School Policies

 

GRADES

According to Texas state law, homeschool families are legally considered a private school. Parents assume the role of primary teacher and administrator throughout their child’s education.

Gray Matter will provide an end of year report on official letterhead that can be used for building a homeschool high school transcript. It will be emailed as a PDF when all grades have been collected from teachers.

Class attendance is necessary for students to understand class content.  Students need to attend 80% of class each semester to receive credit for the class.  Some teachers may choose to count multiple late arrivals as absences.

Homework and classroom policies are up to the individual teachers.  In some classes, a student may be asked to drop a class if they are not completing or turning in their homework. In addition, grading, exam type, and frequency of exams are up to the discretion of individual teachers. Check your student’s class policy.

 

ThinkWave

 Gray Matter uses an academic management site called ThinkWave. ThinkWave helps parents and students stay informed of current grades and assignments, communicate with teachers, and access important information, such as class syllabi. Parents and students should ensure they can successfully access their student’s ThinkWave account at the beginning of each semester.

 

GENERAL EXPECTATIONS

Parents are responsible for:

  • Ensuring students complete assigned work
  • Monitoring students’ progress and grade status
  • Assisting students with organizing and planning skills
  • Maintaining open communication with teachers

Students are responsible for:

  • Managing their class and personal time
  • Keeping up with important class dates and deadlines.
  • Completing assignments, including reading assignments
  • Turning in assignments on time
  • Communicating with teachers to gain understanding when unsure about class content.
  • Participating and maintaining focus during class time
  • Arriving to class at least 5 minutes before the scheduled class time.
  • Ensuring all necessary class items are brought to every class; examples include books, paper, pencil, pen, assignments, notes, etc.

Conversations in the lobby, hallways and backpack room should be kept at a low volume. Individuals not in class should always be mindful of the teachers and students working in the classrooms.

Students and parents should avoid disrespectful, offensive, inappropriate, intimidating or rude behavior. This includes interactions between siblings.

 

TUITION PAYMENTS

Tuition payments must be made by check or credit card by the 1st of every month (8 months, September through April).  A $25.00 NSF fee will be charged for returned checks to cover our bank fees.

Once you have registered for a course and have chosen the “monthly” payment option, you are required to do one of the following:

  • Setup automated monthly payments through your bank.  Please provide us with documentation of your pre-authorized payments on the first day of class.
  • Pre-authorize regular debit/credit card payments. We will be using PayPal for this service. The subscription for each student will be sent as an individual “button”/link that will allow you to authorize the once per month payment for the specified months.
  • Provide pre-written, post-dated checks for each month’s tuition. Bring to first day of class and hand it to the front desk administrator or Jen Mrla-Gray.  All checks should be dated for the first of the month.  If your pay schedule makes the first of the month a hardship, please let me know and we can work out an alternate monthly due date.

 

ADD/DROP

Students may add a class at anytime with approval of the teacher, as entering some classes even a month or two after the start date could be unsuccessful for your student.

Joining a continuation class during the spring semester will be allowed on a case-by-case basis. The parent and/or student must be able to demonstrate to the instructor that the student has sufficient skills to be able to step into the class midway through the year and be able to keep up with the rest of the class.

If you are interested in adding a class to your current registration, please contact info@graymatterdfw.com

If you need to drop a class after Gray Matter has begun the school year, please fill out a drop form and submit it to the office. Any drop forms received by us prior to the first of the month will not need to pay that upcoming month’s tuition. However, if the first day of the month has arrived when you deliver your form, monthly tuition is due.  When a family withdraws a student from a class, the family does not receive a refund of the final month tuition (most often May since most Gray Matter classes are yearlong), but the family is not required to pay any future tuition after withdrawing from the class.

All tuition, once collected for that calendar month, are non-refundable.

If a student drops a class with unpaid subscription payments or pending post-dated checks, these forms of payment can be canceled.  However, students who drop a class without paying tuition in full will not be permitted to rejoin Gray Matter for 2 years.

