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Parent Manual



1.1 Welcome Letter

Welcome to Sky Mountain Charter School! You have chosen an exciting form of education for your children: home-based individualized learning. We trust that this parent manual will be a helpful resource for you that you will keep handy and refer to throughout this school year.

Sky Mountain Charter School is managed by Innovative Education Management (IEM), a nonprofit public benefit education corporation which has managed a number of parent-friendly public charter schools in California since 1993. Sky Mountain Charter School is also a fully accredited school through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Sky Mountain Charter School has a variety of educational offerings and policies that go above and beyond to support parent choice in education. This is most evident when you look at our exhaustive vendor list for curriculum purchases and classes, and the amount of funds allocated for the development and delivery of each child's educational plan.

Everything we do at Sky Mountain Charter School is in an effort to support your choices as a parent educator while endeavoring to make this type of educational model possible. We are truly excited to continue building a first-rate home-based program in partnership with families who want the best for their children.

Please do not hesitate to contact your ES at any time. Your commitment to our school is important and your feedback helps us to strengthen and refine our program.

We hope this will be a rewarding and memorable year for you and your family.


The Sky Mountain Administrative Team

1.2 School Contact Information


1.3 School Calendar

The calendar can be found on the school website at:



2.1 Mission Statement

We believe in educating each of our students for the 21st century by providing individualized learning opportunities that incorporate parental participation, choice and involvement in curricula offered in individualized learning environments.

2.2 School Terminology

The following is a list of commonly used terms at the school:

SMCS - Sky Mountain Charter School

Additional Education Specialist Services A - (AESS A) - An SMCS Independent Study Program that puts more of the responsibility for the student's education on the Education Specialist (ES) in that the ES would be the one to make the daily assignments, choose the curriculum if the parent wishes, and meet with the student and parent face to face for one hour every other week. This meeting time may be spent evaluating student work, giving instruction, consulting with parents, observing student activities, explaining assignments, etc.

Additional Education Specialist Services B - (AESS B) - An SMCS  Independent Study Program that puts most of the responsibility for the student's education on the ES in that the ES would be the one to make the daily assignments, choose the curriculum, grade the daily work,  meet with the student one hour per week or two hours every other week. This meeting time may be spent evaluating student work, giving instruction, consulting with parents, observing student activities, explaining assignments, etc.

Educational Activity - (EA) - An Educational Activity (EA) is an educational expense for one or more students in one family at one school by an approved business or independent contractor.

Education Specialist - (ES) - An Education Specialist is a term that our charter school uses to indicate a General Education teacher. The ES teacher is considered a highly qualified teacher under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. ESs work with parents as a partner, facilitating the student's educational plan.

Education Specialist Advisor - (ES Advisor) - ES advisors are highly qualified, credentialed teachers who represent the school.  The ES advisor trains, supports, and gives oversight to the ESs, and serves as additional support for parents if their ES is unable to help them.

Education Plan - (EP) - A joint endeavor by the parent and ES, that takes into account the student's interests, learning style, and state/federal mandates to determine what will be taught and how it will best be achieved utilizing educational resources that are available within the school, the community, and the family.

Instructional Funds - (IF) - The dollars allocated for use by SMCS to carry out the student's educational plan. Instructional fund allocations are prorated based on the date of enrollment. All materials purchased with instructional funds are the property of SMCS .

Learning Record - (LR) - The documentation by the ES of completed assigned student work during the learning period and the ES's evaluation of that work.

Learning Period - (LP) - The instructional days between learning records meetings/the assignments.

Student Agreement - (SA) - This is the annual agreement between SMCS , the education specialist, the student, and the parent. It documents the course of study, curriculum, the time, manner and frequency of the monthly meetings, as well as other school enrollment requirements. Each written student agreement shall be signed, prior to the commencement of independent study, by the student, the student's parent, legal guardian, or caregiver, if the student is less than 18 years of age, the certificated employee who has been designated as having responsibility for the general supervision of independent study, and all persons who have direct responsibility for providing assistance to the student.This document must be resubmitted each school year, and must be updated any time there is any significant change.

School Accountability Report Card - (SARC) - A report of the school's demographic and performance information posted to the school's website at:


Schoolwide Learner Outcome - (SLO) - The Schoolwide Learner Outcomes consist of what all our students should know, understand and be able to do in order to be globally competent, i.e., a global citizen.

Student Study Team - (SST) - An educational meeting consisting of a trained administrator, the parent, the student, the ES, and any other significant persons involved with the student's education, to determine and document what classroom interventions have and can be made to help with the identified learning and behavioral issues.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges - (WASC) - A committee of educators from within the state who evaluate and approve schools for accreditation based on the organization's criterion. One of their purposes is to ensure educational best practices.

2.3 WASC

SMCS received its initial WASC accreditation in May of 2009. The school received its renewal accreditation of a 6-year term in June 2012. In Spring 2018, we will have a WASC Self-Study visit in which we will share with the WASC Visiting Committee what we have done to improve on our critical areas of growth as well as a full review of our school and our high school programs.

The purpose of WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) is to evaluate our school and to award our school an accreditation for our high school program. This accreditation allows our students’ courses, grades, and units to be accepted at more colleges and universities after graduation.

The WASC process is designed to allow us to go through an in-depth analysis of our school, focusing on our high school students and their success. We identify areas of strength and areas of need and then create an action plan to address those needs and better serve our high school students.

When a school becomes accredited, it:

  • certifies to the public that the school is a trustworthy institution of learning.
  • validates the integrity of a school's program and student transcripts.
  • fosters improvement of the school's program and operations to support student learning.
  • assures a school community that the school's purposes are appropriate and being accomplished through a viable educational program.
  • WASC accreditation is important because the military often requires applicants to be from accredited schools and many school districts and universities will only accept credits from WASC accredited schools.

All IEM Schools are WASC accredited for their high school (9-12) programs.  

2.4 Governance Structure

For all purposes relating to this charter and the operation of SMCS, the governance of SMCS shall be divided and organized into two domains: first, the governance of each family home-based independent study environment, which, with the assistance and under the supervision of an assigned ES, shall be the responsibility of the parent(s) or guardian(s) of each student enrolled in SMCS; and second, the governance of the formal school supporting structure which provides the opportunity for each parent to utilize a family home-based independent study environment and administers each home-based independent study environment’s interface with the State of California, which shall be the responsibility of IEM. Each of these two governance domains is equally important to the partnership between participating parents and IEM in successfully operating and governing SMCS.

Governance of the Family Home-based Independent Study Environment
Research and experience have shown that when parents assume the role of teachers in cooperation with and under the supervision of an assigned ES in the context of home-based independent study schooling, they can create an effective and successful environment for educating their children. This charter recognizes that parents know and love their children better than anyone else, and should have the strongest motivation to provide their children with a loving, nurturing, educational environment which can best facilitate their children’s involvement in learning. Through home-based independent study education, this charter provides parents with the opportunity to fully participate in their children’s education and, in cooperation with and under the supervision of fully credentialed assigned ESes, to fulfill the role of natural teachers dedicated to their child’s education in a daily, hands-on way.

Under this charter and pursuant to a formal student agreement required by the State of California and administered by SMCS, each parent or guardian of one or more student enrolled in SMCS, in cooperation with and under the supervision of an assigned fully credentialed ES, shall create, maintain, and govern a home-based independent study environment in their home for each child enrolled in SMCS. Subject to and within the formal framework of this charter, SMCS policies and procedures, and to the fullest extent allowable under State and Federal law, each parent or guardian, in cooperation with and under the supervision of a fully-credentialed assigned ES, shall be responsible for governing their own home-based independent study environment by making decisions regarding their children’s education, by selecting curricula appropriate for each child with assistance from SMCS staff, and by insuring that their children have what the parent(s) or guardians(s) deem the best educational opportunities available through SMCS.

Governance of the Formal School Supporting Structure
As provided in California Education Code Section 47604(a), Innovative Education Management, Inc., a California non-profit public benefit corporation, shall, in all aspects, operate and manage SMCS as a California public charter school. In this capacity, IEM will oversee all aspects of the charter school’s operations, and will act as liaison with the sponsoring district. IEM shall establish and approve all educational and operational policies and practices, establish all appropriate student policies and handbook(s), approve all contracts, prepare the school's annual budget and manage the school's fiscal affairs, select and evaluate the school educational personnel, educational directors, and administrative staff, shall perform all other functions and make all decisions useful or necessary relating to the school’s corporate form, functions, or operations, and shall take all such other actions as IEM may deem necessary or desirable to properly and efficiently manage and operate SMCS. IEM will act as SMCS’s fiscal agent to the fullest extent of the law. In fulfilling all obligations relating hereto, IEM and SMCS shall comply with the provisions of Charter School Legislation and the California Department of Education directives regarding charter schools, and shall insure that a representative of IEM attends every Parent Council and Governing Board meeting.

The Parent Council
SMCS shall have a Parent Council, which will consist of 29 parents of SMCS students. Except as otherwise provided herein, the members of the Parent Council shall be elected by a majority vote cast by the parents of SMCS students. The term of office for each member shall be two years, with 14 members elected in one year, and 15 members elected in the successive year, and similarly alternating thereafter. Elections shall be held during May of each year. Each election shall be by written ballot. Each family having one or more student(s) enrolled in SMCS on the date of the elections shall be entitled to one vote per enrolled student. No more than one parent from any family may serve as a Parent Council member at any time. In the event that one or more Parent Council seat becomes vacant for any reason, IEM may appoint a parent to fill that seat until the next election for that seat occurs.

The function of the Parent Council is to two-fold: to provide feedback and advice to IEM regarding SMCS students’ and parents’ home-based independent study experiences and concerns, as well as suggestions and ideas for improving the parents’ and the school’s educational programs; and to uphold the mission of the school and contribute to the success of SMCS by fulfilling the obligations set out herein.

A quorum of the Parent Council members necessary for the transaction of business shall be 15 members. All business of the Parent Council shall be by the majority of the quorum of members attending a Parent Council meeting, and shall be conducted according to bylaws consistent with this charter provided by IEM. The School’s President, its Secretary, and all other appropriate officers thereof, shall be appointed by IEM. The President, or his/her designee, shall preside, but not vote, at all Parent Council meetings.

Each Parent Council member will each be a part of at least one school committee responsible for the following: WASC accreditation, student group educational activities, fundraising events, evaluative testing volunteer services, and the yearly graduation ceremony and other school events and activities approved by assigned administrative staff. Additionally, the Parent Council will perform any other function as directed or requested by IEM.

The Governing Board
SMCS shall have a Governing Board consisting of five members of the Parent Council which shall be selected and appointed by IEM and approved by the Parent Council. All vacant seats on the Governing Board shall be filled by Parent Council members appointed by IEM which shall serve until permanent members are approved by the Parent Council. The function of the Governing Board will be to review and approve all policies or other matters which by statute or regulation require Governing Board approval, or any other matter as directed or requested by IEM. The term of office for Governing Board members shall be one year pursuant to bylaws consistent with this charter provided by IEM.

2.5 Notification of Rights Under FERPA for Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age 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 after the day the School receives a request for access.

Parents or eligible students should submit to school student records  a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The school will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  1. The right to request the 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 who wish to ask the School to amend a record should write to school student records , clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed.  If the school 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 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.

  1. The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board.  A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as  an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. 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.

Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.  

