Family & Student Handbook
A Note from the Principal
Thank you for taking the time to read the Education for Change at Cox Academy Family & Student Handbook. This handbook was designed to aid you and your child. It is not all-inclusive, but does cover most items that commonly concern parents and students.
I, along with the Cox Academy staff, encourage your active involvement in your child’s education. A strong partnership between home and school can greatly benefit your child as he/she grows and matures. To this end, we ask that you read through this handbook carefully with your child(ren) and discuss its contents.
I strongly believe that your experience at Cox will be positive and pleasant, and I know that you have high expectations for your child's academic and social success. We are ready to partner with you to ensure that this is true. Thanks for being a part of our community and for taking the time to know our school policies! As always, we are here to assist you and your child. Please feel free to contact us at (510) 904-6300.
David Norris, Principal
About Education for Change & Cox Academy
Founded in 2005 by experienced educators and entrepreneurs, Education for Change (EFC) is a non-profit public benefit corporation. As a charter School Management Organization, EFC operates public elementary schools designed to offer a high quality education at no cost to parents. EFC serves ethnically and economically diverse student bodies. EFC currently operates seven schools in Oakland: Cox Academy, Achieve Academy, Learning Without Limits, ASCEND, Lazear Charter Academy, Epic Middle School, and Latitude High School.
What is a charter school?
Charter schools are schools of choice: parents select the school their child attends. Families and community members are welcomed in charter schools and are treated as partners in their child’s education. Charter schools are held accountable for student achievement by parents, authorizers, and the state. This accountability leads quality schools and high achievement; research shows charter schools do a better job increasing student achievement than traditional public schools. Charter schools are performing particularly well in areas in California known to have struggling public schools.
By working in an environment that values innovation, charter school teachers and staff have the opportunity to have real impact on students and colleagues. Charter schools provide teachers with the freedom and flexibility to innovate to best meet their students’ needs. Staff experience less bureaucracy, greater autonomy, and have the support of parents who help to discover fresh approaches to their student’s education. And members of the community can be involved, too, by volunteering or serving on a charter school’s governing board.
Charter schools across the state are positively impacting students, resulting in improved achievement.
EFC Mission Statement
The mission of Education for Change is to provide a superior public education to Oakland’s most underserved children by relentlessly focusing on our students’ academic achievement through high-quality, rigorous instruction and prepare them to make thoughtful and informed choices that will get them on a path to success for life.
EFC Vision Statement
Our vision is to create catalytic change across the country that will help to transform urban public schools into high performing organizations for the children that are most dependent.
Cox Academy Mission Statement
Cox Academy: Empowering every student to go out and change the world
Cox Academy Vision Statement
Cox Academy exists because of the power, resilience, and love of the families in East Oakland neighborhoods, and we leverage that power in all we do. We strive to equip students with the academic, personal, and social-emotional resources necessary to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and peace change-makers in our community. We provide unconditional education to all students, recognizing that all of our students deserve to be equipped with the tools and skills necessary for success in and out of the classroom, including:
Culturally relevant curriculum that fosters a love of learning;
Rigorous and language rich instruction that leads to mastery of grade-level academic standards;
Creating opportunities for students to develop a sense of agency over their learning process and contributions to their community;
Equitable supports to ensure that every student excels on their unique learning trajectory.
EFC Board of Directors
EFC recruits qualified and appropriate candidates for the board from education, non-profit, community, business, and legal organizations. The current board is diverse in skill sets, perspectives, and backgrounds, and it can fully and responsibly govern the organization and schools while maintaining a unifying and passionate commitment to the vision and mission of EFC.
The EFC Board of Trustees will consist of at least five but will not be more than eleven voting members. The board has appointed a President, Treasurer/Audit Committee, and a Secretary. Board agendas are posted at all sites 72 hours before the meeting and minutes are posted after approval. These can also be found on our website.
The Board of Directors of EFC is responsible for the following:
Ensuring the legal and fiscal well being of the organization and each school.
Hiring and evaluating the EFC Chief Executive Officer.
Approving and monitoring the implementation of policies of the organization.
Developing and monitoring an overall operational business plan that focuses on student achievement.
Approving and monitoring the organization’s annual budget and fiscal policies.
Acting as fiscal agent. This includes the receipt and management of funds for the operation of the organization in accordance with all applicable laws and the mission statement of the organization.
Contracting with an external auditor to produce an independent annual financial audit according to generally accepted accounting practices.
Regularly measuring the progress of both student and staff performance.
Encouraging active involvement of students, parents, grandparents and the community.
Performing all of the responsibilities provided for in the California Corporations code, the Articles of Incorporation Bylaws, and this charter as required to ensure the proper operation of the organization and member schools.
Cox Academy Hours of Operation
The school office is open from 7:45 am to 4:00 pm on all school days.
School hours are 8:25 to 3:05 (1st-5th grades) and 8:25-2:30 (TK – K). Wednesdays are minimum days and all students are dismissed at 1:15. Please refer to the Cox Academy school calendar for all minimum days (1:15 dismissal), as there are other minimum days throughout the year (beyond Wednesdays) for teacher planning time and parent/teacher conferences.
Cox Academy opens its doors for students at 7:45am. Prior to 7:45 and after dismissal, we have no assigned supervisory staff and cannot supervise students. Students must leave campus at dismissal unless a plan is arranged with their teacher.
Breakfast is served in the cafeteria between 7:45 and 8:25. If arriving early for breakfast, students will wait in the cafeteria after eating, and will be dismissed to class 8:25. Any students who arrive before 7:45 must wait outside of school, as the doors do not open until 7:45. We ask that you do not bring your children to Cox prior to 7:45 AM, because again, there is no supervision for them.
Attendance at school is directly related to achievement and success in school. As a parent or guardian, you are obligated to send your child to school. Please review the Education for Change Public Schools Attendance Policy here.
