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 St. Mary’s Catholic School

FAMILY HANDBOOK

(REVISED May 2017)

To sign this document online, please click here


 Table of Contents

Click on any link to jump to that section. Please Note: Any updated or revised policy will be highlighted in yellow.  

WELCOME LETTER

SCHOOL STATEMENTS

WEEKLY PRAYERS

ADMISSIONS POLICIES

FINANCIAL POLICIES

SAVE ENVIRONMENT POLICIES

VOLUNTEERING & FUNDRAISING OBLIGATIONS

Fundraising Obligation

Fall Expectation $150

Spring Expectation $125

Volunteer Obligations

15 Fundraising Hours:

Recording Your Hours:

UNIFORM POLICIES

General Uniform

Girls’ Uniforms

K - 3rd Grade

Grades 4th – 5th

Grades 6th - 8th

Boys’ Uniforms

Boys K  – 5th Grade

Boys Grades 6th - 8th

Winter Weather

General

Spirit and Non-Uniform Days

RENWEB

ACADEMIC POLICIES

ELIGIBILITY

FIELD TRIPS

DISCIPLINE

COMMUNICATION

TECHNOLOGY

SCHOOL DAY

MEDICAL

MISCELLANEOUS

SIGNATURE UNDERSTANDINGS

 


WELCOME LETTER

Dear SMS Families,

“What greater work is there than training the mind and forming the habits of the young?”

St. John Chrysostom

Welcome to St. Mary’s Catholic School.  In choosing St. Mary’s Catholic School, you have demonstrated a commitment to the values and philosophy of a Catholic education.

The Family Handbook reflects the policies of St. Mary’s School.  Please read this document carefully and sign the electronic agreement.  This agreement states that you intend to abide by the policies of St. Mary’s School for this year.

The faculty and staff of your school look forward to working with you to promote academic excellence and spiritual development in the context of the teachings of the Catholic Church.  

Together let us pray that God, who has begun this work in us, may carry it through completion.

God bless you,

Phillip Scheibmeir

Principal


SCHOOL STATEMENTS

Our Mission Statement

St. Mary's Catholic School is dedicated to academic excellence and inspiring a faith-filled community of lifelong learners and compassionate leaders.  We commit to teaching Catholic values and to following Jesus through meaningful service, prayer, and love.

Our Vision Statement

We strive to help all students who leave our school to be:

        Individuals Who Model Christ:

        Diligent Lifelong Learners:

             Active Individuals:

             Responsible Citizens:

Statement of Philosophy

We, the faculty and staff of St. Mary's Catholic School, believe that the Catholic school provides a unique form of education to the students it serves. We believe that we can only achieve these goals with the full cooperation of the parents. We encourage our students to put forth his/her best efforts at all times. In order that each student may work to his or her fullest potential, we provide a comfortable and safe environment. St. Mary's School provides an academic environment in which students can develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary for a productive Catholic Christian life.

WEEKLY PRAYERS

The Daily Offering

[Prayed Every Morning]

Heavenly Father, I praise You and thank You for Your great love, and I lift up this day for Your blessings.  With Your help, I will live today as a responsible, generous and honest person.  Like Jesus, I will try today to treat everyone I meet with dignity and respect.  With Your spirit alive in me, I will witness Your love by thinking of others first and myself last.  Help me today Father, to put into action what I have said in words.  I ask this in Jesus' name.

Amen.

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

[Prayed on Afternoons, Mon-Thurs.]

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Act of Contrition

[Prayed on Friday Afternoons]

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because of Your just punishments.  But most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly  resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.  Amen.

Guardian Angel Prayer

[Prayed on Friday Afternoons]

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

whom God's love entrusts me here,

Ever this day be at my side,

to light and guard, to rule and guide.  Amen.

ADMISSIONS POLICIES 

St. Mary’s Catholic School accepts children of any race, sex, national origin, or handicapped condition (if the school is able to meet that child's needs).  Due to a lack of necessary personnel, equipment, or a formal special education department, some students with specific learning disabilities or behavior problems may not be admitted.  Once accepted, no student will lose his/her place if registered on time.  During the school year, students, Catholic or non-Catholic, moving into the city or transferring from other schools may be accepted.   Students from Sherman Independent School District, other local school districts, or home schools may transfer into the school during the current school year prior to February 28th of the current school year, but must meet acceptable criteria with regard to behavior and academic achievement. Students moving to the Sherman area may be admitted after February 28 at the discretion of the principal.

Admission Requirements

Age requirements:

 Admissions are based on the following priorities:

  1. Currently enrolled students
  2. Siblings of currently enrolled students.
  3. Members in good standing of St. Mary's Catholic Parish.
  4. Catholics who are not members of St. Mary's Catholic Parish.
  5. Non-Catholics.
  6. Late Applicants.
    FINANCIAL POLICIES

Tuition

Tuition may be paid in a lump sum payment or financed via FACTS Tuition Management.  Families will sign a tuition contract. IF TUITION IS LATE, YOUR CHILD(REN) WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND SCHOOL.  The tuition of families that enter the school during the school year is prorated as determined by the principal and pastor.  

Financial Deadlines

All tuition and outstanding accounts must be cleared by May 1st of each year. Any student whose family is not in good standing will not be allowed to take final exams or equivalent mastery grades and, if they are in 8th grade, not participate in graduation activities. Report cards, immunization records, testing data and any other documentations are withheld at the end of the year when financial responsibilities to the school have not been met.

For current year’s tuition and fees, please click on the following link:

stmarys-sch.org/tuition-fees/

*Criteria for Supporting Parishioner include the following:

St. Mary’s Pre-School is accredited through the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department (TCCED).  Accreditation requires a full day of school minutes.  Families may choose the ½ day option with the understanding that not all the curriculum will be met.   

After open enrollment, the school considers options for alternate Pre-School schedules such as 3-Day (M,W,F ) or 2-Day (T,Th). Please contact the school office for more information.

Refund Policy

St. Mary’s Catholic School requires a tuition payment in full on or before May 1st for the next upcoming school year. In general, tuition is non-refundable. If however a student leaves before the second semester of the school year begins, one-half (50%) of the student’s full tuition payment may be refunded. Except in extreme circumstances, such as the case where the School’s Principal determines that the school cannot meet the needs of a particular student, no other tuition refund is available. The decision whether to grant any tuition refund because of extreme circumstances will be made by the Principal.


SAVE ENVIRONMENT POLICIES

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas has implemented a Safe Environment Program for Parishes and Schools.  You may access safe environment information at www.cathdal.org.  The purpose of this program is to provide protection for both children and adults by informing adults of appropriate behavior toward children.  St. Mary’s Catholic School fully participates in this program.  Each staff member and parent volunteer is required to be trained and to comply with all of the requirements and expectations.

All employees and adults will follow every directive with regard to reporting suspected or real abuse.  Additionally, every staff member and adult will comply with all directives regarding appropriate behavior with children and be familiar with all of the requirements and safeguards for contact and time spent with children.

All staff members and parents will fill out an application and submit to a criminal background check which will be updated every two years.  All of these records are kept confidential, maintained in the principal’s office, and secured at all times. Access is granted ONLY to those with a “Need to Know.”                

VOLUNTEERING & FUNDRAISING OBLIGATIONS

Fundraising Obligation

Fundraising Obligation: $275 per family

The school has simplified the expectations placed upon our busy families.  In the past, families were expected to bring two-liter soda bottles to the Fall Fest, then sell $100 worth of chocolate bars the next week to neighbors.  A month later, families would have to bring green beans, desserts, paper towels and raffle-basket donations for Turkey Dinner. The Spring semester included expectations of selling raffle tickets and bringing wine bottles. All of these donations contributed to the fundraising goals, but consumed much of our time and created a feeling of being “nickeled and dimed.”

At the recommendation of the Fundraising Committee and School Advisory Council, the school has established a more simplified financial obligation.  This obligation should offset fundraising expenses and alleviate the time commitment involved providing such items. (Please note that this is not a reduction in volunteer hours and does not eliminate other financial obligations.)

Fall Expectation $150

During the fall semester, families are expected to seek $150 in pledges.  This obligation will offset fundraising expenses incurred from Fall Fest, Turkey Dinner and Run Run Rudolph. Families can choose to have their account billed or participate in community opportunities that alleviate the financial burden including:

  1. Seek pledges/sponsorship of $150 for Tiger Telethon benefitting the Pride Through Excellence Fund.  [For families needing other options, please speak with the principal.]
  2. Cash donation (bill account)

Spring Expectation $125

During the spring semester, families must contribute $125 towards Casino Night. This can be accomplished in a couple of ways:

  1. Sponsor a 10 person table at Casino Night (one family exempt per table)
  2. *Sell raffle tickets or Golden tickets
  3. Cash donation (bill account)

*Families that sell additional raffle tickets will be eligible for entry into Casino Night.

Volunteer Obligations

New Families 15 hours, Returning Families 30 hours

One of the major strengths of St. Mary’s Catholic School is our community. This community sustains the school financially, spiritually and socially. The School Advisory Council researched best practices of other schools and determined a general, volunteer expectation that produces a strong school community.  

All families are expected to volunteer 15 hours towards our major fundraisers.  These fundraisers keep tuition costs affordable.  The specific expectations are listed below. Certainly any family facing unforeseen circumstances (i.e. hospitalization) may speak with the principal to discuss their situation.

Returning families know the needs of the school, therefore we expect an additional fifteen hours . These hours can come in various ways of support to the school - lunchroom, homeroom representatives, chairing an event, concessions at a sport game to name a few examples.  

How to Help

A family is welcome to call the school office and ask if any volunteering is needed.  However, the school is not staffed sufficiently to call families when a volunteer need arises. Instead, the school will post volunteer needs on the website, thereby allowing families to select and sign-up for volunteer needs that fit their schedule and skills.  See https://stmarys-sch.org/volunteers/.  Occasional text messages may be sent of any volunteer needs.

The school has set a fee of $10/hour for families that do not support the community with a deadline of April 15.

15 Fundraising Hours:

5K Run, Run, Rudolph: Each family is expected to work a minimum of two hours. Anticipated date of event is December. Preparations begin throughout the Fall semester.

Casino Night: Each family is expected to work a minimum of five hours. Actual event is February/March, preparations and planning are year-round - check school calendar for actual date.

Fall Fest: Each family is expected to work a minimum of two hours. Anticipated date is September - check school calendar for actual date.

Turkey Dinner: Each family is expected to work a minimum of five hours. Anticipated date is November - check school calendar for actual date.

[Only fourteen hours are listed, leaving one more hour to be applied at your preference.]

If necessary:

Depending on the success of our fundraisers, the school may need to hold another fundraiser to make ends meet.  If another fundraiser is deemed necessary, then each family would be expected to participate.  Possible fundraisers:

Chocolate/Candy Sales:  Each family would be expected to sell a certain amount of product (e.g. two boxes of chocolate). Families would be able to opt out of the fundraiser by paying the equivalent dollar amount.

Concert/Dance: Each family would be expected to work a minimum of one hour and sell one ticket.

Recording Your Hours:

The school recognizes all volunteering from all family members.  Grandparents, nephews, neighbors, etc., are acceptable volunteers as long as they have passed Safe Environment.

A family has three options for recording their volunteer hours.  Please note that the responsibility of recording volunteer hours falls upon the family and not the school.  The school will not check sign-in sheets or remember verbal comments for such hours.  

