PARENT INFORMATION

The Challenge

The Academy was the first single-gender public school in Texas after we enlisted Congresswomen Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) and Hillary Clinton (NY) to change the law and allow single-gendered public schools to be opened. The single-sex format creates opportunities that don’t exist in the coed classroom. Teachers can employ strategies in the all-girls classroom, and in the all-boys classroom, which don’t work as well (or don’t work at all) in the coed classroom. When teachers have appropriate training and professional development, great things can happen, and often do happen.

The Solution

Academy students benefit from a well-rounded academic program which provides small class instruction in the core subjects: English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. Additional instruction includes music (music theory, choir, band, drum-line, piano lessons, etc.), arts (visual art, performing arts, dance, cheer-leading), technology (game design), robotics, healthy food education, and health/physical education where students may participate in all forms of athletics (football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field).

More Information

Enrollment Information

The Academy believes that, “all students can learn and behave,” thus become their best. We welcome applicants who are willing to make a personal commitment and will work to achieve success in our special program of academic, social and enrichment support for middle school students in the city of Houston. Students will be admitted on the following criteria:

* Enrollment Application

* Successful STAAR completion in prior school year

PARENTS MUST BRING STUDENT APPLICATION(S) TO THE SCHOOL OFFICE.
Located at, WALIPP Senior Residence
5220 Scott Street, #108
Houston, TX 77004

Call 713.225-1551 for information on Academy Enrollment

Attendance

Research shows that daily attendance is essential to our scholars’ interest and performance in school. Equally importantly, when parents make a concerted effort to get students to school on time, students’ attitudes toward learning and achievement significantly increase. The counting of absences, both excused and unexcused, begins with the first day a student is enrolled in The Lawson Academy. Excessive absences will result in loss of credit for coursework. Three or more consecutive absences will result in an attendance referral.

Daily Attendance Time

Students should arrive to school before 7:45 a.m. Beginning the day promptly is important and demonstrates their commitment to success. Our state requires that daily attendance be taken every day at 10:00 a.m. Parents are asked to schedule appointments (dentist, doctor, orthodontist, etc.) after school. During the school year, students are expected to accumulate no more than 2 unexcused absences and no more than 18 total absences – a combination of excused and/or unexcused absences. Upon returning to school, students must present proof of absence to avoid their absence being considered “unexcused.”

Grading

Grading periods at The Lawson Academy are divided into nine-week periods. Over the course of each nine-week period the student’s progress will be assessed by homework, tests, quizzes, and projects and will be reflected in the student’s grade for the term.

Students are graded on the following scale:

100-90 A Demonstrates exceptional mastery of material 89-80 B Demonstrates mastery of material 79-75 C Demonstrates average mastery of material 74-70 D Demonstrates minimum mastery of material 69 or below F Demonstrates lack of mastery of material

Student behavior is graded on the following scale:

E Excellent behavior S Satisfactory behavior P Poor behavior/Needs improvement U Unsatisfactory behavior

Consequences Academic grades that are below average and behavior grades below satisfactory will prohibit students from participating in school-sponsored activities such as dances and field trips. Failing grades will prevent students from participating in extracurricular activities including athletics, and clubs, etc.

Retention A student who receives two or more F’s in the four core classes (English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies or Science) on their final report card will be retained in the grade level.

Make-up Work Upon returning to school, scholars who have been absent will be given an opportunity to make-up missed work. The number of days afforded to students for make-up work will be equal to the number of days absent. It is the student’s responsibility to see that the work is made-up. During extended absences (3 days or more), parents may contact teacher to request missing assignments.

Parent Conferences

Parent concerns can best be resolved at the campus level, where most issues arise. Arrangements can be made for parent conferences with individual teachers and school administrators. These meetings must be prearranged and cannot be guaranteed on a walk-in basis.

