Policies & Practices


Health & Wellness

We believe…

  • There are many facets of health that must work together for overall wellness. Healthful diet and physical movement encourage a wholesome mind and spirit.
  • All students have the right to healthy, quality food.
  • Physical movement should be daily and incorporated within students’ educational activities.
  • Healthy bodies foster healthy minds, increasing students’ abilities to learn.
  • Healthful eating and life habits are best taught through modeling.
  • Positive self-image is an essential aspect of overall health.
  • Wellness education should reach beyond the classroom, beyond our school boundaries, and into students’ homes. Family involvement is important.

Modeling, Education & Provision

Policies

With modeling as a best practice for teaching how to lead a healthy lifestyle, it is our policy that all Creemos staff are held to the same health standards we desire for our students. We believe children brought up in homes where eating fruits and vegetables is commonplace, and processed foods are limited or not found, are more likely to adopt healthy eating habits that last into adulthood. Children brought up in homes where a family walk is the expected evening activity, instead of hours of television, are more likely to be physically active adults. We cannot control the behaviors of our students’ families, but we can be a positive influence throughout the many hours our students spend in our presence, by modeling positive behaviors through our own healthy eating and levels of physical activity, as well as educating students on best practices and providing them with healthy choices.

Practices

Creemos has established the following procedures regarding modeling, education & provision.

  • All Creemos staff model healthy eating and lifestyle choices.
    ◊ Added-sugar desserts are not permitted on campus. Birthdays are celebrated only with foods provided by the Georgia Day Café.
    ◊ Sugary beverages are not permitted on campus. Students see water as the most important and prominent beverage.
    ◊ Sedentary behaviors are discouraged. Students witness their teachers and all levels of staff in active motion whenever possible.
  • We do not emphasize weight.
  • Students are shown and taught healthful practices in eating and physical movement. As these practices become habits, all other pieces of the “health puzzle” fall into place.
  • We provide quality, nutritious foods throughout the day, in a pleasant and unhurried eating environment, so students are able to enjoy nutritious eating experiences.
  • We incorporate natural movement into the everyday activities of the classroom. Students are shown that exercise is a normal part of a healthy daily routine.
  • We model positive self-image and worth to our students by refraining from self-deprecating language and encouraging uplifting speak.
  • We collaborate with families to provide health and nutrition education beyond the doors of our schools. We encourage students to teach their families the importance of living healthfully.

Please Note:  Although we may look into implementing such a policy in the future, Creemos campuses are NOT peanut-free environments. 

Nutrition

Refined Sugar

Policies

Food plays an important role in one’s overall health and well-being. It can be difficult to know what to eat in what quantities – should we cut out carbohydrates, should we eat fat-free, count calories? The number of diets that revolve around limiting is endless. At Creemos, we believe each food group plays a part in a healthful diet… except sugar.

When we speak of sugar, we are speaking of added (refined) sugar, not the sugar that naturally occurs in food, such as in fruit. Here is why we believe sugar is one “food group” that needs to be significantly limited:

Studies indicate that sugar is essentially a poison to our bodies; in fact, it is now referred to as the “silent killer” because many of its negative effects come without warnings or symptoms. Sugar has been found to cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that signals your brain when you have had enough food. Leptin resistance leads to over consumption, thereby leading to obesity.

Sugar can also put you at higher risk for heart failure by changing the muscle protein of the heart, thereby affecting the heart’s pumping mechanism. Heart disease is a serious ailment, and about half of those diagnosed with it die within five years.

Your body can actually age faster as a result of too much sugar consumption too. A link has been found between sugar consumption and the aging of our cells, leading to wrinkles or, more seriously, chronic disease. Sugar may actually affect your brain’s aging process, causing deficiencies in memory and overall cognitive health. This is one important reason why we at Creemos believe limiting sugar in our students’ diets is critical to their ability to learn and succeed.

