TCS 2019-2020

Family Handbook  

2204 Southside Blvd 

Port Royal SC 29935

843-379-0193

Mission Statement

Our mission is to ensure that all students, regardless of academic gifts and/or constraints, have the opportunity to engage in a challenging and enriching project-based curriculum that will increase understanding, skill development, empathy, graduation rates, and employability in today’s economy. The Complete Student believes that a truly inclusive classroom can be created through the innovative application of a curriculum based on the individual needs of each “whole child,” the integration of the arts, and numerous field-trips.  Not all students are college bound, but it is the deep belief of the Complete Student that all students, who are willing to put forth measurable effort, should graduate from high school having developed a skill-set that will serve them on their chosen path and that those who are college bound ought to receive direct instruction and intensive preparation for that path.

 

Six Foundational Life Skills

In an effort to ensure that all students have access to the possibility of gradation from High School, and in an effort to promote skills that will benefit students throughout their life, students at TCS can earn 60 points for implementing the “Six Foundational Life Skills.” Failure to do so will result in a student’s inability to earn a passing grade. Students who cannot pass their classes will be asked to leave school after having an opportunity to propose alternative measures to the Board of Directors.  

1.  Be On Time

2.  Be Prepared

3.  Be Supportive of the Flow of the Classroom

4.  Keep Instructional Time Free From Cell Phones

5.  Attend to Speakers during Instructional Time

6.  Maintain School Harmony

Please look at this list carefully. If these are skills you do not wish to develop, The Complete Student is NOT the school for you.

Classroom Arrangement 

At TCS, servicing the student where they are developmentally is our ultimate goal. Keeping this in mind, we honor that all students develop at different rates. For this reason, many classrooms will have students of different ages and different grades. The culture of our community to geared towards promoting corporation, leadership, and empathy. Do not be surprised to see a classroom at TCS with students who are different ages.

 Strive to cultivate awareness that there may be younger students around you and your language and behavior should indicate your awareness of that fact.

 Learn to monitor your volume in terms of how your noise effects people around you. We will often be working in groups. It is likely that many of those projects will be exciting. It is our duty to grow towards managing the impact we make on the people around us. 

 Each class session will begin with teacher lead discussion. The rules of the classroom will be established by the teacher who is guiding each class. Following those rules is mandatory and part of your Six Foundational Life Skills. 

Hours Operations & Calendar 

 School doors open at 8:30am Monday-Thursday.

o  Classes start at 8:35am for High Schoolers

o  Classes start at 8:40am for Middle Schoolers

o  Classes end at 2:55pm for all students.

Absences/Tardiness 

Students are NOT allowed to leave campus once they have arrived at school without parent permission. Permissible early/late pick-up times include doctor’s appointments and other unavoidable conflicts. Attendance is important. Not only is school fun, but we also must be mindful of meeting the required minutes (7,200) for earning a credits. Please show respect for our school and for your education by showing up on time, and being prepared. Additionally, these are two of your Six Foundational Life Skills and are therefore a requirement for graduation. 

In accordance with state law, it is the policy of The Complete Student that excused absences are limited to: illness, appointments with a physician, a death in the family, an observed religious holiday. Families may request leniency in regards to this policy to the Executive Director in writing or in email. If it is deemed that the proposed time away from school will still allow for the educational benefits the child would have received during the time missed, such arrangements can be made BEFORE school time is missed. 

Although attendance is important, so too is being mindful of your child’s health. If a student is ill, please contact the school and arrangements for excusing the absence due to illness will be made. 

Academic Assessments

Students are eligible to earn 100 points in each class period and 60 of those points are earned by implementing the Six Foundational Life Skills. Students select the amount of points they would like to earn above the 60 by indicating their “project” selection on the paper handed out by their teacher. The points are recorded both on paper and “in the cloud” and are averaged for a semester total.  The Complete Student does not see the value in assigning homework, and any activities that a student is working on at home will be activities that they voluntarily set up with their teacher(s). Additionally, comprehension and growth are measured through projects not tests. At TCS, creativity is a more effective asset for increasing GPA than memorization. 

