Mount Ellis Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist High School, is open to students from all faiths. As a Christ-following community we seek to help students:
- DISCOVER the reality of their Creator
- DEVELOP their God-given gifts
- SERVE in His Kingdom
To follow the Lamb wherever He goes.
Mount Ellis Academy is a fully accredited, private, Christian, Seventh-day Adventist boarding high school open to young people of all faiths who desire a quality education in a God centered environment. Mount Ellis Academy provides a caring environment for the balanced spiritual, physical, mental, and social development of the student in the context of the Christian faith.
Mount Ellis Academy will provide the training and tools to enable students to reach their maximum potential. The faculty and staff are dedicated to creating an atmosphere that motivates each student to develop a character that is reflective of Christ and within the foundation and context of the Seventh-day Adventist system of beliefs. MEA strives to provide an educational experience that prepares students for their maximum effectiveness as citizens in this world and for eternity.
Attending Mount Ellis Academy is a privilege that is not to be taken lightly. This handbook covers expectations in the major areas of campus life. Verbal announcements (changes or additions will carry the same weight as printed policy.
Mount Ellis Academy had its accreditation renewed after fulfilling the requirements during the accreditations review process in April of 2019.
- The National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA) term is for 2019-2025.
- The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA CESS) term is for December 1, 2019- December 1, 2025.
- The Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA) term ends December 31, 2025.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) certification extends to October 26, 2024.
LOCATION AND CONTACT
MEA is nestled in beautiful Bozeman, Montana and is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Our unique location grants us access to gorgeous hiking trails, ski slopes, fishing spots, and famous national parks such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier – and we certainly take advantage of these blessings! Our students participate in a variety of fun, memorable outdoor activities that help develop the whole person, giving them opportunities to discover the reality of their Creator, develop their God-given gifts, and serve in His kingdom.
We welcome your questions at our main number: (406) 587-5178, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via mail at 3641 Bozeman Trail Rd, Bozeman, MT 59715.
Mount Ellis Academy has been offering educational and spiritual adventure since 1902. In addition to the main campus, MEA holds the lease on a small ski hill which we maintain in order to provide unique, seasonal outdoor experiences for our students. We also utilize the ski lodge for vespers programs, school-wide game nights, and other spiritual and social events.
WHO MAY ATTEND
Students in grades 9 through 12 who express and demonstrate an interest in receiving a Christian education are eligible for admission. However, only those students who are willing to respect the Word of God, maintain spiritual reverence, and conduct themselves in harmony with the standards of the Seventh-day Adventist Church should apply to MEA.
Prospective students must submit evidence of the successful completion of the eighth grade or its equivalent. Placement tests may be given to ascertain readiness. In addition, all financial obligations with previously-attended schools must be settled or proper arrangements made.
MEA admits students of any race to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities made available to the student body. No discrimination is made based on race in administration of educational policies, applications for admission, scholarship or loan programs, or athletic or extracurricular programs.
Being away from home is challenging. MEA strives to bridge connections between parents, staff, and students to facilitate student growth. Staff and teachers are readily available by telephone or email (depending on their preferences). FACTS SIS, our Student Information System, regularly notifies our parents/guardians about academic progress and attendance.
MEA students have many opportunities for participating in activities that nurture their spiritual growth. Aside from the daily Bible classes, there are small group Bible studies, dorm worships, school chapel programs, and weekend worship services that include vespers and church. It is our prayer that these services enrich students’ spiritual experiences and develop a deeper love for Jesus Christ. Students are encouraged to lead out and participate in worship services; nurturing a staff and student body that spontaneously worship God from the heart will always be the goal of each service.
We observe the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. We believe this is a day that God both blesses and sanctifies (Gen 2:3), so we strive to keep the Sabbath to honor Him. This is a time God gives us each week to focus on Him through worship, fellowship, and service. We ask all of our students to respect the Sabbath hours and to participate in the provided campus activities, including church services.
We believe that each young person who comes to our Schoo has the potential to be a responsible and upstanding student at MEA. Because of this, we expect each student to help maintain positive group standards, which are necessary for the welfare of all. The standards of MEA are based upon biblical relationship principles that teach us to treat each other with Christ-like love and respect. Our alumni often remark that they met their life-long best friends during their time at MEA, so we encourage students to take this opportunity to build a strong social network. Experience has shown that associations during school are more beneficial when expanded to groups rather than limited to couples.
Anyone who visits a student at MEA is expected to honor the campus social code governing behavior. Visitors must check in at the front office in the administration building or with the deans if the administrative offices in the ad building are closed. Students are expected to attend all activities planned for the student body. Those who need exceptions must obtain permission from the deans in advance.
Privileged activities are those that require a student to audition or try-out and represent our school to the public. Participation in these programs represents a significant commitment of student time and will result in some missed classes; it is the student’s responsibility to make up the work from such absences.
CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
MEA offers various clubs and organizations, some of which are based on the current needs and interests of the student body. These are intended to provide opportunities for leadership and recreational growth. Students should give special attention to their academic workload and employment requirements when considering joining a club or organization.
To be eligible to run for a class office, ASB office, or Boys’/Girls’ Club office, a student must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Uphold Christian principles and the policies of MEA.
- Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA (from the previous quarter and semester) of 2.75 for Class President, Vice-President, and Chaplain; 2.5 or above for other offices.
- Must not have any F’s or more than one D at the time of election or while in office.
- Maintain satisfactory class and work attendance at all times.
- Maintain satisfactory citizenship and not be under any major discipline.
- Hold only one elected office at a time.
Faculty sponsors must be present at all class and club planning sessions, meetings, and activities.
MEA operates an athletic program for grades 9-12. To be eligible to participate in varsity athletics, a student must meet the following requirements:
- Be enrolled as a student at Mount Ellis Academy (or be enrolled as an 8th grade student at either Mount Ellis Elementary or LaMotte School and also participate in the Bear Canyon athletic program),
- Complete a sports physical and be cleared for participation by a physician based in Montana,
- Complete a concussion statement provided by MEA, and
- Have a cumulative previous quarter and semester GPA of 2.50.
