Welcome to Westlake Christian Academy! We are happy you have chosen to be a part of our family and trust you will consider it a privilege to attend a school whose mission is to put Jesus Christ first in the classroom and challenge students to honor Him in thought, word, and deed. No doubt you will take pride in your school and be thankful to God for His goodness to us. At WCA, our faculty members are selected not only for their teaching ability and academic background, but also because of their Godly lives and desire to support your family’s biblical responsibility to raise children to love the Lord. Under WCA’s direction, students are discipled in their Christian lives to be submissive to authority and to the Lord Jesus Christ and are prepared for life beyond the walls of the school.
This handbook has been produced to help our parents and students understand the principles, practices and policies that govern Westlake Christian Academy. These guidelines are based on faithful and historical Biblical principles, practical considerations, and institutional preferences. Admittedly, a handbook cannot address every situation, so where nothing specific is stated for a situation, please ask the school administration for appropriate guidance. Every family that enrolls in WCA accepts and commits to following these policies with a cheerful spirit. We look forward to serving with you to the glorify of God in the education of children.
A Brief History of Westlake Christian Academy
The Waukegan Christian School was founded and incorporated as a non‑profit educational organization in the spring of 1972 by a group of Christian parents in Waukegan. Their chief desire was to honor the Lord by providing a quality, Christ‑centered education for their children as an alternative to the public educational system. The school started with fifty‑five students and continued to grow, serving primarily eastern Lake County communities. In 1995, the name of the school was changed to Westlake Christian Academy. For the first 29 years of its existence, the school occupied a number of rented facilities in Zion, Waukegan, and Gurnee.
Since 2002, Westlake has been centrally located in Grayslake and, settled in its own facility, the school reaches a great number of communities and has the opportunity to provide quality Christ-centered education to families throughout Lake County. This handbook has been written for the 46th year of the school.
Recognizing that all truth is God’s truth, Westlake Christian Academy accepts without apology the Word of God as the foundation for all instruction and learning. The school is open to Christian families of the community who wish their children trained where faithful and historical Biblical truth is integrated into every area of curriculum. Jesus Christ is preeminent in all aspects of school life, and students are encouraged to make Him their lifelong treasure and to follow Christian principles of living. Our school emphasizes love for our country, loyalty to the church, and submission to all God-given authority. Believing that well-trained disciples are most effective for God’s kingdom work, Westlake provides an academic program which rigorously prepares students for college and life while seeking to meet the needs of those whose abilities require less rigor.
Association and Accreditation
Westlake Christian Academy is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), a global organization dedicated to providing quality support for Christian schools both professionally and spiritually. In addition, the Academy is accredited by both ACSI and regionally by AdvancED and has full recognition status from the Illinois State Board of Education.
Westlake Christian Academy is dedicated to the task of providing an educational program that will meet the individual student’s needs spiritually, mentally, physically, socially and emotionally. Because we believe that all truth is God’s truth and that such an educational program must be centered in the Word of God, we hereby set forth these objectives:
- To provide a Christ-centered educational program. We believe that the only adequate foundation upon which an educational program can be built is the Word of God which teaches that Jesus Christ is the center of all truth (Colossians 2:3). We believe that it is necessary to provide a distinctly Christian environment, classes in Biblical studies, and a well-balanced education which views all knowledge in the light of Biblical truth. Our staff of born-again, qualified teachers are sensitive to the spiritual, educational and personal needs of youth.
- To develop high spiritual and moral standards. We believe it is the purpose of education to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). We teach the application of Biblical ethics and standards of morality to every part of life.
- To excel in academic standards. We offer a well-organized and effectively-directed program of academic instruction which strives to meet or exceed the requirements prescribed by state standards. The overall emphasis for most Westlake students is college-preparatory. We seek to provide educational facilities, equipment, and carefully selected materials to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the instructional program. We also provide auxiliary services as we are able to supplement our educational program and to better meet student needs.
- To train the whole child, spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.
Recommendations for supporting your school
These recommendations come from a sampling of experienced Christian school administrators in response to the question, “How can parents be supportive of the school?” There were 29 different suggestions, but these seven were predominant over the other twenty-two. They are presented in order of importance according to the thinking of the administrators. The Bible says that in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 24: 6b).
- Pray daily for the faculty and students. A major theme in the Word of God is this: God works on behalf of His people when they pray. Things do not happen quickly in the education of a child or of a young person. Be faithful and patient in daily prayer support. “Pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father . . . will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). Prayer maximizes character development and learning in the Christian school.
- Attend School functions. Attendance at school functions teaches your children that their education means a lot to you, for you are giving priority to their school by making the effort to attend its functions. Fathers should take the lead in this, for the father is the head of the family. The achievement of a student is better when he knows that both of his parents love each other, love him and his brothers and sisters, and care deeply about his schooling.
- Do volunteer work at the school. In addition to this being a positive influence upon the understanding of your children as discussed above, volunteer work brings you into close communication with other parents and with the administration, faculty and staff. That is a blessing, for the level of fellowship is high and contributes to a sense of community.
- Be enthusiastic, speaking well of your school. Your positive attitudes about the school will influence the attitudes of your children toward the school. Those attitudes will also be a strong factor in the enrollment of new families. Statistics show that the majority of the new families entering into Christian schools come on the recommendation of parents who already have their children in the school. Your personal testimony about the school, your endorsement, is powerful and can be used by God to bless other families as you speak well of the school to them.
- Give financial help beyond the payment of tuition. Very few schools operate on tuition alone, for that would price many families out of the school. The key is many parents giving faithfully, regularly, liberally, as God enables them. There is blessing in giving to the school beyond tuition. Do this willingly, not grudgingly, for the Lord loves a cheerful giver.
- Plant honor and respect for the administration, faculty and staff in the hearts of your children. Your attitude toward those who minister to your children is influential in the development of your children’s attitudes. Christian schools will not work if parents’ and students’ attitudes are negative toward the Lord’s servants.
- Keep growing in your understanding of the philosophy of Christian school education. The primary reason for Christian education is the difference in philosophy. Simply stated, Christian education derives its philosophical foundation from the Bible, God’s revelation, while secular education rejects the Bible and derives its philosophical foundation from the reasoning of natural man. Secular humanism is the doctrine of unregenerate man who rejects God.
Thank you for considering these seven ways to support Westlake Christian Academy. Your children will benefit greatly in their Christian education as you follow through on these things. The blessing you receive from the school will be full and will not run dry as the days and years go by. As you strengthen your home in Christ, your children will get more out of their education.
Believing that a Westlake education should be available to as many qualified students as possible, the Academy has sought to keep its tuition and fees reasonable, be as economical as practical, and offer financial assistance where needed. As a result, the operating budget for the school contains a “gap” between expenses and tuition/fees income which is roughly equal to the amount forfeited annually to tuition assistance. Therefore, Westlake maintains a development program whose staff work hard to locate, attract, and secure resources outside of tuition and fees in order to strengthen our operations income and to provide for program innovation and capital improvements.
We ask our families to contribute beyond their tuition and fees where they can, even in small amounts. Some of the ways in which this can be done include:
- Golden Eagle program, which is regular monthly contributions. Those who wish to make contributions to this program may do so by contacting the Development Office or setting it up on line here (click on “Donate Now”)
- Matching gifts, working with the HR department of your workplace to match your contributions to Westlake
- One-time gifts, when God blesses you with a “windfall”
- Encouraging relatives, friends, fellow church members to take a part in this ministry by investing in the lives of our students
School Mascot: Eagles
School Colors: Royal blue, gold and white
School Yearbook: The Flight
School Founding: 1972
Statement of Faith
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired and only infallible, authoritative written Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in one person: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:18, 2 Corinthians 13:14)
- We believe that the universe originated by the creative act of God as revealed in Holy Scripture, and that the form of every kind of life was fixed at the time of its creation. (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1)
- We believe in the true deity and true humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His pre-existence, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His future visible return in power and glory. (Colossians 1:13-22, John 1:14)
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. (1 Timothy 2:5)
- We believe that all men are lost and sinful, and that salvation is received through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and by the act of regeneration of life by the Holy Spirit of God. (Romans 3:23-26, Titus 3:5)
- We believe that by the present indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life, and that every believer should practice the holiness which God requires. (Ephesians 1:13-14, Romans 8:1-4)
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:24-25, 28-29)
- We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 17:20-23, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
- We believe that support of and participation in the task of fulfilling the great commission is an obligation of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20)
We recognize that there are other doctrines held by various Christian believers, which they believe to be consistent with the above. However, such teachings shall not be incorporated, as approved by this school.
Mission: Westlake Christian Academy exists to provide for Christian families a Christ-centered education that disciples our students to honor Jesus Christ in thought, word, and deed.
Vision: Every student a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Role: Westlake Christian Academy is a school ministry and it is very important that parents understand our role as their school of choice. God should be at the center of every child’s focus and parents are responsible for the spiritual development of their children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 2). The church provides parents the resources they need, and a level of accountability in raising children as commanded by God. Westlake Christian Academy is a complement of the home and church, but not a replacement in the spiritual development of a child. We are here to fulfill the responsibility of educating children through instruction that brings a student to a personal relationship with Christ in an atmosphere that allows God to transform the student into an image of Christ. WCA strives to educate the whole child – intellectually, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Truth – eternally existing in God and revealed in His divine written revelation and in His glorious creation (Psalm 25:5; 119:160; John 14:6)
All truth is God’s truth. His Word is the touchstone by which every thought is tried.
Gospel – radically transforming the believer by grace through the power of God in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 1:16; Philippians 1:27)
The gospel continually reminds us that our day-to-day acceptance with the Father is not based on what we do for God but upon what Christ did for us in his sinless life, sin-bearing death, and sin-conquering resurrection.
Love – for God and others, leading to winsome holiness and joyful service (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Mark 12:29-31; 1 Peter 1:15-16, 22-23)
The two great commandments summarize the whole duty of mankind.
Discipleship – learning to follow Jesus Christ in thought, word, and deed (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 9:23; 2 Tim. 2:2)
The core of Jesus’ great commission to the church involves making disciples – winning people to Christ and teaching them to follow His commands. A disciple is one who loves Jesus, forms his life around Jesus, and joins in the mission of Jesus.
Scholarship – preparing students for life through an excellent academic program taught in the context of a Christian world view (Colossians 1:16-17; Philippians 1:9-10)
When students learn to think well, they are better prepared to confront a broken world with the claims of the gospel.
Integrated instruction – offering opportunities for students to grow spiritually, intellectually, aesthetically, physically, and socially, since the components are deeply interconnected and contribute to the education of the whole child (Luke 2:52; Matthew 22:37; Ephesians 4:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Students participate in a coordinated educational experience so that they may become well-rounded and thoroughly equipped for Kingdom work.
