Aspenwood Christian School

Aspenwood Christian School Handbook
Revised summer 2011

Aspenwood Christian School is a co-educational school serving grades K through 8th.  The purpose of the school is to provide broad educational opportunities in a spiritual environment consistent with our unique Christian perspective.
As a Christian school, we have a commitment to our students that transcends that of other institutions.  We believe that true education means more than just a sound academic preparation for life.  We believe in the nurturing of the whole student, the harmonious development of the mental, the physical, the social and the spiritual.  We strive to create a climate of academic excellence and it is our desire to train the student to serve God and their fellow human beings.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”
(Luke 2:52)
Since its beginning in 1895, the Sioux City Seventh-day Adventist Church has operated a Christian School.  In 1920, the first organized school classrooms were located in the 313 Omaha Street church until a new church was completed at 3636 Aspenwood in April, 1969 and the school moved into the lower level of the new building.  At one time, the school served as many as forty students.  While our school had to close for a while, we are now back as strong as ever and our church is committed to its growth and development.

Aspenwood Christian School is operated by the Sioux City Seventh-day Adventist Church of the Iowa-Missouri Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists and accepts the following philosophy of education:
            “True education…has to do with the whole being and with the whole period of existence possible to man.  It is the harmonious development of the physical, mental, and spiritual powers.  It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the world to come.” (E. G. White, EDUCATION, p. 13)
Seventh-day Adventist education seeks to give students an intelligent understanding of the principles governing the functions and proper care of the body, and to help them establish habits and practices which will foster physical vitality and health.
We also believe that our students are the children of God and their teachers are servants to God.  Our schools are commissioned to follow after the will of God, which is revealed in the Bible.
Our education places a high estimate on the infinite worth of every individual and seeks to provide a climate in which a positive self-image may be developed.  It recognizes the necessity of providing opportunities for the student to secure a preparation that will fit them to live successfully and productively.  It encourages students to take an active interest in making the community a better place to live, to appreciate the cultural and scientific advantages of the age and to develop attitudes toward useful labor and toward the fellow human beings.  It challenges each student to develop a personal sense of mission for giving the Gospel message to the entire world in preparation for the soon return of Jesus.  Seventh-day Adventists conduct their schools; elementary through university, for the purpose of transmitting to their children biblically based ideas, beliefs, attitudes and values.  We want our children to be loyal, conscientious Christians as well as patriotic, law-abiding citizens.  We accept the Biblical principles of social transmission as follows:
            “Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.”
            (Joel 1:3)
A true knowledge, fellowship, and companionship with God in character development are the source, the means and the aim of Seventh-day Adventist education.
Aspenwood Christian School was founded to provide an opportunity for young people to obtain a Christian education in harmony with Seventh-day Adventist principals.  Our educational objectives are:

