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Student handbook

School Year 2023-2024 

 

 

Briya at Shepherd 

801 Shepherd St. NW 

Washington, DC 20011 

(202) 797-7337 

Mary’s Center—Kalorama 

1707 Kalorama Rd. NW 

Washington, DC  20009 

(202) 420-7200 

Fort Totten 

100 Gallatin St. NE 

Washington, DC 20011 

(202) 232-7777 

Mary’s Center—Georgia Ave 

3912 Georgia Ave. NW 

Washington, DC  20011 

(202) 545-2020 

June 2023 

 

Dear Briya Family, 

 

We would like to welcome you to Briya Public Charter School. Briya’s mission is to strengthen families through culturally responsive two-generation (2-Gen) education. Briya was originally founded in 1989 and is consistently ranked a Tier 1 high-performing school in both adult education and early childhood by the DC Public Charter School Board, which is the best ranking possible. 

  

Briya educates adults and young children who live in Washington, DC. 2-Gen programming includes adult education classes—which combine English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), digital literacy, and child development — and infant, toddler, and pre-K classes for the children of adult students. Briya also offers a Medical Assistant Program and a Child Development Associate Program. 

 

We look forward to working together to meet your goals. We encourage you to take advantage of all the services provided by Briya by attending regularly and participating actively. We value your input and welcome any ideas or suggestions you have for improving our school. Feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or need assistance. 

 

We look forward to your participation! 

 

Sincerely, 

 

 

 

Christie McKay,  

Executive Director  

 

 

Mission 

To strengthen families through culturally responsive two-generation (2-Gen) education. 

 

Educational Focus 

Briya has three main components: Adult Education (including ESOL/Digital Literacy and Workforce Training), Early Childhood Education (including Pre-K, toddlers, and infants), and Child Development/Family Time. The ESOL adult education classes have nine levels: Fundamentals of Reading and Writing, Basic 1, Basic 2, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Principles of Writing, Advanced 1, Advanced 2, and Advanced 3.  Students at the Advanced 3 level may earn their high school diploma through Briya’s National External Diploma Program (NEDP). 

 

While parents are in the 2-Gen adult education classroom, their children are next door in the early childhood education classes. Pre-K is a mixed-age class for 3- and 4-year-old children. Children ages 0 to 2 are in infant and toddler classrooms. Early childhood classes focus on all areas of child development and learning including language, literacy, cognitive, social/emotional, physical development, math, science, and the arts. 

 

Weekly Child Development activities, including Family Time, help parents gain skills to support their children’s educational development. 

 

School Day and School Year Structure 

The school generally follows the DC Public School’s annual calendar.  The school year is 180 to 185 days. 

 

2-Gen ESOL 

Adults, infants, and toddlers receive 12.5 hours of school-based instruction weekly in either the morning or in the afternoon daily. Each week adult students participate in ESOL, Digital Literacy, and Child Development. Pre-K students come from 8:30 to 3:00, Monday-Thursday and 8:30-11:30 on Fridays.  

 

Workforce  

Briya offers workforce training in the healthcare and early childhood fields. A daytime Child Development Associate (CDA) class in Spanish and a Medical Assistant (MA) class are offered as part of the 2-Gen program. In addition, Medical Assistant (MA), CDA-Spanish, and CDA- English classes meet in a hybrid model that spans Monday through Thursday from 6:00-9:00pm 

 

Orientation 

Following the admissions process, students participate in a week-long orientation during the first week of the academic year. Adults who bring children to the program will also spend time in the early childhood classroom as part of the orientation to child development and the education program. During the orientation, students experience the three components of the program and other activities.  

 

Application and Enrollment  

Briya admits students to its program as a family unit in order to promote educational advancement of the entire family.  The adult files an application on behalf of the adult student and their child.  These applications are then submitted to an enrollment lottery if one is required due to receipt of more applications than slots available.  

 

The enrollment and lottery dates are publicly announced through the Briya website, flyers, and the newspaper. Names of student applicants who complete applications within the enrollment period are selected at random and placed on the enrollment/waiting list in the order selected.  Students are either placed within any open class slots or assigned to the waiting list from the order in which they are selected in the lottery.  Applications received after the deadline are placed on the waiting list in the order received.  As spaces at each class level become open, students are contacted in order from the waiting list to fill the spaces.    

 

Under this enrollment policy, any parent of a child 0-18 years of age, who is a resident of the District of Columbia, is eligible for admission to the 2-Gen program at Briya. Additionally, any child of a 2-Gen adult student ages 3 to 4 years as of September 30th of the enrollment year is eligible for enrollment in the Pre-K program of Briya subject to the availability of spaces at each class level.  Prospective students are otherwise considered without regard to any measures of aptitude or achievement, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, language proficiency, or any other basis prohibited by law. DC adults (age 18 and above for MA, and 17 and above for CDA) are eligible for admission into Briya’s workforce programs.  

 

Admissions Process  

The school’s recruitment and admissions process includes an in-depth explanation of the focus of the school’s curriculum and activities on family literacy, parenting skills, and Family Time. If the school’s adult slots are filled through the enrollment lottery before the Pre-K slots are filled, the school will continue to accept Pre-K students for admission. The Pre-K students will start participation in the classes immediately, while the parents will be placed on a waiting list for adult education and child development classes. These adults will then be called from the waiting list as spaces become available. The prospective students will, in the meantime, be required to attend Family Time activities at the school with their Pre-K students while they are on the waiting list for adult education and child development classes. This policy will allow the entire three component programs—early childhood education, child development/Family Time, and adult education —to continue to function fully.  

 

Applicants are required to submit an application for enrollment as described above and attend a pre-registration/orientation session during the admissions period. During this session, families are informed of the goals and mission of the school, are given an overview of academic and non-academic programs, and are notified of school policies and procedures. The school makes especially clear the requirements related to proof of residency, immunizations and required participation in all aspects of the academic program. Adult students take an English placement test for class level assignment. 

 

During this time, students are assisted in gathering the required proof of DC residency. Any student who is unable to provide the documentation required to prove DC residency may request a home visit to certify DC residency. The required certification process is then completed by the director, or her designee as established by charter school guidelines. Applicants are required to submit all documentation of residency required for enrollment during the period beginning April 1 and prior to October 5 of the enrollment year as established by charter guidelines. 

  

Admissions Preference Policy 

This policy describes the preferences in admission that Briya Public Charter School (Briya) may give to its pre-kindergarten applicants in compliance with the DC School Reform Act. As noted in Briya’s charter, parents and children enrolling in two-generation programs at Briya submit one application for the family; therefore, parents and children are admitted together. Briya applies additional preferences in the following order: 

  1. Briya may give enrollment preference to an applicant who is a child of a member of the public charter school's full-time staff so long as enrollment of employees’ children is limited to no more than 10% of the school's total enrollment. 