Unity in diversity – respecting and celebrating the variety within God’s family while treasuring the truths which unite us (Ephesians 2:13-18; Philippians 4:2-4; Revelation 5:9-10; 7:9-10)
The gospel destroys human barriers, enabling all believers to stand in unity on a level plane before the cross and receive equal forgiveness.
Community – doing life together in an environment of transparency, extending and receiving grace daily (John 13:35; Romans 12:10, 16; 15:5, 7)
Christian community is essential for growth as children of God. It is not perfect, because humans are not perfect, but it matures when hearts are submissive, full of thanksgiving, and focused on the gospel of grace in Christ.
Admissions Policy & Procedure
Westlake Christian Academy considers itself an extension of a Christian home and church and only accepts students from families where at least one parent is a born-again Christian and living a life that is consistent with that profession of faith as described in faithful and historical teachings of the Word of God. Students in grades 9-12 must also be professing born-again Christians, living lives which are consistent with a faithful profession of faith. As a school we are striving to teach students to think and live Biblically by offering a high‑quality program of Christian training. However, we recognize that we may not be able to meet the educational needs of every child.
Application and Enrollment
Attendance at WCA consists of a two-step application and enrollment process. During the application process, the school and family discern if there is a fit between them from a Biblical, spiritual, philosophical, and educational perspective. The conclusion of the application process is a decision by Westlake to accept or not accept the family/student into the school. The enrollment process is the finalization of paperwork, records and financial arrangements that are required before a student may attend classes.
The application process considers several factors: academic ability and history, agreement and life consistent with the WCA’s statement of faith, the parents’ and student’s credible profession of faith, references, personal character, etc.
Parents must present report(s) and standardized testing of their child’s previous academic work.
Parents must ensure that completed reference forms are returned.
A family interview with the administration will also be a component of the application process. Secondary students (7 – 12) will also participate in the family interview.
Application to Grades Preschool through 8
As a general rule, students entering our school for grades Preschool through 8 are evaluated in both developmental and academic skills to determine grade placement. This may consist of a review of former standardized testing or the completion of entrance testing given by WCA.
Westlake reserves the right to place students in the grade that gives them the greatest opportunity for success, academically, developmentally and emotionally. The parents will be consulted when making the grade placement decision. However, the Administration and/or Board of Trustees reserve the right to determine proper grade placement.
A child must be 3 years of age by September 1 for 2-day Preschool; 4 years of age by September 1 for our 3-day Pre-Kindergarten program and 5 years of age by September 1 for our Kindergarten program.
Application to Grades 9‑12
High school students are evaluated in both developmental and academic skills to determine grade placement. This may consist of a review of former standardized testing or completion of entrance testing given by WCA, a review of references and past school records. Credits earned toward graduation will also be considered in grade placement.
WCA reserve the right to place high school students in the grade that gives them the greatest opportunity for success, academically, developmentally and emotionally. The parents will be consulted when making the grade placement decision. However, the Administration and/or Board of Trustees reserve the right to determine proper grade placement.
Normally, a student may not be accepted who:
- has educational or emotional needs beyond our ability to meet those needs.
- has been arrested.
- has used drugs.
- smokes or has used tobacco for any period of time.
- has been dismissed or expelled from another educational institution.
- has run away from home.
- has not had at least the previous semester in good standing.
- lives a life that is inconsistent with the faithful and historical teachings of God’s Word.
First Time Enrollment
Once a student is accepted, the enrollment process begins. This is the finalization of paperwork, records and financial arrangements that are required before a student may attend classes, as listed below.
Parents or guardians must fill out and submit medical forms for each student the first year of attendance at Westlake Christian Academy in accordance with state law.
Parents or guardians must provide a photocopy of the child’s birth certificate.
The family must complete the financial agreement and pay the initial fees and tuition. This finalizes the enrollment process.
Each new student will be on a one semester probation period. If he demonstrates inadequate adjustment to the academic and/or spiritual expectations of the Academy during this time, he may be asked to withdraw.
Once students are enrolled at Westlake, they will stay enrolled until graduation unless the parents opt out due to a move or some other reason. There is no need to re-enroll from year to year. A set of Frequent Asked Questions addresses this program on our web site under “Admissions.”
Home School Admissions Policy
At Westlake Christian Academy, we invite home school students in grades 4-12 to be part of our school by offering individual classes for a fee as specified in the current Tuition and Fee Schedule.
Home school students will follow the same admissions policy as enrolled full-time Westlake Christian Academy students.
To participate in our sport program, home school students must enroll in a semester or year-long class, such as P.E., band, vocal music, or an academic class. Home school students may participate in field trips associated with classes for which they are enrolled.
Tuition and Fee Policies
- Families of new students must pay application and enrollment fees for each student.
- Families of returning students must pay a re-enrollment fee for each student (the fee is established annually and may be discounted if payment is received before a date specified on the Tuition and Fee Schedule for a given school year).
- Application, Enrollment and Re-enrollment fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.
- Tuition may be paid as follows: payment in full by August 1st, two installments (July 1 and January 1), or monthly installments (10, 11 or 12 month plans).
- All tuition is to be paid in full by the end of May for a given school year.
- All monthly tuition payments are electronically collected.
- For returning WCA families, all tuition payments are expected to be current by the start of school. For new families, at least one (1) month of tuition must be paid prior to starting school.
- If for any reason electronic payments cannot be completed, a late fee will be added to accounts which are past due.
- If an account is not paid by the first of the following month, a statement will be sent regarding the delinquent status of the account and requesting payment. Attempts may also be made to contact the parent by telephone.
- If payment is not received or an new payment plan in place by the 15th of the following month (~45 days) then the student(s) involved may not be able to attend classes until the account is current.
- WCA will hold all records—hard copy and electronic—for students whose accounts are not current.
- Tuition owed by students who enter or leave the school during the school year will be determined on a pro-rated daily basis.
- There will be no tuition reduction for limited class attendance.
Westlake Christian Academy hires staff and admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of our employment or educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, athletic and other school-administered programs.
How Westlake Communicates
The Westlake school office is open 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. during school days. Summer hours are 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
As the school year begins, parents are invited to attend Dedication Night. This “Back-to-School” night allows the teacher to have time with the parents to go over classroom procedures, policies, and expectations. It is our desire that at least one parent attend this crucial meeting.
Westlake Christian Academy designates certain days during the school year as Parent-Teacher Conference days. Those days are scheduled prior to the first report cards. The scheduled conference provides an opportunity for the teachers and parents to build a communication bridge as they work together in understanding student needs, comparing notes and rejoicing together in the student’s progress. In addition to conference days, we highly encourage parents to contact a faculty member any time a consultation is needed regarding their child. Westlake Christian Academy is committed to working closely with the home.
If a parent wishes to talk to a teacher, we ask that he make an appointment at a convenient time. When a visit to the classroom is necessary, the parent must check in at the office first, sign in, and receive a visitor’s badge. We ask that no parents go directly to a classroom. We also request that parents who visit the school dress appropriately.
All meetings of the school’s Board of Trustees are open to parents for observation, and if a parent wishes to address the Board about a concern, he/she should contact the Board chairman a week before the meeting for inclusion on the agenda. Occasionally, when discussing sensitive issues, the Board may move into an Executive Session, a private meeting which precludes outside observation.
Twice each year the WCA Board of Trustees and the Parent Association hold family meetings designed to keep the school family informed about the activities and operations of the Academy. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings to stay informed, give appropriate input, and show support for their children’s school. Meetings are usually held the fourth Monday in September and the second Monday in May, each at 7:00 p.m.
In addition to the above Board and Parent Association Family Meetings, the school’s administrator hosts a mid-winter Administrator’s Forum during which he casts a vision for the school from his perspective, updates families about work on strategic initiatives, and provides a forum for cordial exchange of ideas between parents and the administration.
The primary vehicle of electronic communication is the school’s web site. This web site contains basic information about the school as well as the Academy News, lunch menu, and e-mail addresses to send messages to the staff and administration. The most current edition of the school calendar (Google) is there as well as a pdf overview of the year. The website also contains links to HeadMaster Online, the sports calendar, and tuition payment services.
Each week, Westlake Christian Academy publishes an all-school information memo for each school family. The Academy News contains important current information related to the school. In addition, the administrator sends out a regular update dealing with Academy news and plans.
As an academic communication tool, the school utilizes HeadMaster Online for grades one through twelve. This online service allows parents or students to log in via the Internet and view their academic progress to date. HM Online displays reports of attendance, grades, and behavior. This is a valuable tool which allows parents and students to track grades. A username and password are required and will be sent to parents at the beginning of the school year.
Contacting a Child’s Teachers
Communication concerning a child’s progress or normal classroom activities is encouraged and should always be addressed first with the classroom teacher. Parents are requested to contact their child’s teacher either by email or by writing a note and having the child bring it to school. Please be patient with email; because of their classroom responsibilities, teachers may not be able to respond until after school or evening.
Communication and The Matthew 18 Principle
Westlake Christian Academy is made up of people such as parents, administrators, teachers, board members, and students. Like any other institution where there is a large group of people, the potential for misunderstanding, disagreement, and even wrongdoing exists. Nevertheless, it is God’s will that we all work together in harmony. We are to always give a “good report” and to constantly work for “unity.” When misunderstanding or strong disagreements occur, the following principles should be followed in solving people-to-people problems. These principles are based upon Matthew 18:15-17.
- Keep the matter confidential. The pattern of sharing the problem only with those directly involved establishes the principle of confidentiality. This is important in that it stops gossip and statements that can hurt.
- Keep the circle as small as possible. The first step and usually the only step needed in solving a person-to-person problem is for one of the two people involved to initiate face to face dialogue. Most problems are solved at the two people level.
- Be straightforward. Sometimes it is difficult to be straightforward and tell someone the very heart of the matter. But restoration and improvement can only come when the issues are lovingly yet clearly presented.
- Be Forgiving. “. . . If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” This implies that once the matter is resolved, you should wholeheartedly forgive and restore the person whose fault has caused the problem.
- If the issue remains unresolved, the parent(s) and the teacher should agree to share the matter with the school administrator. “. . . take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” An open and honest discussion among people who are sensitive to godly principles will most often reach an amiable solution.
- If necessary, the administrator should explain the matter to the chairman of the Board of Trustees.
The chairman of the Board of Trustees will then determine how and if the matter will be presented to the Board or resolve the issue with the administrator and others involved.
In summary, the Matthew 18 principle requires that parents talk to teachers about student problems before they talk to administrators. If unresolved at the two-people level, the matter is prayerfully and in an orderly fashion moved upward in the school organizational structure.
A prayerful, systematic approach to any problem dealing with people can help to improve any situation, if not solve the problem completely. Westlake Christian Academy is a Christian school, and as a result, we need to carefully handle our problems the best way possible with guidelines that lead us to a “good report” and which honor the Lord and His Word.
