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. Mount Ellis Academy provides 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 will be renewed after May 26, 2022.
LOCATION AND CONTACT
Mount Ellis Academy has been offering educational and spiritual adventure since 1902. Our location by the Bozeman Trail inspires us to offer many opportunities to discover the reality of the creator, develop God given gifts, and to serve in His kingdom. MEA is nestled in beautiful Bozeman, Montana and is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Our location allows for many unique outdoor opportunities that help develop the whole person.
We welcome your questions at our main number: (406) 587-5178
Mount Ellis Academy has been offering educational and spiritual adventure since 1902. Our location by the Bozeman Trail inspires us to offer opportunities to explore and to offer safety for life’s travelers.
In addition to the main campus, Mount Ellis Academy holds the lease on a small ski hill which they maintain in order to provide unique seasonal outdoor experiences for the students. Students utilize the lodge for vespers programs and game nights.
WHO MAY ATTEND
Students in grades nine through twelve 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 for admission to Mount Ellis Academy.
Prospective students must submit evidence of the successful completion of the eighth grade or its equivalent. Placement tests may be given to ascertain readiness.
All financial obligations with previously attended schools must be settled or proper arrangements made.
Mount Ellis Academy 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. Mount Ellis Academy strives to bridge connections between parents, faculty, and staff to enable student growth. Staff and teachers are readily available by telephone or email. RenWeb, the Student Information System, regularly notifies parents about academic progress and attendance.
Mount Ellis Academy 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 and increase a love for Jesus Christ. Students are encouraged to participate and to lead out at worship times. Having a student body and staff that spontaneously worship God from the heart will always be the goal of each service.
Sabbath is observed from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. The sanctity of this day calls for dignity and respect during the Sabbath hours. Secular books, magazines, music and activities should be laid aside and the mind and conversation directed to themes suited to the sacred spirit of the day, maintaining an attitude of reverence. Day students should maintain proper Sabbath observance when visiting the campus during Sabbath hours. On Sabbath afternoons, students are encouraged to participate in the provided activities. Sabbath afternoon activities include such things as feeding the homeless, visiting shut-ins and those in nursing homes, participating in a small group Bible study or going on walks/hikes.
Students at Mount Ellis Academy will find themselves in a group-living situation and will be responsible to maintain group standards, which are necessary for the personal welfare of all. The standards of MEA are based upon God-given principles. Students who attend MEA are expected to associate with each other in a proper and wholesome manner. Experience has shown that associations during school are more beneficial when expanded to groups rather than limited to couples.
Friends of the opposite sex who visit a student at MEA are expected to honor the campus social code governing the relationship between students. No special privileges are to be expected by such visitors. Visitors must check in at the principal’s 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. Any exceptions are made only with prior permission of the dean.
Privileged Activities are those that require a student to audition or try-out. They are activities in which the students represent the school to the public. Participation in these programs represents a significant commitment of student time and will result in some missed classes and study halls.
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 and workloads 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 cumulative, previous quarter and semester GPA 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 attendance 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.
- Complete a sports physical and be cleared for participation.
- Complete a concussion baseline test (test provided by MEA)
- Have a cumulative previous quarter and semester GPA of 2.50.
- MEA Varsity is open to eighth grade students who are enrolled at Mount Ellis Elementary or LaMotte and who also participate in the Bear Canyon athletic program.
- Discipline that occurs out of season may result in ineligibility or a suspension for a period determined by the Ad Council.
- If Mount Ellis Academy establishes an athletic co-op with another high school, students from the partner school will have full eligibility while paying standard Mount Ellis Academy athletic dues.
The following are requirements that must be met throughout the season to participate in Varsity Sports:
- Must be current on their work budget or receive special permission from the work coordinator/administration.
- Two “D’s” or one “F” at two-week grade check intervals will result in ineligibility to play games for the following two-week period. Students who are ineligible because of grades are not allowed to travel with the team to away games. If a student is on the athletic D, F and I list twice, they may be dismissed from the team. This is at the discretion of the athletic director, coach, and school administration.
