Parents Right To Know
In compliance with the requirements of the Every Students Succeeds Act, Compass Collegiate Academy would like to inform you that all parents may request information about the professional qualifications of their student’s teacher(s) and/or other instructional staff members. Read more.
McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance
In December of 2001, Congress strengthened a law giving children and youth in a homeless situation the right to go to school, no matter where they live or how long they live there. The law is called the McKinney-Vento Act, and it gives children and youth in homeless situations the right to:
- Stay in their school even if they move.
- Enroll in a new school without proof of residency, immunizations, school records or other papers.
- Get transportation to school.
- Go to pre-school programs.
- Get all the school services they need.
- Have disagreements with schools settled quickly.
- Go to their school of origin while disagreements are settled.
The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law, passed in 1987 to help people experiencing homelessness. Part of the law protects the rights of children and youth who are homeless to go to school. The law says that a child or youth without a fixed, regular and adequate residence is homeless. It does not matter how long the child or youth has been without a home. It also does not matter if the child or youth is living with a parent or is separated from parents.
Under the Act, students are homeless if they are:
- Living with a friend, relative or someone else because they lost their home or can’t afford a home;
- Staying in a motel or hotel due to lack of affordable housing;
- Living in an emergency or transitional shelter or a domestic violence shelter;
- Staying in substandard housing;
- Living in a car, park, public place, abandoned building or bus or train station;
- Awaiting foster care placement;
- Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home;
- Abandoned in a hospital; or
- Living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter.
Migrant children, pre-school children, and youth on their own are covered if they fit into one of these categories. Runaway youth can be considered homeless even if their families want them to come home. Students who live in any public or private place that is not supposed to be a regular residence is covered.
Homeless students being served at CCA will have access to the education and other services needed to ensure that an opportunity is available to meet the same academic achievement standards to which all students are held.
CCA will ensure that homeless students are not stigmatized nor segregated on the basis of their status as homeless. A homeless student will be admitted to CCA in alignment with the school’s established enrollment policy.
For more information, contact CCA’s McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Coordinator, Taylor Todman, in the CCA Front Office, Ttodman@cca-chs.org or at (843) 789-3112.
Student Safety: Erin’s Law and Gavin’s Law
At Compass Collegiate Academy, we prioritize the safety and well-being of our students in accordance with the laws of South Carolina.
In the year of 2014, the State of South Carolina passed Act 293 known as “Erin’s Law,” as part of health and safety education for its public schools. The purpose of the law is to ensure all students, pre-kindergarten through high school, receive this prevention instruction during the academic school year. The intent of Erin’s Law is to give students skills in knowing how to stay safe from sexual assault and how to report any incidents of sexual assault.
The South Carolina Department of Education created Erin’s Law instructional units in support of the new legislation that amended the Comprehensive Health Education Act. South Carolina Code of Laws Section 59-32-20 (B) was amended to read that the State Board of Education through the South Carolina Department of Education “shall select or develop instructional units in sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention, with separate units appropriate for each age level from four-year-old kindergarten through twelfth grade.”
In the year of 2023, the State of South Carolina passed Act 54 of 2023 known as “Gavin’s Law.” The legislation states the crimes are for “threaten(ing) to release, exhibit, or distribute a private image of another in order to compel or attempt to compel the victim to do any act or refrain from doing any act against” that person’s will. Convictions can be punished by up to 20 years in prison if the victim was a child or a vulnerable adult, and up to five years for the first conviction if the victim is an adult.
Gavin’s Law also requires that schools collaborate with the State Department of Education, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the Attorney General’s office to implement a policy to educate and notify students of the law, which includes adequate notice to students, parents or guardians, the public, and school personnel of the change in law and the dangers of sexual extortion. The Department of Education recommends Gavin’s Law be taught as part of the Erin’s Law curriculum with age-appropriate instruction on the dangers and consequences of sexual extortion.
In line with our commitment to the safety and well-being of our students, we have implemented the following policies, as required by Erin’s Law, S.C. Code Section 59-32-20 and 59-32-30(G) and Gavin’s Law, S.C. Code Section 16-15-430, to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all students:
- Prevention Education:
- Age-appropriate curricula: We will incorporate age-appropriate prevention education programs into our curriculum that address child sexual abuse, assault, exploitation, and extortion. These programs will be tailored to different grade levels to ensure students receive the information in an age-sensitive manner.
- Awareness campaigns: We will regularly conduct awareness campaigns to educate students, parents, and staff about the signs, risks, and prevention of child sexual abuse, bullying, and extortion. These campaigns will aim to foster a culture of openness, trust, and mutual support within our school community.
- Reporting Mechanisms:
- Safe reporting channels: We will establish multiple safe and confidential reporting channels, such as trusted staff members, anonymous hotlines, or online platforms, to encourage students to report any incidents of abuse, bullying, harassment, or extortion without fear of reprisal.
- Prompt response: Upon receiving any reports, we will ensure a prompt and thorough investigation, adhering to all legal requirements and protecting the privacy of all parties involved to the extent legally possible.
- Staff Training and Support:
- Professional development: All school staff, including teachers, administrators, and support personnel, will receive regular training on recognizing and responding to signs of child sexual abuse, bullying, harassment, and extortion. This training will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to support students effectively.
- Supportive environment: We will foster a supportive environment where students feel comfortable reaching out to trusted adults. Staff members will be trained to listen, believe, and respond empathetically to students who disclose abuse, bullying, harassment, and/or extortion.
- Community Collaboration:
- Partnerships: We will collaborate with local law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and mental health professionals to ensure a coordinated response to incidents of child abuse, bullying, harassment, and extortion. Together, we will work towards preventing such incidents and supporting affected students.
- Parental involvement: We will actively engage parents and guardians through regular communication, workshops, and resources, to create a united effort in promoting student safety and well-being.
By implementing this policy, we aim to ensure the safety, well-being, and success of all our students. Together, we can create a nurturing environment where every student feels protected, valued, and empowered to thrive.