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Student and Parent Handbook

September 1, 2021

Dear Parents(Guardians) and Students:

This handbook provides information regarding the Sheldon Pines School program. If you cannot find the information you are looking for or have questions, please call us so that we may assist you.

Our goal is to provide a quality educational program to you and your student and that can only happen with honest communication and hard work. The staff members of Sheldon Pines School are excited for the school year and look forward to serving your student and family.

If we can be of any service please contact us at 1-877-702-8603, extension 4800, or (616) 738-8970, ext. 4800.


Brandie Navarro

Director of Sheldon Pines School

Ottawa Area Intermediate School District


Sheldon Pines School is designed to provide the Special Education programs and related services needed to appropriately serve students with severe emotional impairments and behavioral issues.  Students do not have to be labeled Emotionally Impaired in order to enroll at Sheldon Pines School.

Sheldon Pines implements an organized school-wide program that emphasizes immediate positive reinforcement, personal responsibility, appropriate decision-making skills and the development of socially acceptable behavior.

Sheldon Pines offers an opportunity for a successful classroom experience, both behaviorally and academically. On a weekly basis, students discuss their progress in the school. They continually are taught to take responsibility for their behavior and evaluate their current personal goals.

It is the ultimate goal of the Sheldon Pines staff to help each student practice the behavior and skills necessary to re-enter their resident public school or other appropriate placement.

Program Goals

To develop or improve a student's ability to behave appropriately in a variety of settings so that they may return to their resident district in order to complete their education.

Students Served

Through Public Act 451 of the State of Michigan, each local education agency must provide "a full continuum" of special education services for eligible students living within that district. When possible, local education agencies may formulate cooperative agreements to provide programs serving various student populations. These cooperative agreements are often made on a school district-wide basis.


Criteria for Program Consideration (Student Entry)

Students Served

Through Public Act 451 of the State of Michigan, each local education agency must provide "a full continuum" of special education services for eligible handicapped students living within the district. When possible and convenient, local education agencies may formulate cooperative agreements to provide programs serving various special populations. These cooperative agreements are often made on an intermediate-wide basis. Such is the role of the program at Sheldon Pines School.

The program at Sheldon Pines School operates as a separate facility, serving those students determined by the IEPT to be so severely emotionally impaired and/or their behaviors are so extreme that they require a change of placement to a separate facility.

Criteria for Program Consideration

The recommended criteria for a student to be placed in the program include the following:

1.  Student has been determined eligible for special education with a current IEP/ MET report on file with severe and intense behaviors that have negatively impacted their ability to make progress in their local district.

2.  Student has been previously placed full time or nearly full time in a special education program that appropriately addressed the educational needs of the student. Any deviation from this arrangement must be accompanied by a clearly identified rationale which addresses (a) the full continuum of services and, (b) placement within a least restrictive environment.

3.  A comprehensive functional behavior analysis and a positive behavior intervention plan with revisions must be in place prior to referral to Sheldon Pines School.

4.  A reasonable attempt to exhaust outside, non-educational services must be demonstrated. For example, CMH, CPS, the Court, Pine Rest, truancy, etc.

5.  Observation(s) of the student by a behavior specialist, either from the ISD or a local behavior specialist, must be arranged prior to referral.

6. After exhausting all other options, the local special education director  may make a referral to the director of Sheldon Pines and proceed through the IEPT process.


Student Entry

When appropriate, an IEPT will be convened to consider a change in placement.  Prior to placement, the student and parents will be offered a visit to Sheldon Pines School and will meet the potential receiving teacher. Whenever possible, the potential receiving teacher/SPS representative will also be given the opportunity to observe the student in his or her current placement.

This process is meant to provide continued support to both the local district and the student. The IEP Team will give recommendations and provide resources to the local districts in an effort to help the student stay in his/her least restrictive environment. It is in no way meant, nor should be construed, as a means to circumvent the provisions of the Michigan Special Education Rules, amended September 2013. In all cases where there is a question, the rules amended September 2013, will supersede this process.

Parallel Placement

If a student moves into the area and last attended a similar program they would be considered for a parallel placement. In this situation, the local district would complete a “30 Day Temporary Placement” along with all enrollment forms. The local Special Education Director would make contact with the Director of Sheldon Pines to discuss placement and IEP options.  The local school district would mark the appropriate option on the “30 Day Temporary Placement” form and then follow procedures outlined on the ISD website.

Sheldon Pines School PBIS Committee

The purpose of the PBIS Committee is as follows:

  1. Contribute to the overall effective and efficient operation of the school.
  2. Help identify, clarify, and resolve current and potential difficulties.
  3. Provide input and suggestions for school improvement.