  2. Briya may give enrollment preference to siblings of current or recently admitted Pre-K students.  

  3. Briya may give enrollment preference to the child of a current or recently admitted student.  

Regardless of the aforementioned preferences, Briya complies with DC residency requirements for all students.  

 

Enrollment and Tuition for Non-Resident Students 

Students from the District of Columbia will have priority in enrolling in the charter school, and any non-resident students must pay tuition as determined by the DC Public Charter School Board. Students who do not meet the DC Public Charter School residency requirements and who cannot pay this tuition may be served by non-charter school funding only if available. 

 

Philosophy 

Briya’s school design is based upon its core beliefs about family relationships in education and about how adults and children learn best. 

 

Educational Philosophy   

  1. Education is a human right.     

  2. Multilingualism and multiculturalism are assets to be cultivated; strong home language and shared cultural identity foster academic and psychosocial benefits.    

  3. Education, health care, and social services are vital for families to achieve long-term, healthy outcomes across all aspects of life.    

   

Family Relationships in Learning  

  1. Strong family engagement beginning in the early years helps children succeed in school and life.    

  2. Parents are children’s most important and lasting teachers; investing in them supports long-term success.    

  3. Families pass on language and culture while simultaneously developing children’s cognitive, social, and emotional abilities.    

   

Adults and Learning   

  1. Adults bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom. Effective instruction builds on students’ rich experiences and equips them with the skills and knowledge to meet their goals for themselves, their families, and their community.     

  2. Adults learn best through a cycle of practice and reflection and thrive in a supportive learning community where their agency is prioritized.   

   

Children and Learning   

  1. Caring relationships provide the foundation for gaining knowledge and skills in inter-related developmental domains and academic content areas.     

  2. When teachers intentionally co-create learning experiences with students, children internalize the idea that they are agents of their own learning.     

  3. Effective dual-language instruction builds on children’s and families’ unique and diverse cultures, backgrounds, languages, and strengths.    

  4. Rich experiences with the natural world promote the development of important characteristics such as attention, mindfulness, self-regulation, and connection.   

 

School Organization 

 

Adult 

Briya strives to provide a supportive, safe, welcoming environment where it acknowledges that all students come with valuable skills and knowledge regardless of their educational level. Teachers help students recognize and value their gifts and abilities utilizing those to maximize learning while at the same time making students feel comfortable to learn at their own pace. 

 

Student Grouping: 

School organization and placement of learners is an important part of creating a supportive educational environment.  There are nine levels of English instruction: Fundamentals of Reading and Writing, Basic 1, Basic 2, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Principles of Writing, Advanced 1, Advanced 2, and Advanced 3.  The initial intake assessment places adult students into their appropriate level. Children are placed into the Pre-K class corresponding to their parent’s class. 

 

Goal Assessment: 
Adult students identify goals for themselves and their family during the orientation as well as on an on-going basis in the adult classes.  Classroom instruction is tailored to meet those goals to capitalize on learners’ motivation, to maximize retention, and to increase outcomes. 

 

Progress/Monitoring: 

Through a comprehensive system of assessments and monitoring, we ensure that students receive the appropriate services, culturally responsive instruction, and the highest quality education.  Differentiated instruction is used to meet the individual needs of learners who may be struggling with the course work or who need more challenging content.  Students are reassessed throughout the year and have the opportunity to advance into higher levels if they show sufficient progress.  Adult students meet with their teacher and their child’s teacher for Parent/Student-Teacher Conferences three times a year to discuss individual progress and goal achievement. 

 

Tutoring: 

Individual tutoring sessions can be arranged for students who need extra academic support. 

 

Pre-K 

The Early Childhood classes offer a high-quality early education program that is based upon the Reggio Emilia approach which centers around the image of the child as a capable person with rights, important ideas, and potential.  The program values and implements inclusion, experiential and outdoor learning, play, relationships, and strong parent and community involvement.  The early education program also utilizes the Creative Curriculum and its fully aligned assessment, Teaching Strategies GOLD.  Teachers plan study topics that are relevant to children’s interests, daily lives, and learning needs. Examples of past studies include insects, trees, boxes, birds, bread, flowers, buildings, clothes, habitats, water, the human body, and wheels. The curriculum and assessment are aligned with the DC Early Learning Standards. The Pre-K program is bilingual 50/50 English/Spanish.  Teachers build children’s oral language in both languages throughout the day, as well as support children’s other home languages.  Briya is an inclusion program that welcomes children with special needs in the classroom.   

 

Pre-K children develop the knowledge and skills to set them up for a successful entry into kindergarten and beyond. Briya utilizes multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) for language and social-emotional development teaching and emphasizing important skills throughout all parts of instruction.  Children gradually learn to follow routines, develop strategies to regulate their own emotions and behavior, and become part of a caring classroom and school community. At Briya children engage in outdoor play every day which provides them the opportunity to use their bodies, connect with nature and participate in creative play. Children must wear weather appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes. Briya provides outerwear for children who need it to participate in outdoor learning. In addition to schoolwide field trips there are occasional field trips that relate to the current topic of study, for example during a study on wheels children might visit a local car wash or mechanic shop.  

 

Parent Integration 

Parent integration is critical in providing a family literacy environment where parents play an important role in their children’s education.  The first few days of class parents often accompany their children in the early childhood classrooms to ease the adjustment to a new environment and learn about their children’s daily schedule and the learning activities that take place. Parents are encouraged to arrive early to spend time playing in the classroom with their child.  Story times and regularly scheduled Family Time are opportunities for parents and children to learn together. Teachers and parents regularly have conversations about children’s development, learning, and progress.  Parents are encouraged to take books home daily from the classroom lending libraries to read with their children. 

 

Curricula
 

Adult Education Curriculum:   

Briya has adopted the CASAS Competencies & Content Standards, the College and Career Readiness, and English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education as key tools for the development of the adult student content and performance standards, curricula, lesson planning, and goal setting. The curriculum is designed to raise English proficiency and literacy levels; to improve computer, job, and parenting skills; to promote problem solving, critical and creative thinking; and to strengthen successful interpersonal skills and the ability to work as a team. These skills are essential for full participation in daily American life, for supporting one’s child’s education, and for economic success. 

 

Pre-K & Early Childhood Curriculum:   

As mentioned above, Briya uses a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach as well as the Creative Curriculum which is a developmental curriculum that provides a clear sequence of objectives for birth to third grade, as well as essential experiences to meet those developmental and academic milestones. Briya’s approach to curriculum for children is emergent; the curriculum and classroom experiences emerge from a combination of the children’s interests, the local environment and resources, and provocations that teachers provide for children that are designed to engage the senses and support knowledge and skill development.  Careful observation and documentation of learning gives teachers necessary information to be able to scaffold and guide children in pursuing their interests while meeting academic goals. Briya also draws from its active engagement in Project Zero (a research center that explores topics in education such as deep thinking, understanding, intelligence, creativity, and ethics) to create a culture of thinking and encouragement of student voice and purpose. 

