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St. Mary’s School

129 St. Mary’s Street

Leipsic, Ohio 45856

Phone 419-943-2801                Fax 419-943-3555

Website ls.noacsc.org

2020 -2021

Student/Parent Handbook

You are a Piece of God’s Plan

St. Mary’s Catholic School

Leipsic, Ohio

Students and Parents,

        

        Welcome back to St. Mary’s Catholic School  and to the 2020-2021 school year. It is our privilege to work with all of you this year. As always, it is our goal to provide a safe and rewarding learning environment for all of our students. Elementary school is extremely important in the educational, social, and emotional development of your child. The success that your he/she experiences will hinge greatly on the cooperation between your child, his/her teacher, you as a parent and me. We encourage you to be active members of your child’s educational process and we believe it is a vital part of his/her education.

To that end, please review the handbook with your child. Highlight policies and procedures that help regulate all of our school activities. Keep a copy of the handbook throughout the year; it will be an important resource for answer to many questions.

If at anytime during the year, you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 419-943-2801. It is my hope, that by working together, we create a positive and safe learning environment for all St. Mary’s Catholic School students.

God Bless,

Michelle L. Knippen, Principal

St. Mary’s Catholic School

St. Mary’s School

Mission Statement

St. Mary's exists to nurture the whole child through a Catholic Christian setting that aids in the development of the whole child:  spiritually, academically, socially, and physically. As part of a Catholic community living out the Gospel message, the school and family collaborate to nurture self-worth, respect, and an appreciation of the pursuit of knowledge.

Belief Statement 

We believe that St. Mary’s School exists to prepare students to become active and responsible members of both church and society.  Therefore, St. Mary’s School aims to provide the educational climate which will help each child develop a feeling of confidence and self-worth, become more self-disciplined, and acquire the ideals, attitudes, and habits needed to live as mature Christians and responsible global citizens.

 

We believe that we are to:

1.   Assist parents in fulfilling their roles to educate and form basic religious attitudes which will prepare their child to become a mature Christian and disciple of Jesus

2.   Share with the child the knowledge of the Gospel as a stimulus to work toward a Christian solution of personal, social and spiritual needs

3.   Provide the academic curriculum and quality teaching which will help each child achieve his/her full intellectual potential

4.   Help the child become more responsible for his/her learning by developing respect and care for all materials, developing good work habits and study skills, and developing the discipline that promotes good scholarship

5.   Guide the child in developing a value system based on the Gospel which will help him/her become a responsible Christian citizen by becoming aware of the injustices of the world in which he/she lives, showing knowledge of and living by a Catholic value system, and developing his/her own gifts and talents

6.   Provide a program of guidance and testing as a means of evaluating a child’s achievements based on his/her learning styles and abilities

7.  Promote an attitude of compassion by using the needs of the community, the Diocese, and the world to stimulate service to others.

 

FOUR CORNERSTONES OF A CATHOLIC EDUCATION

We believe in the centrality of a good and provident God, and therefore,

 

 

We believe in the dignity of each person as an image of God, and therefore,

 

 

We believe in the St. Mary’s educator as a Gospel Witness, and therefore,

 

 

We believe an integrated education for transformation, and therefore,

 

 

CoVid19

Please refer to the Reopening Plans for 2020

Admission Policies

 

St. Mary’s School admits students of any race, color or national and ethnic origin.  All students will be accorded the same rights, privileges and access to programs and activities.  In addition, St. Mary’s School will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, scholarships, loans, fee waivers and any other school related programs.  In the event of filled classrooms, this school gives preference in admission to Catholic students living within the parish boundaries; secondly, to Catholic students living outside the parish boundaries; thirdly, to those who are not Catholic.

 

Admission Procedure

Registration is held beginning in March for the following school year.  St. Mary’s parishioners and children from families already enrolled in the school will be accepted before accepting any new families, provided the parish member and/or current parents of enrolled students have registered by the deadline given in the spring and have paid all fees.  A non-refundable registration fee must be paid at the time of registration.

Registration Requirements

All entering students must have a copy of their birth certificate, social security card and immunization record.  Catholic students who were baptized at a parish other than St. Mary’s need to have a copy of the baptismal certificate on file.

Students on the Ed Choice and JPSN scholarship are required to pay the registration fee.  

 

Tuition Payment

St. Mary’s parishioners are given a parishioner grant for tuition.  The tuition schedule is given out each spring.  Payment schedules and tuition loan opportunities are published each spring for the following year.  All families must register through the FACTS program.  

A registration fee is required for each child.  This fee is non-refundable.  Tuition is refundable and will be prorated if a child leaves after the school year has started.  There is a parishioner grant for a second, third and fourth child.  

TUITION

Parents and/or guardians are responsible for full payment of tuition and any and all fees.

If unforeseen circumstances arise, the office should be notified immediately.  Student records will be withheld for transfer and report cards will not be given to students for nonpayment of tuition and fees.

St. Mary’s parishioners are given a parishioner grant for tuition.  All families are required to register through FACTS.  A registration fee is required for each child.  

Kindergarten Requirements

Students entering kindergarten must be 5 years old (pre-K 4 years old) on or before September 30th of the year entering kindergarten.

Pre-Kindergarten Requirements

Students entering pre kindergarten must be 4 years old on or before December 30th of the year entering pre kindergarten.

Grade Levels

Students will be placed in a grade level based on the promotion or placement marked on the previous year’s report card.

 

Parent Cooperation

The mission statement of St. Mary’s School states that the school and the family collaborate.  We feel that the parents are the primary educators of the students, and parent cooperation with the school is an essential ingredient for student success.  Parents are expected to follow all policies and procedures given in the handbook and are asked to sign the form at the back of the handbook each year agreeing to do so.  Parents are also expected to follow individual classroom policies and to be very aware of all communications from the school.

 

The education of a student is a partnership between the parents and the school.  Just as the parent has the right to withdraw a child if desired, the school administration reserves the right to require the withdrawal of a student if the administration determines that the partnership is irretrievably broken.

 

Transfers

Students who are transferring from another school will be admitted under probationary terms to be set by the pastor and principal.  All transferring students are expected to follow school policies and procedures.  The probationary period is nine weeks to begin with and may be extended at the principal’s discretion.  The probation includes acceptable academic and behavioral performance.  Students transferring from another Catholic School will not be accepted at St. Mary’s School until it has been determined that no tuition and/or fees are owed to that school.

The school office needs to be notified of any student transferring to another school.  The receiving school will then request student records from our office.  Parents will not be given the student files to take to the receiving school.  Parents should take copies of previous report cards to the receiving school until the request for transfer of records has been processed.