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School 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 Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the parent or eligible student, §99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the school to record the disclosure.  Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A school may disclose PII from the education records of a student without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or the eligible student –

  • To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests.  This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
  • To officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34.  (§99.31(a)(2))
  • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as the State educational agency in the parent or eligible student’s State (SEA).  Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs.  These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.  (§99.31(a)(4))
  • To State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a State statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to §99.38. (§99.31(a)(5))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to:  (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c)  improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.  (§99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.  (§99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.  (§99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36.  (§99.31(a)(10)
  • Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37.  (§99.31(a)(11))

2.5.1 Notice for Directory Information

FERPA also requires that the School, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records.  However, the School may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures.  The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the School to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:

  • A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
  • The annual yearbook;
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists;
  • Graduation programs; and
  • Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent.  Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.

Directory information does not include citizenship status, immigration status, place of birth, or any other information indicating national origin (except where the [local educational agency] receives consent as required under state law). Nor will the school release information to third parties for immigration-enforcement purposes, except as required by law or court order.

If you do not want the School to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the School in writing of that fact by August 30 of each school year or at time of enrollment.  The School has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Student’s name
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • Electronic mail address
  • Photograph
  • Date of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Grade level
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended
  • Student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems that cannot be used to access education records without a PIN, password, etc.  (A student’s SSN, in whole or in part, cannot be used for this purpose.)

2.6 Child Find

2.6.1 What is Child Find?

Every SELPA and school district is required to have procedures in place to help locate students who may need special education services or have a disability. Please contact your ES (General Education Teacher) or Special Education Department if you have questions about referring a child for special education services. If you are concerned about your child's development, please contact your ES as your first contact.

This school actively and systematically seeks out all individuals with disabilities from TK to 12th grade. This school also, as part of its annual notification of parental rights and responsibilities, hereby provides notification that a student can be evaluated to determine eligibility for special education.

Assigned administrative personnel or their designee have the responsibility at the local school level for the coordination of the Child Find activities. Procedures are established at this school for informing the school community on a continual basis of the program alternatives available for disabled children within this school.

Child Find information is also available as it relates to education code: Education Code

2.6.2 Who Can Help Me If I'm Worried About My Child's Education?

Be sure to first address your concerns with your child's ES and school administration. The usual process is to discuss your child's educational progress with his or her regular and/or special education teachers, then with a General Education administrator and/or Special Education Administrator, if necessary. If you have any questions, please the Special Education office at 619-698-KIDS (5437).  

2.7 Covered California

By law, most people are now required to have health insurance or pay a penalty when they file their taxes. Through Covered California, a program from the state of California, qualified legal residents of California and their families can compare health insurance plans and enroll in the one that works best for their needs and budget. Financial assistance is available to qualifying individuals and families to help them pay for health insurance premiums. This means the federal government may pay a portion of the health insurance premium. Individuals and families may also qualify for Medi-Cal benefits.

Visit CoveredCA.com to learn more, compare health insurance plans, choose the one that best fits your needs and enroll online. For free, confidential, in-person help, in your area, visit http://www.CoveredCA.com/get-help/local or call (800) 300-1506.

The open-enrollment period to enroll in Covered California health insurance plans happens once a year. Once the open-enrollment period closes, you may enroll in a Covered California health plan only if you have a qualifying life event that makes you eligible to apply. Some examples of qualifying life events are: losing your health coverage, getting married, moving outside your plan’s coverage area, having a baby and turning 26. To see if you qualify, visit:


To enroll during this time, you must apply within 60 days of your qualifying life event.

For more information and to find free, confidential, in-person help in your area, visit http://www.CoveredCA.com/get-help/local or call (800) 300-1506.

You can also visit our website for more information:


2.8 Know Your Educational Rights

Your Child has the Right to a Free Public Education

All children in the United States have a Constitutional right to equal access to free public education, regardless of immigration status and regardless of the immigration status of the students’ parents or guardians.

In California:

  • All children have the right to a free public education.
  • All children ages 6 to 18 years must be enrolled in school.
  • All students and staff have the right to attend safe, secure, and peaceful schools.
  • All students have a right to be in a public school learning environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, violence, and intimidation.
  • All students have equal opportunity to participate in any program or activity offered by the school, and cannot be discriminated against based on their race, nationality, gender, religion, or immigration status, among other characteristics.

Information Required for School Enrollment

  • When enrolling a child, schools must accept a variety of documents from the student’s parent or guardian to demonstrate proof of child’s age or residency.
  • You never have to provide information about citizenship/immigration status to have your child enrolled in school. Also, you never have to provide a Social Security number to have your child enrolled in school.

Confidentiality of Personal Information

  • Federal and state laws protect student education records and personal information. These laws generally require that schools get written consent from parents or guardians before releasing student information, unless the release of information is for educational purposes, is already public, or is in response to a court order or subpoena.
  • Some schools collect and provide publicly basic student “directory information.” If they do, then each year, your child’s school district must provide parents/guardians with written notice of the school’s directory information policy, and let you know of your option to refuse release of your child’s information in the directory.

Family Safety Plans if You Are Detained or Deported

  • You have the option to provide your child’s school with emergency contact information, including the information of secondary contacts, to identify a trusted adult guardian who can care for your child in the event you are detained or deported.
  • You have the option to complete a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit or a Petition for
  • Appointment of Temporary Guardian of the Person, which may enable a trusted adult the authority to make educational and medical decisions for your child.

Right to File a Complaint

  • Your child has the right to report a hate crime or file a complaint to the school district if he or she is discriminated against, harassed, intimidated, or bullied on the basis of his or her actual or perceived nationality, ethnicity, or immigration status.

2.9 Student Records

“Pupil record” means any item of information directly related to an identifiable pupil, other than directory information, that is maintained by a school district or required to be maintained by an employee in the performance of his or her duties whether recorded by handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, or other means. (Education Code 49061)


3.1 Parent Support Department

Parent support representatives are available to answer parent phone call and email inquiries in regard to enrollment process, general information about the school, navigating the website, student enrollment status, and other issues that may arise. To contact parent support please call 800-979-4436 or you can email rcheves@ieminc.org

For parents of enrolled students, please contact your ES.

3.2 Parent Listserv

One of the main venues of communication to our parents is through our Parent Listserv. Parents on the Parent Listserv Group receive time-sensitive communication, parent specific school information, school deadline reminders, school vendor notifications, educational resources information, and any/all information that pertains to the whole school that is important for parents to know about. The parent primary email address we have on file in our student information system will receive the listserv.

3.3 Student ID Cards

Please mail the school secretary a one inch by one inch index size picture with the enrolled student's full name, grade, and date of birth on the back of the photo. You also have the option of emailing a picture to skyparents@ieminc.org as a jpeg attachment that can be printed the correct size. When sending a jpeg attachment image, please be sure to do a “save as” with the student's first and last name. Emails with a jpeg image attachment that is not titled with the student’s name(s) will be returned and delay the process of an ID card being issued.   

Mail picture to:

SMCS ATTN: Robin Cheves
4535 Missouri Flat Road, Ste. 1A
Placerville, CA 95667

Please allow three weeks for processing and mailing at the beginning of the school year, and two weeks thereafter for processing.

Please note, SMCS can only provide school ID cards to our enrolled students, not to their parents. Our parents are not officially enrolled or employed by this charter school, therefore it is not ethical to provide an ID card.

3.4 McKinney Vento Information

If you, or somebody you know, is in a situation that qualifies you as “homeless” based on the McKinney Vento definition below and you are interested in receiving information about resources available in your area please contact the school homeless liaison by emailing  rcheves@ieminc.org or by calling 800-979-4436 and asking to speak with Robin Cheves.

Definition of homeless: The federal government’s legal definition of homeless based on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is anyone who:

  • Lacks a regular, fixed and adequate nighttime residence (substandard housing, no water or electricity).
  • Is sharing housing due to economic hardship (doubled up/tripled up).
  • Is living in a public place not designated for sleeping (cars, parks, abandoned building, motels, trailer parks and campgrounds).
  • Is an unaccompanied youth.
  • Is a child or youth awaiting foster care placement.
  • Is a child abandoned in a hospital.
  • Is a migrant child who qualifies under any of the above.

Homeless students’ rights:

  • Be immediately enrolled in school without a permanent address.
  • Continue in the school that the student attended before becoming homeless.
  • Go to school, no matter where the student lives or how long he/she has lived there.
  • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of required school records or documents.
  • Enroll and attend classes even while the school and parent seek to resolve a dispute over enrollment.
  • Receive transportation to his/her school of origin as long as he/she is homeless, or if the student becomes permanently housed, receive transportation until the end of the academic school year.
  • Participate in tutoring, school-related activities, and/or receive other support services.

Sky Mountain Charter School (SMCS) will meet the McKinney Vento education rights following our regular enrollment policies. SMCS will enroll students based on Education Specialist availability within each service area. SMCS does not enroll any student after the enrollment cut-off date. SMCS is a home-based public charter school; transportation is not a part of the program.

3.5 Parent Forms

Parent forms are available on the school websites at:


Examples of forms available for download include:

  • Media Release Form
  • Transcript Request Form
  • Diploma Request Form
  • Change of ES Request Form
  • Field Trip Permission Slip
  • Vendor Request Form
  • Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Form (Spanish version)
  • Work Permits
  • Request for Live Scan Service | Procedures
  • TB Risk Assessment form | Procedures


4.1 Student Enrollment

Student Enrollment Application must be complete, signed by the parent, and include all necessary enrollment documents  before a student will be considered for enrollment in an IEM Charter School. All enrollment forms can be found on the school’s website at:


Student Enrollment Applications are processed once they are received complete and with all required documents. Applications may be submitted by mail, fax, email or through our Enrollment Online Application (EOA). The required forms necessary to complete an application packet can be submitted via mail, fax, or email; please note, supporting documents cannot be uploaded through our online application portal. n

Incomplete enrollment applications will be placed in a pending status. When an application is in a pending status the family will be notified via email or phone call (US postal mail when necessary) of what is needed to complete the application. The family will be expected to submit the requested documents for their application to be processed.

Acceptance of a student’s enrollment application does not constitute enrollment with an IEM school. Students are not considered enrolled until they have met with their Education Specialist and signed the Student Agreement.

Required application documents according to student grade level:

4.1.1 Required Forms

  • Birth Certificate or other age verifiable document– All Students
    • Other acceptable forms include, but are not limited to
      • U.S. or foreign birth certificates
      • adoption records
      • passports
      • baptismal records
      • previous school records
      • other forms of U.S. or foreign government-issued identification
      • affidavits from a parent/guardian or pediatrician
  • Immunization record – All students (In accordance with Senate Bill 277, please submit record of any immunizations received. Records will be accepted whether complete or incomplete.)
  • Health Exam – TK, Kindergarten and 1st grade students
  • Oral Health Exam – TK, Kindergarten or students entering 1st grade who have not previously attended a public school in CA.

4.1.2 Required Forms if Applicable

  • Unofficial Transcript for high school students– (not necessary for application to be accepted as complete and processed; however, please bring to your first meeting with ES)
    • In accordance with CDE guidelines, schools have the right to accept or not accept credits from another school. High school students who were privately home schooled, may have their transcripts reviewed by the guidance department to determine what courses/credits will be accepted.
  • Caregiver Authorization Affidavit - If the person enrolling student is not the parent or legal guardian. Please note that this form does not provide educational rights as relates to Special Education nor allows a caregiver to make educational decisions related to Special Education.  

4.1.3 Special Education/504 Documents, if Applicable

  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) – Most recent, whether active or inactive
  • 504 Plan
  • Or, if no IEP, a copy of all assessment reports

4.1.4 Additional information regarding Senate Bill 277

SB 277 eliminates the option for parents to use a Personal Beliefs Exemption (PBE) for required immunizations. As a provision to SB277, students enrolled at an Independent Study School are exempt from the immunization requirements, however, schools are not exempt from continuing to collect, maintain, and report immunizations annually. What does this mean for you and your student(s)?