Options for recording your volunteer hours:

  1. Complete a Family Service Log Sheet - AKA “Blue Sheets”
  2. Email volunteer@stmarys-sch.org
  3. Complete the online form on the school website under Volunteer

Please access the website www.stmarys-sch.org/volunteers for more information about requirements for volunteering at St. Mary’s School.


UNIFORM POLICIES

DRESS CODE

The school uses Parker Uniform as their official uniform vendor. Here is the link to the school’s uniform site:

Parker Uniform - https://www.parkersu.com/store/school/2133

Because uniform items purchased from vendors other than Parker are not guaranteed to be the accepted color or style, we do not recommend purchasing them.  Uniform items must not bear visible designer names or emblems on any part of the clothing.

Uniforms are worn every day at St. Mary’s Catholic School for students in grades K-8.  Pre-K students are not required to wear uniforms, but are welcome to follow kindergarten guidelines.

Mondays

Tuesdays

Wednesdays

Thursdays

Fridays

Formal (Mass) Uniform

or

Semi-Formal Option

Formal (Mass) Uniform

or

Semi-Formal Option

Formal (Mass) Uniform

Formal (Mass) Uniform

or

Semi-Formal Option

Formal (Mass) Uniform

or

Semi-Formal Option

or

Spirit Day Option

Exceptions are made for the following reasons:

General Uniform

Socks/Tights

White or navy blue socks visible from the shoe line. 

For girls, navy blue or white  traditional tights may be worn during cold weather. Tights must extend up through the skirt line or from the waistline to the ankle (no knee high, capri or leg warmers).

Shoes

Shoes are not provided through our uniform company.  Therefore, the school must show caution when relying on the fashion industry to provide such an item.

The school does not restrict any athletic shoe color, but reserves the right to deny any shoe that is considered distracting. Shoes must not be tattered or contain tears/holes.

  

All shoes are subjected to school approval.

 

Miscellaneous

Girls’ Uniforms

K - 3rd Grade                               

Formal (Mass) Uniform may be worn M, T, W, Th, F

              

The following may be worn M, T, Th, F - not Wednesdays

Grades 4th – 5th 

Formal (Mass) Uniform may be worn M, T, W, Th, F

 (short or long sleeve, Logo optional) or  Pinpoint blouse  (short or long sleeve, Logo optional). Sailor shirts are no longer permitted.

The following may be worn M, T, Th, F - not Wednesdays

Grades 6th - 8th

Formal (Mass) Uniform may be worn M, T, W, Th, F

Parker Plaid 1913.jpg.

Informal (non-Mass days) Uniform may be worn M, T, Th, F

Khaki pants, shorts, skirts or skorts  (SMS embroidery optional) and navy blue polo shirts  with the SMS logo (required) are acceptable for the remainder of the week (every day except Mass days).  Shorts, skirts and skorts must be no higher than 4 inches above the bend in the back of the knee.

Boys’ Uniforms

Boys K  – 5th Grade

Formal (Mass) Uniform may be worn M, T, W, Th, F

The following may be worn M, T, Th, F - not Wednesdays

Boys Grades 6th - 8th

Formal (Mass) Uniform may be worn M, T, W, Th, F

                 

               

Winter Weather

Coats worn in cold weather must be removed and hung in the hallway. Students in portables must hang their coats in the designated location determined by the teacher. The school does not have any restrictions on coats at this time. Undershirts may be worn as long as they are white or navy blue and not protruding or visible except at the neckline.  Parker Uniforms also offers long-sleeved uniform shirts.

Winter weather is challenging when our students travel between separate buildings to attend other classrooms (e.g. PE, music, Spanish, etc.).  For these occasions, the school permits an outerwear uniform.  Outerwear does not have any logo or name brand anywhere on it with exception of the SMS logo.

Outerwear

General

Spirit and Non-Uniform Days

Spirit Days

Students may wear one of the approved school spirit shirts, denim blue jeans [i.e. shorts, capris, or skorts] or uniform navy/khaki blue shorts, skorts, pants or slacks.  All pants and shorts must be normal fitting (no jeggings, leggings) with minimal ornamentation including no holes, no fraying or excessive fading.

Approved Spirit Shirts

The school sells official Spirit Shirts (when available) designed differently each year.  Here are previous approved Spirit Shirts.

         

Non-Uniform Days

At the discretion of the principal, there may be days when students are allowed to attend school out of uniform.  Please use the guidelines below to discern what is appropriate to wear and not wear.  In the event that a student is not appropriately dressed, he/she will be asked to change into his/her regular uniform.  If a uniform is not available, the student will not be allowed to attend class until a proper uniform is brought from home.  There will be no exceptions.  Students and parents need to be aware that when in doubt, dress conservatively and use common sense.

Non-uniform days require conventional or basic clothing styles, keeping the following in mind:

Scout Days 

At this time, the school or parish does not sponsor any Boy Scout or Girl Scout association. Therefore students may not dress in his/her scout uniform. 


RENWEB

To access this site for student and school information, parents must have an updated email in the school’s management system. Parents are expected to access and utilize the RenWeb features for tracking their child’s academic progress, updating information including authorized pick-up, contact information, change of address and medical information.


ACADEMIC POLICIES

                                                

Student Success

All available school resources shall be utilized to promote student success.  School success can only be attained through cooperation between parents and educators. Concerns about a student will be addressed by the classroom teacher and the parent. The teacher and the parent will develop a plan for improvement.  This may include hiring a tutor, staying after school for individual help, peer tutoring, etc.

If it is determined that the school’s resources cannot meet the needs of the student or if the parent(s) /guardian(s) fail to act on the school’s recommendations for remediation or diagnostic evaluation, the principal may request withdrawal of the student or deny admission for the following year.

Grading and Report Cards

The school year is divided into four quarters.  All academic and conduct grades students receive will be the result of an honest and careful evaluation of all phases of the student’s work and effort by each teacher.  Students and families should understand that grades are earned by students and not given by teachers.

Progress Reports

Progress reports for each core subject will be emailed via RenWeb at the midpoint of the first quarter for students in grades 1-8.  Parents may continue to check their child’s progress daily online with RenWeb. 

Academic progress will be discussed verbally at the first parent/teacher conference.  Students in grades 1-8 will receive emails via RenWeb of official report cards at the end of each quarter. Students in kindergarten will receive emails of official report cards after the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters. Students in grades Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 are not issued report cards.

Academic Grade Explanations

Kindergarten Achievement Code:

M= Mastered

P= Progressing                                        

I= Improvement needed        

+ = Always                

/= Not applicable                                

Grades 1-2 Achievement Code:

E= Excellent                            

G= Good                                       

S= Satisfactory

N= Needs Improvement                 

U= Unsatisfactory

I = Incomplete

Grades 3-8 Codes

A= 100-94                                                                        

B= 93-85                                                                          

C= 84-76                                                                          

D= 75-70

F= 69 and below

1= Extended grade level material

2= On grade level material

3= Below grade level/modified curriculum

Conduct and Effort Codes:

E= Excellent

S= Satisfactory

G= Good

N= Needs Improvement      

U= Unsatisfactory

Curriculum

The curriculum adopted by St. Mary’s Catholic School is mandated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas.  It meets and exceeds the state curriculum regulations for other public accredited schools in Texas.  St. Mary’s Catholic School is accredited by the Texas Catholic Conference of Education. The curriculum offers the student a challenging and well-integrated program of study.  In addition, a variety of instructional programs and methods provide students with learning experiences and opportunities to develop his/her potential.  All students are taught problem-solving and critical-thinking skills and are given the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities that promote creativity and future-oriented thinking.

The curriculum places emphasis on:

Core Subject

St. Mary’s Catholic School identifies the primary or core subjects as follows:

GENERAL ACADEMIC HONESTY 

All students at St. Mary’s Catholic School are expected to do his/her best work.  It is never acceptable for a student to use any dishonest means to achieve a grade or complete an assignment.  Cheating, plagiarizing, or any other misrepresentation of his/her work is not acceptable.  There are severe consequences for cheating of any kind, and it will not be tolerated in any shape or form.  All students at St. Mary’s Catholic School should not lie, cheat, steal, or condone anyone who does so.  As a Catholic Christian school, in order to promote the positive moral and ethical development of our students, the School will expect the support of parents to work with our students in this area.  The consequences for academic dishonesty are listed in the discipline code and will be strictly enforced.

 

ACCELERATED READER CODE OF HONOR

St. Mary’s Catholic School has established the following Accelerated Reader Honor Code:

  1. Giving or receiving questions or answers for an Accelerated Reader test or cheating on a test.
  2. Using Cliff Notes, classic comic books, movies, videos, or shortened or abridged versions of the books on the Accelerated Reader test.
  3. Using any means besides reading the full, unabridged version of the book to pass an AR test.

Textbooks

The textbooks used at St. Mary’s Catholic School are selected from a list adopted by the Diocese of Dallas.   Textbooks are provided on a rental basis.  Students have full responsibility for the care of the textbooks issued to them.  Texts should be kept free from pencil or ink marks.  Students may be fined for damage beyond the normal wear and tear or may be asked to pay full replacement costs for the books that have been lost, damaged or destroyed.   All textbooks should be covered and the student’s name should be written on the outside of the book cover. Each student should use a backpack or other similar pack to transport books to and from school.  

Students are encouraged to take necessary textbooks home each evening.  However, the excessive transportation of textbooks to and from school causes unnecessary damage and wear and tear on the books.  Students and parents are discouraged from taking every book home every night “just so the students will not forget something.”

Homework

Homework reinforces what was learned during the school day, provides the opportunity for independent study, and gives ownership to the daily class work.  Homework should be expected each day but may not always appear in the form of written work.  Essential components of homework are reading, re-reading, reviewing, and studying class work, as well as completing additional assignments that are not finished in school.  Students in grades 4-8 should be aware of the requirements of long-term projects and work as necessary to ensure the projects are completed on time.

Students at St. Mary’s Catholic School also need to be aware that the grade that he/she earns will be directly proportional to the amount of effort that he/she puts into his/her work.  Since homework is a key component in any student’s grade, the more effort that a student puts into the assignment, the more likely that the student will receive a higher grade.  For example, it may be necessary for a student to spend more than the allotted time listed below for a given assignment to earn a grade of an “A.”

The time allotment of homework will vary depending on the topic of study, the grade level, and the individual child’s study habits and ability.  Parent meetings at the beginning of the school year will indicate teacher and grade level expectations in this regard.  


It is strongly recommended that every student have a DAILY ROUTINE STUDY TIME that is SELDOM INTERRUPTED OR CHANGED.  A child should never say, “I don’t have homework tonight.”  Rather, the child should be led to examine what subject may require additional study time or what additional work could be done to prepare for upcoming assignments.  Parents can aid their children in home study by showing interest in their schoolwork and by examining accuracy and quality.  

Missing Homework Policy

Students in grades K – 3rd grade will a have policy for missing homework established by the individual teacher.  Grades 4th -8th will have the following policy that may be altered at the discretion of the principal:

Missing Homework Due to Failure to Complete –

Students will bring his/her school planners to class with them. Missing assignments will be recorded in the planner. The following penalties have been established for late work:

One day late: -10 points

Two days late: -20 points

Three days late: -30 points

More than three days late: Teacher discretion

Missing Homework Due to Absence

The student is responsible for gathering assignments, worksheets and material when he/she returns.  The student has one day for every day absent to turn in assignments or visit each teacher’s room to obtain a grade for the work.  Failure to do so will result in consequences related to missing homework due to failure to complete.