Attendance and Absences
The school day starts at 8:20 am for elementary students and at 8:15 for secondary students. The day ends at 3:10 pm for elementary students and at 3:20 pm for secondary students. Students should arrive to school at least 10-15 minutes before school begins. This allows time for students to go to their locker, the office, or restroom in preparation for the day.
The school office is open from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm during school days.
Research supports what seems obvious, that there is a direct correlation between attendance and academic progress. Westlake expects diligence in this area.
Excused absences fall into one of two categories, Unplanned and Planned. Assignments and tests missed due to excused absences may be made up as described under Make-Up Work
Unplanned Excused absences are for:
- Personal illness
- Illness in immediate family
- Unexpected emergencies
- Death in immediate family
Planned Excused absences are for such things as college trips, seminars, youth retreats, family trips, or any other activity considered to be commensurate with the goals and purposes of this school.
Planned excused absences should be arranged in advance according to the following procedure:
- Parents/students must submit to the school office a planned absence form stating the reason for the absence at least one day in advance to the school office.
- The specific dates and/or times of the absence should be stated.
- Secondary students are responsible to inform all of their teachers of impending absences.
Dental or medical appointments should be scheduled during non-school hours whenever possible. Dental and medical appointments are considered planned absences. When leaving for dental or medical appointments please refer to the Leaving School Early section.
Tests, quizzes, homework and other assignments missed during an unexcused absence will not be allowed to be made up and will result in a grade of zero for each missed item. Work which is due during an unexcused absence, along with all tests and quizzes given during the unexcused absence, will not be made up. However, the student is responsible for all material covered. Work which is assigned during an unexcused absence but is due afterwards will be counted and collectable on the due date, no extensions.
Parents must call the office by 9:00 am to report and absence (847-548-6209). Identify yourself, state the child’s name, grade, and reason for absence.
Excessive absences are detrimental to a student’s learning and education. Absences will be considered excessive if the student has more than nine (9) absences in a semester.
For secondary students (7th –12th grades), exceeding nine (9) absences (whether excused or unexcused) per class per semester will result in a 1% reduction in their nine weeks grade for that class for each missed day in excess of nine (9) absences unless the school receives a written excuse signed by a medical doctor stating the student was ill for that absence.
Any student who misses more than 18 days of school in the course of one school year may be retained in their grade for the following year. If the student is on the high school level, credit for any classes for which a student is absent more than 18 times in a year may be forfeited. This policy applies to any absences, excused or unexcused.
Tardiness to School
All students arriving after the beginning of the school day will be considered tardy to school and must report directly to the office for a classroom pass. Students must be present for at least half of the day to be considered present. Therefore, students who report to the school office after 11:30 a.m. or who leave the building before 11:30 a.m. will be considered absent for attendance purposes.
Tardiness to school makes a significant impact on the student and the class. Westlake strives to train young people in good character, and punctuality is one way to develop this, as it demonstrates respect, love and a consideration for others. Tardiness is also disruptive to the educational process; a tardy student has missed classroom teaching and when the student does enter the class, the teaching must be paused to allow for this transition.
Excessive Unexcused Tardiness to School
Parents should make every effort to have their children at school 10-15 minutes before classes begin. Regular morning traffic should not be cause for tardiness.
Unexcused tardiness to school will be considered excessive when it reaches six (6) per semester. Every unexcused tardy will result in a half point penalty for secondary students. This will result in a detention for excessive tardies.
Leaving School Early
Westlake operates on a “closed campus” principle. This simply means that attendance at the school is required from the beginning to the end of the school day, regardless of the number of study periods a student may have. Exceptions are made for students who are attending the Lake County Tech Campus in the afternoon. Leaving school early should be used sparingly and with discretion. If a student needs to be dismissed from school before regular dismissal time, the following steps must be taken:
- A parent must contact the school office (via note, email or phone call) indicating the time and reason that their child needs to leave school early. The office will provide the student with a pass that will dismiss him from class at the appropriate time. Parents of elementary children are encouraged to send a note to the teacher,
- When leaving school early, the person who is picking up the student must report to the office (not the classroom) and sign the student out. If the student will be driving, he will need to sign himself out.
- If the student returns to school before the end of the day, he must report back to the office for a pass to return to classes.
On Fridays during the school year, seniors may leave the building for lunch with the following provisions:
- In order to participate, seniors must have parent permission on file in the office. Verbal/phone/email permission is NOT a substitute.
- Students participating in senior lunch will be permitted to leave 5th period five minutes early / 12:30 on chapel schedule.
- Students must sign out in the office when they leave and upon return.
- Any student who is tardy to their 6th period class will forfeit their senior lunch privilege for the next two weeks.
- Abuse of this privilege will be handled on a case by case basis.
Absence without the knowledge and consent of parents and school officials is considered truancy. This would include leaving school before the end of the day without permission or staying out of any part, or all, of a scheduled class without permission. A student who is more than ten minutes late to a class may be counted as truant. Truancy is considered an unexcused absence with no opportunity to make up work. All missed assignments and tests will result in a zero. Truancy may incur penalties such as detentions, suspensions, or in some cases expulsion.
Attendance and Extracurricular Activities
Students who are absent (whether excused or unexcused) from school for more than ½ of a school day will not be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities for that particular day. 11:30 a.m. marks the middle of the school day.
Students are responsible for making arrangements with their teacher for work to be made up and/or tests to be taken for valid absences. The burden of responsibility for make-up work rests on the student. Teachers are available by appointment to give help to students in these cases.
Homework may be picked up at the end of the school day upon request for elementary students.
When a student is absent from school, he will be permitted to have the same number of days to make up the assignments that were missed by the valid absence, up to three (3) days maximum.
Absences of four (4) days or more will require that the student make special arrangements with each teacher. Students may be expected to have completed their work when they return to school if the assignment due was long-term in nature or if plenty of advance notice was given to the student.
Uniform Dress Code
Our desire at Westlake Christian Academy is to do all things in a way pleasing to the Lord and in a manner that will honor Him. The Bible is clear that our attire should be modest (I Timothy 2:9), not too elaborate (I Peter 3:3-4), and that we should do everything to the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).
Westlake has elected to have a uniform dress code which provides some variety. As a result, our students and families realize a number of benefits of such a code:
- It is a means of building character and distinction in the lives of our students and it trains them to make choices within guidelines.
- It fosters a higher level of professionalism, respect to the school environment and an atmosphere conducive to learning.
- It encourages a sense of unity and camaraderie among the students.
- It resolves fashion issues caused by the comparison of who’s wearing what brand of clothing.
- It helps maintain a focus on learning rather than on fashion.
- It provides for a generally acceptable level of modesty.
- It results in a less expensive wardrobe.
- It allows for quicker identification of our students, thus adding another level of security.
The primary responsibility for dress code falls on the parents. We desire the teachers’ attention to be focused on areas other than monitoring dress code, and so we ask that parents ensure their children’s clothing meets the dress code standard before they leave home.
Students who are not within the school guidelines will be sent to the office. Students will remain out of class until a correction can be made. If a correction cannot easily be resolved, parents may be asked to bring a change of clothing. The administration reserves the right to final determination regarding adherence to the dress code.
Lands’ End and French Toast are providers of school uniforms that are in keeping with the WCA dress code. Catalogs are available on line and in the school office. We recognize that the same styles may also be available from other sources. However, only items that identically match in color and style from other sources are acceptable.
Lands’ End | 800-469-2222 | landsend.com/school | Preferred School # 9000-8838-6
French Toast | 800-373-6248 | FrenchToast.com
Important Dress Code Notes
- Each student must have at least one shirt or blouse with a WCA logo for field trips. Lands’ End is the only vendor with our logo artwork, so shirts with a logo must be purchased from them.
- Dress code pants are chino style only. All pockets are inside (NO pockets stitched onto the outside of the pants). Seams are single stitched. No ornamentation of any kind. Refer to the Lands’ End website for chino style pants.
- *Cobalt Blue and *Maize Yellow are specific to Lands’ End and cannot be purchased through any other vendor.
- We recognize that the same styles may also be available from other sources. Only items that identically match in color and style from other sources are acceptable.
- The only sweaters and sweatshirts that students may wear in class are from the dress code list.
- Be sure to use the school’s Preferred School Number (9000-8838-6) when ordering and Land’s End will donate 3% back to Westlake
- Each summer Westlake makes used uniform clothing available for a very small amount.
|Polo shirts||White, Navy, Light Blue, Cobalt Blue* or Maize*||long, short, or ¾ length sleeves|
|Button-down shirts||White, oxford blue||long, short or ¾ length sleeves|
|Turtlenecks||White, Navy, Cobalt Blue* or Maize*||regular or mock turtleneck|
|Sweaters||White, Navy, Maize*||Lands’ End ‘Drifter crewneck, -neck, cardigan, vest, or fine gauge crew /cardigan twinset|
|Hoodies||Navy||Order only through WCA or L.E. with logo|
|Polartec fleece||Navy or Cobalt Blue*||vest or jacket|
|Pants||Navy or Khaki||Chino Style (No pockets stitched on outside)|
|Capri pants||Navy or Khaki||Chino Style (NO pockets stitched on outside)|
|Shorts||Navy or Khaki||Chino Style / length: mid-thigh or longer|
|Jumpers and Skirts||Navy, Khaki, hunter/classic plaid (L.E.) or green plaid (French Toast)|
length: at the top of the kneecap or longer; Skorts, Navy or Khaki, length: at the top of the kneecap or longer.
General Uniform Dress Code Guidelines for Boys and Girls
In describing the dress code, it is our desire to write in the positive stating what clothing and accessories are allowed rather than trying to state all that isn’t acceptable. However, sometimes aspects are best understood by providing illustrations or examples of what is excluded. The following points include both permitted and excluded aspects of the dress code.
- Shirts and blouses that have straight-cut hems may be un-tucked. If the shirt or blouse has tails then it should be tucked in.
- Acceptable footwear would be athletic shoes, dress shoes, clogs or dress sandals. Athletic slides, Crocs, or bedroom slippers are not acceptable.
- For health reasons, socks, tights, or stockings should be worn with all styles of shoes except for dress sandals.
- Socks, leggings, and stockings should be plain, one color, complement the school uniform, and match.
- Shirts with a logo are to be worn on field trips and school events that take place away from the school unless otherwise directed.
- Clothing should be neat and clean. Clothing which is ill fitting, tight, baggy, saggy, patched, faded, tattered, frayed or torn is inappropriate.
- Clothing must keep midriffs covered at all times.
- The outer garment should be the only visible garment. Garments worn underneath should not be visible; (i.e. multi-layered clothing).
- Undergarments are not to be visible (e.g. boxer shorts, bra straps, underwear). T-shirts maybe seen by leaving only the top button of a shirt unbuttoned.
