Student Handbook

1. Overview

Plymouth meeting Tamil School Student handbook contains general school information, procedures, and regulations. Students and their parents are encouraged to become familiar with the contents of this Handbook. It is provided as a resource and contains the most current information for the school year that was available when published. Please be advised that some of the material might be subject to change during the school year. Students and parents will be informed of such changes through other school communication formats including the school website.

2. Mission

Our Mission is to provide quality Tamil Language education for children of grade and high school geographical area. We strive to develop school-aged children with an active and creative interest in language and literature to meet the challenges of learning Tamil in the North American context.

3. Vision

Our vision is to create and maintain Tamil School that is conducive to learning of Tamil Language and engage parents and students in a structured environment. We are committed to providing exemplary learning environment embedded in a commitment to continuous quality improvement.

4. Behavioral Guidelines

Students are expected to act in a manner that promotes their learning, safety and well-being, and does not interfere with the learning, safety, and well-being of others. Students are expected to behave in accordance with School policies and school regulations. Students who demonstrate responsible behavior will be positively acknowledged. When students choose to behave inappropriately, it is the responsibility of the school personnel to intervene. To ensure this, the school has established clear student discipline policies and identified consequences appropriate for the behavior. The class size is kept small to advocate for and help students experience academic, social, and emotional success by making connections with fellow students and teacher.

Plymouth Meeting Tamil School Expects Students to:

  • Be polite, kind and considerate toward one another and to adults.
  • Follow directions from supervising adults.
  • Use socially acceptable language.
  • Use and respect school property and not intentionally cause damage.
  • Sit quietly and listen during classroom hours and other programs.
  • Ask permission to use any item that does not belong to you.

5. School Regulation:

  • Students may not bring personal items such as toys, iPods, iPads, etc., to school, without prior consent from the teacher.
  • Responsibility for loss, damage or theft of such personal properties is the responsibility of the student and their parents. Plymouth Meeting Tamil School cannot be assumed responsible.
  • Chewing gum is not allowed on school property.

6. Attendance/Tardiness

Plymouth meeting school is conducted on selected Sundays between 2:30 PM and 5:00 PM. The dates and times and any changes to the schedule will be posted on the Tamil school website. School expects regular and prompt attendance for a student to maintain satisfactory progress and attendance will carry 10% weightage towards the final grade. Excessive absences and tardiness from school are not conducive to the educational process. With our hands-on, cooperative learning, regular attendance is crucial. Parents are requested to plan vacations and trips with prior permission from school in such a way that it does not hinder the academic progress of a student. Late arrivals and early dismissals can be very disruptive to other students and to the teacher. When possible, please try to schedule appointments in such a way they do not conflict with school hours. Sickness, severe illness or death in the family, exposure to a contagious disease, religious holidays or extremely inclement weather are considered legitimate excuses for absences or tardiness. If a student will miss a class, parents should inform the respective Nilai teachers in advance..

7. Early Dismissal

If a Student needs to leave the school early, Parents are requested to inform the Nilai Teachers a day or two in advance. Parents should report to the respective classrooms to pick up the student in person and sign out their children for Nilais Mazhalai to Nilai 2 and under no circumstances the student will be allowed to leave the classroom earlier than the dismissal time alone for these Nilais. Early dismissal may be marked as ‘Tardy’ or ‘Partial absence’.

8. Bullying

Plymouth meeting Tamil School is committed to a safe and respectful learning environment for all. An act of bullying, by either an individual student or a group of students, or an individual adult or group of adults, is expressly prohibited on School or at School related functions. This applies not only to students who directly engage in an act of bullying but also to individuals who, by their indirect behavior support another’s act of bullying.

9. Homework

At Plymouth meeting Tamil School, homework is considered a vital part of the learning process. Homework carries 15% of the total grade. Every student in levels from Mazhalai, Nilai 1 through Nilai 8 will be given a designated Text book and Homework book. All lessons in the Homework book correlates with the textbook and the lessons taught that week in school. Students shall complete the corresponding week’s homework and submit it on the next school day. In case of excused absence, students shall complete the pending homework and submit it the following week they attend the school. Homework thus submitted will be corrected and parents can collect it at the end of the class. (Homework differs for different Nilais. Nilai 6 – Apart from the homework book teacher may assign extra projects/assignments).

10. Inclement Weather/School Closings/Make-Up

In the interest of student safety, the School Administration will close the school or dismiss early due to inclement weather. Parents will be notified via e-mail about such matters. An official notice will also be posted on the homepage of the school’s website by 11:30 AM on the day of the school.

11. Security

The Tamil School takes the required precautions to prepare for any crisis situation that may arise. Periodic drills will be conducted according to the MCCC procedures. According to the Montgomery Community College Campus procedures guidance: The following are the recommended indoor and outdoor Emergency Assembly Areas for each building:

The outdoor location will be the primary EAA for the building listed below, however, in the event on inclement weather, the indoor locations should be utilized.