Parents are encouraged to look in the planner to check on their student’s progress and to use this as a tool to ensure that their children are keeping up with his/her work.  This can also be considered a formal communication with the parents and is one more way in which the school and staff keep parents informed about the progress of their children.

Student Planners

Student planners are mandatory in grades K-5.  The planner is one of the primary ways that the teachers communicate with parents, and this book provides valuable information and quick feedback for both parties.  Parents are expected to check the book on a regular basis and review the assignments with their children.  This monitoring by parents ensures that the students are keeping up with his/her work and that parents are aware of the day-to-day progress of their children.

Students are encouraged to record all assignments each day, even those assignments that have been completed.  Parents can use this information to see the work that the student did that day.  Future assignments and upcoming test dates should also be recorded.

There is a $15.00 replacement fee for student planners.

Conduct Grades

Conduct grades are based on behavioral traits listed below:

RETENTION – Policy is stated as mandated by the Diocese of Dallas

Retention should be used with caution and only after careful consideration.  The following policy is designed to identify student’s needs for academic success.

At anytime during the school year, preferably before the end of the first quarter, when a student is identified as being unsuccessful in his/her core subjects according to established indicators (academic performance, attendance records, observed relationships with faculty, staff, peers, etc.), the following steps will be taken:

  1. A CHILD STUDY TEAM will be formed.
  2. The team will be composed of the principal, parent(s)/guardian(s), and core classroom teachers. When necessary, the team will also include a learning specialist, social worker, and/or others involved in the child’s education.
  3. THE TEAM WILL:

The decision to retain a student rests with the school principal.  This decision will be forwarded to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and to the Director of Catholic Schools.  A copy of the decision will be retained in the student’s cumulative file.

ACADEMIC FAILURE

Any student in grades 3 through 8 who fails two subjects for two quarters during a given school year will be automatically considered for retention at his/her current grade level.  The retention of a student for failing grades will rest at the discretion of the principal.  

ACADEMIC PROBATION

Students who fail one or more subjects during the school year will be required to have a meeting with the principal and the teacher(s) to discuss a plan for improvement. The student may be placed on academic probation. If this plan is ineffective and the student then fails for a second time, the school administration will meet with the parents to discuss withdrawing the student.  

At the discretion of the principal and with the recommendation of the teaching staff, a failing student may attend summer school or individual tutoring to try to make progress to achieve a passing grade so that he/she may move on to the next grade.  The decision regarding the adequate progress of the student rests with the principal whose decision is final.  Should there be a need for an appeal, parents may contact the Director of Schools of the Diocese of Dallas.

If the school recommends that a student be retained, and the parent does not agree and will not comply with the wishes of the school administration and staff, the parent may exercise the option to attend another school.  Should a parent choose to transfer his/her child to another school, he/she needs to be aware that the student's permanent record will reflect his/her failing grades and the recommendation that the student be retained at his/her current grade level.

MODIFICATIONS

When a student with a clearly defined learning difference is admitted to St. Mary’s Catholic School, it may be necessary to make modifications to the curriculum or to the instruction that will affect that student.  To qualify for modifications of any kind, a student MUST have some form of academic testing on file in the school office.  This can be in the form of a report from a school-approved counselor, a private academic diagnostician, a report from a diagnostician with Sherman Independent School District, or a physician’s evaluation if necessary modification is due to a medical diagnosis.

Some examples of modifications are reduced homework, taking tests orally, taking tests in a separate setting, testing with no time limits, extra time for long-term assignments, making extra use of the computer for word processing to produce daily assignments and notes, being provided copies of notes, and checking homework on a daily basis.

Upon receipt of the report, the principal, teachers and parents will meet to discuss the most appropriate ways to modify the curriculum and instruction to ensure the greatest opportunity for student success.  The plan will be documented and put on file at the school office and a copy given to the parents.  

The responsibility for the implementation of the plan is equally placed on the school, the student, and his/her family.  Frequent communication is the best way to ensure that both the school and the student are following the plan and that it is working effectively.  The plan will be reviewed at each parent/teacher conference and again at the end of the year.  At the start of the following school year, the plan will be reviewed.  Changes may be made at that time if new information or testing has been conducted.


ELIGIBILITY

Conduct and Hard Work Eligibility for athletics and extracurricular activities

“This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

Students participating in DPL sports, archery tournaments, field trips and extracurricular activities must maintain satisfactory conduct and display a hard work ethic for eligibility.  

Conduct and Hard Work eligibility is determined at the discretion of the faculty and principal.

Old-fashioned hard work is an indispensable virtue. Hard work includes initiative, diligence, goal-setting, and resourcefulness. Students must exude hard work in order to receive the privilege of participating in field trips, extracurricular events and athletics.  Students unwilling to participate in teacher led activities or failing to complete assignments (not due to absences) will be considered ineligible.

Academic Eligibility for Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Students participating in DPL activities, archery tournaments, field trips and extracurricular activities must meet the minimum standard for academic eligibility.

Minimum Standards for Academic Eligibility

The school timestamps academic eligibility on the issued day of progress reports and report cards. At that time of progress reports or report cards, a student must be passing each subject area with at least a 70%; maintain an overall 76% (C) average in all subject areas, with no more than one “D” and no “F’s”; and maintain at least an “S” average in conduct.  Failure to maintain these minimum standards will result in a student being ineligible.  

Ineligibility   

When a student becomes ineligible, he/she may not tryout or participate in a team sport or extracurricular activity.

Archery tournaments do not align well to eligibility timestamps (i.e. progress reports, report cards) due to their irregular, infrequent and unseasonal dates. The consequence of not participating in a tournament may or may not occur within close proximity to the eligible timestamp.  Some tournaments may be over one month away from an eligibility date.  The decision of which tournaments are affected by eligibility will be determined by the principal in consultation with the Archery coach.

Practice

Students will be permitted to practice during the first week of ineligibility. If the student remains ineligible after one week, then the student will not be permitted to attend any more practices.

Regaining Academic Eligibility

Students, with the help of their parents, must submit a satisfactory report to the principal showing evidence of passing grades in all subjects in order to participate in any upcoming game/tournament or extra-curricular activity. Each week the student must submit (Wednesday) grade reports via RenWeb to the principal verifying that his/her grades meet the criteria for eligibility.  Reports (RenWeb) must be submitted (email or in person) to the principal by Thursday of each week prior to 8:15 a.m.  

If the student’s grades meet the criteria, then the student will be placed on probationary eligibility. The student must maintain the minimum standard each week until the next report card or progress report.


FIELD TRIPS

Each year our school takes field trips to many wonderful destinations.  The benefits of these educational journeys often lead to deep and memorable learning.  Every student and family member traveling holds an opportunity to show the surrounding community the excellence and dignity of St. Mary’s Catholic School.  All expectations, rules, behavior, etc. maintained on school grounds extend to the destination and pathway. Because a field trip by its very nature is away from campus, there lies safety concerns that the school must address for all families.

Permission Forms

Field trips are taken to enrich the instructional program.  They are a privilege and not a right.  Any student can be denied participation if he/she does not meet academic or behavioral requirements.  Permission slips must be signed and returned in a timely fashion so that a student can participate on a field trip.  

Options for permission include:

 

Permission CANNOT be given verbally.  All matters concerning variations to field trip policy will be directed to the principal.


Siblings
The school would prefer that our volunteers not have siblings with them. A younger
or older child can distract our volunteers from the needed supervision and can detract the enjoyment of the field trip from our students.  In some cases, where not enough drivers are available unless a parent brings a younger sibling(s), the school requires a younger sibling(s) to remain in a stroller the entire duration of the field trip with exception to diaper changes or bathroom visits.   

Vehicle Travel
Any driver must have a current driver’s license and auto insurance on file in the school office. A vehicle transporting students may not stop anywhere other than the authorized destinations given by the teacher.  The school recommends drivers have a full gas tank and tires checked to avoid unnecessary stops.  If the distance or time is lengthy the driver may wish to prepare an ice chest of drinks.

Every driver should be aware of the destination and follow any caravan route. Some vehicles have the ability to display videos - the school requests only G rated movies. Radio or music should be age appropriate and worthy of the Christian era. No smoking is permitted in any vehicles.

Chaperone Expectations
Every SMS adult present at a field trip must consider himself a chaperone in a position of authority with respect to students.  This implies responsibility and accountability for any and all students, especially any grouped under one’s immediate authority. Extending from this policy, the school requests all chaperones pass Safe Environment before attending a school sanctioned field trip. The chaperone must concede any decisions and judgments to the St. Mary’s Catholic School teacher or staff member.  

While field trips can be fantastic tools for enrichment, they can also be highly stressful to the adult sponsors.  The responsibility for the welfare of the students falls on the teacher. The chaperones are present to help properly supervise and ensure the success and safety of the students.  The following guidelines are necessary to provide proper supervision and a safe learning experience.

Parents who do not comply with these guidelines will be banned from attending field trips. Their student may also lose field trip privileges at the discretion of the principal.


Parent/Guardian(s) of Children Under Age 8 and 4 feet 9 inches:
According to Texas Law, “Children under the age of 8 and 4 feet 9 inches should be in a properly installed booster car seat”.  For this reason, the school requires all students with these conditions to travel with the appropriate booster car seat.  Furthermore, we do not want to place our volunteer drivers in the awkward position of breaking the law because a parent/guardian neglected to send a booster seat.  The school will have no choice but to leave a student at school in the event his/her booster seat is unavailable.  


DISCIPLINE

St. Mary’s Catholic School seeks to create a safe, orderly and Christian environment which permits teachers and students to work together to promote a positive academic environment. Every student must realize that he/she is responsible for his/her actions. St Mary’s Catholic School views discipline as a subject that needs to be constantly addressed. When a student chooses to break a rule, he/she also chooses to suffer whatever consequences are appropriate. Students are expected to learn that discipline is necessary for spiritual, physical, and intellectual growth to occur. Each teacher has a classroom discipline plan which is sent home to the parents on the first day of school. This plan will list classroom guidelines and consequences.

Since a quality learning environment is important, all students are expected to follow rules that will foster this. Students should obey the rules out of respect. If a student does not exhibit sufficient academic or social self-discipline, appropriate actions will be taken. These measures will follow the Behavior Policy recommended by the St. Mary’s School Advisory Council. These measures can lead to suspension and expulsion.

In addition, the rights of individuals must always be considered.  Individual expression is to be encouraged, but when such expression interferes directly or indirectly with the rights of others or violates respect for others, appropriate steps toward correction must be taken.  It is the right and privilege of a teacher to be able to teach, just as it is the right and privilege of every student to learn.  

Consequences are established with the idea that both the positive and the negative will encourage students to make informed and intelligent choices.  When discipline of a student is necessary due to an infraction or problem, the goal of the consequence is to help the student understand what may have been done incorrectly and to help avoid it in the future.  

It is important for both students and parents to know that the goal of the discipline plan at St. Mary’s Catholic School is to help our students develop values and to keep order in the school.  This is a partnership; both the family and the school have a tremendous obligation to ensure that the program meets the needs of the students and is effective.  The school reserves the right to work with students who may need an individualized plan to be successful.  