The project options at the end of each lesson are designed to facilitate additional cognition, interdisciplinary collaboration, creative expression, personal motivation, and accountability- all of which have been identified by leaders in industry as the most important skillset their future employees should have before entering the workforce. 

 

 

Two Paths

Career Development Path 

All students have the potential to fulfill the requirements for graduation from high school when they are appropriately supported and engaged in a malleable curriculum that can be differentiated for a variety of learning styles and prepare students for their future careers. The Complete Student uses a project based curriculum based on the SC standards set forth by the Department of Education to satisfy ALL of the high school graduation requirements.  Furthermore, students are allowed to choose projects based on their own interests and strengths to demonstrate their comprehension of the material, while demystifying the education experience for learners who are most at risk from not being effectively served in the traditional classroom. The unique nature of the curriculum increases studentunderstanding, motivation, accountability, productivity, and inevitably employability. 

College Preparatory Academy 

Students who display both the aptitude and drive to apply to competitive four year universities are invited to join the College Preparatory Academy. Students are eligible for the College Preparatory Academy starting in the 9thgrade.  In addition to The Complete Student curriculum enjoyed by all students at TCS, students in the College Preparatory Academy follow these supplementary requirements:

  •  Fulfill an additional foreign language requirement (3 years instead of 2) necessary for a competitive college-bound transcript

  •  Fulfill an additional 4th year of Mathematics studies 

  •  Maintain a daily average of 80+ in all core classes to qualify as “Honors” classes on their transcript

  •  Attend intensive SAT/ACT reviews one Friday each month

  • Participate in community service experiences

  • Act as a leader in the TCS community

Graduation Requirements

Students enrolled at TCS are considered either; a middle schooler, a freshman, a sophomore, a junior, or a senior. Grade level classification is based on credits earned, NOT on the number of years in attendance.  

A High School Diploma requires  a minimum of 18 credits. A College Preparatory Academy Diploma requires a minimum of 20 credits. (A “credit” is qualified as having earned 7,200min of class time, as defined by a “Carnegie Unit.” )  

Dual Enrollment

The Complete Student has a relationship with TCL (The College of the Lowcountry) that allows us to enroll students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher into college level courses held at TCL without needing to take their inhouse assessment called the Aquplacer Test. Because of the nature of this special accommodation we at The Complete Student are cognizant of our responsibility in sending only students that are ready for that challenge to TCL. As a rule, most Seniors are ready for that challenge, and occasionally a Junior will be invited to join dual enrollment provided that their credits are in good standing at TCS. 

Birthday Celebrations

Let’s face it, TCS loves a good party! Please feel free to send your child to school with a snack appropriate to share with their friends if it is their birthday. Snacks will be enjoyed during break time Monday-Wednesday 11-11:20. If your child’s birthday falls on a Thursday please send the snacks in on the following Monday as we follow an alternate schedule on Thursdays. TCS is a peanut “sensitive” school. Please do not send your child with a birthday snack made from peanut products.  

Lunch Services

 Lunch will occur on Mondays-Wednesday from 12:30-1:10. Students are welcome to pack and bring a lunch. DO NOT send your child with peanut butter products or peanuts. Let’s be mindful of each other’s health and safety. PACK A LUNCH ON THURSDAYS! Our lunch time on Thursdays will be varied and will be a “working lunch.” Students should pack a lunch accordingly. 

In addition to the option of having a packed lunch on Monday-Wednesday, students may sign up for lunch delivery services for Monday-Wednesday. Lunch will be delivered by local restaurants including, but not limited to, Bella Luna, Subway, and Yama. Sign-up sheets will be emailed home on Wednesdays to be returned on Thursdays in preparation for the following week.