 

CLASS SUPPLIES

Gray Matter does not provide school supplies for the students. If a student fails to bring necessary items to class, teachers may not have an opportunity during class time to help the student locate replacements, so plan ahead!

We offer a few school supplies for sale at the front desk. Each of the following items cost 25 cents each:

  • Pencil
  • 10 sheets of lined paper

The money is used to replenish supplies and any extra money is added to our general fundraising collection.

 

COPIER, COMPUTER, AND INTERNET USE

Students may use the copier after confirming it is available for them to use and only if it doesn’t interfere with any activity taking place behind the desk. Students must read and sign Copier Policies before using it the first time. Copies are 8 cents each for color copies and 5 cents each for black and white copies.

Students can use Gray Matter computers after checking one out from the front desk. They should be returned, closed, in good working order, with the power cord neatly rolled and stored with the computer.

We have Wi-Fi available at the school for students and family to use. The password is located near the front desk.

 

BACKPACK ROOM

Backpacks, bags, lunchboxes, jackets and large personal items should be stored in the backpack room, on the shelves, not the floor. Backpacks should stay in the backpack room throughout the day. Take to class only the items needed for that class.

The microwaves and small refrigerator are available for all to use. The expectation is that if you create a mess in the process of preparing or storing your food or drink, you are responsible for cleaning it up before exiting the room.

If items were removed or added to the boxes below the microwaves, please make sure the contents of the box are neat, the lids replaced, and the box is returned to the shelf.

 

LOST AND FOUND

Any found, nicer items, such as phones or wallets, will be kept at the front desk until the owner comes to retrieve them. All other items will be placed in the backpack room on one of the shelves. Whenever possible please put your name on your things, including class papers, so they can be more easily returned to you.

Food containers left at the school at the end of the fall semester will be thrown away. Items left at the school at the end of the school year will either be thrown away or donated to a local charity.

 

RESTROOM USE

Please use the restroom before class begins.  If you need to excuse yourself during class, it’s best to wait for a logical break in the discussion or activity, to minimize distraction. Clean up after yourself in the bathroom; make sure toilet seat is dry, paper towels and other trash items make it into the trash can and always wash your hands.

Bathrooms are gender neutral.

Only one person is allowed in the bathroom at a time.

 

THE OFFICE COMPLEX

The building management does not allow smoking in or around the building. Smoking is only allowed in a designated smoking area near the trash dumpster.

Please park your car in a parking space and not along the curb at the bottom of the stairs when dropping off or picking up your student(s).

Please enter and leave the building quietly. Out of respect for the other building occupants, as well as active Gray Matter classes, please enter and leave the building complex and suite quietly.

 

SCHOOL HOURS

Monday/Wednesday from 9:00 am–5:00 pm

Tuesday/Thursday 8:45–5:30 pm

Unless you make special arrangements in advance, parents should plan on picking up their student no later than 15 minutes after the end of their last class of the day. If a parent is 30 minutes late, the attending teacher can charge the parent 30 dollars, with an additional dollar per minute after that.

 

SIGN IN / OUT

All students younger than 15 years old must be signed in/out by a parent, legal guardian, or by someone for whom written permission (Class Sign In and Sign Out – 2018-2019 Adult Identification Form) was submitted to Gray Matter by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s). This means the student(s) must be escorted to Suite 200 when entering or leaving the facility and the parent should sign their child in/out.

Students who are 15 years old or older can walk to and from the suite unattended and sign themselves in/out only after the parent(s) have provided written permission to Gray Matter. (2018-19 Student Self Sign in and Sign out Release Form)

Students must sign in and out every time they enter or exit the facility, even if they are just getting something from their car.

Students should not loiter anywhere in the business complex. Students may not hang out in their car.

Parents should know that if they allow for their student to sign themselves in/out, Gray Matter is not responsible for their actions and safety once they leave Suite 200. This permission allows the student to ride with other students, walk to restaurants, etc. It is the responsibility of the parents to establish any necessary boundaries with their children.

