BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS MANAGEMENT
Excellence Academy Charter School Board of Directors shall require that school properties be maintained in good physical condition. The Board shall require the Principal to provide for the day-to-day building and ground maintenance, repair and improvement functions that are an integral part of the administration of the school, including the elimination of any safety hazards.
The Principal shall be delegated a broad range of administrative and supervisory authority relative to the school’s building and grounds. The Principal shall determine what academic programs shall be allowed and assigned to be conducted in the school’s facilities, and shall be responsible for those who are assigned to conduct such programs. The Principal shall determine what, if any, non-academic uses of the school’s facilities will be allowed and shall establish the conditions that must be met relative to such use.
Any use of the school’s facilities by any outside group or entity that is not a part of or affiliated with Excellence Academy Charter School must obtain permission for such use from Excellence Academy Charter School Board of Directors, and pay such use fees as the Board of Directors or Principal may determine appropriate. In such cases where permission for use by an outside group or entity is granted, the permission shall be conditioned on the outside group or entity providing the Principal with evidence of liability insurance that covers the Board of Directors and Excellence Academy Charter School in an amount of not less than $500,000. The outside group or entity shall also agree that Excellence Academy Charter School shall not be responsible for any personal item that is lost, stolen or damaged during the group or entity’s use, that no alcoholic beverages will be consumes or sold during the period of the use, and that the number of people permitted to participate will not exceed the maximum number allowed by any local, state, or federal code governing such. The outside group or entity shall also be required to pay for any physical damages that occur during the period of the use, and to clean the facilities used to the standard as required by the Principal.
The Principal may require any outside group or entity to post a cleaning deposit as he/she determines appropriate based on the activity planned, and may refund and/or retain the same as he/she in his/her discretion determines equitable. Under no circumstances is an outside group or entity to utilize the school’s facilities for any purpose other than that for which permission was granted by the Board of Directors.
The Principal shall be responsible for the overall maintenance of all facilities and grounds.
Excellence Academy shall consist of one (1) campus, except in situations that are approved by the Board of Directors. Multi campus operations shall be considered only when such is considered to be temporary or required due to some form of emergency.
The campus of Excellence Academy shall be noted as being a “drug free zone.” Also, at no time shall a firearm of any type be allowed on the campus of the school except when such is on the person of a recognized local, state, or federal law enforcement officer.
Access to and from the campus shall be controlled. All visitors to the campus (non faculty and non students) shall be required to check into the school office immediately upon arriving on the campus, identify the nature of the business for which they are present, as well as the classroom, if any, that they wish to visit, and receive a pass to go to a classroom. Anyone who fails to check into the office shall be directed to leave the campus immediately. If the person fails to take immediate leave upon being instructed to do so, law enforcement officials will be promptly notified.
No visits to classrooms shall be allowed except when such is authorized by the Principal or Executive Director. Visits by parents to classrooms during normal classroom periods shall only be permitted in case of an emergency.
Automobiles that are driven to the campus by faculty, staff, or visitors shall be required to park in designated areas. There will be no loitering or excessive noise allowed from the vehicle areas.
Excellence Academy shall operate a “closed campus” pursuant to the charter with BESE. Students who have arrived on campus for a scheduled school day shall not leave the campus until the conclusion of the scheduled day’s classroom activity except in such cases as are determined to be emergency in nature. Parents are urged to avoid requesting that their children be checked out except in the event of illness or other emergencies.
If it is deemed necessary that students are checked out, only parents and/or guardians, or someone designated on a written list be allowed to check a student out of school. Under no circumstances shall a student be allowed to check himself or herself out of the school.
In case of staff, their departure from the campus should only occur after the conclusion of their individual, daily work schedule, or when their duties require such. The Principal or Executive Director is authorized to allow teachers to leave the campus in event of emergencies.
The Principal or the Executive Director should always be present on the campus except when approved school business or approved school activities require all to be absent.