Obesity rates are on the rise, tripling in adolescents and doubling in children over the last 30 years, most likely a result of an increase in the consumption of fructose-laden beverages such as soda. Fructose causes visceral fat cells to mature, which promotes belly fat, and increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Studies estimate that sweetened beverages are the cause of 180,000 deaths worldwide due to associations between such beverages and diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Sadly, sugar hides in many foods that are not as obvious as dessert and soda, including tomato sauce, fat-free dressing, crackers and bread. It is difficult to remove all of these foods from our schools; however, we can (with a little effort and dedication) eliminate added sugar, and we can and will serve the healthiest ingredients we can obtain.

What about Gatorade for our athletes?

Gatorade was originally developed to hydrate athletes following prolonged and strenuous exercise, especially in the heat, by replenishing one’s electrolyte and carbohydrate levels. Electrolytes help regulate the body’s “fluid balance”. Carbohydrates provide energy. Gatorade contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium, as well as carbohydrates, and manufacturers say it can help replace those lost during prolonged, strenuous exercise, while hydrating at the same time.

There is some research to support these claims, such as a report out of the University of California, Berkeley, but in cases where one is engaged in prolonged, vigorous activity for over an hour, especially in hot conditions. Those exercising less than 60-90 minutes should sufficiently be able to maintain their body’s hydration by drinking water.

The downside of Gatorade and other sports drinks is that they contain high levels of sugar – not quite as much as the average soda, but high nonetheless. For this reason, Berkeley researchers believe sports drinks, like soda, are contributing to childhood obesity. Avoiding sports drinks will help less active individuals avoid added and unnecessary sugar and sodium in their diets. 

 

Practices

Creemos has established the following regulations regarding sugar on campus. These regulations apply to our students and our staff alike.

  • Added-sugar foods and desserts are not permitted in classrooms or in public areas of our campus.
    a.   Cupcakes, cookies, cakes, etc. are not to be brought into the classrooms. Each class will have a birthday party in the Georgia Day Café, where healthful, GDC-approved treats will be provided to the students. Parents will be invited to participate and are welcome to bring gifts, but are not permitted to bring food items.
    b.   Cupcakes, cookies, cakes, etc. are not permitted in the front office. Staff members and teachers are not to bring dessert items to share with their coworkers. Although it is highly discouraged, if a staff member brings dessert for his or her personal consumption, it is not to be consumed in public areas such as the front office, and is not to be seen by students or their families.
  • Sugary beverages are not permitted on campus.
    a.   We define “sugary beverage” as soda, diet soda, iced tea with sugar added, coffee with sugar added (including drip coffee with white sugar, Frappuccinos, etc.), energy drinks, Gatorade, etc.
    b.   Students are not to be given sugary beverages and are not permitted to bring them to school.
    c.   Staff members are not permitted to bring sugary beverages on campus. The GDC is to provide only Sugar in the Raw for coffee or tea.
    d.   “Big Gulps” are not permitted. Cups are to be limited to 16 ounces, unless clear and containing water only.

Pork Products

We do not serve pork products. All our “pork-like” items (like “sausage”) are actually turkey.

Processed Foods

Policies

Sugar is not the only enemy of a healthy diet. Our nation has become overrun with high-fat, high-sodium processed foods. Creemos partners with Georgia Day Café to serve nutritious meals and quality ingredients to our students, and to educate them in how to make such choices on their own. Committed to the highest of nutritional standards, Georgia Day Café must approve the ingredients and preparation of all foods/meals intended to be served at Creemos schools. We believe that it is our responsibility to educate students and their families about the healthful preparation of and nutritious ingredient substitutions used when preparing Georgia Day Café provided meals. To ensure students’ ongoing health success, school-wide projects will be conducted on every Creemos campus that teach students about nutritious foods and their importance. In cooperation with the Georgia Day Café, students will develop and prepare meals as a culminating project.