- Discipline that occurs during the season may result in ineligibility for a period of time or dismissal from the team. This will be determined by the Ad Council.
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. The MEA campus maintains numerous buildings and structures. Students, while working, may be assigned to work in various locations on campus. However, students are expected to stay out of the following locations when not in class or at work:
The following areas are off-limits to students:
- The Guest Services Building (Old Girl’s Dorm)
- Any building that is locked
- Any building that does not have supervision
- Any area on campus that students haven’t been granted permission
It is a privilege for students to have vehicles on campus. The following guidelines are to help monitor vehicle usage and to protect student’s academic and citizenship progress. These privileges are only denied when students do not abide by the following guidelines:
- All student vehicles must be registered with the respective dean or administrative office. Proof of insurance and licensing must be on file. Parking places are assigned, and the vehicles (when not in use) are to be in their places.
- Students desiring to have a vehicle or participate in the privileges granted by MEA must have and maintain acceptable citizenship, attendance, and academic performance.
- The student receiving permission to bring the vehicle on campus will be the sole driver of that vehicle.
- Speed limit on campus 10 mph.
- If there is a vehicular accident on school premises, it must be reported immediately.
- Personal vehicles are not to be used for school business.
- Lounging in or loitering around vehicles is not permitted.
Mount Ellis Academy 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 Mount Ellis Academy 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 or the principal. 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. Materials which are lost or damaged are subject to a replacement charge.
Other library 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 Mount Ellis Academy. 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 costs. Student work will be evaluated a minimum of two times a year by their work supervisor. Work performance determines 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.
- Stay for the entire shift unless released early by the supervisor.
- Work to the best of his/her ability.
- Minimizing personal interruptions.
- Work independently and efficiently.
- Communicate with his/her supervisor as soon as possible of any needed time off.
- Field Trips, Sporting Events, etc…
- A student who is ill should contact his/her supervisor directly as soon as possible.
- Protect the confidentiality of information they may acquire in their work area.
Students are paid the Montana state minimum wage (or more) monthly for hours worked. The school can make no promises or guarantees regarding the number of hours worked or wages earned which can be affected by:
- The individual student.
- Federal and state child labor law and regulations.
- Student activities (Varsity Sport Teams and Class Schedules).
- Student sickness.
MEA provides families the opportunity of assigning student earnings (net applicable taxes) directly to tuition receivable accounts.
We encourage giving back to God and will, upon request of the student, deduct tithe (remitted only to the Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists).
Students are encouraged to find employment during the summer months, and we offer limited campus jobs for village students. MEA scholarships may be available to students who work on campus during the summer.
STUDENT EMPLOYMENT ASSIGNMENTS
Job placement will be based on need, student age, prior work experience, ability, availability, and the student’s class schedule. Job assignments are made through the Work Coordinator.
Please note that some jobs require weekend work and students should not leave campus on those weekends. Students with a labor component in their financial plans who work off campus will need to contribute the agreed upon amount to the school. Cash withdrawals of excess funds beyond the financial plan requirements can be arranged with parent or guardian’s consent.
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. The previous and new work supervisors must agree to any job changes.
State and Federal law requires children younger than 16 years of age must not begin work before 7:00 a.m. or continue past 7:00 p.m. During school weeks, students 14 and 15 years of age may not work more than 3 hours per day or 18 hours in one seven-day period or begin work before 3:30 p.m. on a school day.
Students will receive a monthly pay stub reflecting student earnings, tax withholdings, and any amounts assigned to the tuition account. Parent(s)/guardian(s) will see student earnings assigned to the tuition account reflected in their monthly financial statement.
There is a positive and direct relationship between class attendance and academic success. MEA has an expectation of consistent and regular attendance for all students. Much of the learning at MEA takes place through cooperative interaction between students and teachers. MEA teachers work with students who are absent to help them make up for the work they missed and recover as much of the learning experience as possible.
Parents will be notified via FACTS (RenWeb) whenever their student is absent or tardy from class. Student absences are marked either excused or unexcused.
