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Student & Family Handbook

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The Allentown School District’s Student & Family Handbook serves as a valuable guide to the policies, procedures, and resources available within our school District. It outlines the expectations we have for our students in terms of behavior, attendance, academic excellence, and community engagement. We strongly encourage all students and their families to familiarize themselves with the contents of the handbook. 

In our pursuit of educational excellence, collaboration between the school’s families and students is paramount. We are committed to fostering an inclusive atmosphere where diversity is celebrated, and each students’ unique strengths are recognized and nurtured.

Throughout the academic year, students will have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of extracurricular activities, sports, and clubs. These activities not only complement classroom learning but also provide avenues for personal growth, leadership development, and the exploration of new interests. We encourage every student to explore these opportunities and make the most of their time with us. This year, every student also has access to on-demand online tutoring, workforce development opportunities, and early college experiences. 

We are dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure environment for everyone within our school community. Our policies and procedures are designed to ensure the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of all students. Bullying, discrimination, and harassment have no place in our schools, and we have mechanisms in place to address concerns that may arise.

As we navigate the opportunities of the coming year, open communication will be essential. Our teachers, administrators, and staff are here to support you. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or school. 

This year, several major sections of the handbook have been significantly updated.

Please be sure to review this information as it will be new for all families: 

Page 5: In an effort to increase student attendance rates, we have provided families with more information about Pennsylvania’s Compulsory Attendance Law and further defined behaviors such as truancy, excused, and unlawful absences.
Page 7: Information and resources related to the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act which guarantees a free and appropriate public education for all children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Page 8: Expanded information related to Health Services that is available in the community. 

Page 14:  Virtual Campus. We have expanded the requirements and expectations for Virtual Campus students. 
Page 22: The Allentown School District is committed to training all staff in Restorative Practices. Restorative Practices is a field within the social sciences that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities. Information on the District’s focus on Social-Emotional Learning has also been added in this section. 

Page 25: Student misconduct is classified into four (4) levels based on location and frequency of occurrence, severity, and disruptive effect on the safety and orderliness of the learning environment. The appropriate level of response will be assigned based on the behavior(s) of the student. 

Page 32: This spring, the Allentown School District Board of Directors eliminated Policy 222 (Uniforms) and approved Policy 221: Dress and Grooming. This means that starting in the 2023-2024 school year, the Allentown School District will no longer require uniforms and will follow a dress code. Uniforms will be optional. The responsibility for the dress and grooming of a student rests primarily with the student and his or her parent(s) /family. NEW Dress and Grooming Guidelines are included in this book should students opt to not wear a school uniform. 

Page 34: Grading Guidelines - This section outlines best practices in ASD’s grading guidelines. Grades will reflect what students know, understand, and can do. Teachers will not use practices that directly distort the measure of student performance.

We want to express our enthusiasm for the academic year ahead. Let us work together to create an environment where curiosity is nurtured, knowledge is shared, and dreams are realized. We wish you a successful and productive school year in the Allentown School District! 

Best,

Dr. Carol D. Birks                                   Ms. Audrey Mathison

Superintendent                                 President, Board of School Directors