PIA Hand Book

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Placencia Village

Stann Creek District













Policies and Procedures






Welcome to PIA! PIA is a private school that will provide your child with an international education in Belize. Your family is now part of a school that will provide intensive direct instruction, supported by focused, hands on learning activities in literacy, math and science. The child experiences learning designed for optimal development.



Studies demonstrate that parents are the most important part of a child’s success at school. PIA expects parents will be involved in their children’s education and will provide a home environment that supports a positive attitude towards school and life-long learning.


In order to provide your child and family with the utmost quality education, the following is required from parents:


  • Participate in on going communication with teachers through conferences, newsletters, progress reports, observation opportunities,
  • Acknowledge that tuition payment is an investment in your child’s education-tuition is due on the first day of the month. Tuition payments begin in August and end in May.
  • Support the mission statement of the school in the community.
  • Seek to resolve problems and secure information through positive and appropriate ways (Come in and speak with us! Ask questions!)
  • No Junk food (chips, candy, ideal, gum, sugary drinks, sodas, artificial coloring & flavoring) allowed on school property. It will be confiscated and discarded.


PIA strives to create a positive, constructive relationship with our families.


Repeating factors such as tuition arrears, child lateness, or inappropriate treatment of staff seriously interfere with the schools accomplishment of its mission to provide excellence in education for all students.  PIA reserves the right to refuse registration or attendance if repeating factors make it difficult to achieve our goals.



Founder/Director:  Selena Lucas

Founder and Director of the school oversee all facets pertaining to the total functioning of the school, administratively and financially.



Advisors and Teachers: Severine Aragon, Jan Knight, Loretta Logan, Kirwin Ramirez, Velta Savelis, Lynn Upham, Carly DiBrita, Shelly Redden, Tracy Ion-Edwards

Teachers are required to educate, supervise and to monitor the well being of students in their care and to identify and refer students requiring special attention to the administration.


Classroom Assistant: Reuben Cal 

Works hand in hand with Teachers to maintain the classroom environment. Assistant will be directly involved with the children.


Spanish Teacher:

Works with all students by providing Spanish lessons in the classroom.


Office Manager: Diane Coy

Works hand in hand with Director to administer PIA.



PIA’s international private school is designed to provide customized learning for each student.  Our small class size allows us to provide the child with individualized instruction to address their areas of opportunity as well as develop their strengths.  Our challenging curriculum is wedded to Belizean Standards, supported by Common Core, and is multi-leveled and targeted to address the child’s needs.  In addition to our academic focus on literacy, math, technology and science, the child will be exposed to Spanish language. Our programs teach children to explore the world around them and embrace the uniqueness of all beings.  We aim to teach children through group projects/activities, daily explorations, hands on experience and tailored lesson plans.



Please see our age/Standard breakdown for 2016/17

Upper Primary:

Std. 6 must turn 13 by Dec. 30, 2003 birth

Std. 5 must turn 12 by Dec. 30, 2004 birth

Std. 4 must turn 11 by Dec. 30, 2005 birth

Middle Primary:

Std. 3 must turn 10 by Dec. 30, 2006 birth

Std. 2 must turn 9 by Dec. 30, 2007 birth (No Standard 2 in 2016-17)

Std. 1 must turn 8 by Dec. 30, 2008 birth

Lower Primary:

Inf.  2 must turn 7 by Dec. 30, 2009 birth

Inf.  1 must turn 6 by Dec. 30, 2010 birth

Early Childhood:

Beginners must turn 5 by Dec. 30, 2011 birth

Preschool year 2 must turn 4 by Dec. 30, 2012 birth

Preschool year 1 must turn 3 by Dec. 30, 2013 birth


Early Childhood Preschool & Beginners (must be independent toilet trained and able to self dress and feed).

3 years to 5 years

This Montessori environment is geared towards the developmental needs of the early learner.

It promotes independence and self-discipline.  The activities are hands on and have different levels of challenges.  We implement the Montessori curriculum. The curriculum focuses on exploration including initiative, planning, engagement, problem solving, use of resources and reflection. Students will be exposed to meaningful activities in the following areas: Social and Emotional development, physical development and Health, Literacy, Pre-Math, Creative Arts, Science, and Geography.


Infant 1-Standard 6

6 years to 13 years

PIA’s project based programs are designed to reflect and respond to the special interests of each child who explores and learns in a variety of ways.  The teacher will guide the child and will allow the child to experiment and explore the two main areas of focus: English Language and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).