 

Withdrawal

A student who withdraws from St. Mary’s School during the school year must return all school property and have all accounts and fees paid in full before records are forwarded to the next school.  In the event of a withdrawal, tuition is refunded based upon the number of days in school and an average charge per day.  In the event of a tuition loan, each refund will be handled on an individual basis through the school office.

 

Students expelled from St. Mary’s School are not eligible for any form of refund.

 

Recess and Walking to Lunch During Cold Weather Months

We recognize the importance of daily outdoor play.  Children will be outdoors for recess unless it is raining or temperature and wind result in a below 20oF wind-chill factor.  During cold weather, please make sure your child wears a warm coat, hat, gloves and boots for comfort and safety.  Label each garment with your child’s name.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND POLICIES

ACCREDITATION

St. Mary’s School is fully accredited through the Ohio Catholic School Accrediting Association.  Full accreditation was renewed in May 2015.

 

CURRICULUM

St. Mary’s School is in compliance with the Ohio Revised Code.  The school follows the courses of study issued by the Diocese of Toledo which is based on the Ohio State Curriculum Standards.  This is a sound, comprehensive and sequential academic program that enables our students to progress smoothly from one level to the next and prepares them for high school.  The curriculum is evaluated annually by Diocesan competency tests based on this Course of Study.

 

GRADING SCALE

          

 

Mid-Quarter Reports

Mid-quarter reports will be sent to parents regarding the student’s progress or lack thereof.  The dates these reports are sent home are listed in the weekly parent newsletter.  If parents have a concern, they are asked to contact the teacher.  These progress reports are not report cards; their purpose is to inform parents of present progress or lack of it.

 

Report Cards

Report cards are sent home to be signed at the end of each of the first three quarters.  Report card dates are listed on the yearly calendar.

 

Graduation Requirement

Each eighth grader will receive diplomas from St. Mary’s School if all academic requirements have been met, and the student has been promoted to 9th grade.  Diplomas will be withheld for tuition and all other outstanding fees.  Students will be able to attend the graduation ceremony, but will receive a blank diploma.  Records will not be transferred to the high school and a diploma will not be issued until all financial obligations are met.

 

Homework Policies

Students in grades 2-8 are required to have and use an assignment notebook that is provided by the school.

 

The purpose of homework is to help students master concepts that have been presented in class.  

Nightly Homework

Students in Grades 2-8 will have intervention/class time each day.  Students are expected to work on homework during this time.  Students who do not complete homework during intervention/class time will need to finish homework at home.  Vocabulary, Spelling, Tests and Quizzes should be studied during intervention, class time and at home.  

 

Students who have achieved a routine habit of completing homework have a much better chance of academic success.  A structured time and place each day is very helpful in establishing a routine.  Students are expected to do their own homework.  The parents’ role in homework is to assist, help drill, and to check completion.  If parents are doing the majority of the work, the students are not practicing and learning themselves.

 

Students who are absent will have the number of days absent to make up missing work.  Students who are out of school due to a personal convenience leave will be given homework to make up upon returning to school.

 

Individual classroom homework policies will be sent home and explained to students and parents at the beginning of each school year.

 

Honors

At the end of each quarter, students in Grades 1-8 will be awarded honors.  The honors are based on the semester average.  The following is a list of honors given along with the criteria:

Internet Use

All parents must read and sign the “My Rules for Internet Safety” each school year.  Without the signed paper, the student will not be permitted to use the Internet.

Middle School Student Service Hour Requirements

As an integral part of the Religious studies program, students in Grades 3-8 are required to complete service hours each year in each of the following three categories:  School, Parish and Local Community.

The amount of service hours needed varies according to the grade of the student.  Service hour forms are available in the office and on the school’s website and from the teacher.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Formal all-school conferences are held after the first quarter has ended.  All parents are given scheduled times for conferences.  Parents are required to attend these conferences as this is an opportunity for teachers and parents to establish personal contact, discuss concerns and determine what can be done to help the student achieve success in the classroom.  At any other time throughout the year, teachers will be happy to meet with parents regarding any issues or concerns.  Please call the school office to arrange a conference.  Teachers are not always available without prior notice due to other responsibilities.

 

Promotion/Retention Policy

Students will be promoted to the next grade level each year when the teacher and principal feel that the student has sufficient mastery of the curricula to progress to the next academic level.

 

Students who are failing to master concepts at a particular grade level may be recommended for retention if it is felt that it would be in the student’s best interest.  Parents will be notified, at the very latest, during the third quarter if the teacher and principal feel that retention would be beneficial.  At that time, a conference would be held with the teacher, parents and principal.  The principal has the ultimate right to assign grade levels and to retain a student at a certain level.

 

After the end of the first quarter a conference will be called to discuss the student's progress.

 

Summer School

If a student’s yearly average is failing in 2 or more of the major academic areas, the student will be recommended for summer school.  Summer school will consist of at least 20 hours of work with a certified instructor unless other specific arrangements have been made with the principal and/or teacher.  Parents and students will be notified as soon as summer school becomes reasonably apparent and probable.  The requirement for summer school will also be noted on the grade card.  Evidence of summer school attendance must be submitted to the principal before the next school year begins.  Any cost involved will be the responsibility of the parent.

Testing

St. Mary’s School administers the MAP standardized test in the fall and in the spring of each year to students in grades K thru 8.

 

EdChoice and JPSN students in grades 3-8 take the Ohio tests as well as MAP.

Students in grades 5 and 8 take the National Religion Competency tests in the fall.

Students in Grades 3-5-7 take the diocesan Writing Competency tests in the spring.

 

The results of the standardized tests are sent to parents in the fourth quarter report cards.  The results of the Competency tests are not given as individual results to the students, but as overall to the faculty in order for them to assess the results of their instruction of the courses of study and to plan for future instruction.

Textbooks

Textbooks are provided to all students.  Students are to handle books carefully and keep non-consumable textbooks covered at ALL times.  Writing or any other kind of marking is not permitted in non-consumable books.  Students are responsible for the cost of lost or damaged textbooks.

Special Education

As a school system rooted in the Catholic faith, we are committed to providing a learning environment that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for students with special needs.

The Diocese of Toledo is committed to providing children with special needs an education that meets their spiritual, academic, emotional and social needs. Students with special needs flourish in our Catholic schools as we offer a nurturing, accepting, faith based environment with a focus on individual strengths and abilities to help each child reach his or her God-given potential.

