IVMS Student and Family School Handbook 2015-2016
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Today’s School for Tomorrow’s World™
The Island Village Montessori School community is dedicated to providing all families with the gift of a Montessori education through dynamic learning experiences where children flourish in a safe, learning environment that fosters independence, self-direction, excellence, creativity, and responsibility.
The Montessori way of fostering successful student learning is the fastest growing reform of education today because it truly respects the cognitive abilities, the emotional and physical development, and the personal authenticity of young children. Island Village Montessori School educators are trained to foster authentic learning through children’s mastery of basic academic skills. In a personally active, learning process that centers on children’s innate curiosity, concentration, and intentionality for learning, Montessori educators develop lifelong learners and creative thinkers by using methods that emphasize independent, student-initiated work, problem solving, flexible pacing, and freedom of movement within well-prepared, mixed-age learning environments.
Dear IVMS Families:
Welcome to our school! The following information and policies are important for you to know. We do our best to be fair and keep these policies to a minimum. However, policies listed in this document are important, and we need your help to ensure that you and your child comply. If both school and home are willing partners, everyone wins. If not, there will be frustration on both sides when we must insist on compliance. Over the years we have found that our school simply works better if everyone follows these rules based on safety and consistency. Thank you in advance for your partnership.
As we open our doors to another academic year, we are excited about the possibilities that await each and every student. We have designed a full schedule filled with activities, field trips, and project opportunities in an effort to offer our students a variety of ways to fulfill their learning needs and enhance their academic experience. We are confident that our students will find special inspiration within our Montessori program to help them accomplish their goals and create wonderful memories that they will treasure in years to come.
As part of our effort to make this the best learning experience for everyone, we have refined our guidelines and provided additional online support to give families various ways to find information, tools, and tips to help their child succeed. One of the keys to success at our school includes supporting the goals of our community. Rather than a list of “don’t do” rules, we ask our students to consider the following questions:
- Am I doing my personal best and making the best choice I can right now?
- Am I helping to create a community of learners, where everyone feels safe and respected?
- Am I being kind and tolerant?
- Am I setting a good example for others, including offering good ideas in lessons and contributing to learning all around me?
- Am I allowing others to concentrate and succeed?
- Am I focused on completing my work on time?
- Am I accepting responsibility for my actions?
- Am I being respectful to the learning environment (including the school grounds) by being careful and by cleaning up after myself?
- Am I asking for help (advocating for myself) when I need it?
As students go about each day, we encourage them to do their best and consider whether the choices they make represent the best of who they are. With consistent effort, kindness, consideration, and forgiveness, we know we can make this a strong community of learners and an incredible experience for everyone! On behalf of the IVMS faculty, we thank you for your trust and partnership in support of the programs at Island Village Montessori School. Please make sure you review the following guidelines with your family and become familiar with the expectations and requirements of our school. Do not hesitate to ask if you have any additional questions or concerns.
CONNECTING ONLINE IS SO IMPORTANT – SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL UPDATES AND LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
Join our online community to receive emails and obtain access to additional resources for IVMS parents and families that include our school activities calendar, class pages, lunch menus, and other useful information.
Sign-up by going to the front page of our Website. Then, scroll down below the slideshow where you will see the link. Once registered, you will begin receiving our All-School News which provides up-to-date information about our IVMS Community. You may also follow us on Facebook by liking our page at facebook.com/islandvillage.
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF AND FACULTY
See the “Our Staff” section of our Website for administration and faculty.
GENERAL SCHOOL HOURS
We offer morning enrichment programs for secondary students that include classes in the arts and fitness as well as a study hall before school. The following is a summary of our school hours by program:
Sarasota Campus – All Levels – School Hours 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM
7:00 – 7:40 AM Early Care Sarasota campus ONLY
7:40 AM LE’s (classes) open to students
8:00 AM – 2:30 PM School Hours
2:30 – 2:40 PM Dismissal
2:35 PM Buses leave (approximately)
2:40 – 3:15 PM Enrichment Program – (New in 2015-16)
3:15 – 5:30 PM Paid Aftercare Program– (New in 2015-16)
Venice Campus – Lower Elementary Program (K-3) – School Hours 8:45 AM – 3:15 PM
7:30 – 8:15 AM Early Care (fee-based) (New in 2015-16)
8:15 – 8:30 AM Early Care (free) (New in 2015-16)
7:45 – 8:45 AM Breakfast is available
8:30 AM LE’s (classes) open to students
8:45 AM – 3:15 PM School Hours
3:15 – 3:30 PM Dismissal
3:55 PM Buses leave (approximately)
4:00 – 5:30 PM After-school program & specials (fee-based)
Venice Campus – Upper Elementary and Secondary (4-12) – School Hours 8:45 AM – 3:45 PM
7:30 – 8:15 AM Early Care Upper Elementary (fee-based) (New in 2015-16)
8:15 – 8:30 AM Early Care Upper Elementary (free) (New in 2015-16)
7:30 – 8:00 AM Early Care Secondary (fee-based) (New in 2015-16)
8:00 – 8:40 AM Secondary Enrichment Program (no fee) (art, music, study hall)
7:45 – 8:45 AM Breakfast is available
8:30 AM All LE’s (classes) open to secondary students
8:45 AM – 3:45 PM School Hours
3:45 – 4:00 PM Dismissal
3:55 PM Buses leave (approximately)
4:00-5:30 PM After-school program & specials (fee-based)
***STUDENTS MAY NOT ENTER CLASS WITHOUT A LATE SLIP***
Students signing in late require an accompanying parent/attending adult in order to be issued a late slip as a tardy. Students arriving late who are not signed in by an accompanying adult will be marked as unexcused.
***STUDENTS MAY NOT LEAVE CLASS EARLY WITHOUT AN EARLY RELEASE SLIP***
A parent or other authorized adult must sign students out of the after-school program. Special accommodation will be granted for siblings and bus riders.
Students must be signed out at the office 30 minutes or earlier prior to their program’s ending time. Otherwise, wait until the set dismissal time to pick up your child.