Parkhouse Hall: Primary: Quad or Fine Arts Parking Lot (3) Secondary: ATC

12. Holiday Celebrations

The celebration of achievements, activities, events and individuals is accepted in Plymouth meeting Tamil School. Plymouth Meeting Tamil School does not officially celebrate any religious festivals but allows students to practice their religious freedom in a safe and non-intrusive environment.

13. School Timing

Plymouth meeting Tamil school is conducted on selected Sundays between 2:30 PM and 5:00 PM. The dates and times and any changes to the schedule will be posted on the Tamil school website (http://www.tagdvtamilschool.org/). It is expected that the students are in their respective class rooms at the start of classes. Parents are required to send a note or an email or notify the teacher or the Chief Coordinator, if their child is to be picked up before the classes end.

14. ATA LMS (AMERICAN TAMIL ACADEMY-LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM)

All students and their parents have the opportunity to monitor their progress through the ATA LMS. This powerful tool can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Every parent has a unique login Id for their children to access their Student’s information. Both students and their parents can view important current school year information such as:

  • Homework Grades
  • Attendance records
  • Student assignments
  • Missing assignments
  • Notes from your child's teacher about assignments
  • Assessment scores

Access to online course content via Moodle like pdf’s, video/audio links/attachments, interactive quiz for Nilai-4 and above etc. This is periodically updated and will be a repository of all learning content.

Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS). Teacher will assign home works, assignments or any other resources to students for their references or as a part of e-learning. Each student will have their own ID and Password to access their Level specific materials via

ATA LMS: Contact palli@Plymouthmeetingtamilsangam.org for missing / forgotten user id or password.

15. Assessments Used In Plymouth Meeting Tamil School

Classroom attendance

The hours students spend in the classroom is meticulously planned to incorporate learning and student participation to meet the expectation of a specific level. Even though the syllabus extends beyond classroom instruction, importance of student teacher interaction is of utmost priority in student assessments.

Homework

To extend learning opportunities beyond classroom instruction time, a dedicated HW system is in place that correlates with the lesson plan taught that specific week at school. The completed HW is then submitted for assessment the following week and one of the classroom teachers follows up one on one with every student / parent. This provides a quick periodic assessment on student learning, understanding and also a yearly statistic on the overall content knowledge for a specific student.

1st, 2nd Trimester & Annual Examination

The three assessments recommended by ATA are spread around the 25 weeks to periodically track progress, alignment to learning expectation of each level. Each assessment is segregated into written exam and viva voce.

16. Grading / Placement Criteria

Following is the grade breakdown per school year for a student.

  • Weekly Classroom Attendance : 12 %
  • Home Work completion grade : 20 %
  • First Term Assessment Score : 22%
  • Second Term Assessment Score : 22%
  • Third Term Assessment Score : 24%

17. Textbooks

The school provides both classwork and homework books for students to use during the school year. The school does not sell or buy used textbooks, as textbooks are modified and updated each year. Students are expected to take good care of the books they receive.

18. Money & Valuables

Students are expected not to bring any large amounts of money or expensive items to schools. The school cannot be responsible for broken, stolen or misplaced items brought from home.

19. Promotion & Retention Criteria

A student will be promoted to higher Nilai (standard) based on class room performance, academic performance as determined by test data and educational record, as well as respective teacher’s recommendation.

20. Examination

Informal testing, class quizzes and games will be conducted frequently by classroom teachers. Teachers use these results to plan appropriate individual programs and group assignments.

There will be three formal semester exams during a school year. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above tests and the appropriateness for your ability, please do not hesitate to contact your class teacher.

21. Cellphone/electronic media usage:

Students are refrained from using cell phone and other electronic media in the classroom unless permitted by the Teacher. Playing games, texting and using social media websites are strictly prohibited.

22. Report A Grievance Or Issue

Our students have the best chance of success when schools and parents work together as a supportive team. We recognized that you are your child's strongest advocate. When there's a problem at school, we will work with you. Please contact the Chief Coordinator of the school. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, please contact the parent representative on the school board. The name and contact information for the parent representative on the school board will be posted and updated on the school’s website.

23. Lost And Found

Students are responsible for their belongings in school. Anything left behind will be deposited in the facilities lost and found. Please contact the Chief coordinator of the school to find out about any lost articles.

24. Things To Remember

  • When moving through the building, students should walk in a quiet and orderly manner.
  • When problems between students arise, settle them without fighting or cursing.
  • Keep noise to a minimum. Loud voices and other noises are particularly distracting to others.
  • Use proper and respectful language at all times.
  • Respect the authority of all adults in the building
  • Respect the building, equipment and materials given to you.
  • Behavior at all times should contribute to learning.
  • Chewing gum is not allowed in school or on school grounds.
  • Students are to go directly to their classroom upon arrival at school.
  • Toy weapons, knives and other dangerous items are not allowed at school.
  • No student is allowed to leave the school grounds without the permission of the teachers.
  • No behavior that is dangerous or disruptive to others is allowed.
  • All furniture moved during the class shall be re arranged and left in its original position.

25. But what about….?

Any other issues, omissions, or inaccuracies you feel should be addressed in this handbook shall be emailed to the Chief coordinator of the school at your earliest convenience, so that they can be added to the handbook.

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