Code of Conduct

The following five standards of conduct are offered as guidelines to the development of responsible, civic minded Christian students.

1.    Exercise of self control

2.    Demonstrate positive attitude

3.    Respect the rights and feelings of others

4.    Take responsibility for school property

5.    Support the learning process

Students in all grades are to follow the behavior guidelines and consequences set by his/her classroom teachers.  The administration will support the teachers and work with parents to deal with any problems that might arise on a case-by-case basis.

Classroom Procedures

1. Attend and be on time for all classes.

2. Be prepared for each class with appropriate materials and assignments.

3. Be properly attired as explained in the dress code.

4. Demonstrate respect for the rights of staff members and fellow students.

5. Demonstrate respect for school property and the property of others.

6. Stand when an adult enters a classroom. Use an appropriate greeting such as, "Good Morning/Afternoon." Address adults with an appropriate title such as sir or ma’am.

7. Do not eat in the classrooms, library, or computer room. (Supervised classroom activities are an exception to this rule.)

8. Do not chew gum on school property.

9. Keep desks neat and orderly. Periodic inspections will be held.

10. Do not sit on bookshelves, desks, or tables.

11. Do not run in the halls.

12. Respect the privacy of any staff member. Never tamper with an adult’s desk, computer, purse, etc.

13. Never show disrespect to anyone.

14. Comply with all classroom rules.

15. St. Mary's is not responsible for lost items.

Conduct Out of Town

The same rules apply when students are off the campus as when they are on the campus. Students must remember that their behavior on a school trip can reflect the reputation of the school and the community. Students need to keep this in mind and act accordingly at all times. Use of electronic devices requires permission from the immediate supervisor.

Conduct with Visitors

All visitors are to be treated with courtesy and respect. The goal is for a visitor to leave with a positive feeling concerning St. Mary’s School.

Electronic Devices and Cellphones

St Mary’s Catholic School prohibits students from the use of personal electronic devices and cell phones during school hours. Permission may be given for use of an electronic device by the immediate teacher for academic purposes. Permission must also be granted by coaches, chaperones, teachers and other supervisors for students attending off-campus field trips, the After School Program, extra curricular activities and sports both on campus or while traveling. Electronic devices include, but are not limited to cell phones, laptops, iPads, iPods, portable gaming devices and electronic books.

If a student is using an unauthorized electronic device or cell phone, it will be confiscated and placed in the school safe.  The parent/guardian may pick up the device from the principal.  The next offense will require the device to be placed in the vault for 15 days.  

If a student needs to contact a parent during school hours, they may use the phone located in the school office. During extra curricular events, the responsible teacher/coach will ensure parents are contacted.

St. Mary’s Catholic School is not responsible for damages, lost items or theft that occur when students bring their own devices. Personal devices must abide by the school’s Acceptable Use Policy when students are granted permission to use during school or on school related activities. Students who violate St. Mary’s Acceptable Use Policy can permanently lose technology privileges in regards to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and/or on school computers/iPads, etc.  

PARENTS: State Law prohibits cell phone usage in school zones while driving.

BULLYING BEHAVIOR AND GENERAL HARASSMENT OF OTHER STUDENTS

St Mary’s Catholic School recognizes that each person has great dignity because each is made in the image and likeness of God; therefore, each person deserves respect. Respect and dignity are based on the Ten Commandments; we do not steal, lie, cheat, hurt a person in spirit or body, or do anything that would hurt the dignity of another. Such inappropriate behavior will be handled by the teacher and or principal. The staff and teachers of St. Mary’s Catholic School will not tolerate fighting, harassment or bullying on or off campus while students are under their supervision. Fighting, intimidation, bullying and harassment of any kind are inappropriate and also unacceptable. Depending upon the type and severity of the offense, a student may be given a disciplinary referral or a detention. A student may also be suspended or expelled.

Note: Parents, please communicate with your child’s teacher should you have a concern in this area.

Students at St. Mary’s Catholic School are expected to treat each other with a common level of respect and courtesy.  Students should never choose to participate in activities that harass, threaten, demean, or humiliate other students.  Students will never physically harm or threaten to harm other students.  Students may not use after school time to harass or threaten other students, whether in person, by telephone or via the Internet.  

Students who choose to engage in behaviors of this type will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and be subjected to any and all school disciplinary measures as determined appropriate by the staff and the principal. Depending on the situation, students may be required to attend peer mediation, outside professional counseling, or family therapy at the recommendation of the school.  Should a student not make adequate changes in behavior or the family chooses to not attend the recommended counseling or therapy, he/she will be asked to leave the school with a withdrawal or an expulsion.

DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES

Disciplinary action is designed not only to correct misconduct, but also to encourage and motivate students to become responsible, Christian citizens of the school community.  To that end, the teachers and administrators use their professional judgment to determine appropriate action based on the following:

EXAMPLES OF DISCIPLINARY MEASURES THAT MAY BE TAKEN

Middle SCHOOL DISCIPLINE GUIDELINES

A verbal warning should be enough to correct inappropriate behavior. If a verbal warning is ineffective, the staff member may revoke up to three recess privileges for one infraction. Disciplinary infractions can be issued immediately for inappropriate behavior. A parent will be notified of any disciplinary matters via email through Renweb. Parents are encouraged to have a conference with the teacher to discuss discipline concerns. If questions remain, parents can request a conference with the principal.

Disciplinary Infractions might include:

1. Chewing gum or eating without permission.

2. Talking without permission.

3. Dress code violations.

4. Repeatedly being late for class or not having the materials necessary for class.

5. Leaving items out in the hallway.

6. Failure to turn in or make up homework. (See Homework Guidelines.)

7. Discourteous behavior.

8. Littering the campus.

9. Leaving the cafeteria without permission.

10. Misuse of school equipment.

11. Throwing rocks or other objects at recess.

12. Playing tackling games at recess.

13. Returning to the building without permission when at recess.

14. Running and jumping in the hall.

15. Loud talking in the halls or restrooms.

16. Failure to keep hands, feet, and objects to oneself.

17. Inappropriate behavior during Mass.

18. Other inappropriate behaviors left to the discretion of the staff member.

Guidelines for Punishing Offenses

1st Offense: 1 hour of detention after school on an assigned day. Parents will be required to supervise detention due to lack of resources and compliance with Safe Environment.

2nd Offense: 2 - 1 hour detentions after school on two consecutive days. Parents will be required to supervise detention due to lack of resources and compliance with Safe Environment.

3rd Offense: 1 day of in-school suspension. Parents will be required to pay for substitute teacher expense.  Parents may be required to attend a zero tolerance meeting. Mandatory counseling may be required.

4th Offense: 2 days of in-school suspension. Parents will be required to pay for substitute teacher expense.  Parents may be required to attend a zero tolerance meeting. Mandatory counseling may be required.

5th Offense: 1 day of out-of-school suspension. Parents may be required to attend a zero tolerance meeting. Mandatory counseling may be required.

6th Offense: Possible suspension/expulsion from school.

A student will move directly to the next offense level if he/she fails to serve the assigned punishment. After serving that punishment, he/she will also be required to serve the one originally assigned. After this has been satisfactorily completed, the student will be entitled to have one offense removed from his/her record. This will put the student back on the 2nd Offense level. Hopefully, this will encourage the student to learn from past behavior and give him/her the opportunity to keep from moving up to higher punishments. After this, the opportunity for infraction removal will be revoked; and the student will move up to the next punishment.

IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION, SUSPENSION

Immediate in-school suspension, suspension, or expulsion will result from behavior that is unacceptable. The principal will decide on the particular consequence imposed. The severity of the situation and the individual circumstances will be taken into consideration when this decision is made. This behavior includes but is not limited to the following:

A. Smoking.

B. Use of alcohol.

C. Use of drugs.

D. Cheating.

E. Lying.

F. Vandalism.

G. Threatening harm to students, staff, or property.

H. Stealing.

I. Fighting.

J. Skipping school or leaving school without permission.

K. Bringing a weapon to school.

L. Hazing.

M. Using vulgarity.

N. Using the internet for inappropriate reasons such as playing games, checking email, being in chat rooms, etc.

O. Use of a cell phone (calling, texting, taking pictures, etc.) or other electronic devices.

P. Racial slurs.

Q. Inappropriate displays of affection.

R. Sexual harassment.*

*Examples of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment include but are not limited to: sexual propositions, off-color jokes, inappropriate physical contact, innuendoes, sexual offers, looks, and gestures.

S. Harassment/Bullying**

**Harassment is defined as one person making repeated (more than one) verbal or physical contacts with another person who does not want these contacts. Bullying usually involves some type of force. This can be done verbally, physically, or socially.

A child who attends in-school suspension is prohibited from participating in activities that occur during the extended school day. Thus the student is excluded from all school activities that occur after school hours on that same day. This includes but is not limited to athletic practices,

academic practices, athletic competitions, academic competitions, play performances, etc.

Suspensions

The purpose of a suspension is to isolate a student from his/her peers so that he/she may reflect on the infraction and avoid repeating it in the future.  Teachers will send assignments to the office for suspended students.  The assignment of either in-school or out-of-school suspension will rest at the sole discretion of the principal.

Expulsion

Orderly school administration is essential to fulfilling the core mission of Catholic schools. Even a single failure by a member of the school community to uphold the standards of behavior to which all community members agree when a student is enrolled can cause irreparable harm.  Thus, while in many cases expulsion is reserved for very serious or persistent misconduct, a school may properly determine that a single instance of on- or off-campus misconduct requires separation of a student from the school community.  Misconduct committed by a member of the school community other than a student (including parents or other family members) can also significantly hinder a school’s ability to perform its essential task of educating students.  As a result, misconduct committed by a person connected to the school through a student (including parents or other family members) may result in the expulsion of the student from the school when, in his or her sole discretion, the chief administrator determines that such action is appropriate.

Grounds for Expulsion

Any instance or course of misconduct may, at the sole discretion of the school’s chief administrator, be sufficient grounds for expulsion.  In many cases, it is appropriate to attempt to correct the problem behavior through less severe disciplinary measures.  In other cases, however, the school’s chief administrator may determine that expulsion is the appropriate sanction for misconduct that has not previously resulted in probation, suspension, or other discipline.  

Examples of behavior that will generally result in expulsion include but are not limited to:

  1. Actions gravely detrimental to the moral and spiritual welfare of other students;
  2. Incorrigible or disruptive behavior which impedes the progress of the rest of the class;
  3. Assault, battery, or any threat of force or violence—whether intended in jest or not—directed toward any school personnel, students, member of the school community, or other person on school property or during school-related activities;
  4. Habitual or persistent violation of school regulations;
  5. Possessing, selling, giving away, using, or being under the influence of alcohol and drugs and/or hazardous substances on campus, at school functions, or at a time and place that directly involves the school or the welfare of members of the school community;
  6. The on-campus use, sale, distribution, or possession of a substance intended or commonly used to mimic a narcotic, controlled substance, or alcoholic beverage;
  7. Use or possession of firearms or other potentially harmful objects or weapons;
  8. Gang-related conduct or activity including but not limited to, symbols, graffiti, apparel, colors, hazing/initiations, and hand signals commonly associated with gangs;
  9. Theft, extortion, arson;
  10. Habitual truancy;
  11. Malicious damage or destruction of real or personal property at school;
  12. Hazing;
  13. Serious bullying and/or harassment;
  14. Conduct which may damage the reputation of the school or parish;
  15. Transmission of nude or otherwise inappropriate images of any student or person who appears to be a minor child; and
  16. Use of social media in such a manner as constitutes bullying or online harassment or which causes another student or member of the school community to fear for the safety of any member of the school community.