 

Assessment 

The school uses a variety of assessment methods including standardized testing, portfolio assessment, teacher-created assessments, progress reports, and goal setting to make certain that it is meeting the needs of students and offering high quality services. 

 

Adult Assessment:  

Adult students are pre-tested using the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS). The CASAS system is a widely used national assessment tool which integrates assessment, curriculum, and instruction. The results of the exam help students and teachers to identify educational needs and to see the progress students are making when post-tested. 

 

Pre-K Assessment:   

Briya uses Teaching Strategies GOLD (ongoing curriculum-based assessment throughout the year), the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), and ASQ SE, the Pre-IPT (Oral Language Proficiency Test), and additional diagnostic assessments when necessary to gather information to support children’s success. Teacher/child interactions are evaluated using the CLASS assessment in Pre-K, toddler, and infant classrooms. Additionally, the Pre-K classroom may use additional assessments as part of the MTSS model. 

 

Student-Teacher Meetings 

Student-teacher and parent-teacher conferences are scheduled three times per year.  In the adult student-teacher conferences, the discussion covers the student’s progress in class, CASAS scores, results of teacher-created assessments, attendance, progress towards individual goals, and any other relevant topics.  Conferences with parents of the children cover the child’s academic progress. Parents and teachers communicate and collaborate on establishing learning plans and goals for each child. 

 

Recognition Ceremony 

A recognition ceremony is held in June.  In acknowledgement of their hard work and effort, all students are presented with individual certificates stating the total number of hours they have participated in Briya classes. Children also receive a certificate for their participation in the school. 

 

Student Services 

Student Services coordinators provide support and referrals to community resources, including Mary's Center.  They also plan workshops, information fairs and other events for students.  Student Services coordinators help with a variety of needs, including health insurance, medical care, legal services, food, clothing, housing, jobs, domestic violence, mental health, school lottery applications and more. Briya is a Community School, which means we work closely with partner organizations, including Mary's Center, to assess needs and coordinate programs and services that support students and their families. 

 

Student Leadership 

Student Council  

The Student Council is comprised of student representatives from each adult class and PreK parent representatives. Student Council members have input into decisions that affect curriculum, school schedule, social events, and other school policies and activities. In addition to these duties, the Student Council gives input on improvements for the coming semesters. They are also called upon to represent the program to visitors and evaluators of the school. Student Council members may be invited to represent Briya and its student body at relevant city and nationwide events. Student Council meetings are held three times per year.  Before each meeting, teachers provide an opportunity for all students/parents to give input. The 

 representatives discuss student/parent comments and recommendations during the Student Council meeting where the Briya School Leader and Student Services staff are present. Student/parent recommendations are then presented at Board of Trustees meetings and appropriate actions are taken as needed. 

 

Briya Voices for All 

Briya Voices for All is a student group that is open to all Advanced students who are interested in advocating for city level changes that impact students, families and community.  This group meets weekly to learn about issues that affect our school and community; how DC government is structured and how decisions are made, civic engagement and rights, and how to organize and advocate for change.  Students participate in advocacy events, DC council hearings, and other meetings with experts.  They also share important information with classmates and promote advocacy efforts 

 

Student Ambassadors 

Student Ambassadors are a group of diverse and dynamic students who help promote Briya in the community; at schools, businesses, clinics, and churches, as well as during special events and activities. 

 

Student Agreement 
  •  I agree to fully participate in my educational program,   

  • If enrolled in 2-Gen, I will fully participate in parent education, the education of my children, digital literacy and English or Workforce.  

  • If enrolled in a workforce program, I will adhere to all program requirements. 

  • I understand that the program is for a total of 12.5 hours a week. 

  • I understand that the attendance policy states that I am allowed a maximum of 4 absences per month. I understand I should call, text or e-mail my site when I am absent. 

  • I agree that I will participate for a minimum of 6 months in order to meet my family’s educational goals. If I am also enrolling my child at Briya, I commit to participate for a minimum of a year. 

  • I understand that I will participate in field trips including library visits, parent-teacher conferences, and home visits. 

  • I understand that as a member of Briya, I can participate in the decision making of Briya through the Student Council. 

  • I acknowledge receipt of the student handbook and agree to follow school policies. 

 

Pre-K & Early Childhood Expectations 
  • Briya recognizes that parents are children’s first and most important teachers. It is very important for families and staff to work together to support children’s learning. 

  • When a child is new to the class, the parent may be asked to stay with the child until the child feels comfortable in the new environment.  Parents may also spend more time in the early childhood classroom to learn about the child’s class. 

  • Children should come to school on time and every day. If children miss more than 4 days of class per month parents will need to talk with the director and make an attendance improvement plan. The parent may need to bring doctor’s notes or other documentation. 

  • Parents must arrive on time and participate in all Family Time activities. 

  • Parents must complete a survey about their children’s development and skills.  Briya will use the assessment (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) to monitor young children’s development and communicate with families. 

  • Parents must attend three parent-teacher meetings a year with their children’s teachers. Parents and teachers talk about how the child is doing and ways work together to help the child.  

  • Briya uses positive behavior strategies to help children learn appropriate behavior. Parents must not use physical punishment at school or during any school events such as field trips, parties, etc. When needed, staff and families can collaborate on behavior support plans.  

  • Sick children must stay at home (vomiting, diarrhea, fever, etc..) Parents must take their child home if their child becomes sick at Briya.  Children must be fever-free for 24 hours before coming back to Briya. 

  • The program will not accept children that are not enrolled.  

  • Please bring an extra set of clothes for your child. Write your child’s name and classroom on the clothes.  The clothes will be kept in the classroom.  If these clothes are used, please take them home and bring in clean clothes. 

  • Children should wear clothes that are appropriate and comfortable for the weather.  Children should wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in and play in at the park. Children’s clothes will get dirty at Briya as they play and do arts and crafts. 

  • Children do not need to bring toys from home unless the teacher asks for a special activity.  Toys are to be kept in the child’s cubby.  

  • Please put your child’s name on all bottles, snacks, and belongings. Do not bring glass bottles or containers. 

  • Snack and lunch foods in the infant/toddler program must be healthy. 

  • Juice is not allowed.  Children may drink milk or water while at school. 

  • Soda, chips, gum, and candy are not allowed at school.  

  • Peanut-butter is not allowed at school. 

  • As soon as class is over, please go immediately to the area to pick up your children.  

  • Birthdays: Briya early childhood teachers use a special routine to make each child feel special on their birthday. Please talk to your child’s teachers or the Early Childhood Coordinator at your site and do not plan to bring treats in for children’s birthdays. 