Children with learning disabilities (LD), other health impairments (OHI), and speech or language impairment (SPL) have their special education needs met with resources that parallel those available to other students in their public school district. These may include special education teacher support services, resource room, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling.

The number of students that are being served in special education is growing tremendously, and we continue to rise to the challenge in meeting each of their individual needs. The one-to-one connection between student and teacher in special education produces academic, social, and emotional victories great and small, adding up to students becoming more confident and therefore more successful in and out of the classroom.

In keeping with the mission of the Catholic Church and the call to inclusion, the special education programs serve to provide and expand educational opportunities for students with disabilities who desire an education in a faith-filled environment.  Children receive individualized education programs with a small group setting and direct instruction.  Teachers provide students with accommodations and modifications per their IEP.  Teachers strive to help students to reach their full potential in all areas of concern.  

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

ABSENTEEISM

Parents are required by law to phone the school if their child is going to be absent.  When a child is absent, and parents have not called by 9 A.M., the school is required to contact parents to determine the reason for absence.

Upon the student’s return to school after an extended illness, the student must bring a note from his or her parent or guardian stating the reason for the absence.

Excused Absence: 

Absent

Personal Convenience Absence:  

Parents are discouraged from planning vacation time during school.  However, there are circumstances that make that impossible, and the school is sensitive to these needs.  Parents are required to obtain a “Personal Convenience Absence Form” from the school office and complete the form prior to the absence.  Students who are out of school due to a personal convenience leave will be given homework to make up upon returning to school.  Parents must give the teacher 2 weeks notice to get homework prior to the vacation.  Please note upon return their maybe additional work to make up.  

          

Release of Student:  The school is responsible for the child’s safety from the time that he/she arrives in school in the morning until dismissal time.  Students will only be released to parents or to persons designated by the parents.  Appointments during the school day are discouraged, but we recognize that it’s occasionally necessary.  Parents must notify the school in advance and must sign the student out in the school office.

Tardiness:Students are tardy if they are not in their rooms by 8:15 A.M.  Tardiness will be excused in cases of emergency, and the principal reserves the right to determine whether or not the tardy is excused.

It is extremely important that all students be on time and ready to begin work at 8:15 A.M.  The transition time between home and school is very important for each child.  When a child is tardy, that transition is not made easily, and the entire class is disrupted.

 

ACCESS TO CLASSROOMS

Children should be encouraged to be responsible and remember items before they leave for the day.  If a message or item needs to be delivered to your child during the school day, it must be brought to the School Office and the School Office personnel will see that it is delivered to the child.  We respect the work atmosphere of each class and want to have as minimal distractions as possible.

ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL PROCEDURES - Please see the reopening PLANS for 2020

Students must wash or sanitize their hands prior to arriving at school.  Students must have their temperature taken.  Students will go directly to their classroom upon their arrival at school.  School doors are opened at 8:00 A.M. each day.  

 

Students are to be in their classrooms and ready to begin the school day by the first bell at 8:10 A.M.  The Tardy Bell rings at 8:15 A.M.  Morning prayer and announcements begin promptly at that time.  The dismissal bell rings at 3:05 P.M.  Prayer and announcements begin at 3:02 P.M. Students are then dismissed via announcements over the public address system.

 

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

Parents may send in treats for a birthday celebration.  The respective classroom teacher will know if care needs to be taken because of an allergy of one or more students in the class.  Please note NO pop, juice, gatorade will be allowed.  Water only please!  ALL Snacks and Birthday treats must be prepackaged.  

Snacks/Drinks

Smart snacks in school

Any food sold in schools must:

• Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product; or

• Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food; or • Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable; or

• Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber).*

NO pop, gatorade, juice are permitted for snacks.  

CAFETERIA

St. Mary’s students have the opportunity of purchasing a hot lunch at the Leipsic Public School cafeteria or packing their lunch.  Lunch menus are posted for each month.  Lunch prices and method of payment are regulated by Leipsic Public School’s Cafeteria.

Since the Leipsic lunch program is under the Federal Lunch Program, free or reduced lunch prices are available for families who need help on a temporary or permanent basis.  Applications for this program are made through Leipsic Public School.  Forms are sent home at the beginning of the school year.  However, a family may apply any time during the year if their financial situation should change thus making them eligible for assistance.  Acceptance is based on Federal Standards.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Family newsletters and other important communications are sent home via email.  Newsletter can also be found at ls.noacsc.org.

Some weeks a plastic envelope will come home.  Please be very careful to read all communications from the school.  The plastic envelopes are to be returned the next school day.  

 

If a non-custodial parent wishes copies of the plastic envelope contents and copies of report cards to be mailed, that parent will need to notify the school office of such request.

Individual classroom teachers communicate on a regular basis with parents.  Parents should be aware of the days and the methods used by the teacher -  i.e., classroom newsletters, homework, messages,  etc. – that are sent home regularly.

 

If a student or parent is having a problem with a teacher, the parents should go directly to the teacher before going to the principal or the pastor.

Please sign up for Parent Square for communication via the Public school and Leipsic St. Mary’s

 

Gum

We do not recommend that gum be brought to school or be chewed on the bus or at school due to the carelessness of disposal of gum.  

Computer Technology/Personal Devices

St. Mary’s is committed to the effective use of technology to enhance the quality of student learning.  Students are to make appropriate and ethical use of the computers, accompanying software, and other electronic equipment, as well as networking.  Disciplinary action will be taken against students if equipment, technology and /or networking are abused in any way or used in an illegal, unethical manner.  Personal devices that provide communication capabilities and/or internet access; such as cell phones, iPods, Gizmos, etc., are not permitted to be used during school hours (8:00 AM to 3:05 PM). Students are to turn in all devices in the office at the beginning of the day and will be able to pick it up at the end of the day.

ITEMS NOT PERMITTED IN SCHOOL

Students may not bring their electronic game devices to school.  If found in school, they will be confiscated by an adult.

Students are discouraged from bringing their own iPad, iPod laptop, notebook, tablet, etc.   These devices, if brought to school should be turned into the office at the start of the day and picked up at the end of the school day.  The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.  

Students may not bring roller blades or skateboards to school.

For safety reasons, purses, bookbags, or any large bags are not permitted to be carried from class to class during the school day.

Any items not allowed in school are also not allowed on the playground or on school property during school hours.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All persons can expect confidentiality from school personnel as long as no one’s life, health, or safety is at stake.  Parents will be promptly notified of teacher concerns.

Anything that is written down and handed in by students will also be subject to the above criteria.