For existing and new families this means:

  • Beginning January 1, 2016, families are no longer able to use a PBE to waive immunization requirements. Medical exemptions will still be allowed.
  • Students who are enrolled at an Independent Study School are exempt from all immunization requirements meaning that new students can enroll without a complete immunization record and existing students can advance to 7th grade without receiving the Tdap (whooping-cough) booster and MMR vaccinations.
  • Parents of active students advancing from 6th grade to 7th grade will receive notification by mail towards the end of the school year with a list of their student(s) who are in need of the Tdap and/or MMR vaccinations.
  • Parents are required to submit immunization information to schools whether complete or incomplete.

As a reminder, beginning January 1, 2016, students enrolled at an Independent Study School are exempt from immunization requirements but the schools are not; schools must continue to collect, maintain, and report immunizations annually.  Additionally, parents are still required to submit immunization records even if they are not complete.

4.1.5 Enrollment Application Acceptance Dates

Families who wish to apply for enrollment in the current school year may apply at any time during the school year up until enrollment closes in March.

Families who wish to apply in advance for future enrollment may apply under the following guidelines:

  • To apply for the fall/1st semester of the current school year, applications will be accepted beginning in January, prior to the start of the following school year, until the last day of the 1st semester.
  • To apply for the spring/2nd semester, applications will be accepted beginning on the first day of the school year in August, until enrollment closes that following March.
  • Applicants who will turn 5 after December 2nd may follow the same guidelines above, but they may not enroll until the date of their 5th birthday. Applicants who will turn 5 after enrollment closes for the school year will not be eligible to enroll until the following school year when they are age eligible to attend Kindergarten.

Please note: Acceptance of a student’s enrollment application does not constitute enrollment with an IEM school. Students are not considered enrolled until they have met with their Education Specialist and signed the Student Agreement.

4.2 Enrollment Requirements

To be considered for enrollment, students must reside in the county of the charter school's granting school district or in counties that are contiguous to the granting district (San Bernardino, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties). According to charter law, students may not be enrolled in a private school while enrolled in a public school. A student may be enrolled in only one public school at a time. An inter/intra-district transfer is not necessary.

Before the student can be enrolled in this Charter School, specific documentation needs to be signed at an enrollment meeting with your assigned Education Specialist.These documents include, but are not limited to,  the Student Agreement, the school's Charter Summary, and a "First Meeting Information Sheet." It is the responsibility of the Education Specialist to fully explain the contents of the documents being signed.

4.3 Age Requirement Chart

In accordance with California State Law, a student’s grade level placement will be based on their date of birth or previous school records

A student will be eligible for kindergarten enrollment if their birth date is on or before September 1st of the school year they wish to apply.

Grade Level Placement 2018-2019

Grade Level


Eligible for Transitional Kindergarten on fifth birthday up until enrollment closes for the school year (please review Enrollment Application Acceptance Dates and TK policy)

Birth date on or after 12/3/2013

Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

9/2/2013 - 12/2/2013


9/2/2012 - 9/1/2013

1st grade

9/2/2011 - 9/1/2012

4.4 Do you offer Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

Do you offer Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

Yes, we offer TK. The following is our approved policy.

  • Kindergarten age appropriate students are allowed to choose TK if their 5th birthday is between the last day of the school year -September 1st.
  • A child is eligible for TK if he or she turns five between September 2nd-December 2nd.
  • Students who turn 5 after December 2nd will be eligible for TK on their 5th birthday and for the remainder of that school year. These students will need to start kindergarten in fall semester of the next school year and not continue another year of TK.
  • TK students are required to submit an immunization record if one exists (In accordance with Senate Bill 277 please submit record of any immunizations received. Records will be accepted whether complete or incomplete.)
  • TK students are required to submit a completed health exam form and oral health exam form for school entry.
  • Children who are age-eligible to attend kindergarten, but choose to enroll in TK will need a signed Kindergarten Continuance Form verifying that the parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten the following year.

If a family enrolls in TK, whether the student is kindergarten age or TK age, they are committing to the two-year program. The exception to a two year program is for students who turn 5 after December 1st but before the end of the school year. These students will not have a two year program and must begin kindergarten at the beginning of the next school year. Students actively enrolled in TK are promoted to kindergarten the following year. We do not promote from TK to first grade and we do not change grade levels mid-year for actively enrolled students.

4.5 Drops/Un-enrollments

If a student drops from an IEM charter, it cannot be reversed. A student may re-enroll as a returning student. Returning students will be subject to the same enrollment process that all applicants follow which includes filling out a new application and providing all documentation required for enrollment.

4.6 Grade Retention/Promotion

California sets guidelines for determining grade level placement, which IEM schools follow. Per Ed Code 48070 the school will consider parental requests for grade retention/promotion after certain criteria are met. Criteria considered include student academic performance, standardized test scores, iReady results, use of intervention supports and their outcome, impact of promotion/retention on the student, parent rationale for the change etc.  Begin working with your ES early in the year to gather the required information and the ES will present your request to school administration. If a grade change request is granted it will be implemented over the summer. Students will not change grades during the academic year.

4.7 Adult Student Enrollment

Effective July 1, 2004 California State Law prohibits the enrollment of any student age 19 years or older who has not been continuously enrolled since their 18th birthday and making regular progress towards a high school diploma.

4.8 Special Education Students

Students who are currently receiving special education services or who have received services in the past, will need to submit a copy of their most recent IEP with their student enrollment application. Our special education department reviews each student’s IEP to ensure that a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is provided from the first day of attendance. This also ensures that Child Find requirements are met.

4.9 Enrollment Review Required

Previous Expulsion – Students who wish to apply that have been previously expelled from another school must have approval from the Assistant Director of Teacher Support Services. Please submit a copy of the expulsion report with your student enrollment application and your documents will be forwarded to the school Director for review.

Truancy – Students who were dis-enrolled from an IEM Charter School due to truancy must have approval from the Assistant Director of Teacher Support Services to re-enroll.

4.10 Closed Enrollment

Enrollment for each school year closes on a date that is to be determined in March of each current school year. At that time, parents will be notified of closed enrollment and will remain on our prospective student list unless the parent requests that the student be removed. Please note that remaining on our prospective student list for the next school year does not guarantee enrollment for your student.

4.11 Dual Enrollment

In accordance with California Education Code Section 47602(b) and Title 5, California Code of Regulations Section 11965(a), no student may be enrolled at an IEM charter school at the same time they are enrolled at or taking classes from another public or private school, with the exception of the approved concurrent enrollment in a Regional Occupational Program (ROP) or community college course.

Students who wish to enroll in a Regional Occupational Program (ROP) or community college course, must have prior written approval from the charter school in which they are enrolled. It is the responsibility of the IEM charter school’s, as a publicly funded organization, to carefully evaluate any educational program in which students concurrently participate. IEM school’s reserve the right to make the determination that a program be considered “dual enrollment” based on the organization’s interpretation of the Education Code that prohibits such “dual enrollment”.

4.12 Student Agreement

A current written student agreement for each independent study student shall be maintained on file for each participating student for each school year. Each written student agreement shall be signed and dated by parent (or legal caregiver), student, and ES and in effect prior to the start of reporting attendance (ADA) pursuant to that agreement.

Students must meet all elements of the written student agreement in order for continued enrollment in this charter school. By California law, each agreement shall include the following:

  • The manner, time, frequency, and place for submitting a student's assignments and for reporting his or her progress.
  • The objectives and methods of study for the student's work, and the methods utilized to evaluate that work.
  • The specific resources, including materials and personnel that will be made available to the student.
  • A statement of the policies adopted regarding the maximum length of time allowed between the assignment and the completion of a student's assigned work, and the number of missed assignments allowed prior to an evaluation of whether or not the student should be allowed to continue in independent study.
  • The duration of the written student agreement, recognizing that no written student agreement shall be valid for any period longer than one school year.
  • A statement of the number of course credits or, for the elementary grades, other measures of academic accomplishment appropriate to the agreement, to be earned by the student upon completion.
  • The inclusion of a statement in each written student agreement that attendance at this charter school is an optional educational alternative in which no student may be required to participate.
  • Each written student agreement shall be signed and dated, prior to the commencement of independent study, by the student, the student's parent, legal guardian, or caregiver, if the student is less than 18 years of age, the certificated employee who has been designated as having responsibility for the general supervision of independent study, and all persons who have direct responsibility for providing assistance to the student.

4.13 Learning Record and Attendance Documentation

4.13.1 Learning Records

The Learning Record (LR) is the ES’s documentation and evaluation of the learning for that Learning Period. The assigned ES, student, the student's parent, legal guardian, or caregiver are required to meet face-to-face or virtually at least once every 20 school days. In order to remain enrolled in this charter school, the student must demonstrate progress towards the state standards. High school students must be attempting at least 25 credits a semester. Students receiving optional Additional ES Services (AESS) must meet with their ES weekly or biweekly, depending upon their contract. The Learning Record meetings typically take one hour per student to complete. Please plan for this amount of time with your ES when you schedule LR appointments.

All learning records must contain the following elements:

  • The working grade level for each growth area goal, with standards selected from that level
  • The course name for 7th to 12th grade students earning high school credits.

4.13.2 The Learning Record

  • Is an auditable, legal school document that becomes the course of study description for that course.
  • Is looked at by other schools if requested because it becomes a part of the cume file if a student transfers.
  • Is read by college counselors to determine if prerequisites for courses have been met.
  • Is read by the superintendent of the school district and the board to assess the quality of the charter school and the students' achievement, and may be a determining factor in whether or not a charter is renewed from year to year.
  • Is read by a financial auditor who views items discussed in the LR. The LR must validate the school's instructional purchases.
  • Is viewed by a programmatic auditor to determine if we are complying with charter law requirements in stating which standards are met for each subject area covered.
  • Is compared to the transcript by the programmatic auditor to be sure it supports the awarded grades and credits.

Copies of Learning Records may be given to parents by requesting them from their ES as long as the students are enrolled in the school. After a student has dropped, the request for any school information needs to go to the IEM office for processing.

4.13.3 Determining the Assignment Period

The assignment period is determined by the agreed upon time and frequency of the regular learning record  meetings between the ES and the student/parent as stated on the Student Agreement. It may not go longer than a 20 school day period.

4.13.4 Assessment of Student Work

During the Learning Record meeting, the assigned ES will evaluate the student's learning and the standards touched on during the learning period.  The ES is responsible for assessment of the student's learning to verify that the student has made adequate and appropriate progress toward the attainment of the standards. The ES needs to verify  concepts learned during the learning period through viewing student work and interviewing the student. During the Learning Record meeting, it is possible that the ES will read examples of the student's work, listen to the student's explanation of a concept learned, watch while a student demonstrates an activity, taste a sample of a baking assignment, interview the student about what they learned, etc. The ES will determine which standards were met by the learning in that learning period. The standards recorded will be the ones that were worked on, but not necessarily mastered, as well as ones that have been mastered.

It is the responsibility of the ES to prepare the Learning Records. Parents are not required, but are strongly encouraged to keep lesson plans, take notes, and/or keep track of standards that were worked on during the month to share with their ES. If the parent does document their observations of the child's learning, that documentation can be used as the basis of the learning record along with the ES's own observations. Even with parent documentation, the ES is still required to meet with the parent/student in order to assess the work product. During the meeting, you can ask your ES for suggestions about activities and resources to supplement your child's educational plan, help with teaching techniques, advice for specific learning styles, recommendations for curriculum, or discuss challenges you are having with your child or your school-day schedule. Your ES is available to help make teaching your children easier by giving you the tools you need and facilitating your learning experience.