YOU MUST HAVE THE STUDENT PICK-UP ID CARD ON THE DASHBOARD OF YOUR VEHICLE OR YOU WILL BE ASKED TO PARK AND SIGN IN AT THE OFFICE.
Take the carline ID with you on campus during arrival and dismissal times if you decide to drop off or pick up directly from your child’s learning environment. Otherwise, you will be asked to sign in at the office and produce an ID. This only applies during arrival and dismissal. You MUST sign in at the office and obtain a Raptor ID if you are on campus during any other time.
Note for Sarasota Families: You will need to wait at the front gate in Sarasota before 2:30 so that the buses can leave on time.
AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM – Venice Campus
The After-school Program (ASP) is offered to students daily and ends at 5:30 PM. This tuition-based program has individual schedules and payment plans to meet the needs of each family. All fees must be paid in advance. We work with parents who offer proof of need. Openings are limited.
Through this program, we present a Specials menu. These are once a week activities which offer drama, choir, foreign languages, sports, private music lessons, and much more. These are priced individually according to the Special. Please contact Jan Pearman, After-school Director, for details at 941-484-4999. For more information, visit afterschool.islandvillage.org.
AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM – Sarasota Campus
The After-school Program (ASP) (fee-based) is offered to students in the charter program as early as 3:15 PM and ends at 5:30 PM. This tuition-based program has individual schedules and payment plans to meet the needs of each family. All fees must be paid in advance. We work with parents who offer proof of need. Openings are limited.
Through this program, we present a Specials menu. These are once-per-week activities, which include drama, choir, sports, ballet, private music lessons, and much more. These classes are priced individually according to the Special. Please contact Valerie Davis, After-school Director, for details at 941-954-4999. For more information, visit afterschool.islandvillage.org.
Attendance is taken each morning and at the beginning of each learning period. Students are obligated to be punctual and maintain regular attendance. We suggest that students arrive at least 10 minutes before the beginning of the school day. Learning environments open 15 minutes prior to start time. We want students ready to learn from the first minute of school until the last. Children also need opportunities to greet friends and become mentally prepared for the day. Getting to school early really helps with this transition.
If you know your child will be absent, please call 941-484-4999 ext. 8 for Venice campus students to leave a message on our attendance message system before the start of school.
Please call 941-954-4999 ext. 0 for Sarasota campus students to let us know if your child will be absent.
Absences that number 10 or fewer each semester will be excused after a parent/guardian sends in a note or excusal form or email within 3 days of a student’s return, indicating a reason due to illness, death in the family, religious holiday or service as recognized by such members of the student’s faith, or special approval by the principal or appropriate administrative designee. Forms are available on our Website and the appendix of this handbook. More than 10 absences in one semester will be excused only after review and approval of administration.
Family vacations are NOT excused absences. Please schedule vacations during school holidays. If a child misses 10 consecutive school days, we need to unenroll that student. Your child may lose his or her place in the school if there are other students on the waiting list. If you know about absences in advance, please notify your campus administration or (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as your child’s educators so we can try to minimize the educational impact of the absence.
It is the student’s responsibility to complete any work missed during excused absence periods within the limits established by the educator team. Additionally, educators may not be able to provide make-up lessons for those missed due to absences. Parents may be expected to assist or provide tutoring for their child to ensure understanding of missed work during absences.
All absences which have not been specifically identified as excused are considered unexcused absences to include:
– suspension (both in school and out of school)
– skipping class
– students arriving late who are not able to obtain a late slip for admittance to class will be marked as an unexcused absence until approval is obtained (See Tardiness section)
– absences that are not excused by administration
If a student arrives after 8:00 AM (Sarasota Campus), or after 8:45 AM (Elementary/ Secondary Program, Venice Campus), the student is considered tardy. A parent or attending adult MUST SIGN IN WITH THE STUDENT IN THE OFFICE in order to obtain a late slip for admittance to class. If you are late, do not drop off and leave your child at school without signing him/her in. Students will not be issued a late slip without an accompanying parent or attending adult and will be marked absent. For your child’s safety, it is your responsibility to supervise until s/he is officially in our care. That is done by personally signing your child in and out. Excessive tardiness to class (9 or more per quarter) may result in administrative disciplinary action. Please keep this in mind when scheduling medical and dental appointments.
Students must be signed out at the office and receive an early dismissal slip 30 minutes prior (or earlier) to their program’s ending time. Parents are not allowed to pick up their child directly from the learning environments without signing in at the office and providing an early dismissal slip to the child’s educator.
Extended Student Absences:
Families should not plan vacations or trips during student attendance days. Extended absences should be reviewed with administration at least 3 weeks in advance to be considered for excusal. We are not able to excuse more than three consecutive days for reasons other than a family emergency.
Consequences of Repetitive Absences
We understand that students must sometimes miss school due to circumstances beyond their control. Please remember, however, that it is easier for educators and faculty to support learning needs when we receive information in a consistent and timely manner regarding any absences from the learning environment.
When a student shows a pattern of late arrivals, early dismissals, or absences, a conference will be required with the director/principal to consider the implementation of a plan of action to correct the situation. A consistent pattern occurring throughout the school year may, at the school’s discretion, result in the student: 1) receiving disciplinary action; 2) being retained; 3) being asked to return to the appropriate district school.
BIRTHDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS
While exceptions can be made, we prefer that celebrations be focused on activities rather than on food. A Montessori birthday tradition for younger students is to walk around the sun (a candle) for the number of years the student has been on earth. At the same time, the parent or educator narrates the student’s life history from a collection of pictures brought from home. A gift of books to the school library is also a nice way to mark a student’s special day so that giving is emphasized more than receiving. Party invitations or gifts will not be passed out at school except if provided for the entire class.
At the secondary level, special social events are planned within the learning environment to provide students with a wide array of opportunities to celebrate with their friends in the school setting. Additional social events and group activities such as school dances and extended end-of-the year trips provide our students with a place outside of the learning environment to socialize, eat, and have fun with their peers.
Our Montessori program also offers meaningful activities during the holidays to introduce our students to the various cultures and traditions of the world. The holidays are a wonderful way to share special recipes, prepare a favorite dish, act out stories, listen to special music, and explore authentic objects associated with the many cultural heritages of our students and their families.