Additionally, off-campus misconduct may result in expulsion, especially when it is related in some way to the school community because it is directed towards a member of the school community, directly or indirectly involves multiple members of the school community, or may negatively impact the school’s reputation in the community.

Procedure for Expulsion

Circumstances giving rise to expulsion can arise and unfold quickly.  The chief administrator’s primary duty in such situations is to protect the school community.  No student or family has any right to the application of a particular procedure before or in connection with the expulsion of a student.  Nevertheless, the following process can serve as a general guideline when, in the chief administrator’s discretion, circumstances warrant:

  1. When practical, the pastor of a parochial elementary school and the president of a diocesan high school should be apprised of the circumstances of a potential expulsion before the decision to expel is implemented;
  2. When circumstances permit, before the decision to expel is implemented, the student’s parents should be advised of the potential for expulsion and a summary of the grounds for expulsion.
  3. The student and his or her parents should be invited to a conference with the school’s chief administrator.  In parish schools, the local pastor should be advised of the scheduled conference. In high schools, the president should be advised of the scheduled conference.  At the chief administrator’s discretion, this conference may be held before or after the decision to expel is implemented.
  4. The final decision to expel a student rests with the school’s chief administrator and will not be reviewed except to ensure compliance with any applicable pre-expulsion procedures.  In parochial elementary schools, the pastor should be consulted. In diocesan high schools, the president should be consulted.

Tuition and Fees

Prepaid tuition and fees are not refunded if a student is expelled.  If a student is expelled before tuition or fees would ordinarily come due, the family of an expelled student shall be excused from further payment.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

St. Mary’s Catholic School believes that every student has the right to attend school and school-related activities free from all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment from another student, a school employee, volunteer, or visitor.  The school treats sexual harassment seriously and considers the full range of disciplinary options up to and including expulsion, according to the nature of the offense.  All students are expected to avoid behaviors that are offensive and stop behaviors when asked or told to stop.  All students are prohibited from engaging in offensive verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward another student, school employee, volunteer, or visitor.

A student that believes that he/she has been subjected to sexual harassment must bring the matter to the attention of the principal.  If the principal is the subject of the complaint, the student must bring the matter to the attention of the pastor.  The student must put the complaint in writing, including the date and the circumstances of the harassment.  Students may receive assistance from his/her parents in writing the complaint.  Notice of the alleged harassment is not official unless it is put in writing and delivered to the appropriate party for the investigation.

Once the principal or the pastor receives a written complaint, it is investigated immediately.  In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes harassment, the totality of the circumstances and the context of the alleged incidents are taken into consideration. In addition, the alleged harasser and his/her parents are called for a conference regarding the alleged activity.  The investigating authority will take corrective action or disciplinary measures,  render a prompt determination, and if warranted, is imposed promptly.  If the complaining student is not satisfied with the findings, then an appeal may be made to the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Dallas.  Retaliation against the complaining student is not allowed.  A student’s complaint and the ensuing investigation will remain confidential

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

If there is probable or reasonable cause, administration and teachers reserve the right to search lockers, handbags, and backpacks.  Two adults will be present during the search.  If a student refuses to allow a search under due cause, parents will be notified and student will be subject to further disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.


COMMUNICATION

CONFERENCES

Every effort will be made to keep lines of communication open to ensure that every school family has the best educational experience possible at St. Mary’s Catholic School.  It is imperative for parents to feel that the school is available to provide information and guidance when necessary.  Parents are encouraged to contact the school when there are problems so that any issue can be addressed in a timely manner to ensure that the best interests of the child are represented.  

Parents should be aware that phone calls to teachers should be answered within 24 hours and a meeting or phone conference will be held at the earliest opportunity. The types of conferences are listed below.

FORMAL CONFERENCE

Parent/Teacher/Student conferences are once a year following the first quarter.  

INFORMAL CONFERENCES

Your child’s progress is important to the school.  Teachers are available to discuss issues during the regular school day and after school by appointment only!  Contact the school office to leave a message for the teacher or send a note with your child.  Teachers will return calls within 24 hours of the receipt of the message. Impromptu conferences should not be held without prior notice so that both the parents and teachers can be adequately prepared for the meeting.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

Every effort shall be made to resolve situations so that the education process can continue.  Before differences become formalized grievances, both parties shall make every effort to resolve problems through open communication.  If a parent seeks resolution of a situation relating to a student, the following steps should be taken.

ADDRESSING THE ADVISORY COUNCIL

Persons may wish to address the St. Mary’s Catholic School Advisory Council at a regularly held council meeting.  Persons may address the Advisory Council on an issue or a policy of the school.

Persons who desire to address the St. Mary’s Catholic School Advisory Council should contact the president of the Advisory Council or the principal in writing at least 10 days prior to the next meeting.  The council president and the principal shall decide if the issue will be presented.  Persons who attend a meeting of the Advisory Council without first having been placed on the agenda will be allowed to address the Advisory Council only if the president determines there is time to hear the issue.

SUPPORT OF THE SCHOOL

Respect shall be observed during any verbal and nonverbal communication at all levels within the St. Mary’s Catholic School community.  The following actions will be termed in violation of the respect for the community and may result in dismissal from school:

Counseling Services

St. Mary’s Catholic School does not employ a school counselor. If a student is determined to need counseling services, the school will share a list of local, qualified counselors.

Emergency School Closings/Extreme Weather Conditions

In the event that it becomes necessary to close the school due to inclement weather or any other emergency, the school will send out a mass communication alert via RenWeb.  Closings may be posted on local television and radio stations like Channel 12 (KXII), WFAA.  St. Mary’s Catholic School will also follow the lead of the Sherman Independent School District in regard to cancellation of classes.

Changes in Information/Routines

For security and safety, all changes to a student's information are completed by the legal guardian/parent via RenWeb.  Such changes include where a child will be going after school or who is authorized to pick up your child.  As a courtesy, please notify the school office if your child will be leaving school with someone other than the routine driver.

Telephone Use

Children are permitted to use the phone only with the approval of a school employee. He/she is not allowed to use the phone to re-arrange rides home or to receive permission to go to a friend’s home.  Students will not be called to the phone to receive messages.  Only messages of an emergency nature will be relayed to students.  Parents should not attempt to make use of a child’s cellular telephone during the school day, but should call the office in the event of an emergency.

Students not in accordance with the cell phone/technology policy will have his/her phone/device confiscated.  If SMS chooses to return a confiscated item, it may be picked up by parent/guardian after the $25.00 fee has been paid and any other disciplinary requirements are met.


TECHNOLOGY

TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTABLE USE

St. Mary’s Catholic School prohibits students from the use of personal electronic devices and cell phones during school hours. Permission may be given for use of an electronic device by the immediate teacher for academic purposes. Permission must also be granted by coaches, chaperones, teachers and other supervisors for students attending off-campus field trips, the After School Program, extra curricular activities and sports both on campus or while traveling. Electronic devices include, but are not limited to cell phones, laptops, Ipads, Ipods, portable gaming devices and electronic books.

If a student is using an unauthorized electronic device or cell phone, it will be confiscated and placed in the school safe.  The parent/guardian may pick up the device from the principal after the $25 fee has been paid and other disciplinary requirements are met.  The next offense will require the device to be placed in the vault for 15 days in addition to another $25 fee.  

Students are not allowed to film/record/take pictures of any SMS staff member or fellow SMS students without explicit permission. Be advised that the contents of text messages, voice-mail messages, phone numbers or any games or photos that may be saved on that device are ALWAYS subject to the inspection of the school by a staff member or an administrator.  The school will reserve the right to inspect the contents of any phone, just as it does for backpacks, desks or lockers.

If a student needs to contact a parent during school hours, they may use the phone located in the school office. During extra curricular events, the responsible teacher/coach will ensure parents are contacted.

St. Mary’s Catholic School is not responsible for damages, lost items or theft that occur when students bring their own devices. Personal devices must abide by the school’s Acceptable Use Policy when students are granted permission to use during school or on school related activities. Students who violate St. Mary’s Acceptable Use Policy can permanently lose technology privileges in regards to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and/or on school computers/iPads, etc.  

The school recognizes the important role that technology (computers, laptops, iPad’s, networks, software, media equipment, and the Internet) plays in our society.  The school seeks to train students in making the best use of technology as an enhancement to his/her academic pursuits and provide a resource for teachers to enhance his/her curriculum.  The smooth operation of the school’s computer network relies upon the proper conduct of students.  Accordingly, the school has adopted strict guidelines that govern the use of the school’s computer network and Internet system.  

The use of the computer network at St. Mary’s Catholic School is both a right and a privilege.  Students are required to make use of the network to learn the curriculum and to have access to many of the resources that are available only on the Internet.  However, the school reserves the right to limit the use and restrict the sites that students will visit while making use of the Internet.

No student is to ever visit a site that is not expressly allowed by the teaching staff.  Students will not visit or access chat rooms, personal websites, or answer e-mail that has been sent from an off-campus location.  Students who do so will be subjected to serious disciplinary consequences that are covered in the discipline section of this handbook.

Students who develop websites or social media sites off campus are never to access them at school without the express permission of a staff member.   These sites are subject to review and evaluation by the school for appropriate content.  Students are not to share the address of these sites at school with other students.  Every student who develops an off-campus website or social media page needs to be aware that he/she is responsible for the content of that site. Should one of these sites be accessed at school and inappropriate content is discovered, the student creator is responsible for that content and will be subject to disciplinary action.

St. Mary’s Catholic School reserves the right to take action if an off-campus website or social media are used to harm, harass, degrade, or otherwise negatively impact another student or employee of the school, even if the site is never accessed at the school.

Students who use personal social media off campus in a manner that carries a message that harms another student, staff member, or anyone associated with St. Mary’s Catholic School, or connects to a website that is determined to be inappropriate or pornographic will be subjected to the most serious of disciplinary consequences.

Students who use a privately created social media to harass, demean, threaten, humiliate, or embarrass another student, staff member, or anyone associated with St. Mary’s Catholic School will be subjected to serious disciplinary consequences.  

Students who do create social media need to be aware that he/she is responsible for the content of that site, the links to which it may connect, or if it mentions another student, staff member or anyone associated with St. Mary’s Catholic School or mentions the name of St. Mary’s Catholic School.  The school reserves the right to protect its staff, students and the school itself from any negative, demeaning or threatening content.  The principal will make all final decisions regarding the content and the disciplinary action to be taken in a given situation.

The consequences that may be imposed can range from loss of Internet privileges to school disciplinary consequences or possible expulsion.

 

In order to use the network and system, each student and the student’s parents are required to read the guidelines and expectations of the Acceptable Use


SCHOOL DAY

SCHOOL HOURS

  1. The school day for all grades begins at  8:00 AM.  
  2. Students should be in his/her seats at 8:00 or he/she will be counted tardy.  
  3. Pre-K 1/2 day ends at 11:30 AM.  
  4. All other classes ends at 3:30 PM.
  5. All Early Release days end at 12:00 Noon. These days will be noted on the school website and academic calendar.