Parents should call the school at (713) 225-1551 to schedule a conference. Upon arriving to campus for a scheduled visit, parents are not to report directly to the classroom. A visitor’s pass must be secured from the main office. Conferences are not scheduled during teachers’ instructional periods.

In order to resolve their concerns, parents, guardians, and/or students can meet with a teacher at appropriate times to discuss existing challenges. If the parents, guardians, or students are dissatisfied with the teachers’ decision or explanation, they can schedule an appointment to meet with Principal Dr. Raney.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is organized to maintain positive communication with parents and The Lawson Academy staff. This committee is designed to give a forum to all parents of The Lawson Academy students. The PTO meets on the third Tuesday of each month. The Committee is composed of parents, teacher representatives, and administrators.

Title I

Title I is a federally funded program designed to improve educational opportunities by providing aid to elementary and secondary education. The intent of Title I is to expand learning opportunities while supplementing basic skills instruction in reading and math. This program serves students who need to improve their reading and/or math skills.

The goals of the Title I program are to:

• Develop positive attitudes toward reading/language arts and math • Individualize reading/language arts and math instruction according to student needs • Increase reading/language arts and math achievement • Increase student self-esteem • Involve children with parent(s) in reading/language arts and math activities at school and at home

The Lawson Academy is a School-wide Title I school. Title I Schools that operate under a School-wide Plan use the funds received to provide academic services to eligible children who have been identified by the school as failing or most at-risk of failing to meet the State’s student achievement standards. The Title I program is designed to reach as many students as possible providing them with the opportunities and support needed to achieve higher standards of performance within the classroom. Individual or small group help is provided to students who are “struggling” with a given concept – determined by the classroom teacher through the use of pre/post testing, daily work, and informal observations.

Children are selected to receive services on the basis of multiple, educationally related, objective criteria established by the district and supplemented by the school. Services for these eligible students must provide instruction that will enable the students to reach proficiency.

Highly Qualified Staff

The Title I staff has met and/or exceeded the criteria set by the State of Texas for highly qualified teachers.

Evaluation of the Title I Program

Parents of students participating in the Title I program will have the opportunity to evaluate the Title I program. This evaluation will include a section pertaining to the effectiveness of the parental involvement policy, areas of strengths and weaknesses, and barriers to be overcome. The Title I staff, with the help of the PAC, will use this information to evaluate the program and to make changes within the program as needed.

Text Books

Textbooks/Library Books

All students are entitled to receive textbooks for each of their classes. Before the school year begins, parents will have the opportunity to show valid identification and check out all textbooks for their scholars. These books are to stay at home for the remainder of the school year. Additional class sets will be available for student use in classes, so books do not have to be brought to school each day.

Each student is responsible for the maintenance and condition of the books and must pay for lost or stolen texts before being issued replacements. Report cards and other credentials will be held until all textbook records are cleared. Parents are encouraged to keep receipts issued for payment of books.

Activities

Activities & Organizations The purpose of the activities and organizations of The Lawson Academy is to promote scholarship, integrity and sisterhood/brotherhood. Each student is encouraged to become a part of the organized activity life of the campus. Information regarding specific clubs and organizations may be obtained from organization sponsors.

Field Trips/Assemblies The Lawson Academy hosts several assemblies each year. We choose our assemblies based on cultural and educational value they will add to our students. All students are provided access to on-campus assemblies at no cost. However, during the course of the year, some off-campus field trips may be priced to cover the cost of admission tickets, and/or transportation. Information about prospective field trip costs will be sent home with students well in advance of the actual event or activity.

School Activities and After-school Enrichment Every student has the opportunity to participate in after-school enrichment activities Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. To participate in an extra-curricular activity, a student must be passing all subjects as indicated by progress reports. If a student is struggling in a core content area, he/she will be placed in tutorial classes after-school instead of or in addition to after-school enrichment activities.

Federal Report

The Lawson Academy is sharing this information about the district and your child’s campus with you as part of its obligations under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

Click here for more information.