School Schedule

PIA’s hours of operation are 7:30AM to 3:45 PM; Monday through Friday (September – June).  Infant 1-Standard 6 students are required to be in classroom at 7:45am.  Early Childhood days begin at 8:30am, and can arrive by 7:45 if necessary. Students are dismissed at 3:30pm and are expected to vacate the premises.




Regardless of race, creed, color or religion, any family is welcome that shows a readiness for our school philosophy. Along with the child’s readiness, the parent must be willing to participate in school activities and follow the policies and procedures.  Parental involvement is key to the success of the child, therefore PIA requires parents to assist child academically, attend school meetings, conferences and events.


Registration / Enrollment

PIA considers a child registered when the entry fee is deposited. You are also expected to read and sign the Parent Handbook agreement that outlines the school’s policies and parental participation agreement. This will ensure that you are familiar with all of our operating procedures. If a parent wants to reserve a seat in the classroom, the full year tuition must be paid, regardless of how many months the student is actually attending classes.


Drop-off, Arrival and Pick-up

Arrival time is between 7:30am-7:45am.

Each child will be released only to a parent or legal guardian or to persons whose names are listed on the Authorized Pick-up form. Families should advise the Director in advance, in writing, if an alternate or a person not listed on the original form is to pick up their child. We spend a lot of time building the trust of the children in our care; for that reason, we will not release children to a person they do not know.


Program Placement

Children are placed in programs based upon a combination of their development and chronological age.


Please call/e-mail the school if your child is going to be absent or arrive after 8:00 AM.  If we do not hear from you, we will be concerned about your child. If your child has a contagious illness, please notify the school so that other families can be alerted to look for symptoms in their children.  We will send a notification via e-mail to alert parents regarding possible exposure.


PIA will accept volunteers accompanied by a police report from their country of origin and/or country of residence.



It is Peninsula International Academy’s policy that any information regarding a child, a child’s family or other matters discussed with the Director or faculty will be held in the strictest confidence.


Children’s Records (Confidentiality and Distribution of Records)

The information in your child’s record is considered privileged and confidential. The authorized person that has access to your child’s file will be the Administration of Peninsula International Academy.  As a parent/guardian, you may have access to your child’s record within two days of a request to view the record. Upon withdrawal of your child from the school, the student file will be retained for 12 months.


As a parent/guardian, you have the right to add information, comments, data or other relevant material to your child’s records. You are required to update the school concerning change in living status. When your child leaves the school, his/her records can be forwarded to an institution of your choice.


Health and Safety

Peninsula International Academy understands that it is difficult for a parent/guardian to leave or miss work; therefore it is suggested that alternative arrangements be made for occasions when children must remain at home or be picked up due to illness.

If your child has allergies, you must alert staff prior to the first day of school. With life-threatening allergic reactions, the student must have the Auto-Injector DAILY. If the child comes to school without the Auto-Injector, the child will not be able to stay.


Exclusion from the school is sometimes necessary to reduce the transmission of illness or because the school is not able to adequately meet the needs of the child. Mild illness is common among children. Children will be sent home if they have green or

Children must be excluded from school for the following reasons (this list covers most common illnesses, but it is not inclusive of all reasons for exclusions):


  • Illness that prevents the child from participating comfortably in program activities
  • Yellow or green dripping nose mucus
  • Illness that results in a greater need for care that our faculty can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children
  • Fever over 100 degree accompanied by other symptoms, i.e., lethargy, irritability, constant crying, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea – stools with blood or mucus, and/or uncontrolled, uniformed stools that cannot be contained in a diaper/underwear or toilet
  • Vomiting – green or bloody, and/or 2 or more times during the previous 24 hours
  • Lice or Nits in the Hair (please see Early Childhood No Nits Policy)
  • Rash with fever or behavioral changes, unless a physician has determined it is not a communicable disease
  • Conjunctivitis (pink or red conjunctivitis with white or yellow eye discharge) until on antibiotics for 24 hours
  • Impetigo until 24 hours after treatment
  • Strep throat until 24 hours after treatment
  • Ringworm until 24 hours after treatment
  • Scabies until 24 hours after treatment


We ask that for your child’s comfort and to reduce the risk of contagious diseases from spreading to other children, your child is picked up within 1 hour of notification. Children need to remain home for 24 hours without symptoms before returning to school. In the case of a (suspected) contagious disease or continuing symptoms, a doctor’s note may be required before returning.


Please keep in mind that a child who is unable to go out and play is too ill to be in school. This includes all allergies that will limit the child’s ability to participate in outdoor activities. We will notify parents to pick up children if they become too ill to work or if their health is jeopardizing the health of others. Your child will be separated from his/her classmates and kept as comfortable as possible until your arrival.