Infant/Toddlers Specific -  

  • Infant and toddler parents MUST always remain in the building. 

  • Staff will tell you if your child needs a diaper change. Please go to the Early Childhood classroom to change your child’s diaper.  

  • Please bring a small blanket, diapers, wipes, a bottle and all the supplies that your child may need. 

 

Attendance Policy 

Students are expected to come to school every day. Instructional days include field trips, celebrations, and Parent/Teacher, Child/Teacher conferences. It is mandatory for all students and parents of Pre-K students to call-in to let us know when and why they are missing class. 

 

2-Gen Attendance Policy  

Briya’s attendance policy is to promote student learning and community building. Adult learners have complicated lives, face barriers and have competing priorities that can interfere with attending class. The intent of this policy is to support learners in addressing barriers and mitigate competing priorities to enable them (and their infant and toddler children) to attend class regularly. When this is not possible, we will be in conversation with the student so that they have the support they need to focus on immediate matters and return to class when they are able to attend regularly. 

 

If adult learners miss more than four (4) days of class per month, they are required to meet with a Briya staff to develop an attendance plan. If a 2-Gen ESOL adult student, infant or toddler is absent (excused or unexcused) 10 instructional days in a month, they are unenrolled and removed from the class list. 

 

Individuals who take parental leave may return at any time if there is space for their newborn child and if they return within the timeframe arranged with staff. Pre-K students are expected to remain in class while the adult student is on parental leave or has been unenrolled. 

 

If a Pre-K student misses four or more days of class in one month, whether excused or unexcused, the Pre-K child’s parents may need to meet with Early Childhood Management to develop an attendance improvement plan. 

 

The following will be considered excused absences. Documentation should be provided as proof. Note: Absences due to poor weather or over-sleeping are not excused absences. 

  • Employment (for adult students) – work schedule conflict 

  • Illness – provide proof from Doctor’s office if available (ex. appointment card, prescription, medication) 

  • Doctor’s Appointments – provide proof from Doctor’s office if available (ex. appointment card, prescription, medication) 

  • Quarantine of family – provide proof such as a doctor’s note 

  • Renewing health insurance – provide proof (ex. paperwork) 

  • Emergencies (ex. accidents, death in the family) 

 

Tardiness and Absences Policy 

 

Phase 1: The teacher/coordinator talks to student with excessive tardiness or absences. 

Phase 2: The coordinator or Director of Adult Education does a Student Attendance Report where issues related to tardiness or absences are discussed, referrals for services are provided, and an improvement plan to reduce tardiness is developed. 

Phase 3: The student and staff meet to discuss if the student is following the plan or not; and what steps need to be in place if the situation continues. 

 

Home and Hospital Instruction Policy 

 

The purpose of this policy is to document the processes and procedures for applying for and receiving home or hospital instruction (HHI) at Briya Public Charter School.  

 

Pursuant Chapter 25, Subtitle A, Title 5 of the DC Municipal Register: Students’ Right to Home and Hospital Instruction HHI, Briya is required to offer academic instruction and support to students who have been or will be absent from school for ten (10) or more consecutive or cumulative school days during a school year due to a health condition. For non-compulsory age students who do not have Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Briya will work with the student and their family to determine if exiting for a period is a better fit for that student’s situation (e.g., if an adult student gives birth to a child).  

Briya’s unenrollment policy gives preference to previously enrolled students who wish to return after a medical absence. 

 

Application for Home and Hospital Instruction 

An adult student or parent of a prekindergarten student seeking HHI may submit an oral or written request to Briya PCS. Within two school days of an initial request for HHI, Briya will: 

  • Make available the written application for HHI; and 

  • Document the request for HHI in the student’s record.  

Any applicant for HHI is required to present a medical certification from their health care provider. The request cannot be granted until medical certification is provided. Briya will deny any application for HHI if the application is missing information or is otherwise incomplete. An application for HHI should not be used in the instance where a student’s IEP requires HHI as the student’s least restrictive environment under IDEA.  

 

Briya will provide a written decision on the submitted application that:  

  • Includes a written explanation of the basis for the approval or denial; 

  • If approved, describes a written plan for the delivery of HHI that includes the service delivery location, service to be delivered, identification of virtual and/or in-person service delivery as the method of service, identification of the number of hours per week of direct instruction for eligible students according to the medical certification of need, and the schedule for service delivery;  

  • States specifically, if Briya denies the application, that the basis for that determination is that the application or medical certification of need was missing information or incomplete; and  

  • Provides information on the right of a parent to appeal Briya’s approval or denial of the application to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). 

If HHI is approved, during the provision of such instruction Briya may make reasonable requests for information from the parent concerning the student’s continuing medical need for HHI and work with a student’s parent to develop accommodations or measures that would permit the student to return to school. 

 

Medical Certification of Need 

A medical certification of need is a written statement, either on a form provided by OSSE or any other form containing this information, signed by a licensed physician, licensed nurse practitioner, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed mental health counselor or therapist, or physician assistant that: 

  • States the signatory’s license number; 

  • Certifies that a student has been diagnosed with a health condition and explains how the health condition has caused or is anticipated to cause the student to be unable to attend in-school instruction, on a continuous, partial, or intermittent basis, at the student's school of enrollment or attendance for ten (10) or more consecutive or cumulative school days during a school year; 

  • Contains a recommendation that the student receive HHI, to the extent permitted by the student's health condition; 

  • States whether there is a maximum number of direct instructional hours that the student may receive per week based on the student’s health condition; 

  • States the anticipated duration and frequency of the student's health condition, and the needed start date of services; and 

  • States whether the student's health condition is anticipated to cause continuous, partial, or intermittent absence from school. 

A medical recertification of need is a written statement, either on a form provided by OSSE or any other form containing this information, signed by a licensed physician, licensed nurse practitioner, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed mental health counselor or therapist, or physician assistant that: 

  • States the signatory’s license number; 

  • Verifies the continued need for HHI and whether the student requires instruction in a home or hospital; 

  • States whether there is a maximum number of direct instructional hours that the student may receive per week based on the student’s health condition; and 

  • States the anticipated duration and frequency of the student’s health condition. 

 

HHI Delivery and Attendance 

Briya will design a HHI program that promotes participating students’ academic progress, allows the student to stay current with classroom instruction in core subjects to the greatest extent possible, fosters coordination between the student’s classroom teachers and the HHI instructors, and facilitates the rapid reintegration into classroom instruction when the student returns to school. HHI instructors will provide content aligned to that being provided in the student’s classroom at Briya. 

 

Briya will begin delivering HHI to a student whose application has been approved no later than five (5) school days after Briya approved the application. 

 

Briya will identify and provide a minimum number of hours per week of direct instruction for an approved student based on the medical certification or recertification of need. 

 

Briya may adjust the minimum required amount of direct instruction based on the student’s schedule and amount of in-school instruction the student is expected to receive. 