GROUND RULES AND DISCIPLINE POLICY: FREEDOM WITH RESPONSIBILITY
Montessori education is based on empowering the student to make appropriate decisions about behavior in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. There is no place for corporal punishment or emotional intimidation in a Montessori environment.
Students work with their educators to understand and define the boundaries of right and wrong consistent with the standards of the school community, i.e. the ground rules.
If a student repeatedly breaks the ground rules and is not responsive to alternate suggestions and strategies, he or she will be removed from the learning environment. The student will have an opportunity to work out a solution with the principal/director and may be returned to the learning environment to try again.
If the student repeatedly needs administrative support to manage behavior, the parent will be called to take the student home. There will be a conference with the parent before the student returns to the learning environment.
If the situation cannot be rectified in a reasonable amount of time, especially if the behavior presents a danger to other students or faculty members, suspension or expulsion procedures, consistent with the Sarasota County Code of Student Conduct, will apply. The final step is that the student may be reassigned to the appropriate district school or recommended to the School Board administration for expulsion from the school district for the remainder of the year.
Admission to IVMS is by choice, not mandate. IVMS does provide services for students who qualify for ESE services and who can function in a general education setting with support more than 80% of the school day. Our philosophy is to give children a chance to improve. However, under the terms of our charter contract with the Sarasota County school district, IVMS is not obligated to continue to enroll any student who cannot progress to and maintain minimum standards of behavior appropriate to an regular classroom environment.
These ground rules apply to before and after school programs as well. Proper behavior is also expected for bus riders at all times. If a student’s bus behavior becomes a continuous safety concern, he or she will not be allowed to ride the bus.
Finally, a student may be reassigned back to the district school if either student or parents/guardians (or both) refuse to comply with the terms of the parent and student contracts following at least two parent/student conferences or written notices to the parent/guardian from the program principal or executive director.
BULLYING (including cyberbullying) AND HARASSMENT
Children learn more than academics at school. Learning empathy and appropriate social behavior is an important function of our community and we support children in learning from their mistakes and growing in their abilities to be good friends. We appreciate the support of our students’ families as we help all of our students learn to make good choices. We understand that there will be hiccups along the way, but we have faith that our community has the ability to help move children along the continuum of grace, respect, and courtesy.
The following section details our policy on bullying behavior, which is differentiated from typical growing pains and friendship issues. Bullying is defined as more purposeful, pervasive, targeted behavior. Please read on for more clarity.
It is the policy of Island Village Montessori School (IVMS) that all of its students and school employees deserve an educational setting that is safe, secure, and free from harassment and bullying of any kind. IVMS will not tolerate bullying and harassment of any type. Conduct that constitutes bullying and harassment, as defined below, is prohibited.
Bullying includes cyberbullying and means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. It is further defined as unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by a student or adult, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation; and may involve but is not limited to:
- Social Exclusion
- Physical violence
- Sexual, religious, or racial harassment
- Public or private humiliation
- Destruction of property
Cyberbullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which includes, but is not limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. Cyberbullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person, or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyberbullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying.
Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:
- Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or
- Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.
Bullying and harassment also encompass:
- Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying or harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or harassment that is not made in good faith is considered retaliation.
- Perpetuation of conduct listed in the definition of bullying or harassment by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional or physical harm to a student or school employee by:
- Incitement or coercion
- Accessing or knowingly and willingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system
- Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying or harassment
Cyberstalking as defined in s. 784.048(1)(d), F.S., means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
Reporting an act of bullying or harassment: Any student, staff, volunteer, or parent/legal guardian may file a report in person with their level principal or designated representative, via email to a principal or designated representative, or through the anonymous online form available through the parent pages on the IVMS website: parents.islandvillage.org. Once the report has been received, the principal or designated representative will begin an investigation.
Prevention: IVMS shall work to sustain a healthy, positive, and safe learning environment for all students. It is important to change the social climate of the school and the social norms with regards to bullying. This requires the efforts of everyone in the school environment – teachers, administrators, support staff, school nurses other non-teaching staff (such as bus drivers, custodians, receptionists, and/or assistants), parents/legal guardians, and students.
When using morning transportation, an adult must walk an elementary child from the car to the bus at the designated pick-up spot. It is dangerous to have young students crossing a parking lot by themselves or running unsupervised around any area where the bus or other vehicles drive. In the afternoon, a designated adult must be standing outside the bus, near the door, where the bus driver can see your child walk to you.
This is extremely important because the bus driver must be able to see that each child is with a designated adult before they can leave the bus stop.
The designated adult needs to be able to make eye contact with the bus driver because he/she will not be able to leave the driver’s seat to find you.
Once the bus has started to move it is not allowed to stop. No exceptions !!!
This means that if the designated driver is late and the bus is still in the parking lot, it will not stop for them. Families should NOT try to stop the bus; they must either go to the next stop or directly to school. We have instructed the driver to not open the bus door in any place other than the approved pick up/drop off location.
It is very important that families arrive a few minutes early to their children’s bus stop for afternoon pickup. Should a child remain on the bus after the last stop, due to an emergency, he or she will return to one of our campuses. Please call the school and we will let you know to which campus your child will be returned. (It isn’t always the campus where your child is enrolled). If a designated adult is not at the bus stop to pick up a child, that child will be signed into aftercare upon returning to the respective campus (at a cost of $20).
Aftercare ends at 5:30 at both campuses.
In the case that your child is not picked up on time, call A&S transportation at 941-227-7930 ext. 0. You can also contact the school’s aftercare program at 941-484-4999 ext 333 for Venice students; for Sarasota students, 941-954-4999 ext 1. You can always go to the next bus stop if you are able.
Many families carpool to and from the bus stop. A&S does need to know, however, which families are allowed to pick up each child. Please send in a note with your child, call the school, or email us when someone different will be picking up your child. We require 24 hours notice so that we can inform A&S transportation and receive authorization from them. We will print out the authorization and send it with your child on the bus. You can contact A&S directly to authorize permanent changes. Planning ahead is essential as we do not have time to coordinate last minute changes at the end of the day.