Meetings will be held on a regular basis with additional meetings held as necessary. The agenda and meeting minutes will be recorded and shared with all committee members. Committee membership may consist of the following:

  • Director                                  
  • Teacher(s)                                                             
  • Parent(s) of SPS student    
  • Student(s)                                                              
  • School Behavior Specialist

An agenda will be provided in advance of every meeting with minutes recorded and distributed to all committee members.                           

Student Rights

Access and Privacy of Student Records

Access to Student Records - A parent or guardian of a student under eighteen (18) years of age, and a student eighteen (18) years of age and over may have access to the school districts records, files, and data relating to the student. They also have the right to challenge any of the contents of said records to ensure their accuracy and fairness according to procedures established by the Board of Education. Such procedures will be made available on request to the building supervisor or to the Superintendent of Schools. The procedure shall include an opportunity for a hearing.

Privacy of Student Records - No records, files or data directly relating to an individual student shall be made available to anyone without the consent of the student if eighteen (18) years of age or over, or of the parents or guardian of a student if under eighteen (18) years of age except:

  • to teachers and officials of the school district who have a legitimate educational interest in such information;
  • to officials of a school in which the student intends to enroll;
  • to comply with a court order for access to such records, in which case the student, parent, or guardian shall be notified;
  • to honor a request from an authorized federal administrative agency when a student applies for financial assistance.

The release of School/Student Information - No information which may be considered of a confidential or personal nature may be released to outside agencies without the specific approval of the parent and school official.

Access to Student Directory Information – No Child Left Behind (Section 9528) requires student directory information to be made available to military recruiters and institutions of higher education. Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a student or his/her parents may request that information may not be released without prior written consent.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them.

Due Process Rights – Parents must be provided a copy of their special education due process rights at least one time a year. A copy of these due process rights is included in your enrollment packet. If you have any questions or need clarification please contact the program director.

Attendance Policy


It is important for students to attend school each day as per compulsory school attendance laws. When your child is going to be absent from school, you must contact your district’s transportation department and the Sheldon Pines School office to report the nature of the absence. If such a request is not received, the absence shall be considered unexcused. A determination of whether an absence is excused or unexcused will be made by the Building Director.  

Please be aware that Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, including Sheldon Pines School, operates under an automatic voice telephone system. This will allow you to call twenty-four hours a day to excuse your child's absence or leave messages. Please make use of this service by calling 1-877-702-8603, extension 4800 or 616-738-8970, ext. 4800.

Students who attend Careerline Tech Center must still report those absences by calling 1-877-702-8601, extension 4330.

Transportation Contact Number(s)


  • Allendale                  616-892-3480
  • Coopersville             616-997-3299
  • Grand Haven           616-850-5150
  • Hamilton                  269-751-5191
  • Holland                    616-494-2950


  • Hudsonville              616-669-7757
  • Jenison                    616-457-3740
  • Saugatuck               269-857-1444
  • Spring Lake             616-846-5507
  • West Ottawa            616-738-4300 (Dean Transportation)
  • Zeeland                   616-748-3426


Sheldon Pines Attendance Policy


Hedy Nai-Lin Chang’s research shows that regular attendance is critical in the development and learning of all students.  We now realize it is not only those students who fit the traditional definition of truancy but those who are chronically absent as well who have lower grades and are more likely to drop out than students with better attendance.  Truancy, or unexcused absences, has been linked to serious delinquent activity in youth and to significant negative behavior in characteristics in adults (Bell, A.J., Rosen, L.A., and Dynlacht, D. 1994). Left unaddressed, truancy can have significant negative effects on the student, school, and community.

Attendance is a major component to the Sheldon Pines Program. We expect students to be in school every day and make every effort to keep kids in school in order to help them learn how to manage their emotions and behavior in a more productive and acceptable manner.


  • Chronically absent means absent for 10% or more of the enrolled school days in a school year, whether absenteeism is due to unexcused, excused. (For instance, missing 3 days of school the first month of the year; 8 days in the first half of the year; or 18 days in the entire school year.)

***Note: All absences for the school year should be counted, even if they have carried over from a different school.  Attendance shall be continuous and consecutive for the school year (sec 1561) and not start over each semester/trimester.