 

Direct instruction will be provided in-person by a home or hospital instructor, except that with the consent of the parent, direct instruction may be provided by a home or hospital instructor via real-time videotelephony or asynchronous learning. Briya may provide direct instruction via videotelephone in real-time or asynchronous learning without a parent’s consent in the following circumstances: 

  • During a public emergency, including a public health emergency, declared by the Mayor of the District of Columbia; 

  • When the student has been diagnosed with a communicable disease as defined in 22-B DCMR Chapter 2, or any superseding regulation; 

  • When a household member has been diagnosed with a communicable disease as defined in 22-B DCMR Chapter 2, or any superseding regulation, if the student is to receive instruction at home; 

  • When Briya determines that safety concerns prevent in-person instruction; or 

  • When the student is receiving medical treatment outside of the District of Columbia. 

Briya may satisfy the provisions of this section through employing staff to provide instructional services to a student, contracting with private providers to deliver instructional services, contracting with other LEAs to provide instructional services, or combining any of the foregoing delivery options. 

 

Briya will maintain a student receiving HHI on the regular attendance roll and count the student as medically excused, except when a student is not available for HHI, in which event the student may be counted absent. 

 

Briya will ensure due deference to the medical opinions set forth in the medical certification of need, including any medical opinions regarding the return of the student to in-school instruction when medically feasible, including the use of accommodations or supports recommended by the medical professional. 

 

Upon return of the student to in-school instruction, Briya may propose accommodations to allow the student to remain in school. Such accommodations must be agreed upon in writing by the medical professional signing the medical certification of need who agrees that such accommodations meet the medical needs of the student and permit in-school instruction. 

 

Students with Disabilities 

For students with individual education plans (IEPs), Briya will continue to deliver instruction in accordance with each individual student’s IEP. Content delivered during HHI will continue to align with the content being covered in the student’s class for the duration of their time away from school.  

 

When a parent makes a request for HHI for a student who is suspected of being or is eligible for special education services under the IDEA, Briya will:  

  • Provide the parent with notice of the procedural safeguards under the IDEA defined by 34 CFR § 300.504; and 

  • Consider whether the request for HHI could impact the student’s educational placement in the least restrictive environment, and if so, convene a placement determination team to review and revise the educational placement of the student, as appropriate, and to review and revise the student’s IEP, as appropriate. 

If Briya convenes a placement determination team to review whether the educational placement of a student with a disability should be changed, the determination and eligibility for HHI will be governed by the IDEA and any applicable District law or regulation governing IDEA rather than the standards in this chapter. 

 

If a student with a disability is placed in HHI in accordance with the IDEA, the provision and duration of services will be governed by the IDEA and any applicable District law or regulation governing IDEA rather than the standards in this chapter. 

 

Mediation and Appeals 

Should a parent or adult learner wish to appeal the decision made by Briya about their right to HHI, they can submit an appeal to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. The appeals form can be found here. 

 

A parent may appeal Briya’s decision to approve or deny a request for HHI by submitting a written request for an appeal to OSSE. An appeal to OSSE will be submitted within ten (10) calendar days of receipt by the parent of the Briya’s written decision. The written request for an appeal will:  

  • Include the student’s name, date of birth, universal student identification number (USI), and the name of the LEA of enrollment (Briya) and school of attendance at the time of the appeal request;  

  • Describe how the denial or approval decision made by the LEA was not made in accordance with this chapter; 

  • Include a copy of the medical certification or recertification of need in support of the request for HHI; and 

  • Include a copy of the written decision of Briya.  

If a parent appeals a decision by Briya to approve a request for HHI, the appeal will be limited to Briya’s decision to approve and will not include an appeal of Briya’s written plan for implementation of HHI. 

Upon receipt of the parent’s request for appeal, OSSE will provide mediation between the parent and Briya. OSSE will provide the parent notice of the proposed mediation date and an opportunity to request an alternative date for mediation.  

Policy Posting 

This policy will be included in Briya’s Student Handbook beginning in the 2023-2024 school year and will be posted on the school’s website. It will also be provided to any student or parent who has made a request for HHI so that they are informed of the school’s process.  

This policy will also be provided to any applicant for HHI at the time of their application and at any point of recertification of the request. 

 

Contact 

Briya staff responsible for oversight of this policy are Elizabeth Bowman, Chief Academic Officer (ebowman@briya.org) and Lena Johnson, Director of Early Childhood Education (ljohnson@briya.org). 

 

Reference 

Home and Hospital Instruction Legislation 

Home and Hospital Instruction Regulations 

Briya Unenrollment Policy 

Briya Attendance Policy 

Standards of Conduct  

Early Childhood Students: 

Briya implements a developmental approach that helps preschool children learn to appropriately regulate their own behavior and express their feelings. In addition to using child development knowledge to inform behavior expectations and support, teachers seek to understand children’s individual temperaments, and sociocultural contexts to shape strategies and behavior intervention. Building positive relationships between teachers and students/families is foundational to the success of the behavior support model. Teachers, behavior specialists, and other designated school staff who participate in teaching, reinforcing, and utilizing any aspect of the behavior support system work in collaboration with families to address root causes of behavior with the premise that all behavior has meaning and is a child’s attempt to communicate. Furthermore, Briya explicitly teaches positive behavior and discipline techniques to parents enrolled in Briya’s 2-Gen program through its child development curriculum. 

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS): 

Briya uses an MTSS framework to ensure successful outcomes for all children through a data-based, problem-solving process with multiple levels that help teachers, children, and families to support behavior in ways that are aligned with early learning standards and the school’s objectives for development and learning. Instruction and support for behavior are embedded within play and routines, as well as in small group activities, and have a core focus on promoting peer social interaction and concept development. 

There are three tiers of support: 

Tier 1: Universal instruction: supports general behavior, and the instruction and supports are provided to all students.   

Tier 2: Targeted supplemental interventions and supports that are aligned with core curriculum. 

Tier 3: Intensive individualized intervention and support, based on the individual student need and aligned with Tier 1 and Tier 2 support. 

 

Adult Students: 

Everyone in Briya’s community (students and staff) is expected to create and nurture a safe learning environment for all students on school grounds, at Briya-sponsored events and activities, and while participating in virtual Briya programming. To realize this expectation, Briya sets the following standards: 

  • Everyone at Briya will fully participate in learning.  

  • See attendance policy above.  

  • No one under the influence, using, or in the possession of drugs or alcohol is to be at Briya or participating in Briya-sponsored activities (e.g., field trips, distance-learning). 

  • Everyone at Briya should feel safe.  

  • All students must adhere to all safety and health rules. 

  • Disruptive/disrespectful behavior is prohibited. 

  • Harassment of all forms, intimidation, and bullying are prohibited. 

