Mount Ellis Academy is a Seventh-day Adventist boarding high school that accepts students of all faiths who are committed to pursuing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a Christian lifestyle. 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 seeks to enable each student to reach his or her maximum potential. It is the intent of the faculty and administration of the school to create a climate that motivates each student to develop a character that is Christ-centered and within the context of the Seventh-day Adventist system of beliefs. Mount Ellis Academy offers an educational experience that prepares students for their maximum effectiveness as citizens in this world and in the world to come.
Attending Mount Ellis Academy is a privilege that we want to take seriously. This handbook of student policies covers staff expectations in most of the major areas of campus life. Verbal announcements(changes or additions) will have the same force as printed policy.
Mount Ellis Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist High School, is open to students of 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
Mount Ellis Academy admits students of any race to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to its students and makes no discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnic background, country of origin, or sex in administration of education policies, applications for admission, scholarship programs, and extra-curricular activities.
Appropriate academic placement of the student is a fundamental principle of education. Mount Ellis Academy bases its placement of transfer students on the student’s most recent progress report. Parents or guardians should request cumulative records from the school the student last attended.
If a question arises regarding the student’s level of achievement, further evaluation will be made to clarify grade placement. Such evaluation may include standardized tests, actual classroom performance, and informal assessments.
Mount Ellis Academy reserves the right to make final determination of a student’s placement. All efforts will be made to help the student feel comfortable in his or her placement.
Students transferring from a home school, a non-accredited school, or an unapproved correspondence school may be granted credit based on an evaluation of appropriate documentation. Transfer grades may be recorded on a pass/fail basis with no honor points computed.
A student’s class standing depends upon the number of academic credits earned, rather than the number of years of attendance beyond elementary school. Official transcripts from schools previously attended must be recorded in the Registrar’s Office before transfer credits will be included in
a student’s record.
- Freshman — a student who has earned less than 55 credits.
- Sophomore — a student who has earned at least 55 credits, but less than 110 credits.
- Junior — a student who has earned at least 110, but less than 165 credits.
- Senior — a student who has earned a minimum of 165 credits and must be carrying successfully no less than 40 credits, excluding P.E. and music, in a program that will fulfill all requirements for graduation by the end of the current school year.
Students will qualify to march at graduation if they have been enrolled, in good and regular standing, for the final semester of their senior year, and have satisfactorily completed all requirements by the close of business on the Friday, one week prior to graduation.
Students may pursue one of two diplomas that reflect increasing levels of academic rigor. Students need to plan their course of study carefully beginning as underclassmen to achieve advanced level diplomas. Requirements for the following diplomas may be obtained from the school registrar:
- General/College Prep Diploma
- Enriched Diploma
The following honor cords may be awarded to recognize academic achievement and the rigor of a student’s course load:
- Gold — High Honors (3.75-4.0 GPA)
- Silver — Honors (3.50-3.74 GPA)
- Sky Blue — 4 years of Science
- Burgundy — 4 years of Math
- Royal Blue — 4 year of Math and 4 years of Science
- Green — At least 3 years/6 semesters of Fine Arts AND obtain 40 credits total within two or more disciplines.
Transcript Release Policy
It is the policy of Mount Ellis Academy to withhold students’ transcripts until accounts are paid in full or until satisfactory financial arrangements have been made.
Dropping of classes must be approved by parents, the registrar, and the Academic Standards Committee. Requests for withdrawal that are approved after the first six weeks of a semester will carry either a WP (Withdrew Passing) or WF (Withdrew Failing) grade. Students enrolled in performance-based groups will have only two weeks to withdraw. Students may add classes during the first two weeks each semester.
Incompletes are given only in cases of prolonged illness or approved extended absences from school. All incomplete grades need to be made up within four and one-half weeks from the close of the grading period in which the incomplete was issued. After the four and one-half weeks have passed, a grade will be assigned based on the work that has been submitted to the teacher. No incomplete grade will be given for the last nine week grading period.
Minimum Performance Standards
Students who receive failing grades in two classes at the semester grading period will have to withdraw from school. Students who receive financial aid must maintain a minimum 2.50 GPA at each semester grading period in order to renew their financial aid for the following semester. Exceptions may be made in cases of diagnosed learning disabilities. Students may be dropped from elective classes not needed for graduation if they receive an F grade more than two consecutive times on the DFI list.
Correspondence Class Work
Currently enrolled students wishing to take a class by correspondence or in summer school to meet graduation requirements should file their intent with the registrar. All correspondence class work must be completed and be on file with the registrar prior to the close of business on the Friday, one week prior to graduation. Course work taken at other schools or by correspondence, must be reviewed for accreditation purposes.
Each staff member acts as advisor to a small group of students that makes up his/her faculty family. The staff member plans social events for the family as well as providing academic advisement and support in all other areas of academy life. Students are encouraged to use their faculty advisor as a first point of contact for any problems or concerns that may arise.
Minimum Course Load
Full-time students are to be enrolled in a minimum of four (4) core classes,
one of which must be Bible, at all times. If, at any time, a student falls below the minimum, he/she will be asked to withdraw from school.
Late Homework Policy
Late homework may be turned in up to one week (7 days) from the time it is entered into the Renweb grade book by the teacher. Within this late-work grace period teachers may implement their own late work penalties.
There is a positive relationship between class attendance and academic success. Classroom experiences are inherent to the learning process and cannot be replicated through simply “making up the homework.” Much of the learning at Mount Ellis Academy takes place through cooperative interaction between students and teachers. Absences affect not only the student who is absent from the class, but the other students enrolled in the class as well. Therefore, it is our endeavor to maintain consistent and regular attendance for all students.
- Excused Absence: A school staff member (often with parent input) or parent/ guardian of a village student has excused the absence.
- School-Approved Activity Related Absence: These absences must be approved through the attendance Office before the absence(s) occur(s). Students and parents need to carefully consider the number of days that will be missed when a student elects to take part in an activity. All work that is missed must be made up to gain the necessary skills taught in the course.
- Unexcused absence: This type of absence takes place without pre-approval by a school staff member. It should be noted that if a student misses a class to complete work for another class, the absence will be regarded as an unexcused absence. Work missed cannot be made up.
