If the screening indicates a possible disability, the name of the student shall be submitted to the administrator for consideration of the need for a referral for a full and individual evaluation or other services. A parent or a student may request an evaluation of the student. For parentally placed private school students, the school district within whose boundaries the nonprofit private school is located is responsible for such evaluation.

9) If, after consultation with the parent, the public agency determines that a full and individual evaluation is not warranted, the public agency shall provide prior written notice and procedural safeguards notice to the parent in a timely manner.


IDEA- General FAPE Procedures

A free appropriate public education (FAPE) will be available to all children within the boundaries of responsibility of the public agency, including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school as provided for in §300.530(d) of the IDEA regulations.


Determination of Eligibility: All Public Agencies will make the determination that a child is eligible for special education and related services on an individual basis by a properly constituted team.

Free Appropriate Public Education  For School-Aged Children (5 to 21). All Public Agencies will make FAPE available to any child who needs special education and related services, even though the child has not failed or been retained in a course or grade, and is advancing from grade to grade.

Powers of the School District Governing Board or County School Superintendent

1) The public education agency (PEA) will establish policy and procedures with regard to allowable pupil-teacher ratios and pupil-staff ratios within the PEA or county for provision of special education services.

2) The special education programs and services provided shall be conducted only in a school facility that houses regular education classes or in other facilities approved by the division of special education.

Assistive Technology

1) The public agency will ensure that assistive technology devices or services or both will be available to a child with a disability, if required, as a part of: a) Special education, b) Related services, and c) Supplementary aids and services.

2) On a case-by-case basis, the public agency will ensure the use of school-purchased assistive technology devices in a child’s home or other setting if the child’s IEP Team determines that the child needs access to those devices in order to receive FAPE.

Extended School Year Services (ESY)

1) The public agency will make extended school year services available as necessary to provide FAPE to children with disabilities. a) ESY services will be provided only if a child’s IEP team determines, in accordance with §§300.320–300.324, that the services are necessary for the provision of FAPE. b) Services will not be:

i) Limited to a particular category of disability; or, ii) Unilaterally limited to the type, amount, or duration of services.

2) The ESY services that are provided to a child with a disability will: a) Be provided beyond the normal school year of the agency; b) Be provided in accordance with the child’s IEP; c) Be provided at no cost to the parents of the child; and d) Meet the standards of the State.

Nonacademic Services

1) The public agency will afford children with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities including, as determined appropriate and necessary by the child’s IEP team, the provision of supplementary aids and services.

2) Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities may include counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the public agency, referrals to agencies that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities, and employment of students, including both employment by the public agency and assistance in making outside employment available.

Physical Education

1) The public agency will make regular physical education services available to children with disabilities to the same extent that the agency provides those services to children without disabilities, unless: a) The child is enrolled full time in a separate facility; or b) The child needs specially designed physical education as prescribed in the child’s IEP.

2) If a child is enrolled in a separate facility, the public agency will ensure that the child receives appropriate physical education services.  3) If special physical education is prescribed in a child’s IEP, the public agency will provide for those services, either directly or through other public or private programs.

Program Options The public agency will ensure that children with disabilities have available to them the variety of educational programs and services that are available to nondisabled children, including art, music, industrial arts, consumer and homemaking education, and vocational education.

Routine Checking of Hearing Aids and External Components of Surgically Implanted Medical Devices

1) The public agency will ensure that the hearing aids worn in school by children with hearing impairments are functioning properly; and 2) The external components of surgically implanted medical devices (e.g., cochlear implants) are functioning properly, except that the agency will not be responsible for any post-surgical maintenance, programming, or replacement of any component, external or internal, of the medical device.

Methods of Ensuring Services

1) The public agency may use the Medicaid or other public benefits or insurance programs in which a child participates to provide or pay for services required under IDEA, as permitted under the public benefits or insurance program, except that the public agency: a) May not require parents to sign up for or enroll in public benefits or insurance programs to receive FAPE; b) May not require parents to incur out-of-pocket expenses such as payment of a deductible or co-pay for services required by IDEA, but may pay the cost that parents otherwise would be required to pay; c) May not use a child’s public benefit if that use would: i) Decrease lifetime benefits; ii) Result in the family paying for non-school services that would otherwise be paid for by public benefits; iii) Increase premiums or lead to discontinuation of benefits; or iv) Risk loss of eligibility.