  • Disciplinary absence means absences that result from school or district disciplinary action and are neither unexcused nor excused absences. (Does not count against chronic absenteeism).
  • Late Arrival/tardy means arriving at school or class after start time unless excused = 1-10 minutes late
  • Early Dismissal  means leaving school or class early prior to dismissal unless excused =1- 10 minutes
  • Unexcused absence means an absence that is neither excused nor disciplinary.  Ten late arrivals and/or early dismissals = one unexcused absence.
    • Truant means a student who has 8 or more unexcused absences in a school year
    • MCL 712A.2(a)(4)


  • Excused absence means the following:
    • Student illness/injury/residential treatment (with doctor’s note or verified by parent)
    • Medical appointments (with doctor’s note)
    • Religious holidays
    • Lice (3 days)
    • Funeral/death in the family
    • Mandated court appearances (documented-only if children are required per subpoena).
    • Placement by Juvenile Court in detention.
    • Educational opportunities approved by school officials
    • Travel (5 days with school official approval)


  • An unexcused absence is any absence not accounted for above, examples of unexcused absences include, but not limited to:
    • Staying home to babysit
    • Overslept
    • Travel (more than 5 days in school calendar or any travel days without prior approval)
    • Needed at home
    • Weather
    • Missed bus
    • Child is not immunized
    • Sickness (not documented or verified by parent)
    • Chronic lice (over 5 days, CPS referral may be suggested/should be considered).
    • Willful truancy (skipping/student refuses to attend school per parent/guardian, or reported as a runaway).
    • Failure to notify the school


School Codes:


  • EA – Excused Absence
  • UA – Unexcused Absence
  • EM – Excused Absence-medical (use only when a written doctor’s note is provided).
  • UT – Unexcused Tardy-arrived to school 1-10 minutes late without an approved excuse.
  • ET- Excused Tardy-arrived to school 1-10 minutes late with an approved excuse (use for appointments, but not missing an entire class period/hour).
  • LEU- Left Early Unexcused- left school 1-10 minutes early without an approved excuse.
  • LEE- Left Early Excused-left school 1-10 minutes early with an approved excuse.
  • LAE-Late Arrival Excused-Primarily used for Elementary schools that do the AM/PM attendance.
  • LAU-Late Arrival Unexcused-Primarily used for Elementary schools that do AM/PM attendance
  • IST – In School Tutorial (Suspension, if applicable to the building)
  • OSS – Out of School Suspension
  • SS – School sponsored event such as a field trip, athletic, or academic event.

Attendance Policy: Chronic Absenteeism, 10%-Whether excused or unexcused:

At any time during the school year, if a student has absences that have reached 10% of their school days as being absent, this should initiate the following steps by the district addressing concerns. It is recommended that these check marks be made at 30 days of school, 60, 90, 120, 150.


At any time during the school year a student has tardies (late arrivals and early dismissals) that have reached 20% of their school days, or any combination of the above, the following steps could be initiated:

At 5 days absent (or at 10% of their school days being absent) a district identifies a potential attendance problem

At 7 absences (or continued absences after identified attendance issue) district sends out an attendance letter addressing concerns of absences.

At 10 absences (or continued absences after identified attendance issue) district attempts to contact parent/guardian to discuss attendance issues and offer any support as needed. District also attempts to confirm that parent/guardian received attendance letter.

At 12 absences (or continued absences after identified attendance issue) district attempts to contact parent/guardian and schedules the school meeting to complete Truancy Meeting Forms and offer any resources that might be helpful.

At 15 absences (or continued absences after identified attendance issue) and the district has exhausted all resources and interventions and attendance has not improved, a referral to the ISD is made via the Truancy Data Manager (TDM). After a referral has been made, all absences must have a doctor’s note in order to be marked excused.

*Schools can refer a student to truancy prior to 15 absences (especially elementary) as long as the student has missed 10% of the school year and the school has exhausted all efforts and tiered interventions to improve attendance.

Sheldon Pines School Behavior Program

Sheldon Pines School has a well-organized intervention system which emphasizes the use of positive reinforcement and is used by the entire school to provide consistency. The ultimate goal is to model and identify appropriate behaviors and to provide positive feedback to our students.

The positive reinforcement system that is employed at Sheldon Pines is a point system similar to a token economy. Every class period students earn points for exhibiting desired behavior within six areas: 

  • task completion
  • adult interaction
  • peer interaction
  • following directions
  • honesty and ownership
  • target behavior 

Students earn points throughout the day for displaying appropriate behaviors.  These points are used to determine each student’s progress in the “Levels” system.  Students begin on Level I and progress through the levels to Level 5 based on the system outlined earlier.  The points earned are totaled at the end of each day and week.

Each student begins the program on Level I. As progress occurs, the students may be elevated in the system as high as Level V.  where student can be attending an appropriate alternate placement on at least a part time basis. Progress is determined by earning a specific percentage of points on each level. Challenges, expectations, and privileges increase as the levels increase; therefore, the percentage of points also becomes greater. A detailed explanation is included in this packet.

  1.  Positive behavior management is implemented in each classroom.
  2. In addition to this, the Sheldon Pines Behavior Program has specific steps in behavior intervention for inappropriate behaviors.
  3. Inappropriate behaviors are those that do not follow the descriptions listed on page 18 as Specific Behavior Areas including the Target behavior identified in the student’s IEP goals.