ENTERING SCHOOL GROUNDS

Students are to be dropped off at the gate on Sparrow Lane. Vehicles are to enter Sparrow Lane from Walnut St. DO NOT pull into the parking lot from Travis St. and attempt a U turn in the parking lot as this is not safe. While this may be an inconvenience, safety takes precedence. Travis St. is a busy street.  The school does not have a crossing guard. Therefore, any families parking across Travis St. must ensure that a student is escorted with an adult while crossing.

For safety reasons, no students will enter through the McCullough Center. Instead all students must enter through the main school doors where adequate supervision is available.

Students riding the bus will enter through the gate facing Travis St.

Do not drop children off before 7:40 am unless arrangements have been made.

EARLY ARRIVAL & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

In the interest of safety, students are requested not to arrive on the school grounds earlier than 7:40 AM unless enrolled in the Early Arrival Program. Family accounts will be charged for any student that is dropped off prior to 7:40am. Unless a child is attending the After School Program, he/she must be picked up by no later than 3:45 PM.  Students not picked up by that time will be sent to the After School Program and charged accordingly. The school office officially closes at 4:00 PM.

Attendance and Absences

Please schedule vacations and dentist/doctor appointments outside school time.  When your child is absent for more than one day, please notify your child's teacher.  Parents/guardians must sign their child out each time he/she needs to leave the school during the school day..

 

Sign out will be done at the receptionist’s office. The receptionist will send for your child.  Adults are to wait for the students to be brought to the front entrance.

Students are expected to attend school every school day, personal illness and family emergencies being the exception.  Partial day absences will be recorded. Any student that leaves prior to 2pm will be considered absent half a day. No student may exceed more than (10) absences for the school year without serious reason.

If your child is going to be absent, the parent/guardian must contact the school by 8:30 a.m.  This is to be repeated each day of the student’s absence.  On the day following the absence the student is to provide the teacher with a signed and dated note from his/her parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence.  Unexplained absences will be considered unexcused.

 

An absence of two hours or more in the morning or afternoon will be considered as a half-day absence. Therefore any child that arrives after 10:15 will automatically be recorded half-absent.

 

TARDINESS

It is important that students develop punctuality and responsibility.  Morning prayers begin promptly at 8:00 AM.  Any student who is not in his/her classroom and seated at his/her desk by 8:00 AM will be considered tardy.  It is understood that circumstances will occasionally arise which will cause a student to arrive to school late.   However, many students make a habit of being tardy; this constant or frequent late arrival causes a disturbance to the class and does not allow the students to ready themselves for the day’s work.

The consequences of being tardy to school are as follows:

 

 

The tardy count will reset at the beginning of each semester.

A student who is tardy due to a scheduled doctor’s appointment or other extenuating circumstance will be allowed an excused tardy at the discretion of the principal and must have a note from the parent.  It should be noted that an excused tardy is to be issued on a very limited basis, and excessive use of these special situations will not be tolerated.

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS

Early dismissal of students is discouraged in order to maximize instructional time.  Please make every effort to schedule routine medical and dental appointments after school hours. If a child needs to leave school for a medical appointment, he/she must bring a note from the medical office upon returning to school.

LEAVING SCHOOL PRIOR TO END OF DAY

Family emergencies, illnesses, medical appointments, or other unexpected situations may arise and require a student to leave early.  However, it is not acceptable to take children unless it is a serious circumstance.  Regardless of circumstance, any student that leaves prior to 1:30pm of the school day will be issued a half day absence.  

Parents should communicate to the front office and child’s affected teacher (i.e. teacher of the child at that time of the appointment - see student schedule available through Parent’s RenWeb account) at least 24 hours in advance of any appointment or early departure.  This courtesy will prevent delays. The school does not recommend relying on children to communicate about off campus appointments.

The school will do its best to have a student ready in the front off at the indicated time. For educational reasons, the school recommends children be requested no more than five minutes of the necessary departure. Please keep in mind that circumstances (e.g. attending Mass, outdoor recess) may not always allow students to be immediately available at specific times.

Failure to notify the teacher or front office may result in the child not being ready at the desired time. 

The dismissal process is very time consuming and begins as early as 3:10 pm for some classes.  Students will not be dismissed between 3:10 pm and

3:28 pm unless communication has been made with the school office prior to 10:00 am. 

For a student to receive full credit for a day of attendance, he/she must arrive no later than 10:00 AM or may not leave earlier than 1:30 PM.

LUNCH

St. Mary’s Catholic School provides a hot lunch most days. The lunch program is available only because of parent volunteers. Please explain to your student the importance of good behavior in the lunchroom.        

Prices are as follows:

The school prefers all lunch money be collected electronically through FACTS.  This saves educational time (less hassle = more teaching time), ensures more security by avoiding delivery hands (e.g. Did your child remember to give the money envelope to his teacher?) and provides faster and more reliable documentation.  

At the end of each month the school will charge accounts accordingly.  Families may pay as you are billed (within 15 days or late fee) or keep a "toll-tag" supply that automatically reloads the lunch account to a predetermined amount (set by the parent).

Students will still be charged for advanced lunch orders (i.e. Pizza, Sandwich Day) regardless of being absent unless cancelled prior to the deadline. In the event of such an absence, parents may pick up the ordered lunch at the designated lunch time.

Students are expected to eat a portion of his/her meal. Be prepared to hear from the school if your child skips lunch. The school may ask you for a written note acknowledging that you are aware your child is not eating. Every child will be encouraged to eat something at lunch.  

RECESS

Students are expected to go outside (weather permitting) during recess.  A note from a doctor is required if a child needs to stay inside.  Children should be dressed appropriately for that day's weather conditions. Recess is not to be used to complete homework or other optional activities without the permission of the homeroom teacher.

PLAYGROUND RULES

DISMISSAL PROCEDURE/TRAFFIC PATTERN

The school does not have personnel to watch students after dismissal.  Therefore any student not picked up by 3:45 PM will be sent to the After-School Program and subject to drop-in charges. The school office officially closes at 4:00 PM.

AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM

The After-School Program (ASP) is open to any student enrolled full day in the school and runs from 3:45 PM - 5:30 PM. Before a student can participate in the After-School Care Program, parent(s)/guardian(s) need to fill out an ASP Agreement.  For students who are not picked up by 5:30 PM there is a charge of $1 per minute until the student is picked up.  As a last resort, if a child remains after 5:30 PM. and the extended care provider needs to leave, the local police department may be called to pick up the student.

All students enrolled in ASP must follow the rules of the director and supervisors.  If a child repeatedly disregards the rules, the parent/guardian will be notified.  If the negative behavior persists, the student will be unable to remain in ASP.

Students who stay after school for any reason (i.e. tutoring, study hall, detention, sports or any other extra-curricular activity) must be picked up at the end of the activity within 10 minutes of dismissal.  

 


MEDICAL

Health

If a child is sent to the school office because of serious illness or injury, the parent or the person named on the emergency card will be notified immediately.  Please keep the student RenWeb account current of contact information. It will be the parent’s responsibility to get medical attention unless the emergency is so great that the child must be taken immediately from school for treatment.

For the protection of all students, the following guidelines have been set up and will be followed at all times:  

  1. fever of 100 degrees or higher
  2. suspected of contagious disease
  3. vomiting
  4. diarrhea

COMMUNICABLE DISEASE CONTROL MEASURE

MEDICATION

Any medication (including lozenges, Tylenol etc) that a child brings to school must be turned into the office. Only medication in a prescription bottle or in original packaging will be administered in school. If nonprescription medication is needed, the parent must send written notification including administration directions.  It is the responsibility of the student to report to the office to take medication. Parent/guardian of the students taking daily medication will be required to sign a “Request for in-school administration of medication form” for students to be administered medication on a daily basis.

ALLERGIES

If your child has allergies to food or other objects that may be confronted at school, the parent/guardian must notify the school in writing of the allergy and any restrictions, medical needs, etc. Without such notification, the school will not be held liable for allergy outbreaks.

All student accidents and injuries on school premises and at school sponsored events should be reported to the front office immediately.

 

Student Accident Insurance

 

As a part of tuition, St. Mary’s Catholic School provides each student with student accident insurance. This coverage is secondary when the student has health coverage under another Insurance Plan and primary when not covered under another Plan.  This insurance covers accidental injuries to students during school hours and at all school sponsored functions including sports, both on and off campus. This coverage is not health insurance.  Insurance claim forms are available in the front office.  When an accident occurs, the school will fill out the top portion of the Student Accident Claim Form and provide this to the parent(s).  The parent(s) will then complete the remainder of the form and mail it, along with all required attachments, to the insurance carrier directly at the address indicated on the form. All claims under the Student Accident Insurance are handled directly by the insurance carrier with the Parent / Guardian.  If there are any issues that arise during the course of the claim, please contact the School Office.  Coverage is provided in accordance with the plan documents and specific coverage terms and conditions.


GENERAL SCHOOL RULES


All of the guidelines listed below are designed to assist the students in having a productive and orderly day as well as to ensure safety.  Frequently, students put themselves or the school in a precarious situation unintentionally.  The guidelines listed below are very important, and it is assumed that students will follow them.  Consequences for failure to follow the items listed below will be determined in accordance with the school discipline plan in this handbook at the teacher’s discretion.

 


        MISCELLANEOUS

Catholic schools within The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas (the “Diocese”) are an extension of the religious ministry of the Diocese and, in the case of parochial schools, of the parish to which they are attached.  To help schools fulfill this important role, the Diocese has promulgated certain policies for implementation in every school within the Diocese.  Accordingly, these policies, replace, and control over any local school policies which apply to the same subject matter thereof.

Standardized Testing

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas test their students on an annual basis using the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) during mid-October.  Students in grades 1-8 are given the ITBS and Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT).  Results of the tests are given to the parents six weeks after initial testing.  

Participating in Physical Education

Unless prohibited by injury or illness, students are expected to participate in physical education classes.  A note from a parent or guardian must be sent to the physical education instructor in order to be excused from participation. If a child cannot participate for more than one week, a doctor’s excuse is required.

Parental Access to Student Records

Parents will be allowed to inspect and review their student’s education records, at a date and time convenient to the school, unless a court has ordered otherwise. Records will always be reviewed in the presence of school personnel appointed by the chief administrator. The school may provide copies of the records and, if it does so, may charge a fee.

In the event a court order is in place which limits a parent’s access to a student’s educational records, or which otherwise limits the contact a parent may have with the school regarding the student, the family must provide a complete, final, signed copy of the order to the school when the student is enrolled.  If such a court order is issued after a student has enrolled, the family must provide a complete, final, signed copy of the order to the school as soon as it is signed by the judge.  

The school will, when and to the extent reasonably possible, honor restrictions on access to educational records imposed by such an order.  However, school personnel are not family lawyers and it is not the school’s responsibility to enforce court orders.  See below for additional information regarding reimbursement of the school’s costs and attorney's fees for involvement in family custody disputes.