Reports

School official communicate the student’s academic progress through the following methods:

Teacher-issued Progress Reports: Teachers can send home a progress report to students any time during the grading period. All progress reports require a parent signature.

School-issued Progress Reports: The school regularly sends home a progress report every three weeks. Parents should sign all progress reports and report cards and have students return them to their 1st Period teacher.

Report cards: At the end of the nine-week grading period, each student will receive a report documenting the level of academic mastery for the term. It must be signed by a parent then shown to the 1st Period teacher; the student may keep the document once the teacher has checked it.

View our Parent Resource Guide.

Records

Requests for Student Records: All requests for student records should be made formally to the PEIMS Coordinator at (713) 225-1551. Only the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) is allowed access to a student’s records. A minimum of 48 hours is required to reproduce a student’s records. Change of Address or Telephone Number The Lawson Academy policy requires that updated parent contact information be filed in the WebSmart information system for every scholar. In order for the school to handle emergencies properly, student file information should be current and working. Please notify the school Attendance office immediately to update changes of address or in home, work, or emergency contact information. Only those persons who are listed in the WebSmart system will be permitted to pick up or have contact with the students, and a valid form of identification will be required. In the case of emergency and parents/guardians are unable to be reached, other social agencies may be called.

Communication

The Lawson Academy faculty and staff understand the importance of communicating with parents about scholars’ academic performance. Progress Reports will be sent home with students every three weeks. These reports provide information to parents and students concerning students’ learning as well as classroom behavior. Additionally, teachers may send home notes any time scholars’ performance is exceptional or unsatisfactory. The Lawson Academy encourages parents to review this planner with their scholars, reviewing assignments and checking the “parent pocket” for teacher comments, calendars, parent bulletins, or special invitations.

Telephone Policy

Students will be permitted to use the school telephones only in urgent cases. No student is allowed to go to the office to use the telephone without a permit from the teacher. Parents should make transportation arrangements for after-school activities (tutorials, athletics, clubs, etc.) in advance of the school day. If a parent or guardian must contact a student during the school day, the message must

be channeled through the main office at (713) 225-1551. Parents and family members are discouraged from contacting students during instructional hours, except in the cases of emergency.

The use or operation of cellular telephones, electronic devices or any other type of electronic communication system on The Lawson Academy campus or at functions during school hours is prohibited. In addition to disciplinary action, the use or operation of these devices will result in confiscation. If students bring cell phones to school, the phones must be turned off between 7:20A.M. and 5:00 P.M. (Monday, Tuesday or Thursday) or between 7:20 A.M. and 3:30 P.M. (Tuesday or Friday). Additionally, according to state law and Academy Board Policy, audio and electronic equipment, such as tablets, IPODs and TV’s are not to be brought to campus.

Please note: Any students who violate this policy will have their devices confiscated by the administrator/faculty or staff member in charge. Phones will be labeled with student’s name and will be available for parent pick up on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday between 5:00 P.M. and 5:30 P.M. or on Wednesday or Friday between 3:30 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. ONLY. Phones cannot be redeemed by students; instead, parents who seek to reclaim cell phones or other devices must pay a fee of $15.00.

Transportation

The Lawson Academy provides transportation for eligible students on a First Come, First Served basis. Transportation Requests must be submitted to the Campus Secretary and parent(s) will receive a letter indicating the students’ status as 1) assigned to the Bus Route or 2) on the Bus List Wait List. As seats become available, students on the Bus Wait List will be upgraded to the Bus Route and parent(s) will receive a letter reporting the change.

Riding the school bus is a privilege. Transportation is provided as an auxiliary service and can be discontinued at any time per The Lawson Academy Bus Rider Contract. Responsible student behavior is important for the safety of passengers. Bus conduct reports are forwarded to the appropriate administrator if the student exhibits misconduct. Please review the bus contract with your child, sign it, and return the document to school.