4.13.5 Parent-Purchased Educational Materials

IEM Schools provide students with instructional funds that can be used to purchase non-sectarian curriculum, materials, vendor offered courses, Educational Specialist Instruction, and tutoring to support student learning.

Following our Parent Choice model, parents may choose to purchase materials independent of what the school provides to assist in their child’s learning. Parent-purchased educational materials which are not sectarian in nature may be used for student academic work assignments and to determine apportionment credit, and may be selected for student work samples to be included in a student’s portfolio.

Parent-purchased materials that are sectarian in nature will not be used to determine apportionment credit (i.e. attendance). ESs will not assign work from sectarian materials and student work samples cannot be selected from sectarian materials.

At the monthly learning record meeting, students can demonstrate performance towards state standards through a variety of methods, including but not limited:

  • review of student work
  • student presentations
  • experiments
  • unit assessments
  • demonstrations

The ES and parent will collaborate to determine apportionment and academic progress referencing student learning, standards addressed and the student’s monthly roll sheet completed by the parent.

4.13.6 Attendance Documentation & Daily Engagement

Attendance is filled out by the parent and ES electronically.  A paper copy of the attendance roll sheet is given to the parent at each meeting to document the attendance for the next learning period and daily engagement. The paper roll sheet stays with the parent who records attendance daily on the roll sheet as learning occurs.  The electronic roll sheet becomes the legal document. If for any reason the ES is not able to use the electronic roll sheet system, then the paper copy must be signed and becomes the legal document. Daily Engagement needs to be recorded by parent(s).

According to Title 5 California Code of Regulations Section 11960(a), IEM schools are required to keep track of the attendance of our charter school students while engaged in educational activities required of them by their charter school on days when the school is in session. Collecting electronic attendance at the Learning Record meeting doesn’t meet the daily engagement requirement. Thus a paper copy of the attendance form that is filled out throughout the month by the parent(s) is used to track daily engagement.

During the  Learning Record meeting, the paper attendance roll sheet for that Learning Period is turned into the ES. The days marked as attendance days must be validated by learning that is reported on the Learning Record, with portfolios samples to support the learning. If the ES determines that the student did not complete enough learning to constitute the full amount of attendance for that learning period, then the ES will complete the roll sheet to reflect this determination. These elements are required by law in order for our charter school to stay in existence.

If you plan to be out of the area and will be missing classes and/or services that are involved with your student’s educational plan, please consult with your ES. Students with an IEP must gain approval from the Special Education department, who will ensure that the travel does not interfere with FAPE.

4.14 The Learning Record Meeting

Students and parents participate in their learning record (LR) meeting with their Education Specialist (ES) at least once every 20 school days as mandated by education code. These meetings are intended to: discuss progress, analyze success, identify challenges, implement improvements, and determine next steps.  

There are two options for the LR meeting; In-person or virtually. We encourage in-person meetings because it is the best platform. Parents can choose what platform they would like;  all in-person LR meetings or a mixture of in-person and virtual LR meetings (VLR). A minimum of three in-person LR meetings are required per year. The VLR meeting has additional parent/student requirements; please discuss them carefully with your ES before requesting a virtual LR meeting. If the VLR platform is not productive for student learning or the LR meeting essentials are not being met, the ES and advisor can determine the student(s) must meet in-person.

4.14.1 Virtual Learning Record Meeting Requirements Technology

  • Internet connection (broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Computer with webcam and built in audio, iPad, or smartphone with video and audio capabilities
  • Must know how to scan, upload, and email documents
  • Upload documents/assignments to a google folder
  • Trained on zoom meetings Minimum of three required In-Person LR meetings

  • Required in-person LR meetings are: first of the year, mid-year (around the semester change), and a full LR meeting period in May (it cannot be the last day of school without advisor approval)
  • VLR (Virtual Learning Record) meeting frequency will be tracked through the attendance department and Teacher Support Department. When out-of-state or service area

EC section 46300.2  In-person classes provided through the school (through our vendors or special education services) need to be arranged to be completed virtually (if allowed) before a virtual LR meeting will be approved by the ES. If the in-person local learning commitments cannot be kept, a virtual LR meeting will not be approved.  We cannot encourage or knowingly allow students to miss in-person classes without arrangements being made. No out of service counties/state virtual LR meeting approvals will be considered during the student(s) state testing. Special Education services cannot be given to a student out of the state. License states that these services can only be done in the state they are certified. Learning Record Meeting

  1. The student and parent/guardian listed on the Student Agreement must be present.
  2. Agenda is required  An agenda is required, created by the ES where parents/ES/Student can put agenda topics to talk about.
  3. Assessment of the student's learning to verify that the student has made adequate and appropriate progress toward the attainment of the standards. EC Section 51747.5(b)EC Section 47612.5
    1. VLR-Student and/or parent must upload assignments to the student’s google folder 24 hours before the LR meeting. The ES should dictate what is needed in each learning growth area or HS course in order to assess it properly.
    2. Students taking HS courses: a grade sheet per course will document graded student work. This can be provided by the ES or the parent/student can make one and share with the ES and needs to be updated each LR meeting. EC section 51747 (c)(6)
  4. Attendance and daily engagement of learning.Section 47612.5 (a) (2), 5 CCR 11960 (a)
    1. Daily engagement of student learning for the LR period will be emailed in PDF form to the parent at beginning of each LR period by ES. Parent tracks their students’ daily engagement of learning by marking X for each date learning occurred on the roll sheet.
    2. VLR-This sample PDF can be used for the LR period attendance. Parent marks attendance, signs, and emails to ES before the end of the day.
  5. Collection of student portfolio samples. 5 CCR 11703(b)(3)
    1. The ES will let the parent/student know what portfolio samples are needed. Minimum of 2 samples per learning growth area or HS course per semester.
    2. VLR-Graded portfolio samples will be taken from the student’s google folder.
  6. Educational support and counsel to the parent.
    1. This can be done through email, phone calls, or at the LR meeting. VLR Analysis Period

    • If the ES has concerns that the VLRs are not working, they can discuss with their advisor and tell the parent at any time.
    • If the parent at any time doesn’t feel the VLR meetings are going well, they can contact their ES’s advisor.
    • A school survey will be sent out to parents for feedback on VLRs at end of each semester.
  • Parent satisfaction survey after one VLRM, then at the end of the year. VLR Collaborative Culture with ES/Parent/Student

  1. Log in 5 minutes before meeting: check audio and video
  2. Active listening and participation as if you are meeting in-person
  3. The VLR meeting should be conducted in a professional setting visually and auditory.
  4. Distraction-free: no extra background sounds, focus on meeting

4.15 Suspension and Expulsion Process

This Pupil Suspension and Expulsion Policy has been established to promote learning and protect the safety and wellbeing of all students at Sky Mountain Charter School. Although many of the students of the school will work from home, this policy is written broadly to apply as needed to students at school-sponsored activities or at school facilities.

A student identified as an individual with disabilities or for whom the school has a basis of knowledge of a suspected disability pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”) or who is qualified for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) is subject to the same grounds for suspension and expulsion and is accorded the same due process procedures applicable to regular education students except when federal and state law mandates additional or different procedures. The school’s Special Education Director shall be consulted in all cases of potential suspension or expulsion relating to Special Education students to ensure compliance with all applicable statutes.

4.15.1 Suspension/Expulsion Definition

Students may be suspended or expelled from at Sky Mountain Charter School for any act specified in Education Code Section 48900, non-compliance with the terms of the written student agreement, or any material violation of any of the conditions, standards or procedures set forth in the charter (i.e. receiving a second truancy), the school handbook, the student agreement, or the school’s policies and procedures. Education Code 48915 lists the non-discretionary and discretionary offenses for suspension and expulsion that Sky Mountain Charter School will follow.

4.15.2 Expulsion/Suspension Procedure

Based on information regarding student behavior or performance as specified above, at Sky Mountain Charter School will send a suspension or expulsion notice to the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s). The notice will include an explanation of the charges against the student and the student’s basic rights. For suspensions of fewer than ten (10) days, if the pupil denies the charges, the school will provide an explanation of the evidence that supports the charges and an opportunity for the pupil to present his or her side of the story.

For suspensions of ten (10) days or more, or an expulsion, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a student may request a hearing where the parent and the student shall be given an opportunity to participate and present facts relevant to the issues set forth in the notice.

At the hearing, the student will be provided a fair opportunity to present testimony,

evidence, and witnesses and confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, and the student will have the right to bring legal counsel or an advocate. In the event of any such request, an assigned school administrator shall appoint a Hearing Committee composed of no more than five (5) members consisting of one ES, one Advisor, two (2) members of the Governing Board/Parent Council, and the Board/Council President or designee (a neutral officer), which shall conduct a hearing regarding the notice. After the hearing, the Hearing Committee shall send its decision to the assigned school administrator. An expelled student shall have no right to appeal and the Hearing Committees decision is final.

In the event of a student’s expulsion, Sky Mountain Charter School will notify the Superintendent of the school district of the student’s last known address within thirty (30) days, and shall, upon request, provide that school district with a copy of the cumulative record of the pupil. Expelled students who are subject to compulsory full-time education pursuant to Education Code Section 48200 have a duty to attend the school district in which the parent or guardian resides.

No student shall be involuntarily removed by the school for any reason unless the parent or guardian of the student has been provided written notice of intent to remove the student no less than five (5) school days before the effective date of the action. The written notice shall inform him or her of the right to initiate the procedures specified above for suspension/expulsion before the effective date of the action. If the student’s parent, guardian, or educational rights holder initiates the procedures specified above, the student shall remain enrolled and shall not be removed until the school issues a final decision.

Additionally, in the event of a suspension or expulsion for a student with a disability, all requirements set forth by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) will be followed.

4.15.3 Expulsion Hearing

The parents of a student who has received an expulsion notice from the school Administration may request a hearing where the parent/student shall be given an opportunity to participate and present facts relevant to the issues set forth in the expulsion notice. In the event of any such request, the school administration shall appoint a Hearing Committee composed of five (5) members of the School Parent Council which shall conduct an expulsion hearing. An expulsion hearing, if requested, shall be conducted in accordance with the due process requirements established in Education Code 48915-48918. After an expulsion hearing, the Hearing Committee shall send its recommendation to the school Administration for a final decision. The school Administration will make all final decisions concerning suspension, expulsion, or reinstatement of suspended or expelled students.

4.15.4 Expulsion Procedure

Whenever a student is expelled from this charter school, the school shall notify the student and the student's parents/guardians in writing of the student's duty to attend the school district in which the residency of either the parent/legal guardian is located. The charter school will notify the student's district of residence of the student's expulsion.

4.16 Truancy Policy

4.16.1 Truancy Definition

The definition of "truancy" for this charter school is defined in the policy below as a missed appointment/attendance period. This is not the same definition of "truancy" as defined by California Education Code, nor are the practices and procedures below defined by California Education Code, but are defined by this charter school.

4.16.2 Truancy Policy

Charter School students who are truant for two school attendance periods (length of time between meetings with an ES, but no more than 20 days maximum) or have 2 missed appointments related to any school appointment within the same school year, or a combination of the above, will be dropped from the school and will require the Director’s approval to re-enroll. Please note that the truant attendance periods within one school year do not have to be consecutive. Truancy is documented on the Attendance Roll Sheet as 50% or less attendance during any consecutive school days on the student's calendar track (example: 10 truant school days over a 20 day period). A mandatory assessment date that has been missed or any other required meeting that has been missed is considered to be a missed appointment that will result in a truancy being issued.