A sixth absence in a semester will result in an attendance letter to the parent and a referral to the AdCouncil for review.
Students accumulating 10 or more total absences per class period during a semester:
- are in violation of the absence limit.
- who are passing the class with a C or higher will receive credit; however, the letter grade will be reflected as passing.
- who have a D or are failing will not receive credit.
- Absence requests will not be approved for seniors during the month of May except under extreme circumstances.
MEA recognizes there are times when students must be absent from school. Students may make up missed work due to an excused absence.
Students are expected to notify the school of planned absences at least a week in advance.
The most direct way for a planned absence to be excused is to submit an absence request form to the front office for AdCouncil. These forms can be obtained from the front office. (See Process for Obtaining a Pre-Excused Absence)
- If the student is at home, parents must call the registrar’s office to report their student is sick.
- If a dormitory student is sick, s/he needs to report to the dean.
- For illness lasting longer than 3 days, a doctor’s note is required.
An unexcused absence is an absence that has not been pre-approved or excused by the Administrative Council. Students will be allowed to make up work missed during unexcused absences at teacher discretion.
If a student has an unexcused absence, s/he is responsible for submitting a signed and dated note to the weekly Administrative Council meeting for review. These notes may come from the dean, parent, or guardian stating the date and the reason for the absence. The Administrative Council will then determine the status of the absence.
If a student accumulates five unexcused absences in a semester, a meeting between the principal, student, and parent(s) will be arranged.
If a student accumulates eight unexcused absences in a semester, will result in a referral to the Administrative Council for further action.
MEA students are expected to be on time to all classes. We believe this is an essential element for the development of character and responsibility. Tardy students may lose participation points at the teacher’s discretion.
A student more than 10 minutes tardy will be marked as absent. Excessive tardiness will be referred to the Administrative Council.
At MEA we value honesty in all areas of life, including academics.
Cheating is being academically dishonest; this includes plagiarism which is presenting someone else’s material as your own.
Incidents of plagiarism or cheating will be handled by the class teacher, principal, and parents for an initial offense. Subsequent offenses will be referred to AdCouncil for disciplinary action.
Throughout the school year there will be times when there are different expectations for appropriate dress. By enrolling in MEA, students are acknowledging they will abide by these guidelines whenever they are on campus or on school-sponsored outings. The following guidelines help inform students of specific expectations:
Class and General Campus Wear (School Dress)
- All clothing must be clean, neat, and modest with no holes or tears.
- Shorts must be modest, and the hem must reach the bottom of the fingertips when arms are down at the side.
- Observable jewelry is not permitted.
- Make-up products and nail-polish used contribute to a healthy, wholesome, natural appearance.
- Please make sure that any nail decoration or pictures are appropriate and adhere to Christian ethics.
- Hair styles and hair coloring 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 activities.
- Leggings should be worn under tunic length clothing; not as pants.
- Pajamas are not acceptable attire outside of the dorm.
- No bare midriffs, sides, chest, or cleavage should be visible at any time.
- Tank tops must not have spaghetti style straps.
- Articles of clothing with pictures, logos, or writing must be in harmony with school and Christian principles.
- Skirts and dresses must cover 2/3 of the thigh or more. This includes slit length.
- Sweatshirt hoods are not to be worn in the church, 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 where safety is a concern, i.e. Chemistry Class, Wood Shop, Auto Shop, etc.
Spiritual Activities and Programs Dress Code
From time to time there may be special programs that require more formal attire. Students are expected to follow dress code policies while attending religious services.
Vespers – Men
- Full length pants of dress or denim variety. Fabric must not be ragged or torn.
- Shirts must be collared.
- Shoes or nice sandals must be in good repair.
Sabbath School and Church – Men
- Fabric must not be ragged or torn.
- Pants must be of a dress variety. Blue jeans are not considered dress pants.
- Full button dress shirts are required and must be tucked in.
- Belts must be worn.
- Shoes must be of a dress variety. No tennis or athletic shoes.
Vespers – Women
- Shoes or nice sandals must be in good repair.