Continued participation for the season depends on our athletes:
- Maintaining satisfactory grades. Grades will be checked weekly; two D’s or one F will result in suspension from all team activities (including practices, games, and traveling with the team) for the week. Athletes who are on the academic DFI list twice in one season may be dismissed from the team at the discretion of the Athletic Director and MEA’s Administrative Committee (ADCOMM).
- Maintaining satisfactory behavior both in and out of the season. Discipline that occurs at any time may result in consequences, such as suspension or dismissal from the team, as determined by the AdComm.
Note: When MEA’s Trade School certification classes and sports programs occur at the same time, students cannot participate in both.
Students enjoy multiple opportunities for leadership at and outside of Mount Ellis Academy. We are small but mighty. Our active Associate Student Body prepares events, games, and banquets as well as providing daily leadership and mentoring for new and incoming students. Class officers give students a chance to develop leadership skills from their freshman year on. Sports teams enable athletes to support teammates on and off the court. Our emphasis on outdoor education provides many opportunities for less formal leadership development as students develop survival skills, finish challenging hikes, and share their love of living well in the great outdoors.
All students are to be on campus during the school day, unless they receive permission to leave erly from the deans or school administration. Prior to leaving campus early, students should sign out at the front desk.
The MEA campus maintains numerous buildings and structures, and students may be assigned to work in various locations. Students are expected to stay out of the following locations unless specifically assigned to them by a supervisor:
- The Guest Services Building (Old Girl’s Dorm),
- Any building that is locked,
- Any building that does not have supervision, and
- Any area on campus that students haven’t been granted permission to go.
The following guidelines are to help maintain student and campus safety. Driving privileges on campus are only denied when students do not abide by the following guidelines:
- All student vehicles must be registered with the school; dorm students register with the head dean, and village students register with the administrative office. Proof of insurance and licensing must be on file. Parking spaces are assigned, and the vehicles (when not in use) are to be in their spaces.
- Students who have registered their vehicles with the school must be the sole driver of that vehicle on school grounds.
- If there is a vehicular accident on school premises, it must be reported to school officials immediately.
- The speed limit on campus is 15 mph.
- Personal vehicles are not to be used for school business.
- Due to school insurance requirements, students may not drive themselves to school-sponsored activities during school hours.
- Lounging in or loitering around vehicles is not permitted.
MEA wants to encourage a healthy lifestyle. In order to live a healthy lifestyle, it is important to exercise and get fresh air on a regular basis. Fitness equipment in the gym is provided for students to use based on arrangements made with the Athletic Director.
The goal of the food services at MEA is to prepare healthy and tasty vegetarian meals. Though we also strive to meet the needs of students who require special diets by offering a variety of options with every meal, we cannot guarantee to meet every dietary need. Students who require special dietary considerations should discuss them with the cafeteria personnel and/or the front office. Ultimately, the student and parent/guardian must assume responsibility for choosing food that is appropriate. In cases where MEA determines that students may incur an unreasonable risk if their special dietary needs are not met, MEA reserves the right to decline to provide dietary services to those students.
The library is a place for learning, exploring, and growing. Books may be checked out of the library for a period of two weeks, after which they must be returned in as good of condition as they were borrowed. Students may be subject to a replacement charge for lost or damaged materials.
Other library amenities, such as reference materials, games, and other resources, may be used within the library itself, but are not to be removed without permission from the supervisor.
Providing students with on-campus employment is an important aspect of the overall program at MEA. The student work program is intended to develop a student’s responsibility, self-reliance, and good work ethic. Our on-campus jobs provide valuable work experience that will be beneficial in future employment and help students contribute financially to their tuition. To facilitate these goals, student work will be evaluated periodically by their work supervisor. Work performance helps determine pay rate as well as continued job eligibility.
Student employees who display unsatisfactory performance or attendance issues may have their employment terminated. Students should be aware that such action may result in dismissal from school for financial reasons.
Employment opportunities through MEA are a privilege and must be treated with the same level of care and responsibility as any paying job. Therefore, employed students are expected to:
- Report to work on time and stay for the entire shift (unless released early by the supervisor).
- Work conscientiously and to the best of his/her ability without being distracted (this includes the use of technology, such as texting and phone calls).
- Work independently and efficiently.
- Communicate with his/her supervisor as soon as possible of any needed time off (including school trips, athletic events, or any other school activities) that may conflict with the work schedule.
- Contact his/her supervisor as soon as possible to inform him/her if the student will be absent due to illness.
- Protect the confidentiality of information they may acquire in their work area.
On average, a student can earn between $1,800 (under 16 years of age) and $2,800 (over 16 years of age) during the school year. While we work hard to provide job opportunities, the school can make no promises or guarantees regarding the number of hours worked or wages earned, as these largely depend upon the individual student and are subject to federal and state child labor laws and regulations. Privileged activities, school functions, and sickness can interrupt work schedules and therefore affect payroll estimates.
Students are paid the Montana state minimum wage (or more) monthly for hours worked. As the work program was developed, in part, to assist students and their parents/guardians with tuition costs, MEA provides families the opportunity to assign the student’s earnings directly to the student’s bill. Students in financial good standing may apply to receive a percentage of their monthly earnings with parent/guardian approval. Additionally, we encourage giving back to God, and, upon request of the student, will deduct tithe (remitted only to the Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) from the student’s paycheck.
Student workers will receive a monthly pay stub reflecting the amount of student earnings, withholdings, and any amounts voluntarily assigned to the tuition account. Parents/guardians will see student earnings voluntarily assigned to the tuition account reflected in their monthly financial statement.
MEA encourages students are encouraged to find employment during the summer months and offers limited campus jobs for Village students. A student working over the summer can generally earn enough funds to pay for the upcoming year’s registration fees.