Steps in Behavior Intervention

  1. Appropriate behavior modification techniques employed in the classroom i.e. verbal/extrinsic positive reinforcement to students displaying the appropriate behaviors, redirection, etc.
  2. The student is informed that appropriate behavior earns his point.
  3. The student is warned that continued inappropriate behavior will result in a 5-minute classroom time-out.
  4. 5-minute classroom time-out
    1. Sit facing forward with both feet on the floor
    2. Quiet
    3. No objects may be taken with them
    4. 1 restart for not meeting these expectations
    5. In-house for continued inability to meet these expectations
  5. In-house
    1. Stay in seat facing forward with both feet on the floor
    2. Raise hand and wait to be called upon to converse with staff
    3. Remain on task for 30 minutes and/or completion of required assignment(s)
    4. Follow all directions of staff
    5. Inability to meet these expectations will result in a restart of in-house time or open-door time-out
  6. Open-door time-out
    1. Shoes, belts, and jewelry are turned over to staff and pockets emptied of personal items in order for time to start.
    2. Stay behind the door frame of the time-out room
    3. Quiet for the designated time (5-20 minutes)
    4. Student is observed at all times
    5. Inability to meet these expectations does not complete designated time and can result in a closed-door time-out if student at anytime becomes unsafe.
    6. 3 open-door time-outs in one day may earn the rest of the day in-house time with classroom work to be completed there
  7. Closed-door time-out
    1. Shoes, belts, and jewelry are removed and pockets emptied of personal items if student is unsafe.
    2. Quiet and calm behavior will result in the door being opened to complete the designated quiet time
    3. Student under continuous supervision
    4. Student may earn an “automatic” time-out for aggression or property destruction but door will not be closed if student remains calm
    5. Re-escalation of student behavior will result in the door being closed and a restart of time
    6. A closed-door or “automatic” time-out report will be completed and filed. Parents/guardians will be notified verbally and in writing
    7. 3 closed-door time-outs in one day may earn the rest of the day in open-door time-out

*Teachers will provide instructions to students to facilitate completion of assignments in in-house.

Physical Intervention

Non-violent Crisis Prevention Intervention will be utilized in cases when there is an imminent danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the student or others.  This will result in a closed-door or “automatic time-out” and a written report will be completed and filed. Parents/guardians will be notified verbally and in writing.  Only staff trained in NVCPI will participate in the intervention.

The staff at Sheldon Pines School are CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) trained in the principles of non-violent physical management. These techniques emphasize verbal intervention prior to physical intervention. These procedures will be used only at last resort. Our primary goal is to intervene before physical intervention is necessary.

Seclusion and Restraint Policy:

The OAISD and Sheldon Pines School adopt as its own the Michigan Department of Education’s Policy for the Emergency Use of Seclusion and Restraint, approved by the Michigan State Board of Education on March 14, 2017, and updated by the Michigan Department of Education on July 20, 2017. Consistent with Michigan Department of Education Policy, the Board directs all staff to use positive behavior interventions and support to enhance the academic and social behavior outcomes for all students. In accordance with Revised School Code Sections 1307-1307h and Michigan Department of Education Policy, the use of emergency seclusion and emergency physical restraint is a last resort intervention that may be used only when a student’s behavior poses an imminent risk to the safety of the student or others and an immediate intervention is required. The Board directs that any use of emergency seclusion or emergency physical restraint be consistent with Michigan law, Michigan Department of Education policy, and Michigan Department of Education guidelines.

In the event that emergency seclusion or restraint is used, parent/guardians will be notified and a copy of the incident will be sent home.


Level System

Sheldon Pines School has a 5 Level Behavior System.  Students participate in Levels meetings on Thursdays to discuss the previous week’s behaviors and academic progress. 

Level I

  • Earn a weekly point total average of 70% (42) or above to earn an UP week
  • Follow all classroom rules
  • Must take point sheet home to parent/guardian and return it signed the following school day
  • Must be within 3 feet of staff at all times (escorted)
  • No items from home (unless requested by teacher in writing)
  • Morning break: in class (elementary students may go outside)
  • Lunch break, must remain with class and sit in assigned seat
  • Staff will carry point sheet and folder during transition times
  • May earn a daily reward with 7 out of 9 target points
  • Earn Level II with 3 out of 4 UP weeks (70% (42) points weekly average)

Level II

  • Satisfactory completion of Level I
  • Same as Level I except…
  • Maintain Level II by earning a weekly point total average of 70% (42) (EVEN week)
  • May earn a weekly point total average of 80% (48) or above to earn an UP week
  • Out of seat free time with 80% of points at lunch and morning break
  • Earn a visit to the “Sheldon Pines Pit Stop” with 80% target points
  • May earn Level III with 3 out of 4 UP weeks

*Failure to maintain Level II (70% (42) weekly point average) for 3 out of 4 weeks will result in a return to Level I status.