- Full length pants of dress or denim variety. Fabric must not be ragged or torn. Skirts and dresses, of previously stated 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 – Women
- Dress attire is the same as vespers attire with the following differences.
- Pants must be of a dress variety. Blue jeans are not considered dress pants.
- Shoes must be of a dress variety. No tennis or athletic shoes.
Athletic and Swimwear
- Athletic leggings may be worn during athletic activities. Leggings must be appropriately sized, of sturdy fabric, and not see-through.
- Tank tops must cover the torso including the sides of the body. Straps must not be spaghetti straps.
- Athletic wear must not expose cleavage.
- Shirts must always be worn. (No “skins vs. shirts”.)
- Women’s swimwear must be of modest cut and cover the midriff. Dark colored T-shirts may be worn over swimsuits.
- Men’s swimwear must cover at least ½ of the thigh.
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 officially 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, teachers communicate with parents through texts, phone calls, emails, RenWeb, or conferences as they see best in dealing with various situations.
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 act to immediately remove the student form the classroom and place the student into an In-School-Suspension or a Home Suspension until AdCouncil can meet to either make a plan for behavior remediation or a recommendation for further 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.
Display of aggressive behavior and/or engaging in any activity leading to physical harm or impairment of self or others 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, alcohol-free campus. The use of illegal drugs or the abuse of prescription drugs is prohibited. Any student found to be breaking this policy on or off campus subjects themselves to the following possibilities:
- Dismissal from school
- Referral to the authorities
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. In following the model of grace and mercy presented by Jesus, 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.
Discipline for actions such as those mentioned below may result in suspension or dismissal, affect eligibility for other school related activities.
The following is an illustrative but not exhaustive list of activities resulting in disciplinary action.
- 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
- 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 by possessing or using fireworks or incendiaries of any kind and by giving false alarm signals for 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 resulting in probable dismissal:
- 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 drug policy 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/AdCouncil 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 AdCouncil. 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 the AdCouncil.
Re-entry: When a student has been suspended, a re-entry meeting will take place between the student’s family and AdCouncil for suspensions lasting longer than one week. MEA staff understand that re-entry is potentially difficult for the suspended student and desire to assist in the transition.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Parents of students whose behavior has resulted in dismissal may appeal the decision. Parents may present a letter to MEA, and/or speak to the Administrative Council 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. These regulations apply to all students. This means that students may be together on campus but with the following guidelines:
- The campus does not extend beyond the boundaries of the roads and fences surrounding the immediate campus buildings and structures.
- Students are expected to stay on campus for the duration of their classes and work. Students may go beyond those boundaries when en route to a pre-approved activity.
- Campus is closed after dusk, except when en route to approved activities.
- Physical contact, such as holding hands, extended hugs, and back rubs, is not permitted.
- Mixed seating is permitted on the buses when and where designated.
- Mixed groups may visit at the front campus when campus is open. They are to sit upright when doing so.
- During free time, it is necessary for students to be in supervised locations.
Students are expected to follow behavior and dress code policies for school sponsored off-campus activities.
HARRASSMENT AND BULLYING
HARASSMENT AND BULLYING
MEA strives to provide an atmosphere free of harassment for students and staff. Mount Ellis Academy follows the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists’ official statement regarding harassment, which is paraphrased below:
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 do the same.
- 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.
- Incidents of harassment shall be reported in writing to the building principal or head teacher. To the greatest extent possible, such complaints will be investigated and 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 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 bullying in any form will be dealt with.
Mount Ellis Academy defines bullying* as follows:
Unwanted, aggressive, or subtle behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the intent to be repeated.
*This definition of bullying was taken from the website: www.stopbullying.gov
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.
MEA is committed to providing a school environment free from sexual harassment for all students. Incidents of harassment should be reported in writing to school officials so school authorities may take appropriate action. 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.
Sexual harassment is unlawful and prohibited. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, in person, written, or by electronic media. It includes offensive pictures, graffiti, jokes, and gestures. Sexual harassment also occurs when the offensive behavior or material creates a hostile school environment.