STUDENT EMPLOYMENT ASSIGNMENTS
Job placement will be based on the school’s needs, job availability, student age, prior work experience, ability, and class schedule. Job assignments are made through the Work Coordinator’s office.
Students working campus jobs will be paid the Montana State minimum hourly wage. Please note that some jobs require weekend work, and students should not leave campus on the weekends they are scheduled to work. Students who work off campus and whose financial plans include a student labor component are expected to maintain their agreed-upon financial obligations. Cash withdrawals of excess funds beyond the financial plan requirements can be arranged with the parent or guardian’s consent. Contact the finance office by phone (406-587-5178 ext. 102) or email at email@example.com.
Students are encouraged to stay with their job for the entire school year. If a change becomes necessary, the student must request the change through the Work Coordinator’s office. Both the previous and new work supervisors must agree to any job changes.
State and Federal law mandates that children younger than 16 years of age must not begin work before 7:00 a.m. or continue past 7:00 p.m. during the school week. 14 and 15-year-olds may not work more than 3 hours per day or 18 hours in one seven-day period. Students this age also may not begin their work prior to 3:30 p.m. on a weekday.
MEA provides an academic environment that is interactive and stimulating. Much of the learning at MEA takes place through cooperative interaction between students and teachers. Activities, labs, tests, and/or quizzes are examples of learning experiences that take place during class. MEA teachers work with students who are sick or absent due to emergencies, helping them make up for the work they missed and recover as much of the learning experience as possible. However, even in the best circumstances, there are activities that cannot be made up.
MEA has an expectation of consistent and regular attendance for all students. There is a positive and direct relationship between class attendance and academic success. Classroom experiences are necessary components of the learning process that help students obtain social and life skills, such as accountability and responsibility, which cannot be replicated by simply completing missed assignments. Absences affect not only the student who is absent, but also the other students enrolled in the class.
The school/parent partnership is critical to the success of the student. Parents/guardians will be notified via FACTS (RenWeb) whenever their student is absent or tardy from class. Student absences are marked either excused or unexcused. These categories are explained with examples of each below.
Students who accumulate 9 unexcused absences OR a total of 11 combined excused and unexcused absences in any class during a semester are in violation of the absence limit.
- If the student has a grade of C or higher in that class, (s)he will receive credit; however, the letter grade will be reflected as “passing.”
- If the student has a grade of C- or lower, (s)he will not receive credit for that semester of the class.
Students with excessive absences may be cited for truancy according to Montana State Law (MCA 41-5-103). Habitual truancy is defined as recorded unexcused absences for 9 or more days, or 54 or more parts of a day, whichever is less, in 1 school year.
MEA recognizes there are times when students must be absent from school. School work missed due to an excused absence will need to be made up for credit. For any planned absence to be excused, an absence request form is to be submitted to the front office at least one week in advance (see Process for Obtaining a Pre-Excused Absence.) To get an unplanned absence excused, follow the procedure outlined in Unexcused Absences.
Below are examples of excusable absences:
- Illness. Due to the unpredictable nature of illnesses, a pre-arranged absence form is not required. Instead: If a Village student is ill, his/her parent/guardian should alert the front office before classes begin. Failure to alert the office will result in unexcused absences. For illnesses lasting longer than 3 school days, a doctor’s note is required. If a dorm student is sick, (s)he must report it to the dean on duty before classes begin. The dean can excuse an illness-related absence by putting the student on sick list; the student will remain on sick list for the entire day and won’t return to classes, work, or appointments without the dean’s permission. Failure to report illness to the dean before classes begin will result in unexcused absences.
- Medical appointments. Please strive to schedule medical appointments during home leaves or outside of class time. If an appointment must be made during school hours, please follow the Process for Obtaining a Pre-Excused Absence. If there is an extended pattern of medical appointments, we may ask you to provide a doctor’s note.
- Mandatory court appearances.
- Deaths in the immediate family. In this case, a pre-arranged absence form is not required; however, the parents/guardian should still alert the front office immediately.
- Snow-travel conditions. Due to the unpredictable nature of the weather, a pre-arranged absence form is not required. Safety is MEA’s first concern. V village students are welcome to stay in the dorm overnight when it is unsafe to travel as long as arrangements are made with the deans (MEA will waive the related fees in this case). Please note that even if the public school district is closed, MEA may continue to have classes. Parents should evaluate the road conditions and make a decision regarding the safety of traveling for their child. Students driving during poor road conditions should leave their homes early to allow for extra driving time. If students have travel emergencies or choose to stay home due to road conditions, parents/guardians need to alert the front office immediately. There may be an option for the student to attend school virtually for the day.
Process for Obtaining a Pre-Excused Absence
In cases where students need to obtain a pre-excused absence, the student should pick up a pre-arranged absence form in the front office. (A PDF version can be emailed by the front office by request.) To complete the form, the student will need to a) detail when they will be gone and for what purpose, b) provide evidence of parental approval for the absence, and c) obtain makeup work or instructions from the teacher(s) whose class(es) will be missed. The student should then submit the form to the front office at least one week before the planned absence. MEA’s administration will review the request form and either approve or deny the request. Failure to notify the front office of planned absences at least 7 days in advance may result in unexcused absences.
It is the student’s responsibility to make up any classwork they miss AND check with their teachers and work supervisors at least 7 days prior to the excused absence. NOTE: Due to the number of activities and responsibilities Seniors have during the month, absence requests will not be approved for Seniors during the month of May.
Students will be allowed to make up work missed because of an unexcused absence at the teacher’s discretion. Unexcused absences refer to absences in which:
- the absence was not pre-approved.
- the absence fits within the criteria for unpredictable events but the office was not informed about it before classes began, or
- the student missed 10 or more minutes of class (whether (s)he was tardy or left class for 10+ minutes).