2) The public agency must notify parents that their refusal to allow access to their public benefits does not relieve the agency of its responsibility to provide all required IDEA services.

3) The public agency must obtain a one-time written consent from the parent, after providing written notification and before accessing the child’s or the parent’s public benefits for the first time. The consent must specify:

a) The personally identifiable information that may be disclosed; b) The purpose of the disclosure; and

c) The agency to which the disclosure may be made.

4) The public agency must provide a written notification to the child’s parents before accessing the child’s or parent’s public benefits or insurance for the first time and prior to obtaining the one-time parental consent and annually thereafter.


Homeless Student Policy

Homelessness exists in our community. A combination of high housing costs and poverty causes many families to lose their housing. Many young people leave their homes due to abuse, neglect, and family conflict. Children and youth who have lost their housing live in a variety of places, including motels, shelters, shared residences, transitional housing programs, cars, campgrounds, and others. Their lack of permanent housing can lead to potentially serious physical, emotional, and mental consequences. This school district will ensure that all children and youth receive a free appropriate public education and are given meaningful opportunities to succeed in our schools. This district will also follow the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act.

It is the policy of our district to view children as individuals. Therefore, this policy will not refer to children as homeless; it will instead use the term children and youth in transition. Under federal law, children and youth in transition must have access to appropriate public education, including pre- school, and be given a full opportunity to meet state and local academic achievement standards. They must be included in state- and district-wide assessments and accountability systems. Our schools will ensure that children and youth in transition are free from discrimination, segregation, and harassment.

Information regarding this policy will be distributed to all students upon enrollment and once during the school year, provided to students who seek to withdraw from school, and posted in every school in the district, as well as other places where children, youth, and families in transition receive services, including family and youth shelters, soup kitchens, motels, campgrounds, drop-in centers, welfare departments, health departments, and other social service agencies.

Each year, schools that have been particularly creative or proactive in implementing this policy will be publicly recognized for the benefits they provide their students.

It is the policy of the board to establish safeguards that protect children and youth in transition from discrimination on the basis of their homelessness and to ensure that children and youth in transition are provided with equal access to its educational programs and are not stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status.

Homeless status is determined in cooperation with parents or in the case of unaccompanied youth the local educational agency liaison.



Children and youth in transition means children and youth who are otherwise legally entitled to or eligible for a free public education, including preschool, and who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including:

  • Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, campgrounds, or trailer parks due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement.
  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a private or public place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
  • Children and youth who are living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting.
  • Migratory children and youth who are living in a situation described above.

A child or youth shall be considered to be in transition for as long as he or she is in a living situation described above. Unaccompanied youth means a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, who is in transition as defined above. The more general term youth also includes unaccompanied youth. Enroll and enrollment mean attending school and participating fully in school activities. Immediate means without delay. Parent means a person having legal or physical custody of a child or youth. School of origin means the school the child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled. Liaison is the staff person designated by our LEA and each LEA in the state as the person responsible for carrying out the duties assigned to the liaison by the McKinney-Vento Act.


In collaboration with school personnel and community organizations, the liaison will identify children and youth in transition in the district, both in and out of school. The liaison will train school personnel on possible indicators of homelessness, sensitivity in identifying families and youth as in transition, and procedures for forwarding information indicating homelessness to the liaison. The liaison will also instruct school registrars and secretaries to inquire about possible homelessness upon the enrollment and withdrawal of every student and to forward information indicating homelessness to the liaison. Community partners in identification may include the following: family and youth shelters, soup kitchens, motels, campgrounds, drop-in centers, welfare departments and other social service agencies, street outreach teams, faith-based organizations, truancy and attendance officers, local homeless coalitions, and legal services. The liaison will keep data on the number of children and youth in transition in the district, where they are living, their academic achievement (including performance on state- and district-wide assessments), and the reasons for any enrollment delays, interruptions in their education, or school transfers.