Eleven Absences Policy
Mount Ellis Academy requires that students who accumulate 11 or more absences in a given class during a semester will lose credit for that class. The following absences will not be counted toward this absence total if approved by the House Committee:
- Medical Excuse: This includes long-term illness, hospitalization, day surgery, and emergency medical care with a doctor’s verification. (Regular medical appointments need to be scheduled to take place during non-classroom time)
- School-approved activity-related absences. Death in the immediate family. Parents should notify the Office if the student is unable to attend classes.
- Individual situations that are determined by the Administration to be of emergency nature.
Process for excusing absences
If a student has an absence, he or she has 24 hours to get that absence excused. Students must submit a signed and dated note from their dean, parent, or guardian stating the date and the reason for the absence. For example, a student missing classes on a Monday, and returning to class on Tuesday, has until Wednesday to get his/her excuse to the attendance office.
- Double Periods: One double period class (90 minutes) missed will count as two (2) absences.
- Worship: Worship is important in the development of the entire person. Each student who attends Mount Ellis Academy has indicated his/her desire to have a relationship with Jesus. Presence at worship is an outward sign of that desire. Students who miss worship on a consistent basis are indicating a change in their desire to continue in attendance at Mount Ellis Academy.
- Tardies: Three tardies will be counted as one absence. Students who are more than 20 minutes late to a class will be given an absence for that period.
- Bible Class: Mount Ellis Academy is a Bible-based school. Therefore, every student attending Mount Ellis Academy will remain enrolled in at least one Bible class each term. If a student is dropped from a Bible class because of absences, he/she will be asked to withdraw from school and may reapply at the semester.
- Work Related Absences: Even though Mount Ellis Academy believes that work is important in the growth of each student, academics are even more important. Therefore, Mount Ellis Academy may not excuse work-related absences. It is the responsibility of the student to protect his/her classes from any work-related conflict. Absences incurred due to work/class conflicts will be part of the student’s attendance record.
- Pre-Arranged Trips: Pre-arranged trips, including family vacations and college visitation other than Walla Walla University Days, will count toward the number of absences (10) allowed in this attendance policy and are not exempt from it. Trips that are not pre-arranged and excused by House Committee will be considered unexcused. Any request denied by House Committee for any reason will be considered an unexcused absence if still taken by the student.
- Home Leave Extension: Home leaves are scheduled regularly for students to spend time with their families. A $50 fee will be assessed to students who miss classes due to early departure or late return. Administration may make exceptions on a limited basis.
- Diciplinary Absences: A student that is asked to leave class for disciplinary reasons will be given an unexcused absence. Students accumulating a total of four (4) disciplinary absences in any class or combination of classes a semester will receive disciplinary action by the administrative council, which may include suspension or expulsion.
- School Related Absences: Students are not exempt from the following school activities:
- Mount Ellis Climb
- Senior Survival / Outdoor School
- Sunday School
- WWU Days
- Spring Picnic
- Service/Career Shadow Days
These activities are considered school days and involvement of each student is essential. If a student has more than two unexcused absence days for these types of events, they may be ned for each additional day missed or asked to withdraw from school.
Enforcement Procedure and Attendance Grade
The parent or guardian will be called after each unexcused absence. Three unexcused tardies equal one unexcused absence. For every one unexcused absence or three unexcused tardies the student will serve one detention study hall.
The following steps will be taken as students accrue unexcused absences. Attendance will be reset each quarter.
- Third unexcused absence: Disqualified for deans’ list.
- Fifth unexcused absence: Loss of leadership positions.
- Sixth unexcused absence: Meet with discipline committee and sign attendance contract which will reiterate the consequences for the seventh and eighth unexcused absences.
- Seventh unexcused absence: To continue at Mount Ellis Academy, reapply and if reaccepted, pay $100 fee.
- Eighth unexcused absence: Withdraw from school.
In rare cases, discretion may be exercised by administration with consequences at each step of the enforcement procedures.
Detention study halls will be held Monday through Thursday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm (during recreation period). The list of students required to attend detention study hall will be posted each morning. If a student misses a required detention study hall the following penalties will apply:
- Village student: $10 fine.
- Dorm student: Serve detention the next two consecutive nights.
Management of the Attendance Policy
The Academic Standards Committee is responsible for the management of the attendance policy. Students who lose credit in a class due to non-attendance have two options:
- Drop the class with a failing grade and transfer to study hall or other place that the committee might designate, or
- Remain in the class and receive no credit.
If a student loses credit in two or more classes, the student and his/her parent or guardian will appear before the Academic Standards Committee to determine whether or not the student will remain enrolled at Mount Ellis Academy.
The following are guidelines for the acceptance of make-up work in the event of absences: Unexcused Absence – No late work accepted
- Unexcused Absence: No late work accepted.
- Unforeseen Excused Absence: When students are absent due to sickness or family emergency one day of grace will be allowed for each day missed. For example, if a student misses two days of school, he/she will have to days two make up missed work.
- Pre-arranged Excused Absence: When students know ahead of time that they will be absent, a pre-arranged absence request must be submitted to the Office with each teacher’s signed approval and instructions for make-up work. Some teachers may require work to be turned in before of departure.
Student labor is an important part of the overall program at Mount Ellis Academy and is intended to help students develop a good work ethic and to provide valuable work experience. Dorm students are expected to work a minimum of ten hours per week. Dorm and village students receiving Worthy Student Aid are required to work at least 15 hours per week.
Students should take campus employment seriously. This means he/she will:
- Report to work regularly, on time and stay for the entire shift unless released by early the supervisor.
- Work conscientiously and to the best of his/her ability without being distracted by personal issues.
- Communicate with his/her supervisor well in advance of any needed time o , including school trips and athletic or other activities that may conflict with the work schedule. A student who is ill must contact his/her supervisor as soon as possible to inform him or her of the absence. Being on sick list in the attendance Office does not constitute communication with the work supervisor.