Education for Change uses a data management program called Illuminate which supports our school in monitoring student attendance. Parent/guardians must send a note and/or telephone the school to clear all excusable absences within 72 hours. Failure to excuse the absence results in an unexcused absence on your child’s record.
Reporting/Clearing an Absence
If your child will be absent, please phone the main office or stop by the main office to notify and give reason to absence.
If your child is marked absent and the office has not received a phone call or notice of absence, you will receive a call from the school.
Absences must be cleared within 3 days; otherwise it will be considered an unexcused absence.
Repeated absences for health reasons will require a doctor’s note
Students may be withdrawn from classes and placed on inactive status if 10 consecutive days of absences occur (5 to start the year) and the parents have failed to contact school staff to make arrangements.
The following conditions may excuse a student from school attendance:
Personal illness or injury (A Medical Verification note may be required by the school attendance clerk or school principal.)
Severe family illness, an emergency situation requiring the student to be absent from school, which requires a doctor’s note
Quarantine of the home by local health officials
Death of a relative (limited to three days, unless reasonable cause can be shown for a longer absence)
Observance of a religious holiday, consistent with student’s established beliefs or creed
In California, all children are required by law to attend school between the ages of 6 and 18, and must have good attendance records as well. If the student is under the age of 6, the school is still required to follow the same procedure as student becomes our responsibility to stay in school.
3 Unexcused Absences and/or tardies more than 30 minutes will generate a SART meeting to implement an attendance contract.
Failure to meet expectations of attendance contract will lead to SARB at the District Home Office where a plan will be developed. If that plan is not completed, the parents may be referred to the Alameda County District Attorney.
Students will be marked tardy if they are not in their classrooms after the 2nd morning bell at 8:30 AM. Habitual tardiness, according to California law (Ed Code. 48260-48273), is truancy and will be treated as such.
Students are considered tardy when they arrive after the second bell rings and within 29 minutes of class the students are considered tardy. After the 30 minutes it is considered as a truant tardy. Student must pick up a tardy pass from the office before entering class.
Any tardy over 30 minutes, except for medical reasons, is also unexcused.
If your child is arriving late to school for any reason, the parent or guardian must call the office before the student’s arrival. The student MUST pick up an “admit to class” pass from the office before entering class; otherwise it will be considered an unexcused absence.
Chronic Absence and the School Attendance Review Team
Any student who is absent (Excused or Unexcused) for more than 10 percent of their days enrolled is considered chronically absent. Chronic absence causes extended loss of instructional time. Extended loss of instructional time leads to students falling behind and possible retention. In a case where a student is chronically absent, a meeting will be held with the Student Attendance Review Team (SART) to create a contract to improve student attendance. If absences continue to occur, and the family does not show up at school to participate in the SART meeting, the school will conduct a home visit to ensure family communication happens in regard to ongoing challenges around absences or tardies. The school may also refer the family to a Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) at the District Home Office, where a district level plan will be developed. If that plan is not completed, the family may be referred to the Alameda County District Attorney.
The state law states that absences are only excused if the child is ill or there is a death in the family (1-3 day limit). All other absences are unexcused. Any tardy over 30 minutes, except for medical reasons, is also unexcused. In extreme emergencies, on a limited basis, you may request permission for approval of an Independent Study from the school Principal. If a student is going to miss school for more than two days, the student's guardian must let the office know at least 2 weeks in advance so that class assignments can be provided and the guardian can sign an Independent Study Contract. An independent study is provided as an alternative instructional strategy, not an alternative curriculum. Independent study students work independently, according to a written agreement and under the general supervision of a credential teacher.
It is the EFC (Education for Change) policy that a doctor’s note is required for three consecutive days of absence. If EFC feels that your child is excessively absent (over 10%), we can require a doctor’s note for every absence.
Our teachers work very hard to insure that your child receives the best education possible. This can only be done if your child is in school, on time, every day when s/he is healthy. Students who are absent on a consistent basis are more likely to be candidates for retention. Your child deserves an outstanding education.
Please remember that for us to do our jobs your child must attend school regularly. a good solid foundation is critical to your child’s future academic success.
Early Dismissal of Students
Students leaving before the end of the school day are dismissed through the school office. They are not allowed to wait in front of the building or to enter cars unless accompanied by a parent. These rules are necessary to ensure student safety. You must come to the office to sign your child out.
You must send a note each time there will be a change in your child’s dismissal time or procedure. We will ask to see identification of any person we do not know and will not release a child to a babysitter, step-parent or friend without prior authorization. We will follow the child’s normal routine without a note from the parent.
Please make sure that you discuss a rainy day procedure with your children. All students are dismissed as usual on rainy days. Students waiting to be picked up are to wait in the Cafeteria of the main building.
It is imperative that you have a clear plan for daily dismissal. Children at Cox Academy get home in many different ways (i.e. picked up from class, walked home by a sibling, walk home with a friend, etc). Please make sure that you communicate your plan with your child’s teacher in written form. Please note that the Cox office staff CANNOT page for your child on a daily basis. We also cannot allow for students to call home on a daily basis. These supports will only be used for emergency situations. Please make a clear plan with your student regarding a pick up location as needed.
Emergency and Medical Information
Parents are required by state law to fill out an Emergency Medical Authorization Form. These are kept on file in the office and used in emergency situations. There will be multiple opportunities to complete this form prior to school starting and during the first few weeks. It is very important that you complete this form accurately and ensure that it is returned to the main office. If your child is injured at school and we cannot reach you, we will use the information on this form to find an emergency contact.
It is your responsibility to inform the school of any changes in residency, custody, home/work phone numbers and emergency contact information.
Medical Concerns – Allergies
It is imperative that all school personnel know of any type of allergy your child has, such as bee stings or foods. This information should be provided to the school office manager as well as your child’s teacher, who will see to it that the appropriate personnel are notified.
Illness / Injury at School
It is important that students are not sent to school with a fever, diarrhea, or if they are vomiting. It is advisable to keep a child home until they are fever free for twenty-four hours without benefit of a fever-reducing medication.