IMPORTANT NOTE: WE WILL NO LONGER ALLOW STUDENTS TO CHANGE BUSES FOR PARTIES OR SLEEP-OVERS. FAMILIES MUST MAKE OTHER ARRANGEMENTS FOR THESE SPECIAL EVENTS.
Our staff is simply too busy (especially at dismissal) to manage these non-critical arrangements. There is also a high possibility of error during this very busy time.
We will still work with families if is your child needs to get off at a different stop on the same bus. PLEASE CONTACT THE CAMPUS OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS POLICY. THESE EXCEPTIONS CANNOT BE LAST MINUTE – at least 24 hours notice must be made to both the bus company and to the campus administration. HOWEVER, THE FINAL DECISION WILL REST WITH THE PROGRAM PRINCIPAL.
Behavior on the bus is very important for safety reasons. Each child is expected to listen to all adults on the bus THE FIRST TIME.
Each child is also expected to behave on the bus as follows:
– Stay seated at all times with feet out of the aisle.
– Remain quiet when the bus is stopped.
– Talk quietly with the children in the same seat when the bus is in motion.
– Listen immediately when an adult redirects behavior.
– Be respectful to other children and to adults at all times.
– Follow all of the same rules that you follow while at school.
– Do not touch others.
– Do not eat on the bus.
– Do not throw anything.
– Do not place hands out the window.
– Do not play with the children in the seats around you.
– Do not use cell phones except as needed to communicate with parents.
Each family with children riding the bus will be asked to acknowledge that both parents and child understand the behavior expectations while on the bus. Families should not assume that their child is behaving appropriately. Every child needs to be spoken to by their family to ensure a safe bus ride. Every child on the bus works together as a community, contributing to the overall climate. We hope that your encouragement will create a peaceful bus ride. Should a child not have the self-control to follow the rules, he or she may be suspended from the bus temporarily or permanently.
CARPOOLS & AUTHORIZED PICK-UPS
Carpools are a wonderful way to get to know other families while saving time and costs for transportation. Although IVMS cannot provide direct coordination for parents wishing to share rides, we do provide an orientation at the beginning of the year and social activities for parents to meet and have an opportunity to exchange information. Please review our online Parent Pages, parents.islandvillage.org, for information and to access our activities calendar.
For dismissal, carpools should have one dismissal card with multiple student names and learning environment (LE) numbers to identify the children in the carpool. All adults picking up students must be on the emergency card filled out during the registration process. If not, they must be willing to check into the office, show an ID, and wait for permission from the child’s parent/guardian in order to receive clearance from our staff. No exceptions. YOU MUST COME PERSONALLY TO MAKE CHANGES ON THE INFORMATION CARD (See section: Change of Information) if you would like to add other authorized pickup designees to your emergency card.
Students are NOT ALLOWED to make personal plans during the school day and then call home to coordinate rides. Written permission MUST be sent to school in the form of a note from each of the families involved prior to or on the day of the arrangement.
CELLULAR PHONES AND ELECTRONICS
Island Village does not allow students to have in their possession during the school day: cell phones, iPods, MP3 players, pagers, cameras, thumb drives, or ANY other electronic or media storage device. Students are strongly discouraged from bringing any of these devices to school. However, if a student must have a cell phone or other device for use before and/or after school, they are prohibited from using it once they arrive on campus or before they depart.
Students who bring a cell phone, electronic, or media storage device to school must hand it in to their educator at the beginning of the day for storage. The educators will store the items until the end of the day at which time students may collect their phone or other electronic/media device. IVMS is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or broken cell phones, electronic/media devices, or other valuables brought from home.
Students who are caught with cell phones or other electronic devices in their possession during school hours (after they hand it in and before pick-up time) and without prior special permission from an educator or administrator, will have the item(s) confiscated and held until a parent can sign and collect it from the school principal or designated personnel. Students will also have personal electronic equipment confiscated if found to be using or accessing such devices in the morning before they hand it in or after school before departing the campus. Depending on the circumstances of the particular situation, students may be subject to additional disciplinary action.
Although we value and encourage the use of technology to support learning in our programs, we find that cell phones and other personal electronic devices in the possession of students are disruptive to the learning environment unless incorporated for use within a specific program or assignment. Students who have these devices in their possession are often tempted to use them at some point during the school day for purposes unrelated to learning which poses numerous potential disruptions. Use of cell phones, cameras, and texting devices has been linked to increased safety violations, cheating, invasion of privacy, bullying and other security issues. Additionally, the time and energy it takes away from educators and staff to monitor these situations is detrimental to the achievement of our educational goals.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS or INFORMATION
Email our registrar at email@example.com for both Sarasota and Venice campuses if you need to change any information on your child’s emergency card or other enrollment documents.
It is very important for us to have the current information about your family and child including: phone numbers, allergies, medication, address, as well as approved individuals who are permitted to take your child off campus.
DRESS CODE AND UNIFORM POLICY FOR ALL IVMS PROGRAMS
****We strongly request that parents enforce this dress code with their children before leaving for school each morning. Addressing violations at school take up valuable instructional time and also create an embarrassing situation for both the student and adults who are simply attempting to enforce a very reasonable dress code policy for the benefit of all. Thank you for your cooperation!****
The rationale behind the IVMS dress code is to allow students “freedom within limits” through which to express their individual personalities as well as maintain reasonable standards of decorum and modesty. Another benefit of a dress code is not having valuable time and attention directed to clothing and distracting hair styles.
In 2015, the Florida legislature passed uniform guidelines for state’s public school system that are much more stringent than ours. Research was cited that showed fewer discipline problems (including bullying) and a better attitude toward learning in schools that had implemented a uniform/dress code policy. All public schools will now adopt some type of uniform policy or dress code.
IVMS has found the same results to be true. We believe that our simple guidelines keep our incident reports low and teasing and bullying due to attire down to a negligible level. Students are happy with the ability to choose their colors, which most schools do not allow. We appreciate any support you can give from home to let your children know we have thought long and hard about a policy based on fairness, safety, individual expression, and appropriate dress for school.