Mandatory assessments include, but are not limited to, the End of the Year Assessment and most state testing. Also, please note that there are no "excused" absences or "excused" missed appointments. Full attendance is based on work in 5 growth areas for a K – 8th grade student or a high school student attempting a minimum of 25 credits.

4.16.3 Truant Practices

It is required that the ES assess student learning every 20 school days; The ES must be able to assess the student's learning via the learning record meeting every 20 school days, or the student will be marked truant. Students who do not demonstrate sufficient learning and work to support the claimed attendance will also be marked truant. Again, please note that there are no "excused" absences or "excused" missed appointments.

Parents and students must make every effort to be on time for learning record meetings and other school appointments. Parents and students who are more than 15 minutes late to learning record meetings and/or other school appointments may be subject to a truancy. Two truancies will result in dismissal from Sky Mountain Charter School. Parents and students that receive a first truancy must meet with their ES within 5 school days of the initial truancy for a follow-up learning record meeting. Failure to attend this meeting may result in the issuance of a second truancy, thus resulting in a dismissal from Sky Mountain Charter School.

4.16.4 First Truancy notice

Students who miss a school appointment, or are at risk of falling below the required attendance requirements as defined above shall be sent a warning letter, reminding the student of this policy and requirements of the Student Agreement and may be invited to attend an Evaluation Meeting to discuss whether independent study is in the best interest of the student.

4.16.5 Second Truancy notice

Students who have missed two assignments/attendance periods, (who have an attendance record of less than 50% during two attendance periods) or two school appointments (including Special Education services) will receive a second truancy notice and be dismissed from the school according to the school's expulsion policy (noted above).

4.16.6 Special Education Students Truancy Procedure

If the truant student is an identified Special Education student, the ES will contact the Special Education Department with their documented attempts to contact the student/parent. The Special Education Department will also contact the ES if there are missed Special Education services. If the ES receives approval from the Special Education Department, they will create and mail the 2nd truancy letter.  A review of the student’s IEP will commence in relationship to the student’s truancy.

4.17 Academic Integrity

4.17.1 Plagiarism Policy

Definition of Plagiarism: According to Dictionary.com, plagiarism is defined as:

  • The unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.
  • Something used and represented in this manner.

4.17.2 Examples of Plagiarism

  • Quoting someone else's words, sentences, paragraphs, or an entire paper without acknowledging the source.
  • Paraphrasing someone else's ideas, opinions, or theory without acknowledging the source.
  • Imitating someone else's structure or argument without acknowledging the source.
  • Using more of a source than you acknowledged in your citation.
  • Copying a fellow student's work, paper, or/and essays and turning it in as your own.
  • Copying or allowing another student to copy a computer file that has your or their written assignments and then turning that in as your own work.
  • Buying an essay, paper, or any written work online without acknowledging the source.

4.17.3 Consequences of Plagiarism

The staff at all IEM Schools and Programs will not tolerate plagiarism. We strongly believe that plagiarism is a great insult to the authors as well as the readers. At the beginning of each school year, parents and students sign the Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Form. If an ES suspects or has confirmed that a student committed plagiarism, a meeting will be held with the student, parent and the ES. This meeting will be conducted to:

  1. Confirm the student has conducted plagiarism or academic dishonesty
  2. Set up a plan to help the student learn about plagiarism and dishonesty, and how to avoid it in the future.
  3. Explain that the student will receive an F for the work turned in

If the student commits plagiarism or academic dishonesty additional times, the ES will take the information to school administration. Consequences will increase in severity, at the discretion of the school. Consequences may include but are not limited to, lowering the grade for the course, failing the course, withholding the teacher's guide until all work is completed, requiring a back end teacher for online courses, requiring an AESS contract for the teacher to grade the work, a discussion regarding whether an independent study is the correct setting for the student etc.

4.18 First Meeting Information Sheet and General Information Sheet

4.18.1 First Meeting Information Sheet

The First Meeting Information Sheet was developed to ensure that during the course of your initial meeting the ES and parent can determine whether or not Sky Mountain will be a good fit for individual families. Also, it is used to make sure that all parents are informed about the variety of school services available to them at the beginning of each school year. This sheet verifies that the parent has received a copy of the General Information Sheet, the school calendar, the parent version of the state standards for the grade level of their student for that year, the dates of the standardized testing, etc. The parent and the ES must sign this form at their first meeting, once each school year. It is a benefit for both the parents and the ES's to have a signed sheet that will indicate the information that was discussed at their first meeting.Take this opportunity to ask all your questions when each item is being discussed.

4.18.2 General Information Sheet

The General Information Sheet is to be given to each family by their ES at their first meeting of each school year. It provides the parent with the information they may need to use during the year: phone numbers, their student and parent numbers, the important test dates for the year, e-mail addresses, and basic information about the school.


5.1 The Education Specialist (ES)

Each student is assigned to a supervising teacher called an Education Specialist (ES). Siblings are assigned to the same supervising teacher.The Education Specialist is a California certificated teacher who typically holds a multiple-subject credential or a single-subject credential(s),or both. Your ES will also be highly qualified in one or more areas.

After enrollment, your ES can help you determine your child's learning style and show you where you can read about the types of educational philosophies and learning approaches on the school's website.* If you have a particular educational philosophy, you are encouraged to share this educational philosophy along with supporting materials, to give your ES a greater understanding.Your ES will find it helpful to know why you chose this educational model and what you hope to gain from it. For planning purposes, your ES will need to see an unofficial copy of your child’s high school transcript at the initial meeting. This can easily be obtained by requesting it from your child’s previous school.  He or she may also find it helpful to know what additional extracurricular activities your child participates in. Using any background and assessment information available, the ES will help to advise and develop your child's individualized learning plan. Together, you will determine what resources (curricula, classes, activities, ESi classes, ES support,, tutors, computers) will be needed for the various subjects your child will cover this school year.

Each ES has a  base of educational knowledge to draw from to meet the individual needs of their students when advising on their individualized learning plan. An ES will be familiar with and able to explain the numerous curriculum options available, the various learning approaches, how the requirements for each core subject can be met within our school, and the resources available within the school (ESi and Field Trips) and in the community. He or she will explain the portfolio options, graduation requirements, and Internet resources.

The ES is required to meet with parents and their students at least once every 20 school days. The ES may opt to schedule the learning record meetings every 15-18 school days, in order to provide a buffer for unexpected circumstances such as illness. Some ESs will meet more often with their students because the parent desired to contract for Additional Education Specialist Services (AESS). The ES will meet with the parent at a mutually agreed upon location. Possible locations are at the student home, local library, bookstore, coffee shop or park. The monthly meeting is a very important event: monthly learning documentation must be provided, important school information communicated, work samples collected and an assessment of student progress must be made. As a result, neither party should accept missed appointments, late arrivals, or unpreparedness. Because everyone's schedules are so full, rescheduling appointments can be challenging for everyone. Make every effort to make the monthly meeting appointments a priority, and change them only if absolutely necessary (e.g. illness, death in the family, etc.)  In case of an extreme emergency, contact your ES for options.

The ES is the main liaison between the school and the family and is your primary source of information. At your first meeting with your ES, you should receive a General Information Sheet with important contact information on it. Communication from the ES to the family will occur at the monthly meetings, and through telephone calls, emails, and/or through the mail. Because much information is time-sensitive, you will want to let your ES know what method of communication works best for you, email or phone call. Your ES should also communicate his/her preferred communication and best days/times to reach him/her.

If a parent has concerns regarding the communication or relationship with their ES, he/she may contact his/her ES’s advisor for further support. The ES’s advisor contact information is on the General Information Sheet given by the ES at the initial meeting. The ES advisor will assist the ES and parent in working towards creating a positive working relationship.   If unable to resolve, a parent may request a different ES by filling out the Parent Request for Change of ES form (found on the website under parent forms). We will do our best to accommodate a parent request, so please be as specific as possible on the form.

5.2 The ES Advisor

Each ES is assigned to an advisor.  Their role is to help the ES be the best ES they can be. The ES advisor serves as the ES’s mentor, trains the ES on school policies and procedures, provides the ES with curriculum counseling, meets individually with them as needed, reviews and evaluates their performance, and acts as the ES’s professional growth advisor.  The ES advisors are also ESs themselves at their individual school Sky Mountain Charter School. They have first-hand knowledge of the ES job and an extensive understanding of the school's policies. The advisor is the extra layer of support should you need more help and information than your ES is able to provide.

Your first resource for information should always be your ES and the school website. If you feel you still need further assistance, then the ES advisor is there to help you either directly, or by helping your ES to help you. Either way, the ES advisor's job is to make sure that families are getting the assistance they need.  The General Information Sheet given to you at the beginning of the school year or at your initial meeting will list your ES advisor's name, e-mail, and phone number.

5.3 Report Cards

Report Cards are not required for grades K-8, but families may request them by asking their ES. While K-8 report cards are not required, they are sometimes necessary for other student endeavors such as sports teams, insurance, government verifications, etc. Please consider your family participation in these types of activities when deciding to request a report card or not. Also, we highly recommend that parents of 7th and 8th grade students request a report card as this type of documentation is frequently requested when transitioning into a traditional high school setting. All 9th -12th grade students are required to have a report card issued at the conclusion of each semester and are unable to opt out of having a report card.

It is the law in California that the highly qualified, "teacher of record" assign the official grades and credits. Students will be graded based upon the standards for the grade level in which the student is enrolled. Parents opting for report cards and parents with high school students should submit graded work at the learning record meetings for the ES to review. The grades and credits awarded on the report card represent the professional evaluation by the teacher of record of the student's progress toward the state and school standards.  If you requested a report card, your ES will give you a copy after grades/feedback is submitted.

5.4 Portfolio Information

A ePortfolio (ePort) is an electronic auditable, state-required collection of student work which shows student learning and demonstrates student progress towards state standards and school goals as identified in our school charter.  It is the ES’s responsibility to collect work samples for each student for each semester in each growth area for K-8th graders and each course attempted for high school students. Our guideline for obtaining electronic portfolio samples is for the ES to obtain a pool of samples for each K-8 subject (learning growth areas) and for each high school course.

The work samples an ES collects at your learning record meetings must be actual student work assignments for that growth area/course. The assembling of a student ePort is an important accountability job duty of your ES; it is not the job of a parent/student. The parent's responsibility is to allow their ES to collect and take pictures of a variety of actual student work assignments completed monthly when they are at each LR meeting with you, or take pictures of student activity/work demonstrated for their ES at the meeting.

ePorts are used solely by this charter school to meet the yearly school audit requirement. ePorts are not attached to individual student's cume files, nor are they passed on to the next school your student may attend. They are kept digitally for the state required time limit and then will be archived.  


6.1 Learning Styles

Each child has a specific mode or combination of modes in which he/she learns best.

Visual Learners: These students learn best by seeing flash cards, visual images, handouts, matching games, pictures and diagrams, puzzles, watching someone do something, printed material, charts, pictures, posters, wall strips, desk tapes, video tapes, timelines, and computer programs.

Auditory Learners: These students learn best by hearing and benefit most from lectures, educational songs and rhymes, rhythm instruments, recitation, CD-ROMs, DVDs, videos, singing songs, and reading aloud.

Kinesthetic Learners: These students learn best by doing and touching from activities such as hands-on math and science kits, gardening, puzzles, manipulatives, typing instead of writing, lapbooks, drama, dance, lab experiments, nature walks, and building models.

Social Learners: These students learn best by interacting with others through one-on-one conversations, discussions, and group participation.