McKinney-Vento Homeless EducationProcedure for the Identification of Homeless Children & Youth

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison will identify students experiencing homelessness during enrollment by ensuring the following:

  • Family to complete McKinney-Vento Enrollment Questionnaire.
  • Liaison will follow-up with family to obtain additional information, if needed.
  • Liaison will post the Educational Rights of Homeless Students Posters.
  • Liaison will include the Educational Rights of Homeless Students in the enrollment packet.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison will identify students experiencing homelessness during the academic year by ensuring the following:

  • Liaison will train all staff who have interaction with students
  • Liaison will provide the Educational Rights of Homeless Students two additional times during the academic year in one or more of the following means: o Newsletters o Pamphlets o Student Handbook o Website o Etc.


School Selection

Each child and youth in transition has the right to remain at his or her school of origin or to attend any school that housed students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living. Maintaining a student in his or her school of origin is important for both the student and our school district. Students who change schools have been found to have lower test scores and overall academic performance than peers who do not change schools. High mobility rates have also been shown to lower test scores for stable students. Keeping students in their schools of origin enhances their academic and social growth, while permitting our schools to benefit from the increased test scores and achievement shown to result from student continuity.

Therefore, in selecting a school, children and youth in transition shall remain at their schools of origin to the extent feasible, unless that is against the parent or youth’s wishes. Students may remain at their schools of origin the entire time they are in transition and until the end of any academic year in which they become permanently housed. The same applies if a child or youth loses his or her housing between academic years.

Feasibility shall be a child-centered determination, based on the needs and interests of the particular student and the parent or youth’s wishes. Potential feasibility considerations include:

  • Safety of the student
  • Continuity of instruction
  • Likely area of family or youth’s future housing
  • Time remaining in the academic year
  • Anticipated length of stay in temporary living situation
  • School placement of siblings
  • Whether the student has special needs that would render the commute harmful Services that are required to be provided, including transportation to and from the school of origin (see next page) and services under federal and other programs, shall not be considered in determining feasibility.



Consistent, uninterrupted education is vital for academic achievement. Due to the realities of homelessness and mobility, students in transition may not have school enrollment documents read- ily available. Nonetheless, the school selected for enrollment must immediately enroll any child or youth in transition. Enrollment may not be denied or delayed due to the lack of any document normally required for enrollment, including:

  • Proof of residency
  • Transcripts/school records (The enrolling school must contact the student’s previous school to obtain school records. Initial placement of students whose records are not immediately available can be made based on the student’s age and information gathered from the student, parent, and previous schools or teachers.)
  • Immunizations or immunization/health/medical/physical records (If necessary, the school must refer students to the liaison to assist with obtaining immunizations and/or immunization and other medical records. Health records may often be obtained from previous schools or state registries, and school- or community-based clinics can initiate immunizations when needed.)
  • Proof of guardianship
  • Birth certificate
  • Any other document requirements
  • Lack of uniforms or clothing that conforms to dress codes
  • Any factor related to the student’s living situation (such as unpaid school fees)

Unaccompanied youth must also be immediately enrolled in school. They may either enroll them- selves or be enrolled by a parent, non-parent caretaker, older sibling, or liaison.

Services Children and youth in transition shall be provided services comparable to services offered to other students in the school selected, such asESL or special education programs, Title I services, after School programs, transportation, etc.

Children and youth in transition shall be provided services comparable to services offered to other students in the school selected, including:

  • Transportation
  • Title I
  • Educational services for which the student meets eligibility criteria, including special education and related services and programs for English language learners
  • Vocational and technical education programs
  • Gifted and talented programs
  • School nutrition programs
  • Before- and after-school programs

The district recognizes that children and youth in transition suffer from disabilities at a disproportionate rate, yet frequently are not evaluated or provided appropriate special education and related services. To address this problem, evaluations of children and youth in transition suspected of having a disability shall be given priority and coordinated with students’ prior and subsequent schools as necessary to ensure timely completion of a full evaluation. When necessary, the district shall expeditiously designate a surrogate parent for unaccompanied youth suspected of having a disability. If a student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the enrolling school shall immediately implement it. Any necessary IEP meetings or re-evaluations shall then be conducted expeditiously. If complete records are not available, IEP teams must use good judgment in choosing the best course of action, balancing procedural requirements and the provision of services. In all cases, the goal will be to avoid any disruption in appropriate services.