  • Students are prohibited from carrying weapons or explosive materials, using profane language, or exhibiting physical aggression against other students or staff. 

  • Everyone at Briya is expected to create and maintain a healthy environment so everyone can learn. 

  • Recycling and composting are to be implemented to the fullest extent possible 

  • Negligence or improper conduct leading to damage of school and/or student property is prohibited. 

  • Students will not use Briya technology for games or other electronic resources that have objectionable content or that engage in an inappropriate simulated activity. Students will not view pornographic or sexual material on Briya technology. Students will use any technology and Internet connection provided by Briya for school use or respectful personal use.  

  • Unauthorized use of telephones, computers, and school equipment is strictly prohibited. 

  • Everyone at Briya can express their culture through their dress.  

  • Briya’s dress code policy is to respect and embrace cultural differences in dress.  

  • Briya does not delineate what can and cannot be worn to school. In the case that a student’s dress disrupts instruction and learning, the designated restorative justice leader (Briya-wide or site-based) will have a conversation with the student(s) involved to assess the situation and will decide how to proceed with the case.  

  • All decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Workforce programs will provide specific information regarding dress for their programs/professions. 

Restorative Practices 

Briya’s restorative practice model is designed to support our mission and values and promote the characteristics of Briya students. Our restorative practices are one way we affirm our commitment to lifelong learning and community. We understand that when people demonstrate behaviors that don’t align with our code of conduct, we have opportunities to: 

  • Clarify expectations. 

  • Identify specific strategies for developing other behaviors and habits, and articulate systems of accountability for these strategies. 

  • Identify barriers that may be interfering in a student’s ability to effectively participate in school and develop a plan for addressing these barriers 

  • build positive relationships between individuals involved in the situation.  

  • Apply a trauma-informed equity lens to all we do by recognizing that trauma history and societal factors influence our individual and group behaviors. 

Addressing Conflict and Harm 
  • Level 0 – Community-building  

    • Participants: teachers and students 

    • Goal: build and nurture positive learning community by articulating and reinforcing norms, implementing routines, developing positive relationships 

    • Steps/actions: Class norms and routines established 

  • Level 1 – Further community-building when conflict arises 

    • Participants: impacted teacher and student(s) (with supervisor and site leadership support) 

    • Goal: classroom management and student support 

    • Steps/actions: Teacher and student(s) discuss incidents, create and implement a plan to address the conflict, and articulate strategies to avoid or mitigate recurrence. 

  • Level 2 – Managing ongoing conflict or conflict that cannot be managed within the class 

    • Participants: site-based restorative justice lead, impacted teacher and student(s) 

    • Goals: Reaffirm student handbook, make agreement, offer support, plan next steps including behavior change plan 

    • Steps/actions: Site-based restorative justice lead facilitates meeting with student(s) and teacher to address conflict and develop an individualized plan with clear agreements and timeline. 

  • Level 3 – Intensive intervention 

    • Participants: Briya restorative justice lead, site-based restorative justice lead and student(s)  

    • Goals: discuss consequences for ongoing disruptive behavior (restorative circles, mediation, suspension) 

    • Steps/actions: Briya restorative justice lead facilitates restorative circle with individuals involved in the ongoing conflict. Lead may recommend suspension at this time in extreme circumstances. 

Note – depending on the circumstances, the incident can be immediately addressed at a level 2 or 3 without going through level 1, then 2. 

 

 

 

Out-of-School Suspension and Expulsion of Adult Students 

 

Briya reserves the right to implement suspensions and expulsions as a result or component of intensive intervention. Briya will first engage students and staff in restorative practices and only use suspensions and expulsions when attempts to restore behavior have been unproductive. Thorough documentation of the incident(s) and restorative interventions will be collected, provided to the student, and maintained in Briya’s Student Information System. School administrators shall take special consideration regarding the exclusion of a student with a disability to determine whether the behavior that led to the infraction is linked to their disability. 

 

Suspensions will be used to ensure safety and allow students and staff time and space to develop and implement a plan for a successful return to the learning environment. The designated restorative justice leader (Briya-wide or site-based) may institute suspensions of up to three school days. Suspensions of more than three school days require approval from the School Leader.  

Reintegration circles are implemented for any student who has been excluded from the school or class to welcome the individual back, reaffirm their importance in the community, and provide support for their successful reintegration. 

Examples of behavior that may result in suspension include, but are not limited to, engaging in the following while participating in a Briya-related activity:  

  • Behavior that significantly interferes with other students’ learning 

  • Behavior, statements, or actions that harass or intimidate members of the Briya community 

  • Behavior that undermines safety, such as failure to adhere to health and safety rules or falsely activating the alarm system 

  • Actions that cause damage to school property 

  • Inappropriate use of school equipment, technology, or telephones 

  • Repeatedly using profane language 

  • Physical aggression 

Expulsion is only used in extremely extenuating circumstances with adult students. Children will never be suspended or expelled.  Expulsion is only to be implemented by the School Leader in consultation with the Briya Board of Trustees Chair.   

Examples of behavior that could result in expulsion may include, but are not limited to, engaging in the following while participating in a Briya-related activity: 

  • Endangering or neglecting the welfare of a child 

  • Distribution or sale of drugs or alcohol  

  • Fighting or assault 

  • Bringing a weapon to school 

  • Theft 

  • Providing false information for enrollment   

  • Bodily injury 

  • Sexual assault or misconduct 

When there is an infraction that involves a student who is eligible for special education services or who is suspected of having a disability, the Student Support Team will hold a manifestation determination meeting to consider whether the conduct subject to disciplinary action was a manifestation of the student's disability and to consider whether the infraction may have been the result of failure to implement the student’s IEP.  The Student Support team will determine the appropriate action to be taken in accordance with the Student Fair Access to School Amendment Act of 2018. 

 

Disciplinary Procedure and Due Process/Appeals/Complaint Resolution Process 

 

Minor disciplinary issues related to students or complaints on the part of the student or parent/guardian should be addressed by the teacher or director in a one–to-one or small group setting.  Every attempt should be made to resolve the conflict with the student(s) or parent/guardian concerned and to establish a resolution of the problem agreeable to all parties.  In the case of a minor infraction of the student policies which has not been resolved satisfactorily in an informal manner, a major infraction, or complaints on the part of the student or parent/guardian, the individual(s) will be taken through the following procedure: 

 

  1. Within ten working days from the occurrence of the matter on which a complaint or appeal of a disciplinary procedure is based, the staff member or student/parent/guardian will file a written report with the School Director on a form provided for that purpose. The School Director must respond in writing within ten working days of receiving the written report. In the case of complaints alleging sexual discrimination or sexual harassment carried out by employees, other students, or third parties, a student/parent/guardian may contact the Title IX Coordinator, Stephanie Mintz, (202) 232-7777, 100 Gallatin St NE, Washington, DC 20011  

 

  1. Grievance Policy: If the student/parent/guardian is not satisfied with the written response of the School Director (or Title IX Coordinator, if applicable), he or she has ten working days from receipt of the School Director's response to file a written notice of appeal with the Board contact which shall state the reasons for the appeal. The Board contact shall appoint a review committee consisting of three members of the Board of Directors.  The review committee shall thoroughly review the appeal and submit its conclusions to the Board Chair and to the student/parent/guardian in writing.  The decision of the review committee shall be final and binding. The Board contact for Briya is Charlotte Baer, 2333 Ontario Road NW Washington, D.C. 20009; e-mail: BoardChair@briya.org

 

In all steps of the disciplinary procedure and due process/appeals/complaint resolution process, failure of Briya to comply within the time limits specified will permit the student/parent/guardian to advance the appeal to the next step of the procedure, if any.  Failure of the student/parent/guardian to comply with the time limits will end the appeal process and the School Director’s response will be final. For a complete listing of Board Members, see below (pg 26). 