If you and the other people on your emergency contact list are to be away from the phone and therefore unable to be reached, please designate a person we can call temporarily in the event of an illness or accident at school.
If you have concerns about your child’s mental health, please talk to the front office staff to schedule an appointment to speak to an Administrator about your concerns. If you are a student and would like to talk to a counselor, please ask one of your teachers for a referral and/or talk to the front office staff to schedule an appointment with an Administrator.
Community and Family Expectations
At Cox Academy, we welcome all families into our school community. We believe that families are an integral part of their child’s education, and we encourage families to participate in school events and in their child’s classroom.
We also have a code of conduct that all adults are expected to follow, as role models for our students, to ensure that our campus is safe for everyone. As Cox families, you are on our registered visitor list, and are welcome at all times. When you are on our school campus, you are expected to follow our community and Family expectations for the safety of everyone. Our expectations are as follows:
If any community or family members do not meet these expectations, a meeting with a Cox administrator will be scheduled to discuss the community expectation that was violated and possible consequences. Consequences may include receiving a 7 day or 30 day "stay away" order from the Oakland Police Department.
When you come to visit Cox for an extended stay (longer than picking up or dropping off a student), which includes (but is not limited to) meeting with a staff member, observing in a classroom, or bringing your child lunch, you are required to sign in (and out) in our main office, and wear a visitor badge during your visit at all times.
If you should wish to visit your child during lunchtime, please follow the following procedure: come to the main office, sign in using the visitor’s log, and retrieve a visitor's badge as well as a lunch pass for your child. As parents are not to enter the cafeteria during lunch, give the lunch pass to a lunch supervisor and they will assist in finding your child. Parents may sit with your child only at a designated outside area. It is not appropriate or allowed for parents to take other students to lunch. Please be aware that this procedure is in place for the safety of every child at our school.
Cox Academy offers a number of classes and workshops for our parents and community members. When attending these classes/workshops, please sign in/out and wear that appropriate identification badge for that program as well. Badges need to be returned at the end of the class.
It is also important that classroom instruction not be interrupted during school visits. If you are observing in a class, it is important that you limit your interactions with students, so that they can focus on learning. Please also do your best to refrain from pulling students from class to discuss family related matters. This should only happen in extreme emergencies.
Please refer to the EFC Visitor Policy for further information regarding school visitation at Education for Change Public Schools.
Teacher/Staff/Admin Communication At School
During school hours, if you would like to communicate with your child’s teacher, you are required to schedule an appointment with them, with 24 hour advanced notice. Of course, if you child’s teacher has time to meet with you with less notice, they will try to accommodate that. It is very important that instruction time not be interrupted when scheduling meetings with teachers, or communicating concerns. All teacher communication should be scheduled for before or after school.
You can also schedule an appointment to meet with an Administrator with 24 hour advanced notice.
Home-School Communication/School Publications
You will receive many pieces of information from our school. One common form of communication is through notes/flyers from teachers or the office, which may be sent home on any given day. Please encourage your child to be responsible for bringing home school information when given out. Also, please check your child’s backpack nightly for any important information that may have been shared.
We also encourage you to sign up for a free account with Parent Square (parentsquare.com), which is an home-school information sharing app, we are now using. Regular notices will be sent out through this phone app, which is a great way to stay up to date with communication from both the office, Admin, and teachers. In case there are any emergencies on campus, families will be notified as soon as possible through the Parent Square app.
Contacting teachers at home
Please do not phone teachers at home unless the teacher gives you permission to do so. If you call the office, we will relay messages. Teachers should not be interrupted during instruction time. The Cox Academy office number is (510) 904-6300.
Written notes and emails are another way to communicate with your child’s teacher throughout the year. Ask your child’s teacher about this option for communication.
Student Use Cell phones & School phones
Personal cellular phones, pagers, walkie-talkies, and/or any cellular communication devices must not be used during school hours, unless with staff permission. The only reason a staff member should give permission for a student to use a phone is to call a family member, preferably outside of classroom hours. If these items are found in use during the school day, they may be confiscated (for pick up by guardian at the day’s end). If you need to reach your student, please contact the Cox main office directly. Do not call or accept cellular calls from your student during the school day.
The school telephones are not for student use. Calling home for permission to visit with friends or to ask for forgotten lunch money, homework or books, or to ask someone to pick them up because they do not want to walk home is not permitted. In an emergency situation, or when there is an acceptable reason, students may use the phone with a written pass from the teacher.
Students WILL NOT be called out of class to speak to someone on the phone. Classes are not interrupted unless it is an extreme emergency. Messages will be taken and given to students at the appropriate time.
Standards Based Report Cards
Cox Academy uses a Standards Based report card that is aligned with Common Core State Standards. For each academic section (Reading Language Arts, Math, Cross Curricular Integration), students are scored on a 1-4 scale. Adequate Understanding is considered at grade level. To receive an Adequate understanding (3), the expectation would be that the student would have mastered all the standards indicated in the guidelines for that marking term. Each component or standard in Language Arts and Math, should receive one of the following marks for their Grade Level Performance:
Academic grades are:
1 (far below grade level expectations; minimal understanding)
2 (below grade expectations; partial understanding)
3 (meets grade level expectations; independent understanding)
4 (excels at grade level expectations; depth of understanding)
Students will receive a report card 3 times a year (see school calendars for the end of the trimester dates). At the end of the first and second trimester, teachers will arrange a conference to discuss the report card.
Valuable property such as expensive jewelry and electronic games/equipment should not be brought to school by students. The school will NOT accept responsibility for the loss of personal property. We also recommend that students who ride bicycles or scooters to school lock them to prevent theft. No skateboards or “heelies” are allowed on campus.
Cafeteria and Snacks
Breakfast and lunch are provided in our cafeteria. Please make sure to complete the Free & Reduced lunch application that is included in your enrollment packet.