Schools will generally not release a student’s records to third parties without the written consent of a student’s parent or legally responsible adult.  As an exception to this rule, a school may disclose student records to or for:

  1. School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  2. Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  3. Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  4. Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  5. Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  6. Accrediting organizations;
  7. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  8. Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  9. State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

If a specific reason exists to further limit access to a student’s educational records, the student’s parent or legally responsible adult must provide a specific, written request that explains the basis for the additional restriction to the school’s chief administrator.  The chief administrator, in his or her sole discretion, will determine whether implementing special procedures for a student’s records is appropriate and reasonably feasible on a case-by-case basis.

Transfers

When a child transfers to another school, the parents must complete a withdrawal form for the student’s permanent file. Scholastic records will be sent only when tuition is paid in full through the final month that the child attended St. Mary’s Catholic School.

Custody and Family Law Issues

The Diocese and its schools understand that many families within the school community are affected by custody and other related legal disputes. The Diocese and its schools work to balance sensitivity to difficult family situations and the interests of safety and orderly school administration.  Involving school personnel in family and custody diverts finite school resources from the school’s primary function.  As a result, it is important that families within the school community who are affected by custody and other related legal disputes read and understand the following policies and procedures.

Generally, a child’s biological or adoptive parents have equal rights to custody of and visitation with the child unless and until a court orders otherwise.  When this arrangement has been changed by court order, it is the responsibility of the affected student’s family to provide the school with a complete, final, signed copy of the relevant order and to point out to the school any relevant portions of the order.  Unless and until a student’s family does so, the school may assume that both of a child’s biological or adoptive parents have equal rights to custody of and visitation with the student.  

It is the responsibility of the parents, not the school, to ensure that the school is promptly provided with any relevant original or amended custody orders.  Schools will take reasonably practical steps to facilitate compliance with relevant family court orders.  However, it is the responsibility of the family, and not the school, to enforce family court orders regarding a student.  School personnel are not family law attorneys and are not responsible for interpreting or enforcing custody or other family court orders.  

Attorneys representing parents in custody disputes should not contact school personnel directly, including to request the production of documents and execution of supporting affidavits for use in litigation.  Parents may obtain contact information for diocesan legal counsel from the school and should provide this information to the parents’ attorneys if school involvement in a custody dispute is requested.  If the school is required to engage counsel to interpret or otherwise advise the school regarding a custody or other family court order or dispute, the parents of the affected student are jointly and severally liable to the school for all costs and attorney's’ fees associated therewith.  As an exception to this general rule, upon request by either parent, the school will generally, at the chief administrator’s sole discretion, provide one copy of a student’s central file (e.g., attendance records, report cards, enrollment documents, etc…) with a supporting business records affidavit to both parents or their attorneys free of charge.  

Diocesan schools are private property and are not open to the public.  Additionally, it is detrimental to the well-being of the affected students and to the school community as a whole when family disputes are brought onto school property.  Parents are expected to do everything possible to avoid parental confrontations or arguments on school grounds.  The chief administrator of the school or his or her designee has full discretion to exclude any person from the school when, in his or her sole discretion, doing so is necessary or appropriate.  School personnel may contact law enforcement for assistance when doing so is necessary to enforce this discretion.  If a parent who is prohibited by court order from coming to or near the school attempts to enter the school, the school may call the police and/or seek other appropriate recourse.  

If school personnel believe that the behavior of a parent or other legally responsible adult presents an imminent threat of harm to a student, the school may refuse to release the student to the parent or other legally responsible adult or take such other steps, including but not limited to contacting law enforcement or the student’s emergency contact, as the school deems necessary.

 

Reports to and Cooperation with Law Enforcement

Reports to Law Enforcement

Texas law requires the principal of a private school, or his or her designee, to notify law enforcement if the principal has reasonable grounds to believe that certain crimes listed in section 37.015 of the Texas Education Code.  The notice provided to the police must include the name and address of each student the person believes may have participated in the activity, and must also be provided to each employee of the school who has regular conduct with a student whose conduct is the subject of the notice.  It is the policy of the Diocese of Dallas and its schools to comply with this statutory requirement.

Cooperation with Law Enforcement and Child Abuse Investigations

Texas law requires schools to make students available for interviews by child protective workers in connection with an investigation into suspected child abuse.  The child protective worker may or may not allow a school representative to witness the interview.  Diocese of Dallas schools will cooperate with such interview requests.

From time to time, law enforcement officers also seek to interview students while at school in connection with an allegation or suspicion that the student has committed a crime.  When faced with such a request, school personnel will refer the requesting officer to the school’s chief administrator or his or her designee.  The chief administrator or designee will request additional information regarding the nature of the interview requested and the allegations or suspicions relating to the student.  The chief administrator or designee will, if the crime is not serious and contemporaneous or imminent, also request that the interview be delayed until the student’s parent or other legally responsible adult is present.  School personnel will then notify the student’s parent, other legally responsible adult, or emergency contact as soon as possible.  

If the officer refuses to delay the interview until the student’s parent or other legally responsible adult arrives, the chief administrator or designee will request to be present during the interview.  However, if the officer refuses to allow the chief administrator to be present and refuses to delay the interview, school personnel will not physically prevent the officer from conducting the interview, and the parent or other legally responsible adult signing below agrees that the school is under no duty to do so.  

Parental Cooperation and Behavior

All members of the school community, including parents and family members, are expected to comply with all school rules and policies while on campus and in communications with the school, be respectful, cooperate with the school with respect to all decisions affecting the student, and avoid behavior which disrupts the orderly administration of the school.  A community member’s failure to meet these expectations jeopardizes school administration, requires the school to expend limited resources to address inappropriate and unnecessary behavior, and detracts from the school’s core mission and, as a result, may jeopardize a student’s continued participation in the school community.  At the school’s sole discretion, the failure of a student’s parents or other family members to comply with these expectations, separate and apart from the student’s conduct, may result in suspension or expulsion of the student.

Reimbursement for School Costs and Attorney’s Fees

The Diocese of Dallas and its schools recognize the financial sacrifice many of its families make to participate in the school community.  Out of respect for this sacrifice and in recognition of the school’s responsibility to wisely steward financial resources for the benefit of all members of the school community, the Diocese and its schools have implemented the following policy:

From time to time, a school is required to retain outside legal counsel to respond to parent requests or demands, requests or subpoenas for testimony or documents in legal proceedings to which the school is not a party, or to address other issues affecting or involving only one or a few students or families.  In such situations, the school is typically required to expend finite financial resources to address an issue which otherwise affects only a very small portion of the school community.  To ensure that the school community at large is not adversely impacted in such situations, the school will, when the chief administrator in his or her sole discretion deems it appropriate, require the family or families involved to reimburse the school for attorney’s fees, costs of court, and other expenses incurred (including, without limitation, the cost to secure substitute staff when school personnel are subpoenaed to testify in court proceedings).  

Accordingly, each person who acknowledges his or her agreement to the contents of this Handbook, either by written or electronic signature or by enrolling a student in a school within the Diocese of Dallas, agrees that, in the School’s absolute and sole discretion, he or she shall indemnify and reimburse the School, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and their respective officers, employees, agents, and representatives (“Indemnitees”) on demand from and for any and all attorney’s fees and related costs including without limitation the cost of responding to requests for documents or other records or information arising from, in connection with, or related to 1) a violation of any provision of this Handbook, 2) any request or demand made upon the School which pertains to a legal proceeding to which the School is not a party, 3) threatening or harassing communications directed to any Indemnitee, or 4) threatened or actual litigation against any Indemnitee which does not result in a final and appealable judgment adverse to the Indemnitee.  

Lost and Found

All articles of clothing, lunch boxes and backpacks should be labeled with first and last names.  All lost and found items will be kept in a container in the conference room.  Items not claimed at the end of each semester will be donated to charity.

Party Invitations

Party invitations may not be given out at school unless all students in the class or all students of the same gender are invited.

Class Parties

Classes are allowed to have parties for a variety of holidays or special events as determined by the teachers.  Parties should last no more than an hour and, if possible, be scheduled at the end of the day. The homeroom parent(s) will notify families of parties and needed items.

Birthdays

The celebration of individual student birthdays should be limited to a snack during the lunch period or at recess with the approval of the teacher. Any balloons, gifts or other items that are sent to the school from a florist will not be delivered to the classroom, but may be picked up at day’s end in the school office.

TOYS, ANIMALS, ELECTRONIC DEVICES ETC. - BROUGHT TO SCHOOL

Toys, electronic games, iPods, live animals, etc., should not be brought to school.  The school is not responsible for damage, breakage, lost items, or injury.  Watches may not have alarms turned on; if an alarm is heard the watch will be confiscated and returned at the end of the quarter.  The teacher will hold items brought to school until the end of the quarter.  Parent(s)/guardian(s), not the student, must pick-up items that have been confiscated.

If a student wishes to bring an animal to school for a specific reason (show and tell, science exhibits, etc.), permission from the homeroom teacher must be obtained.  All live animals that will spend the day at school need to be brought in a cage or container and kept in a specific classroom or in the science lab.  Live animals should never be loose.

VISITORS ON CAMPUS

In order to ensure maximum classroom instruction and to provide viewing of an academic area that is of interest to the visitor, requests for classroom visits must be arranged with the principal.

All parents and visitors must check in at the school office and receive a visitor’s badge before going to a classroom or any other campus area. Office personnel will be glad to answer questions, and visitors must return to the office to sign out.

USE OF SCHOOL GROUNDS

RIGHT TO AMEND THE HANDBOOK

The school and principal reserve the right to amend the handbook for just cause at any time during the school year.  The parents will be given prompt notification if changes are made.


AHERA INSPECTION


TO:                Parents, Teachers, Employees, and Occupants

FROM:        Phillip Scheibmeir, Principal

RE:                AHERA Management Plan

According to the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) regulations, all schools are required to inspect buildings for friable and nonfriable asbestos-containing building materials.  A management plan must be developed and submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services for approval.

Although asbestos can cause health problems, the fibers are hazardous only when inhaled or ingested (eaten).  When the asbestos fibers are bound to another material, as in plaster or tar, or wrapped, as in pipe insulation, they do not present a hazard.  Therefore, the safest way to handle asbestos-containing materials is to maintain them in good condition.

An inspection was conducted on November 22, 2011 at Saint Mary’s Catholic School to identify any asbestos-containing building materials in the facility.  During the inspection, asbestos products found at Saint Mary’s Catholic School were limited to: vinyl floor tile and/or associated black mastic, plaster patch, mechanical systems paper tape, presumed mirror mastic, presumed chalkboards and associated mastic backing, window glazing, & presumed ceiling tiles (principal’s office only).

At the time of the inspection, these materials were in good condition, posing no immediate health hazard as observed.

A management plan has been developed for Saint Mary’s Catholic School and submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services for approval.

The Management Plan will be located and filed for review at the Administration Office building located at 713 S. Travis in Sherman, Texas.  Office hours are: 8:00 - 12:00 and 1:00 - 4:00, Monday through Friday.

