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Privacy Policy
Last Updated 2020
Welcome to the American Heritage/American Academy Schools website. Please review the following terms and conditions carefully before using this Internet site. By accessing, using, or downloading any materials from this website, you agree to follow these terms. If you do not accept these terms, do not use this site.

American Heritage/American Academy Schools has created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to privacy.

American Heritage/American Academy Schools, subsequently to be known as AA/AH, respects the privacy of every individual who visits this website. This Privacy Policy outlines the information AA/AH may collect and how that information may be used. The school reserves the right to alter this policy at any time by posting a new privacy policy at this location.

Definition

The www.ahschool.com website is publicly accessible, and password/login protected pages are hosted under the domain ahschool.com

AA/AH is not responsible for the privacy practices of external sites linked from or referenced by ahschool.com. This policy applies solely to information collected by this website.

Personal Data

AA/AH will not collect any personally identifiable information about you, such as name, address, telephone number, or email address (“personal data”) through this site, unless you have provided it voluntarily. Personal contact information for students, parents, and faculty/staff, including home and e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and other information that could be used by unauthorized individuals, will not be published on the public portion of the website without prior permission. If you do not want your personal data collected, do not submit it.

When you do provide personal data, that information may be used in the following ways, unless stated otherwise:

  • to fulfill a request you have made
  • to update your school-maintained record
  • to contact you

The school will not sell, rent, or market personal data about you to third parties.

Additional Information Collected Automatically

In some cases, this website may automatically (i.e., not via registration) collect information about you that is not personally identifiable. Examples of this type of information include the type of Internet browser you are using, the type of computer operating system you are using, the IP address of your computer, and the domain name of the website from which you linked to this site. This information is used solely to provide the school with overall statistics on website usage, and to evaluate generalized user demographics.

Information Placed Automatically on Your Computer - Cookies

When you view this website, some information may be stored on your computer. This information will be in the form of a “cookie” or similar file and will allow the website to tailor the experience to your interests and preferences. With most Internet browsers, cookies can be blocked or erased after visiting a website. Some aspects of this website may not function properly if your browser is set to block cookies.

Interest-Based Advertisements
 
Some of our Sites engage in online interest-based advertising to enhance your experience and show you advertisements that might interest you. Like many organizations, we and our advertising partners display tailored interest-based advertising using information you make available to us when you interact with our Sites. Interest-based ads, also sometimes referred to as personalized or targeted ads, are displayed to you based on information from activities such as searching on our Sites or visiting websites that contain our content or ads. We do this using a variety of digital marketing networks and ad exchanges, and we use a range of advertising technologies like web beacons, pixels, ad tags, cookies, and mobile identifiers. 
 
To learn more about interest-based ads or to opt-out of receiving third-party interest based ads, please visit http://optout.aboutads.info. Please note that if you opt out of interest-based advertising, you will still see advertisements – they will just not be tailored to your interests. Also note that deleting browser cookies can remove the cookie preferences you have made, so you may need to opt-out again in the future.

Security

Unfortunately, no data transmission can ever be 100 percent secure. The school takes every precaution to protect users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via this website, it is encrypted and remains secure during all stages of transmission. The school complies with all state and federal statutes requiring safeguards on specific types of information. While we try to protect your personal information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of the personal information that you transmit. You transmit such information at your own risk. Once we receive such information, we will expend our best efforts to maintain security on our system.

No Warranties

Materials at this site are provided “as is” without representations or warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, or non-infringement. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so the above exclusion may not apply to you.

In addition, while making every effort to ensure the integrity of information on this site, AA/AH does not warrant that: (i) the information on this site is correct, accurate, reliable, or complete; (ii) the functions contained on this site will be uninterrupted or error-free; (iii) defects will be corrected; or (iv) this site or the server(s) that make it available are free of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, or other items of a potentially destructive nature.

Copyright

This site, materials, and logos are the property of AA/AH, and are protected from unauthorized copying and dissemination by United States copyright law, trademark law, international conventions, and other intellectual property laws. Unauthorized use of our trademarks or copyrighted material may result in claims for damages under intellectual property laws and/or criminal prosecution.