  1. To develop a Christ-like character. (Education, p. 13)
  2. To foster development of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by helping students establish a personal religious life of faith, prayer and worship, and an appreciation for the understanding of the Bible as the infallible word of God.
  3. To provide an environment conductive to the development of Christian character.
  4. To learn the habits of healthful living.
  5. To encourage intellectual curiosity.  To teach students the importance of making decisions based on spiritual, moral, and ethical values as well as on accumulated facts.  To develop thinkers rather than mere reflectors of others thoughts.
  6. To challenge students to educational excellence taking into account the interests, needs, and abilities of each individual.
  7. To provide an environment designed to stimulate a high level of scholarship, and will help students learn habits of accuracy, thought and responsibility.          
  8. To provide opportunities for students to develop appreciation for the value and dignity of labor by incorporating useful and productive labor as a part of the total learning experience.
Who May Attend
Aspenwood is operated especially for young people of the Seventh-day Adventist faith who enroll for the purpose of doing earnest, faithful work, and who desire help in the development of a Christian character.  Enrollment is not limited to children of Seventh-day Adventist parents however, other young people desiring a character-building education and who will uphold the standards and comply with the regulations of the school will also be admitted.  Admission is not based on nationality, race, creed, or sex.
In order to safeguard the scholarship and a good moral atmosphere at Aspenwood Christian School, the school reserves the right to request the withdrawal of any student whose presence is deemed detrimental.
Non-Discrimination Policy
Aspenwood Christian School admits students of any sex, race or national origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race or national origin, in administration of its educational policies, admission policies and other school programs.
Entrance Age
Aspenwood Christian School has always strongly recommended that parents not start their children in school before they are about five years of age.  No children will be permitted to enroll in school unless they are at age by September 15 and successfully pass our readiness tests.
Parents who wish to enroll their children in the Aspenwood Christian School should come to the school on Registration Day.  (See our current school calendar or website for dates).  The teacher and another member of the School Operating Committee will be there to help you register your children. 
At the time of registration, parents are asked to pay registration fees (including 50% of the tuition fee).  Birth certificates and immunization records must be brought for kindergarten/first graders and new students.
Notice that a substantial discount on registration fees is allowing when registration is completed on Registration Day.  In case you plan to be out of town on Registration Day, be sure to contact the teacher before leaving so arrangements may be made to still get the discount.  After the registration forms have been completed, they will be sent to the Admissions Committee where each application will be considered.
Physical Examinations
The State and the County Health Department recommend that each student have a dental and a physical examination annually.  The school also recommends periodic eye examinations, for students rarely achieve well in school if they have to strain their eyes to see. Each new student in the school and all students entering the first, fourth, and seventh grades must present the school with a physical examination certificate.  An examination taken within one year is acceptable.
Immunizations are required of all students in the State of Iowa.  Students are exempt, however, from this immunization requirement if their lives or health would be endangered, or if their parents adhere to a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to such immunizations.
Immunizations records for all students in Iowa elementary schools are audited annually to assure compliance with the law.
Immunizations will be required for polio (oral), rubella (German measles), red measles (or a reliable history of having had them), and either diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DPT) or tetanus-diphtheria (TD).
Many students will already have had all these vaccinations.  Parents of such young people should bring their children’s immunization records completed by a clinic or physician’s office to registration when registering for the first time in an Iowa school.  Students transferring from other schools may have the needed information in student’s records that will be forwarded to the Aspenwood Christian School.
The school provides limited accident insurance for each student.  The insurance covers accidents resulting while students are participating in regular school activities or while in transit to or from school sponsored activities.  Insurance coverage on the school premises begins fifteen minutes before classes begin, and ends fifteen minutes after classes are dismissed.
Among the things not included in the insurance coverage are broken eye glasses, broken dentures or partials, and illness not resulting from a regular school activity injury.
When an injury accident occurs, it is to be reported to the school that day.  If parents then want to submit a claim, they may fill out the form and send it to the insurance company at a later date.
Pupil Absence of Tardiness
Every pupil is expected to attend school regularly and punctually.  State laws hold teachers responsible for reporting unexcused absences.
Three tardies make one absence, and a pupil with a 15% absence rate may forfeit his grade unless he properly makes up his work.  He must bring a written and signed excuse from home even though the teacher was told by the parent in person or by telephone.  If you see that you are going to be late, or know that your child will be absent, please notify the teacher.
Accident and Sickness Procedure
Every effort is made by the school to prevent accidents.  However, should they occur, or should the child become ill, the school will notify the parents and render first aid whenever possible.  If neither parent can be contacted, the doctor designated by the parent will be called if the accident is serious.  A pupil will be expected to participate in all class activities, including PE classes, unless an emergency occurs or unless a statement from home excuses him for a specific time.
Snow Schedule – Inclement Weather
The school follows the Sioux City public schools snow day schedule concerning full days of closing.  If the Sioux City public schools should declare a delay in their school’s day schedule, then Aspenwood Christian School will follow the same schedule.  At times there may be instances where this school will follow a different schedule; then the parent/guardian will be contacted by phone by the school principal/teacher.  If the Sioux City public schools close early while school is in session, parents/guardians may come to pick up their child (ren) at the announced closing time for Sioux City public schools. If Aspenwood Christian School needs to close at a different time, the school will contact the parent/guardian.  If the teacher cannot reach the parent/guardian to pick up their child(ren), then the parent-designated emergency person will be contacted.
On days of inclement weather where regular arrival may be hazardous to the safety of students, school will begin an hour later and let out at the regular time.  No tardiness will apply due to bad weather conditions.  Please see our website for inclement weather closing days and times.
Guidance for School Lunches
Parents/guardians are asked to take responsibility for making sure that their child(ren) have a balanced breakfast.  It is a proven fact that students who eat breakfast are better able to concentrate on their studies.
Parents/guardians are also asked, when preparing school lunches, to cooperate with our S. D. A. church standards of a healthy diet and to avoid caffeine products.  A good lunch for each pupil every day is a very important part of his or her well-being.  Parents should see to it that lunches are wholesome and nourishing and of sufficient quantity to carry through the day. Please contact the teacher if you have any questions regarding these standards.
Lunches should come ready to eat with the only preparation being a few minutes in the microwave oven if necessary.  (Refrigerators are provided for the safekeeping of the lunches and are located in the kitchen).
Aspenwood Christian School is accredited by the Mid-America Union Conference and the National Council for Private School Accreditation, but is not accredited by the state.
The teacher has a Professional Teacher’s Certificate from both the denomination and the State of Texas.
A limited number of lockers are available in which to store lunches, coats, boots, shoes, back-packs, etc.  These will be assigned, beginning with the highest grade and working down until all lockers are assigned.  Students may use combination locks for their lockers.  All combinations are to be given to the teacher before lock is utilized.  Failure to do so may result in loss of locker privileges.
Parents are encouraged to observe the school program in action.  Small children, however, should be accompanied by a parent when visiting the school. Students should secure the consent of their teacher on day in advance before bringing non-adult visitors with them to school.
Also, any student wishing to bring a guest to school will need to seek permission from the principal/teacher.
Telephone Use
The telephone can be used by students only in emergency or with the express permission of the teacher.  Please plan ahead to avoid telephone calls during school hours.  When absolutely necessary, parents may leave a message with the teacher for their child.  They should not, however, expect a student to be called out of class to talk on the phone.
Transportation of Students
Aspenwood Christian School has no bus service for students.  Parents sometimes form car pools among themselves to take their children to and from school.
Arrival and Departure