Children, who have been excluded, may return:

  • When they are free of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea for a full 24 hours
  • When they have been treated with an antibiotic for a full 24 hours
  • When they are able to participate comfortably in all school activities, including

outside time

  • The child must be free of open, oozing skin conditions and drooling unless
  • A physician signs a note stating that the child’s condition is not contagious, and
  • The involved areas can be covered by a bandage without seepage of drainage through the bandage


If a child is excluded because of a reportable communicable disease, a doctor’s note stating that the child is no longer contagious and may return is required.  Parents will also receive a communication via e-mail, letter and/or posting on the Parent Information Bulletin Board, regarding possible exposure to communicable disease. 


Please, inform us immediately by phone if your child has a communicative illness or condition such as Head Lice, Fever, chicken Pox, etc.


Emergencies and Emergency Information

In the event of adverse reaction to food, prescribed medication, an accident or sudden onset of illness the school will not hesitate to seek proper care for your child.  Immediately, the child’s records will be reviewed for emergency instructions and the request of the parents will be instituted. Parents will be called and made aware of the situation. If the parents cannot be reached the authorized emergency contact persons will be contacted. It is imperative that parents keep the emergency contact information up to date at all times.

In the event of emergency, the local clinic center will provide care for our children. If your child has an injury in school, the wound will be cleaned with water. Ice and a Band-Aid will be applied if necessary..


Evacuation Plan

In case of an emergency or evacuation of the building children will go to the nearest and safest location.  Medical treatment will be administered at the nearest clinic. The location(s) will be posted, along with instructions on the bulletin board near the front door of the school. Parents will be called and made aware of the situation. If the parents cannot be reached the authorized emergency contact persons will be contacted. Also, a sign will be placed on the door notifying parents of the situation and location of the children. It is imperative that parents keep the emergency contact information up to date at all times.


Emergency Policy


Fire: There are fire extinguishers located throughout the cabanas. If there is a fire the children will be immediately evacuated from the building.


Power Outage:  PIA will reserve the right to close until power is restored.


Loss of Water:  PIA will reserve the right to close until water is restored.


Structural Damage:  If there is structural damage that creates a safety hazard, parents will be contacted to pick-up their child. PIA will reserve the right to close until the structural damage is repaired.


Missing / Lost Child: Every care is taken to ensure our children are accounted for at all times. However, in the unlikely event of a child becoming lost, the following step-by-step procedure has been agreed to by staff:


The most senior member of staff at the time will take an immediate roll call of all children.

If it is discovered that a child is unaccounted for then a full search of school and its immediate surroundings will take place.  On no account will any other children be left unsupervised at any time.  If after a thorough search it proves unsuccessful in establishing the whereabouts of a child, the emergency services and the parent/guardian will be contacted by the Director.  On the arrival of the emergency services and the child’s parent/guardian, the Director will be responsible for apprising them of all information in respect to the missing child and what action has been taken.

Once the situation has been resolved an internal investigation will take place to examine how it occurred and to put immediate measures in place to ensure it does not happen again.


Medical Emergencies:


Although supervision is constantly given, PIA staff cannot be by the child’s side at all times to prevent falls, tripping, bumps, blows from the other children, etc. If the child is injured in a non-threatening way, PIA staff will assess the child and provide necessary first aid. If the injury is more serious, the parent will be notified so the child can be transported to the nearest medical facility (i.e. needs stitches, broken bone, dislocation, etc.). If a parent or emergency contact is not available, a child that needs medical attention will be transported to the nearest medical facility (along with your signed consent to provide medical care form). All costs associated with injuries to the child will be the responsibility of the parent.


Lunch & Snack time nutrition

We believe good meals are critical to a child’s health and development. Therefore, we require you to provide a well-balanced nutritional snack. Please provide snacks that do not contain artificial coloring or flavoring, lots of sugar or salt such as soda, chips and candy. Please note that sweets, chips, sodas and foods containing lots of sugar will be confiscated and sent home.

Parents may decide to buy lunch from our caterer, Crystal Faux, at $4 per meal. The meal plan is purchased month by month and must be paid for on or before the 1st of each month. Parents must provide a plate and fork for their child. Students are expected to wash their own plates. Parents who buy lunch must send a bottle of dish soap to school each trimester.

Parents may also choose to send lunch with their children. If this option is preferred, please make sure that all lunch boxes, bags and containers are labeled and you provide a well-balanced meal.