CONTACTING TEACHERS

If at any time a teacher needs to be contacted, please call the school office.  The teacher will return your call as soon as possible.  Please do not stop by a teacher’s room during the school day, as that is valuable instruction time for all students.  Please do not call teachers at home unless the teacher has indicated that this is acceptable.  At the beginning of each year, each teacher will relate his/her preferred method of communication.  Teachers may have obligations after school and are not always available, so it would be best to call ahead of time to schedule an appointment.

 

VISITORS TO THE BUILDING

All visitors, regardless of purpose, are asked to sign in at the office and receive a visitor’s pass.  All visitors will be admitted through the east door on St. Marys Street.

Parent Volunteers

Parents are cordially invited to visit the school any time between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30pm during days of operation.  Parents are welcome to enter into the children’s activities, but at the direction of the teachers on duty. All volunteers must go to VIRTUS.org and complete the Expectation Form, the new on-line course and the background screening. This is at a cost of $25.00. This fee is good for five (5 years).  All requirements must be completed 5 days to volunteering at St. Mary’s school.

 If you are a returning volunteer--- you will receive an email notification from VIRTUSONLINE which gives you credentials for the new Protecting Youth Program.  When you receive your credentials you should log in.  Within a couple of weeks we will review whether your background screening is up to date.  If any of the background requirements are expired, you will receive another email indicating that you must complete the course of the background screening.  You will then need to log into VIRTUS in order to take the course (Protecting God’s Children) or submit your name and SSN for a background screening.  The online course is free, the background screening is $25.00.  This fee is good for five (5) years.

Parents are always encouraged to volunteer.  This can be in the classroom, at special events and/or as a chaperone on a field trip.  When acting as a volunteer you are a representative of our school.  Please remember that any pictures you take while volunteering, should they include children not your own, may not be used for public display, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc. in order to protect the privacy of our students.

Fire, Tornado and School Safety Drills

Fire drills are conducted once a month to familiarize students with the procedures to follow in case of an emergency.  Tornado drills are conducted according to prescribed plans in preparation for severe storms or tornado warnings.  A school lockdown drill will also be conducted at least once a year in compliance with the law.

St. Mary’s School has adopted a detailed safety plan for school emergencies.  There are specific procedures in place for dealing with different types of crisis situations, including shelter-in-place, lockdown, evacuation, etc.

 

If a “Lockdown” occurs during school hours, access to the building and parking lot will be restricted until the “Lockdown” is over.

 

CUSTODY

This school abides by the provisions of the Buckley Amendment with respect to the rights of non-custodial parents.  In the absence of a court order to the contrary, a school will provide the non-custodial parent with access to academic records and other school information regarding his or her child.  If there is no court order specifying that there is to be no information given, it is the custodial parent’s responsibility to provide the school with a court-certified copy of the court order.

 

In the case of a divorce, the custodial parent of a student is required to supply a copy of current custody papers to the school office.  Unless otherwise stated by court documents, either parent will have access to the student(s).  Never married parents should also have custody documents on file, as needed.

 

Unless otherwise noted through official court documents, the school will release a child to a non-custodial parent.

 

Child Abuse

School personnel are required by law to report any evidence of child abuse or neglect to Putnam County Job and Family Services.  The school is required to and will cooperate 100% with law enforcement officials.

EDUCATIONAL TRIPS

At times throughout the school year, classes will be going on trips that are of an educational nature. No student has an absolute right to a field trip.  Students may be denied participation if they fail to meet academic or behavioral expectations.  Otherwise all students are expected to participate in any educational trips, as they are part of the total educational experience.

 

 

ACCESS

A permission form will be provided at the beginning of the school year for all field trips.  Parents are required to sign these forms in order to permit a student to go on the trip. Students who do not return signed forms will not be permitted to go on the trip.  

 

PARENTS’ RIGHTS

Parents have the right to refuse to allow their child(ren) to participate in educational trips.  The student must attend school on that day or it will be considered an absence.  The student will be given work to do and will be supervised.

 

TRANSPORTATION

Sometimes, parents provide transportation for educational trips.  Immediate family members may drive for trips as long as they are over 21 years of age.  Drivers must provide proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license.  Drivers must have each student transported buckled individually into a seat.  In most cases, bus transportation is provided for our students when they go on a field trip.  A bus fee may be charged for these trips.

 

EXPECTATIONS FOR PARENTAL SUPPORT

Parents are expected to relate to teachers as professionals, work cooperatively with them and be respectful.  In return, teachers will relate with parents with respect and maintain confidentiality.

Parents are asked to go to the teacher first with concerns, especially regarding questions about specific incidents in the classroom.  Please remember that the student’s perception of an incident might not be the same as the teacher’s.

 

 

FAITH AND WORSHIP

St. Mary’s School provides a faith-based education.  All students, regardless of their religious affiliation, participate in daily religious instruction based upon our Catholic doctrine and tradition.  Parents, by virtue of the fact that they enroll their child(ren) in a Catholic school acknowledge that religion is a basic part of our school day.  Religious instruction in Catholic beliefs and values permeates all aspects of our school programs.

 

Grades K-8 attend Mass one day a week at 8:30 A.M.  All students, regardless of their religious affiliation, are expected to attend all liturgies, retreats, prayer services or other religious celebrations that are planned for the class or school.  Parishioners of St. Mary’s are expected to take part in the Sunday liturgies and in parish activities.  The school should be viewed as an extension of the faith development begun by the parents.  Stewardship, time – talent – treasure, is encouraged for all.

 

Second graders are prepared for First Reconciliation and First Communion.  Eighth graders are prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  There are also required activities outside of the classroom that include service hours, special projects, parent sessions and retreats.

  

FUNDRAISING

Tuition and parish subsidy are the basic sources of income for the operation of St. Mary’s School.  Fundraising is used as means of supplementing these basic sources.  Our basic fundraisers are:

 

HEALTH / MEDICATION

Medication at School

If medication must be taken during school hours, an authorized form (See attached form) completed by the physician and the parent/guardian must be on file in the office prior to administration of medicine.  Any changes in the prescription or any additional/new medications require an additional form.  Additional forms are available in the school office.  All medications must be kept in the school office and stored in their original container.  It is recommended that the parent transport the medication to the school office where all medication is administered.  It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the school of any medical conditions that may affect a student during the school day.  This includes all allergies.

Inhalers and epipens may be carried by the student, but a special permission form must be completed by a physician and on file in the school office.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL AUTHORIZATION:  Parents or legal guardians are required to complete emergency medical authorization forms.  They will be kept on file in the school office, and teachers will have copies of these forms with them on educational trips off school grounds.