If a student has an unexcused absence that they wish to excuse, (s)he is responsible for making sure their dean, parent, or guardian communicates the reason for the absence to the front office. The administration will review the situation and make a final decision on whether or not the absence will be excused.
Students who accrue 5 unexcused absences in any class during a semester will be considered at risk for developing chronic absenteeism. MEA will send an attendance email to and/or call the parent/guardian and refer the student to AdComm for review. AdComm may recommend that the student receive an attendance intervention plan.
Students who accumulate 7 unexcused absences in any class in a semester, will have a meeting with his/her parents/guardians and the principal.
Students who accrue 9 unexcused absences in any class during a semester will receive another referral to AdComm and risk loss of academic credit and/or dismissal from school.
Punctuality is an essential element for the development of character and responsibility that lead to success in our world. MEA students are expected to be punctual to their classes and should arrive early enough to be prepared for class when the bell rings. Students who are 10+ minutes tardy to class will receive an unexcused absence.
At the end of each semester, every 3rd unexcused tardy in a class period will be converted to a TA, or “tardy transformed to absence”. These TA’s are unexcused absences and do contribute to the student’s total number of absences in that class period for the semester.
If a student has an unexcused tardy that they wish to excuse, (s)he is responsible for making sure their dean, parent, or guardian communicates the reason for the absence to the front office. The administration will review the situation and make a final decision on whether or not the absence will be excused.
COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS
One aspect of MEA’s mission is to teach students to serve in God’s Kingdom, as swerving others is one of the best ways to experience God working through you. For this reason, we assign 20 hours of community service to each student every school year. In order to graduate, students must complete all of their allotted service hours in their Senior year at MEA. Please note that the 20 hours of volunteer work must not directly benefit the student or his/her family; they also cannot be hours of work at a job that the student would normally perform for pay but is, in this case, performing for free. In addition, volunteer hours cannot be for work on MEA’s campus that other students normally perform for pay.
In order to attend MEA, students are required to take a minimum of 4 classes each semester and take a Bible class. Being dropped from a Bible class and/or dropping to fewer than 4 classes in a semester effectively withdraws a student from MEA, but the student may reapply for the following semester.
LIFETIME ACTIVITIES (LTA’S)
LTA’s give students unique opportunities to participate in a variety of recreational activities which they can continue to enjoy for the rest of their lives. MEA provides a unique LTA every quarter. In order to graduate from MEA, students must pass a minimum of 2 LTA courses between their Junior and Senior years. Students can take LTA classes before their 11th and 12th-grade years, but those will not count toward the LTA requirement. The grading system for LTA’s is based on attendance and participation, so any absence (whether excused or not) can affect a student’s grade.
MEA students are expected to dress in a manner that reflects cultural and Christian values of modesty. Throughout the school year, there will be times when there are different expectations for appropriate dress (i.e., work, athletics, vespers, classroom, banquets, etc). All students must be in accordance with these guidelines whenever they are on campus and on school-sponsored outings (i.e., town trips, tours, sports trips, etc). The following guidelines help inform students of specific expectations:
Class and General Campus Wear (School Dress Code)
- All clothing for classroom, cafeteria, and general campus wear must be clean, neat, and modest with no see-through holes or tears higher than the bottom of the fingertips when arms are down at the side.
- Shorts/skorts must be modest, and the hem must reach the bottom of the fingertips when arms are down at the side.
- If shorts/skorts tend to ride up the legs and have to be pulled down in order to stay within dress code, please wear something else.
- Skirts and dresses must cover 2/3 of the thigh or more. This includes slit length.
- Excessively tight, see-through, or revealing clothing is not to be worn.
- Observable jewelry may not be worn.
- Make-up products should contribute to a healthy, wholesome, natural appearance.
- Please make sure that any nail decoration or pictures are appropriate and adhere to Christian ethics.
- Hair coloring and hairstyles should be natural tones, non-distracting, and unobtrusive.
- Body art is not acceptable (including markers or henna). Any body art already on a person should be covered while in the administration building and at school-sponsored events.
- Pajamas are not acceptable attire outside of the residence hall.
- No bare midriffs, sides, chest, or cleavage should be visible at any time.
- Clothing worn in the dormitory should not expose undergarments or private areas.
- Tank tops must cover the torso, including the sides of the body. Straps must not be spaghetti straps.
- Articles of clothing with pictures, logos, or writing must not be against school and Christian principles.
- Sweatshirt hoods are not to be worn in assemblies, and chapels.
- Shoes must be worn at all times outside of the dormitory and be in good repair.
- Sandals can be worn except at times when safety is an issue( i.e., chemistry, athletics, trade programs, etc).
Athletic and Swimwear Dress Code
- Athletic leggings may be worn during athletic activities. Leggings must be appropriately sized, of sturdy fabric, and not see-through.
- Athletic wear must not expose cleavage.
- Shirts must be worn at all times (no “skins vs. shirts”). Obviously, appropriate bottoms must also always be worn.
- Tank tops must cover the torso (including the sides of the body). No spaghetti straps.
- Women’s swimwear must be of modest cut and show no cleavage. Dark colored t-shirts may be worn over swimsuits.
- Men’s swimwear must cover at least 1/2 of the thigh and not expose private areas.
Spiritual Activities and Programs Dress Code
Religious services and special programs are an important part of our campus life. During these events, there is a higher expectation toward dress attire. From time to time there may be special programs that require church attire. Athletic wear, sweatshirts, and hoodies are not appropriate during any of these events. Dress variety hats may be worn during vespers and church.
- Dorm students are expected to follow dress code policies while attending religious services.
- Village students who choose not to follow the dress code policies will be expected to sit with their parents/guardians while attending religious services.
Vespers – Men
- Full-length pants of dress or denim variety must be worn. Fabric must not be ragged or torn.
- Shirts must be collared.
- Shoes or nice sandals must be in good repair.
Vespers – Women
- Shoes or nice sandals must be in good repair.