The school hours are:
Monday – Thursday                                                8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Friday                                                                     8:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
(This allows for 30 hours and 45 minutes per week for classroom activities, not including lunch.)

Each student is expected to be seated at the desk and ready for instruction at 8:15.  The student will not arrive earlier than 8:00 and must be under parental supervision (preferably) by 3:15 but no later than 3:30.  Any request for exception must be presented to the School Board by the parent/guardian.  Persistent violation of this regulation will result in financial penalty set by the board, or other actions as deemed necessary.
The teacher must be furnished with a satisfactory written explanation from a parent/guardian in all cases of absences from a parent/guardian in all cases of absences from a session of the school day.  This explanation is due the day the child returns to school unless satisfactory arrangements were made previous to the absence.
The information furnished to the teacher may include:

  1. Date of absence
  2. Specific reason for the absence
  3. Signature of the parent/guardian
Permission will not be given to be absent from school for other than legal reasons.  Legal reasons include:
  1. Verified illness of student
  2. Medical, dental, or optometry services
  3. Quarantine
  4. Bereavement
Students with excusable absences must check with the teacher as to how the work missed may be made up.  Class credit, however, for unexcused absences cannot be expected.
When it is necessary to be absent for reasons other than those stated as legal reasons for non-attendance, parents/guardians should make a written request in advance of the absence and present it to the teacher.  School work missed during a period of approved absence may be made up according to the discretion of the teacher.  Students should check with the teacher before absence as to how the work missed will be covered.

Parents must meet their financial obligations.  The reputation of the school and church depends upon the prompt payment of tuition on a timely manner.

Contagious/Communicable Illness
A child whose cold is in the contagious stage (running fever), or is suspected of having a communicable disease should be kept home. 

Home Responsibilities
Parents need to uphold in their home the principles taught in the school and provide suitable atmosphere and study area for homework.  The parent/guardian will also communicate with their chil(ren) on a daily and weekly basis regarding school assignments.

Realizing the detrimental effect that television, unwholesome music, inappropriate movies, video games, internet use, etc. may have on our children, it is essential that parents guard the avenues of our children’s souls by carefully monitoring these influences in the home.  The school board highly recommends that parents seriously consider their children’s television watching, especially on school days.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there by any praise think on these things.” Philemon 4:
Parents are expected to cultivate a friendly acquaintance with the teacher and to confer with the teacher after school hours rather during class time.

Parents must refrain from making critical remarks about the school, the teacher, the church, or the pastor before any of the students at any time.

It is necessary for parents to participate and cooperate with plans for Parent-Teacher conferences. 