It is the responsibility of the Principal to enforce the closed campus policy so as to assure the safety of students. In addition, the Principal is to consider requests of staff to leave the campus for reasons other than emergencies.
Special emergency drill activities shall be planned by the Principal and faculty of Excellence Academy to assure orderly movement and evacuation of students in the safest available area in the event of emergency. Such activities shall be conducted in accordance with regulations and procedures developed by the Principal and staff.
The plan shall include escape routes and alternate routes for all students and teachers. Teachers and students shall be informed of escape routes and a map shall be placed in each room specifying the routes and procedures for evacuating the building.
Fire drills shall be held monthly to train students for the proper and safe evacuation of the building(s) in case of fire, man-made or natural disaster. One bus emergency evacuation drill shall be held each semester.
A report concerning drills and evacuations and the time it required for buildings to be evacuated shall be kept on file.
An appropriate staff member shall cooperate with Civil Defense authorities in the development of emergency and disaster plans when necessary or desirable.
EMERGENCY CLOSING OF SCHOOLS
The Board of Directors of Excellence Academy has the authority to close the school if prevailing or potential hazards threaten the safety and well being of students and employees. The Board of Directors has appointed the Principal to make the final decision to close the school in the event of such a hazard.
Any public announcement and/or releases to the news media relative to such a closing shall be made by the Principal, or by his/her authorized designee.
Excellence Academy Charter School Board shall prepare or cause to be prepared, and submit to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry on or before August first of each year, an annual pest management plan that applies integrated pest management strategies of pest prevention methods and strongly recommends the least toxic methods of control for grass and weed control, and rodent and general pest control in, on or around school structures and grounds. Any deviation from the submitted animal pest management plan shall b delivered in writing to the Director of Pesticide and Environmental Programs and the Department of Agriculture and Forestry no later than twenty-four (24) hours prior to any pesticide application. Records of inspections, identifications, monitoring, evaluations, and pesticide applications shall be maintained by Excellence Academy and submitted with the annual pesticide management plan to the department annually.
In addition to a comprehensive pest management pan, Excellence Academy Charter School Board, in accordance with statutory provisions shall:
- Assure that the application of any herbicide, rodenticide, insecticide or restricted use pesticide, in, on, or around structures or grounds that provide education to sixth through eighth grade classes shall be done by or under the supervision of a certified commercial applicator.
- Maintain a hypersensitive student registry listing the names of students whose parents have submitted a written statement to the school which shall include, but not limited to, the student’s name and address, a parent’s or guardian’s signature, name and address, and a written medical verification by a licensed physician which includes the physician’s signature, name, and address.
- Use, whenever possible, the least toxic method of pest control. The least toxic method pest control may include methods other than the application of pesticides. A restricted use pesticide shall be applied to the school building or on school grounds only during periods in which students are not expected to be present for normal academic instruction or organized extracurricular activity for a t least eight (8) hours after the application.
- Keep a written record of restricted use pesticides used to control pests, with an entry of pertinent information about the application being recorded after each application. The written record shall be kept at Excellence Academy and shall be available for inspection during school hours.
Ref. La. Rev. Stat. Ann 3:3381-3389
Excellence Academy Charter School shall conduct a minimum daily session of not less than 330 minutes of instructional time, exclusive of recess and lunch. Two or more partial days may be combined to meet minimal school year requirement of 175 days of 330 minutes of instructional time.
A school shall consist of five days and a school month shall consist of twenty days. The opening and closing time at each school shall be structured to best meet the needs of the students in each area.
Ref: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 17:154; Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, Bulletin 741, State Dept. of Education.
The school calendar for the school year shall be prepared by the Principal and Executive Director and presented to the Curriculum Committee for review and concurrence. The Curriculum Committee shall present a proposed school calendar for the coming school year to Excellence Academy Charter School Board of Directors for final approval during the April regular meeting of the Board.