When applying any district policy regarding tardiness or absences, any tardiness or absence related to a child or youth’s living situation shall be excused. Our school district will follow state procedures to ensure that youth in transition and youth who are out of school are identified and accorded equal access to appropriate secondary education and support services. School personnel shall refer children and youth in transition to appropriate health care services, including dental and mental health services. The liaison will assist the school in making such referrals, as necessary.

School personnel must also inform parents of all educational and related opportunities available to their children and provide parents with meaningful opportunities to participate in their children’s education. All parent information required by any provision of this policy must be provided in a form, manner, and language understandable to each parent.


Transportation: At the request of the parent, or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the local agency liaison or designee, transportation (in the form of bus passes) will be provided for homeless children to the school of origin, school of attendance area or school requested, for the duration of the school year. In the case where the school of origin and current residence are different LEA’s, the two school districts will agree on a method for transportation and share costs.


Title I: Children and youth in transition are automatically eligible for Title I services, regardless of what school they attend. The trauma and instability of homelessness put students at sufficient risk of academic regression to warrant additional support. The district shall reserve such funds as are necessary to provide services comparable to those provided to Title I students to children and youth in transition attending non-participating schools. The amount reserved shall be determined by a formula based upon the per-pupil Title I expenditure and developed jointly by the liaison and the Title I director. Reserved funds will be used to provide education-related support services to children and youth in transition, both in school and outside of school, and to remove barriers that prevent regular attendance.

Our district’s Title I plan will be coordinated with our McKinney-Vento services, through collaboration between the Title I director and the liaison. Children and youth in transition shall be assessed, reported on, and included in accountability systems, as required by federal law and U.S. Department of Education regulations and guidance.


Disputes: Ifa dispute arises over any issue covered in this policy, the child or youth in transition shall be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending final resolution of the dispute. The student shall also have the rights of a student in transition to all appropriate educational services, transportation, free meals, and Title I services while the dispute is pending. The school where the dispute arises shall provide the parent or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of its decision and the right to appeal and shall immediately refer the parent or youth to the liaison. The liaison shall ensure the student is enrolled in the school of his or her choice and receiving other services to which he or she is entitled and shall resolve the dispute as expeditiously as possible. The parent or unaccompanied youth shall be given every opportunity to participate meaningfully in the resolution of the dispute. The liaison shall keep records of all disputes in order to determine whether particular issues or schools are repeatedly delaying or denying the enrollment of children and youth in transition. The parent, unaccompanied youth, or school district may appeal the liaison’s decision as provided in the state’s dispute resolution process.


Dispute Resolution Process

If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment in for a student eligible under the McKinney-Vento Act –

  • The child or youth shall be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute. Highland Free School will provide its share of the transportation to the school selected for the duration of the dispute resolution process.
  • The child, youth, parent, or guardian shall be referred to Highland Free School’s Local Educational Liaison, who shall carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible after receiving notice of the dispute. In the case of an unaccompanied youth, the Local Educational Liaison shall ensure that the youth is immediately enrolled in school pending the resolution of the dispute.
  • The Local Educational Liaison shall work through the expedited dispute resolution process. A three-member panel that is to include the school liaison, an administrator and a teacher will meet to discuss the issue, review data and make a decision. A decision will be made within 7 days of learning of the dispute.
  • Highland Free School shall provide the parent, guardian, or homeless youth with:

1)     a written explanation of the school’s decision regarding school selection or enrollment; and

2)     written forms so that, if dissatisfied with the school’s decision, the parent, guardian or youth may appeal the decision to the state level.




Coordination: The liaison shall coordinate with and seek support from the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, public and private service providers in the community, housing and placement agencies, the pupil transportation department, liaisons in neighboring districts, and other organizations and agencies. Coordination will include conducting outreach and training to those agencies and participating in the local continuum of care, homeless coalition, homeless steering committee, and other relevant groups. Both public and private agencies will be encouraged to support the liaison and our schools in implementing this policy.


Training: The liaison will conduct training and sensitivity/awareness activities for the following LEA and school staff at least once each year: the Assistant Superintendent, principals, assistant principals, federal program administrators, registrars, school secretaries, school counselors, school social workers, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, school nurses, and teachers. The trainings and activities will be designed to increase staff awareness of homelessness, facilitate immediate enrollment, ensure compliance with this policy, and increase sensitivity to children and youth in transition.