Sincerely,

Phillip Scheibmeir

Principal

St. Mary’s Catholic School Advisory Council

2017-2018

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Father Jeremy Myers

Mr. Phillip Scheibmeir

OFFICERS

President: Melissa Sandoval

Vice-President:

MEMBERS

Tony Aleman, Andrea Restrepo, Jim Brown, Kathleen Gionfriddo, Tai Trinh, and Gigi Huffman


SIGNATURE UNDERSTANDINGS

To sign this document online, please click here

  1. Authorization of Consent to Treat Minor 

I/We, the Parents listed below, are the ___ parent(s) / ___ guardians of the Student listed below, and as such do hereby authorize the School named below and its employees, contractors, and adult volunteers as our agent(s) (collectively, “School”) to consent to any x-ray examination, anesthetic, medical, dental, or surgical diagnosis or treatment or hospital care which is deemed advisable by, and is to be rendered under the general or specific supervision of, any physician or surgeon licensed under the laws of the jurisdiction where such diagnosis or treatment may be given, whether such diagnosis or treatment is rendered at the office of said physician, at a hospital, or at any other location.  

I/we understand that this authorization is given in advance of any specific treatment or diagnosis, but is given to provide authority and power of treatment or hospital care which the aforementioned physician in the exercise of best judgment may deem advisable. This authorization is given pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 32 of the Texas Family Code.  This authorization shall remain effective for up to one year from the date of completion of this form, unless sooner revoked in writing delivered to said agent(s).

In consideration of acceptance of this authorization, but without any time limitation and without any future right of revocation, I/we hereby release and agree to fully and unconditionally protect, indemnify, and defend School, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and their respective officers, agents, and employees, (collectively, “Indemnitees”) and hold each Indemnitee harmless from and against any and all costs, expenses, attorney’s fees, claims damages, demands, suits, judgments, losses, or liability for injuries to property, injuries to persons (including Student) and from any other costs, expenses, attorney fees, claims, suits judgments, losses, or liabilities of any and every nature whatsoever arising in any manner, directly or indirectly, out of, in connection with, in the course of, or incidental to such treatment, treatment decisions, diagnosis, or hospital care relating to Student, REGARDLESS OF CAUSE OR OF THE JOINT, COMPARATIVE OR CONCURRENT NEGLIGENCE OF THE INDEMNITEE

  1. Enrollment

I/We is/are the natural parent(s) or managing conservator(s) of the Student listed below and have the legal authority to enroll Student in the School.  Having considered all the facts, I/we believe that enrolling Student in the School for the coming school year is in Student’s best interest.  I/we understand that School is a Roman Catholic School and that Student’s education and the expectations for Student’s behavior and the conduct of Student’s family in relation to the School community will be consistent with and governed by Christian morals, values, and principles.

I/we have been provided with and have read, understood, and had the opportunity to ask any questions regarding School’s student/family handbook.  I/we understand that the handbook is incorporated into this agreement and forms a part of this legally-binding contract.  As a result, I/we understand that Student’s continued enrollment at School during the coming school year is contingent upon compliance with the policies set out in the handbook by Student and by Student’s family in their dealings with the School community.  I/we understand and agree that failure to comply with the expectations for conduct set out in the handbook may result in discipline, up to and including separation of Student from the School at School’s sole discretion and without any right to appeal.

I/we understand that I am/we are responsible for providing School with a current and complete copy of any court order affecting Student’s enrollment in School or the right of a parent or conservator of Student to make educational decisions for Student, communicate with School, or  access Student’s educational records.  I/we understand that it is not School’s responsibility to mediate or resolve disputes regarding custody of Student and related matters, and that involving School in custody and similar disputes requires School to expend unbudgeted time and other resources.  I/we have read and agree to the provisions of the School handbook regarding School’s right to recover attorneys’ fees incurred as a result of Student or family misconduct and custody and related legal matters.

I/we have informed School of all relevant information regarding any special educational or medical needs of Student and agree to advise School if Student’s educational or medical needs change during the school year.  I/we agree that School may contact any person who signs this agreement or whose name is provided to School as an emergency contact regarding any emergency involving Student and may disclose to those individuals information regarding Student’s education, behavior, and/or medical conditions as needed.

I/we have been provided with and understand all necessary information regarding tuition, fees, and costs associated with Student’s enrollment at School for the coming school year and am/are satisfied that I/we will be able to pay all such tuition, fees, and costs subject to any applicable financial aid awarded.  I/we understand that School’s budget for the school year anticipates full payment of all amounts due on behalf of all enrolled students.  Accordingly, I/we understand that failure to pay all tuition, fees, and costs in full and on time may, in School’s sole discretion, result in Student’s separation from School without any refund of amounts already paid.

  1. Parent Consent and Release Form

The School offers students the opportunity to participate in a wide range of education, extracurricular, and athletic activities, both on and off campus.  The School believes that parents, students, and the School community are best-served when parents and students together determine the range of activities that are appropriate for a particular student’s participation.  Parents should review the opportunities listed below, determine which activities are appropriate for their student’s participation, and students and parents should sign where indicated below for each activity.

Authorization of Consent to Treat Minor

______    I have read and agree to the section covering Authorization of Consent to Treat Minor

Student Name (“Student”):

Authorization to Administer Over-The-Counter Medication

Subject to the Release and Indemnification terms below, by my/our signature below, I/we consent to the School’s administration of Over-the-Counter (nonprescription) (“OTC”) medication.

I/we understand and agree to the following (please initial each item below):

_____ I/we have consulted Student’s primary health care provider and have determined that the administration of the OTC medication described in this section is advisable and safe.

_____ I/we understand I/we are responsible for providing the medications in the manufacturer’s original packaging. I/we also understand that the OTC medication I/we provide must have the manufacturer’s label identifying the medication, its ingredients, dosing recommendations, possible drug interactions and/or warnings. In addition, the student’s name must be printed on the container.

_____ I/we understand any instructions to administer an OTC medication in a manner inconsistent with the manufacturer’s recommended instructions must be ordered by a physician. A copy of the physician’s prescription/instructions will be required prior to administration.

_____ I/we hereby give my permission for the School to give the OTC medication to my child according to the directions stated above.

_____ I/we give my permission to the School to contact the student’s physician to report any adverse reactions or side effects.

_____ I/we further agree to release and hold the School, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and their respective employees, officers, contractors, and/or agents harmless from and against any and all claims arising from the administration of this medication by the School.

_____ I/we take full responsibility for any adverse effects of such medication administration.

_____ I/we agree to notify the School in writing of the termination of this request or when any change in the above orders are necessary. I/we further understand that this consent is only valid for the specific medication for the duration listed above.

Athletics:  Subject to the Release and Indemnification terms below, by my/our initials below, I/we consent to Student’s participation in School-sponsored athletic activities, including without limitation athletics-related training and exercise programs, practices, School-sponsored pre- and post-game activities, games, competitions, and tournaments.  I/we have read, discussed with Student, and understand the Student conduct expectations set forth in the Handbook and understand that Student’s continued participation in athletics is conditioned upon his/her compliance with all applicable policies and rules of conduct when engaged in any School-related activity, whether academic, athletic, or otherwise.

Parent(s) initials:

Yes:

No:

Transportation to/from Athletics:  Subject to the Release and Indemnification terms below, by my/our initials below, I/we consent to Student’s use of School-sponsored transportation to and from any and all School-sponsored athletics activities described above.  I/we have read and discussed with Student the conduct expectations set forth in the Handbook and understand that Student’s continued use of School transportation is conditioned upon his/her compliance with all applicable policies and rules of conduct.

Parent(s) Initials:

Yes:

No:

Extra-curricular Activities:  Subject to the Release and Indemnification terms below, by my/our initials below, I/we consent to Student’s participation in School-sponsored extracurricular activities, including on-campus and off-campus extracurricular activities. I/we have read and discussed with Student the conduct expectations set forth in the Handbook and understand that Student’s continued participation in extracurricular activities is conditioned upon his/her compliance with all applicable policies and rules of conduct when engaged in any School-sponsored activity, whether academic, extracurricular, or otherwise.

Parent(s) initials:

Yes:

No:

Transportation to/from Extracurricular Activities:  Subject to the Release and Indemnification terms below, by my/our initials below, I/we consent to Student’s use of School-sponsored transportation to and from any and all School-sponsored extracurricular activities described above.  I/we have read and discussed with Student the conduct expectations set forth in the Handbook and understand that Student’s continued use of School transportation is conditioned upon his/her compliance with all applicable policies and rules of conduct.

Parent(s) initials:

Yes:

No:

Video/Image Release:  I/we understand that, from time to time, photographs and video images are taken of students, individually and as a class, for use in school yearbooks, promotional and marketing materials, the school website, and similar publications.  Subject to the Release and Consideration and Indemnification terms below, by my/our initials below, and for good and valuable consideration, I hereby grant to the School the irrevocable and unrestricted right to make, use and/or publish any and all photographs, videos, and other images of Student, or images in which Student may be included, now existing or hereafter made, in any case, with or without identifying Student, for the following purposes: individual student and class pictures; school or Diocesan promotional, marketing, or organizational publications (e.g., yearbook, school, or Diocesan publications); and for use on the school website.  I authorize the School to publish such photographs, images, and video in any manner and medium, to alter the same without restriction, and to copyright the same.  

Parent(s) initials:

Yes:

No:

Bullying Policy and Honor Code

I have read and understand the bullying policy of St. Mary’s Catholic School.  I will adhere to all school rules regarding bullying and the honor code.  I understand the consequences for bullying.  I understand that the judgment of St. Mary’s Catholic School regarding all infractions is final.


Parent’s Signature                                              Parent’s Printed Name                                    Date

No Photos Taken at Mass

Out of respect for the sacred, I understand that I may not take pictures during the Children’s Mass at any time unless given explicit authorization from the Principal.


Parent’s Signature                                              Parent’s Printed Name                                    Date

Release and Indemnification:

For and in consideration of admitting Student to School, allowing Student to participate in any of the activities described above, and for other good and valuable consideration, on behalf of myself, Student, and our respective heirs, assigns, survivors, estates, beneficiaries, I hereby release and agree to fully and unconditionally protect, indemnify, and defend School, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and their respective officers, agents, and employees, (collectively, “Indemnitees”) and hold each Indemnitee harmless from and against any and all costs, expenses, attorney’s fees, claims damages, demands, suits, judgments, losses, or liability for injuries to property, injuries to persons (including Student) and from any other costs, expenses, attorney fees, claims, suits judgments, losses, or liabilities of any and every nature whatsoever arising in any manner, directly or indirectly, out of, in connection with, in the course of, or incidental to any activity described above in this Section 10.  

  1. Acknowledgement and agreement

For hard copy handbooks:  By my signature below, I agree that I will comply and will require the student listed below to comply with the school’s policies, procedures, and instructions, and understand that such compliance by me, the student, and persons connected to the school by reason of the student is a condition of the student’s continued enrollment in the school.  I also understand and agree that the timely payment of all tuition, fees, and costs imposed by the school is also a condition of the student’s continued enrollment in the school.  Furthermore, by signing below, I represent, warrant, and agree that I am authorized to sign this agreement, undertake the duties, and grant the releases set forth herein on behalf of Student.

Student Name (print):

School Name (print):

Parent Name (print):

Parent Signature:

School year:

Date:

For online acknowledgement:  By submitting this form to the school, I represent that I have read the foregoing Handbook and understand and agree to the contents thereof.  I agree that I will comply and will require the student listed below to comply with the school’s policies, procedures, and instructions, and understand that such compliance by me, the student, and persons connected to the school by reason of the student is a condition of the student’s continued enrollment in the school.  I also understand and agree that the timely payment of all tuition, fees, and costs imposed by the school is also a condition of the student’s continued enrollment in the school.

To sign this document online, please click here

To print a pdf version of these signatures, please click here