Level III

  • Satisfactory completion of Level II
  • Same as Level II except…
  • Maintain Level III by earning a weekly point total average of 80% (48) (EVEN week)
  • Remain within sight of staff
  • May earn a weekly point total average of 90% (54) or above to earn an UP week
  • May run supervised errands
  • May bring items from home for break times
  • Carry own folder and point sheet during transition times
  • Out of seat free time (gym or outside/staff numbers permitting) with 80% of points at lunch and morning break
  • Earn Level IV with 5 out of 7 UP weeks

*Failure to maintain Level III (80% (48) weekly point average) for 3 out of 4 weeks will result in a return to Level II status

Level IV

  • Satisfactory completion of Level III
  • Same as Level III except…
  • Maintain Level IV by earning a weekly point total average of 90% (54) (EVEN week)
  • Seek permission to be without escort to run errands, participate in odd jobs, use the restroom, or go to class
  • Participate in the weekly rotation of lunch room set-up or clean-up
  • Model appropriate behaviors
  • Maintain a “C” average in each class
  • May earn a weekly point total average of 95% (57) or above to earn an UP week
  • May be without escort with staff permission
  • May use gym/library without supervision but with permission
  • Participate in planning return to home school
  • Earn Level V with 7 out of 9 UP weeks

*Failure maintain Level IV (90% (54) weekly point average) for 3  out of 4 weeks or a major behavior issue will result in a return to Level III status

Level V

  • Satisfactory completion of Level IV
  • Same as Level IV except…
  • Maintain Level V by earning a weekly point total average of 95% (57) (EVEN/UP week)
  • Encourage appropriate peer behaviors
  • Participate in planning return to home school
  • All Level IV privileges
  • May begin visiting home school

*Failure to maintain Level V (95% (57) weekly point average) for 3 out of 4 weeks or a major behavior issue will result in a return to Level IV status

Point Sheet

Student point sheets - A completed point sheet (white) will be given daily to each student on every level which must be returned to school the following school day with a parent or guardian signature. Point sheet numbers determine an up, even, or down week on our level system. (See following daily evaluation sheet)

Description of Specific Behavior Areas

  • Task Completion
    • The student will:
      • complete previous days homework assignment
      • complete classroom assignment
      • focus on instruction throughout the entire period  (i.e. - lectures, movies, hands-on activities)
      • participate positively in discussions or activities
  • Appropriate Adult Interaction
    • The student will:
      • respond appropriately to staff directions  (no arguing)
      • use appropriate language and tone of voice
      • use appropriate mannerisms (gesturing, making faces, etc.)
      • show respect to staff
      • mind one’s own business when staff member is addressing other students
  • Appropriate Peer Interaction
    • The student will:
      • interact in an age-appropriate manner, physically and verbally
      • mind his/her own business
      • respect other students' personal space
      • ignore others' inappropriate behavior
  • Following Directions
    • The student will:
      • follow all rules, privileges, and responsibilities of the levels system
      • follow all directions without question or argument
      • follow all classroom and school rules
      • be prepared with necessary materials as specified by staff
  • Honesty/Ownership
    • The student will:
      • respect property of school, others and self
      • accept responsibility for own actions
      • be truthful in interactions with others
  • Target
    • To be determined by IEP goals

Possible Rewards for "UP" Weeks

  • Field Trips
    • approximately every six weeks
    • examples:
      • bowling
      • golf
      • mini-golf
      • museum tours
      • other

Code of Conduct

The following are examples of prohibited/unacceptable behavior, however, this list is not all-inclusive and is up to the discretion of the director and/or school personnel.