- Full-length pants must be worn of dress or denim variety. Fabric must not be ragged or torn. Skirts and dresses, covering 2/3 or more of the thigh (including slit length), are also acceptable.
- Tops must be of dress variety and, if sleeveless, have straps no less than two inches wide. T-shirts and tank tops are not permissible.
Sabbath School and Church – Men
- Pants must be of dress variety, not denim.
- Full-button dress shirts and/or dress sweaters are required and should look neat and tidy.
- Belts should be worn if needed. Shoes should be of dress variety, no tennis or athletic shoes.
Sabbath School and Church – Women
Dress attire is the same as vespers attire, except:
- Pants must be of a dress variety, not denim.
- Shoes must be of a dress variety. Not tennis or athletic shoes.
Questions regarding the interpretation of these guidelines may be addressed to administration.
Principles of Christian conduct are upheld at MEA. Honesty, courtesy, reverence, respect, and purity are emphasized. The counsels from the Bible form the basic guidance followed at MEA. Actions taken by the board or the faculty that are publicly announced will have the same authority as those published in this handbook. Students are held accountable for their actions, on or off campus, while enrolled at MEA.
Each teacher at MEA establishes his/her unique classroom management plan. Individual teachers handle most daily management and discipline situations. Additionally, in dealing with various situations, teachers communicate with parents as they see best through texts, phone calls, emails, FACTS (RenWeb), and/or conferences.
When a teacher feels it is appropriate, (s)he will involve the principal with a behavioral issue. If the discipline problem affects the physical or emotional welfare of the other students, the principal may take action to immediately remove the student from the classroom. This may include placing the student into an In-School-Suspension or a Home Suspension until AdComm can make a plan for further action.
MEA students are expected to practice academic honesty.
Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s material as your own. Work is plagiarized if any part is taken from another source without proper citation. Examples of sources include internet websites, encyclopedias, textbooks, magazines, and other students’ papers.
Cheating includes copying homework, copying off the internet, looking at another’s test or quiz, letting another student look at your test or quiz, using other secretive methods for sharing answers on a test or quiz, taking information from another source that is not properly attributed, and working with others on an assignment that was meant to be done by individuals.
Incidents of plagiarism or cheating will be handled by the class teacher, principal, and parents/guardians for an initial offense. Subsequent offenses will be referred to AdComm for disciplinary action.
In order to maximize the personal, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being of students, the Operating Board has adopted the following policy to assist with the positive development of student interaction on the academy campus:
Any display of aggressive behavior, injury to others, self-harm, or engagement in any activity leading to physical harm or impairment may result in suspension of the student from school until a qualified professional has made an appropriate evaluation. All expenses associated with the recommendations of the qualified professional are the responsibility of the parent/guardian.
MEA is a drug-free, smoke-free, tobacco-free, alcohol-free campus. The use of illegal drugs or the abuse of prescription drugs is prohibited. Any student breaking this policy on or off campus subjects themselves to the following possible consequences:
- Participation in and completion of a drug or alcohol abuse rehabilitation program.
- Dismissal from school.
- Referral to the authorities.
Students who have been involved with illegal drugs or substance abuse within the preceding 12 months, or are suspected of using during the school year, can be subjected to a random drug screening as deemed necessary by school administration. The cost for such screening shall be borne by the student or his/her parents/guardians. A student’s failure or refusal to take a drug screening test as requested by school administration may, at the discretion of AdComm, result in dismissal.
A student may be retained at MEA following an approved counseling evaluation from an approved agency if all parties have agreed to follow the recommended treatment program. Continued enrollment at MEA is contingent upon the student’s participation in the treatment plan.
Substance Abuse Note: While MEA’s goal is to provide the safest possible campus, staff are also aware that some students struggle with this issue. MEA students are encouraged to come forward and confide in a trusted faculty member if they are struggling in this area. If the student comes forward, a plan will be put together with the student and his/her family that will provide a way for confidential help while continuing as a student at MEA.
The following is an illustrative but not exhaustive list of activities resulting in disciplinary action. Disciplinary actions may affect eligibility for class or organization offices, job positions, participation in varsity teams, mission trips, and various other such positions and activities. Consequences could include up to 2 weeks’ suspension or dismissal from MEA.
- Undermining the religious ideals of MEA.
- Displaying a detrimental influence or spirit that is out of harmony with the standards or basic philosophy of the school.
- Racist or discriminatory behavior toward other students or teachers.
- Using profane or obscene language (whether on campus, at school functions, in any form of communication with staff or students, or in any form of social media).
- Possessing or displaying obscene literature or pictures.
- Indulging in lewd or suggestive conduct or unwanted teasing or touching.
- The use or possession of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, drugs or drug paraphernalia; the abuse of over-the-counter medications or behavior.
- Stealing, any form of cheating, willful deception, shoplifting, forgery, or dishonesty.
- Intentional disregard for the safety and well-being of others (including possessing/using fireworks or incendiaries of any kind, or by giving false alarm signals for a fire or bomb scare).
- Hazing, bullying (see section specific to bullying).
- Entering or leaving residence halls by any means other than the regular entrances or exits.
The following is an illustrative but not exhaustive list of activities that will likely result in dismissal from MEA:
- Being involved with spiritualism in any form, such as satanically oriented computer, board, or card games
- Providing, supplying, or using drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, or possessing drug paraphernalia; see substance abuse note above.
- Sexual activity between members of the same or opposite sex.
- Participating in hazing, sexual/physical harassment, or initiations.
- Intentionally vandalizing school property or the property of a fellow student or faculty member.
- Possessing or using firearms or weapons on campus or on a school-sponsored activity.
SUSPENSION AND DISMISSAL
A record of written communication with parents and students regarding suspension will be maintained, including the reason for, and the length of the student suspension.
A student may be suspended for repeated offenses when other disciplinary procedures have not been effective.
In the case of a serious overt act or violation of school regulations, the principal/ and/or AdComm may suspend a student from school even though there has been no prior serious misbehavior. The suspension period will not exceed two weeks.