Campus employment is a privilege and may be terminated for unsatisfactory performance or attendance issues. Students should be aware that such action may result in dismissal from school for financial reasons. Employment will be granted only upon the student’s agreement to apply all net earnings to his/her student account. Students working at campus jobs will be paid the Montana State minimum hourly wage.
Students who work o campus and whose financial plans include a student labor component are expected to turn in their paychecks to the business Office to be applied to their accounts. Cash withdrawals of excess funds beyond the financial plan requirements can be arranged with the parent or guardian’s consent.
Tuition, fees and most expenses, except textbooks, have been consolidated into a at rate, enabling parents to plan for their student’s educational expenses more easily. The Flat Rate charge is based on present costs for services and commodities. Due to the prevailing uncertainty of economic conditions, the Montana Conference K-12 Board of Education, at any time during the school term, reserves the right to adjust all charges without notice as it deems necessary.
Note: Activities and classes that take place on campus or beyond the normal curriculum will be charged to the student on a cost basis.
During academy years students have many opportunities to develop friendships. Friendships should be beneficial to each student involved, whether it’s a boy/girl relationship or friendships within the dorms.
The friendship should be conducted in a manner that will guard each student’s reputation and ensure proper use of study and work time.
Students should respect each other.
Mixed groups should avoid secluded locations and remain in open areas. Intimate behavior is unacceptable. Students are to respect individual living areas by never violating marked boundaries in the dormitory
These guidelines remain in effect through graduation weekend.
No staff member or student may participate in or allow any act of harassment. Harassment includes jokes or intimidation or any physical or verbal attack directed at a person’s race, religion, national origin, age, gender, physical condition, or intelligence.
Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct that by, design or innuendo is sexual in nature. These interfere with an individual’s ability to perform work or school assignments by creating an intimidating, hostile, and offensive environment. Incidents of harassment are to
be reported to the administration and will be fully investigated while maintaining as much confidentiality as possible.
Staff members may put a couple on ‘social’ if the hands o guidelines are violated, if the staff believe that the couple need a ‘time-out’ from each other, or the couple is found
in an off-limits location. During ‘social’, the students are not to communicate with each other in person or by phone.
The duration of ‘social’ will be one week for the first infraction and two weeks for the second infraction. The third infraction will result in a one-week suspension from school and the fourth infraction will be cause for dismissal from school. Infractions are by individual, not by couple. If the infraction is serious enough, the administrative council may place a student at any of these four levels.
Parents are requested to notify the deans when taking their children o campus. Students wanting to leave with the parents of friends must have parental permission for that specific time and event unless standing permission has been given. Staff members are considered suitable chaperons.
When mixed groups or couples are planning an o -campus activity, they must be accompanied by a school-approved chaperone at all times.
For the safety and the security of students, Mount Ellis Academy, its facilities, and premises are only available to students who are Officially enrolled at the school. The general public is welcome on campus for scheduled public events (concerts, varsity games, etc.). At such public events, an adult must supervise children below high school age.
At all other times non-enrolled minors may be on campus only when under the supervision of a legal guardian and never for the purpose of loitering during the student school/work day.
Adults are allowed on campus for the purpose of visiting their enrolled children
and conducting business with the school. Business with the school includes contribution to the school program through volunteer work that has been approved by administration.
Summary: Visitors must have a legitimate reason for being on campus. Minors must be supervised by responsible adults.
When students have visitors on campus, absences from classes, religious services, study periods or work appointments are not excused unless prior arrangements have been made through the principal’s Office. It is the responsibility of the student to inform his/her visitors of the policies and standards of Mount Ellis Academy. Visitors are expected to respect school policies and standards, and demonstrate a cooperative spirit. Students who anticipate overnight guests or the need for special visiting privileges in the dorm, should make arrangements with the dean in advance.
Saturday Night Activities
The dorms will be closed during Saturday night activities; all students on campus are expected to be involved in the planned activity.
Banquets & Special Suppers
Banquets are special times to provide opportunity for students to practice behavior of re ned ladies and true gentlemen. All students are expected to attend the full evening’s activity in appropriate dress for the occasion. Banquet attire must receive prior approval by the appropriate dean. Visitors are not invited to these special occasions.
Extracurricular activities are intended to provide opportunities for leadership and recreational growth. Students should give special attention to their academic and work loads when considering extracurricular activities.
Eligibility for Student Office
There are requirements for students to hold office in the various organizations on campus. Please obtain a copy of the ASB constitution for specific details. Students failing to maintain appropriate academic, attendance, and citizenship standards will lose their elected office.
Classes will organize early in the second nine-weeks. Until that time the previous semester's class officers will conduct the business of the class. The Seniors will announce their officers first, at or before Senior Recognition. From that date, the other classes will announce their officers starting with the Juniors, Sophomores and then Freshmen. Each class has up to one week to announce their officers beginning at
the date of the previous classes announcement. If a week passes the next class may announce their officers.
Each student will pay $100 per year in class dues. This sum will be incorporated into the student's financial plan that is established with the business administrator at the beginning of the school year.
Clubs & Class Sponsors
Sponsors must be present at all class and club planning sessions, meetings and activities (including officer's meetings). Failure to cooperate with or have the sponsor present will void any decisions made at that meeting. The president of the organization will be held responsible for these violations and may jeopardize his or her office.
Varsity Eligibility Policy
Mount Ellis Academy operates an athletic program for grades 4-12 in partnership with Mount Ellis Elementary, LaMotte Elementary, and home schoolers. The following policies govern eligibility of athletes as they transition from elementary to high school:
- Eighth grade students already participating in the Mount Ellis Academy athletic program are eligible to try out for and play on high school level teams.
- Home school students participating in the Mount Ellis Academy athletic program will be limited to freshman year eligibility as non-Mount Ellis Academy students. Their athletic dues will be commensurate with dues charged by the Gallatin Valley Home School Association.
- Part-time Mount Ellis Academy students will be eligible for athletics based on the following formula while paying standard Mount Ellis Academy athletic dues:
- 9th-10th grade— must take 2 courses
- 11th grade— must take 3 courses
- 12th grade— must take 4 courses
- In the event that 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.
Academic/Citizenship Standards for Privileged Activities
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. Hence, the following standards are set for eligibility:
- Must be current on work budget in order to try out for a varsity sport.