  • Alcoholic Beverages, Narcotics, and/or Drugs:
    • Consumption, use, possession, transfer and/or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, drugs or other illicit/illegal substances.
  • Assault and/or Battery:
    • Physical threats and/or violence to persons.
  • Explosives:
    • Possession, use and/or transfer of explosives and/or fireworks.
  • Larceny, Robbery, and/or Theft:
    • Stealing and/or otherwise dishonestly acquiring, transferring and/or keeping the property of another or others.
  • Smoking:
    • Smoking or the use of smoking materials on the premises.  This includes e-cigarettes and all materials.
  • Trespass:
    • Unauthorized presence on school property and/or refusal to leave school property when directed to do so.
  • Vandalism and/or Destruction of Property:
    • Willful or ignorant damage to or destruction of school property, or attempts to damage or destroy property, belonging to another or others.
  • Weapons:
    • Possessing, using or threatening to use any weapons, instrument, or device capable of inflicting injury.
  • Bodily Condition:
    • Students shall not remain in attendance at school or participate in any school activity if they have, or are reasonably suspected of having, a communicable disease or other bodily conditions adverse to the health, safety and well being of others.
  • Disruptive Conduct:
    • Conduct or behavior in any form, whether verbal or otherwise, which hinders, interferes with, or otherwise disrupts the educational process, the orderly operation and management of the schools, and/or jeopardizes the health, safety, or well being of the school building, its contents, or occupants.
  • Fighting:
    • Most forms of fighting are considered assault and/or battery.  Quarreling of any kind is unacceptable.
  • Indecency:
    • An act of conduct offensive to commonly recognized community standards of propriety including use of vulgar language and/or gestures.
  • Insubordination:
    • Any disregard for or disobedience in complying with school or classroom rules and/or policies, and/or disregard for the directives of staff, and/or disrespect directed toward school personnel.
  • Other Misconduct: Any other gross misdemeanor or persistent disobedience, whether in violation of established classroom rules, regulation, standards, or guidelines, and/or a violation of basic concepts of acceptable student conduct or behavior.


It is the policy of the District to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. This policy protects all students from bullying/aggressive behavior regardless of the subject matter or motivation for such impermissible behavior. “Bullying” is defined as any gesture or written, verbal, graphic, or physical act (including electronically transmitted acts, i.e. internet, telephone or cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), or wireless handheld device) that, without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus, is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one (1) or more students either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:

  • Substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one (1) or more students;
  • Adversely affecting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school District's educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress;
  • Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a student's physical or mental health; and/or
  • Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.
  • Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological, or a combination of all three.

Some examples of bullying are:

  • Physical - hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, pulling; taking and/or damaging personal belongings or extorting money, blocking or impeding student movement, unwelcome physical contact.
  • Verbal - taunting, malicious teasing, insulting, name calling, making threats.
  • Psychological - spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, coercion, or engaging in social exclusion/shunning, extortion, or intimidation. This may occur in a number of different ways, including but not limited to notes, emails, social media postings, and graffiti.

***Please go to the following site to view the entire District Policy on Bullying and Harassment.  Link to Ottawa Area ISD Website (Sheldon Pines Program)

Suspension Procedures/Policy

Prior to any disciplinary action taken by the administrator, the following will be considered.

  1. The pupil’s age.
  2. The pupil’s disciplinary history.
  3. Whether the pupil is a student with a disability.
  4. The seriousness of the violation or behavior committed by the pupil.
  5. Whether the violation or behavior committed by the pupil threatened the safety of any pupil or staff member.
  6. Whether restorative practices will be used to address the violation or behavior committed by the pupil.
  7. Whether a lesser intervention would properly address the violation or behavior committed by the pupil.

Suspension Implementation


  1. When student behavior warrants, the director will be informed of the situation and begin an investigation.
  2. If the Director determines that a suspension may be justified, the students’ parents will be notified of the incident leading to the possible suspension.
  3. The Director will make the decision if an out-of-school suspension occurs and the length of the suspension.  (Length of suspension will commensurate with the severity of the behavior)
  4. The Director will meet with the student to discuss the inappropriate behavior leading to the decision of suspension as well as appropriate replacement behaviors.  The student will be given the opportunity to respond and will receive his or her due process rights. 
  5. The student and/or parent(s) will be provided written notice detailing the reason and length of the suspension.
  6. The resident school district will be notified as to the length of the suspension and when next to pick the student up for the return to school.  See the following form.

Police Involvement

The assistance of police agencies may be requested when:

  • A student is assaultive
  • A student does physical damage to the environment
  • A student commits an apparent felonious act
  • A student elopes from the school campus

The initiation of police involvement must be approved by the school Director.

Policy on Weapon Related Offenses:

Sheldon Pines School is a weapon-free school. The Michigan law defines a dangerous weapon as the following:

A firearm-federal law defines a firearm as “(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame of receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device.”)

A dagger, dirk, stiletto, knife with a blade over 3 inches in length, a pocket knife opened by a mechanical device (i.e. switchblade), iron bar or brass knuckles.

Sheldon Pines School will consider the following about possession and intent:

  1. Whether the object or instrument possessed by the student was possessed by the student of use as a weapon, or for direct or indirect delivery to another person for use as a weapon.
  2. Whether the weapon was not knowingly possessed by the student. 
  3. Whether the student did not know or have reason to know that the object or instrument possessed by the student constituted a dangerous weapon.
  4. Whether the weapon was possessed by the student at the suggestion, request, or direction of, or with the express permission of, school or police authorities.
  5. Whether the student has a history of suspension or expulsion.