For a listing of Curriculum options, see the school’s website at:


6.2 School-Provided Kidzmet Learning Styles Assessment and Curriculum Wizard

Knowing that each of our students is uniquely wired to learn, we are excited about an online tool called Kidzmet which will help us better understand the individual learning styles of our students. In addition to offering information regarding our student’s individual learning styles, Kidzmet results will be coupled with academic grade level to identify the most appropriate curriculum options for families who desire additional suggestions through the Curriculum Wizard.

The Curriculum Wizard is a tool designed to help you and your ES learn about curriculum choices which are most compatible with each student’s individual learning style. Information from the Kidzmet Learning Styles Survey and student grade level will be used to make recommendations for possible curriculum options for students. Though it is not required that you use the curriculum recommendations, our goal is to help identify curriculum options which students respond well to and which have been found to be most effective with individual learning styles. We want to be able to make solid recommendations for families who are seeking additional suggestions. In order to obtain solid curricular recommendations, data will need to be gathered, and Kidzmet is part of the data needed.

6.3 Free School-Provided Online Curriculum

As budget permits, students are given opportunities to access free school-provided online curriculum. Login information can be obtained from your Education Specialist. Sky Mountain also has a Curriculum Library. Please ask your ES for more details on how to checkout curriculum from your school library.

6.4 Educational Philosophies

By enrolling in Sky Mountain Charter School, you are choosing an alternative option to educate your child. Experience shows that parents are more successful with alternative forms of education if they have a clearly defined philosophy of education. Your philosophy of education is your unyielding conviction about what you believe to be the role of the parent, child, government, and community in the education of your children. There are going to be times during your children's educational journey when the pressures of life will cause you to question the educational decisions and choices you have made. One main reason for this self-doubt is that there is no perfect educational system--they all have advantages and disadvantages. By having your educational philosophy written out and by referring to it during the challenging periods in your life, you will be better able to re-evaluate your belief system and goals to help prioritize with reason rather than emotion. A list of educational philosophies is located in the Curriculum section of the school’s website.

6.5 Choosing the Right Curriculum

The ES and parents together (with input from the student) select the student’s curriculum in keeping with their grade level educational plan. Information useful in determining appropriate curriculum might include the following: the student's learning style, previous learning challenges at home and at prior school(s), the student's maturity level, the student's ability to stay on task and work independently, the motivational level of the student, accommodations through special education, the student's interests, student CAASPP test results, post high school goals, report cards or high school transcripts, alternative assessments, and readiness tests.

Additional information helpful in determining appropriate curriculum might include the following: the parent's educational philosophy and preferred teaching style, the amount of experience the parent has had with independent study, the amount of time the parent has to spend with any one student during the school day, the amount of time the parent has for educational planning and preparation each week, the parent's ability to teach necessary courses, and the resources already available in the home. Taking this information into consideration, the curriculum suggestions and resources necessary to accomplish the student's educational plan will be identified and implemented within the educational and financial guidelines of the school. Following discussions with the ES, the parent will provide the ES with a wish list of curriculum and resources that they are requesting, and the ES will set up activities, classes or tutors and place the purchase orders (POs) necessary to obtain them.

6.5 Curriculum Ordering

Each year, the school allocates instructional funds to be used to facilitate the student's educational plan through the purchase of materials, services, contract program activities, ES-taught classes or tutoring (ESi), Field Trips and additional ES support (AESS). The parent and ES work in cooperation to determine the best allocation of the student’s instructional funds. Ultimately, the ES is responsible for the professional and ethical distribution of this funding.

The ES is responsible to place the purchase orders for the items needed by the family in a timely manner. Purchase orders for materials can only be made through school approved vendors, and all purchases must be made in accordance with the school's purchasing guidelines. They must be basic in quality, non-sectarian, intended to support the student's educational plan (meaning the items must be age and subject appropriate), and used to meet school and state standards for the student whom the materials are being purchased. The school makes the determination whether or not materials meet their guidelines. Sky Mountain Charter School maintains a comprehensive list of approved vendors and online curriculum in order to support the school’s philosophy of parent choice in education while adhering to the California Department of Education's Codes regarding the purchasing of instructional materials.

These list may be found at:

Approved vendors:


Online curriculum:


6.6 Instructional Funding (IF) Information

Instructional Funds Policies:

  • Each student, by his/her average daily attendance (ADA) generates the instructional funds of the Charter School. The instructional funds are budgeted for use each school year in three areas: 1.) district and program administration, 2.) teachers' payroll, and 3.) educational materials. The instructional funding must be spent according to the SB740 funding model for Charter Schools.
  • The Charter School may not provide any instructional funds or other things of value to the student or his or her parent or guardian that a school district could not legally provide to a similarly situated student of the school district, or to his or her parents or guardian.
  • The Charter School may only receive instructional funding for the provision of independent study to students who are residents of San Bernardino County (Sky Mountain Charter School)  or who are residents of a county contiguous to San Bernardino County (Sky Mountain Charter School).
  • Instructional funds are appropriated for the purpose of designing and delivering the enrolled student's educational plan. The instructional funding may only be spent on appropriate educational materials for the enrolled student. They may not be used to provide educational materials/admissions for siblings or parents or anyone else not enrolled in the charter school, or for materials not applicable to the enrolled student's educational plan.
  • Instructional funds should be prioritized to first purchase core curriculum and for services supporting learning in the core growth areas before instructional funds are used for extracurricular materials and activities. This is a plan that is developed between the parent and the ES.
  • Instructional funds may be used towards educational materials, field trips, educational activities, High School Support Teachers or ES Instruction (ESi), and AESS for the enrolled student.
  • Instructional funds cannot be used for items designated in the Policy for Criteria of Materials or activities/product/instructors disallowed in the Conflict of Interest Policy (policy can be found on the school website at):


Instructional funds cannot be spent on any item or activity that requires payment for transportation. SMCS does not pay for transportation, as our school receives no transportation funding. For enrolled students, all learning occurs at home, and anything the parent/guardian/student chooses to do outside of their home needs to be within the realm of what transportation they can and want to arrange/provide.

  • Students who are enrolled on the first day of the school year, will have the maximum amount of appropriated instructional funds when planning their educational program. Students who enroll later in the school year will have less than the maximum amount of appropriated funds with which to plan from.
  • For those students who are enrolled for the entire 175 school days, the instructional funds are placed into the IF account managed by the ES in two disbursements during the school year. No school funding is provided directly to parents or students for any purpose. For the 2018/19 school year, the maximum IF appropriation for each student is:
    • $2,400.00 (TK-8th grade students); $1,200.00 maximum for each funding period
    • $3,000 (HS students); $1,500.00 maximum for each funding period.
  • Instructional funds are prorated based on the student’s enrollment date. If the student enrolls after the start of the school year, the instructional fund amount will be based on the actual enrollment date.
  • The amount of instructional funding that is allocated in the ES's budget for use to support the enrolled student's educational plan is based on the ADA calendar the state goes by to appropriate school instructional funds. The instructional funding amount is prorated and differs depending upon the student's enrollment date.

6.6.1 Management of Educational Instructional Funds

Each Education Specialist has the responsibility of being aware of expenses incurred to meet the educational needs and choices of each enrolled student assigned to them. Sibling instructional funds are posted and tracked as a family budget under the family name under the name of the ES. It is the responsibility of the ES to stay within the overall budget for each family. There may be times when an ES spends more on one enrolled sibling's educational plan than another within the same family. This is acceptable as long as the educational plans of all enrolled siblings in the family are being addressed and the family's overall budget is not exceeded. Information about the ES expenditure of instructional funds is public information and should be shared with any interested party upon request.

The parent and ES work in cooperation to determine the best use of allocated instructional funds in order to produce the maximum possible in terms of student learning. At no time should instructional funding be spent indiscriminately by any person(s). The instructional funds remain part of the school's budget and anything purchased with these instructional funds remains the property of the school. School expenses are audited annually.

Parents have a right to provide input in the determination of how the allocated instructional funding is spent. Ultimately though, the ES is responsible for the professional and ethical distribution of instructional funding and that responsibility is not "shared". The ES also has the responsibility to ensure that all core curriculum has been purchased, either with instructional funds or independently by the parent, and is in place prior to using instructional funds for special interest/extracurricular activities. Conversely, the ES should not spend any of the instructional fund allocation without the parents' approval. Any disagreement between an ES and parent regarding the purchase of educational materials/services will be mediated by the administration of the school.

6.6.2 Accrual of Instructional Funds

The parent need to  understand how and when instructional funds are placed in the ES budget in two distributions. Instructional funding is placed in the ES’s budget for a student based on his/her date of enrollment and the expected amount of ADA the school anticipates to collect for that student. It isn't "real" money until attendance for the student is collected that will equal the amount projected. If for any reason, a student drops prior to the date that the instructional funds was "earned," then a portion of of that instructional funding may not be available to be transferred for any purpose. For example, a student graduating at the end of first semester must remember that only the first semester instructional funds are "real,” and the 2nd allotment of instructional funds will be deducted from the ES budget when the graduate drop is complete.

6.6.3 Service Purchase Orders

Parents may request service purchase orders through their ES. Requested services must be provided by approved vendors and not violate IEM Conflict of Interest Policy. It is important for the parent to verify that the vendor has received the purchase order before starting classes to avoid out of pocket expenses. Service purchase orders do not continue automatically after one ends. If the vendor does not have a purchase order in place, parents need to contact their ES regarding the service in question. It is the responsibility of the parent to request a new service purchase order before the approved vendor class begins. It is also the responsibility of the parent to register the student for the class and to pay privately for any required registration or materials fees. Instructional funding can only include future dates for service purchase orders, and must be within school calendar dates.  

6.7 Policy for Criterion of Materials/Materials Policy

All materials ordered by Sky Mountain Charter School with state funding, including items, such as workbooks, pencils, paper, clay, and any other materials consumable in nature, are the property of SMCS. Materials are loaned to enrolled students for their educational usage only. The items must be returned to the school via the assigned Education Specialist (ES) when the student is done using that item, or when the student leaves SMCS. If an item has been used up or is no longer usable by any other enrolled student, then it can be marked as consumed or archived by the ES. The ES must view this item and sign off that it has been consumed. If a student disenrolls or is dropped by the Charter School prior to the end of the school year for any reason, all purchased materials must be returned to Sky Mountain Charter School within three school days. Families will be billed for any and all items not returned, including those that are consumable in nature. Student transcripts will not be released until all materials are returned.

Average daily attendance (ADA) funding is received for the purpose of supporting new learning for a student and some minimal practice of those newly learned skills. Therefore, ADA funding may be spent for educational items that support new student learning and that fall into the categories below. We may not spend ADA funding on anything that could be construed to be a "thing of value" or a "gift of public funds."

Materials must be used to meet school and state standards for an enrolled student.  Materials may not be purchased for the use by non-enrolled sibling or parent.

6.7.1 Acceptable Items to Order with Instructional Funds

Please note this list is not inclusive and subject to update.