Reporting instances of bullying or sexual harassment as soon as possible is strongly encouraged so that we can help the affected individual. If the harassment is between students, the student shall report the incident to any staff member. The student may also report to the principal, vice-principal or counselor.
If the harassment comes from an adult, the student should report directly to the principal or another responsible adult.
RIGHT TO SEARCH
Mount Ellis Academy reserves the right to search student rooms, lockers, vehicles, electronic media and files, and personal belongings for objects or materials deemed noncompliant with the school’s rules and regulations, or which threaten the safety of the school or its students.
When school property is damaged, broken, or misused by a student, the student will be liable for the actual cost of the repair and any associated expenses. It may be necessary to use the services of a commercial business to make the needed repairs.
Accidents that occur on campus or during a school-sponsored activity should be reported immediately to the activity supervisor and to the dean. MEA provides secondary accident insurance for students. This insurance covers injuries caused by accidents while the student is on campus or involved in school-sponsored activities. Parent’s insurance is the primary provider. The insurance subscribed to by MEA pays the remainder of the medical bills based on “reasonable and customary” rates.
An accident report must be completed within twenty-four hours and submitted to the school office. Accident reports are available in the front 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.
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 believes that ultimately, the responsibility for setting and conveying appropriate standards when using media rests with the parents. Accordingly, recognizing the potential for accessing sites other than educational ones, families may choose not to permit their children access to the internet through the school network. If parents do not want their student to have Internet access while at MEA, they may submit a written statement indicating this. All students will be expected to adhere to MEA’s Acceptable Use Policy.
MEA has adopted the following guidelines and policies to provide for the safety and well-being of students.
WIFIT 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 on‐line and sites visited while on the school network and on school Chromebooks.
- 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 violation. This may result in investigation of and consequences for inappropriate behavior.
- 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 students are encouraged to use the network for school related activities only.
- Students are discouraged from posting personal contact information (address, phone number, etc.) about themselves or any other person on the internet.
- Students are not to contact or meet with someone they connect with online. Any request for contact of this nature is to be reported to school administration immediately.
- Inappropriate messages or messages that make a student feel uncomfortable should also be reported immediately.
Illegal Activities The following activities are examples, but not limited to those which will result in an AdCouncil discipline referral:
- Unauthorized access to MEA’s or any other computer system, or those which go beyond his/her authorized access, by entering another person’s username, password, or account number or by accessing another person’s files.
- Deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system or destroy data by spreading computer viruses, or by any other means.
- Knowingly trying to circumvent the security measures on this system or on any other computer from MEA.
- Illegal acts, such as sharing illegal games, movies, or other copyrighted materials.
Students are expected to partner with MEA to maintain security on the school network. 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 if he/she has identified a security problem.
- Only open email attachment files from known or expected senders.
Respectful use of technology within the framework of MEA’s spirit and philosophy, is expected of all students.
- Students will avoid using obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language in any communication.
- Students will avoid posting information that could cause danger or disruption, or engaging in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.
- Students will avoid harassing others by persistent actions that distress or annoy.
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.
Consequences of Violation
Consequences of violating these guidelines will be decided by the Administrative Council, and the MEA school board, when applicable.
Phones and Personal Devices
It is a privilege to have cell phones and personal devices on the Mount Ellis Academy campus. Mount Ellis Academy encourages responsible and moderate use of all privileged devices with the following guidelines:
- Personal devices include but are not limited to non-school issued laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc.
- Devices cannot be used to film or record other individuals in private settings or at unwanted times.
- Phone use for texting and phone calls is not allowed during school hours. (Parents should contact the front office during school hours.)
- Phone use in the Administration Building or work place is only allowed by permission of the instructor or work supervisor.
- Phones may be used at a teacher’s discretion within a classroom.
Individual struggles with cell phone addiction or inappropriate use of technology will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Faculty and staff have the responsibility of encouraging appropriate use of technology and may employ a variety of methods including:
- Phone turn-ins
- Individualized technology use contracts
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 in helping make residence hall life enjoyable.