- Outerwear, such as jackets, coats, non-dress boots, ski pants, is not to be worn in the classroom. Skirts may not be worn with pants underneath.Styles, extremes or fads, which draw undue attention to oneself are not acceptable. This would apply to hair, clothing or jewelry.
- Hats, caps, bandanas, sunglasses are not appropriate in the classroom during the school day.
- Symbols, slogans, illustrations, pictures, words, etc., which promote behaviors, lifestyles, philosophies, or principles which would be illegal, in poor taste, unwise or in opposition to Biblical standards are not acceptable.
- The wearing of tattoos or tattoo type artwork, permanent or temporary (henna, ink pen, marker), is not acceptable once enrolled. The addition of tattoos during school breaks, including summer break, is not acceptable. Permanent tattoos already in place upon enrollment of a new student must be kept covered during the school day and for all school activities both on and off campus.
- Body piercing for guys or girls, other than earrings for girls (two per ear), are not acceptable.
The administration reserves the right to restrict any clothing or style which it considers inconsistent with the dress code, biblical principles or is not conducive to an academic atmosphere.
Guidelines Specific to Girls and Boys
- Hair is to be kept clean and well groomed.
- Hair color is to be of a natural hair color.
- Skirts or dresses must be no shorter than the top of the kneecap.
- No skin-tight clothing (tops or bottoms).
- Boys’ hair must be cut so that it is
- off the collar
- off the eyebrows
- no longer than mid-ear
- Sideburns should be neatly trimmed and must be no longer than the bottom of the ear.
- Male students must be clean-shaven.
- Pony tails are not acceptable.
- Boys’ hair must be cut so that it is
- Elementary students may wear Crocs or sports sandals which include a heel strap.
- Elementary girls are to wear shorts under skirts and jumpers.
Dress for Physical Education
Students in grades 5 – 12 are required to wear a WCA PE shirt for physical education classes. Socks and gym shoes with non-marking soles are also required. A specific short is not required though shorts should be loose enough for flexible activities and long enough to be modest.
Dress for Field Trips
For most field trips regular school dress is required. Shirts with a school logo are expected. Only when other attire is more appropriate will students receive specific instructions from the teacher.
Dress for Public Performance or Public Leadership
Students who are performing or leading in a public setting are expected to have an appearance commensurate with their role. In these instances, the faculty member, advisor or administration will provide specific instructions regarding appropriate dress for the event. These standards would apply to events such as special assemblies, chapels, performances on or off campus, and awards ceremonies. In general:
- Appearance should be neat and professional
- Casual attire, such as jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers would not be appropriate
- When a student is a part of a group, the appearance should be as uniform as possible
Dress for Formal Events
Special events (e.g. Spring Fling, Homecoming Court) often call for more formal attire. The following special guidelines are designed to help create an appropriate atmosphere with a Christian distinction for such events.
- Gentlemen should wear a dress shirt, dress slacks, dress shoes and a tie or sport coat. Suits or tuxedoes may also be acceptable.
- Ladies should wear a dress or skirt and blouse. Formal dresses must be modest. Designs, which are see-through, sheer, low-cut, backless or short (above the top of the knee), are not appropriate wear. Students may be requested to bring their attire to school for approval before the event.
Academics & Curriculum
All subjects are taught from a Christian perspective so that each academic discipline is integrated with biblical truth.
Areas covered in our pre-school, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten include Bible Stories, Numbers and Concepts, Listening, Science and Health, Speaking, Music and Rhythms, Alphabet Development, Games and Free Play, Reading Readiness, and Art
Subjects covered in grades one through six include: Bible, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and Health, Music and Physical Education
Subjects covered in grades seven and eight (Junior high) include: Bible, U.S. History, Literature, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Art, Music and Physical Education
Course offerings in grades nine through twelve (High school) are listed in the WCA Course Catalog available on line.
Students must have completed the 8th grade year to be classified as freshmen. Minimum grade classifications are as follows:
Sophomore (Grade 10) – 6 units completed
Junior (Grade 11) – 12 units completed
Senior (Grade 12) – 18 units completed
Students who fail courses may be subject to retention or requested to withdraw. High school students may not take more than one study hall per semester.
Westlake makes allowances when possible for certain students to participate in the Lake County Tech Campus program. Those students must complete an application from the office in which the student will be expected to give specific reasons for wanting to participate in that program. The application must be submitted no later than January 31 for the following school year because Tech Campus space is limited. Approved students must then make arrangements for joining the Tech Campus through their local public high school. They must also provide their own transportation. WCA junors and seniors may only participate in the afternoon program (beginning 1:00). Arrangements to join the program must be made in March of the preceding year in order to be assured of space.
- Transfer credits (public school, home school, independent study, dual college credits) will be considered if documentation is credible and mastery is demonstrated.
- To graduate from Westlake, a student must be enrolled full-time during their senior year.
- A maximum of 4.0 PE credits may be applied towards graduation requirements.
- .5 Bible credits are required for each semester of attendance at Westlake.
- Seniors may participate in the graduation ceremony if they lack no more than one credit and specific provisions have been made to make up that credit in a timely fashion.
Courses in these specific categories are required for graduation.
|Bible*||4.0 credits||*Bible credits are required for each semester of attendance.|
|Social Studies*||3.0 credits||*American History and Government are required.|
|Foreign language||2.0 credits|
|Physical Education*||1.5 credits||*Participation in a complete sports season may be substituted for .5 PE credit.|
|Fine Arts||.5 credits|
High school credits are earned per semester (0.5 credit). Semester grades are calculated as 40% for each nine weeks’ quarterly grade and 20% for the semester exam. For courses in which there is no semester exam, semester grades are simply the average of the two quarter grades.
External Coursework for High School
- Westlake will accept preapproved credit for coursework for recovery of credit in failed required courses. Parents of students who fail courses will be notified in writing at the time of the issuing of 1st and 3rd quarter report cards of pending failures to take measures to try to prevent course failure and so that arrangements can be made for credit recovery. If a failed course is a prerequisite for a higher level course, the student will not be allowed to register for that course until the failed credit is recovered and the external course provider furnishes Westlake with a transcript of passing grade. If the failed course is required for graduation, the Westlake transcript will not indicate a graduation completion until the external course provider furnishes Westlake with a transcript of the passing grade.
- If the failed course is a required Bible course, the student must work with the high school guidance counselor to determine alternatives for credit recovery. Independent study may be an option but would require an additional course fee.
- Westlake does not normally allow students to take online coursework to replace courses which are taught at the Academy. It is the Academy’s position that coursework completed in the context of a classroom with a live teacher is superior to on line work. Additionally, courses taken out of the normal sequence, e.g. a ninth grader taking English 10, will most often create scheduling conflicts with required courses later on.
- If a student’s needs or academic background creates a schedule conflict, the guidance counselor will suggest appropriate online options which meet the Academy’s approval.
- It is far better if students pursue classroom coursework in an accredited institution and provide the Academy with a transcript of the work for transfer credit.
- If a student is taking an external course to fulfill a prerequisite for a higher level course, a transcript of successful completion of the prerequisite course must be presented before the student can enter the higher course.
- The Academy will not be responsible for costs associated with external coursework, nor will adjustments be made to the student’s full time tuition at WCA.
Physical Education Credits
Westlake may be able to accept these PE credits as alternates to physical education classes:
- Varsity sport participation at Westlake counts for 0.5 credit for each full season.
- A club sport that practices and competes on an equivalent level as a Westlake varsity sport counts for 0.5 credit for each full season with pre-approval.
- Passing a college PE course counts for 0.5 credit.
Alternative PE credits must be pre-approved. Town recreational and church leagues cannot be accepted, even at a reduced-credit level. Credits must be confirmed within one semester of season or course completion and will not be awarded retroactively. The student must submit acceptable written evidence certifying completion of a club season or a college course.
Kindergarten Grading Scale
|E||=||Excellent/Exceeds grade level expectations|
|G||=||Good/Meets grade level expectations|
|S||=||Satisfactory/Progressing towards grade level expectations|
|N||=||Needs improvement/Not progressing towards grade level expectations|
Grades 1-12 Grading Scale (GPA for 9-12 only)
|Percentage||Letter Grade||GPA Pnts Standard||GPA Pnts Honors||GPA Pnts AP|
|64 or below||F||0.00 No Credit||0.00 No Credit||0.00 No Credit|
“I” – Incomplete; an incomplete grade must be made up in a timeframe agreed to with the teacher/administration or the permanent grade is changed to an “F” and no credit is given.
“P” or “F” – This designation may be given for classes which are transferred from another school. No grade points are granted. P/F counts as credit toward graduation, but is not included in class rank and grade average.
“O,” “S,” “U” – These designations are used for some non-academic or co-curricular courses such as PE courses in which objective grading is difficult. “O” = outstanding work in attitude, effort, and progress. “S” = satisfactory, meets course requirements. “U” = unsatisfactory, not meeting course requirements. Courses which use these grades are not included in GPA computation or class ranking. However, they do count toward credit requirements, and students who receive “U” do not receive credit.
Grade Point Average (GPA) for Grades 9-12
Most final grades are assigned a GPA point value. Those values are used in the calculation of Grade Point Averages (GPA). The GPA for each letter grade is indicated above. Honors courses are weighted an additional 0.50 grade point, and AP courses are weighted an additional 1.00 grade point. Each GPA indicated goes out 2 decimal points, and when averaged, they are rounded to the hundredths. Each student’s transcript indicates the student’s GPA; however, consistent with collegiate practices, the weighting for honors and AP is stripped. Weighted GPAs are only used to determine internal honors and awards.
Graduation Class Rank
The WCA Valedictorian is the student who has ranks first in their graduating class. The Salutatorian is the student who ranks second in their graduating class. Each year a Valedictorian and Salutatorian are selected within the graduating class based on the following criteria:
- The student’s cumulative grade point average (Grades 9-12) after the third quarter of the graduating year.
- Length of attendance at WCA – a student must attend three of the four high school years at WCA, including the senior year, to qualify.
- The student’s conduct must be in good standing during their senior year.
- Has earned a minimum GPA of 3.0.
High Honor and Honor Rolls for Grades 7-12
The honor rolls for grades 3-12 is calculated at the end of every quarter (nine weeks grading period). “High Honor Roll” distinction will be earned by a student achieving a 3.75 or higher GPA with no D’s or F’s. “Honor Roll” distinction will be earned by a student achieving a 3.50-3.74 GPA with no D’s or F’s.
Graduation Academic Distinction
All graduates meeting the following standard will be recognized for “Academic Distinction” by wearing a gold cord/tassel at graduation. A cumulative GPA of 3.80 or higher, is necessary to earn this distinction. The student must also be in good standing in regards to conduct and attitude.