Practices

In collaboration with Georgia Day Café (GDC), Creemos has established the following guidelines pertaining to foods served on campus:

  • GDC Food Approval Process
    To ensure compliance with the nutrition standards of our schools, all foods/meals intended to be served to students must be approved by the GDC President prior to being served on campus. Recipes must be submitted to the President by e-mail and a tasting must be scheduled and completed for approval to be granted or denied. If approved, the food/meal will be added to the approved foods list. The approved food/meal list will be used to create the monthly breakfast & lunch menus, as well as the menus for all other Company events.
  • Outside food is not to be brought on campus to serve to students.
  • Pizza, or similarly processed take-out, is not to be delivered to or brought on campus for the purpose of student or staff-wide consumption.
  • Meal preparation education
    a.   To educate students and their families about the healthful preparation of and nutritious ingredient substitutions used when preparing GDC-provided meals, informational fliers, pamphlets or similar will go home with students on a regular schedule or will be posted within the Georgia Day Café.
    b.   To ensure students’ ongoing health success, a school-wide project will be conducted that teaches them about nutritious foods and their importance. In cooperation with the GDC, students will develop and prepare meals as a culminating project.

Physical Movement

Policies

Diet is only one facet of one’s overall health and well-being. Your level of physical fitness also plays an important role in your health. Recent studies have shown that our more sedentary lifestyles (as a result of the prominence of “desk jobs” and more hobbies and activities revolving around computers) are having many negative effects on our health, many of which sound eerily familiar to the effects of sugar on our bodies: cancer, anxiety/depression, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, obesity, and higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Other studies have found that physical activity breaks help sharpen students’ abilities to focus and stay on task. We want our students’ bodies, minds and spirits to be as healthy as possible, so it is important that our staff promotes physical movement and activity by modeling it in and out of the classrooms. 

Practices

We have established the following guidelines regarding physical movement while on campus.

  • Excessive sedentary behaviors are strongly discouraged.
    a.   Staff members should be in active motion whenever reasonable so that students witness physical activity as a normal and healthy part of one’s everyday lifestyle.
    b.   Teachers are to be highly engaged in the teaching process, thereby in active motion throughout the day with their students. Teachers are not permitted to spend any majority portion of their teaching time sitting behind their desks.
  • Teachers are to guide their students through short movement exercises every 30 minutes. The approved exercises, by grade level, are found below. Grades 1-8 must follow the guidelines for number of Moderate and Vigorous exercises to be completed each day; the remainder of daily exercises can be made up of Light exercises. Instructional videos will be provided.

 

  • A physical fitness education program will be developed and incorporated within the school year.

Emotion & Self-Image

Policies

Nutrition and exercise are two key components of overall health; however, we also believe a healthy mind and spirit are important. That is why positive self-image plays a huge role in one’s wellness. The student demographic with which we interact are at a particularly fragile stage of life when it comes to self-image. Insecurities in this age group may be innate, may be a result of outside negative influences, or a combination of both, but they are prominent nonetheless.

Practices

 Creemos has established the following protocols regarding self-image.

  • Self- deprecation is not permitted and positivity is to be encouraged.
    Staff members must refrain from self-deprecating language; students are not to hear you speaking negatively about yourself. Staff members must also encourage students to think and speak positively, and must model this behavior throughout the day.
  • We are a No Tolerance for Bullying School.
    Deprecating or bullying conversations between students or others are to be addressed immediately, and in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying protocols.
  • We do not emphasize weight.
    Although we believe eating well and exercising daily are highly important, we do not emphasize “weight loss” with students. It is our job to model to our students how to live a healthy life, and part of that is increasing their self-confidence and esteem. Many of them desperately need to be built up in this way. We are to speak life into our students, not bring them down.

Family Support

Policies

We can only do what we can in the limited number of hours we spend with our students – provide them with delicious, nutritional and quality foods; present them bountiful opportunities to move and be active; encourage them emotionally and mentally. What we hope is that these practices within our schools will inspire our students to continue practicing healthy habits when they leave us each day. We believe it is important to encourage them to educate their families in how to live healthy lives so that our students have a better chance of continuing down a path of health, and so that their families can also enjoy the benefits of nutrition and wellness. 

Practices

Projects and events will be developed and held throughout the year that incorporate family involvement. Expectations of each staff member regarding these projects and events will be communicated at that time.