Students are to reside in the residence hall unless they live with their parents. Any exceptions to these arrangements must go through the administration.
An attractive room will go a long way in boosting one’s positive mental attitude. Bring bedding for a standard-length, single bed, and things that will make the room comfortable. Each room is furnished with two twin beds, study desks, chairs, built-in closets, and dressers.
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 cleaning responsibilities.
- Keep things in order.
- Respect others’ time and possessions.
- Respect a roommate’s opinions and rights.
- Keep 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.
Study hall begins promptly after worship. Students are expected to be on time and are not to 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.
Television sets, DVD players, and gaming consoles are not allowed in the residence halls. The dean will store any unauthorized items found on the campus.
Toasters, popcorn poppers, and irons may not be used in the residence hall rooms but may be used in authorized areas.
All space heaters must be approved by the deans. If misused, items will be stored by the dean and, if necessary, appropriate consequences will be applied. Microwaves and refrigerators are allowed.
Anytime a student wishes to leave campus for the weekend or overnight, arrangements must be made with the dean before leaving campus. The student must submit a leave request to the dean’s office, have their parent call the dean to confirm their plans, and make sure the dean has granted permission before they leave campus.
Deans will communicate with parents 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 and an invitation from the family they wish to visit. This 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.
Non-students under 21 may only drive students on trips to the student’s home or overnight leaves (except for siblings). Open 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. All students are expected to remain on campus during closed weekends.
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 automatically expect appointments, such as classes or work, to be excused or dismissed early prior to home leaves. (See Pre-Excused Absence Procedures). Medical appointments are to be made at times when a student is home; therefore, nullifying the need for early home leaves.
Students are expected to leave campus during all scheduled home leaves and vacations, as both residence halls and the cafeteria are closed.
Home leaves begin officially at the end of classes on the scheduled day of leave and end at 9 p.m. on the day of return. If a student returns later than 9 p.m., s/he will need to call the dean and make arrangements. 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. If a student needs to stay after 1 p.m. and return before 2 p.m., prior arrangements must be made with a dean. 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.
INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS
Safety is MEA’s first concern. Day students are welcome to stay in the dorm when it is unsafe to travel. There will be no fee for staying overnight in these situations. Arrangements must be made with the deans.
If the student is staying at home, please allow for extra driving time for safety. If travel conditions are deemed unsafe, please contact the office as soon as possible.
- Even if the public-school district is closed, MEA may continue to have classes.
- Parents will need to evaluate the road conditions and decide regarding the safety of travel for their child.
- If students have travel emergencies or choose to stay home due to road conditions, please notify the Registrar’s office.
If village students wish to visit in the residence halls after 7:45 p.m. or spend the night, their parents must request permission from a dean, and students must sign in and out with a dean. Village students are to abide by all residence hall policies.
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.
Sometimes it is necessary for the deans to confiscate items. The deans will use their discretion in deciding which items will be returned.
The following items will be confiscated:
- Speakers or docking stations.
- Inappropriate music (satanic, pornographic, immoral, anti-Christian, drug related).
- Amplified musical instruments and drums or other audibly obtrusive equipment without prior approval.
- All DVDs/movies (except exercise).
- Obscene or suggestive posters, liquor containers, and inappropriate reading material.
- Items with an open flame or hot plates. This restriction includes, but is not limited to, matches, lighters, candles, incense, and oil lamps.
- Any weapons, such as firearms, any type of gun (including paintball and airsoft guns), sling shots, machetes, clubs, nightsticks, throwing stars, nunchucks, and switchblades.
- Questionable games, such as role-playing games, violent games, or any games dealing with spiritualism or the occult. Students will be counseled about other games that may take up too much student time and energy.
- Gambling devices.
- Pets (fish are allowed).
- Energy drinks.
- Personal computers/tablets and projectors.
RELIGIOUS SERVICE EXPECTATIONS
All dorm students are expected to follow dress code policies while attending religious services. Village students who choose not to follow dress code policies will be expected to sit with parents/guardians while attending religious services.