Consistent with Illinois High School Association (IHSA) guidelines, eligibility for upper elementary, junior high, and senior high extra-curricular activities (such as Student Council and Athletics) is calculated and checked weekly for students. A student with one F or two Ds is not eligible for the next week’s activities (until the next eligibility check). A detailed explanation of eligibility calculation is in the Athletic Department’s handbook.
Report cards are issued at the conclusion of each of the four grading quarters. The last report card will be issued after school is dismissed for the summer.
Progress reports (mid-quarter reports) indicating academic progress may be found at HeadMaster Online for students in grades 1 – 12. These reports reflect the student’s academic progress to that point in the quarter.
Dropping/Adding High School Courses
Students may drop or add courses after final registration subject to the following requirements:
- Drop/add requests for semester or year-long courses must be made in writing on or before the fifth school day of the course. Drop/add requests must be signed by the student’s parent first. Requests must then be submitted to both teachers involved and finally to the Administration by the deadline date in order to be considered.
- Approval of drop/add requests is at the discretion of the Administration and may include consultation with the teacher(s), student or parents. The student’s best interests will be a primary consideration.
- Students are to continue attending classes registered for until the drop/add is complete.
- Students have one week after the beginning of a course to make a drop without academic penalty. After that time, a dropped course will result in a “withdrawal with F” score for the student, which will adversely affect his GPA.
- The Academy may consider extenuating circumstances in the enforcement of the above guidelines.
Community Service activities are consistent with the development of a strong Christian testimony and reflect on the reputation and character of both the individual and school. Community Service is an important aspect of our secondary curriculum. The Westlake Christian Academy vision, “Every Student a Disciple of Jesus Christ” is developed as students serve others (Matthew 20:25-28). As a body of believers in Jesus Christ we recognize the servant nature which must be grown in each of us in order to function properly in the Christian community and in our society.
Community Service is a conscious and intentional component of the discipleship ministry of Westlake Christian Academy. It is an active effort to help students implement the spiritual and intellectual knowledge they are learning in the classroom. A key aspect of the Christian life is that we are called to serve others as Jesus Christ stated and did. But serving others is usually a learned character trait. It seldom develops by chance. That is why Westlake requires secondary students to engage in community service. The goal is far more than just putting in the hours. First and foremost, we desire that students develop a natural bent for helping others. We want our students to learn to see a need and act to meet that need. Thus WCA incorporates this standard of Community Service into its curriculum. Students should consider the benefit of community service to their academic record. Scholarship committees, college entrance officials, and future employers look favorably upon a record of community service.
To qualify as community service a student must be ministering with a formalized organization other than Westlake Christian Academy and the student would not receive a wage or remuneration for their service. The organization could be a church, the local park district, a food pantry, a homeless shelter, a nursing home, a school, etc. The Community Service guide can help with this and the possibilities are nearly endless. The emphasis of community service is the local, Chicagoland area, rather than out-of-state or overseas. Thus Lake County or adjacent counties would be the appropriate area in which to perform community service. Students are strongly encouraged to lock into a service ministry which provides regular service opportunity and enough hours to meet the standard. An official, supervisor or other leader of the service/ministry organization must sign off on a description of the service activity, the date and the hours of service. Community Service forms must be turned into the office quarterly and will be reflected on report cards and transcripts. Community Service does not receive grades or credits nor is it included in the GPA calculation.
High school students must participate in 25 hours of community service per school year, for every year in attendance at WCA, as a requirement for graduation. Junior High students must participate in 10 hours community service per school year. This requirement will be prorated for those students who enroll after the start of the school year. Seniors who have not met service requirements do not receive a diploma or a completed transcript. Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, secondary school students (grades 7-11) who do not fulfill their community service requirement will not be promoted to the next grade, regardless of academic performance. Service completed during the summer will count first toward the previous year’s deficit, and excess hours will apply to the next year’s requirement. Earned service hours are recorded on each semester report card.
Community service is to be conducted outside of the school day. Community Service documents are available on our website.
Promotion and Retention for Pre-K—Grade 8
Students are promoted or retained on the basis of their total preparedness to enter the next grade level and perform satisfactorily. Ability, achievement, attendance, physical and social factors are all taken into consideration. Should a student fail one or more major subjects in one year, without that failure being made up, the student may be retained in his present grade. After the second grading period, the teachers and the school administration begin reviewing individual promotion or retention. Parents will be notified concerning possible retention and their input will be considered before the decision is finalized.
The Modern Language Association Manual, a guide used by many disciplines in documenting resources for papers, defines plagiarism as “the use of another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source.” Language arts teachers review with their students each year exactly what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. With the widespread availability of digital resources, the opportunities for plagiarism are myriad, and students must be extra careful to make sure that the work they hand in is genuinely theirs or properly cited. Academic integrity is a vital component of honesty (2 Corinthians 8:21). Up through grade 8, the classroom teacher will counsel students suspected of plagiarism, requiring them to redo the work for a reduced grade. In grades 9-12, plagiarized work will receive a failing grade with no chance to make it up, and an in-school suspension will be assigned.
Homework & Tests
Homework is an integral part of most educational programs and is designed to aid the student in his studies. It is a student’s responsibility to complete any assigned work, and this discipline will help the student become more responsible in other areas.
Homework assignments are given for several purposes:
- For drill and practice—we believe that most students require solid drilling to master material essential to their educational progress.
- For remedial activity—as instruction progresses, various weak points in a student’s grasp of subject matter become evident. Homework, following instruction, is given to overcome such difficulties.
- For special projects—book reports, compositions, special research assignments and projects are some of the activities that are frequently the subject of homework attention.
Homework assignments may be given in reasonable quantities consistent with the abilities of the grade level. A rule of thumb which many educators use to determine homework amount relevant to grade level is an average of 10 minutes per grade level. For instance, a 3rd grader may receive, on average, 30 minutes of homework per evening. A 9th grader may receive, on average, 90 minutes of homework per evening. If you have any questions or comments regarding homework, please consult with the classroom teacher.
Testing is a method of academic assessment which is usually given after a chapter or unit of material has been taught. Tests are used to assess large bodies of knowledge and the understanding of conceptual or abstract learning. Tests also aid in character development as they require greater concentration, sustained over a longer period of time. The rigor of focused study helps develop qualities such as self-discipline, perseverance, patience and setting priorities.
Semester exams are given for most high school courses. The semester exam counts 20% of the student’s grade for the semester. Students should avoid conflicts with the scheduled exam schedule. Requests to take a semester exam at other than the scheduled test time may require that a fee be paid to the instructor to proctor the exam at the alternate time. Make up exams may only be taken subsequent to the scheduled exam time rather than earlier in order to protect the integrity of the exams.
Westlake Christian Academy is committed to the total Christian education model, Westlake uses a testing program in order that the needs of each student might be recognized and met. Testing is a tool that parents, teachers, counselors and Administration may utilize to help direct, motivate, facilitate and evaluate the student as we jointly seek to assist the individual in reaching his/her optimum potential in Jesus Christ.
WCA annually administers nationally recognized achievement and cognitive abilities tests to all students in First through Eleventh grades. These scores help track individual and school-wide academic performance. Parents receive a report of the results and the school places a copy of the individual results in the student’s cumulative file. This standardized testing is usually given in April of each school year.
Westlake employs a criterion-referenced Kindergarten Readiness Test to ensure that students are developmentally ready for our Kindergarten program.
Career Guidance and College Entrance Testing
College and career development is an integral part of our total program. WCA exposes senior high students to college days, presentations from college representatives, and vocational and collegiate brochures and materials. Juniors and seniors may also take courses which specifically help them with college and career preparation. A faculty member has been assigned the responsibility of guiding students through the college preparation process.
College entrance exam information is made available for juniors and seniors. Registration packets for both Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT) are provided to students. Testing dates for both examinations are posted. Westlake’s school code for those tests is 144-321. It is the responsibility of the student to register for those tests (online registration is an option). Consistent with the expectations of the Ilinois State Board of Education, Westlake requires all students to take the ACT during their junior or senior year.
All juniors take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) in October at Westlake during a school day. This test is preparatory to the SAT and allows the student to become familiar with this kind of exam.
College Tours: Westlake provides college tour to allow students to experience the collegiate setting. Freshmen and sophomores take a day trip, juniors visit several colleges during a 4-day trip, and seniors are encouraged to take a school day to visit the college of their choice. These visits include a presentation by the college admission office, a tour of the campus, a class visit and meals in the college dining hall.
College Seminar: Each fall, Westlake hosts a college preparation seminar for students and their parents. This seminar covers topics such as college preparation, the admissions process, and finances.
Awards and Honors
Part of the underlying philosophy of Westlake Christian Academy is building Christian character and the pursuit of excellence by our students. God is honored in this process. In order to encourage a level of excellence in education and living, various awards and honors have been created to provide goals for which our students strive. These honors are recognized at year-end assemblies during the school day.
Athletic awards are presented during a student assembly during the school day at the conclusion of each sports season.
Junior Eagle (4th – 6th) , and Eaglet Award (1st – 3rd): The faculty nominates and votes for a student in each grade group to receive this award. These students demonstrate the mission and purpose of WCA through strength of character, commitment to God’s Word, and diligence in academics. Candidates exhibit, “Academic Excellence,” “Christian Citizenship,” and “Faithful Service.”
Character Awards: A positive character quality such as: perseverance, initiative, steadfast, diligent, compassionate, holiness, honesty, humility, integrity, kindness, leadership, loyalty, meekness, patience, punctual, respectful, righteousness, self-control, sensitivity, and servant hood.
Presidential Physical Fitness Award: criteria are determined by the awarding body. Students who meet the prescribed standards of physical fitness will be recognized with this award.
The Timothy Award is presented to one student in each secondary grade who most exemplifies the character and qualities of the Timothy of the Bible.
Eagle Awards are presented to one junior high student and one senior high student demonstrating spiritual leadership and maturity, school spirit, academic achievement, and being an all-around representative of WCA.
ACSI Distinguished Student – High school students recognized by ACSI for outstanding ability in one or more of the areas of academics, athletics, art, music, leadership, or service.
Perseverance Award – Presented to one student in each grade who has made significant progress in overcoming academic and/or other challenges.
Most Outstanding Student recognizes a student in each grade who demonstrates high academics, school spirit, character, respect to students and faculty, and a positive attitude.
WCA Spirit Award: presented to one student in the 7th – 12th grades who positively promotes WCA and actively participates in extra-curricular activities.
All School Awards
High Honor and Honor Roll Awards are presented to students for their individual academic achievement over the course of the school year. Students receiving the Honor Roll award must have been on the honor roll or high honor roll for each of the first three quarters of the year. Students receiving the High Honor Roll award must have been on the high honor roll for each of the first three quarters of the year.
Vocal Music and Band Awards are presented at the discretion of the instructors.
Health & Medical
Immunization and Medical Exam Requirements
The following information is legally mandatory, and this school is required by the Illinois State Board of Education to exclude students from attending who are not in compliance. This information should be submitted before the first day of school.