Students who have been suspended may not return to MEA’s campus during the time of their suspension unless permission is granted by AdComm. Students who have been dismissed from MEA may not return to the campus until after the end of the school year unless permission has been granted by AdComm.
Re-entry: When a student has been suspended for longer than one week, a re-entry meeting will take place between the student’s family and AdCom. MEA staff understand that re-entry is potentially difficult for the suspended student in many ways and desire to assist in the transition.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Parents/guardians of students whose behavior has resulted in dismissal may appeal the decision. Parents/guardians may present a letter to MEA, and/or speak to AdComm regarding their position (with approval of the chairman). Only the student and his/her legal guardians will be allowed to appeal.
Mount Ellis Academy is a closed campus. This means students need to receive prior approval from deans and/or administration before leaving campus during the school day. These regulations apply to all students. This means that students may be together on campus but with the following guidelines:
- Students are expected to stay on campus for the duration of their classes and work (unless given specific permission to leave the boundaries by a dean, school administrator, or work supervisor).
- The campus boundaries are the roads and fences surrounding the immediate campus buildings and structures.
- After dusk, campus is accessible only to dorm students (except during approved activities).
- Physical contact, such as holding hands and back rubs, is not permitted.
- Mixed seating is permitted on the buses during daylight hours.
- Mixed groups may visit on the campus front lawn when campus is open. They are to sit upright when doing so.
- Free time may be spent doing approved activities in supervised locations.it is necessary for students to be in supervised locations.
- As representatives of MEA, we expect students to follow behavior and dress code policies at off-campus, school-sponsored activities also.
HARRASSMENT AND BULLYING
MEA strives to provide an atmosphere free of harassment for students and staff. MEA follows the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists’ official statement regarding Harassment of Students and Other Persons:
- No staff member, student, or any other person associated with a Seventh-day Adventist school shall concur with, cooperate with, permit, or participate in any act that injures, degrades, or disgraces, or intends to injure, degrade, or disgrace any student attending school or other person..
- Harassment includes such conduct as slurs, jokes, intimidation, or any verbal, physical, or psychological attack, in person or by electronic media, that is directed at an individual for any reason (i.e. race, religion, age, ethnicity, gender, physical appearance, etc.).
- Sexual harassment is unlawful and prohibited (See Code #3046)/. Sexual harrassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, in person or by electronic media, when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work or school performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive school environment.
- Incidents of harassment shall be reported in writing to the building principal or head teacher. To the greatest extent possible, such complaints will be treated in a confidential manner. If, after appropriate investigation, it is determined that policy has been violated, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with the applicable policy and/or state law.
- “Hazing” activities are also prohibited. Hazing includes any method of student initiation into the school, a student organization, or any tradition or amusement in connection with a school activity or organization which causes, or is likely to cause, bodily injury or physical, psychological, or emotional harm.
MEA is committed to making a safe and caring environment for all. Respect is expected and instances of harrassment and/or bullying in any form will not be tolerated and will be dealt with using the following definitions and understanding.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances or requests and other conduct of a sexual nature which is offensive. Harassment can be spoken, written, physical and/or distributed through electronic means. It includes offensive pictures, graffiti, jokes, and gestures. If submission to offensive sexual conduct is made a condition of academic status, progress, benefits, honors, or activities, it is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment also occurs when the offensive behavior or material creates a hostile school environment.
Students who sexually harass others are subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal. Employees who engage in sexual harassment are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
In accordance with www.stopbullying.gov, MEA defines bullying as unwanted behavior that involves a power imbalance and repetition. Unwanted behavior can be aggressive or subtle. An imbalance of power refers to the bully using their power (such as physical strength, size, access to embarrassing information, or popularity) to control, harm or embarrass others. Power behaviors hap[en more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Those who engage in bullying or harassment at MEA will be subjected to the appropriate disciplinary measures, including (but not limited to) anti-bullying assignments, suspension, dismissal, and police reports.
Please note: Not all inappropriate or hurtful behavior belongs in the bullying category. MEA recognizes that there are behaviors more serious than bullying and some that are less serious. Even if a behavior is not considered bullying, it will be dealt with according to its severity.
Students who have experienced bullying or sexual harassment shall report the incident to school authorities as soon as possible so they may take appropriate action. The student may be asked to create a written report outlining what happened, when it occurred, and who else was involved or privy to the information. If the harassment is between students, the student shall report the incident to any staff member. If the harassment comes from an employee, the student should report directly to the principal or another responsible adult.
RIGHT TO SEARCH
MEA reserves the right to search student rooms, lockers, vehicles, electronic devices, electronic media and files, personal belongings, and the student’s person for objects or materials deemed noncompliant with the school’s rules and regulations, or which threaten the safety of the school or its students.
FINES FOR DAMAGES
When school property is damaged or broken by a student, the student will be liable for the actual cost of the repair and may be charged a fine. In addition to the fine, students who use an unauthorized key may be charged for re-keying. It may be necessary, due to time and available manpower, to use the services of a commercial business to make the needed repairs.
ACCIDENTS ON CAMPUS
When an accident occurs on campus, a written accident report will be completed by supervising staff within 24 hours and submitted to the school office. This is necessary to receive coverage under the Student Accident Insurance policy or Workman’s Compensation Insurance.
Work accidents should be reported to your work supervisor immediately. This will ensure that Workman’s Compensation Insurance can cover medical expenses.
Accidents that occur during a school-sponsored activity should be reported immediately to the activity supervisor (and to the dean in the case of injured dorm kids). MEA provides secondary accident insurance for students. This insurance covers injuries caused by accidents while the student is involved in school-sponsored activities. Parent’s insurance is the primary provider, and the insurance subscribed to by MEA pays the remainder of the medical bills based on “reasonable and customary” rates.
TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
Technology access is offered for student use with the intent to further educational goals and objectives. MEA retains the right to place reasonable restrictions on material students access or post. MEA also reserves the right to install monitoring and filtering apps and software on school-supplied devices. MEA is not responsible for blocking the internet from students’ personal devices and cannot guarantee that all problematic sites will be blocked on the school-provided devices.
For the safety and well-being of everyone at MEA, all students are expected to adhere to MEA’s Technology Acceptable Use Policy which is outlined in the sections below.
WIFI Access and Personal Use
Access is a privilege which carries many responsibilities.
- MEA staff may schedule, monitor, and restrict both the amount of time spent online and sites they visit on the school’s network and computers.
- Students’ personal files and Internet activity on the school system are open to oversight by MEA staff. Routine maintenance and monitoring of the system could lead to discovery of policy, school, or legal violations, which may result in individual searches for cases of suspicious activity.
- The school will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation related to illegal activities conducted through the system.
- MEA has a limited amount of bandwidth, so we encourage students to use the network for school-related activities.
- Students are not to post personal contact information (address, phone number, etc.) about themselves or any other person on the internet.
- Students may not agree to meet in real life with someone they have met online. Any request for contact of this nature is to be reported to school administration immediately. Additionally, inappropriate messages or messages that make a student feel uncomfortable should also be reported immediately.
The following is an illustrative but not exhaustive list of activities that will result in a referral to AdComm for discipline.
- Unauthorized access to any other person’s or institution’s (including MEA’s) computer system, accounts, or files gained by entering another person’s username, password, or account number, by accessing another person’s fees, or by impersonating another person.
- Deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system or destroy data by any means, including spreading computer viruses.
- Knowingly trying to circumvent the security measures on MEA’s system or on any other computer from MEA.
- Illegal acts, such as sharing illegal games, pirated materials, or any other copyrighted materials without permission for the right’s holder.
Students are expected to partner with MEA to maintain security on the school technology system. MEA students agree to the following:
- Be responsible for his/her individual account and take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use that account. Under no condition should a student give his/her password to another person.
- Notify a staff member promptly if (s)he has identified a security problem.
- Only open email attachment files from known or expected senders.
- Avoid using storage devices on an MEA computer unless the student purchased the device from a reputable company, and never plug in a device that was found in a public area.
Students are expected to respectfully use of technology within the framework of MEA’s spirit and philosophy.
- Students will avoid using obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language in any communication.
- Students will avoid engaging in personal attacks (including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks) and posting information that could cause danger or disruption.
- Students will avoid harassing others by persistent actions that distress or annoy them.
Respect of Privacy
- Students will not forward any message sent privately without permission of the person who sent the message.
- Students will not post private information about themselves or others.
- Students will not falsify their or any other person’s identity.
- Students will not change any file that is not their own.
- Students will not provide anyone with another person’s contact information without permission.
- Parents/guardians may choose not to sign a photo release form, thereby opting their student out of MEA pictures and media releases. MEA will do our best to respect these wishes, but with the prevalence of phones and cameras in our world today, we cannot control what others do.
Consequences of Violation (Technology Acceptable Use Policy)
Consequences of violating these guidelines will be decided by AdComm and, if necessary, the MEA school board. Consequences may include, but are not limited to:
- Suspension or revocation of Internet and/or network access
- School suspension
- School dismissal
- Legal action and prosecution by local. state, or federal authorities.
Phones and Personal Devices
It is a privilege to have cell phones and personal devices on the MEA campus. MEA encourages responsible and moderate use of all privileged devices with the following guidelines:
- Personal devices include non-school issued laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc.
- Devices cannot be used to photograph or record other individuals in private settings or at unwanted times.
- Without permission from the teacher or supervisor, phones should not be used (even for calling and texting parents)in the Ad Building during school hours or in the workplace during work hours. Parents should contact the front office, not their student, during school hours.
- Phones and personal devices are not to be used in the following locations: Ad building lobby, chapel, IA building, and the cafeteria.
- Personal devices may be used in the library while under staff supervision.
- Students with an F or 2 D’s will be required to surrender their phones (and other personal devices) to the front office each day during school hours until their grades recover.
Consequences of Violation (Phones and Personal Devices)
Individual struggles with cell phone addiction or inappropriate use of technology will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Faculty and staff wish to encourage appropriate, responsible use of technology and may therefore employ a variety of methods for deterring inappropriate use of technology, including:have the responsibility of encouraging appropriate use of technology and may employ a variety of methods including:
- Verbal warnings
- Confiscation of devices
- Divide check-ins
- Individualized technology use contracts
When an approved person or entity requests student records in writing, MEA will produce copies of the available student records within 7 business days, according to the following protocols. Transcripts and other academic records will be provided only for students who are in financial good standing.
We are required to adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations in regard to our student records. This means that:
- Records will be turned over to Law Enforcement upon official request.
- Parents/guardians of minors may access their student’s records.
- Students 18 years or older may access their own records.
- Parents of students 18 and over cannot access their student’s records, whether financial or academic unless the student signs a Consent to Release Records form.
Parents are responsible for providing court-ordered custody documents to the school office. We will do our best in these situations to adhere to these limitations in order to promote student safety and well-being.
PUBLIC VIDEO RECORDING DEVICES
- MEA records public areas on campus for student, staff, and school safety. T here recordings are school property and are not available for viewing except by specific staff members in certain situations.
- Parents who wish to access recordings may do so for legal matters if they have acquired the appropriate subpoenas.
- Unless there are extenuating circumstances, MEA will keep video recordings for 3 months’ time.
DORMITORY LIFE OVERVIEW
One of the benefits of residence hall life is the development of self-reliance and self-control. Students should be conscious of the complexity of the many personalities in a residence hall and should do their part to help make dormitory life enjoyable for everyone. Students are to reside in the residence hall unless they live with their parents; any exceptions to this policy must go through the administration.