ALL STUDENTS (other than 8th – 12th grade students) are expected to wear uniform shirts on the first day of school. These shirts should be solid in color. We have some gently used uniform shirts available. Check with the office for more information on availability and size.
STUDENTS IN GRADES 8-12
8th – 12th grade students are not required to wear a school shirt with an IVMS logo. All other aspects of the dress code still apply. These students may wear shirts that are plain, striped, or contain patterns or designs. Shirts must not contain any promotional or commercial advertising or lettering of any kind other than “IVMS” and must be modest and in good repair. Graphic designs are fine as long as they are not cartoons or other commercial images such as sports teams, bands, or corporate logos.
ALL OTHER STUDENTS (PK-7th) are required to wear a school uniform each day consisting of the following:
All outerwear must not contain any graphic commercial advertising or lettering (other than “IVMS” or “IVHS”) but may include patterns or designs. For grade levels below 8th grade, school uniform shirts must be worn under any outerwear. In cooler weather, shirts may be double layered with patterns and designs on the undershirt that are not commercial in nature but the uniform shirt must be worn on top. Tight leggings (spandex) may be worn under shorts or skirts but never in the place of pants or shorts. This is true for PE days as well.
Basically, we request that all clothing be modest, in good repair, and be consistent with the values of our school. School personnel do not wish to create embarrassing situations for students in this regard. We strongly request that parents enforce this dress code with their children.
Shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets are available locally or through various online vendors. Information regarding uniform vendors is available by clicking here.
Hats are not permitted to be worn inside. Any hat requirement for sun protection during outdoor activities must be plain or with the IVMS logo. If a student continually “forgets” to remove a hat once inside, the privilege will be revoked.
Backpacks and Bags
Backpacks, totes, or large handbags are no longer permitted on campus at any location and for any program. (Special exceptions for individual students may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the program principal only.) Even the high school level will not have many textbooks that need to be taken home. We have found that backpacks present a security risks for what is brought on campus as well as what can be removed from campus (including books that never return and other school items).
At the elementary level, you child will be given a folder to take work back and forth from school. Backpacks are a security risk in a number of ways. They also take up too much space in learning environments, contributing to unneeded clutter. Not having to manage backpacks greatly assists our staff to maintain a secure environment.
An IVMS Jogathon shirt or logoed T-shirt along with shorts and/or athletic pants that allow movement and appropriate athletic shoes are required during physical education classes. Jeans, skirts, and slip-on shoes are not appropriate for PE. If students do not have appropriate shoes, they will not be allowed to participate, possibly resulting in a zero for the day. Jewelry should not be worn during PE class except for small, studded earrings.
Students are encouraged to bring an additional IVMS shirt to change into after outdoor PE classes and vigorous activities. Students in grades 4th and up are highly encouraged to wear deodorant daily. Spray perfumes, colognes, or other fragrant mists are not permitted at school.
– an Island Village Montessori School logo shirt (short or long sleeve of any solid color).
– (ALL STUDENTS) shorts, skorts, or slacks should be appropriate for recess or outdoor play and not expose the midriff, sit too low on the hips, or be overly tight or revealing.
– (ALL STUDENTS) dresses and skirts suitable for recess and other forms of outdoor play are also acceptable but MUST be worn with shorts underneath.
– (ALL STUDENTS) athletic shoes or other completely enclosed shoes (both toe and heel) with rubber soles that are suitable for outdoor play or physical education classes. If students do not have appropriate shoes, they will not be allowed to participate in certain classes or activities, possibly resulting in a zero for the day.
– (ALL STUDENTS) High and hard-heeled shoes and boots, sandals, skate shoes, light-up shoes, open sandals of any kind, and Crocs are not allowed. This is for the safety of all of our students.
PROHIBITED DESIGNS, IMAGES, AND ENDORSEMENTS
Clothing, raincoats, umbrellas, lunch boxes, or other school supplies used at IVMS are not permitted to have cartoons, advertisements, commercial images, sports identification or numbers, or endorsements.
Families must purchase a lunch box without commercial images for students to use at our school (designs are fine).
RATIONALE: We would like our students to have a break from the commercial nature of our modern society and ask for your support by adhering to this requirement. We want school to be for learning, not for advertising or other forms of commercialism. We feel that it will help our children in seeking a balance between the world they encounter on television or the Internet and that of our community of learners. We really appreciate your support with this challenge.
Appropriate Fit and Condition
All clothing must be in good condition, not revealing, and free from stains, writing, or other marks. No low-cut pants or short shorts are allowed. Do not allow your child to wear tight shirts or low cut pants that expose the midriff or undergarments in any way. Skirts are acceptable ONLY if shorts are underneath. Shorts, skirts and skorts must extend below the student’s fingertips with shoulders in a relaxed position.
Our students move about, sit on the floor, climb play equipment, run, play soccer and other sports. We do not wish for them to become embarrassed if clothing does not fit properly. Please help us by purchasing the correct clothing and supervising what your child wears to school. A student who wears an improperly fitted uniform or one in disrepair will be considered in violation of the dress code policy and will not be allowed to attend class until appropriate clothing can be acquired or repairs made.
Distracting, unnatural hair color or style will be treated as a dress code violation. This includes colorful dyes and streaks, Mohawks, or other distracting hairstyles. Additionally, please do not allow your child to wear jewelry, body piercings, tattoos, or makeup to school that is distracting. It is strongly recommended to that any additional adornments be kept to a minimum, especially ones of value. The school is not responsible for lost or damaged items.
If your child comes to school in clothing or accessories that do not meet these requirements, you will be called to bring your child the proper attire. Taking into account the changing and unforeseen trends in fashion, administration reserves the right to determine if a student’s dress is appropriate for the school environment.
Working toward a safe and orderly school environment requires the awareness and practice of various emergency drills. The students and staff will practice emergency procedures by responding to the following codes and drills throughout the school year:
- Code Red – Full lock down: doors are locked, blinds are closed and lights turned off.
- Code White – Limited lockdown: doors are locked and classroom instruction continues.