TCS has a refrigerator, microwave, and toaster oven to that students may use for their lunches. Please be aware that there are no studies that indicate American children are lacking sugar from their diets and strive to provide your child with healthy food options. Likewise there is no credible indication that children should consume large amounts of caffeine. While caffeinated drinks are not forbidden, an honest dialogue with your child should be happening at home to discuss the potential risks of caffeine addiction. If you need help having this talk, please reach out to the TCS staff as they will be happy to facilitate such a conversation. 

Supplies

There are many supplies that will be stocked at TCS for students to use, but here is a list of some things students should bring on the their first day:

o  Notebooks- students should have a wide ruled or college ruled notebook for each class that they are taking. On average this means 5 notebooks. If the student prefers to have one 5-subject notebook that is fine as well. 

o  One package of markers 

o  One container of glue

o  Pencils/pens

o  A calculator (for students 5th-8tha standard calculator is fine, for students in Algebra 1, Geometry, or Algebra 2 a graphing calculator is suggested, but not required.)

Periodically TCS will reach out to families and ask for other items. Sometimes these will be items that should be purchased, and other times they will recycled materials found in your home. Participation is optional, but we try to be attentive of the needs of our community and appreciate help.

Dress Code

Although there is no official dress code at The Complete Student, we do recommend mindfulness about how we dress.

We both value our students’ unique styles and encourage individuality, while wanting to create an educational environment that allows for all students to focus on growth rather than wardrobe. 

In encouraging students’ consciousness of how their appearance tells the world a story about themselves, we strive to create an environment that balances individuality with social awareness and an understanding of how appearance affects others. 

Please be mindful of necklines, hemlines, and midriffs and the ways those things can detract from our mission of making all students comfortable, while raising awareness of how we present ourselves and the influence those choices have on how others see us. 

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/teacher conferences will be held by appointment twice a year. Each conference will coincide with the end of each of the two yearly semesters. More information regarding the particulars of these will be emailed to families. 

 

Weather 

If inclement weather makes attending school or remaining at school dangerous, parents will be contacted through text, phone call, or email about closures and/or changes in procedure or dismissal. 

 Field Trips

Taking field trips is a part of The Complete Student’s curriculum. We take two overnight trips and several day trips. Travel is an invaluable learning experience. Students will engage in beneficial educational experiences and learn life-long lessons about friendship and where they fit in the world’s community. 

Student Driver Regulations 

Driving to school and parking in the student lot is considered a privilege for licensed students at The Complete Student. Be mindful that parking spaces are limited. Reckless operation of motor vehicles is prohibited. Offenses can result in revocation of driving privileges. 

The Complete Student and/or the Board of Directors assumes no responsibility for vehicles or property left in vehicles on school property

All vehicles are subject to be searched while on school property. 

Pursuant to state and federal law, any person, student or adult, entering the school campus voluntarily suspends his or her rights and may be subject to a search and/or seizure by the appropriate authorities. Pursuant to S.C. Code Annotated Section 59-63-11 10 et seq. “any person entering the premises of a school in the State of South Carolina is deemed to consent to a reasonable search of its person and its property.” 

 General Behavioral Expectations Around our Campus:

Our community is composed of students of varying ages. It is important that all students are mindful of the different ages around them. Learning when things are appropriate and when they are not is a skill. We will help students learn that skill. It is important that our community operates empathetically and with awareness of how our behavior effects those around us. 

Meanness is unattractive. We believe that hurt people hurt people. Meanness will be addressed by looking at the root cause. Students will be loved until they can love others. If that seems to be an impossible task, then the student runs the risk of losing the privilege of having friends.

Likewise, our campus is to be respected. Be mindful of how you can IMPROVE the things around you. Is there something you can clean? Have you- at the very least- cleaned up after yourself? If you see something that needs to be put away, please do so. 

Students will not be allowed to bully other students, nor will physical harm or the threat of harm be tolerated.

The Complete Student will fully comply with S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-235, which provides for the expulsion of any student who brings a firearm to school. 