Trademark Information

AA/AH possesses rights in the United States and elsewhere in its trademarks, service marks, trade names, designs, logos, and other trade dress used in connection with the materials and the products or services described in the materials. No use of any AA/AH trademark, service mark, trade name, design, logo, or other trade dress may be made without the prior, written authorization of AA/AH, except to identify the products or services of AA/AH. Except as permitted by these Terms, nothing contained in the site should be construed as granting, by implication, or otherwise any license or right to any person under any patent, trademark, copyright, or other proprietary right of AA/AH. Company, product, and service names mentioned in the site that are not owned by AA/AH are trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Links to Third Party Sites

This website may contain links to websites controlled by parties other than AA/AH. AA/AH has not necessarily reviewed these third-party sites and is not responsible for and does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the contents or use of these third-party sites. AA/AH is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by AA/AH. It is your responsibility to take precautions to ensure that whatever you select for use is free of viruses or other items of a destructive nature.

Google Functionality: This website uses the Google Drive API to:
     List a user’s Google Drive contents in a password-protected portal.
     Google Drive files can be copied onto the web server during this process.

No Implied Endorsements

In no event shall any reference to any third party or third-party product or service be construed as an approval or endorsement by AA/AH of that third party or of any product or service provided by that third party.

Contacting the Website

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this website, or your dealings with this website, you may contact:

Ethical Abuse & Misconduct Notices
Last updated on December 2020
American Heritage School of Plantation
American Heritage School of Boca/Delray

Interaction, Conduct, Communication and Ethics Standards

Ethics & Misconduct Reporting, Policy No. 4.20

As employees of an educational institution, you are held to a higher standard of professionalism by parents, students, colleagues and members of the public. We support and endorse a strict policy of respect toward students and expect employees to abide by a professional, moral, and ethical standard of conduct and model good citizenship for students, parents and the community.  Students typically respond better to faculty and administrators and evidence greater levels of respect when appropriate expectations are established right from the beginning of the relationship. 

The interactions between employees and students, on and off School property and during or outside of school hours, should be based on mutual respect and trust upon an understanding of the appropriate boundaries between adults and students.  Many of our employees have contacts with students who attend other schools, through coaching, club activities, academic competitions, etc., and this policy applies to those relationships as well.  Even if a student participates willingly in an activity, boundary-crossing interactions between employees and students (regardless of the student’s age) are a violation of this policy.  All employees are expected to accept responsibility for their conduct, and should understand that they are representatives and ambassadors of the School 24/7. 

Employees are encouraged to discuss questions and concerns with their Principal or the CFO whenever they are unsure whether particular conduct may constitute a violation of this policy.  Employees must understand that even an appearance of inappropriate relationships will adversely impact their effectiveness in the school environment.  If you are not sure whether a particular comment or action may be appropriate, it is far better to avoid the behavior than risk negative consequences.  

This policy is intended to guide all employees in conducting themselves in a way that reflects the high standards of behavior expected by our school community and the public.  This policy is not intended to restrain appropriate and positive relationships between our employees and students, but to prevent relationships that could lead to, or be perceived as, inappropriate. 

Guidelines for Maintaining Appropriate Professionalism: 

  • Be wise and thoughtful in all of your interactions with students, avoiding any communication or activity that could create the appearance of being too friendly, too close, or having too frequent personal conversations or meetings with a student. 

  • All meetings and interactions should be visible and transparent.  You should not meet one-on-one with students in giving lessons, having meetings, or other activities.  If you end up one-on-one (such as when only one student shows up for an after school help session), then think about how you can bring transparency to the situation.  Put your chair and the student’s chair in an area where the door/window is visible; bring in another adult if possible; and notify your Principal of the situation. 

  • Always treat a student with respect and dignity, even when they are being difficult.  If a student does not follow directions, clearly communicate your instructions and, if the student does not listen or respond appropriately, take appropriate action.  For example, separate the student from the group; walk up to the student to ensure the student clearly sees you communicating with him/her; remove the student from the activity; communicate with the parent after the event; write a counseling report; etc.  You may always contact the Dean of Students or your Principal for assistance.  Of course, physically moving, grabbing, touching or hitting a student, or grabbing something from a student, with aggression or because of frustration is never acceptable. Nor is physically threatening a student with words or objects. 

  • If touching is appropriate to the instruction, such as dance, music lessons, and so on, explain at the beginning of instruction with students and parents why, when and how, you might touch a student.  Before using touch in instruction, use alternatives such as demonstration (for example, your own wrist placement) or verbal description (such as explaining the position or movement of the body part).  Keep touch brief and what is appropriate and necessary for the instructional point (such as moving a student’s hand for proper finger placement on the musical instrument and only after asking permission to do so), remembering context, gender and age.  For example, before touching a student you might ask: “May I adjust your wrist so your hand stays more horizontal?”  If a student appears or states that he or she is uncomfortable at any time, immediately cease the contact and report the incident to your Principal, the CFO or the President. 