- Code Yellow – Evacuate building to proper location: no radios or announcements.
- Severe Weather – Students are in a secure position in the classroom away from windows.
- Fire Drill – Evacuate building to proper location.
All staff and students are instructed on the guidelines and procedures of how to respond to the drills in a safe and orderly manner.
STANDARDIZED TESTING AND THE MULTI-YEAR CYCLE
IVMS takes steps to make sure our students are prepared for the required standardized testing which assesses students on their annual progress in math and reading. However, keep in mind that the Montessori curriculum is based on the idea of a multi-year cycle in which each student covers the material at an individual pace. We also build in differing expectations of leadership and community service for each year a child remains in the classroom (and in the school).
We expect our students to cover all or most of the curriculum at each level (depending on ability) by the end of the classroom cycle. It is our belief that it takes more than one year to get the most out of the Montessori curriculum. We ask for your support by committing to this experience for the entire cycle so that your child attains the most meaningful experience at our school.
Students in the elementary and secondary programs will have homework built into their work and contract plans as well as routine practice in math and language arts. The homework is designed to give students opportunities to connect their learning outside of the classroom and practice the skills necessary to master concepts or prepare for the next level of work on a particular assignment.
Parents can help their children by providing them with a quiet area to work and the appropriate resources and tools necessary to complete the homework assignment. Assignments and supporting documentation are posted to our learning environment (LE) class pages, which are linked on our parent site at parents.islandvillage.org. It is important that parents understand our philosophy and work/contract system in order to better support their child’s learning progress. Regular communication with your child’s educators and advisor (at the secondary level) will also help to support your child in obtaining consistent results.
Homework is also provided through Web resources that are linked to the school’s network. In this way, students can work from home or school and educators can easily supervise progress.
SCHOOL LUNCH AND BREAKFAST PROGRAM
School lunch and breakfast are available for a nominal fee on a daily basis for charter students. A monthly menu can be found linked on our parent pages at parents.islandvillage.org. Personal copies may also be sent home at your request.
Money will be collected in the morning to pre-pay for the hot lunch option, yogurt, or milk on the same day. At the Venice campus, breakfast is ONLY available by ordering a day in advance. Also at the Venice campus, salads must be ordered a day in advance. Due to lower numbers of students served, Sarasota campus students may order breakfast and salads on the same day.
Ordering will take place during morning attendance. Students arriving late may order up to 9 AM (Sarasota Campus) and up to 9:30 AM (Venice Campus). Breakfast will not be served once school begins for each program.
Lunch may also be paid in advance. You may pay any amount that you wish into your child’s account using cash or a check. Please send lunch or milk money in a well-sealed envelope with your child’s NAME, LE#, PIN #, and TOTAL AMOUNT included.
Checks are to be made payable to:
LAUREL NOKOMIS SCHOOL for Venice campus students ONLY
OAK PARK SCHOOL for Sarasota campus students ONLY.
Please put your child(ren)’s name and PIN # in the memo area of the check. If you have more than one child at the school, please designate how the money or check should be divided.
WE HIGHLY ENCOURAGE PARENTS to use mylunchmoney.com (see below) as NO MONEY will be collected during the actual lunchtime.
If you use the online payment system available at mylunchmoney.com. You will need the student’s school, grade, birth date, and district ID # (not their PIN#) in order to create an account. The student’s lunch account can then be funded with a credit or debit card. (A convenience fee is charged for each transaction.) Features of this program include checking your child’s account balance online, viewing 7 days of meal purchase history, ability to enable “Smart Pay” feature which automatically adds money to your child’s account when a low balance is reached.
The balance in a student’s account is carried over from year to year. You will be notified when your child’s account is running low. We cannot serve children who do not have sufficient funds to pay for their lunch unless they qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. It is up to you to apply for free and reduced lunch and you are responsible for all charges in the meantime. Please make sure your child’s account is current.
Please refer to our parent pages for the link at parents.islandvillage.org or to the Sarasota County Schools’ Food and Nutritional Services at http://www.sarasotacountyschools.net/departments/fns.
If you prefer to pack a lunch, please choose healthy foods with proteins and complex carbohydrates. Soft drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas or “juice” drinks (that are mostly sugar and water), gum, candy, chocolate, and other sugary foods are prohibited.
We strongly discourage the use of many prepackaged lunches because they lack the necessary nutrition and fiber to maintain good health. Do not send food in packaging that is hard to open or will spurt out when opened. Spilled juice and yogurt gets into the carpet and attracts insects. Please use thermoses to keep foods cold or hot, as the use of appliances for students is not available.
Please do not bring your child to school if s/he is exhibiting symptoms that are contagious to others. This is vitally important with various flu viruses circulating. Your cooperation in this matter will help us keep absences of other students and staff members to a minimum. If symptoms such as fever, runny nose, vomiting, and diarrhea are present, we will call you to take your child home where your child can rest and recover more quickly. Any children with a temperature of 100º or higher must be picked up and kept home until they are free from a fever without medication for at least 24 hours.
In an emergency, we will call the numbers and persons listed on the student emergency card. Cards will also be sent out in January to help us keep your information current. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you call us with any address or phone number changes throughout the year. We must have a working number at all times, or we will ask you to keep your child at home until you can give us one. We must be able to get hold of you in emergencies. An email to our registrar, firstname.lastname@example.org is acceptable.
No medications of any kind (including cold, aspirin, and vitamin products) can be administered at school unless there is a doctor’s authorization for the treatment on file. Medications with appropriate authorization must be administered by clinic personnel. Students may NOT carry any type of medications with them. Please do not supply your child with vitamin drinks and supplements for lunch.
For more information on school health resources and requirements, please see Sarasota County Schools’ health website at http://www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/schoolhealth.
Learning environment observations for elementary levels are available beginning in October. If you would like to observe your child in his or her learning environment, please notify the office in advance. We ask that you encourage your child to become independent of you in the school environment as soon as possible. Observations are delayed until after the first month of school in order to give students sufficient time to adjust to the school routine. Observations are limited to 30 minutes. You can best help your child adjust if you remain loving but firm about the importance of being independent during school hours.