Smoke-Free Environment

Policies

In alignment with our policies for staff and student health, all Creemos associated properties, including vehicles, are smoke-free environments. We hope that our staff understands and recognizes the negative effects smoking has on one’s health, and how it cannot coexist with overall wellness. Our students are looking to us to set examples of health, therefore it is incredibly detrimental to our wellness message if students witness their leaders smoking. 

Practices

Staff members are to travel off-site to smoke. We desire that our entire staff be smoke-free, however we recognize how difficult it can be to quit smoking. This is why we offer smoking cessation programs to those who desire to quit. Please contact Human Resources for more information.

We thank you for being an integral part of Creemos and our message of health and wellness. We hope that as you help guide your students on a path of health, you too will find positive change in your life.

Electronic Devices

We believe...

that giving students equal access to resources improves the morale of the students.

Policies

Creemos Academies are committed to a policy of one-to-one computing, offering each enrolled student from 3rd-8th grade an approved electronic device to communicate with the teachers and each other, to access the internet, and to engage in our online learning environments. 

In the interest of the safety of students and staff, and in consideration of a family's right to privacy,  the use of unapproved personal electronic devices is not permitted on all Creemos associated properties, including vehicles. This policy applies to students while on campuses, while engaged in school functions off-site, and while onboard Creemos associated school buses.

Prohibited personal electronic devices include but are not limited to:

iPods, MP3 players, PSP, Game Boy, all cellular phones, cameras (unless explicitly permitted in writing by school officials for a school event or function), electronic games, Kindle, Nook, iPads, etc.

Practices

If a student is observed by Creemos associated staff as being in possession of any of the above devices, the following disciplinary actions will be taken:

  • On the first offense your parent/guardian will be notified to come to the school to pick up the device.
  • On the second offense the device will be confiscated and not returned to the student until the end of the school year
    And/Or
  • The student may be subject to suspension from school.
  • If the confiscated device is found to have been used in an inappropriate way, both of the above may apply in addition to disciplinary actions related to inappropriate behavior.

Any and all of the above actions may be taken in the event school administration becomes aware that unapproved devices were used during restricted times and in restricted areas, even if school staff did not directly or personally see the device in use. Examples of this kind of scenario may be that a student and/or parent voluntarily admits to the student’s use of a cell phone, or other device or emails, text messages, Facebook posts, etc. were clearly transmitted or transacted during times that the student was in restricted areas.

Important Notes:

Beginning April 1, 2016, devices confiscated will be held according to the above policy. Devices will not be returned until the last day of the school year, Friday, May 27, 2016.

The school is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged devices. 

Safety & Security

We believe…

  • Parents and families are our partners in student learning.
  • The safety of all who enter Creemos campuses is paramount.
  • All who visit us, including parents and families, must share our focus and dedication to a safe and peaceful environment. 
  • Students should have a clear and identifiable purpose and direction for leaving the classroom or class group.

Policies

As with nearly every public school in the state of Arizona, Creemos campuses are CLOSED campuses, meaning only authorized staff and students are permitted onsite. However, on occasion, visitors may be granted access through the front office and fully at the discretion of Executive Leadership and the Governing Board. 

With daily class attendance accountability, and hallway, restroom, and office passes, order must be maintained so that every student is accounted for in every classroom and every part of the Creemos campus. 

Practices

  • Visitors must check in at the front office and be granted access by the administration. 
  • For identification purposes, all visitors must ALWAYS be issued a visitor's badge.
  • All authorized visitors must agree to comply with directions and advice given by our staff without hesitation and/or resistance.
  • Every day, teachers must take attendance in their classroom and match that attendance to the assigned roster. Should a teacher have an additional child or a child that is not assigned to that specific class, the teacher must report this information immediately to the administration, so that we may update and/or correct the issue.
  • Teachers must issue students a clearly identifiable standardized hallway, restroom, or office pass so that administrative personnel and other teachers can easily identify the intended destination of a student from a distance.