The calendar shall set forth the days school shall be in session, holidays, and vacation periods, in-service days, parent/teacher conference days, and days marking the beginning and end of reporting periods at secondary levels.
SCHOOL PURCHASING POLICY
Excellence Academy Charter School has the responsibility to properly manage all financial matters pertaining to the operation of the school. This includes the use of all funds, including those funds that are utilized to purchase supplies, equipment, furniture, and/or fixtures, whether the same is required for use in the classrooms or for the general operational needs of the school. To that end, the Board of Directors has established this policy statement to provide guidance in regards to all purchasing activities of the school.
Purchasing Requisition System
The Principal of the school shall be responsible to provide for a purchase requisition system that shall be utilized regarding all purchases. The purchase requisition system that is utilized shall include the Principal’s approval of all purchasing activities. The Principal may, at his/her discretion, appoint a member of the staff to assist in reviewing and approving purchases, provided however, that any purchase that exceeds $1,000 shall be approved by the Principal prior to any commitment being made to obligate Excellence Academy Charter School.
All purchases of equipment shall be documented and the equipment shall be entered into the school’s equipment inventory system. The Principal shall be responsible to maintain the equipment inventory, and shall assign the proper depreciation schedule that shall be utilized. Any purchase of equipment that shall in the aggregate exceed $5,000 shall be presented to the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors for approval prior to any commitment being made to obligate Excellence Academy Charter School. This shall include any single item of equipment, or any purchase of multiple pieces of the same type of equipment.
All purchases of equipment shall comply in every respect to the State of Louisiana bid requirements, if applicable.
In the event that used computers owned by Excellence Academy Charter School are determined to be of no further use to the school, the Principal is authorized to sell the used computers to Excellence Academy Charter School students and their families for such amounts as the Principal, in consultation with the IT Coordinator, determines to be appropriate. All funds from the sale of used computers shall be delivered to the Executive Director who shall report the same to the Finance Committee of the Board. The Executive Director shall make a proper accounting of the funds as would be consistent with governmental accounting standards.
The Principal shall be responsible to present all requests for funding regarding the purchase of supplies, equipment, furniture, and/or fixtures. Such requests shall be made to the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors. The Finance Committee shall be responsible to present to the Board of Directors an annual operating budget, which shall be approved by the Board of Directors prior to the beginning of each school year. The Principal shall be responsible to present to the Finance Committee any requests for amendments to the annual operating budget. Such amendments shall not go into effect until the same have been approved by the Board of Directors. The Principal shall not approve any purchase that would result in a negative balance in any budget category. In the case of an emergency, the Chairman of the Board or the Chairman of the Finance Committee may approve an expenditure in excess of the amount budgeted in a particular category if the Principal requests such, and shall report the same to the Finance Committee at its next meeting. In the case of an approved expenditure that is in excess of the budgeted amount, the Finance Committee shall recommend budget amendments to the Board of Directors to correct any shortfall.
The Principal shall annually make available to each classroom teacher a classroom supply budget equal to $500. Such purchases as are made by each classroom teacher shall not require prior approval of the Principal, but all purchases made by each classroom teacher shall be documented as being something that is essential to the efficient operation of the applicable classroom. Such supply purchases as are made shall be reimbursed in the same manner as any other reimbursable expense. If the purchase of classroom supplies is to be charged to Excellence Academy Charter School, the classroom teacher must first obtain permission of the Principal to proceed with the purchase.
Authority Regarding Purchases
No one shall have the authority to obligate Excellence Academy Charter School regarding any purchase except the Principal or his/her designee. All purchases shall be expensed to the appropriate budget category.
The Principal shall provide for the maintenance of records regarding all purchases and/or expenditures made with funds owned by Excellence Academy Charter School. Such records shall be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Louisiana Department of Education, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and/or the Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School.
STUDENT ACTIVITY FUND MANAGEMENT POLICY
In order to insure the efficient and effective management of all funds that are raised for the benefit and/or support of student activities, the Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School has established this policy statement to provide guidance to the Principal and Executive Director regarding the disposition and/or maintenance of such funds.