- Two D's or one F at 2 week grade check intervals will result in ineligibility to play games for the following 2 week period. Students who are ineligible because of grades may or may not be allowed to travel with the team at the discretion of the coach.
- Major discipline that occurs out of season will result in ineligibility for 4 1â„2 weeks from the date that discipline committee meets. Major discipline during a varsity season will result in ineligibility for the remainder of the season including tournaments.
Major discipline will make the student ineligible for performances for 9 weeks. As these are performance groups, the teacher may require the student to drop the class so that his/her place may be filled.
Long boards are allowed but all other varieties of skateboards are not.
Dirt Bikes/Mountain Bikes
Students are allowed to bring dirt bikes and mountain bikes to school if a statement of ‘assumption of risk’ is provided by the parents. A form will be available at registration. Dirt/mountain bikes are to be ridden only by the owner and only in areas designated by the administration. The student must check out with the dean before riding.
Bikes are not to be ridden on the campus proper except to gain access to the areas designated for riding. Protective clothing and accessories are required. Failure to cooperate with these restrictions will result in loss of the privilege of having a bike on campus.
Unless properly supervised and equipped, students are never to rock climb or venture into any area where there is a danger of falling while on a school sponsored hike.
Horses on Campus
Students are granted the privilege of bringing their horse with them to Mount Ellis Academy. Students are required to register their horse with the school using the required form available at the business office. A statement releasing Mount Ellis Academy from all liability for the horse, rider, or damage to persons or property must be signed by the student and parents before the horse can be pastured. A monthly fee will be charged.
Other than their own, students are not to approach, ride, or otherwise make contact with horses or other animals pastured on or around school property. Horses are to be only on roadways and pasture areas. School lawns, sidewalks, and playing fields are off limits.
Protect the privilege of having your horse on campus.
There are two deans and two assistant deans on campus. They supervise the dormitory life and communicate between the school and the home.
Each student is responsible for the welfare and care of his own room. Students are to also respect the dignity and privacy of fellow students. Dorm rooms are not to be entered without specific permission being granted by the room's occupant or the dean. No hazing or initiations will be tolerated.
Mount Ellis Academy operates a combined dormitory. To protect the privacy and security of all students, designated boundaries for men's and ladies' areas will be strictly enforced. Violation of these boundaries will result in suspension or expulsion.
The deans dispense and monitor all prescription medication. No prescription medications are allowed in the dormitory rooms without permission from the dean. The deans will not dispense any medication, including analgesics, without permission from the parent or legal guardian.
The school does provide transportation for medical appointments in town. A $5 fee will be assessed for each round trip. The parent should make the arrangements for these appointments whenever possible.
The school purchases accident insurance for students. However, medical care for illness is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. For the welfare of students, deans must be able to seek medical care when it is deemed necessary. At registration time, parents must provide any medical insurance information needed for the student to receive care. If the student is not covered by insurance, the parents must put $200 on deposit in the business office to be drawn on for medical care. Whenever this fund is used for medical care, it is to be replenished by the parent.
A student who is ill must notify his/her dean on duty before any appointments are missed to receive an excused absence. Students who are unable to attend classes or work may be moved to a dorm infirmary until study period. Severe illness may require remaining in the infirmary longer.
It is the student's responsibility to notify his work supervisor if he is going to miss work for health reasons.
Each student will be charged a $50 refundable deposit to cover the cost of any damage done to his/her room.
Students will be assessed a standard fee of $5 to town and $10 to the airport when the school provides transportation outside of regularly scheduled student town trips.
Students may deposit their personal spending money for safekeeping in the Business office. This money is available to the student during regular Business office hours.
Students who elect to keep money in their rooms do so at their own risk. The school is not responsible for any losses.
Un-chaperoned groups of two or more students of same sex may sign out of the dorm to walk or jog the triangle. Bikers must also check out with the dean and state their destination. Exceptions are at the discretion of the deans.
When a student leaves campus, he or she needs to contact the dean and sign out. (An exception to this would be when a campus work supervisor takes a student o campus during the regular working period.) Specific permission from parents is required to leave campus with anyone other than parents, or staff. Parents may provide the deans with standing permission for three or four close friends or relatives who can take their student o campus. Students will not be allowed to leave campus un-chaperoned with a member of the opposite sex other than immediate family members or under a specific privilege as noted in this handbook.
Students who wish to go home on weekends are welcome to do so provided that they follow the procedures outlined:
- Obtain parental permission in writing or by phone.
- Submit a leave request to the administrative office prior to 5pm on Thursday.
- Return to campus prior to dorm worship unless arrangements have been made.
- Students wishing to go to a home other than their own should follow the procedures outlined for Home Leaves.
Please Note: Failure to follow the above procedure could result in loss of privileges, fines, or dismissal from school.
There are times when the Mount Ellis Academy family needs to be together to promote a spirit of unity and oneness. Weekends such as these are indicated as ‘Closed’ weekends. This designation means that all students are to be present at all planned activities for the weekend. While the school understands that emergencies will arise, it requests that students generally do not leave campus on these particular weekends.
Campus binding is a penalty applied to students who do not follow the guidelines for leaving campus or for other inappropriate behavior. Campus binding means
a student only leaves campus for school and work-related activities and in school transportation. For this purpose, “campus” is defined as the boundary from the creek to the Industrial Arts Building; the ball field to Bozeman Trail Road. Any movement beyond this area requires permission from the principal or dean.
Evening Dormitory Leaves
Students who leave the dormitory after 8pm for any reason must check with the dean and sign out at the desk. They must sign in upon their return to the dormitory. Failure to do this is subject to discipline.
Student leaves must have approval of the deans for destinations other than the student's own home. Communication of invitation from the home to be visited and approval from the visiting student's parent must be received by the House Committee prior to the vacation.
Students and parents should schedule activities to meet the time and dates assigned for vacations and weekend leaves. There is a $50 fee for missing extra school time in connection with vacations and leaves.
Arranging transportation in and out of Bozeman can be difficult because of its popularity as a vacation destination. Tickets for air travel are best purchased well in advance to ensure correlation with Mount Ellis Academy's vacation and home leave schedule.