 

Student Support  

Briya’s multidisciplinary team uses the MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support) framework to ensure that all students are assessed and supported in their academic and social-emotional development. This helps to both prevent and more accurately identify students who may need to be referred for special education and/or mental health services. Data collection and assessment informs decisions at each level of instruction. 

 

Children are screened for developmental delays using normed and reliable early childhood screening tools.  If screen scores are below test norms, and/or classroom observations and conversation between teachers and parents/students reveal developmental or learning concerns, the Special Education Coordinators are notified and bring the matter to the attention of the MTSS team. Through MTSS, Briya matches students’ needs and helps struggling students before they reach the point of significant educational deficits. MTSS is a multi-tiered system of intervention supports that focus on social emotional and language skills. Additionally, weekly Family Support Team meetings are held to discuss and identify children having difficulty in any area that is not addressed through the MTSS process. Parents may request an evaluation of their child at any time. At either of these junctures, the MTSS team works closely with parents to initiate a systematic process involving teachers, appropriate administrators, and support personnel to determine how the school can best meet the needs of the student. The MTSS team may also recommend classroom and/or curriculum modifications for the student or, in some cases, a formal evaluation process. If parents provide consent for formal evaluation, the MTSS team works with the parents to determine which assessments will be administered. Briya gives consideration to parents’ wishes and to how the school can best help the student in his/her academic achievement. 

 

Members of the MTSS Team include Early Childhood Coordinators, Inclusion Coordinator/PD Specialist, Director of Adult Education, Student Services Coordinators, Adult Education Teachers, Chief Academic Officer and the Liaison for the Unhoused. Membership on the team is flexible based on the needs of the students. 

Safeguard of Student Information 

 

Briya PCS complies with laws regarding student privacy. Please see FERPA notice below for more information.  

 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students age 18 or older (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are: 

 

(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day Briya Public Charter School (Briya) receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the head of school a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The head of school or other appropriate school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. 

 

(2) The right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Parents or eligible students may write to the head of school, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it should be changed. If Briya decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing. 

 

(3) The right to consent (in writing) to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. For example, FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent to: school officials whom Briya has determined to have legitimate educational interests1 (a school official is a person employed by Briya as an administrator, manager, instructor, or support staff member including health or medical staff); a contractor, consultant, or volunteer to whom Briya has outsourced institutional services or functions; person or company with whom Briya has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); an official of another school system where a student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled; an authorized representative of the DC Public Charter School Board, the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Attorney General, or the U.S. Comptroller General for audit, evaluation, or compliance activity with respect to Federal or state education programs; Briya’s accrediting agencies; to appropriate parties if necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other individuals; and to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. 

 

(4) The right to withhold disclosure of directory information. At its discretion, Briya may disclose basic directory information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy without the consent of parents or eligible students in accordance with the provisions of District law and FERPA. Directory information includes student name, student address, student telephone listing, name of school attending, participation in officially recognized activities, diplomas and awards received, students date and place of birth, names of schools previously attended, and dates of attendance. Parents or eligible students may instruct Briya to withhold any or all of the information identified above (i) by completing the “Release of Student Directory Information” form available at the school (see below), or (ii) by providing notice in writing to the Director of Development and Accountability, Karen Hertzler, at 2333 Ontario Road NW Washington, DC 20009. The release or notification must be provided within 30 days of the issuance of this notice. 

 

(5) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by DCPS to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20202. 

 

Release of Student Directory Information  

To: All Parents and Adult Students (18 years of age and older) 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that requires Briya, with certain exceptions, to get your permission before disclosing personally identifiable information from education records.  However, Briya may disclose basic "directory information" that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy without your consent. The primary purpose of directory information disclosure is to allow Briya to include this type of information in certain school publications.  Directory information can also be disclosed to outside organizations such as federal and state agendas and media sources. The information listed below has been designated as directory information under District of Columbia law and FERPA and may therefore be released at the discretion of Briya. You have the right to instruct Briya that it may not release any or all of this information without obtaining your prior written consent by completing this form. Your decision on this form will be valid for the remainder of the current school year. A new Release of Student Directory information form must be completed each school year. 

 

Please place a check mark on the line beside any directory information items listed below that you do not want Briya to disclose without your consent, if any. 

Student Name 

Student Address 

Student Telephone Listing  

Name of School Attending 

Participation in Officially Recognized Activities  

Diplomas and Awards Received  

Student's Date and Place of Birth  

Names of Schools Previously Attended  

Dates of Attendance 

By signing, I am giving written notification to Briya that it may not disclose the directory information items I have placed a check mark beside above unless I give prior written consent. I understand that such information may still be disclosed by Briya if disclosure is otherwise permissible under FERPA. 

 

Adults with Disabilities 

 

Briya PCS follows the guidance of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for the provision of services to adults with qualifying disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Briya teachers utilize Learning Differences-appropriate instruction which is beneficial for all students.  A screening tool is administered to all students to assess their learning needs.  Adult instructors review the screen results with students during student-teacher conferences, as needed.  Accommodations and adaptations in the classroom are made for learners with special needs such as: larger print; larger fonts for computers; seating at the front of the class; individual assistance, auditory explanations, first language translation as available, and modeling.  Assignments are differentiated as needed to meet the needs of lower and higher-level learners within each ESOL classroom. Tutoring can be arranged to provide individualized support for learners during and outside of regular class hours.”   

 

Children with Disabilities 

 

Special education services are provided to all eligible students in accordance with the District of Columbia and federal regulations as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. All children are screened at the beginning of the school year using normed and reliable early childhood screening tools, and teachers take written observations of children’s behavior in the classroom. At parent request, or when a child’s screening results indicate that further evaluation or support is needed, the Special Education Coordinator works with families and the MTSS Team. 