CONTAGIOUS DISEASES:  Parents are asked to contact the school office in the event that their child contracts a contagious disease such as head lice, chicken pox, strep throat, pink eye, etc.  Children will be sent home if a contagious disease is detected.  Children will not be allowed to return to school until the contagious condition no longer exists.  In the case of  head lice, students must be checked in the school office before they are readmitted.

ILLNESS DURING THE DAY:  Students who become ill during the school day will be sent home if necessary.  Any child who has a high temperature will be sent home.  Parents will be called, and if parents are not available, the next emergency contact will be called to pick the child up from school.  Students must be signed out in the office.

IMMUNIZATIONS: Students entering St. Mary’s School must be in compliance with the immunization requirements as specified by the Ohio Revised Code.

 

LIBRARY

Children are encouraged to borrow books from the school library each week and to use the library for research and reference.  Reference books such as encyclopedias, atlases, etc. are for in-school use and are not to be taken home.

Great effort is made to keep our library supplied with excellent reading.  Children will be expected to pay for damaged or lost books.

LOST AND FOUND

Lost and Found items are kept in a box in the ASP Room.  All lost and found items that have not been claimed at the end of the school year are given to charity.

 

PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATION

Parents are encouraged to participate in the Parent-Teacher Organization.  The P.T.O. is a major source of fundraising for the school, in addition to providing many opportunities and programs for students and parents.  Meetings are usually held in the school cafeteria each month at 7:00 P.M. on a day determined at the beginning of each school year.  Any changes to this schedule would be published in the Friday Flyer.

 

PHONE CALLS

Ordinarily, students will not be permitted to make phone calls during the school day unless it is an emergency or a special situation.  Please make sure your child knows how he or she is to get home each evening so they do not have to call to find out each day.  Thank you for your assistance with this as we try to instill a sense of personal responsibility in our students.

 

PRAYER

As a school community we begin and end our day with prayer.  Each teacher also leads his/her students in classroom prayers throughout the day.  A variety of prayer experiences are provided at the different grade levels, for the different seasons of the church year and for special occasions.  Once a year a school-wide retreat day is provided for the students.

 

PREGNANCY (STUDENT) POLICY

Considering the sacredness of life, St. Mary’s School will not expel a student solely on the grounds of pregnancy or paternity.  It is felt that he or she needs at this time Christian acceptance and counsel.  The student (boy or girl) will be allowed to remain in school as long as the following procedures are implemented:

1)   A conference will be arranged with the student, parents, principal and pastor.

2)   The student will receive any counseling as deemed necessary by the principal and pastor.

3)   The school will receive a medical report from the girl’s physician monthly to verify that continued enrollment in school is in the student’s best interest.

4)   The principal, pastor, and parents agree that enrollment in school is in the best interests of the student(s) involved, as well as the other students in the school.

In addition, the student (boy or girl) may not assume any leadership roles in school.  The entire class will be provided counseling sessions as needed.

 

PUBLICITY PERMISSION

The school reserves the right to use student pictures in publications and on the school’s website.  Any parent who does not wish his or her child’s picture used publicly must notify the principal in writing by returning the publicity permission form that is issued at the beginning of each school year.

 

RELIGION CLASSES / THEOLOGY OF THE BODY

Religion classes are a basic component of the curriculum in the Catholic School.  Loyalty to God and country and respect for the dignity and rights of all, are some of the essential elements instilled through the teaching of religion.  St. Mary’s School aids the student in not only knowing his/her religion but above all, in living it.  Theology of the body is taught as part of the Religion Course of Study.

 

SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL

The School Advisory Council is an advisory group to the pastor and principal on matters of the administration of St. Mary’s School.  Elections are held each spring.  Any parents who have had children attending St. Mary’s School for more than one year may be eligible for nomination.  Nominations are taken at church each spring. Elections are also held in church.

You may contact any School Advisory Council member with any question or concern.  School Advisory Council members are listed at the back of this handbook and can also be found on the school website.

SCHOOL PICTURES

School photographs are taken early in the school year and again in the spring.  All students have pictures taken in the fall for the school files.  The exact dates and needed information are announced in a timely manner in the weekly newsletter

Unless you advise the principal to the contrary in writing, St. Mary’s School will assume that we may use your child’s photograph in school publications and in the local newspapers.

 

SEVERE WEATHER PROCEDURES

In the event of tornado warnings, severe thunderstorms, downed power lines, etc., students will be kept in the school building and not dismissed until it has been determined that it is safe to do so.

 

SCHOOL CLOSING, CANCELLATION, DELAY: If weather conditions are such as to cause delay or cancellation of the Leipsic Public Schools, St. Mary’s will follow their procedures:

A.   Always listen to your local radio and/or watch the local TV stations for cancellations and delays.

B.   At the beginning of each year parents have the option of signing up for Leipsic public school automatic calling system.

C.   In the event of a mechanical breakdown, or a situation pertaining only to St. Mary’s School, then the school’s name will be specifically mentioned in the radio/TV announcement.

D.  In case of bad weather or any circumstance requiring early dismissal, the above radio stations will broadcast the announcement.

 

STUDENTS RECORDS / FILES

CUMULATIVE RECORD FILE:  A cumulative record for each student is kept in the school office.  Cumulative files contain academic transcripts, academic testing, academic interventions and health records.  Parents and guardians, both custodial and non-custodial, are entitled to access of these records unless court documents have been presented to the school office prohibiting access by an parent.  Parents may request copies of the file.  Those must remain with the school the student is attending.  Requests for copies must be made in writing and at least 24 hours in advance.

In addition, a court, attorney, or law enforcement officer investigating abuse, neglect, missing children or any other investigation will have access to the records at the discretion of the principal.

The cumulative file goes with the student to each school that is attended.  Only the official contents of the cumulative file are forwarded to a new school.

PERMANENT RECORDS:  A permanent record card is on file in the office for each student who attends St. Mary’s School.  This card records semester averages for each year and remains in the files at St. Mary’s School.

 

TRANSPORTATION

Eligible students receive bus transportation from the school district in which they reside.  Parents are responsible for transporting all other students to and from school.

 

Discipline Policies and Procedures

At St. Mary’s School, we are working to create an environment that reflects the values of the gospel of Jesus Christ and an environment that is safe and nurturing and is therefore compatible to building a community of learners.

 

In keeping with the philosophy and mission statement of St. Mary’s School, the administration, teaching staff and School Advisory Council recognize the necessity of dealing with students who infringe upon the rights of the school community.  We strive to create an environment that is absent from threat for all students.  We will not tolerate demeaning behavior of any kind or behavior that in any way threatens the safety of others.