  • Educational curriculum appropriate for enrolled students’ courses (textbooks, novels, online courses, DVDs, unit studies, software etc.)
  • Supplemental educational materials appropriate for enrolled students’ courses and practice of skills (educational games, sewing machine, CD player, manipulatives etc.)
  • Reasonable amount of batteries for school purchased devices
  • Enough raw materials for an educational project to demonstrate the learning of basic course skills
    • Fabric: Swatches of fabric to learn stitching or complete a small project such as a drawstring bag or pillow case
    • Wood: Basic carpentry set able to produce a small project.
    • Yarn and Wool: 5 skeins or enough for one small project
  • The following types of items may be considered to purchase with IF if they support learning and are approved by the ES
    • Bunson burner
    • Chemicals Garden Ordering Guidelines

  • Can be ordered (note this not an inclusive list):
    • Enough materials for one educational project
    • Seeds and bulbs
    • Soil, enough for one educational project (ie. bag of 40 qt. or up to 50 lbs)
    • Composter, less than $100
    • Label sticks, sprouting tray, seed starter kits, children’s hand tool set
  • Cannot be ordered (note this is not an all inclusive list):
    • Gardening gloves or aprons
    • Yard furniture or equipment of any kind
    • Trees of any age or size
    • Yard chemicals or inoculants
    • Manure/fertilizer Art Supplies Guidelines

  • Must support learning and be grade level appropriate Lego and Robotic Ordering Guidelines

  • Lego and robotic sets need to be educational and grade level appropriate Computer, Electronic Devices and Technology Options

To view a listing of current Student Computer and Technology Options, go to:


6.7.2 Unacceptable Items to Order with Instructional Funds

Please note this list is not inclusive and subject to update. Materials must not expose the ES or enrolled student to dangerous or serious injury. The following items cannot be purchased with IF:

  • Materials that violate IEM Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Any sectarian or denominational item
  • Furniture or other household or home office equipment (fax machines, copiers, phones, TV’s DVD or VCR players, game consoles etc.)
  • Ready-made clothes or jewelry
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Toys
  • Poisons
  • Weapons, knives, bows, arrows, pointed darts
  • Rocket engines
  • Power tools or welding equipment
  • Live animals or animal food (exception: as a part of a science class, one may order certificates for praying mantis, caterpillars, ladybugs, tadpoles, or silkworms to watch "hatching"; ant farms)
  • Personal PE items: skis, bicycles, tricycles, trampolines, swimming pools, hand weights/dumbbells
  • Musical instrument rentals, exchanges, or rent to own instruments
  • Kitchen equipment: popcorn poppers, pots and pans, trays, plates, utensils, aprons
  • Anything that may be installed permanently at a home in order to be used, or anything that will be too large or heavy for any ES to transport after it is put together
    • Large or heavy items must be limited to those items any ES can lift or transport.  Rule of thumb: nothing over 4ft. by 3 ft. or 50 pounds should be ordered, as it may not be able to be transported by every ES when transferred from one family to another.  

6.8 Tracking Materials

All materials are shipped directly to the ES by the vendor. Delays can occur on products from vendors that will only ship through the school office. Once the items are received by the ES, the ES will mark the items into the School's Materials Tracking System and label the items with the school's name before distributing them to the family.

ESs are responsible for all items ordered from their parents' accounts, including consumables. Families may not dispose of items before consulting their ES. Every item issued to a student must be either:

  • In the possession of and in use by an enrolled student for educational purposes
  • In the possession of the ES
  • Written off as discarded due to normal usage
  • Written off as consumed, if appropriate (ES must view consumed materials and sign them off)
  • Be listed as Missing Materials in the school's Materials Tracking System

IEM charter schools use state funding to order materials for students enrolled. All materials are considered loaned to the family to use for educational purposes and must be returned to the school via the family’s ES when the materials are no longer being used or the family has dropped from the charter. In accordance with Education Code (EC) 48904 (b)(1) IEM reserves the right to withhold grades, diplomas and official transcripts from the parent or legal guardian of any student who owes fees to the school.

The student records department will attempt to collect the materials and/or payment from families via notices mailed to the family and to the current school of enrollment.

6.9 Approved Vendor List

The charter school maintains a list of school-approved vendors through which the ES can place POs. The approved vendor list is comprised of vendors that offer products only, services only, or a combination of product and services. On the vendor list is the phone number, website address (if available), and a brief description of each vendor's products and/or services. Not every item offered by an approved vendor is approved for purchase. In fact, some vendors carry many items that are not acceptable and cannot be ordered with instructional funds. If there is a vendor a parent would like to see added to the approved vendor list, the parent or ES may direct the prospective vendor to complete the Vendor Application found on the school’s website.  The school will make the final determination as to whether or not a prospective vendor will be added to our vendor list. If a vendor is denied, the reason for the denial will not be shared, as vendor approval is a confidential matter.

To view the approved vendor list, go to:


If you are in search of service vendors in your area, please mark the services button and then type the city name into the search field.  It is recommended that you use only 1-2 words when doing a search on the approved vendor list.

6.10 Requesting a New Vendor

When a parent or ES identifies a business which either the parent or ES  believes will be beneficial in assisting our students educationally by providing educational materials or educational services. Refer the prospective vendor to Vendor Application linked to the school’s website to begin the application process.

Before referring the prospective vendor, the parent and ES should consider the following bullet points.

  • The vendor instructor policy
  • If the course is considered a high risk activity
  • If the course is a school restricted activity
  • If the course involves a theme park activity
  • If products meet school and state standards for the student
  • If products that are non-sectarian in nature
  • The business has not previously applied to become a vendor

ESs are encouraged to contact Product Vendors for pricing and product availability.

6.10.1 Criteria for Educational Vendor Approval

An Educational Vendor must meet the following criteria before being approved as an IEM vendor:

  • Vendor must sell non-denominational or non-sectarian materials and/or provide non-denominational or non-sectarian instruction
  • Vendor must sell educational materials or provide educational activities
  • Vendor must complete the school vendor approval process in order to become a vendor for the school

6.10.2 Procedure

When the ES identifies or receives information from a parent regarding a business either believes would be an appropriate vendor, the ES provides the parent (to share with the vendor) or the vendor directly (preferred) the link to the Vendor Application form.  It is the vendor’s responsibility to complete the Vendor Application form.

Completing the Vendor Application form is the first step in the approval process,  and, if appropriate, a Vendor Agreement will be sent to the vendor.

Once the vendor has completed and returned all required paperwork and meets the school’s requirements, including educational approval, the vendor will be listed in the school’s Vendor Directory.

Parents can check with their ES on status of vendor approval.

6.11 Computer Options

6.11.1 Computer and other Technology Options

To view a listing of current Student Computer and Technology Options, go to:


The item should match the student’s usage needs and skill level. Technology is ordered with the intention that it will help the student meet Common Core State Standards. All computers ordered by this charter school remain the property of the school and are loaned for enrolled student usage only. The warranty fee and/or environmental fees must be added to the cost of the computer option listed. The computers do not come with Word or Office unless the web description states so. Word or Office can be ordered separately. Computers may not be ordered from vendors other than those listed.  It is not permissible to upgrade school computers. Computer components cannot be ordered for non-school owned computers. Computers cannot be sold to students/families at a later date. These items are purchased with state dollars and must be disposed of in a legal manner which is authorized by law.

6.11.2 Computer Repair/Refresh Process

Only a school owned computer can be repaired/refreshed with school funding. A computer must be refreshed by an approved school computer vendor before it can be placed with another family. All personal information and any software programs that the school does not own must be removed from the computer. A computer under warranty must be repaired only by the company listed on the warranty paperwork. For a refresh, a school approved vendor must be used.The cost of the refresh is paid for with instructional funds by the family who is receiving the computer. If, upon refresh, it is discovered that the computer needs additional repair, the receiving family may choose to repair the computer or not. Either way, the receiving family will still be responsible for the cost of the refresh.

6.12 Internet Service Provider (ISP) for Your Students' Usage

For families that do not have internet access and need it for school curriculum, contact your ES for more information.  

6.13 Addressing the California Standards

Students are to demonstrate adequate and appropriate progress toward the current California state standards. The ES meets with the student/family at least once every 20 days to ascertain the student’s progress toward the state standards. The grade level or course standards are linked on the school’s curriculum page at:


Current subject and course standards can be obtained directly from the California Department of Education (CDE) website http://www.cde.ca.gov/. A comprehensive and printable list of the CA, simplified state standards is also found in the Premium Content section of the Parent Manual under Curriculum>CA State Standards. At the beginning of each school year, the ES provides the parent with the current state standards for their child's core subjects.

6.14 Intervention Program

On January 16, 2014, the California State Board of Education approved spending regulations and a template for the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) that supports local implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula. IEM schools use some of these funds to provide additional academic support for students who score two or more grade levels below in Reading and Math.

We do not require students to use these additional RtI (Intervention Program) resources, but highly recommend parents and students take advantage of them in order to help support their child’s unique academic needs. These resources, including print and online curriculum and tutoring services, are only available while LCAP funding is still available. Please contact your ES for more information about this program or to find out if your child qualifies.

To explore various Intervention options, whether through LCAP eligibility or with Instructional funds (IF), a Student Study Team (SST) meeting can be requested. More information about SST meetings can be found in section 10.


7.1 ES Instruction (ESi)

Some of our most talented and knowledgeable instructors are our very own ESs.  ESi includes online and in-person tutoring and/or courses taught by ESs in content-specific subjects in grades K-12. For more information, see the school’s website at:


7.2 Educational Activities (EAs) Policies and Procedures

7.2.1 Definition

An Educational Activity (EA) is an educational experience, that can be paid for with student instructional funding for one or more students in a family, through a school approved service vendor.

Approved EAs include but are not limited to: class fees, material costs, enrichment activities, community involvement activities, core subject assistance, and other educational services fees from our current approved vendor list.

7.2.2 Educational Activity Policy

  1. If instructional funding is to be used for an EA, the ES, parent, and student must follow all school policies and procedures which include adhering to school restricted courses/activities and the high risk courses/activities requirements (see below).
  2. The EA must be approved by the ES, the purchase order request (PO) must be submitted prior to the event/activity, and the required paperwork must be completed before any student may participate in event/activity.
  3. The charter school will not, under any circumstances, reimburse parents or ESs for any student's participation in any EAs.
  4. No sectarian or denominational instruction may be given or materials used in any course/activity paid for by the school.
  5. The vendor must be approved before the school will pay for an EA, and the vendor must be approved prior to the student's participation in the activity if instructional funding will be used for the activity/event.
  6. School funding may only be used for students currently enrolled in the school, during the school year.
  7. The school does not pay for season passes, memberships, any registration fees (such as team sports organizations or learning communities), uniforms, recital fees, etc.
  8. Instructional funding cannot be used for the following: out of state activities, gas or mileage, transportation fees, meals, or parking, etc.

7.2.3 Reason for Restricted Courses

Courses may be restricted for several reasons. Some are high safety risks. The "disallowed" courses are ones our school insurance company will not allow us to offer to our students. Other courses have funding caps and are considered “political” risks because in the past, charter schools have been "accused of abusing public school funding" by offering some of these courses to their students. We have been able to continue to allow these courses to be taken by our students, as long as they stay under the stated funding cap, and our students have all of the necessary materials available to them in the core subject areas they are taking first. The courses currently restricted to 50% of funding are not typically offered in any public school in California. We understand the educational value of these courses to our students, so have chosen to allow them, with a funding cap for accountability purposes. Some other courses have additional requirements and may take longer approval time.

7.2.4 Restricted Course Policy

  1. Students may take a restricted course all year long if the cost of the course does not exceed the 50% cap for that course.
  2. The ES may not spend more than 50% of the student’s instructional funds per student for that semester on any one restricted course.
  3. Students may participate in the same course/activity both semesters if the cost of the course does not exceed the 50% cap of instructional funds per student for the semester of the course.
  4. Students may take more than one restricted course at the same time. Example: martial arts and gymnastics may be taken the same semester as long as the ES can approve the funding, the educational value for their student, and confirm that the student is making appropriate academic progress in core subject areas.