Extended Leave Fee
When a student leaves early or returns late for Home Leaves or Vacations, a $50 fee will be applied. The fee may be waived by the House Committee in the event of emergencies, etc.
Junior and Senior dormitory students are expected to remain in the dorm. Failure
to comply with school rules can jeopardize graduation privileges. Freshman and Sophomore dormitory students should plan to check out of the dormitory and go home following their final test Wednesday before graduation. Those Freshmen and Sophomores with graduates in the immediate family will be allowed to remain in the dormitory during graduation weekend only if they are working. All students should be checked out of the dorm by 4pm graduation Sunday.
The way we dress often reveals something about how we view ourselves and others. It is our privilege at Mt. Ellis to seek to create an environment where:
- Students are encouraged to focus on a personal friendship with Jesus: on academic excellence and on wholesome social relationships.
- Personal value is based on what Jesus is doing in us rather than on outward display.
Campus dress should
- Be neat, clean and in good repair
- Be modest
- Show the beauty of simplicity
- Be appropriate for the place and activity
- Provide for safety and health
- Not offend or distract others
- Unnatural makeup and very dark or very bright nail color are prohibited.
- Jewelry is not to be worn at school, work, or during school activities. Jewelry includes rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and studs.
- Tattoos are not allowed. Students who enroll with preexisting tattoos must cover them at all times when on campus or participating in school activities.
- Shoes or sandals must be worn at all times outside the dormitories.
- Hats and headbands will not be worn by men in religious services or in the chapel. Girls may only wear headwear of dress variety in the chapel.
- Excessively tight, see-through, or revealing clothing is not to be worn. Leggings are accessories to be worn under appropriate length clothing and not as pants.
- Ripped or torn clothing should not be worn, including clothing designed to be that way
- Underwear should not be seen. (This includes boxer shorts and sports bras.)
- Nothing is to be worn that have logos, pictures or words that are contrary to the Christian lifestyle.
- Girls’ swimsuits must be either of the one-piece or tankini variety with modesty as a guideline. Tankini must cover the midriff.
- Clothing necklines should be modest and not low cut.
- Clothing should not be sheer.
- Midriffs should not be seen when arms are raised above the head.
- Pajamas and sleepwear are not appropriate for cafeteria, classrooms, or out of dorm hall wear.
- Tank tops and similar style tops are not appropriate for campus wear except possibly as part of layered outfits and sports uniforms.
- Shorts should be to the mid-thigh or longer
- Skirts, dresses, skirts, and slits in skirts, etc., should be no higher than two inches above the floor when kneeling.
Friday evening worship
- Full length pants must be worn of dress or denim variety. Fabric must not be ragged or torn.
- Collared shirts or turtlenecks
- Closed toed shoes or dress sandals in good repair
Sabbath school and church
- Pants must be of dress variety. No blue jeans or faded denim.
- Dress shirts must be worn Turtlenecks with a dress jacket are acceptable.
- Shoes must be of dress variety. No tennis or athletic shoes.
Friday evening worship
- Shoes may be of dress or athletic variety and must be in good repair. Open toed footwear must be of dress variety.
- Full-length pants must be worn of dress or denim variety. Fabric must not be ragged or torn. Skirts and dresses are also acceptable.
- Tops must be of dress variety and, if sleeveless, have straps no less than two inches wide. T-shirts, tank tops and sweatshirts are not permissible.
Sabbath school and church
- Dress is the same as above with the following differences.
- Dress slacks are permissible, but should not be tight fitting.
- Shoes must be of dress variety. No tennis or athletic shoes.
Hair should be neat, clean and well groomed and should fall within the following guidelines:
- No outlandish styles or colors
- Hair should not cover students eyes
- All attire must be approved by deans before being worn.
- Modesty will be the guiding principle for approval.
- Specific guidelines will be provided prior to the event.
All faculty members are responsible for enforcing the dress code. This holds true at all times when students are under the supervision of the school including off campus school activities and weekends. The following procedures will be used:
- The student will be informed they are out of dress code and will be asked to bring their attire to within guidelines, with the goal of minimal disruption to the student’s class/activity.
- Staff will fill out a dress code referral and send student to the office. Students will only be allowed back into the class/activity when their dress code referral has been signed off on by administration or a dean.
- Repeat offenders may be referred to discipline committee.
- Achieve Compliance
- Inform student and parent of student's position on the consequence continuum.
- Carry out consequences
- Return student to class/activity as quickly as possible.
First Referral: Warn student and notify parent.
Second Referral: Warn student and notify parent.
Third Referral: Notify parents. Loss of privileges for one month. Meet with Discipline Committee.
Fourth Referral: Notify Parents. One day in school suspension. Loss of leadership positions.
Fifth Referral: Student asked to withdraw. Discipline Committee may or may not consider reapplication.
To avoid unnecessary conflicts regarding the dress code during the school year each student and parent must read and sign the dress code.
When a student lives with someone other than a legal parent/guardian, Mount Ellis Academy will require a notarized letter from the parent or legal guardian that clearly specifies who the school is to deal with regarding the student. Examples would be the student's grade reports, newsletters, permission to leave campus, etc.
Administration Building Decorum
Students are not to bring food or drink into the classrooms. The halls and stairway of the administration building will be closed to all students who are not attending classes, those not studying in the library or who do not have business with the front office, or the business/registrar's office. Students are not to loiter in the Administration Building. Repeated infractions will be dealt with by Administrative Council.
Please remember that staff members have busy schedules. Do not enter their offices or classrooms while classes are in session. They are eager to help you, but it needs to be done in an orderly, respectful fashion.
Mount Ellis Academy operates a closed campus from each student's first class in the morning until noon on school days. During this time, students (dorm and village) may not leave campus. All exceptions must receive prior permission from administration.
Weekday dress will be worn on the buses except for skiing and other specifically announced activities. Dome and reading lights will be on during hours of darkness when the seating is mixed. There is to be no boisterous or rowdy conduct on the bus any time. Nothing is to be thrown from the bus. No part of the body or any other object should be outside the bus. Emergency exits are to be used only in case of an emergency as directed by the driver. Van seat belts are to be fastened at all times.