  • Avoid giving students rides, except in emergency situations (in such case, report (phone call, text or email) the situation to your Principal as soon as practical and make every effort to enlist the assistance of another adult or student, recognizing that the welfare of the student takes precedence);

  • There are times when the appropriate physical contact in a public setting to show support and encouragement toward students who are receptive to this form of expression is appropriate.  However, always exercise good judgment and never force any physical contact.  Examples of brief and appropriate displays of affection may include:

    • Side-hug;

    • Holding hands while walking with small children;

    • Holding hands with small children when they are upset;

    • A pat on the back;

    • An arm around a shoulder;

    • Hand-shakes; and

    • High fives, hand slaps, and fist bumps;

  • Sometimes students initiate physical contact with you, such as full frontal or “bear” hugs.  When this occurs, gently redirect the student to equally positive, but more appropriate forms of interactions, such as shaking hands, high fives, fist bumps, side-hug, etc. 

  • Ensure that all communications with students are professional and related to calls; electronic communication (such as texting, instant messaging, e-mail).  Electronic and online communications with students, including those through in content and tone.  Swearing, making inappropriate sexual, racial/or ethnic comments or telling or listening to off-color or sexual jokes or stories is never appropriate;

  • Other than the use of group texting tools, such as Remind, Class Parrot, etc. for group communications between teachers and the class regarding school work and events (such as homework updates, upcoming school events, reminding the class of upcoming tests, etc.), texting between employees and students should be the rare case and not the general rule.  Limit texting to matters that need immediate communication, such as changing a time of location or practice, during a field trip when you and the student are trying to locate each other, and so on.  Phone numbers should be requested and shared only for legitimate school reasons.  Employees should understand that if they engage in texting on their personal device, the personal device is subject to search at any time by a school official. 

  • Emails should be through the School’s system and used to convey information or respond to a question.  Emails should not be used for feedback on student performance.  You should never email a student on your personal email.

  • Texting and email should take place during school hours (including school activities) and when possible another adult should be included on the communication (such as a parent or administrator).  Remember that these forms of communication can be taken out of context easily; stay professional. 

  • Use only school sanctioned social media.  Employees shouldn’t initiate or accept friend requests or follow a student on social media.  Employees shouldn’t create a social networking site and then invite students to view or permit them to participate in the site.  Social media should not be used to communicate with a student.

Examples of Inappropriate, Boundary Crossing Interactions and Communications with Students:

This list is not all inclusive and other, similar activities should also be avoided:

  • Encouraging or allowing students to call you by an inappropriate nickname or calling or referring to a student by an inappropriate nickname, term of endearment, pet name, etc. – use the student’s given/preferred name;

  • Touching students or their clothing in non-professional ways or inappropriate places, or touching a student with aggression, in frustration, or when you are highly emotional;

  • Making too personal comments to students (about their clothing, hair, nail polish, personal habits, etc.)

  • Invading personal space; standing or sitting to close; maintaining intense or lingering eye contact;

  • Giving or exchanging gifts, cards, or letters with an individual student or students;

  • Excessive attention toward a particular student or students;

  • Inviting or allowing a student in your home;

  • Visiting a student in their home or other location when the parents are not present;

  • Socializing or spending time with students (including but not limited to activities such as going out for meals, movies, shopping, traveling and recreational activities) outside of class or school-sponsored events;

  • Taking students off school property other than for approved field trips and school activities;

  • Suggesting or permitting students to sit on your lap at any time;

  • Engaging students to complete personal errands for you;

  • Discussing the personal affairs of other students or your colleagues;

  • Fostering, encouraging, or participating in inappropriate emotionally or socially intimate relationships with students in which the relationship outside the bounds of the reasonable employee-student relationship and in which the relationship could reasonably cause a student to view the employee as more than a teacher, administrator, advisor, etc.;

  • Disclosing personal, sexual, family, employment concerns, or other private matters to students;

  • Unnecessarily invading a student’s privacy (such as using the boys’ or girls’ restrooms when students are present);

  • Visiting students to “hang out” in their hotel rooms when on field trips or sporting events;

  • Showing pornography to students;

  • Providing alcohol or drugs – either prescription or illegal (except for medications provided in accordance with School policy on medication administration) – to students; and

  • Engaging in any romantic or sexual relationships with students, including asking on a date, dating, flirting, sexual contact, kissing, inappropriate physical displays of affection, speaking with innuendo, banter, or allusions to suggest a relationship or sexual subjects, or sexually suggestive comments between employees and students, regardless of whether employee or student initiates the behavior, whether the relationship is consensual, or whether the student has parental permission.