Nap/Rest time

Following lunch, first year preschoolers will nap/rest. Your child may bring their favorite blanket and/or pillow. Please label each item with your child’s full name. We will take all precautionary methods to ensure that all children’s belongings are well cared for; however, the school is not responsible for loss or damage to those belongings.


Clothing Suggestions

Students are required to wear their uniforms, unless it is PE when they will wear their school shirt and knee length shorts.


Peninsula International Academy insists that all preschool students have a complete change of clothing. Please place all clothing in a plastic bag with the child’s full name on it.


At Peninsula International Academy our goal is to address the whole child. PIA implements the Positive Behavior support framework. If situations occur that require the intervention of staff, we will use several techniques to handle problems as they arise. Redirection is the most common method of intervention. Children will be removed from the situation where conflict has occurred and are given other activities or work to do that will redirect those energies in a more positive direction. Should an extreme situation occur where redirection is not effective, staff will use a time for self-reflection method that allows a child to take a few minutes (one minute per age of child) to calm down and stabilize emotions before returning to the group. Staff will use this time to assist the child in sorting out those emotions and feelings that caused the disruption in the first place. At no point is Corporal Punishment acceptable at Peninsula International Academy.

At any point that a child’s behavior/circumstance is of concern to a teacher or administrator, written documentation and family/teacher communication will begin as the first step to understanding the problem.


Child abuse, neglect of deprivation

Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a child has been physically injured, or neglected, exploited or deprived or sexually assaulted or sexually exploited, teachers are required to report this information to the Director. The Director shall immediately report such information to the appropriate emergency personnel. PIA is a legally mandated reporter of child abuse or neglect.


Field Trips

PIA will have planned field trips for children which may require transportation and/or walking from the camp. A permission to transport / walk away from campus form is provided at enrollment. If a permission form is not filled out & signed by a parent, PIA will be unable to provide transportation / walk with your child & he/she will be unable to attend the field trip. Parents are encouraged to volunteer for any field trips. Please talk to your child’s teacher and/or director if you are interested in doing so.



Fee payment is assessed on an annual basis. Entry fee is due at registration. A child is not considered enrolled until entry fee payment is made. Tuition payments begin August 1 of the school year and end after May 1st payment. There are a total of ten tuition payments. Please mark your check with the corresponding payment number (1-10).



Entry Fee for Belizeans=$2,000 per student

Entry Fee per child for Non-Belizeans=$4,000 per student


For those parents wishing to pay by US$$, cash is assessed  $1.98 BZ. to $1 US

US Checks are assessed at $1.9825 BZ to $1US. They take weeks to clear so should be given 6 weeks ahead of the payment due date

International Wires are assessed at $1.9825 BZ to $1US and there is an additional fee of $55



Family involvement is an all-purpose term that encompasses parent groups and committees, volunteering, family education, and special events. We believe the key to family involvement is giving families a variety of ways to be involved in the life of the school.  Parents plan an integral role in the success of their child, therefore we require parents to be actively involved in their child’s education at school and home.


Parent/Teacher Conferences

Three times a year a parent/teacher conference is scheduled. This is the time that students, parents and teachers share information and insights concerning academic and social progress.


Written Communication

In addition to classroom newsletters and parent/teacher conferences, teachers occasionally send emails, letters and memos home. The website will include activities, special events and pertinent notices.









I have read and fully understand these policies and procedures.  I agree to abide by the above policies and procedures.  I have received an exact copy of this Policies and Procedures Handbook for my own records.





I hereby acknowledge receipt of the PENINSULA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY Handbook of Policies 2016 -2017.  I understand that it is my continuing responsibility to read and know its contents.  I also understand and agree that the School Handbook is not a contract.  Therefore, I acknowledge and understand that I have read, understand and agree to all of the above.


Parent Signature: _______________________

Print Name ___________________________

Date ________________________





Any information that an employee learns about PENINSULA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY, or its members or donors, as a result of working for PENINSULA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY that is not otherwise publicly available constitutes confidential information.  Employees may not disclose confidential information to anyone who is not employed by PENINSULA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY or to other persons employed by PENINSULA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY who do not need to know such information to assist in rendering services. The disclosure, distribution, electronic transmission or copying of PENINSULA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY’s confidential information is prohibited.  Any employee who discloses confidential PENINSULA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY information will be subject to disciplinary action (including possible separation), even if he or she does not actually benefit from the disclosure of such information.   I understand the above policy and pledge not to disclose confidential information.


Director Signature: _______________________

Print Name:_______________________

Date:   _______________________