 

Drug Free School Zone
A student shall not possess, sell, use, transmit, or be under the influence of any narcotic drugs, hallucinogenic drugs, and amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, marijuana, controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, anabolic steroids, look-alike drugs, or intoxicants of any kind: 

·     On the school grounds during and immediately before or immediately after school hours 

·     On the school grounds at any other time when the school is being used by any school group 

·     Off the school grounds at a school activity, function or event 

·     En route to and from school or school activity on buses acquired for school activities. 

Use of a drug authorized by a medical prescription from a registered physician should not be considered a violation of this regulation. All prescription drugs shall be administered at home. If a medical professional feels that the administration of a medicine prescribed to a student must be done at school, such information MUST be sent in writing to the executive Director and the medication must be kept in a locked area. NO student is to bring medication on campus without written permission from the Executive Director to do so.  

No student enrolled at TCS is of an age required by law to be in possession of tobacco or any tobacco product. Possession of such will result in confiscation and a phone call home. 

Child Abuse and Neglect 
In accordance with S.C. Code Ann. 63-7-310, educators in South Carolina have the duty to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the appropriate authorities.  The Complete Student is compliant with this policy. 

Discipline

In theory, the consequences provided for doing the “wrong” thing should be a deterrent. Unfortunately, many of the students enrolled at The Complete Student have physiological differences in their neurological makeup that deregulate their internal sense of impulse control. In addition, other students enrolled at the Complete Student have experienced devastating childhood traumas that have left them with similar neurological differences. For this reason, rule breaking is more of an issue of “when” and less of an issue of “if.” 

For students who have felt “unfairly” treated or misunderstood, the traditional top-down model of discipline can be very counter-productive. Without a firm foundation of respect, both given and received, these students often find themselves in repeated, and most likely uncontrollable, cycles of defiance. 

This has brought the faculty and students at The Complete Student to embrace what is known as a Restorative Justice (RJ) model. The practices employed in this model include resolution circles, reflection sheets, and mediated student-student (or student-adult) conversations aimed at resolution of differences and regulation of negative/disruptive behaviors. Simply punishing such behavior does not allow for the necessary time for students to have guided help understanding their own motivations and the motivations or natural retaliations of people around them. Restorative Justice seeks to establish; What happened? What is the harm/result? How can it be repaired? 

Restorative Justice practices help all community members involved to calm or regulate their nervous systems by focusing on authentic reconnection after a rupture occurs. When we’re connected, we naturally feel safer and our nervous systems have a better chance of returning to the parasympathetic “rest and digest” mode that is optimal for learning. Restorative Justice practices allow us to recognize how the offender, victim, witnesses, and guiding adult are all impacted by the harm that occurred, and will all benefit from a reparative or restorative process to feel safe again in the school environment. 

Restorative Justice allows all members of the school’s community to learn about each other’s perspectives while building empathy and understanding, which ultimately leads to deeper trust. Transgressing students are given the invaluable opportunity to acknowledge their wrong doing, express remorse, and to make amends. The victim of that student’s transgression is given the invaluable opportunity to practice compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. 

It is possible that even with this type of discipline there will be students who are unable to behave appropriately while at school. With repeated offense, it is sometimes even evident that a student will not be able to remain a part of The Complete Student community. If this happens, the student will also not be mastering their Six Foundational Life Skills and will therefore not be passing their classes. A student who cannot pass their classes, will be asked to leave The Complete Student. 

 

Board of Directors

Kim Statler

Ms. Statler currently works for the South Carolina Department of Commerce as the regional Workforce Advisor for the Lowcountry Region. Prior to working for the State of South Carolina, Ms. Statler led economic development efforts in the Lowcountry for 8 years- first as the Executive Director of the Lowcountry Economic Network, and later at the Lowcountry Economic Alliance.

Ms. Statler’s work in economic development followed her work as the Executive Director of the Technical College of the Lowcountry Foundation. In this position she directed fundraising and student scholarship programs. 