- Child Health Exam Form (including immunization records) are required for:
- New students
- Kindergarten / 6th grade / 9th grade students
- Tdap Vaccine: Students entering 6th through 12th grades are required to show proof of receipt of one dose of Tdap vaccine.
- ALL 12th grade students must show proof of receiving two MCV4 vaccines (meningococcal conjugate).
- Dental Exams are required for Kindergarten / 2nd grade / 6th grade students
- Vision Exams are required for:
- Kindergarten students
- Students transferring from out of state.
Sports Physicals are required for ALL students participating in the athletic program prior to starting practice.
Forms may be obtained from your health care provider or the school office.
All accidents that occur during the school day or on any school-sponsored trip are reported to the office immediately. Minor injuries are treated in the office. Students with serious injuries are taken immediately to the hospital and parents notified by phone. It is the parent’s responsibility to see that the office has an emergency telephone number on file where a parent, relative, or neighbor can be reached in case of emergency. Parents are required to sign an emergency medical treatment permission slip before the first day of classes.
If your child takes any type of medication during the school year, a medication permission form must be completed and signed by a parent/guardian and also by the student’s licensed physician. The form can be used for all medications.
This policy refers to prescription medication, non-prescription (aspirin, Tylenol, or other over-the-counter (OTC) medication), inhalers used in the treatment of asthma and allergy symptoms, and Epi-Pens used to treat anaphylactic reactions.
Please note: According to the Illinois Board of Education, a physician’s order and the signature of the physician, as well as a parent/guardian signature, are required for all medications that are taken in school, including all over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.
All medications to be taken at school must be brought in to the school office by the parent or another responsible person. All medications must be in the original container and prescription medications must be properly labeled by the pharmacy. This request terminates at the end of the physician’s prescribed orders or at the end of the current school year, whichever occurs first.
Prescription medicines should be in the original container with the student’s name on the label. A note MUST accompany this medication from the prescribing physician giving specific dosage amounts and frequency.
Infectious Diseases Policy
This policy relates to all diseases declared by the Illinois Department of Public Health to be contagious, infectious, communicable, and dangerous to the public health, including but not limited to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Herpes Simplex Virus – Type II, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), and infectious Hepatitis. The policy deals with confidentiality, exclusion, admission and placement of infected students, and appropriate education of staff.
Code of Conduct, Student Responsibilities & Discipline
The undergirding philosophy for discipline at Westlake Christian Academy stems from several biblical principles. First and foremost, Westlake understands that responsibility, conduct, and discipline are components of discipleship. Discipline is not merely punishment. It is primarily training, and that may take many forms. Punishment, though necessary, is only one aspect. Secondly, the Lord is pleased with and expects obedience and respect for authority. A third biblical principle is that, in the security of order and structure there is true liberty. Fourth, though our procedures for discipline are designed for consistency and fairness, there is the responsibility of the teachers, administration, and parents to discern the needs of individual students and to deal with root problems rather than simply treating symptoms. Ultimately, solutions will be found in the faithful application of the Gospel to sinful behavior, realizing that we are all broken creatures, and healing comes only through Christ. This may mean that different discipline methods are used with different students even if the offense is the same. In this crucial area of discipline and conduct, it is necessary that every parent be willing to take an active, constructive part in the overall interaction of the home and the school. It is critical for the spiritual health of our students that the administration be granted trust, understanding, and flexibility when acting in grace.
A handbook is not able to contain and specifically state all the do’s and don’ts of student conduct. As a Christian school our desire is to train students to conduct themselves responsibly and with wisdom. It may be that students will receive discipline and/or instruction in areas not specifically stated in the handbook. All students, and in particular junior and senior high students, are expected to be responsible and discern whether their choice of conduct is appropriate.
Ultimately, restoration with God and others is the goal of discipline at Westlake. Mission-appropriate students will grow and mature in a grace-filled approach to discipline. Mockers and scorners will resist and thus reveal their unsuitableness for Westlake.
Code of Conduct
In an atmosphere of definite and positive Christian standards of conduct, there is an opportunity for the development of strong, stable Christian character. Westlake encourages the following:
- Students will display kindness in speech, actions and attitude.
- Students will show respect and kindness for God, teachers, staff, and fellow students.
- Students will obey the directions of faculty and staff at all times.
- Students will be honest at all times, including schoolwork.
- Students will show care and respect for the property of others and the school. They will not take or damage the property of others.
- Students will resolve conflicts by discussion or by enlisting the help of an authority figure. A student will never harm or intimidate another student physically or verbally.
- Students will always behave in a manner appropriate for school.
- Students’ language will always reflect Christ, never using hurtful, derogatory, or obscene words.
- Students will guard their personal purity, being careful to refrain from public displays of affection between boys and girls at school and during school activities.
- Students will display self-control in words, conduct and attitudes.
- Students will develop habits of orderliness regarding their personal belongings, lockers, and assignments.
24 / 7 / 365
The Code of Conduct of Westlake Christian Academy should guide a student at all times, not just when he is involved in school activities. These are expectations for Westlake students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (24/7/365), beginning with the student’s admission. WCA encourages students to seek forgiveness and true repentance for all sin. However, the school will only respond to violations of the code of conduct occurring during their enrollment at the Academy. We act within the context of Galatians 6:1 and Matthew 18:15ff, ruled by grace with a desire for restoration whenever possible. Students and/or parents are encouraged to come forward for help of their own volition.
Standards and Procedures for Student Conduct
- Attendance at Westlake Christian Academy is a privilege. All students are expected to uphold the name of the Lord and the reputation of their parents, church, and the school, and live lives which are consistent with the faithful and historical teaching of God’s Word..
- Students should not run in halls or make excessive noise. They should be courteous to guests and other students and respectful to those in authority, esteeming others always (Phil. 2:3).
- The school facilities will be closed at 3:30 p.m. except for those students in extracurricular activities. Students must respect the school property and all equipment since this is the Lord’s school. Any and all damage by a student, even if accidental, will be paid for by the student and/or parents. Classroom conduct:
- Teachers are deserving of respect and they are responsible for maintaining a positive class atmosphere conducive to quality education. Students are expected to be respectful, cooperative, and submissive to the teacher’s authority.
- Students must come to class on time and be properly prepared with textbooks and writing materials. Class assignments are to be submitted promptly the period they are due.
- All non-consumable hardback textbooks are to be covered with book covers within one (1) week after they are first received and to remain covered throughout the year.
- A teacher’s desk, cabinet, bookcase, computer, etc., are regarded as personal property, and students are not to meddle with anything on or in these places without the teacher’s permission.
- Personal grooming such as, hair combing, applying makeup or fingernail polish, is not appropriate in the classrooms.
- Classes are dismissed by the teachers.
- Spiral notebooks may only be used in class if the pages are not torn out because of the litter it causes.
- Study hall procedure:
- Students must be on time.
- Students must bring work to study hall and be diligent during the entire time.
- Students may be given additional assignments from the study hall monitor if they do not bring work.
- Study halls will usually remain quiet to promote maximum individual study time. The study hall supervisor may provide opportunities for student collaborative study at his discretion
- Magazines and electronic media are not allowed in study hall unless they are being used for academic purposes.
- Students leaving a class for any reason will be issued a pass. This pass must be in the student’s possession at all times when he is out of class.
- Tardiness – if the student is detained for any reason, he must present a pass to the next class’s teacher or he must report to the office for a tardy pass.
- A pass presented to a teacher is considered a request which teachers may deny at their discretion.
- For students in grades 7-12, skipping a class or a part of a class will result in three (3) discipline points and an automatic detention.
- Students will respect the rights of other students. Stealing, cheating, fighting, pushing, shoving, opening other students’ lockers, or using another’s personal items without permission are considered serious offenses.
- Throwing of objects such as snowballs or rocks is not allowed at any time on school property.
- Recreational equipment and entertainment devices should not be brought to school or school related activities unless specifically authorized by school personnel.
- Students will be courteous in speech and action at all times. Using language unbecoming of a Christian is not allowed (Eph. 4:29; Col. 3:8).
- Stickers, emblems, decals, buttons, etc., which are identified with groups or movements contrary to Christian Biblical standards or would not be supported by Westlake Christian Academy are not to be displayed on autos, books, notebooks, lockers, clothing, etc.
- Acts of dishonesty such as cheating, lying, stealing, and plagiarism are not acceptable.
- Weapons (e.g. firearms, knives of any size and type), fireworks, firecrackers, matches, or flammable or explosive materials are not permitted on the school premises or at any school activity. Students who violate this rule may be suspended or possibly expelled from school. Regular eating utensils are not considered weapons.
- Possession or use of tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia or look-alikes will not be tolerated at Westlake Christian Academy or off campus. Any use or possession of such items will result in immediate suspension and may result in expulsion.
- Sexual harassment and consensual sexual activity are unacceptable behaviors which violates biblical principles such as love, kindness, purity, and an understanding of God’s sovereignty and that individuals are created in God’s image. Students who use offensive language, jokes, gestures, drawings or pictures which degrade, devalue, or ridicule others on the basis of gender may be found guilty of sexual harassment. Additionally, touching or teasing which would suggest sexual impropriety will not be permitted. If a student experiences or witnesses any such behavior, this should be reported immediately to the administrator who will take appropriate action. Discipline action may include restrictions, suspension, expulsion, or possibly legal action.
Bullying is the mistreatment of a student(s) by another student(s) that is characterized by behavior which is intentional, repetitive, and harmful. It can be physical, verbal, written, or electronic. Bullying involves an imbalance of power and is a violation of biblical principles. Bullying is distinguished from other behavioral issues that might be typical of a specific age level. Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors is an important school goal.
- Westlake students are prohibited from engaging in hazing or any kind of aggressive behavior that does physical or psychological harm to another or from any use of violence, force, noise, coercion, threats, intimidation, fear, harassment, hazing, or other comparable conduct.
- Westlake students are prohibited from: 1) accessing and/or distributing at school any written or electronic material, including material from the internet, that will cause substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, and 2) creating and/or distributing written or electronic material, including internet material, blogs, and any form of cyber bullying, that causes substantial disruption to school operations or interferes with the rights of other students or staff members.
- Westlake prohibits any person from harassing or intimidating a student based upon a student’s sex, color, race, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.
- Westlake students are protected against retaliation for reporting such conduct.
- Westlake includes bullying prevention and character instruction in all grades as a part of its Bible instruction, chapel programming, and other life issues curricula.
- Westlake encourages all members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers and visitors, to report alleged acts of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of actual or threatened violence.
- Westlake actively involves students’ parents/guardians in the remediation of the concerned behaviors. This includes ensuring that all parents/guardians are notified, as required by State law, whenever their child engages in aggressive behavior.