All students bring a folder home with weekly information from the school on Fridays. Secondary level students may use a specially marked folder in their zipper binder. Parents are encouraged to review materials and communications sent home with their child in order to better understand its importance to their child’s experience at IVMS. Additional resources, tools and information are available through our Parent Pages at parents.islandvillage.org.
Supporting documents and contract (secondary) information are posted to our class pages available on our Website at www.islandvillage.org. We strongly encourage parents to check these pages frequently for the latest updates. Educators and administration may be contacted by phone or email for any questions/concerns. Your child’s educator and administrators may also communicate via email to help keep you and other parents informed on what is happening in the learning environment and school community.
PARENTAL RIGHTS AND CUSTODY
The school follows Florida law regarding parental rights unless custody documentation exists that has been issued by a Florida court of law. In Florida, natural parents have equal rights unless a current, signed custodial agreement says otherwise. Florida law supersedes the laws of any other country or state regarding custodial rights. It is solely the responsibility of the parent to give us copies of all documentation regarding custody arrangements for your child. It is the school’s responsibility to remain neutral in custody issues. In the event of a disagreement, only parents and/or legal guardians will be allowed to pick up children from school.
SHOW AND TELL
Recognizing the important link between home and school, we encourage students to bring in objects of interest with an educational value related to ongoing projects in the learning environment. Parents should coordinate appropriate show-and-tell items with their child’s educators. Animals brought onto school property must abide by the district guidelines and have advance approval of both the child’s educator and administration.
Students may not bring in toys and games from home unless they are educational in nature and the educator has given permission. Toys and other non-educational objects brought to school without permission will be held and returned at the end of the day or until a parent can sign for the return of the item(s). Please be sure to discuss this rule with your child to ensure they understand not to place items in their lunch boxes or pockets for recess presentations as well.
Weapons, play or real, are not permitted.
SPECIAL EDUCATION AND GIFTED EDUCATION
As a small charter school, we offer a range of special education services to include speech and language, ESE, and ESL services. IVMS does not provide programs that require a self-contained classroom setting. All of our students spend more than 80% of their day in a regular education, multi-age learning environment. The IEP or EP of each IVMS student is designed with these parameters in mind. If it is determined that a student requires more intensive services than IVMS can offer, the student will be referred to his or her district school or another appropriate placement as determined by the student’s IEP.
Gifted students are served naturally by the Montessori system of multi-age settings, individualized instruction, and an approach of reassessing a child’s placement at specific levels. IVMS does not isolate students who qualify for gifted services into special classes. Meeting the gifted child’s needs is fundamental to our program. Advanced classes are offered in the middle-level program such as advanced high-school-level math and high-school-level foreign language classes. High-school credit will be given to students who successfully complete these courses and any required end-of-course (EOC) exam.
A list of necessary supplies is available at the beginning of the school year for each level. Educators may also provide a wish list for their learning environment. Some school supplies are also provided by IVMS through a small donation fund. We greatly appreciate all families that are able to contribute to this fund. We recommend gifts that could benefit your child’s learning environment rather than individual gifts during the holidays. This way, everyone benefits from your generosity.
All students are required to have a working pair of headphones or earbuds at school every day. This is a necessary part of school readiness due to our daily computer integration. Students in the secondary-level program who are at school without a pair of working headphones will be issued a basic pair and charged a $1.00 purchase fee.
Some books at the secondary level are available for checkout from the learning environment or are assigned directly to the student. Students are responsible for the cost of replacing lost workbooks, textbooks, library books, and issued folders or binders. We ask that elementary students do not take school library books home as we do not have a media specialist to track books that have been borrowed. We encourage you to go to the public library often to help your child continue reading at home.
TECHNOLOGY – APPROPRIATE USE
A document outlining the Student Acceptable Use Agreement for Technology and Networks for our school will be provided to each family at the beginning of the year. This document has important information about appropriate use of our computers and network. Please take a 34
moment to review and discuss it with your child to help reinforce important requirements for the use of the school’s computers and network.
Both you and your child are required to sign the agreement and return it to school before your child will be allowed access to computers or our network. A copy of the Sarasota School District’s Appropriate Technology Guidelines, as found in the district student handbook, will also be attached to our agreement for your reference.
We are holding each student accountable for keeping their login information private, for not using someone else’s information to access the network, to access or attempt to access sites that are only for educational purposes, and to understand that the use of the computers and network at school is a privilege. The students will been given instructions regarding these requirements during the first weeks of school along with other detailed information as outlined in our user agreement. We ask for your support in reinforcing these concepts with your child.
SECONDARY GOOGLE APPS TECHNOLOGY POLICY
All secondary students (grades 6-12) are given school google app accounts under the ivsec.org domain. This account is managed by IVMS and is also subject to the public records laws of Florida. Students do not have a right to privacy for these accounts – all documents and emails are screened through a profanity filter and accounts can be locked out if a student is found to not be complying with the technology policies.
This account should not be used to create or maintain social media accounts and should not be used as a personal email outside of the ivsec.org domain. Communicating with peers is encouraged but this account is first and foremost a school account – for use only with school-related purpose. It should be noted that having a google apps account is a privilege and not a right; if a student abuses the privilege, then their account will be locked out.
With many of the software and textbook accounts, student google app accounts are used as sign-in options. All secondary educators also have ivsec.org accounts and use it as a primary method of communication with students as well as a submission option for assignments.
Families also have access to their child’s ivsec.org account.
At the start of each year, a letter is sent home with the username and password to the account. At the end of the academic year, all student accounts are locked. Students will have time to retrieve emails and documents they wish to save before the accounts are locked. Returning students will regain access to their accounts at the start of the next year.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION – SECONDARY PROGRAM
The Secondary Program is dedicated to providing multiple avenues for students to express their creative, leadership, and philanthropic skills. To further this endeavor, a Student Government Association was founded in 2014. The Student Government Association serves as a representative structure for students to get involved in the school, work with IVMS administration and faculty, and support the school through volunteerism and sponsorship.