Additionally, Ms. Statler has been recognized by the Savannah Business Journal “40 under 40” and is a graduate of the Leadership Beaufort Program. She serves on numerous local boards in leadership positions. Lastly, Ms. Statler is the proud parent of a student who has attended The Complete Student for the last 5 years.

 

Dr. Shayla Bergman

Dr. Shayla Bergman is a Pediatric Oncologist and a mother of two boys who attend Riverview Charter School. She is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (1991) and the Medical College of Georgia (1995). For 16 years she served as a pediatrician at Beaufort Pediatrics while increasing her specialty work at MUSC in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 

No longer working in private practice at Beaufort Pediatrics, Dr. Bergman commutes to Charleston and serves MUSC as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology Department. In addition to helping patients and their families cope with the devastation of childhood cancers and blood disorders, Dr. Bergman has been widely sought out Novo Nordisk, Novartis Corp, Pfizer, and others, to assist them in their ongoing research efforts to develop pharmaceutical interventions. 

Dr. Bergman has played an advisory role, and now an official role, on the Board of The Complete Student since 2016. Her insights on child development have been and continue to be invaluable.  Dr. Bergman is committed to her family, patients, and to the greater Beaufort Community.

Jacob G Paris, MA, LPC

Mr. Jacob Paris has been committed to serving Beaufort County and the surrounding Lowcountry communities for over 10 years.   He is an advocate for individuals, families, and communities impacted by mental illness. Mr. Paris has been dedicated to helping others reach recovery for over 21 yrs.  His work spans from helping individuals with autism, providing counseling services in inpatient and outpatient settings, developing curriculum for rehabilitation services, providing training and education to community supports and first responders, providing psychiatric triage in the emergency department, directing clinical services and community programs, and directing quality assurance and accreditations for a state agency. 

Mr. Paris has been with the South Carolina Dept. of Mental Health - Coastal Empire Community Mental Health Center for over 10 years and with Beaufort Memorial Hospital for almost 7 years.   Mr. Paris serves on the NAMI Lowcountry Board of Directors, Mental Health Access Coalition, Crisis Intervention and Training for Beaufort County Sherriff’s Dept., Art of Recovery Council, and Beaufort County Clubhouse Board of Directors. 

Mr. Paris is a native of California, but has found his home in the gem that is Beaufort, SC.   He is the father of three adorable children and married to a beautiful wife that also has the calling to help others. The mission of The Complete Student and partnership it has with the mental health community is aligned with the recovery model.  Mr. Paris is proud to be serving on a board that is improving the people and community it is a part of.

Janet Bugniazet

Mrs. Janet Bugniazet is currently a yoga instructor who lives in Okatie South Carolina. She contributed time and advice during the early years of the formation of The Complete Student, and during its earlier incarnation as Learning Success. 

Before moving to South Carolina and retiring, Janet began a wildly successful small business in Westchester, New York. She was the inventor of a hydraulic lift that allowed for the portable transport of ultrasound machines. With this invention she revolutionized that industry and was the first person to redirect OBGYN offices in Westchester to discontinue sending patients to local hospitals for their ultrasound needs during pregnancy. After successfully establishing a new way of offering services to pregnant women, Janet went on to create to other successful small businesses. 

Media Release 

*If you do not want your child interviewed or placed in any TCS media, please indicate your wish in writing to the Executive Director. Photographs/interviews/videotape of student work or portions thereof may be used for public viewing including but not exclusive to: press interviews, school news programs, newsletters, yearbook entities, website development, slideshows, presentations by The Complete Student employees at conferences and/or workshops, created and printed media and/or newspapers. Our school agreement releases any photographer or interviewer acting on behalf of The Complete Student from any future claims, as well as liability arising from the use of said photograph/interview/videotape or portions thereof used for public viewing. 

Enrollment at The Complete Student reflects consent to the terms of the handbook by both the parents and students enrolled.