The liaison shall also obtain from every school the name and contact information of a building liaison. Building liaisons will lead and coordinate their schools’ compliance with this policy and will receive training from the district liaison annually.


School Prayer Policy (as mandated)


Prayer During Non-Instructional Time:  Students may pray when not engaged in school activities or instruction, subject to the same rules designed to prevent material disruption of the educational program that are applied to other privately initiated expressive activities. Among other things, students may read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray or study religious materials with fellow students during recess, the lunch hour, or other noninstructional time to the same extent that they may engage in nonreligious activities. While school authorities may impose rules of order and pedagogical restrictions on student activities, they may not discriminate against student prayer or religious speech in applying such rules and restrictions.


Organized Prayer Groups and Activities:  Students may organize prayer groups, religious clubs, and “see you at the pole” gatherings before school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other non-curricular student activities groups. Such groups must be given the same access to school facilities for assembling as is given to other non-curricular groups, without discrimination because of the religious content of their expression. School authorities possess substantial discretion concerning whether to permit the use of school media for student advertising or announcements regarding non-curricular activities. However, where student groups that meet for nonreligious activities are permitted to advertise or announce their meetings—for example, by advertising in a student newspaper, making announcements on a student activities bulletin board or public address system, or handing out leaflets—school authorities may not discriminate against groups who meet to pray. School authorities may disclaim sponsorship of non-curricular groups and events, provided they administer such disclaimers in a manner that neither favors nor disfavors groups that meet to engage in prayer or religious speech.


Teachers, Administrators, and other School Employees:  When acting in their official capacities as representatives of the state, teachers, school administrators, and other school employees are prohibited by the Establishment Clause from encouraging or discouraging prayer, and from actively participating in such activity with students. Teachers may, however, take part in religious activities where the overall context makes clear that they are not participating in their official capacities. Before school or during lunch, for example, teachers may meet with other teachers for prayer or Bible study to the same extent that they may engage in other conversation or nonreligious activities. Similarly, teachers may participate in their personal capacities in privately sponsored baccalaureate ceremonies.


Moments of Silence:  If a school has a “minute of silence” or other quiet periods during the school day, students are free to pray silently, or not to pray, during these periods of time. Teachers and other school employees may neither encourage nor discourage students from praying during such time periods.


Accommodation of Prayer During Instructional Time:  It has long been established that schools have the discretion to dismiss students to off-premises religious instruction, provided that schools do not encourage or discourage participation in such instruction or penalize students for attending or not attending. Similarly, schools may excuse students from class to remove a significant burden on their religious exercise, where doing so would not impose material burdens on other students. For example, it would be lawful for schools to excuse Muslim students briefly from class to enable them to fulfill their religious obligations to pray during Ramadan.

Where school officials have a practice of excusing students from class on the basis of parents’ requests for accommodation of nonreligious needs, religiously motivated requests for excusal may not be accorded less favorable treatment. In addition, in some circumstances, based on federal or state constitutional law or pursuant to state statutes, schools may be required to make accommodations that relieve substantial burdens on students’ religious exercise. Schools officials are therefore encouraged to consult with their attorneys regarding such obligations.


Religious Expression and Prayer in Class Assignments:  Students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions. Such home and classroom work should be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance and against other legitimate pedagogical concerns identified by the school. Thus, if a teacher’s assignment involves writing a poem, the work of a student who submits a poem in the form of a prayer (for example, a psalm) should be judged on the basis of academic standards (such as literary quality) and neither penalized nor rewarded on account of its religious content.


Student Assemblies and Extracurricular Events:  Student speakers at student assemblies and extracurricular activities such as sporting events may not be selected on a basis that either favors or disfavors religious speech. Where student speakers are selected on the basis of genuinely neutral, evenhanded criteria and retain primary control over the content of their expression, that expression is not attributable to the school and therefore may not be restricted because of its religious (or anti-religious) content. By contrast, where school officials determine or substantially control the content of what is expressed, such speech is attributable to the school and may not include prayer or other specifically religious (or anti-religious) content. To avoid any mistaken perception that a school endorses student speech that is not in fact attributable to the school, school officials may make appropriate, neutral disclaimers to clarify that such speech (whether religious or nonreligious) is the speaker’s and not the school’s.