Records

 

Teacher Résumés

In accordance with A.R.S. § 15-183(F), the résumés of current employees who provide instruction to students on each Creemos campus are available for viewing on each respective campus. Please contact the front office of your respective campus to schedule an appointment if you intend to view these resumes, and please let us know which resume(s) you intend to view so that we can be better prepared to serve you.

Dress Code

 

We believe…

that all of our students should feel like they belong to our community, and that clothing should not define our status in the hierarchy of our peers and colleagues.

Policies

Creemos Academies employ a uniform code encouraging the students to identify themselves as part of our team.

Practices

We provide parents with an inexpensive (and required) alternative to buying a whole new wardrobe for their kids for school each year. Parents must purchase uniforms on the Bradley campus, and can do so at an affordable price.

Already Ordered? We have a number of pre-ordered uniforms ready for pick-up. Payments can be made over the phone through Brenda Conrad at (602-326-9352) or on the Bradley campus when picking them up. 

Not yet Ordered? For those who still haven't made an order for their child's uniform, please call Brenda Conrad at (602-326-9352). We would like for everyone to be in uniform throughout the rest of the school year.

For any other questions concerning uniforms, please call the front office at 1-800-993-1458.

Behavior

 

Progressive Behavioral Intervention Process

Our objectives are to maintain an environment in which learning is not disturbed or impeded by behavior and to produce a culture in which expectations set by the teachers and school leaders are understood and met consistently by all.

Please note the following:

  • All forms of interventions are rooted in love, respect and empathy. If this is not the way you feel about it or are struggling with adopting this way of thinking, ask for help right away. It is expected that everyone be in the right frame of mind always. 
  • Exercising empathy and understanding does NOT mean that standards are lowered and expectations set aside. Empathy is a relational tool used to identify the best way to help someone rise to the occasion and succeed.
  • Standards and expectations, once set, are not negotiable. If they were, they can't be called standards and expectations right?
  • For the purposes of this process, “behavior” or “a behavior” is defined as an action that is not consistent with and/or does not meet the stated expectation.
  • This process has 3 phases each consisting of 4 steps. The consequences become increasingly severe with each phase. Phase 3 is expulsion from school.
  • This process is specific to 5th-8th Grade students and teachers / staff who supervise those students in a class environment including outside the building and during expeditions.

  • For violations of school wide policies, such as use of cell phones, violence, foul language, PDA, etc., jump directly to the office referral which is stage 4 of this process.

  • For expectations such as turning in homework assignments or having required materials, step two should be skipped and proceed directly to step 3. For these expectations, the process will reset weekly.

Thank you to the entire community for participating in this process. The steps are shown below.

What follows are the details behind the magic of achieving our objectives and expectations of behavior:

  • Setting an Expectation Expectations must be clearly understood by the recipient to be effective. Expectations must be stated in a soft, clear and respectful way and must include a mechanism for ensuring that the recipient acknowledges and understands the expectation. One must never yell, raise their voice, demean, belittle, embarrass or use fear as a tool to gain compliance with the expectation nor as a defense mechanism. 
  • Verbal Warning Verbal warnings must be delivered as discreetly as possible in a soft, respectful and private way, directly engaging the recipient and no others. The reason the behavior did not meet the expectation must be explained and the expectation repeated and restated.
  • Written Warning and Call Repeat step 2 (Verbal Warning) and complete this form. As immediately as possible, place a call to the guardian explaining how the student has not met the stated expectation. State the expectation. Explain to student and guardian that the next warning will be an office referral and the student will be sent home for the remainder of the day.
  • Go Home In every circumstance where this process is followed, the student will always be sent home.

A Tip for Effective Implementation and Successful Monitoring

A Verbal Warning should be given the very instance a behavior does not meet the stated expectation. Ideally, a verbal warning should be given instantly. However, if that is not possible or would create excessive disruption, the warning should be given in not more than 1 minute. (e.g. If you find yourself saying something like, “If I have to tell you one more time, then I’m going to give you a verbal warning...” then the teacher or leader has NOT met the expectations stated in this process.)