Students may bring snacks daily but we highly recommend that the snacks be nutritional and healthy (Fruit, Granola Bars, etc). Snacks such as hot chips, fast foods (i.e. McDonalds), candy bars, sodas and sweets do not provide good nutritional value and can be detrimental to your students' learning experience, therefore we will ask for students to keep those snacks in their bags and they can eat them after school if approved by their parent. Snack time will be determined at teacher discretion based on class and academic schedules. In an effort to maintain cleanliness, snacks will not be eaten on the playground.
NOTE: Parents and Family members are not allowed in the cafeteria during lunch time. This is an Education for Change policy. If your student requires additional support please speak with a Cafe staff member.
No animal shall be brought into the school without prior permission of the Principal. Use of animals, including classroom pets, may be allowed by the Principal provided student health and safety is not jeopardized and the individual requesting that the animal be brought to school is responsible for adhering to any conditions established by the Principal to protect the health and well-being of students. Any domestic animals (dogs, cats, birds, etc) may not enter the school unless they are a certified service animal and have proof of an up-to-date rabies vaccine.
Students are assigned to classes with input from the classroom teachers from the previous year. They are grouped to provide balanced classes for everyone’s benefit. After the classes are formed, the Principal assigns teachers to each list of classes. This is the most educationally sound way to group students; therefore, parent requests for teachers will not be accepted.
Kindergarten and 1st grade Family suggestion
Please pack an extra set of clothes (underwear, pants, socks) in a large plastic bag that your student can keep with them in case they have an accident. Even if your student is potty trained, often at this age, they have accidents. This ensures that the student does not miss a lot of class and that you do not need to come to the school to bring clean clothes.
Curriculum, Programs & Services
At Cox Academy, teachers utilize Common Core State Standards aligned, adopted curriculum as a foundation for delivery of rigorous standards based instruction. Teachers use adopted curriculum as a guide for lesson planning and instruction, which gives them the necessary support to accelerate student learning in class.
The adopted curricula for English Language Arts for Kinder - 2nd grade are Being a Reader, Being a Writer, and Making Meaning. The adopted curriculum for English Language Arts in 3rd-5th grade is called the EL Modules. All of these curriculums offer students a wide range of reading and writing learning tasks. These curriculums are also supported by our classroom libraries and our school wide guided reading library. The adopted curriculum for math Kindergarten - 5th grade (including TK) is Eureka Math. This math program includes strong content development and math fluency practice.
Blended Learning (Computer Based Literacy Programs)
Cox Academy uses a variety of computer based, online programs to support personalized student learning. Students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade utilize a reading program called RAZ Kids, which offers a variety of reading texts at various student reading levels. 3rd-5th grade students utilize a reading program called Reading Plus, which has shown to accelerate individual student reading growth. Other blended learning computer programs include Accelerated Reader, and an online assessment platform called Edulastic, which gives students opportunities to take standards based quizzes, in the online format the SBAC (the statewide summative assessment for 3rd-5th graders).
Social Emotional Learning
Cox Academy believes in the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and developing students’ five SEL core competencies that the state of California has deemed essential to supporting students’ social/emotional health and safety at school (shared below). These competencies are also foundational skills that support student learning and achievement in and out of the classroom.
All staff members support student SEL through the use of The Toolbox Project, a research-based, community-tested, social-emotional learning framework/curriculum that fosters the development of resilience, self-mastery, and empathy for students in all grades. Experience the collective and personal impact of using the 12 Tools on the lives of children by watching the brief introductory film. http://dovetaillearning.org/
Cox Academy believes that a well rounded education is a key to supporting students’ love of learning and developing into students who become changemakers for our community. To support holistic student development and learning, Cox Academy offers four, 50 minute specials classes each week (three classes for TK and Kindergarten). The four specials classes offered at Cox are: Hands on Science, Visual Arts, Physical Education, and Dance.
Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Model
Cox Academy, along with our Seneca Partners, provide tiered support to students who have specific high needs to through our MTSS model. All students receive “Tier 1” supports in general education classrooms and common spaces like the playground and cafeteria. These supports are delivered by Cox Academy staff who are trained to Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) and differentiated academic supports, like guided reading.
Specific students who have been identified by our Coordination of Services Team (COST), get access to “Tier 2” academic and behavior management interventions/techniques, depending on their needs. These students are supported by specific interventionists to give them extra instruction and behavioral support, to help them be successful in school. Students who participate in “Tier 2” intervention programs are recommended by their teachers and may take part in specially tailored academic instruction either in the classroom (push-in) or in the Learning Lab or Literacy center (pull-out).
The Learning Lab team includes the MTSS Coordinator, Academic Intervention Specialists (Special Education Teachers), Speech and Language Pathologists, School Psychologists, Therapists, a tier 2 Literacy interventionist, and an extended network of related service providers. This team works to catch students before they fail and keep students on track for long-term success.
Most importantly, we believe it is vital for parents and other family members to be partners in designing and implementing educational plans of their students. Cox Academy MTSS team members are always available to teachers and families to talk about students’ needs or provide guidance on strategies to support their learning. Please don’t hesitate to contact an Administrator to set up a meeting, if you have questions about your student or the MTSS model!
Students in 3rd-5th grade at Cox Academy participate in our Departmentalized Model, which means that they have two teachers, an English Language Arts (ELA) teacher and a Math teacher. One of their teachers will be their “home room” teacher, who they will start the day with. All home room teachers teach a Literacy Workshop block of instruction, along with their focal content area. Students are with their home room teacher the majority of the day (could be either an ELA or Math teacher). On regular school days that dismiss at 3:05 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday), your student will only spend 100 minutes a day with their non-home room teacher.
The purpose of this model is to support teachers to focus their planning and preparation time in one content area (ELA or Math), so they can grow into experts in that content. We believe that this focus positively impacts student learning!
After School Program
Cox Academy partners with the After School provider Love, Learn, Success, to provide quality after school childcare that is safe, nurturing, and educational. The program is free of charge and students enroll in the program on a first come, first served basis – until allotted spaces are filled. Love, Learn, Success also has a waitlist for families that are interested, who don’t get a spot in the program.