General Information



Michigan law requires that all students registering for the first time in this state shall present by the first day of school a certificate stating they have received a minimum of 1 dose of DPT, polio, and two doses of mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) immunizations or a statement of exception under section 9215.

Upon receipt of a signed release of information form, communication between Sheldon Pines and authorized service agency will begin.  

Administration of Medication

Upon the receipt of a completed Medication Form, a school teacher or other school employee may administer medication to students in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent.

The student's name and physician's name shall be listed clearly on the permission form.  The name of the medication, the dosage, and the specific time of treatment shall be listed on the medication container.

Cell Phones

Personal cell phones are not allowed to be used in school during school hours. Failure to follow this rule could result in the removal of cell phone and/or a parent meeting with the Director.

Dress and Grooming

Specifically, the following rules of dress will be enforced:

  • Dress is expected to be neat and modest.
  • Shoes are to be worn at all times.
  • Knee length shorts may be worn (must be below mid-thigh).

When questions of appropriate dress arise, all shall be directed to the Director or identified designee. If in the judgment of the Director or designee, the student is in violation of the dress code, corrective action will be taken.



  • Lunch is provided daily by West Ottawa Food Service. Included with parent forms is an application for Free or reduced lunch. Please complete the form and return to Sheldon Pines School office if you desire to apply for Free or reduced lunch.
  • Lunch Room Set-up and/or Clean up
    • Students who are on levels IV and V will be put on a weekly rotation for Lunch Room Set-up or Clean-up. The student will be responsible for setting up or clean up of the lunch room tables. These students will earn “credit” toward a special lunch or an item from the snack box provided by Sheldon Pines School.

Library/Media Center


  1. May be used by all students.  Students who are on levels IV and V do not need to be with a staff member while using the library. Any student using the library for non-academic purposes must meet these requirements:
    1. 90% of points earned
    2. the previous week must have been  an up or even week
    3. cannot be used if the student is on a warning
  2. Rules for the library:
    1. sign-in (computers also)
    2. respect self and others
    3. stay on task
    4. pick up after self
    5. speak in quiet tones
    6. no bathroom or drink break during "library time" (must do before entering the room with teacher permission)
    7. all books must be checked out before leaving the library
    8. respect books and magazines
    9. sign out when leaving
  3. Any student NOT abiding by the rules will lose the right to use the library for the remainder of the day, or longer as determined by a staff member(s).

Student Evaluation         

The marking periods for this year are listed on the School Events Calendar of this handbook.

The grading system is as follows:

A  =  Superior

B  =  Above Average

C  =  Average

D  =  Below Average

E  =  Failure

I   =  Incomplete

Each report card has a comment area which may be used to explain low or failing grades.

Students will be assessed with benchmarking and progress monitoring tools in math and reading three times during the school year to determine academic growth.

Field Trips

Sheldon Pines School offers two types of field trips:

  1. Levels field trips
    1. occur every 6 weeks with student participation determined by levels progress.
  2. All-School field trips
    1. all students regardless of level have the opportunity to participate
    2. students may be denied the privilege of participation if the most recent behavior is determined to be unsafe.
    3. a decision on attendance is at the discretion of the Director.

A parent permission form will be sent home before every field trip. This form must be filled out, signed and returned to school before the field trip in order for the student to be able to attend.

Student Driving Policy

Sheldon Pines students are not allowed to drive any motor vehicle including, but not limited to, automobiles, motorcycles, scooters, etc. to or from school.


The Ottawa Area Intermediate School District adheres to the Michigan Special Education rules (R 380.51 through R 380.61) with respect to transportation.

Transportation to and from the Sheldon Pines School will be provided by the student’s local school district.  (unless alternative arrangements have been made after parent discussion with LEA and Sheldon Pines Director) 

Students can earn up to 6 points for proper behavior while being transported to and from school.  Conversely, failure to earn points due to poor behavior may result in one of the following consequences:

  • 3 points he/she goes to in-house for 30 minutes
  • 6 points he/she goes to in-house for 1/2 Day
  • 5 points he/she goes to in-house for 1 1/2 hours
  • 4 points he/she goes to in-house for 1 hour

Severe and persistent misbehavior will be dealt with by the LEA transportation supervisor along with Sheldon Pines Director.  Due process will need to be considered when short-term suspension from transportation is being entertained.

All students must ride their local district transportation to and from school. Students are not allowed to ride other transportation vehicles home that is not their local district unless it has been arranged by parents or legal guardian in advance and in writing. 