The chapel should be used only for services and programs. The platform is not to be used except for authorized programs. The chapel piano and organ are for use during services. Special permission to practice may be obtained in the Music Department. Pianos for recreational playing are available in the practice rooms of the Music Department.
Students should not take food (of any kind), books or other study materials into the chapel. All students are requested to remove their hats upon entering the chapel.
During all chapels, assemblies, and worship services students should be quiet, attentive, and respectful. Students should enter quietly and remain inside until dismissed. In the chapel all students must sit forward of the balcony overhang. Latecomers should wait at the back for a pause in the program before taking their places. Students are not to bring electronic devices of any kind to meetings. Such devices will be confiscated and held for a time to be determined by the administration.
The copy machine is available for limited student use in black and white only. Students must use their own student ID number available from the Business office when making personal copies or printing from a computer. Mount Ellis Academy respects all copyright laws; students should verify the legality of copying any printed material, including music.
The computer Lab printer may not be used for personal use without prior permission from a staff member. Printing material off the internet is prohibited except for class assignments.
Destruction of Property
When property is damaged, the student(s) involved will pay for the total cost of repair. This includes labor and materials. If the damage was deliberate, a student should expect additional consequences.
A student involved in causing physical harm to another student, in addition to discipline or expulsion, will be responsible (along with parents) for payment of all medical bills incurred while treating the injury caused by the assault.
When a student is involved in a discipline situation the following steps will be taken:
- The problem is reported to Administration.
- If necessary, Administration will call Ad Council to meet.
Note: Law enforcement authorities, in accordance with Montana law, will be contacted in situations involving stealing, vandalism, and all controlled substances.
A student will be given a reasonable time to pay an assigned fine. If the fine is not paid by the established date a student may be suspended from school. Generally fines cannot be charged to a student's account.
There will be a $50 fine, suspension, and/or expulsion for entering or leaving a building through a window or by a re escape (except in emergencies), for possession or use of an unauthorized key, or â€˜carding' any door on campus. This fine will also apply when a student enters a locked building or one that is obviously closed or has been declared o limits. Unsupervised classrooms and buildings (including the gym) are out of bounds.
As required by insurance and in compliance with the recommendation of the General Conference, it will be necessary to conduct a re drill at least once each month. In case of alarm, the student is to leave belongings and proceed out of the building following the procedures described by the teacher or, if not in class, through the nearest exit, then on to the assembly location in the gymnasium. The teacher will be the last individual to leave the classroom. Unauthorized use or tampering with fire safety equipment (alarms, extinguishers, detectors, exits, etc.) will result in a $50 fine.
Food and Beverages
We support a healthy lifestyle and discourage the use of caffeine or meat products in the diet. Mount Ellis Academy provides a vegetarian and caffeine-free diet.
Internet Access Policy
Access to the Internet is available in the library and several other areas on the campus. Students should use discretion when viewing materials. Those materials of a questionable nature should not be accessed. All students will be required to sign an acceptable use policy with respect to internet usage. Any violation of the signed agreement will result in loss of access.
Internet use should be primarily for the positive spiritual and educational growth of students. In order to provide for the best resource availability and atmosphere for learning, students will avoid any use of internet bandwidth that may be deemed excessive for purposes other than educational growth. This includes, but is not limited to streaming video, online gaming, and file sharing.
If students are discovered participating in the above activities, the following schedule of discipline will be enforced:
First Offense: Warning.
Second Offense: Device (Chromebook, tablet, iPod, smartphone, personal computer, etc.) will be taken and given to the principal for holding until student comes and speaks to principal.
Third Offense: Device will be taken for the remainder of the school year or until parent/guardian picks the device up to take home. In the case of a confiscated Chromebook, students will have access to it during class and while in supervised study hall only.
The Mount Ellis Academy library is a place for resource work and study. Talking must be kept to a minimum. Books should be checked out according to the library's policy and returned before the deadline. Fines will be levied for overdue and lost books and magazines.
Music & movies — Cultural Activities committee
The Cultural Activities Committee must consider, for approval, all music and movies selected before presentation. Selections for major performances must be cleared with the Cultural Activities Committee one week before show dates. Failure to comply may jeopardize the program.
The board and staff of Mount Ellis Academy are committed to providing a wholesome Christian environment for all students to flourish. Therefore, certain types of conduct are considered serious enough to be cause for dismissal. These areas include, but are not limited to, the following:
- ‘Pushing’ or supplying drugs, including alcohol and tobacco.
- Being involved with spiritualism in any form, including role playing or similar board, card or computer games associated with the occult.
- Being in the dorm hallway or dorm room of the opposite sex without permission of the dean, or being with a member of the opposite sex in a clandestine setting (on or o campus), or being involved in sexual activity.
- Participating in taunting, intimidation, hazing, sexual harassment, initiations, or deliberately committing any act that injures, degrades, or disgraces a fellow student or staff member.
- Intentional vandalism or theft of school property or the property of a fellow student or staff member.
- Participating in or initiating any activity that intentionally disrupts the school program.
- Possessing a rearm or an explosive device on campus.
Screens & Windows
Anyone tampering with or removing screens or windows will be subject to a fine of $50.
Lockers and dormitory rooms are considered school property and may be searched if reasonable cause exists. Students are expected to cooperate with the process. Students may be asked for permission to search personal property (computers, vehicles, luggage, etc.) and refusal to grant permission for reasonable cause may be grounds for dismissal. Illegal substances found during searches may be turned over to the appropriate legal authority.
The school reserves the right to test students for use of illegal substances (drugs, alcohol, tobacco) when it is deemed appropriate by the staff in consultation with the principal. The school will cover the cost of negative tests while positive tests will be billed to the student. Additionally, it will be assumed that students found to be in possession of banned substances have been using them.
If a student tests positive or is found through other means to be involved in substance abuse, he/she will receive disciplinary action ranging from suspension to expulsion. If the student is allowed to remain in school the following conditions will apply:
- The student will be tested periodically at the student's expense.
- The student will submit to mandatory counseling for a time period that is determined by the school. This will also be at the expense of the student.