During the academic year, after school programs are held after school Monday through Friday until 6:00 p.m. Course offerings are created by need as well as student interest. Offerings may vary from trimester to trimester; however all program schedules include an academic hour (i.e. homework help and silent reading) and an enrichment component.
The Love, Learn, Success After school program is available to K - 5th grade students.
At Cox Academy, we believe that we must partner with families to ensure success for our students. In an effort to strengthen our partnership with families and be clear about what we can expect from one another, all family members and students will receive a Cox Academy Home-School Compact at the beginning of the school year.
Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff (Teachers) are expected to sign and return the “pledge” in Home-School Compact, which details specific actions that all stakeholders will take to ensure a successful year for each student. The actions listed in each “pledge” have been proven as important ways that students can be supported at home and at school.
Friday Morning Meeting & Family Read In
Every Friday (except for the last Friday of the month), there is a Morning Meeting in the courtyard in front of Building D to start the school day. The meeting is held from 8:30 am to 8:45 am. This is a time when Admin and student leaders celebrate our community, share student accomplishments, and make announcements for families and students. Parents and family members are strongly encouraged to attend.
Students line up with their classes at 8:30, after being dismissed from the cafeteria. Parents and community members are asked to stand at the back of each line. When participating in this weekly event, we ask that you respect the meeting by not talking.
The last Friday of each month is our monthly Family Read In, from 9:15 - 9:45, after the Friday Morning Meeting. Families are encouraged to come and read with your students, and share the love of reading with your children. This is also a great time to listen to your children read, and support their reading development.
Volunteer help and support makes all the difference in broadening the spectrum of activities each year. Parents, grandparents, and friends are involved in many ways at Cox Academy. They help in various capacities throughout the school. They also chaperone field trips and help students with special activities. Please contact our family coordinator, Cristina Jaramillo, your child's classroom teacher, or the office if you would like to support the school program by volunteering, and we will assist you in completing the necessary paperwork. Please be aware that there are requirements for fingerprinting and TB clearance for school volunteers. There will be a parent volunteer request form sent home at the beginning of the school year. Please support your student and Cox Academy with any time that you have available.
Family Leadership Council (FLC): The Family Leadership Council at Cox Academy is an open council meeting for all families to attend and get information about school policies, events, and initiatives taking place for that month. FLC meetings are also a very important way for parents/guardians to provide input about how we can continuously improve our school. FLC meetings are scheduled on the third Friday of each month from 9:00 - 10:15 AM. FLC meetings are open and all families are welcome and encouraged to participate.
School Site Council (SSC): The Cox Academy School Site Council is an elected body that has representative family and school staff members. The purpose of the SSC is to give guidance to Administration on school policy and budget decision making. The other main purpose of the SSC is to vote on and recommend the School Single Site Plan to the EFC Board for ultimate approval in the Spring. This team meets once a month in the afternoon, and is an open meeting session for all families, unless otherwise stated.
English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC): The Cox Academy English Learner Advisory Council is another elected body that must have at least 50% of its members have a student who is classified as an English Learner. The purpose of the ELAC is to advise the Administration on initiatives and programs that support the success of English Learner students.
Parent Classroom Representatives
Each classroom at Cox Academy must have two parent representatives that work directly with our Family Coordinator and the classroom teacher, to support classroom initiatives and other parents and families. This leadership position is a crucial aspect of building other parent leaders at our school.
If this is something that you would be interested in taking on, please reach out to your child's teacher or our Family Coordinator, Cristina Jaramillo.
McKinney-Vento Site Contact
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) (42 U.S.C. § 11431-11435) is federal legislation that ensures the educational rights and protections of children and youth experiencing homelessness. It requires all local educational agencies (LEAs) to ensure that homeless students have access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschools, as provided to other children and youths. The McKinney-Vento Act defines LEAs as public school districts, direct-funded and locally funded charter schools, and county offices of education. The McKinney-Vento Act also authorizes the funding for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program.
Cox Academy, as our own LEA, is dedicated to ensuring the educational rights and protections of children experiencing homelessness, as detailed in the McKinney-Vento Act. The McKinney-Vento site contact is Cox Academy’s Site Operations Manager, Sophia Ramirez. Ms. Ramirez can be reached at: (510) 904-2067
Cox Academy No Nonsense Nurture
Culture & Discipline Framework
The goal of the Education for Change and Cox Academy is to operate schools that foster student self-discipline in a warm, supportive school climate that is conducive to maximum learning for all students. The No Nonsense Nurture Culture and Discipline Framework listed below as the "6 Rs Discipline Hierarchy" gives general guides for behavior, but is not as a mechanism for rigid control. To ensure success for ALL children, the individual personalities of students or extenuating circumstances will always be considered before corrective measures are prescribed. (Reference Ed Code Sections 48900 and 48915 and Health and Safety Code 11007)
EFC and Cox Academy fundamentally believe that providing an orderly, safe, and warm classroom and school environment is the foundation for positive behavior in children and a comprehensive Multi Tiered System of Supports Model is the vehicle through which to support ALL children to respond positively in that environment. When children break rules in an orderly, safe and warm environment, EFC believes there is a logical root cause for that behavior which must be addressed. There is minimal research to support suspending and expelling children, and research verifies that African-American and Hispanic students are disproportionately impacted.
Therefore, Cox Academy focuses on the foundation of our School’s Culture Plan on creating a positive school culture, provide social emotional learning, and implementing the behavioral interventions necessary to minimize the need for in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, or expulsion.
As part of this philosophy, we believe:
All students can learn and thrive in our community, which is based on unconditional care and support for everyone.
All students deserve respect, for themselves, their families, and their cultures.
All adults at Cox share responsibility for all students and families in our community.
All adults must hold and maintain high expectations for learning and behavior for all students.
High behavior expectations for learning are underpinned by unconditional care and support for all students.