 

The gospel guidelines, life skills and procedures set guidelines for expected behaviors that are consistent for every child at every grade level.  We believe that these guidelines and lifeskills are tools that are essential to becoming productive members of society.  We also believe that following these guidelines and lifeskills helps to create an environment that is compatible to how the brain learns.  As a result of the implementation of these guidelines, our focus is on positive aspects of behavior.  The gospel guidelines, life skills and procedures are posted throughout the building, so the students are constantly aware of them.

 

However, when there has been a failure on the part of the student to follow procedures, consequences will be given.

 

EXPECTED BEHAVIOR:

St. Mary’s students are expected to:

A.   Follow individual classroom and school rules.

B.   Be respectful to all teachers, staff members, volunteers and fellow students in speech and action.

C.   Bring necessary materials to class, return requested data, and take pride in their appearance by observing the school dress code.

D.   Be in their classroom on time.

E.   Complete all homework and study assignments.

F.    Respect school property and classroom materials as well as that which belongs to another.

G.   Be honest in speech and written work that is submitted in their name.  A student found cheating will receive a 0% on the test or assignment and will receive a 6-point Conduct Notice

 

 

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES:

It is the responsibility of the principal and the staff to provide and maintain an atmosphere where all can learn.  When a student, by attitude or action, disrupts this atmosphere, he/she may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.  This general procedure will be followed:

A.   The teacher will warn the student of the disturbing behavior.

B.   If the behavior continues, the teacher will give the student a conduct notice.

C.   Students may be referred to the principal when necessary.

D.  In cases of serious or repeated offenses, the student will be referred to the Principal and Pastor for appropriate action.  When necessary, a member of the staff or another designated person will be included in this intervention.

 

DETENTION:

Once a student has accumulated three (3) academic notice points or six (6) conduct notice points, he/she will be required to remain after school for detention.  Each month, a day will be designated on the calendar for this purpose and will last for one hour.  Students will be given special assignments to complete during this time.  If a student misses the scheduled detention, the amount of detention time will be doubled.  Because a student has a practice, music lessons, or ball game is not an excuse for missing the detention.

 

SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION:

A.  Official Disciplinary Warning:  A warning is given to students who have set a pattern of misbehavior through minor offenses.

B.  Disciplinary Probation:  Probation is a warning to students and parents that suspension or expulsion of the offending student is imminent unless there is substantial improvement in the student’s conduct.  Students are placed on probation if, after being placed on Disciplinary Warning, the conduct does not improve.

C.   Suspension:  In-school suspension means that the student is removed from his/her classroom to a separate supervised setting for a designated length of time.  Out-of-School Suspension means that the student is removed from the school for the designated length of time.

Before the actual suspension, the student and his/her parents are notified orally or in writing as to the nature of the violation.  A parent-teacher-principal conference will be arranged by appointment.  Immediately after the suspension all school work must be completed.

D.  Expulsion:  The student is removed from the school and not admitted back under any circumstances.  Students may be suspended or expelled for the following reasons:

1) Obscenity: actions or the act of using obscene or profane language in verbal or written form.

2) Vandalism or theft

3) Threatening or intimidating acts: the act of verbally or by gesture threatening the well-being of any person on school property.

4) The direct involvement with drugs, smoking, or such related actions.  In the case, the student would be removed immediately.  Parents would be contacted.  Law enforcement officials would be contacted if deemed necessary.

5) Any criminal act committed by a student, such as arson, assault, possession or use of explosives, malicious mischief, or possession of concealed weapons.  Pocket knives are prohibited.

6) Any other serious violations of Christian conduct which in the judgment of the administration are of such a nature as to warrant consideration of expulsion.

 

DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE:

A student shall not knowingly possess, use, transmit, sell or be under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs including counterfeit/look alike drugs or over-the-counter mood-modifiers on school premises before, during or after school, on/off school grounds at a school function or even on school buses or rented carriers.  Likewise, a student shall not knowingly possess, use, transmit or sell any drug related paraphernalia.  Students who are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, are detected to have alcohol on their breath, or who are in possession of alcohol or other drugs or mood-modifier will be immediately removed from school until a parent conference can be held.  Students wearing or having in their possession drug related paraphernalia, could also be removed from school until a parent conference can be held.  At the conclusion of a conference, a course of action will be determined, based upon the attitude of the student, cooperation of the parents, and seriousness of the offense.

 

GANGS

Membership in gangs that have been identified with disruptive, disorderly or criminal behavior is not consistent with the expectations of a St. Mary’s School student.  All such gang paraphernalia, dress and signs are prohibited.  Students engaging in such behavior are subject to severe disciplinary measures.

 

HARASSMENT / BULLYING

Student to student harassment will not be tolerated at St. Mary’s School.  Such behaviors include, but are not limited to:

Consequences for bullying will be given within the discipline code if applicable, but will also be treated as individual instances with individual consequences at the pastor’s and principal’s discretion.

 

HAZING

Hazing, defined as any act initiating a person into any school or organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of mental or physical harm is strictly prohibited.  Students who participate in any hazing will be subject to extreme disciplinary action and possible expulsion.

 

SEARCH AND SEIZURE, INTERROGATION

A.   For the safety and protection of all students within their care, certified staff members may search for weapons or other dangerous or illegal objects, if they have reasonable grounds to believe that such are in the possession of the student: i.e. lockers, desks, books, book/gym bags, etc.  A witness must be present to observe such a search.

This may be done by law enforcement officials if they have a regulation search warrant and the administrator’s permission.  A school official must be present during the search.

B.   The school principal or teacher will conduct an interrogation which is related to misconduct or crimes which are school-related.  If police interrogation is deemed necessary, parents will be contacted, if possible, prior to the beginning of the interrogation.  No school official will release a student to the police without a warrant being shown and with the parent’s acknowledgement.

 

WEAPONS POLICY:

Students are prohibited from bringing weapons to school or having them in the school.  Any student who carries, possesses, conceals, transfers to another to hold or hide, etc. any weapon on school premises or possesses a weapon in the vicinity of the school shall be immediately excluded from classes pending an investigation.  Any student suspected of carrying, possessing, concealing or transferring a weapon on school premises shall be immediately excluded from classes pending investigation.  A weapon is any object which can be used to threaten or harm another.  It includes, but is not limited to: guns, knives, chains, karate sticks, sharpened instruments, ammunition, etc.  School premises include the school building, playground areas, parish center, church and parking lots.