The SGA is governed by a Charter, Constitution, and By-Laws. Students participate in leadership activities, community-building exercises, hosting and running school-sponsored events, and other great activities! Students in the secondary program (grades 6-12) are eligible to participate in elections to earn positions in the SGA and can serve as either representatives or officers.
IVMS Student Government Association Responsibilities:
- To serve as a voice for fellow students to IVMS faculty and administration
- To aid and manage school store, serving as the financial basis for the SGA
- To provide suggestions for improvements to IVMS programs
- To volunteer at school functions and events
- To be an example to all other students
For more information about the SGA, parents and students are encouraged to view the SGA webpage on the IVMS website. (http://secondary.islandvillage.org/ivms-s-sga/)
AFTER-SCHOOL GUILDS – SECONDARY PROGRAM
Not to be mistaken with the After-school Program, students in grades 8-12 have the opportunity to create and manage their own after school organizations. Guilds are managed by the Student Government Association. From community service to gaming, every opportunity is available to students who are interested in creating a Guild.
Why not call them clubs?
A Club is defined as a group of people who meet to participate in an activity. Most schools offer clubs and sometimes allow for students to create new clubs. However, this term does not accurately define our purpose of these after-school opportunities.
A Guild is defined as an association of people with similar interests or pursuits. This definition more appropriately explains the focus and intent for these IVMS after-school organizations.
Students who are interested in creating an After-school Guild should look at the requirements to create a Guild on the SGA webpage on the IVMS website. (http://secondary.islandvillage.org/ivms-s-sga/afterschool-guilds/)
THRIVES – SECONDARY PROGRAM
At the start of 2015, the IVMS SGA expanded the Self-Directed Learner (SDL) Distinction. This program presents an evolved version that incorporates the same principles from the SDL program but that have been shaped by students for their peers in grades 6-12.
|Letter||Trait||Definition||Active Qualities/Practices to Meet Traits|
|T||Time Management||The ability to use one’s time effectively or productively.||Turns in work on time/ meets due dates. Arrives to class on time. Uses time in class effectively. Is able to prioritize by setting and meeting short-range and long-range goals.|
|H||Honesty and Trustworthiness||The quality of being honest and reliable to do what is needed or right – to be deserving of trust.||Admits responsibility and accepts consequences. Consistently demonstrates honesty and/or trustworthiness. Does not use dishonest or unethical means to complete tasks/assignments. Displays integrity by being honest and fair, compromising when necessary. Is consistently reliable throughout the school day.|
|R||Responsible Leader||The ability to be a person who has an obligation to do something that involves independent decision making.||Exercises leadership directly and indirectly. When placed in a leadership role, acts responsibly with fairness and integrity. Listen to peers, takes suggestions, and makes decisions. As a leader, demonstrates accountability for actions. When leading in a group, demonstrates willingness to be accountable for the group’s actions.|
|I||Independent||The quality of being free from control and not dependent on others in matters of opinion, conduct, thought, action, or obligation.||Is consistently organized. Advocates for self when necessary. Able to work independently during class; participates well in group assignments and projects.|
|V||Values Excellence||The quality of understanding that education is important; valuing quality work and effort creates high quality results.||Maintains a ‘C’ grade or higher in all classes. Puts forth best effort in all aspects of the school day. Demonstrates willingness to accept and correct mistakes as learning opportunities. Meets or exceeds self and educator expectations.|
|E||Empathetic Actions, Kindness, and Respect||The quality of having esteem for or a sense of the inherent worth of excellence in a person; the ability to act with understanding and benevolence towards others.||Actively assists peers. Is respectful to educators, peers, and self. Does not tease, spread rumors, cause intentional hurt, or exclude others. Gives back to the school community – this could be picking up trash or volunteering to help at school events. Actively evaluates actions and seeks opportunities for self-improvement.|
|S||Self-Directed||The ability to guide, regulate, and manage oneself.||Accepts responsibility for learning. Exceeds expectations of THRIVE qualities. Acts with maturity and distinction. Consistently strives to meet or exceed individual potential. Takes ownership of educational process and does not overly rely on adults or peers.|
The THRIVES program works on a tiered system. At the end of each quarter, faculty discuss potential recipients or potential promotions. If necessary, potential demotions are also discussed. Students are expected to uphold these traits on a regular basis throughout the entire quarter as well as the school year. THRIVES is very much a program designed to acknowledge levels of mastery of character and leadership rather than be a simple reward system based on grades such as an honor roll. Students who earn each level wear a pin that serves as a tangible recognition similar to earning a brown or black belt: At IVMS, a student doesn’t just succeed, an IVMS student THRIVES!
- In order to be eligible for any of the tiers of this program, a student MUST exhibit the following traits: (1) Honesty and Trustworthiness, (2) Values Excellence, and (3) Empathetic Actions, Kindness, and Respect. If a student cannot meet all three qualities, then they are ineligible for THRIVES recognition for that quarter.
- In addition to meeting the three baseline traits, a student must meet TWO additional traits (5 out of 7) of the THRIVES program to earn a 1-star pin.
- A student who meets THREE additional traits (6 out of 7 traits) earns a 2-star pin.
- A student who meets ALL additional traits (7 out of 7 traits) earns a 3-star pin.
- During the ceremony, the members of the SGA bestow the pins on their fellow students.
- Members of the SGA who earn pins have pins bestowed upon them by the faculty.
- For pin-holders being promoted up a tier (earning a pin for the next level), the previous pin is returned for a peer to earn.
Thank you very much for reviewing the information in this handbook. Please look through the following appendices and sign and return the appropriate forms. All students must return the following forms (at a minimum) the first week of school:
- Parent Enrollment Contract
- Student Enrollment Contract
- Student Acceptable Use Agreement for Technology and Networks
- Absence Excuse Form
- Change of Address Form
- Chaperone Guidelines Form
- Custodial Notification Form
- Emergency Medical/Treatment Field Trip Consent Form
- Medical Release for Out-of-County or Overnight Field Trips
- Parent Enrollment Contract
- Student Enrollment Contract
- Student Acceptable Use Agreement for Technology and Networks