Expected behavior must be taught and practiced.
Because students have different needs, they will need different types of support.
Classroom Positive Incentives
To support this philosophy, it is also expected that all classroom teachers implement a classroom positive incentive/reward system in their class. The teacher has autonomy to create their own incentive system, however it is recommended for incentive systems to be aligned with other teachers within grade level teams.
Classroom Discipline Hierarchy - “The 6 Rs”
At Cox Academy, it is also expected that all classroom teachers implement our aligned Discipline Hierarchy, which focuses on giving students multiple opportunities to think about/reflect on their choices, and self correct/self regulate to support them getting back on track to meeting class/teacher expectations. The steps are designed to be a hierarchy referred to as “The 6 R’s” (listed below). “The 6 R’s” are clearly posted in classrooms and appropriate common spaces.
Step 1: Verbal Reminder
Step 2: Reset
Step 3: In Class Reflection/Break Space
Step 4: Buddy Class Reflection
Step 5: Office Referral
Step 6: Referring Staff Restoration
The types of behaviors that are managed through this system are generally behaviors that do not meet school/class expectations (as named on the Cox Academy Office Referral Form). More minor behaviors are not on the form, and include but are not limited to the following:
Talking out of turn/calling out
Out of seat without permission
Passive or active refusal (not following directions/Ignoring instructions)
Swearing accidentally or not directed at an individual
Mishandling of materials in an unsafe or inappropriate way (not meant to harm others)
“Give Back” Consequence (In Class)
If a student reaches Step 4, then they also need an “in class” consequence, referred to as a “Give Back”. The type of “Give Back” is up to teacher discretion, depending on the type of behavior the student displayed. The purpose of the “Give Back” consequence is to help students understand that when they exhibit behaviors that take learning time away from themselves and others, they need to “give that time back,” as a way to think about the larger impacts of their choices. A “Give Back” includes, but is not limited to:
Taking 5 - 10 minutes of a student’s recess (e.g., to complete missed work or have a restorative conversation)
Having students conduct classroom or playground pick up/clean up
Having students conduct a classroom helper task, during recess/student choice time (ie. sharpening pencils)
Conferencing with the student/reading their written reflection during recess
Discussing situation with a student’s family member
Office Referral System
When a student reaches step 5 in the 6 R’s system, the student will receive an Office Referral. The referral is written depending on the level of offense, detailed here:
Level 1 Office Referral
A Cox staff member uses school wide referral system for Level 1 student behaviors, by completing an Office Referral Form, but doesn’t refer the student to the SSA Office. The Dean of Students or an Admin will (most likely) assign student with one day of lunch Reflection Time, the following day. This is ultimately up to Admin discretion. The student’s family will also be informed by the end of the school day about the Office Referral (ie. the behavior exhibited, the theorized root cause of the behavior, and the consequence/restorative action being taken) by the referring staff member/teacher.
Level 2 & 3 Office Referrals
If the student’s behavior severely impedes teaching and learning, and/or the student poses a safety risk to themselves or others, staff members will use the school wide referral system for Level 2 or 3 student behaviors by completing an Office Referral Form, and referring the student to the Student Services Room.
Families will be informed by the end of the school day about the Office Referral (ie. the behavior exhibited, the theorized root cause of the behavior, and the consequence/restorative action being taken).
For a Level 2 referral, teacher will call family.
For a Level 3 referral, an Admin, or the Dean of Students, will inform families of behavior/incident.
Reflection Room Policy
Students who demonstrate a Level 1 - 3 behavior and receive an Office Referral, will spend their lunch time and lunch recess in the “Reflection Room” (off of the main cafeteria) the following day. The purpose of this time is for students to reflect on their choices with Admin or the Dean of Students.
Students who do not meet behavioral expectations of being safe, respectful, and responsible in the Reflection Room (ie. not sitting quietly during lunch, not listening to others during the reflection circle, calling out/interrupting, not staying seated) will repeat their reflection time the following day. Students will be given two warnings during reflection, and then will be asked to leave the Reflection Room, to finish their reflection in the main office.
Reflection Room Process
After students eat lunch, students will join a “Reflection Circle” that will be led by the supervising adult. The circle will be held at the discretion of the supervising adult. The rules of the circle are:
Students must sit in the circle respectfully
Students are allowed to speak when recognized by the supervising adult
Students answer restorative questions, or talk in general about how their actions affected themselves/their community.
Alternative Placement, In School Suspension,
& Out of School Suspension Policies and Procedures
EFC Suspension & Expulsion Policy
Education for Change Public Schools has adopted a Suspension and Expulsion policy that was revised and approved by the EFC Board on March 18, 2018. Please review this org wide discipline policy here: EFC Suspension and Expulsion Policy. Cox Academy's policy to determine the type of consequences that may be given for Level 2 or 3 type behaviors/referrals is as follow
An Alternative Instructional Setting, or Alternative Placement, is when a student is placed in alternate classroom, removing them from their assigned classroom, for a period of time not to exceed one full day, while still allowing the student access to a qualified teacher and work related to their grade level curriculum. Students may attend recess with grade-level peers and school events during the school day.
An alternative placement is a consequence given at Admin discretion, if a student receives a level 2 or 3 Office Referral, and has taken responsibility for the behavior, yet needs reflection time, away from their classroom. Students will also automatically receive an Alternative Placement if they have been sent out of the class more than once.
An Alternative placement is NOT an In-School Suspension, because the student demonstrates that they are not a danger to others, and therefore can be in a setting with other students.
For the period of the alternative placement, the student will be provided with independent work related to the classroom curriculum and offered support by school staff as available. Students will follow the classroom and recess schedule of the class they are placed in.
If students do not meet the Behavioral expectations listed below, in their Alternative Placement, they will be referred to the Student Services Office, for further consequences.
In-School Suspension (ISS)
An In-School Suspension is when a student is placed in an alternate setting that removes the student from their classroom, for up to a full day, while still allowing the student to attend school and complete school work.