All fund raising activities must be submitted to the Principal who shall consider each proposed activity and present the same, along with his/her recommendation to the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee shall have the authority to approve all fund raisers, and shall report to the Board of Directors each month those fund raising activities that have been approved. Should the Advisory Committee approve a fund raiser that is not recommended by the Principal, the committee’s report to the Board of Directors shall include specific reasons why approval was granted.
All student activity funds shall be managed according to this policy. No new accounts or divisions of student activity funds can be created without the recommendation of the Principal and approval by the Board of Directors.
The following accounts shall be permitted:
- Athletic Fund – This fund shall include all funds that are raised from any source for the purpose of supporting or funding any athletic team or group that exists for the purpose of supporting an athletic team, including such groups as cheerleaders, dance teams, drill teams, etc.
- Club/Class Funds – These funds shall include all funds that are raised from any source for the purpose of supporting or funding specific activities or events of any particular school sponsored club and/or class of students.
- Project Funds – These funds shall include all funds that are raised from any source for the purpose of supporting or funding a specific project that is student based and/or conducted for the purpose of supporting student life issues at the school.
- Scholarship Fund – This fund shall include all funds that are raised and/or otherwise provided for the purpose of awarding school uniform scholarships.
MANAGEMENT OF ALL STUDENT ACTIVITY FUNDS
The Principal shall approve the expenditure of all funds that are deposited into any student activity fund. The Principal shall consider each requested use of the funds and shall determine that such use is as requested is consistent with the purposes for which the funds were raised and will result in the proper support of the student activities that have been approved by the Principal and or Board of Directors.
MAINTENANCE OF ALL STUDENT ACTIVITY FUNDS
All funds raised for support of student activities shall be maintained in a single account that shall be an interest bearing account. The Executive Director shall establish such subsidiary ledgers as may be necessary to properly identify such funds as are placed in the account. All funds that are received from the fund raising efforts as may be engaged in from time to time shall be delivered to the Executive Director and his/her designee as soon as possible, but not later than the next business day. The Executive Director shall provide for the “same day” or “next business day” deposit of all funds that are received. The Executive Director shall provide for the proper accounting of all revenue and expenses associated with fund raising activities that are conducted for or in support of student activities of every type.
ACCOUNTABLE REIMBURSEMENT POLICY
The Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School, in keeping with all the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service regarding the operation of non-profit organizations, has established an accountable reimbursement policy as a means of providing guidance to all employees of the school relative to the reimbursement of expenses. All reimbursements must be approved by the Principal and his/her designee prior to any payment.
- Adequate accounting for reimbursed expenses
Any employee nor or hereafter employed by Excellence Academy Charter School shall be reimbursed for any ordinary and necessary business and professional expense incurred on behalf of the school, if the following conditions are satisfied:
- The expenses are reasonable in amount;
- The employee documents the amount, date, place, and business purpose of each such expense with the same kinds of documentary evidence as would be required to support a deduction of the expense on the employee’s federal income tax return; and;
- The employee documents such expenses by providing the school’s Executive Director with an accounting of such expenses on a monthly basis. In no event will an expense be reimbursed if substantial more than 120 days after the expense is paid or incurred by an employee.
- Reimbursable Expenses
Reimbursable business and professional expense include, but are not limited to, local business mileage, overnight travel (including lodging and meals), business meals, books and subscriptions, continuing education, professional dues, and long distance telephone calls.
- Automobile reimbursable rate
The employee’s business use of his/her automobile will be reimbursed at the standard mileage rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
- Excessive reimbursements
Any advance reimbursement that exceeds the amount of business or professional expenses properly accounted for by an employee pursuant to this policy must be returned to the organization within sixty (60) days after the associated expenses are paid or incurred by the employee, and shall not be retained by the employee.