Student Exit

Exit Procedures/process

  1. When a student has reached their behavioral goals and/or the IEPT feels that the student is ready to transition back to a local building, the teacher will discuss the readiness of that student with the program director. 
  2. After review of the data, the program director will contact the special education director of the LEA and let them know that the SPS team would like to discuss a transition plan for their student and provide the data to support that decision to the local director. 

  3. The SPS team and the LEA team would work together to create an individualized transition plan to help the student transition successfully back to the local district. 

  4. The SPS team will be responsible for communicating to parents the possibility of the team pursuing a transition plan back to their local district and including them in the process.

School Closing Procedures

Please note the following information regarding closing procedures for Sheldon Pines School due to inclement weather:

  1. If a student's resident district is closed because of inclement weather, those students are excused from attendance at Sheldon Pines School.
  2. If Ottawa Area Intermediate School District or Careerline Tech Center is closed, it automatically means Sheldon Pines School is closed.
  3. If Careerline Tech Center remains open, but most of the districts sending students to Sheldon Pines School are closed, a decision is made by the OAISD Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and Director of Sheldon Pines School. At that point, the Director of Sheldon Pines School will contact all transportation directors.
  4. Please watch WOOD TV 8 for Sheldon Pines School closing or you may call the school at 1-877-702-8603, extension 4800.

Health & Safety Notification

Health Education Notification

The Ottawa Area Intermediate School District has established a program of age-appropriate instruction in health education which covers the following topics: Safety and First Aid, Nutrition, Family Health, Consumer Health, Community Health, Growth and Development, Substance Use and Abuse, Personal Health Practices, Emotional and Mental Health, Disease Prevention and Control.

As a parent, you have the right to: review the materials and curriculum content used in these courses; and/or excuse your child from these courses without penalty.

You may review our health education materials by calling Jennifer Field, Director of Juvenile Services, Sheldon Pines School, at

1-877-702-8603, extension 4801, to arrange a time for the review.

A request to remove your child from our health education courses must be made in writing to:


                              Jennifer Field, Director of Juvenile Services

                                        Ottawa Area Intermediate School District

                                        6542 136th Ave.

                                        Holland, MI  49424


Pesticide Applications

This notice is in response to Regulation 637, which addresses notifying concerned persons when pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides are applied to school property.

This regulation also governs when pesticides can be applied. For example, no spraying will be allowed during school hours. 

A 48-hour advance notice of any pesticide application will be posted at the school’s main entrance and also in a common area.

If you elect to receive 48-hour advance notice of any pesticide applications other than the means listed above, please address your request to Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Attn: Business Services, 13565 Port Sheldon Road, Holland, MI 49424. Please include your telephone number and mailing address.

This notice will be published at the beginning of each school year. You will need to contact us every year if you would like to renew your request.

Asbestos Management Plan

Our school district has conducted an extensive asbestos survey of all our buildings. Based on the findings of this inspection, a comprehensive management plan was developed. This plan details the response actions that the district will be taking regarding asbestos containing materials found in our buildings.

This plan is available for inspection without cost or restriction during normal business hours by contacting Angela Brown, Director of Building and Grounds, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, 13656 Port Sheldon Street, Holland, MI 49424.

We have endeavored to make our schools safe places in which students can learn. It is our goal that our procedure for dealing with this issue reflect that concern.  Please let us know if we can answer any questions.

Video Surveillance Notice

This facility employs video surveillance for security purposes. This equipment may or may not be monitored.

The video captured from surveillance cameras will be viewed by District personnel on a random basis and/or when problems have been brought to the attention of the District.

Students or staff whose recorded actions are deemed to violate District policies, administrative regulations, or provisions of law may be subject to disciplinary action. A video may be used by the District as evidence in any disciplinary action brought against any student or staff member arising out of the individual’s conduct on District property.

When appropriate, video captured may be referred to or viewed by law enforcement agencies.

Internet Use Policy

Students are allowed access to only school acceptable sites and must follow the directions of the classroom teacher. Failure to follow this policy can result in losing the privilege to use the Internet. Also, some of the online activities require students to publish their work. For example:  producing a classroom web page, responding to online activities by submitting student writing, or participating in math and science projects that call for the collaboration of data or ideas. No personal information is required by any of these activities, only class work, and occasional pictures.

If you have any questions regarding the use of the Internet, you may contact the school office. Also, see page 7 of Parent Forms.

Emergency Procedures

The safety rules given below have been devised for the protection of the students and staff and shall be followed precisely; the only exceptions being those dictated by common sense or unforeseen circumstances.

Safety drills will be held throughout the school year.  Teachers will go over the procedures with their class so that the students will know exactly what to do in a drill or a real emergency.  Safety is a priority at Sheldon Pines.  To ensure safety for all, please be sure to sign into the office if visiting.  In case of an emergency situation, you will be notified as soon as possible.