 

FACILITY CARE

Students and their families are expected to be respectful of Gray Matter, the office complex in which it is located, and any items belonging to others. This includes, but is not limited to walls, carpets, tables, chairs, boards, bathrooms, computers, etc. It will be the responsibility of the student and the student’s family to clean, repair or replace anything damaged, done either intentionally or because of blatant disregard for their care. Knowledge of any damage, intentional or unintentional, should be reported to the front desk.

Food is not allowed in the labs.

Please do not write on classroom dry-erase boards.

Each person is responsible for cleaning any mess they have created. When students leave an area they should always

  • put away personal items
  • throw away trash
  • when necessary, clean off the tables, chairs and floor; cleaner and brooms are available.
  • make sure tables and chairs are in their correct locations
  • push in chairs

 

CLOTHING

Clothing should be appropriate for various classroom settings. Students in science and engineering classes will be given specific safety parameters for clothing choices. When wearing clothing with messages or illustrations, please keep content P.G. and respectful to others.

 

 PERSONAL ELECTRONICS

When using personal electronics, please be aware of others sharing the space. All content, games, videos, searches, etc. must be appropriate for a mixed-age audience. Always assume others can see what you are doing.

The volume must either be turned off or earbuds / earphones should be used. If personal electronics are audible to others, students will be given one reminder to turn off the sound. After that, students will be asked to put their electronics away and to not get them out for the remainder of the day. Students, who need reminders over the course of multiple days, will be asked to leave their electronics at home for the rest of the semester, or they will be confiscated by a teacher and will only be returned to the student’s parents.

 

ILLNESS POLICY

Students who have had fever, diarrhea, vomiting or other potentially contagious conditions within the past 24 hours should stay home.

Students who have had lice may not enter the facility until they are nit free and have had that confirmed by a Gray Matter teacher.

Students are responsible for emailing their teachers to inform them they will be missing class, to ask for assignments they will be missing, or to schedule a time to make up missed exams, quizzes, labs, etc.

 

SNOW / ICE DAYS

Gray Matter closes for inclement weather when Richardson ISD closes. Announcements will be posted on the Gray Matter Parent/Teacher Organization Facebook Group. Please pay attention to dangerous conditions in your area and stay home if it is not safe to travel.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Healthy lunches and snacks
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Textbooks
  • Lined paper
  • Notebooks
  • Pens / pencils
  • Other necessary class supplies

Many teachers strongly suggest students begin using a day/week/month/year planner if they have not already done so.

 

FOOD AND WATER SALES

At the front desk, we have various flavors of chips, popcorn, fruit and bottled water for sale. Any money raised goes to purchasing the more expensive items from the school wish list. Prices are listed where items are sold.

No loans / I.O.U.s are allowed.

 

 FUNDRAISING

At the beginning of the school year, we begin photographing students interested in receiving a student ID. They cost 5 dollars per person and all money collected goes to the school for purchasing the more expensive items from the school wish list.

We will also offer t-shirts for sale and those proceeds will also be used for purchasing items from the school wish list.

 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Gray Matter offers opportunities for students to do volunteer work. These hours are recorded and signed by a Gray Matter adult and can be accumulated for adding to homeschool high school transcripts. This information will be listed on the End of Year report.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

The Gray Matter has several ways for students and parents to stay informed. Please sign up for some or all of the following social media sites:

  • Gray Matter Facebook
  • Gray Matter Parent/Teacher Organization Group
  • Instagram

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Fall Academic Semester, 2018
August 20 (M) Classes Begin
September 3 (M) Labor Day Holiday
November 19 (M) Thanksgiving Holidays Begin
November 26 (M) Classes Resume
December 10-13 (M-R) Final Exams
December 13 (R) Semester Ends
December 17 (M) Last day for teachers to submit grades electronically through thinkwave.
Spring Academic Semester, 2019
January 21 (M) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
January 22 (T) Classes Begin
March 11-15 (M-F) Spring Break
March 18 (M) Classes Resume
May 13-16 (M-R) Final Exams
May 16 (R) Semester Ends
May 20 (M) Last day for teachers to submit grades electronically through thinkwave.*