If you are an employee who is also a parent of a student at our School, you are expected to address perceived problems or alleged inequities by other students (bullying, etc.) in the same way all other parents are to address such actions.  Report the problem to the appropriate administrator.  Do not take personal action to address the situation.

We certainly encourage close relationships between employees and students.  However, all after-school and away from campus contact with students (including transporting students in a staff member’s vehicle, babysitting, going to dinner, etc.) must first be cleared with the Head of School in each specific instance.  In cases where the employee is offering services (such as babysitting, transport, etc.), the parents must submit a properly completed “Release” form available in the Business Office.  It is the responsibility of the employee to ensure that the form has been submitted and clearance has been obtained from the Head of School.  An exception to this is when employees interact with students outside of School as a result of the employee having children who also attend the School.  In those circumstances, employees should be cognizant of their behavior, language and interactions when other students who attend the School are present.  Employees should also strive to have more than one adult present if students of the School are staying at their home overnight.  Employees must remember that even when acting in the role of parent, they still represent the school and must ensure that all interactions are professional and appropriate.

Reporting Procedure:

If you have information that raises the possibility that an employee has engaged in appropriate behavior or misconduct that might affect the health, safety, or welfare of a student, you must notify one of the following individuals immediately.  In addition, employees must report any awareness or concern of a student’s inappropriate or questionable behavior.  If you are unsure whether a particular action or comment is inappropriate, you should err on the side of caution and report the concern.

 

Your Principal/Administrator; or

June Walker, CFO

Dr. Douglas Laurie, President

 

Do not attempt to resolve the situation yourself.  It is vital that one of the individuals above be notified so that the School can handle the situation appropriately.  Failure to report inappropriate behavior or misconduct that may affect the health, safety, or welfare of a child may result in discipline, up to and including termination. 

If you have information that raises the possibility that an employee has engaged in child abuse, you must report such concerns as set forth in the School’s Child Abuse Reporting Policy.  Failure to report misconduct or child abuse may result in penalties up to termination of employment and revocation of an educator’s certificate.  

Employees who make a good faith report of a suspected violation of this policy or who cooperate in inquiries or investigations related to the investigation of a report, shall not be penalized in any way.  If you believe that you have been retaliated against for making a report under this policy, you must immediately report that concern to one of the above individuals.  In addition, you should note that Florida’s child abuse reporting law (Fla. Stat. § 39.203) provides immunity to persons who report actual or suspected cases of child abuse in good faith. 

In addition, as a part of every employee’s obligation to keep children and our campus safe, if you have information reflecting that any person who may regularly or periodically visit the school’s campus (student, employee, parent, spouse of an employee, family member, volunteer, or contractor) has been accused, arrested, or convicted of any type of potential abuse or sexual misconduct toward any other person, you must immediately report such information to the Head of School.  

Timing of Reports:

Reporting of complaints or concerns should be made promptly so that rapid and constructive action can be taken.  Therefore, while no fixed reporting period had been established, we expect employees to make reports as soon as they have reason to believe that an employee’s conduct may affect a student’s health, safety, or welfare.  In addition, even if you are currently hearing about an employee’s alleged past misconduct, you must report your concern so that the School can investigate the situation and ensure that appropriate action, if any, has been taken.  If the information that you report involves the potential of child abuse, please refer to the reporting guidelines under the separate Child Abuse Reporting Policy in this handbook.

Investigatory Process and Confidentiality:

The administration will assess the information provided and will investigate reports of misconduct.  The investigation will be tailored to the report and may include individual interviews with the complaining individual, the person accused of inappropriate conduct and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have relevant knowledge.  The School will attempt to maintain confidentiality of the information to the extent possible, consistent with the School’s obligations to properly investigate.

Disciplinary and Other Related Action:

The School will discipline any individual found to have engaged in inappropriate behavior or misconduct that may affect the health, safety or welfare of students.  In addition, the School will discipline any person whom it determines was aware of the circumstances and failed to report it.  Moreover, to the extent that the individual who knowingly failed to report such misconduct holds a Florida teaching certificate, the Florida Education Practices Commission may suspend or revoke the educator’s certificate for such failure. 