Investigation may include an inspection and search of students and their book bags, purses, lunch boxes, desks, lockers, other areas of student storage, etc.  Investigation also may include questioning by the pastor, principal, a teacher or other person acting in his/her place and/or the police

Dress Code

The development of habits of neatness and good grooming are goals which should be part of the education of every student.  Clothes worn by both girls and boys should always be neat, appropriate for a Catholic school student, and in keeping with the basic norms of Christian modesty.  The intent of our dress code is to define school wear which emphasizes our academic environment and Christian values rather than the latest fads and designer styles.  Our choice of guidelines  has direct bearing upon discipline and our desired atmosphere for learning.

 

Specific Dress Code Requirements:

Shirt/Blouse

        Polo Shirt - Any color collared,  polo shirt.  

        Religious Shirt - Shirt, Blouse, Sweatshirt, ¾ sleeve, long sleeve. NO Spaghetti strap blouses are not to be worn.  Blouses need to have straps that are at least the width of a credit card and no “undergarments” should be visible under the arms.

        St. Mary’s Shirt, Blouse, Sweatshirt, ¾ sleeve, long sleeve. NO Spaghetti strap blouses are not to be worn.  Blouses need to have straps that are at least the width of a credit card and no “undergarments” should be visible under the arms.

 

 

Pants and Shorts Code- Dress pants, shorts, capri’s, any solid color, Khaki, Blue, Black and/or Jeans.. If jeans are worn, their appropriateness will be evaluated in the same way dress pants will be checked: 1) they are a solid color, 2) the waist band is on the waist, not the hips, 3) the jeans do not have any type of holes in them, and 4) the pants are not tight fitting or dragging on the floor. Lined or unlined mesh pants and shirts are not included in our dress code.  

NO LEGGINGS, JOGGING PANTS, SWEATPANTS, MESH PANTS, BASKETBALL SHORTS  ARE PERMITTED FOR ANY GRADE LEVEL

Shorts must be finger tipped in length or longer.  Shorts are permitted from April 15th thru October 15th

 

Shoes- Tennis shoes may be worn at any time. A good gym shoe and socks are necessary for gym classes. Socks (and/or tights/hosiery for girls) are to be worn with shoes. Sandals and shoes must have a back or heel strap. Stacked heels and shoes with wheels are not permitted.

 

Dress Code for Mass- Dress shoes and pants (not shorts) or other dress clothes are recommended when students serve, read, lead petitions or are part of a procession during Mass. They may change after Mass.

 

Hair-Hair should be well groomed, clean, and should not interfere with vision. Ladies may wear hair jewelry such as headbands or barrettes as long as they are conservative. Gentlemen’s hair should be no longer than one inch above the collar.  Fad  hairstyles, distracting hairstyles or unnatural hair color will not be permitted for anyone.  The principal will have discretion in determining whether or not a hairstyle is considered distracting.

 

Cosmetics

Cosmetics, hairspray, and body spray are not to be brought to school.  Only middle school ladies are permitted to wear light makeup, and only if it is applied before coming to school.  Excessive make-up will not be permitted.          

                                                                             

        

Computer Network and Internet

Acceptable Use Policy and Agreement

 

St. Mary’s School is pleased to make available to students access to the Internet.  The world-wide network provides various means of accessing educational materials and other useful and interesting reference resources.

 

In order for St. Mary’s School to be able to continue to make this access available, all students must take responsibility for appropriate and lawful use of it.  Students must understand that one student’s misuse of the network and internet access may jeopardize not only their own ability to enjoy this access, but may jeopardize that use for others as well.

 

What follows is a description of the Computer Network and Internet and Acceptable Use Policy and Agreement, its’ specific conditions of use and descriptions of elements of student responsibility as related to student access and use of the internet and the school computer network in general.

 

St. Mary’s School cannot provide access to any student who fails to sign and submit the Policy to the School with all information completed and all required signatures.

 

Listed below are the provisions of the agreement.  If you have any questions about any of these provisions, please contact the appropriate staff representative to answer your questions.

 

1.         Personal Responsibility / Breach of Agreement

        By signing this Policy and Agreement, you are agreeing to follow not only the rules of this Policy and Agreement, but are agreeing to report any misuse of the internet, or the school’s computer network in general.  Misuse means simply, any violations of the conduct outlined in the Policy or agreement or any other use not included in the Policy

 

2.   Term of Permitted Use

        Students will be asked to sign a new Policy and Agreement each year during which they are attending St. Mary’s School before they are given access to the internet.  Also, students may, from time to time be asked to provide new information, or sign additional agreements or adjustments to this Policy and Agreement as required by either law or development of technology that affects the student use of the internet or general computer network use.

 

3.   Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses of Computer Accounts

A.           St. Mary’s School is providing access to its computer networks and the internet for educational purposes only.  If you have any doubt about whether a contemplated activity is educational, consult the designated person to help you decide if the use is appropriate.

B.   All users and their parents/guardians are advised that access to the electronic network may include the potential for access to materials inappropriate for school- aged pupils.  Every user must take responsibility for his or her use of the computer network and internet and stay from these sites.  Parents of minors are the best guide for materials to shun.

C.   All users will demonstrate the following acceptable network etiquette:

  1. Be polite.  Use appropriate language.  No swearing, vulgarities, suggestive, obscene or threatening language.
  2. Be safe.  Do not reveal personal information about yourself or others, including items such as your home address and phone number, etc.  Do not arrange a face-to-face meeting with anyone you contact on the internet.

D.  Unacceptable uses of the internet or Computer network

  1. Uses that offend others.  Don’t use access to make ethnic, sexual preference of gender-related slurs or jokes.
  2. Uses that violate the law and encourage others to violate the law in any way.
  3. Transmission or reception of any harassing messages or pornographic material.
  4. Intrusion by any means into individual computers or networks.  This includes inappropriate use of another student’s computer, password, files, programs or other items stored or made available for student use on the computer.
  5. Misrepresentation of yourself or others to anyone else either in the school or on the internet.  This includes using someone else’s user name, password or personal name.

 

2.         Privacy and Monitoring of Account Use

        Network and Internet access is provided as a privilege and a tool for your education. St. Mary’s School reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and store at any time and without prior notice any and all usage of the computer network and Internet access and any and all information transmitted or received or generated in connection with such usage.  All such information files shall be and remain the property of St. Mary’s School and no user shall have any expectation of privacy regarding such materials.