A student caught shoplifting or stealing may be suspended or expelled from school. The student will be expected to cover the expense of transporting himself to and from law enforcement agencies and juvenile court. Any additional mileage for reporting to probation meetings will also be charged to the student.
The student must report to the manager of the store or to the person from whom
he stole and pay for the merchandise or item taken. The student is not guaranteed recovery of the goods confiscated though he has paid for them. Ad Council may take any other action deemed necessary.
There is to be no snowball throwing in and around the campus buildings. There should be no snowball throwing at people who do not want to take part in such activity; it will be assumed that students walking on the sidewalks do not want to be involved. Students throwing snowballs or other objects at school buildings may receive a $50 fine.
For the safety of the students, rearms, knives (sharp blades of any kind), pellet guns, and toy guns are prohibited on campus. Possession of these items may result in suspension or expulsion.
Special Activity Days
Throughout the school year the school plans special activities and Sunday Schools for the bene t of the students. Attendance at these activities is required. The attendance policy defines the consequences for missing these activities.
The goal of this policy is to create the healthiest possible environment for students in the dormitories while, at the same time, teaching them to view computers and other media devices primarily as productivity tools.
Laptop computers (no desktops) and handheld media devices will be allowed in dormitory rooms under the following conditions:
- Laptop computers and tablets will be turned in to the dormitory dean at 9:45 each evening and during Sabbath hours.
- Flash drives are allowed but all other external storage devices are not.
- DVDs, stored movies or programs, and computer games are not allowed (pre- installed games such as minesweeper and solitaire are exceptions). If such items are found in a student's room, his/her computer and/or handheld device will be confiscated.
- The dormitory deans will check students' hard drives and handheld devices for objectionable content whenever it is deemed necessary.
- Any violation of these terms will result in the confiscation of the computer for the remainder of the school year. The reinstatement of the computer privilege for the following year will be subject to review by the faculty counsel.
- Other electronic gaming devices and DVD players are not allowed in dorms and will be confiscated.
- Personal listening devices
- Are not allowed in the cafeteria during meal times or in the administration building during school hours.
- Are not to be used while clocked in at work.
- Students on DF&I List
- Will lose their technology privilege until the end of the two week progress report interval. This applies to computers, tablets and listening devices.
- Will turn cell phones in to the dormitory dean from the beginning of study hall each night until the end of their last class the following day. This will apply until the end of the two-week progress report interval.
All exceptions to the technology policy will be made at the dean's discretion in consultation with administration.
There are a number of privileges that individual students may request. These are in
the areas of dorm requirements, social activities, car use, o campus activities, etc. Deans will consider things such as grade level, citizenship, scholarship, the degree of responsibility that the student has demonstrated, etc. when approving such privileges.
Telephones and Calls
Students will receive only emergency phone calls during classes.
A minimum $10 fine per unauthorized, long-distance call, and the cost of the phone call, will be levied to the student who makes such calls from a school phone.
Cellular phones are a part of life and can be a valuable tool. They can also be a distraction to students and often result in diminished academic success, poor work performance, and damaged relationships. Students are allowed to have cell phones within the following parameters:
- Students should not have phones in their possession in the Administration Building during the school day.
- Students should not use their phones while at work unless permission is given by the work supervisor.
- Cell phones should not be present in worship services, assemblies, or chapels.
- Cellular technology should never be used to harass, bully, or demean another person.
Violation of these parameters and/or evidence that a cell phone is negatively impacting a student's academic performance will result in confiscation of the phone.
Vehicles must be registered with the registrar. Registration requires parental permission, a valid driver's license and proof of adequate liability insurance coverage. Bringing a vehicle on campus implies consent to cooperate with school administration including a possible request for search of vehicle for reasonable cause. Students are expected to follow posted speed limits and operate vehicles safely at all times.
Vehicles are the property of individual students and their parents. As such, students should not loan their vehicle to another student unless they have written permission from both students' parents, approval of administrative council, and the driver has proof of automobile insurance and a valid drivers license.
Vehicles — Dorm Students
Freshmen and sophomores may bring vehicles to Mount Ellis, but generally may only use them for trips between home and school. The following vehicle privileges are available to Juniors and Seniors whose grades, attendance, and citizenship are satisfactory: Juniors and Seniors may use their own vehicles but may not transport other students. Each time a student exercises these privileges, permission must be obtained from the appropriate dean. Before a student may exercise any privileges, parents must give written direction for any conditions when a student may not drive. In addition, if weather or road conditions are adverse, permission to drive may be denied by the dean on duty.
Provision for siblings: Students with driving privileges may be permitted to transport a sibling/siblings who also have privileges (as outlined above) with written parental permission.
Provision for home leaves: Students may transport other students to/from MEA when traveling for home leave, but only with written permission from parents of all students involved.
Vehicles brought to the campus are to be parked in the area provided immediately after the student has unloaded his/her passengers and luggage. Vehicles are not to be taken from the parking lot without permission. It is understood that the school does not assume any responsibility for the security and safety of student automobiles. Abuse of any of these guidelines may result in the loss of vehicle privileges and/or the vehicle being towed.
What Not to Bring
These items may be confiscated.
- Illegal substances such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc.
- Candles, incense, lighters and other flammable matter.
- Explosive materials of any kind. A minimum of a $50 fine.
- Reading material, games, music or posters not in harmony with Christian standards.
- Televisions, video game sets.
- Gambling devices.
- Weapons— rearms, pellet guns, toy guns, blades of any kind
- Brass knuckles, martial arts paraphernalia, or any other item that is for the purpose of inflicting bodily harm on another person.
Attendance is required at Friday evening worship, Sabbath School, church, Sabbath vespers, assemblies, morning worships, and dorm worships. Village students are expected to attend morning worship.
Students who are asked to withdraw from school for disciplinary reasons or have been expelled are not to return to campus for the remainder of the school year (including graduation) without the express permission of the school administration.
Students are responsible for all information in the Mount Ellis Academy Handbook. The following specific requirements are to clarify expectations for village students.
Village students who are not living with their parents/guardians must get school approval for their housing arrangements. If living arrangements change after the start of school, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the school for re-approval.