Each room is furnished with two twin beds, study desks, chairs, built-in closets, and dressers. Bring bedding for a standard-length, single bed, and things that will make the room comfortable. An attractive room will go a long way in boosting one’s positive mental attitude, so students are responsible for keeping their rooms clean. A room cleanliness check may be made each school day and a grade will be given. A disorderly room will not be tolerated for an extended period. Screws, nails, masking tape, or thumbtacks are not to be used to hang items on the walls. Please seek to avoid the “wallpapered” look.
Deans reserve the right to remove any items found in the room that are not consistent with school standards. If something needs to be repaired, notify the dean and a work order will be filled out.
Students must not change rooms without making prior arrangements with the dean and must be certain to check out of old rooms and into new ones with the assistance of the resident assistant or dean. Deans reserve the right to make room assignments.
An important part of successful academy life is learning to be a good roommate. Consider the following pointers:
- Be kind and considerate; share the cleaning responsibilities.
- Keep your things in order.
- Always obtain permission before borrowing anything that isn’t yours.
- Respect your roommate’s time, opinions, and rights.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
- Be a good neighbor; respect others by keeping noise to a minimum.
- Guard each other’s privacy.
- Cease all residence hall activities by “lights out” time.
Study hall begins promptly after worship. Students are expected to be on time and may not leave the residence halls after worship begins without the dean’s permission. A quiet atmosphere conducive to study needs to be maintained during the entire study hall time. Students will be asked to refrain from activities that might disturb such an atmosphere.
The dormitory has washers and dryers for student use. The laundry room will be locked ½ hour before sundown Friday evening until after sundown on Sabbath.
The following items should not be brought into the dormitory and will be confiscated. The deans will use their discretion in deciding which items will be returned.
- Television sets, DVD players, and game consoles.
- All DVDs/movies (except exercise)
- Speakers or docking stations.
- Inappropriate music (satanic, pornographic, immoral, anti-Christian, drug related).
- Amplified musical instruments, drums, or other audibly obtrusive equipment (without prior approval).
- Obscene or suggestive posters, liquor containers, and inappropriate reading material.
- Items with an open flame or hot plates. This restriction includes matches, lighters, candles, incense, oil lamps, etc.
- Any weapons, such as firearms (this includes any type of gun, including paintball and airlift guns), sling shots, machetes, clubs, nightsticks, throwing stars, nunchucks, switchblades, etc.
- Questionable games, such as role-playing games, violent games, or any games dealing with spiritualism or the occult. Students will be counsels about other games that may take up too much student time and energy.
- Gambling devices.
- Pets (with the exception of fish, which are allowed).
- Energy drinks.
- Personal computers/tablets will be confiscated if misused.
- Microwaves and dorm-sized refrigerators
- Toasters, popcorn poppers, and irons may be used in authorized areas, but not in the dorm rooms.
- All space heaters must be approved by the deans. If misused, items will be stored by the dean and an appropriate fine made.
Dorm students have the ability to receive money transfers from their parents through the school finance department. For inquiries about this program, please contact the finance office by phone (406.587.5178 ext. 102) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When dorm students need transportation to an appointment in town, they must make arrangements with the deans at least 2 days in advance. Failure to do so may result in school-supplied transportation being unavailable on the day of the appointment.
WEEKEND & OVERNIGHT LEAVES
If a student wishes to leave campus for the weekend or overnight, arrangements must be made with the dean before departing. The student must submit a leave request to the dean’s office, have their parent/guardian call the dean to confirm their plans, and make sure the dean has granted permission before they leave campus.
Deans will communicate with parents/guardians whenever a student is leaving campus (except for school-related activities). A student expecting to go to a home other than their own must get permission from his/her parents/guardians and an invitation from the family (s)he wishes to visit. Both must be submitted to the dean in person, by email, or by phone. Students may not leave campus with anyone without dean and parental permission. To be approved, homes must be well established and supervised by an adult of at least 25 years of age. If plans change, please inform the deans promptly.
Non-students under 21 may only drive students on trips to the student’s home or overnight leaves (except for siblings). Weekend leaves begin after the last class or work appointment on Friday. Students are expected to be back by 9:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. To return later, arrangements must be made with the dean before leaving or by phone if something comes up while away.
Once a student returns from a weekend off campus, their leave is officially over, and they may not leave again unless they check out again with the dean.
Students should not assume that their classes and work will be cancelled or dismissed early prior to home leaves. Students are still expected to attend their classes and go to work (unless the student has made arrangements with their supervisor in advance to have time off). Medical appointments are to be made at times when the student is home, thereby nullifying the need for early home leaves.
Students are expected to leave campus during all scheduled home leaves and school breaks (such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break), as both the residence halls and the cafeteria are closed at these times.
Home Leave Times
- Home leaves officially begin at the conclusion of classes on the scheduled day of departure and end at 9 p.m. on the day of return.
- Residence halls will close at 1:00 p.m. on the day home leave begins and reopen at 2:00 p.m. on the last day of home leave.
- Prior arrangements must be made with the dean if a student needs to stay after 1 p.m. on the day of departure or return before 2 p.m. or later than 9:00 p.m. on the day of return.
- When a student needs to leave early for home leave, they should follow the Pre-Excused Absence Procedure. A leave is valid only if the leave slip has the dean’s signature before departure.
VILLAGE STUDENTS VISITING THE DORM
If village students wish to visit in the residence halls after 7:45 p.m. or spend the night, their parents/guardians must request permission from the dean, and students must sign in and out with the dean. Village students are to abide by all residence hall policies. If a village student decides to stay the night in the dorm for any reason other than inclement weather, they will need to pay the required fee. (Contact the finance office about the associated overnight fee by phone (406.587.5178 ext. 102) or by email at email@example.com).
TRANSFERRING INTO THE DORM
It is acceptable to transfer into the residence hall at any time during the year. However, since the residence hall residents pay a higher initial payment, there will be an additional charge to cover the difference. Please contact the business office and the deans before moving into the dormitory.