- Westlake expects all students to conduct themselves with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students. Through its awards and recognition program, Westlake commends and acknowledges students for demonstrating appropriate behavior.
Standard discipline procedures include verbal correction, communication with parents, discipline points (secondary), and detentions. Students also grow as they learn that major disobedience or the cumulative effect of persistent reoccurring disobedience result in graver consequences. More serious measures may call for suspension or expulsion. The Academy keeps a disciplinary record on file for each student.
The following violations may result in immediate suspension from school pending a timely disciplinary hearing before the administration: any involvement with the abuse of drugs, use of illegal drugs or alcohol, sexual immorality, illegal activity, or any threat of endangerment to school personnel, students or facilities. The Board may act on a recommendation deemed appropriate by the administration, which may include a range of actions from a contract outlining terms of probation to suspension to expulsion from school.
The use of tobacco, pornography, profanity or obscenity, stealing, gambling, fighting, lewd behavior, or disrespectful behavior may result in a variety of responses including but not limited to detention, suspension, expulsion, parent meeting, probation, and/or counseling.
Discipline Points (Secondary Students Only)
Discipline points are notices given for minor infractions such as dress code violations and tardiness. The number of points is determined by the severity of the infraction and/or the attitude of the students. A detention is received for every three (3) points accumulated during a semester. Three detentions served in a semester result in an in-school suspension (see below) in lieu of the next detention. Each step of the discipline process is determined by the seriousness of offense and the student’s response to discipline.
Detentions are held after school for one hour on designated days. The administration will designate on which day a detention is to be served. Detentions have precedence over activities such as any Westlake extra-curricular activities and non-Westlake activities such as work. No excuses will be accepted for missing a detention without prior approval. If a student skips an assigned detention without specific administrative permission, he will be assigned an extra detention in addition to the original one. Detentions are usually implemented with secondary students; however, on occasion detentions may be assigned to upper elementary students if the administration determines appropriate.
Students serve in-school suspensions primarily for accumulation of three detentions in a semester (see discipline points above). After serving three detentions in a semester, the next detention will be an in-school suspension instead. During an in-school suspension, the student will be separated from other students for the day(s) and is required to complete all assignments (homework, tests, quizzes, reports, etc.) during the suspension. A student receives full credit for all assignments. The student is responsible for all class material covered during the suspension days. However, at the end of the grading quarter a 3% grade reduction will be imposed at the administrative level on each class for each day during the suspension. A cap of three (3) days of academic penalty (9% quarterly grade reduction) is the maximum a student would receive per in-school suspension even if the in-school suspension is longer than 3 days. This policy provides a fair and balanced approach to grade reduction among students who have received suspensions.
For more serious or persistent discipline problems, a student may receive a one to five day out-of-school suspension as a last warning prior to dismissal from the school or pending a decision which may lead to dismissal. The parents of student serving an out-of-school suspension are required to meet with the principal. The student will be required to sit in on all or part of this conference. During an out-of-school suspension, the student will not attend school for the day(s) and is required to complete all assignments (homework, tests, quizzes, reports, etc.) during the suspension. A student receives full credit for all assignments. The student is responsible for all class material covered during the suspension days. However, at the end of the grading quarter a 5% grade reduction will be imposed at the administrative level on each class for each day during the suspension. A 5% grade reduction for the quarter will be imposed on all classes during the suspension. A cap of three (3) days of academic penalty (15% quarterly grade reduction) is the maximum a student would receive per out-of-school suspension even if the out-of-school suspension is longer than 3 days.
Because attendance at Westlake Christian Academy is a privilege and not a right, any student who violates school rules or standards is subject to expulsion. A student may be expelled from the school after other disciplinary measures have failed or when major moral or social offenses have been committed. Causes for expulsion could include, but are not limited to the following:
- A pattern of continued willful disobedience, misconduct, or disrespect.
- Use, distribution, or possession of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.
- A pattern of speech or conduct which is inconsistent with biblical morality or incompatible with teh school’s mission.
The school reserves the right to require drug testing for a student it reasonably suspects of drug use. Prior to dismissal of any student from the school, the administration may seek the counsel of members of the Board of Trustees. In the event that a parent feels an unjust decision has been made, the parent should request in writing a meeting to appeal the decision.
Family Lifestyle Issues
Westlake Christian Academy will admit students only on the condition that both they and their custodial parent(s) maintain a lifestyle based on faithful biblical standards of moral conduct related to human sexuality. In this instance, moral misconduct includes, but is not limited to, promiscuity, homosexual behavior, or any other violation of the unique God-given roles of male and female (Rom. 1:21-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-20). Westlake Christian Academy believes that biblical marriage is limited to a covenant relationship between one man and one woman.
If either a Westlake Christian Academy student or their custodial parent(s) begin to live a lifestyle contrary to the scriptural principles set forth in this Policy, then we will come alongside that student or those parents with loving compassion and humble confrontation, in accordance with the Matthew 18 Policy of WCA. If the student or custodial parent(s) refuse to repent of his or her lifestyle choice, that choice may be grounds for WCA to remove the student from the school for the sake of the spiritual and emotional welfare of the other students and families.
Before/After School Care
As a service to families, Westlake provides extended care beyond the normal school day. Before school care starts at 7:00 am for all elementary students who arrive before 7:50. After school care is provided for students up through grade 6 and is available until 6:00 pm. Secondary students who remain after school must be in supervised study hall by 3:30 p.m. unless involved in a supervised activity. This service extends until 5:00 p.m. There is an additional fee for each of these services. Students arriving at school after 7:50 am are not charged a fee and students may stay at school until 3:40 pm without incurring a fee. No student may remain unsupervised in the building after 3:30 pm.
Arrival and Dismissal
Westlake has an established traffic flow for arrival and dismissal for the purpose of safety and efficiency. Traffic flow maps are provided for families and additional ones can be acquired at the office. The arrival traffic flow is somewhat different from the dismissal traffic flow.
Drivers should drive slowly and not double park. Watch for children, especially in the parking lot.
Please note: Grayslake Police may ticket anyone who parks on any portion of a municipal sidewalk.
Illinois law prohibits driver use of cell phones in school zones, including dropping off or picking up students.
School starts at 8:15 a.m. for secondary and 8:20 a.m. for all other grades. Students must be in their classrooms at those times. Students should arrive at least 10 minutes early to prepare for their day.
Pre-K-Grade 6: Elementary students arriving before 8:10 a.m. proceed directly to the cafeteria. At 8:10 a.m., Preschool and Kindergarten will be escorted to class. Students in Grades 1-6 will be released to their classrooms at that time as well. Students arriving after 8:20 a.m. should go directly to the office for a student pass and then proceed to class.
Junior/Senior High: Secondary students who arrive before 8:05 am proceed directly to the library. At 8:05 am secondary students are release to their first period class.
Elementary School ends at 3:10 p.m. Students are to be picked up no later than 3:25 p.m. Any elementary school students remaining after 3:25 p.m. will be escorted to the After School Care program. Required fees will be assessed.
Junior and Senior High School ends at 3:20 p.m. Students are expected to leave the building no later than 3:40 p.m., unless they are participating in a Westlake activity or responsibility. Junior and Senior High students remaining after 3:30 p.m. must report to a supervised area.
Half-day dismissal is 11:30 a.m.
Due to legal and liability issues, students are not allowed in the building before or after designated school hours, unless they are participating in a school-sponsored activity, assignment or event.
Asbestos Management Plan
A comprehensive asbestos management plan is in place based on regular professional inspections in accordance with the law. This plan details the responsive actions that Westlake has taken regarding asbestos found in our buildings. This plan is available for inspection at our offices during normal business hours. Acceptable abatement assures that those in our building on a daily basis are not at risk.
Non-consumable textbooks are on loan to the students. Hardback textbooks are to be covered within one week after they are first received and to remain covered throughout the year, Damages beyond normal wear and tear will be assessed to the student at year-end.
Cancellation of School
If it becomes necessary to cancel school for a half day for the day due to severe weather conditions (including unusually hot weather) or other emergencies, an announcement will be made through EmergencyClosings.com as well as the WCA website and the school’s voice mail message (847) 548-6209. The announcement will be made before 6:30 a.m. in most cases.
If it becomes necessary to cancel school for a half day or for the day due to severe weather conditions (including unusually hot weather) or other emergencies, an announcement will be made through www.EmergencyClosings.com as well as the WCA website and the school’s voice mail message (847) 548-6209. The announcement will be made before 6:30 a.m. in most cases.
As long as our buildings have working systems for heating, when excessively low temperatures exist, the school building is one of the safest places student can be housed. Because Westlake students do not depend upon school bus transportation and thus are not subject to waiting at bus stops, the school will not always follow the closure practices of the local public school districts.
Because our main classroom building is not air-conditioned, our students and teachers face more danger from heat exhaustion in warm weather than from cold in winter. Thus we are more likely to close school for extreme heat than for cold.
All things being considered, if the heating system is working and the road conditions are appropriate, school will be open during cold weather.
School Closing Parameters* for Heat or Cold:
|Temperature <90°||Relative Humidity <90%||School will be open|
|Temperature 90°-95°||Relative Humidity >70%||School may close for all or part of day|
|Temperature over 96°||Relative Humidity >55 %||School should be closed|
|Temperature >-20°||Wind Chill >-34°||School will be open|
|Sustained temperature below -20°||Wind Chill below -34°||School may close|
*Parameters used for decision making options only and are not absolute
Chapels are an integral part of the discipleship ministry of Westlake. The elementary grades and secondary grades have separate chapels but occasionally come together for an all school chapel. Chapels serve as an opportunity for corporate worship and biblical learning. Singing, prayer, scripture reading, recitation of memory verses, and teaching from God’s Word are regular components of chapel. Westlake frequently schedules student-led chapels. These chapels offer the opportunity for another avenue of discipleship via student leadership, service, public speaking, and organizational training. Westlake also invites outside speakers to address our students with biblical teaching during chapel.
Westlake maintains a closed campus to help ensure the safety of students and provide an atmosphere conducive to learning. Individuals who come on campus without a valid reason and administrative approval will be asked to leave. During semester exams, students in grades 9-12 may arrive in time for their first exam of the day and may leave after their last exam of the day.
Except for seniors participating in the Friday senior lunch privilege, students are not permitted to leave campus for lunch. Likewise, outside visitors are not allowed to attend lunch at school unless they are parents, grandparents, or siblings of students, alumni, pastors or youth pastors.
Westlake operates as a secure, locked facility whenever there are students in the building. All doors are to remain locked and the only entrance for guests is through the front doors, which are video monitored and can be remotely unlatched. Students and guests should never open any door for any person. Westlake conducts regular lockdown drills to make sure our faculty, staff, and students are well acquainted with our emergency procedures.