Village students are welcome on campus for classes, work, scheduled school activities, and study. Those not involved in one of these activities are expected to be o campus. Students are expected to be at morning worship. All exceptions must be made with the attendance officer. Village students are expected to attend meetings when on campus and sit with dorm students unless with parents.
Announcements of programs etc. are made at morning worships. Also, check the bulletin board regularly for weekend schedules and other notices. Deans may also be called to answer questions.
The dormitory is home for out-of-town students and should be treated as such by visiting village students. Village students are expected to check with the dean on duty when visiting the dormitory. To maintain the privilege of dorm visitation village students must show respect for the dormitory facility as well as the privacy and property of dormitory residents. The following are guidelines for visiting hours:
After School and Weekends: Village students may visit the dorm at the invitation of a dorm student and after checking in with the dean on duty. It is very important to be sensitive to the privacy and space of the student who extended the invitation but also to that of his/her roommate. Village students should use gym locker rooms rather than dorm rooms to change in and out of P.E. attire.
Study Hall: The only reason for village students to be in the dormitory during this time is for the purpose of work on collaborative assignments with dormitory students. Permission from the dean must be obtained in advance and visiting students will be allowed to study in the lobby, not in dorm rooms.
Overnight Stays: Occasionally village students may need to stay overnight in the dormitory. The visiting student's parent should make arrangements in advance. The student will be housed in a vacant dorm room so as to minimize disruption to the routines o f dormitory students. A $10 per night charge will be assessed for overnight stays.
Dress code for village students is the same as for dormitory students at all school functions. This includes vespers.
When attending school-sponsored o -campus activities, village students who drive to campus are expected to drive to the school and use school transportation to the activity.
- Student vehicles are for transportation to and from school only.
- Village students with vehicles should protect the privilege by following these guidelines:
- Use the parking area assigned for village students. Vehicles not parked in designated student parking lots may be towed at student's expense.
- Refrain from sitting or loitering in or around vehicle.
- Use school transportation to all o -campus school activities (except the ski hill).
- Do not use personal vehicles for any part of on-campus work.
- Register student vehicles with the front office.
- Observe posted speed limits and avoid unsafe driving practices.
- Seniors only may transport dorm seniors to or from campus with dean and parent permission.
Abuse of any of these guidelines may result in the loss of vehicle privilege and/or the vehicle being towed at owner's expense.
In compliance with the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule, Mount Ellis Academy had its school buildings inspected by an asbestos inspector, accredited by the State of Montana. During that inspection, areas of suspect Asbestos-Containing Building Material (ACBM) were identified. The type, condition, and location of this ACBM were noted. Samples were taken of some or all of the suspect ACBM. Laboratory analysis of these samples confirmed the presence or absence of ACBM. Confirmed and assumed ACBM currently remain in certain locations in our school buildings.
Upon confirmation of the presence of ACBM, an Asbestos Management Plan was developed for each of the school buildings in the Academy by an asbestos management planner, accredited by the State of Montana. This Asbestos Management Plan includes a description of the measures currently being taken to ensure that the ACBM remain- ing in our school buildings is maintained in a condition that will not pose a threat to the health of our students and employees. This Plan describes past response actions taken to abate the ACBM, as well as response actions planned for the future. The Asbestos Management Plan provides information on the periodic monitoring of the condition of ACBM remaining in our school buildings through triennial re-inspections conducted by accredited asbestos inspectors, and through semiannual surveillance, conducted by trained school maintenance staff.
A copy of the Asbestos Management Plan is available for your review in the School office during regular office hours. The superintendent of Education for the Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is the designated Asbestos Program Coordinator for the school. Please direct all inquiries regarding the Asbestos Management Plan to him/her at 406-587-3101.
As a Christian institution of learning, it is our intent to teach students in a way that not only instructs them and enables them to be productive citizens, but also treats the student as an individual of worth. Because misunderstandings do occur from time to time, it is our purpose to provide a due process for the student and his/her parent(s). If informal attempts at understanding have proven to be ineffective, the following steps may be taken.
1. A student must be given an opportunity for a hearing if the student, student's parent(s) or guardian indicate a desire for one. A hearing shall be held to allow the student, parents or guardian to contest the facts which led to disciplinary action, or if the student, parent(s) or guardian allege prejudice or unfairness of the school authority.
- The notice of request for a hearing shall be in writing and shall be signed by the student, parent(s) or guardian. This notice should specify the grounds for the hearing.
- The notice shall be led with the school principal within 15 school days of the disciplinary action.
2. The steps of appeal are:
- The committee or group that made the initial disciplinary decision may be asked to review their decision in light of additional testimony from the student, parents, or witnesses.
- Further steps of appeal are: the School Staff, the Academy Operating Board, and the Montana Conference K-12 Board of Education.
3. The hearing authority may request the student, the student's parent(s) or the student's guardian to attempt conciliation first, but if the student, parent(s) or guardian decline this request the hearing shall be held within 10 school days of the receipt of the notice.
4. The following procedural guidelines shall govern the hearings:
- Written notice of charges against a student shall be supplied to the student, parent(s) or guardian prior to the hearing date.
- The student, parent(s) or guardian shall be present at the hearing.
- The student shall be given an opportunity to give his or her version of the facts and their implications. He or she should be allowed to o er the testimony of other witnesses and evidence.
- The student shall be allowed to observe all evidence offered against him or her. In addition, he or she shall be allowed to
- question any witness.
- The hearing authority shall make his or her determination solely upon the evidence presented at the hearings.
- A written finding by the hearing authority shall be led with the superintendent within five school days after the hearing, and this finding shall be available to the student, the student's parent(s) or guardian.
- The student and their parent/guardian shall be made aware of their right to appeal the decision of the hearing authority to the Conference K-12 Board of Education.
We trust that you will do your best to abide by the preceding regulations. Refer any questions about these policies, or the reasons behind them, to your dean or the principal.
The staff periodically reviews these policies. Ideas from Student Council are welcomed during these reviews. Changes may take place at any time. All changes to policies, announced and/or written, are as binding as those contained in this handbook.