Employer References:

Only authorized management personnel of the School are permitted to respond to requests for references from potential employers regarding a current or former employee.  Any person authorized to respond to such references who does so at the request of a prospective employer or the current or former employee will be immune from liability pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 768.095, as long as such response is truthful and not intended to violate the current or former employees’ civil rights. 

Employer Immunity from Liability; Disclosure of Information Regarding Former or Current Employees:

An employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under chapter 760. 

Child Abuse Reporting Obligations, Policy No. 4.4

Matters that Must be Reported.  Florida law requires that all school personnel immediately report to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) any knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused, neglected, or abandoned.  Abuse includes sexual abuse by another child.

Abuse:  any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. 

Neglect:  when a child is deprived of necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment or a child is permitted to live in an environment when such deprivation or environment causes the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired or to be in danger of being significantly impaired.

Abandonment:  a situation in which the parent or caregiver responsible for the child’s welfare makes no significant contribution to the child’s care and maintenance.  This includes leaving a child without adult supervision or an arrangement appropriate for the child’s age or mental or physical condition, so that the child is unable to care for the child’s own needs or another’s basic needs or is unable to exercise good judgment in responding to any kind of physical or emotional crisis.

Juvenile (or child-on-child) sexual abuse:  any sexual behavior by a child toward another child which occurs without consent, without equality (lacking the same level of power in the relationship), or as a result of coercion, including making obscene phone calls, the showing or taking of lewd photographs, or varying degrees of direct sexual contact, such as fondling, digital penetration, rape, and various other sexually aggressive acts. 

“Harm”:  to a child’s health or welfare can occur when any person:

  • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical, mental, or emotional injury, including willful acts causing injuries such as:

  1. Sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage.

  2. Bone or skull fractures.

  3. Brain or spinal cord damage.

  4. Intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal organs.

  5. Asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning.

  6. Injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon.

  7. Burns or scalding.

  8. Cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites.

  9. Permanent or temporary disfigurement.

  10. Permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part or function.

  • Purposely gives a child poison, alcohol, drugs, or other substances that substantially affect the child’s behavior, motor coordination, or judgment or that results in sickness or internal injury.

  • Inflicts inappropriately or excessively harsh disciplinary action that is likely to result in physical injury, mental injury, or emotional injury. Corporal discipline may be considered excessive or abusive when it results in any of the following or other similar injuries those injuries set forth in a. through j. above.

  • Commits, or allows to be committed, sexual battery, or lewd or lascivious acts, against the child.

Reporting Process:  Reports of abuse must be made to the state by calling the toll-free Abuse Hotline at (800) 962-2873.   If you would like assistance in making the report, you may contact the Nurse (Lower School) or the Guidance Counselor (Upper School) and your administrator.  During the summer session, you are welcome to contact any administrator.  Seeking assistance from the School’s administration does not satisfy your obligation to report child abuse directly to DCF.  After you have made a report, please notify the CFO so the School can assist with investigations and/or ensure that appropriate personnel are watchful for signs of future potential abuse of the child(ren) in question.  Employees who report concerns of suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect are expected to cooperate in any investigation by child protective services. 

Criminal Penalties for Failure to Report:  It is a third degree felony to fail to report suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect.  In addition, an educator’s teaching certificate may be suspended or revoked from any person who knowingly failed to report child abuse, abandonment or neglect.

Immunity for Reporting in Good Faith.   Under the provisions of Florida Stat. § 39.203, employees who, in good faith, report suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment are immune from civil or criminal liability for reporting such information and participating in any investigation.  Other than the report itself and communication with the CFO, the information about the suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect should remain confidential for the protection of the child.  You will not be penalized by the School for reporting abuse in good faith. 

Reporting Other Concerning Information.  If you have received information reflecting that any person who may visit the school’s campus (student, employee, parent, spouse of an employee, family member, volunteer, or contractor) has been accused, arrested, or convicted of any type of potential abuse or sexual misconduct toward any other person, you must immediately report such information to one of the persons outlined above or the CFO.

In addition, employees are reminded of their obligations to report employee misconduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of children, in accordance with our Conduct, Interaction, and Ethics Standards Required of All Employees, which is contained in a separate reporting policy.  Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action and could result in the suspension or revocation of an educator’s teaching certificate.

Complimentary Bus Transportation, American Heritage Schools