Concerns Regarding Student(s), Teacher, School

If a concern arises, the parent/guardian must make an appointment with the teacher to discuss the issue(s).  Our conciliation procedure is based on Matthew 18 and Corinthians 16 and is as follows:

Step One – The parent/guardian should first request an appointment with the teacher to attempt to solve the issue on an informal basis by identifying the problem and isolating the facts.  This step should resolve the majority of issues.

Step Two – If the concerns remain unresolved, a second conference should be arranged with the issue stated in written form.  Only first-hand information which is current for this school year and which directly affects the individual concerned should be considered.

Step Three – If the problem is still not resolved, the school board chairman should be contacted to convene a meeting with the parties involved.  Both sides will present written statements of the issue to the chairman prior to the conference.

Step Four – If any of the parties involved still feel that the issue is unresolved; they may request a meeting with the school board.  A written request should be submitted to the chairman to be placed on the school board’s agenda.

Parents are expected to pay or damages or destruction caused by their child.  This includes damage to books, desks, chairs, computers, etc.

School Functions
The parent/guardian will arrange for their child(ren) to attend all school board approved functions including singing for church service, evening programs, and school make-up days.  We encourage all parent/guardians to attend the school functions; it shows support for their child and the school.
“Students, cooperate with your teachers.  As you do this, you them hope and courage, and at the same time you are helping yourselves to advance…They will appreciate every effort made to cooperate with this work.” Counsels to Parents and Teachers p.553.
Keep in mind that the ultimate objective of Christian education is the development of sound character.  A beautiful character is of value in the sight of God.
The regulations of the school are based upon Christian principles of conduct as taught and practiced by the Seventh-day Adventist church, supported by a program that promotes self-control, self-discipline, honesty, and modesty.
It is mutually agreed that every student who accepts admission to the Aspenwood Christian School thereby pledges to willingly and cheerfully observe all regulations of the school, and uphold the Christian principles upon which the school operates.
Student’s responsibilities are:

  1. Students shall protect and care for property of the school, themselves, and others.  They shall immediately report any incident or misuse of which they are aware.
  2. Students shall be honest, abstaining from cheating, stealing, gambling, betting, or possessing playing cards or other gambling devices.
  3. Students shall promote safety, abstaining from having at school firearms, explosives, knives, dangerous animals or other unsafe belongings.
  4. Students shall live wholesome lives, abstaining from wearing, displaying, or having in their possession anything which indicates affiliation with atheism, spiritualism, cults, rock groups, intemperance, or other unfavorable groups or objectionable affiliations.
  5. Students shall keep their minds pure, abstaining from the use of profane or lewd language and actions, and the possession of suggestive materials.  They shall not discuss things that are not in harmony with Christian Standards.
  6. Students shall live healthfully, abstaining from using, possessing, or supplying to others tobacco, drugs, or alcohol in any form.  They shall also avoid chewing gum, eating between meals, and the excessive use of highly refined foods, especially sugary foods and drinks.
  7. Students shall display Christian courtesy, abstaining from bullying, ridiculing, or disgracing others.
  8. Students shall help create a desirable learning atmosphere in the school by not bringing radios, recorders, toys, pets, special projects, etc., unless permission is obtained in advance from the teacher.
  9. Students who operate their own transportation vehicles, including bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles, shall park them upon arriving at school and not move them or play with them until they go home.
  10. Students are responsible for the completion of assignments and to turn them in for grading.  If assignments are turned in late, there may be a lower grade given for the assignment.
  11. The students will follow the basic classroom procedures as posted in the classroom.
A person’s appearance tells a lot about the person and affects how he feels about himself.  It not only shows what he is really interested in and what matters to him, but his appearance helps determine his mood, and thus his education.
Dress in a modest, healthful manner.  Simplicity, neatness, cleanliness, appropriateness and modesty are the standards of good taste in dress.  In selecting clothing for school, please keep in mind the following guidelines:

  1. Students may not wear sleeveless shirts, dress or blouses.
  2. Low-necked, sheer, tight-fitting, frayed or immodest clothing should be worn.
  3. A student’s clothing is to cover the midriff, regardless of the position in which the student might be.
  4. Clothing may not be ragged or torn.
  5. Any writing on the clothing must be in harmony with Christian standards.
  6. Students may not bring or wear ornamental jewelry, make-up, or nail polish to school.
  7. Students are to wear shoes at school.  Gym shoes are required for play.
  8. Skirt lengths should be kept as close to the knee as possible.  Shorts may be worn underneath the skirt, allowing for modesty at all times.  Split skirts may be worn.
  9. Hair is to be conservatively and appropriately cut, clean and well groomed.
The foundation of our discipline plan is respect.  The classroom rules are as follows:

  1. I will respect parents, teachers, myself and others.
  2. I will respect persons in positions of authority.
  3. I will keep my hands, feet and other objects to myself.
  4. I will walk silently on the right hand side of the hallway at all times.
  5. I will follow directions the first time given.
  6. I will always act, speak, and give my best.
These rules will be discussed the first day of school so that the students can defined and determine how to respect each area listed. This allows the students to help define the classroom rules.
If any child disrespects a rule, then one of the following will happen:

  1. Time-out.  Either head down on desk or standing by a wall.  (Time is determined by the age of the student).
  2. Classroom Rules Writing.  This is to be determined by the teacher on length and content.
  3. Withdrawal of classroom privileges.
  4. Conference with student.  The teacher and student will discuss the issue and resolve it.
  5. The principal may suspend any pupil guilty of gross misconduct or continual insubordination to the school organization and/or the regulations.  In cases of unsolvable discipline problems, only the School Board has the prerogative of expelling the student involved.
The above methods are selected by the teacher at her discretion.  The discipline will be meted out according to the severity and occurrence of the disobedience.
Aspenwood Christian School follows the criteria established by the Department of Education of the Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists as basis for its curriculum.  The Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is a member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation.  The states included in this Union are: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and a part of New Mexico.  Instruction is offered in all essential areas of education for students in grade K-8, including the basic requirements of the State of Iowa.

Language Arts
Science and Health
Social Studies
Physical Education

All students are expected to study each subject within their level and/or with the class as a whole.
The curriculum guides for each grade and subject are located in the classroom.  To view this material, please contact the teacher for an appointment.

Bible Class – Bible is taught along with the regular academic subjects.  This is a Christian school, and we use the Bible as the foundation of our studies.  Each student, whether a church member or not, will be required to study and complete his/her Bible assignments.

P. E. – All students will be expected to participate in P. E. activities unless the student has a medical release from their physician.  This written release will need to be submitted to the teacher stating the reason and length of non-participatory attendance.  If your child cannot play outside because of illness, it is requested that he/she remain at home.  The teacher cannot be responsible for children left inside alone while the rest of the students will be expected to go outside.

Daily Assignments – It is important that the student complete and turn in his/her daily assignments on time; as well as any other long-term assignments or project.
The student is expected to turn in his/her daily assignment no later than the next day.  For example, if a math worksheet was assigned on Monday, then it should be turned in no later than Tuesday morning.  This means that your child may have homework.  Please communicate with your child about their school assignments.  Special allowances will be given for illness, missed school, or special situations.  The parent/guardian will need to contact the teacher in these instances and arrange for a due date for the assignments.  The student’s grade for an assignment may be lowered if not turned in on time.  This matter will be discussed with the student, and if habitual non-compliance, with the parent/guardian.
Aspenwood Christian School operates on a ten month tuition payment plan.  The registration fee and the first monthly payment are due at the time of registration.  Successive payments are due by the 5th of each month (September – May)
If financial assistance is needed, please contact the school board chairman.
The school is dependent on prompt monthly payments for operating cash.  Each person is responsible for the tuition/account must be diligent with their school payments to avoid possible reminder letter from the school board.
Any student whose account is in arrears 60 days will be excluded from attending school until the account is either brought up-to-date, or has met with the Finance Committee (the school board chairman and treasurer) to arrange tuition payments.
Students may not attend school until registration fee, first month’s tuition, or other financial matters are cleared with the school’s treasurer.
Tuition Schedule

  Registration Fee (per student) Monthly Tuition
1 child
Monthly Tuition
2nd child
Monthly Tuition
3 or more
Constituent $160.00 200.00 $150.00 $100.00
Non-Constituent $175.00 $275.00 $225.00 $175.00
Registration Fees
A registration fee which covers rental of textbooks, consumable workbooks, library fund, student insurance, technology fund, and other necessary school supplies must be paid on the day of registration.

3636 Aspenwood St • Sioux City, IA, 51104-2343 • 712-224-2575