Prayer at Graduation & Baccalaureate Ceremonies:  Highland does not have Graduation or Baccalaureate ceremonies.

FERPA En Espanol

Notificación Anual a los Padres con Respecto a la Confidencialidad de los Expedientes Académicos de los Estudiantes

La Ley de los Derechos y Privacidad Educacionales de la Familia (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act o FERPA) es la ley Federal que protege la

privacidad de los expedientes académicos de los estudiantes. FERPA les da a los padres ciertos derechos con respecto a los expedientes académicos de sus

hijos. Estos derechos pasan al estudiante cuando éste alcanza la edad de 18 años o asiste a una escuela superior al nivel preparatoria. Estudiantes a quienes los

derechos han sido transferidos son “estudiantes elegibles.”

• Los padres o el estudiante elegible tienen derecho a inspeccionar y revisar el expediente académico del estudiante que es mantenido por la escuela dentro

de un período de 45 días a partir de la solicitud hecha al administrador de la escuela. No es obligación de las escuelas proporcionar copias a no ser que

sea imposible para los padres o el estudiante elegible revisar el expediente académico sin copias. Las escuelas pueden cobrar una cuota por proporcionar


• Los padres o el estudiante elegible tienen el derecho a solicitar por escrito que la escuela corrija el expediente académico que ellos crean sea inexacto o

engañoso. Si la escuela decide no corregir el expediente académico, el padre o estudiante elegible tiene derecho a una audiencia formal. Después de la

audiencia, si la escuela todavía decide no corregir el expediente, el padre o estudiante elegible tiene derecho de poner una declaración en el expediente

que presenta su punto de vista sobre los datos protestados.

• Por lo general, las escuelas deben tener permiso de los padres o del estudiante elegible por escrito para poder revelar cualquier dato del expediente

académico del estudiante.

  • Autoridades escolares con interés educacional legítimo

 Autoridad escolar es una persona empleada o contratada por la escuela para servir como administrador, supervisor, maestro o personal de apoyo

(incluyendo personal de salud, personal policial, abogado, auditor u otros con funciones similares); una persona que sirve en la mesa directiva de

la escuela; o padre o estudiante que sirve como miembro de un comité autorizado o que asiste a otra autoridad escolar en sus funciones;

 Un interés educacional legítimo significa que la revisión del expediente es necesaria para cumplir con una responsabilidad profesional para la escuela;

  • Otras escuelas en las que el estudiante está solicitando inscripción;
  • Autoridades especificadas para propósitos de auditoria o evaluación;
  • Partes competentes en relación a asistencia de financiamiento para un estudiante;
  • Organizaciones conduciendo ciertos estudios por o en nombre de la escuela;
  • Organizaciones de acreditación;
  • Para cumplir con una orden judicial o citación emitida de acuerdo con la ley
  • Oficiales competentes en casos de emergencias de salud y seguridad; y
  • Autoridades estatales y locales, dentro del sistema de justicia para menores, de conformidad con la ley estatal específica.

Las escuelas pueden divulgar, sin consentimiento, datos de “directorio” tales como nombre del estudiante, dirección, número de teléfono, fecha y lugar de

nacimiento, honores y premios, participación en deportes (incluyendo estatura y peso de los atletas) y fechas de asistencia si no son notificados por los padres o

estudiante elegible que la escuela no debe divulgar la información sin consentimiento.

La Ley de la Educación de Personas con Discapacidades (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA) es una ley federal que protege los derechos de

estudiantes con discapacidades. Además de los expedientes académicos normales, los expedientes académicos para estudiantes con discapacidades podrían

incluir materiales sobre evaluación y exámenes, datos médicos y de salud, Programas Educativos Individualizados y notificaciones y autorizaciones

relacionadas, reportes de progreso, materiales relacionadas con acciones disciplinarias y acuerdos de mediación. Tal información es reunida de un número de

fuentes, incluyendo los padres del estudiante y personal de la escuela donde asiste el estudiante. También, con permiso de los padres, se pueden reunir datos de

fuentes pertinentes adicionales, tales como doctores y otros proveedores de servicios de la salud. Estos datos son recogidos para asegurar que el menor es

identificado, evaluado y provisto de una Educación Pública Adecuada Gratuita de acuerdo con las leyes estatales y federales sobre educación especial.