7.2.5 Currently Restricted Courses

The following courses/activities are currently restricted to 50% cap of instructional funds deposited for that student for that semester:

Archery, golf classes, gymnastics and tumbling classes or classes utilizing rebounding devices, horsemanship, ice skating, martial arts, ski/snowboard classes, tennis classes

7.2.6 Disallowed Courses

The following courses/activities are currently disallowed. This list is not all-inclusive:

Aerial arts, aircraft related, boxing or kickboxing, bungee jumping, cosmetology, dirt bike or motorcycle riding, ice/roller hockey, kart racing, kayaking, mountain bike riding, outdoor rock climbing, roller hockey, sailing/boating lessons, scuba diving, sculling, skateboarding, slack-lining, surfing, therapy/gymnastics on horseback, water polo, water skiing, welding, whale watching on water, white water rafting, wrestling, zip-lining.

7.2.7 High Risk Courses

The following courses/activities have additional requirements and the approval time may take longer.  Your ES will complete the requisition when he/she has confirmed and/or received all information and paperwork regarding the high risk courses.  

Participation in high risk courses requires completion of the Field Trip Permission Slip by parents prior to the creation of a PO Request.

High risk courses include:  archery; gymnastics, tumbling, parkour, and classes utilizing rebounding devices; fencing, horse related (involving proximity to horses); rock climbing (indoors); swimming..

**The school cannot pay for team sports; organization dues; facility memberships; or any type of registration fees.

7.2.8 Flexible Field Trips

Flexible Field Trips (FFT) fall under the umbrella of our Educational Activity (EA) program and are subject to the same policies. FFT are educational activities for one or more enrolled students in one family by an approved vendor paid for with instructional funds. Through FFT a family can use instructional funding to purchase admission tickets through one of our many vendors which allow individual tickets to be purchased.

7.3 Field Trips

7.3.1 Field Trips Policies and Procedures

Field Trips are large, usually schoolwide, group activities available to all interested students using instructional funding.  Field Trips are selected and planned following educational guidelines set by the school. For information about current Field Trip opportunities, see the Field Trip catalog on the school website.


Students attending Field Trips must have a parent or other approved chaperone on the premises for the duration of the event. Non-enrolled siblings are not able to participate in Field Trips unless otherwise specified.

7.3.2 Field Trip Cancellation Policy

Parents must inform the Field Trip representative for their school directly at least 48 hours prior to event if they are unable to attend.

Families that are absent for two Field Trips in one school year may not be allowed to enroll in any Field Trips for the rest of the school year.

The IF funds can NOT be refunded back to the parent’s account for a late cancellation (past the sign-up date) or for a no-show.

Students may be dropped/cancelled from a field trip, with no IF refund, if ES or parent deadlines to provide required materials are not met.

7.3.3 Parent/Non-Student Attendee Field Trip Payments

Parent chaperone/non-student attendee payments for Field Trips are made through a school PayPal account.  Note: A handling fee of 2.2% plus 30 cents will be added to the cost of the ticket/admission price.

Refunds for non-student attendees for Field Trips are not granted after the vendor has been paid. If parent requests for a refund are made in writing prior to a payment being made to the vendor, the full amount minus a handling fee will be refunded.

7.3.4 Field Trip Parent Fingerprinting & TB Policy

Any adult acting as a chaperone for a Field Trip that requires the chaperone to supervise a group of students that are not their own children will be required to get livescan fingerprinted for the purpose of obtaining DOJ background clearance prior to attending the Field Trip (ED Code 49024).

Any adult acting as a chaperone for a Field Trip that requires an overnight stay and for the chaperone to supervise a group of students that are not their own children will be required to have on file a TB Risk Assessment and/or a negative TB test prior to attending the Field Trip (Ed Code 49406.M)

Fingerprinting and TB Risk Assessment only need to be filed once with the charter school and are valid for the entire period a family is continuously enrolled at the school.

7.4 Field Trip Electronic Permission Slip

Parents of students who attend a school sponsored field trip must fill out and sign an electronic field trip permission slip prior to the planned field trip to be kept on file. The Education Liaison for the school will email the electronic permission slip for the parent to sign.  


8.1 High School Manual  

The High School Manual has detailed information to guide families with middle and high school students.

You can access the  SMCS High School Manual on the Guidance page of the school’s website at:

Sky Mountain High School Manual:



9.1 Local School Assessments: 2017 - 2018

Local school assessments are given to all TK-11th grade students.

9.1.1 i-Ready

An adaptive Diagnostic for reading and mathematics for grades 1st through 11th, which provides beginning and mid-year progress data for our students. This assessment requires a pretest in the Fall and a mid-year test in early Spring. It pinpoints student needs down to the sub-skill level. Ongoing progress monitoring shows whether students are on track to achieve end-of-year targets.

9.1.2 Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Assessment (TK/K)

All Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students take this pre/post assessment.  Students will be assessed on their letter/sounds, word recognition, number sense, and math concepts.  This assessment takes approximately 15-30 minutes and can be easily hand scored by the ES. It is administered by your ES at the beginning and end of the school year.

9.1.3 End of Year Assessment

Our school charter requires a student assessment at the end of the school year. To fulfill this requirement, all students must take a yearly summative assessment per the Student Agreement. Our school has an internal End of Year assessment for this purpose. However, this assessment is waived when a student takes the state mandated assessments through CAASPP as this state test provides the necessary progress data. Any students in grades 3-8, and 11 who do not take the CAASPP tests will take the mandatory internal End of Year Assessment.  This assessment must be administered at a designated test site and students taking it will be assigned to a test site just as they would if they were taking the CAASPP. The internal End of Year Assessment will be a computer-based, adaptive test based on the New California Standards and include ELA and Math for Grades 3-8 and 11.

9.2 State Mandated Assessments: 2018-2019

As a California Public Charter School, we are required to administer all State mandated assessments to our students each year. It is important that we fulfill these requirements as this data is used for a variety of purposes, including sponsoring district progress reports, charter renewals, and the new California Accountability system known as the Dashboard, which replaced the old API/AYP scoring system. IEM charter schools are dedicated to preserving parents' rights while trying to work within the system mandated by the state.

Mandatory statewide assessments include the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), Physical Fitness Test (PFT), and the Early Assessment Program (EAP). The EAP is now integrated into and reported through the Smarter Balanced Assessments (CAASPP system), should the parent choose to participate.

9.2.1 CAASPP

All California Public Schools including California Public Charter Schools are required to administer the statewide assessments known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), and students are required to participate in them. They encompass the following assessments:  Smarter Balanced Assessments in ELA and Math (grades 3 -8, and 11), California Science Test (CAST) (grades 5, 8, and one HS grade TBD), and California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for ELA, Math, and Science (Special Education students). The state sets the participation expectation for schools at a 95% participation rate and it is important for our school to maintain this minimum rate to avoid scrutiny. Participation rates are also included in the new California Accountability model known as the Dashboard, which replaced the old API/AYP model and are integrated into our Academic Performance Indicator.

9.2.2 ELPAC Initial and ELPAC Summative Assessment

Beginning in the fall of the 2018-2019 school year, the ELPAC Initial Assessment will replace the CELDT Initial Assessment and will be administered to students who indicate on the Home Language Survey of their application that they are “other than English” speaking or have “other than English” speaking family members living in their home, or have already been identified as EL at a previous school. The ELPAC Initial Assessment is a state and federally required test for all students who qualify under these conditions and cannot be waived.

All students designated as EL will take an ELPAC Summative Assessment in the Spring. This test replaced the CELDT Annual Assessment in the 2017-2018 school year. The ELPAC Summative Assessment is also state and federally mandated and cannot be waived.

9.2.3 PFT

The Physical Fitness Test is given in the spring for students in 5th, 7th, and 9th grade. The following exercises are assessed:

  • one mile run/walk (if student cannot run total distance, walking is permitted)
  • height and weight documented confidentially
  • curl-up
  • trunk lift
  • push-up
  • shoulder stretch

9.2.4 California Alternate Assessment (CAA)

The summative California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics are to be administered to students in grades three through eight and grade eleven whose individualized education program teams designate the use of an alternate assessment on statewide assessments and who have a cognitive disability that prevents him or her from taking the online California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. This population of students has, in previous years, been assigned to take the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for ELA and mathematics. Students in grades five and eight who are assigned to take the CAAs will also take the CAA for Science.

9.2.5 California Science Test (CAST)

The California Science Test (CAST) is an online test based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All students in grades 5, 8, and one high school grade (TBD) will participate in the CAST, with the exception of students eligible for the CAA for Science (see section 9.2.6). Students in grades 10 and 11 who are taking their FINAL science courses this year will also take the CAST. Any student in grade 12 who has not already taken the CAST in grades 10 or 11 will also take the CAST. The CAST test uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test delivery system and will only be administered online. Students will receive a performance report for this assessment.

9.2.6 California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science

The CAA for Science tests are individually administered performance assessments for students with an individualized education program (IEP) in grades 5, 8, and high school (grade TBD) students who have significant cognitive disabilities. Assignment of the CAA is made in the student’s IEP only; a student’s Section 504 plan is not to be used to assign a student to take the CAA (although accommodations may be named in the Section 504 plan or in the IEP).  The CAA for Science is computer-based and is embedded as a Performance Task in conjunction with an instructional activity.

9.2.7 EAP

The Early Assessment Program is available for students in grade 11 to determine the student's readiness for college-level English and mathematics. This program allows CSU and California Community Colleges to use the student’s results on CAASPP to determine readiness.   Students have the option to release their results to the CSU and/or a participating community college by indicating this within the test. We encourage our 11th grade students who might attend a community college or a CSU or who are undecided on their college path to release their results. Proficient scores can be used to waive entrance exam requirements in English and/or Math.

For more information and resources, please also see the school’s Assessment webpage at:



When a student is performing below grade level or a learning problem is suspected, a Student Study Team (SST) meeting can take place with the parent, ES, SST administrator, and other appropriate personnel to problem solve learning issues and implement ways to intervene with appropriate instruction and curriculum. If you wish to request an SST meeting for your student, please ask your ES to make the request on your behalf. Once your ES submits the request for an SST, he/she will confer with you to complete the appropriate SST Referral documents and schedule an SST meeting.

11 SECTION 504

“Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) is a civil rights statute which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities.”

“Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to: (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (2) have a record of such an impairment; or (3) be regarded as having such an impairment. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”

(U.S. Dept of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html#introduction) Section 504 Accommodation plans are a responsibility of the general education program and requires participation from the general education staff. A referral for a 504 evaluation can be made by the student, parent/guardian, teacher or other school staff. If you feel your child may qualify for a 504 plan, please contact your ES so that a 504 evaluation can be completed.


All Innovative Education Management Charter Schools including Sky Mountain Charter School provide special education services for students who qualify based on federal and state eligibility guidelines. Our public charter schools meet all requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).  

If you are not sure whether your student should be considered for formal evaluations to determine eligibility for Special Education, please contact your General Education teacher (ES). Your ES will then provide support by contacting the appropriate person within the Special Education Department.  

If you have any questions related to Special Education, please contact the Special Education Department at 619-698-KIDS (5437).


The following school policies can be found on the school website at:


  1. Conflict of Interest Policy
  2. Freedom of Speech Policy
  3. Independent Study Policy
  4. Parent Involvement Policy
  5. Suspension and Expulsion Policy
  6. Bullying Policy
  7. IEM Homeless Children Policy
  8. IEM Civility Policy
  9. Social Media Policy
  10. Complaint Resolution Policy
  11. IEM School Suicide Prevention & Intervention Policy
  12. Title IX Policy

Contact Us

4535 Missouri Flat Road, Suite 1A
Placerville, CA 95667

Counties Served

Los Angeles
San Bernardino



WASC Accredited
Independent Study
Individualized Learning Plans
Parent Choice