- Reimbursements not refunded out of salary reductions
Reimbursements shall be paid out of operating funds and not by reducing pay checks by the amount of business expense reimbursements.
- Tax reporting
Excellence Academy Charter School shall not include in an employee’s W-2 form the amount for any business or professional expense properly substantiated and reimbursed according to this policy, and the employee should not report the amount of any such reimbursement as income on Form 1040.
- Retention of records
All receipts and other documentary evidence used by the employee to substantiate business and professional expenses reimbursed under this policy shall be retained by Excellence Academy Charter School. Under no circumstances
will the organization reimburse an employee for business or professional expenses incurred on behalf of the school that are not properly substantiated according to this policy.
KEY EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION PROCEDURES
Employees of Excellence Academy Charter School are responsible for the work of Excellence Academy Charter School and no other entity. Excellence Academy Charter School has no affiliates or legal entities with which its shares employees.
Annually, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Excellence Academy Charter School appoints a Finance Committee and a member of the board to serve as chairman of the committee. The Finance Committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending to the full board the annual salary of all employees of Excellence Academy Charter School including the Principal, Executive Director, Administrative Assistant, and Teachers (Coaches). The Finance Committee is also responsible to annually recommend to the Board of Directors a salary matrix for all classroom teachers (coaches), and any supplemental compensation that is to be paid relative to extra duty assignments.
The Finance Committee shall review comparison compensation data that is available from other local education authorities operating within the State of Louisiana, together with any other compensation data provided by the Department of Education, and will consult such data as is available in determining all salaries of employees of Excellence Academy Charter School. All employees of Excellence Academy Charter School shall be contracted on a one (1) year basis allowed by state law, and no multi-year employment contracts are to be allowed. Each employee shall be evaluated annually and the results of the evaluations shall be reviewed by the Personnel Committee of the board. Merit compensation is considered each year after the results of the statewide standardized tests are received. In such cases, the Finance Committee shall recommend that merit compensation be approved by the board. If merit compensation is approved by the board, all employees within each class of employment shall receive a similar amount.
DOCUMENT RENTENTION AND DESTRUCTION POLICY
In accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime to alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document with the intent of impeding or obstructing any official proceeding, this policy provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction of documents received or created by Excellence Academy Charter School in connection with the transaction of the school’s business. This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form, contains guidelines for how long certain documents should be kept and how records should be destroyed. The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and stat laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or innocent destruction of records and to facilitate Excellence Academy Charter School’s operations by promoting efficiency and freeing up valuable storage space.
- Document Retention
Excellence Academy Charter School follows the document retention procedures outlined below. Documents that are not listed, but are substantially similar to those listed in the schedule will be retained for the appropriate length of time.
Annual Reports to Secretary of State/Attorney General Permanent
Articles of Incorporation Permanent
Board Meeting and Board Committee Minutes Permanent
Board Policies/Resolutions Permanent
Fixed Asset Records Permanent
IRS Application for Tax-Exempt Status (Form 1023) Permanent
IRS Determination Letter Permanent
Contracts (after expiration) 7 years
Correspondence (general) 3 years
Accounting and Corporate Tax Records
Annual Audits and Financial Statements Permanent
Depreciation Schedules Permanent
IRS Tax Returns Permanent
General Ledgers 7 years
Business Expense Records 7 years
IRS 1099s 7 years
Journal Entries 7 years
Invoices 7 years
Cash Receipts 3 years
Credit Card Receipts 3 years
- Emergency Planning
Excellence Academy Charter School’s records will be stored in a safe, secure and accessible manner. Documents and financial files that are essential to keeping the organization operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up every day and maintained off site.
- Document Destruction
Excellence Academy Charter School‘s Executive Director is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records, which have met the required retention period and overseeing their destruction. Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.
Document destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent. Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.
Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against Excellence Academy Charter School and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals. The Principal and the chairman of the Finance Committee will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or the school’s certified public accountant to ensure that they are in compliance with new ore revised regulations.