An In-School Suspension is a consequence given at Admin discretion, if a student receives a level 2 or 3 Office Referral, and has difficulty taking responsibility for their behavior. A student’s ISS can be held in different locations based on the need and the nature of the incident, including the Main Office, the Student Services Office, & the Restorative Room.
During an ISS, the student may not interact with other students, including attending recess with grade-level peers, and attending school events during the instructional day.
The student will be provided with an alternative instructional and recess schedule (consisting of 10 min. breaks and a 20 min. lunch), along with access to Special Ed. and related services.
For the period of the In-School suspension, the student will be provided with independent work related to the classroom curriculum and offered support by staff to aide its completion.
Students in ISS are responsible to follow the Behavioral Expectations below, and will be given 3 warnings (3 checks) if they are not following these guidelines. If a student receives 4 checks, a phone call home will be made, and they may be released to parent for the rest of the day (Out-of-School Suspension).
Out-of-School Suspension (OSS)
An Out-of-School Suspension is when a student is restricted from being at school for at least one full day. At Cox Academy, OSS is only considered when the student's behaviors are reasonably suspected to be have been done with the intent to inflict serious physical or emotional harm, or when a student's behaviors pose a serious safety risk to self or others.
An Out-of-School Suspension is a consequence given at Admin discretion, if a student receives a level 3 Office Referral, has difficulty taking responsibility for their behavior, and demonstrates that they are a continued threat to the safety of others.
For the period of the Out-of-School suspension, the student will be provided with independent work related to the classroom curriculum (if possible). Upon return to school, the students work will be checked for completion.
When the student returns to school, after the OSS, the student’s family will be required to meet with Admin, to discuss the OSS, and ways the student will avoid similar behavior(s) in the future.
Cox Academy’s Dress Code Policy
Students and parents need to be aware of the importance of good grooming and its effect upon the learning environment. Additionally, it is crucial that we have the support of the parents in upholding our school uniform policy. Cox Academy students wear uniforms. The uniforms are yet another way to ensure our students’ safety and build school community. Uniform colors are burgundy and khaki. When possible we will supply loaner shirts to students who do not wear a uniform shirt, however we are not capable of doing this on a daily basis. Please return all loaner shirts to the main office to be cleaned. Shirts will be on sale at the beginning of and throughout the school year in the main office. Students who are not in Uniform will miss out on incentive based positive activities and events that require uniform compliance. The following dress and grooming guide and restrictions are to be followed by all students.
Restrictions are as follows:
No gang related clothing or headgear is allowed under any circumstances.
No backless shoes or sandals, thongs, or slick-soled dress shoes are allowed. Shoes must cover the foot for protection.
No halter-tops, midriff shirts or blouses, see through tops, spaghetti straps, sleeveless undershirts or muscle shirts allowed.
No hats or caps may be worn at school.
No “hip-huggers” or overly baggy pants falling below the waist
No sagging of pants.
No shorts or skirts shorter than the length of the finger extended straight down one’s side (the fingertip rule)
No shirts with obscene pictures, wording or advertisements of drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes
Procedure to Resolve Parent/Teacher Disagreements
Complaints about school personnel will be investigated fully and fairly. Anonymous complaints will be addressed to the best of our ability. The goal of this section is:
To establish a simple framework for addressing concerns
To provide for prompt resolution of concerns
To expect that all parties will participate in a cooperative manner to resolve concerns
To expect that most concerns will be handled without resorting to this procedure beyond Step 1.
To assure that the system has a procedure to receive citizens’ concerns in an orderly fashion to achieve the best possible educational program for students.
Step No.1 - Direct Conversation
If a parent or community member has a disagreement or misunderstanding with a staff member, the complainant should address the concern to the specific staff member directly involved with the circumstances surrounding the concern. The staff member will meet with them as soon as possible (subject to mutual agreement by key parties).
Step No. 2 - Fact and Possible Resolution
If the complainant or the staff member is not satisfied with the outcome of Step No. 1, or the complainant or the staff member is unwilling to meet independent of an administrator, a meeting with the staff member and appropriate administrator will be arranged as soon as possible at a mutually convenient time. This step is to be informal and verbal.
No further action will be taken beyond Step No. 2, unless the complainant submits in writing a signed and dated statement of facts giving rise to this concern, the name of the staff member and the remedy sought.
Complaint Procedure Policy
Please review the Education for Change (EFC) Public Schools Uniform Complaint Policy & Procedures here. The Education for Change Governing Board recognizes that the Charter Management Organization (CMO) is responsible for ensuring that it complies with state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs.
The CMO shall follow uniform complaint procedures when addressing complaints alleging unlawful discrimination based upon age, ancestry and/or national origin, color, physical or mental disability, race, ethnic group identification, religion, veteran status, sex, gender, marital status, medical condition (cancer related) and/or sexual orientation, in any program or activity that receives or benefits from State and/or Federal financial assistance.
The CMO shall also follow uniform complaint procedures when addressing complaints alleging failure to comply with state or federal law in:
1. Consolidated Categorical Aid Programs
School Based Coordinated Programs
School Improvement Program
Title I Programs – No Child Left Behind Act
Program for English Learners
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)
State Compensatory Education (SCE)
Safe and Drug Free Schools & Tobacco Use and Prevention Education (TUPE)
2. Child Nutrition Programs
3. Special Education Programs (Title 5, Section 4621 and 4610)
Uniform Complaints should be submitted to Education for Change Public Schools, 333 Hegenberger Rd. Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94621. Upon receipt of a written complaint from an individual, public agency or organization, the uniform complaint procedures shall be initiated. The CEO of EFC or designee shall distribute full information about these procedures.
The Education for Change Public Schools Ombudsperson is: Larissa Adam, Superintendent of Schools. To contact the EFC Ombudsperson, please call: 510.568.7936, to make an appointment.