When the fire alarm signal is sounded, all rooms will empty, and students will proceed to the exits as instructed by the teachers. The last person out of the room should close the door and turn off the lights. Students will remain with their teachers until an “all clear” is indicated. Students are to remain silent during the entire drill.
Tornado Alert Instructions
When the tornado signal sounds, children should take cover in the assigned areas on the lower level. Students should move quickly and quietly and assume tornado positions as soon as they arrive in the designated areas.
When the announcement comes over the intercom that the building is in lockdown, students and teachers will close and lock classroom doors, card the door window, darken the room, and hide in a corner of the room our of vision from doors and windows, taking care to be absolutely silent. All are to remain in that position until law enforcement officers unlock the door and clear the room. If the initial announcement calls for a lockdown drill, then the drill ends with an intercom announcement.
Computer Use Policy
When using the Internet at Westlake, students agree to the following:
- You will use the Internet only with a teacher’s permission
- You will not visit sites with inappropriate content
- You will not download or install programs or games
- You will not send or receive e-mail or instant messages without a teacher’s permission
Electronic Devices, Social networking and media
Electronic communication/entertainment devices (such as cell phones, mp3 players, game players, etc.) are not to be used unless under the direction of a faculty member. Using any such device in any manner that violates the respect and rights of others is prohibited. Using an electronic device to take photographs, cheat, signal others, or otherwise violate the conduct rules is prohibited. Portable computers (laptops, Chromebooks, tablets) may be used for classwork as directed by teachers.
For students in elementary and junior high (K-8), cell phones are to be turned off during school hours. Students may use cell phones before and after school. Cell phone use is not allowed during passing periods, between classes, or at lunchtime. High school students (9-12) may use cell phones any time other than during a class period. For those students, during all class periods, cell phones must be turned off and out of sight.
Electronically recording or transmitting video of another person in a restroom or locker room is not acceptable and may be a crime under Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/26-4).
The use of an electronic device in the following manner at any time is unacceptable.
- Capturing, creating, or distributing text, recordings or images of any individual(s) without that individual’s consent.
- Capturing, creating, or distributing text, recordings or images of any document(s) which may compromise the integrity of the educational process.
- Capturing, creating, or distributing text, recordings or images of any individual which are disrespectful, embarrassing, or degrading or immoral.
- Capturing, creating, or distributing text, recordings or images which could be reasonably deemed an invasion of privacy, a breach of confidentiality, or a copyright infringement.
For students participating in Westlake’s 1:1 technology program, the school manages the devices and filters the Internet content. Any attempt to circumvent those measures is not acceptable.
Violators of this electronic devices policy will face disciplinary measures and will have their electronic devices (cell phones included) confiscated or Chromebook disabled. Confiscated devices may only be retrieved by a parent. In addition, the student’s usage of electronic devices may be restricted.
In today’s society many individuals participate in electronic social networking or media. Students and parents are advised to be wise in text, audio and visual content sent or uploaded onto the Internet. Text, audio, and/or visual content must align with biblical principles and the standards of Westlake Christian Academy. Even off campus, Westlake students and families are responsible for their behavior in these matters.
Extra- or Co-curricular Activities
Westlake Christian Academy has a variety of programs in which students can participate before and after school hours. Some of the activities may include band, drama, music, robotics, math club, student council, yearbook, cheerleading, and athletics. Student activities which receive report card grades are considered co-curricular. All others are extra-curricular.
Students are expected to maintain passing grades to be eligible for extra-curricular activities. Explanations of eligibility requirements are in the respective Athletic and Band Handbooks.
Because of the improper disposal of gum and the damage to clothing, carpeting and furniture, elementary students are not permitted to chew gum in the building. Secondary students may do so as long as they show responsibility in its use and disposal.
Full Time Student
For the purposes of determining a student’s status and participation in certain activities, Westlake defines a full time student as follows.
For grades 1-8, a full time student is in school all day, with no homeschool substitutions. He/she may miss up to one hour per day for regular therapy or other special education services off campus, but there is no reduction in tuition due to an abbreviated schedule
For grades 9-12, a full time student is on campus for all eight class periods and takes no more than one study hall per semester. Seniors may leave school after period seven for regular work, but there is no reduction in tuition and no study hall is allowed. The full time student may take additional coursework on line during the school day, but there is no reduction in tuition, and the student is responsible for any added cost of external coursework. No homeschool substitutions may be made for WCA coursework for full time students.
Westlake juniors and seniors may take the Lake County Tech Campus program for the 1:00 p.m. session, taking five classes at WCA in the morning. Tech Campus students receive a 20% tuition reduction and are considered full time students at WCA.
Lockers are the property of Westlake Christian Academy and are loaned to students. Westlake Christian Academy reserves the right to inspect all school property, including lockers at any time for any reason without prior notification.
- Lockers are to be kept neat with no wet items in them or food items left overnight.
- The lockers are to be kept clean. Tape is not permitted. Only magnets may be used for hanging items in or on lockers since tape is difficult to remove.
- Do not kick or pound lockers when you close them. If the door does not close, there are too many things in it.
- Students may not open or disturb the contents of another student’s locker. As far as students are concerned, a locker is considered personal space.
Lost & Found
If you believe your child has lost a personal item, please contact the office and you will be directed to lost and found. Items which are not reclaimed become the property of the school and may be disposed of or given to a charitable organization as deemed necessary. Please mark all of your child’s belongings to enable quick identification.
Westlake provides a hot lunch program through an outside catering service. The service provides nutritionally balanced meals at a reasonable cost to parents. Students need to sign up in advance to receive a meal on the specified day. A monthly menu is provided by the catering service and orders may be placed on line. Elementary students are not allowed to use the microwave ovens.
Media and Music
Only music that is conducive to a positive Christian attitude is permitted in school. All music played at school-sponsored activities must be approved. Audio/visual media must always be previewed by a teacher before showing to determine the appropriateness of content.
Divorced or Separated Parents
In the case of a divorce or separation, a student will be released only to the parent who has custody unless that parent sends written permission with the student, allowing the other parent to remove the student from school. The rights and privileges for the non-custodial parent,including access to student records, are determined by the law of the State of Illinois. The procedures outlined in the legal parenting agreement will be followed.
Westlake believes that students benefit from parental involvement. Westlake depends on its parents for prayer support as well as their assistance with leadership development, special projects and events. The Parent Association has three officers: President, Vice-President and Secretary. They are assisted by a support team of additional parents, the Volunteer Parent Network. Information about the association and network can be found on the Academy’s website.
Individual and class pictures are taken each school year in the fall. Parents may order a class picture and individual pictures of various sizes if so desired. Group pictures, such as teams, clubs or organizations, are also taken each year and are available for purchase.
Promotions and Solicitations
Students or parents may not distribute any non-Westlake written or printed material or promote non-Westlake activities on school grounds without the expressed consent and permission of the school administration. Westlake does provide a community bulletin board on which public notices may be placed with administrative approval.
Extended Trips and Retreats
From time to time Westlake provides opportunities for extended trips integral to its curriculum. Those events involve travel outside the Chicago area and often overnight stays. Students are expected to pay the additional expenses of such trips. Examples would include the high school trip to Washington, DC, and the junior high trip to Springfield. Much planning goes into those events, and parents are kept well-informed. Those events are only available for full time Westlake students.
As an intentional component of our discipleship program students in the secondary grades attend fall retreats. Our three-fold goal for those retreats are 1) that our students are encouraged and challenged spiritually at the beginning of the school year, 2) that students develop deeper friendships and that new students assimilate into the student body and, 3) that students and faculty develop deeper relationships. Students in grades 7 & 8 attend a one-day, daytime retreat. Students in grades 9-12 spend two or three days on their retreat, staying overnight. The basic cost of the retreats is budgeted from tuition income (some extra activities may involve a fee). Unless there is a family or medical emergency, students in those grades are expected to attend their retreat. In order to attend a fall retreat, a student must be enrolled in at least four courses.
Seniors have the unique opportunity to go on a mission trip as a part of their discipleship experience at Westlake. Trips are designed to be a combination of ministry and learning experiences and fun activities. Our discipleship objectives for this trip are evangelism, education, encouragement, experience, and entertainment. It is expected that all seniors go on the trip as a graduation requirement. The costs of the trips vary. Classes often have fund raisers to allow each student opportunity to earn money towards the trip. Students are guided through the process of sending out support letters and they are also expected to contribute some from their own earnings. The senior mission trip is only open to students who are enrolled full time for their entire senior year.
Another intentional aspect of Westlake’s discipleship program is Student Council for secondary students (7-12). Eligible students are elected by their peers to serve in governing roles within Student Council. The high school positions are President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Publicist and Chaplain. The junior high positions President, Vice-President and Secretary. Additionally each grade level elects one class representative. Student Council provides many opportunities to learn leadership skills, serve others, develop administrative skills, speak publicly and enhance the school body and local community.
Students who are properly licensed may drive to school with Administration and parental approval. A student driver registration form along with a copy of the student’s driver’s license and proof of insurance must be brought to the office and kept on file. It is not the student’s right to drive to school, but a privilege. Students are not permitted to leave campus during school hours without explicit parental and administrative approval. Poor driving habits, unsafe practices or immature behavior may result in a loss of the driving privilege. Student drivers are to park in the designated area, which is in the north part of the lot nearest the cemetery, not in front of the school building.
Student drivers who are participating in sporting events or other official school trips are not permitted to transport other students. Students may not loiter in cars or in the parking lot.
Student Records Confidentiality
Although Westlake Christian Academy is not subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the school recognizes that parents should have certain rights of access to their children’s education records and restricts disclosure of information from those records without parental consent. The school also allows parents and eligible students to amend records they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. Eligible students are those students, former students, and graduates who have attained the age of majority (18). Those who have concerns about record confidentiality may obtain a copy of the Westlake policy covering what records are considered educational, what is covered by confidentiality, who may examine confidential files, and how records are transmitted to other institutions.
Phone calls between students and parents should only occur on a limited basis. In the cases of illness the office will contact a parent on behalf of the student. Students may be permitted to call home if the office staff determines it is for a valid reason. Incoming phone calls to the office for students should be limited to emergencies.
Westlake owns and operates its own buses which are used for school activities. However, there are times when the school may ask families to add supplemental carpooling when Westlake buses are insufficient or unavailable for activities.
Visiting the Academy
All visitors, including parents, must check-in at the office before going to a classroom for any reason. Prospective students are always welcome to shadow classes but must have prior approval from the office and should be dressed according to school dress code as much as possible. Parents of visiting students may make an appointment with the teacher through the office staff.
Westlake is unable to host former students and friends of students during the course of a school day. Westlake alumni are welcome to visit during lunch.
Westlake’s yearbook is a compilation of student and class photos along with pictures of events, activities, programs, concerts, clubs and athletics. The yearbook is an excellent resource for memories and school history. Each student receives a yearbook as the cost is incorporated in the enrollment fee.