Cada una de las agencias participantes bajo la Parte B de IDEA debe asegurarse que, en todas las etapas de la recolección, archivo, retención y divulgación de

los expedientes académicos a terceras partes, cumpla con las leyes federales de confidencialidad. Además, la destrucción de cualquier expediente académico de

un menor con una discapacidad debe ser de acuerdo con los requisitos reglamentarios de IDEA.

Para información adicional o para presentar una queja, puede llamar al gobierno federal al (202) 260-3887 (voz) o al 1-800-877-8339 (TDD) o al

Departamento de Educación de Arizona (ADE/ESS) al (602) 542-4013. O puede usted contactar:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D. C. 20202-5901

Arizona Department of Education

Exceptional Student Services

1535 W. Jefferson , BIN 24

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Este aviso está disponible en inglés y en español en la website del ADE en bajo formas. Para asistencia para obtener este aviso

en otros idiomas, contacte al ADE/ESS en el número de teléfono/dirección que se da arriba.


Special Education Records:  Student IEP and special education records will be  kept indefinitely as is mandated by law.


Highland Free School prohibits and does not tolerate sexual abuse or misconduct in the workplace or during any organization-related activity. Highland provides procedures for employees, volunteers, board members or any other victims of sexual abuse or misconduct to report such acts. Those reasonably suspected or believed to have committed sexual abuse or misconduct will be appropriately disciplined, up to and including termination of employment or membership, as well as criminally prosecuted. No employee, volunteer, board member or other person, regardless of his or her title or position has the authority to commit or allow sexual abuse or misconduct


All employees will be trained on what constitutes abuse and molestation and how to respond.


Reporting Procedure

Immediately report suspected sexual abuse or misconduct to Nicholas Sofka or Teresa Rodriguez.  It is not required to directly confront the person who is the source of the report, question or complaint before notifying any of the individuals listed. Highland will take every reasonable measure to ensure that those named in complaint of misconduct, or are too closely associated with those involved in the complaint, will not be part of the investigative team.

Anti-retaliation and False Allegations

Highland prohibits retaliation made against any employee, volunteer, board member or other person who lodges a good faith complaint of sexual abuse or misconduct or who participates in any related investigation. Making knowingly false or malicious accusations of sexual abuse or misconduct can have serious consequences for those who are wrongly accused. Highland prohibits making false or malicious sexual misconduct allegations, as well as deliberately providing false information during an investigation. Anyone who violates this rule is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or membership and criminal prosecution.


Investigation and Follow-up

Highland will take all allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct seriously and will promptly, thoroughly and equitably investigate whether misconduct has taken place. The organization may utilize an outside third-party to conduct an investigation of misconduct. Highland will cooperate fully with any investigation conducted by law enforcement or other regulatory/protective services agencies. Highland will make every reasonable effort to keep the matters involved in the allegation as confidential as possible while still allowing for a prompt and thorough investigation.


Reporting to Law Enforcement or Appropriate Child or Adult Protective Services

Highland is committed to following the state and federal legal requirements for reporting allegations or incidents of sexual abuse or misconduct to appropriate law enforcement and child or adult protective services organizations. It is the policy of Highland not to attempt to investigate or assess the validity or credibility of an allegation of sexual or physical abuse as a condition before reporting the allegation to proper law enforcement authorities or protective services organizations.


Mandatory Reporting

A report of suspected child abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment is a responsible attempt to protect a child. Arizona law requires certain persons who suspect that a child has received non-accidental injury or has been neglected to report their concerns to DCS or local law enforcement (ARS §13-3620.A). YOU may be a child’s only advocate at the time you report the possibility of abuse or neglect. Children often tell a person with whom they feel safe about abuse or neglect. If a child tells you of such experiences, act to protect that child by calling the toll-free Arizona Child Abuse Hotline at 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445).


Employee and Worker Screening and Selection

As part of its sexual abuse and misconduct prevention program, Highland is committed to maintaining a diligent screening program for prospective and existing employees, volunteers and others that may have interaction with those employed by, associating with or serviced by Highland. The organization may utilize a variety of methods of screening and selection, including but not limited to applications, personal interviews, criminal background checks and personal and professional references.


The sexual abuse policy should be reviewed annually.