Cox staff and students will practice emergency disaster drills on a monthly basis. These drills include (Fire drills, Earthquake drills, Lockout drills, and Lockdown drills). This training and practice for students and staff is in support of preparedness for a real emergency, if it were to occur.
If there is an emergency situation, the Cox staff will stay on site until all students have been signed out and released to families. Only family members on our emergency information cards can sign out a child, so it is important to keep this information up to date. Again… ALL STUDENTS must be signed out, even in an extreme emergency situation.
Note that Cox staff will notify parents about any emergency that may arise through our App based communication system Parent Square, as soon as we possibly can. Before any family communication will go out, the Cox Academy Emergency Operations Team is responsible to account for all students and staff members on campus. It is also important to note that during an actual Lockdown or Lockout, no student can be picked up, as no one is allowed in or out of the school campus, until the emergency is cleared.
Cox Academy is a closed campus. That means all perimeter gates will remain closed during the school day, including our main entrance, located at 9860 Sunnyside St. The only times the main entrance doors are open, is from 7:45 - 9:00 AM, at the start of school, and from 2:15 - 3:15 PM, during dismissal time. In support of the school and student safety, we ask that you support this “closed campus” policy, by not opening the doors for anyone during the hours of 9:00 AM - 2:15 PM, if you are inside of the school. During this time, all registered visitors must request entrance through our office intercom system.
All families that attend Cox are placed on a registered visitors list, along with community service providers such as the Oakland Police Department. Any persons not on our registered visitor list, may not enter campus unless given permission from an Administrator. To set up an appointment to access Cox Academy (if you are a non-registered visitor), please call the main office at (510) 904-6300.
Vending is considered selling food or products for one’s own personal benefit. Cox Academy does not partner with, promote, or in any way sanction, independent vendors.
Vending is not allowed to take place anywhere in front of our school, on Sunnyside Street, from the corner of 99th Avenue to Warren Street. Vending can only take place 500 feet away from the school, and must be across Sunnyside Street (the sidewalk on the west side of the street).
Internet User Policy for Students
Education for Change provides students and staff (users) with access to the Internet as a learning tool. This electronic communications network gives users an opportunity to explore a diverse and unique pool of information.
Utilizing this network in a school setting allows users of all ages to research information related to their classes, participate in innovative educational projects, and develop personal skills needed to communicate with others in the global community.
The students and staff utilize the Internet as an instructional tool. The following list highlights examples of the Internet usage in our schools:
Searching for information to support research projects for classes
Collecting and analyzing information
Participating in enrichment activities
Researching current events and developments
The staff guides and supports students in developing skills and behaviors needed to properly use the Internet. In addition to staff supervision, the school network is equipped with software directed at preventing students from accessing illegal, defamatory, or potentially offensive resources. However, the content of the Internet changes on a daily basis and, even with these safeguards, by chance or determination, a user may be exposed to inaccurate or inappropriate information.
Students, parents/guardians, staff and administrators must form a partnership to promote responsible educational use of the Internet. Federal and State laws as well as Education of Change policies outline the responsibility and govern the appropriate use of the Internet and the school network. Education for Change staff will teach and clarify appropriate use standards to students.
If a student violates acceptable use of the Internet by engaging in any of the following actions, he or she will face the consequences as outlined in the Code of Conduct.
Sending or receiving offensive language or graphics
Violating copyright laws
Utilizing another user’s password
Attempting to harm or destroy the equipment or data of any user
Posting defamatory or slanderous statements or images
Engaging in unauthorized access of data or transfer of files
Using Internet access for non-educational purposes.
Internet access is an important privilege to aid in the educational process and to help prepare our students for their role in the 21st century. It is our intention to provide this access for our students. Inappropriate internet use may result in the loss of this privilege.
Cox Academy is not responsible for students' internet or social media usage that occurs when they are not at school. We encourage all families to monitor their student's internet use and social media accounts.
EFC Fundraising Policy
Education for Change (“EFC”) appreciates and supports the fundraising efforts of the students and staff at each of its schools. This Fundraising Policy is intended to ensure the orderly scheduling of fundraising projects/events and the proper accounting and disbursement of the money raised through these fundraising projects/events.
1. Prior Approval
(a) A Fundraising Project Approval Form must be approved by the Principal and the Chief Operating Officer at least two (2) weeks in advance of the proposed fundraising project/event.
(b) All literature to be distributed relating to the proposed fundraising project/event must be submitted with the Fundraising Project Approval Form and approved by the Principal and Chief Operating Officer. This includes, but is not limited to, flyers, brochures, and emails.
2. Conduct of Fundraising Project/Event
(a) A school employee shall be designated as the fundraising representative and shall be responsible for collecting and documenting all funds raised by the project/event and turning in all funds to the Principal.
3. Post-Fundraising Project/Event
(a) All employees must adhere to EFC’s cash policy guidelines
(b) All fundraising money shall be remitted to the Chief Operating Officer by 5:00 p.m. on the following business day after the completion of the fundraising project/ event.
4. Disbursement of Fundraising Money
(a) Fundraising money will be disbursed to the Principal of each school after approval by the Chief Operating Officer of a disbursement request.
Many parents and community members have expressed a desire to contribute to our schools in light of the impact of the state budget crisis on schools. It is no secret that all schools in California have been severely affected by the cuts and there is no better time to help than today. There are many ways to help our students! We invite you to sign-up at the main office to volunteer to help with a variety of projects. We also appreciate all donations. Monetary donations can be made out to Education for Change to support activities such as field trips or the purchase of supplies for special projects. We are also accepting supplies we use on a daily basis. Please rest assured that no child will provide all necessary items to continue to operate effective schools and we are very happy to be a part of communities in which so many people want to be part of the team.
The following are items are used throughout the year and donations of these items are particularly appreciated: Hand Sanitizer (Purell), Kleenex (Facial Tissues), Post-It notes, Highlighters, Paper Towels, Disinfecting wipes (Lysol, Clorox), Baby wipes, Dry erase markers, White Copy Paper.