 

If a student is identified as having a disability, Briya will use an inclusion model of special education services.  The MTSS Team, which includes the parents, classroom instructors, school administrators, and relevant specialists will meet to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  The school will contract with specialists to provide services such as speech/language, physical or occupational therapy, or psychological and educational assessments. The student’s progress toward school and IEP goals will be reviewed regularly with the parent during parent-teacher conferences and as needed. The IEP will be implemented during regular programming as much as possible. Strategies will include: 

  • Individualized instruction (as outlined by the IEP) 

  • One-on-one instruction and assistance within the classroom 

  • Differentiated instruction 

  • Supplementary aides (i.e., text with larger print, larger writing tools, picture communication) 

  • First language support when working with the child, if possible 

  • Scaffolding of skills 

  • Instruction and activities that build the individual’s phonological awareness 

Health & Safety 

 

Briya follows the rules and regulations for DC Public Charter Schools related to health, safety, and fire codes for buildings. Staff are trained in First Aid, CPR, mandated reporting including Safe Shores, fire evacuation procedures, and lock down procedures. 

 

The school prohibits any behavior that could potentially harm other students or staff including carrying of firearms, smoking, drug use, and physical violence. Such serious violations of the rules of conduct are subject to immediate suspension or expulsion following rules of due process. In the rare case that an adult’s or child’s behavior would necessitate suspension, or in the case of an adult, expulsion, due to a significant threat to oneself or others, the school will work with the family to find ways to reinstate the student to the classroom following the suspension period and/or will help the family to obtain a placement more appropriate to the student’s particular needs. Staff will refer the individual to appropriate services (i.e., counseling, drug rehabilitation) to receive help resolving their problem. 

 

Students are prohibited from engaging in behavior that endangers or threatens to endanger the safety of others or themselves, or that damages property, or that hinders the orderly conduct of the school. The school follows the mandated Child and Family Services Agency CFSA handbooks for reporting child abuse and neglect cases. The school is a drug-free workplace and complies with all health and safety standards. The school has a zero-tolerance policy for weapons and violence. Individuals who conduct theft in the school or during school sponsored events will need to meet with a counselor, teacher, or director and may face dismissal. 

 

Mandated Reporting  

 

Information discussed with Briya staff will be kept confidential except under the following circumstances: suspicion of abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults, suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or by court order. The purpose of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is to connect families to needed services. 

 

Fire Drill Procedures 

 

The school ensures fire evacuation routes throughout the building and maps are posted in every classroom. There are fire drills throughout the school year.  When the fire alarm rings, all students must leave the building quickly leaving all personal items behind. Parents in adjoining classrooms and staff in adjoining offices escort the children out of the building. Upon exiting the building, all persons meet at a designated location where role call is taken to ensure everyone is present. 

 

Emergencies 

 

The school follows a School Emergency Response Plan, and staff are informed to activate the plan in the event of an emergency. Lock-down procedures are reviewed and practiced throughout the school year. 

 

The School Emergency Response Team includes: 

Christie McKay - School Director 

Jose Alfaro - Security/Administration 

Elizabeth Bowman – Chief Academid  

Jennifer Dalzell– Director of Adult Education 

Lisa Luceno - Senior Director of Early Childhood 

Lena Johnson – Director of Early Childhood 

Stephanie Mintz – Director of Student Services 

Silvia Arias - Early Childhood Manager 

Susana Robinson- Early Childhood Coordinator 

Lorena Gomez - Early Childhood Coordinator 

Mirna Guardado - Administrative Manager 

Wendy Guardado – Administrative Manager 

Lea Ramer - Administrative Manager 

Pedro Pablo Diaz - Administrative Manager 

Kimberly Rivera - Administrative Manager 

Withdrawal Policies and Procedures  

 

Students will be able to withdraw from the school at any time. The school’s staff will work with each family when a request for withdrawal is made.  Staff will attempt to contact the family to conduct an exit interview to ascertain the student’s reason for withdrawal and to determine whether the family met its individualized educational goals. Reasons for leaving will be shared with appropriate staff to inform program improvement measures and to assist in the elimination of barriers to service. 

 

Statement of Non-Discrimination

 

Everyone at Briya Public Charter School is treated equitably regardless of socio-economic status, language proficiency, educational level, race, sex, color, religion, or national origin. We expect all individuals to treat each other with mutual respect, whether it be between teachers and students or among students themselves.  The school will seek to model with adult students and children the behavior required for positive relationships within the home, school, and workplace.  The school will actively promote respect between students and staff. 

In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, applicants for admission and employment, students, parents, employees, sources of referral of applicants for admission and employment, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with Briya Public Charter School are hereby notified that Briya Public Charter School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity/ expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, disability status, or employment status, in its programs and activities.  

 

Students, parents, and/or guardians with inquiries concerning Briya Public Charter School’s compliance with Section 504, ADA, Title VI, Title IX, and/or the Age Act as they apply to Briya Public Charter School students, or who wish to file a complaint regarding such compliance should contact: Stephanie Mintz, Director of Student Services, 2333 Ontario Rod NW Washington, DC 20009, 202-797-7337, or, Lena Johnson, Special Education Coordinator, 2333 Ontario Road NW Washington, DC 20009, 202-797-7337 who have been designated by Briya Public Charter School to coordinate its efforts to comply with the regulations implementing Section 504, ADA, Title VI, Title IX, and the Age Act as they relate to students. For further information on notice of non-discrimination, visit http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area or call 1-800-421-3481. 

 

Staff 

 

Briya’s staff are caring, highly qualified individuals who help carry out the mission and philosophy of the school and who help create a positive, mutually respectful culture where there is cooperation between students, staff, administration, the Board, the school and the broader community. All staff members have an extensive background in serving immigrant populations and understanding the problems families encounter when adapting to the United States. The staff take into account immigrant family structure and dynamics, experience in the US, and links with the extended family in the country of origin when planning curricula and programs. Current staff speak English, Spanish, Amharic, French, and several other languages. The school also uses methods including a professional translation service to ensure all students can communicate effectively with staff.  

Board of Directors  

 

Chair: Charlotte Baer 

Treasurer: Bill Bletzinger 

Secretary: Alejandra Sandoval 

Board members: Daniela Grigioni, Brittany Pope, Brenda Martinez, Janeesa Cobb, Cara Sklar, Jennifer Huang, Flor Buruca, Stuart Butler. 

 

Open Meetings Policy 

 

Briya’s Board of Trustees gathers a quorum of trustees six times a year in January, March, May, July, September, and November. All full board meetings are conducted electronically on the second Wednesday of the month, from 6:10-7:30 pm, except for the March meeting which is held on a Saturday afternoon. Notice of the March meeting time will be given no less than two business days before the meeting. The board meeting schedule can be found on Briya’s website at www.briya.org/board-schedule/. All full board meetings are open to the public. Please contact BoardChair@briya.org for guidance on meeting registration. 

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