 

 

3.         Failure to Follow Policy and Breach of Agreement.

The user’s use of the computer network and Internet is a privilege and not a right.  Any user who violates any part of the Policy and Agreement as outlined above, or as further defined as when needed, breeches his or her Agreement and shall, at a minimum, have his or her access to the computer network and the internet terminated.  In addition, St. Mary’s School reserves the right to administer other suitable punishments or penalties that may be deemed appropriate for any offense that violates the terms of this Agreement.

 

 

4.   Warranties and Indemnification

St. Mary’s School makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, in connection with its provision of access to and use of its computer networks and the internet provided under this Policy and Agreement.  It shall not be responsible for any claim, losses, damages, costs (including attorney’s fees) of any kind suffered, directly or indirectly, by any user of his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) arising out of the user’s use of its computer networks or the Internet under this Policy and Agreement.

 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

ATHLETIC PROGRAM

Because we believe that sports activities flow from our academic program and that students who participate in athletics must be held to a standard of expectation that takes into consideration their ability to get passing grades, demonstrate good sportsmanship and represent St. Mary’s School positively, we need to work together as parents, teachers, coaches, and students to hold our students to this important standard.

 

St. Mary’s CYO sponsors organized sports for grades 5-6-7-8 in basketball and 5-6 volleyball.

St. Mary’s is not able to sponsor sports teams for grades K-1-2-3-4.

 

Because we do not want to duplicate programs that are already sponsored by the YMCA or other organizations, we will not organize other sports teams without consultation with the Athletic Organization and the approval of the Pastor and Principal.

 

The gym is available for practice and games for our 5-6-7-8 basketball teams and CYO sports teams.  Coaches are expected to keep an updated schedule of practice and games in St. Mary’s School Office.  At the end of the sports season, all keys to the school building used by the coaches are to be turned in to the School Office.

 

All practice and game times are to be cleared with the Athletic Director before a schedule is published. 

USE OF GYMNASIUM

         No other students or children of the coaches are to be in the gym during practices.

     Because of insurance and liability issues, only those students officially participating in the sport may be the responsibility of the coaches during practices.

 

 

   1.        GUIDELINES

A.        To qualify for the team, prior to the start of the season a player:

 

   1)  Must have a Physical Card, Insurance Waiver Form and Medical Emergency Card validly filled out and returned to the school office before he/she may begin practice.

 

 

B.  School Absence on Days of Games and Practice

If a player is not in school on a day of a game or practice he/she may not participate in that day’s practice or game.  If a player is absent in the morning and returns by the end of his/her lunch hour, he/she will be able to participate in that day’s practice or game.  Exceptions to this rule would be approved absence due to a funeral, a doctor or dental appointment that requires the absences due to scheduling or distance or an emergency situation.  Proper and adequate communication with school and coaches is expected in cases of exceptions.

 

C.   Any student violating the rules of good sportsmanship will be subject to denial of participation in one or more games depending upon the seriousness of the action.

 

These rules apply to eligibility for St. Mary’s School sports only.  Eligibility in other sports programs in which students may participate is determined by the organization in charge.

 

PRINCIPAL’S RIGHT TO AMEND

 

The principal retains the right to amend the handbook for just cause and parents will be given prompt notification if any changes are made.

 

Policy Statement on Gender-Related Matters

The Catholic Church has always believed that her first mission given her by Christ Jesus is the salvation of souls. The Church must be true to her own identity and mission. Thus, the teachings of the Catholic Church must permeate all aspects of her activities. As a result, the Catholic community has a responsibility to be a witness to truth, charity, and justice based on the Gospel; and must always strive to be respectful of persons and understanding of the struggles present within and among the people of God. It would be inconsistent with the Church’s mission to teach, promote, or encourage anything that is contrary to the teachings she has received from God and which the Magisterium has clearly and consistently articulated. For this reason, the Church cannot, and may not, sponsor, endorse, facilitate, or host such organizations, events or activities that would promote such views, in any form or format whatsoever.

With specific regard to the human person, the Catholic Church has always and everywhere affirmed her belief that each and every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. As such, every person deserves respect, dignity, and freedom from discrimination. By remaining true to what Christ has taught concerning the human person, the Church encourages individuals to accept their own bodies and gender as they were created1, and seeks to help all people to recognize that the current attempts in modern culture to redefine gender and social institutions, as well as alter the nature and purpose of human beings, are misguided and not in accord with the truth. Therefore, it would be morally unacceptable for the Catholic Church, including the Diocese of Toledo, its parishes, schools, or ecclesiastical organizations to provide accommodations based on anything which in itself is contradictory or antithetical to the teachings of Christ and his Church, including notions of gender and sexuality that are contrary to Catholic teachings. For a fuller catechetical treatment of this topic, see Catechesis Regarding Human Dignity and Gender-Related Matters in the Appendix.

In Catholic parishes, schools and ecclesiastical organizations of the Diocese of Toledo, all activities and ministries are to be rooted in, and consistent with, the principles of Catholic doctrine. Therefore, in every parish, school and institution, all paid employees and unpaid volunteers will:

1. Treat all persons with sensitivity, respect, and compassion.

2. On a case-by-case basis, consider in a compassionate way any specific request sensitive to the

    physical and psychological needs of a person. The basis of the consideration will be on the  

    following questions:

i. What is the specific request of the adult, student and/or parent(s)/guardian?

ii. Is the request in keeping with the teaching of the Catholic Church?

iii. Is the parish, school or ecclesiastical organization reasonably able to provide for the                     request?

3. Require that names and pronouns be in accordance with the person’s biological sex.

4. Maintain names in records according to the person’s biological sex.

5. Confirm that uniforms and gender specific dress, bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and

    sponsored activities will all be according to biological sex.

6. Require that participation on athletic teams and extra-curricular activities be according

                 to biological sex.

7. Consult the Office of Marriage and Family Life with extenuating circumstances.

1 Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia 56.

Catechesis Regarding Human Dignity and Gender-Related Matters

The Catholic Church has always and everywhere affirmed her belief that each and every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. As such, every person deserves respect, dignity, and freedom from discrimination. Indeed, there is an inescapable duty to make ourselves the neighbor of all people, no matter who they are1. Further, the Church is obligated to hand on to every generation all that she has received from Jesus Christ, her divine founder, especially as it relates to our understanding of the human person in these present times.

The witness of Sacred Scripture is clear: God created human beings male and female (Genesis 1:27). From the dawn of creation as depicted in the Book of Genesis to the closing pages of the Apocalypse, Scripture presents the human race as consisting of only two (2) sexes. Both sexes, male and female, are created in the image of God and are equal in dignity and destiny (Genesis 2:21-24). God created Adam and Eve out of love and for love. One’s gender is therefore determined by one’s biological sex.

The entirety of divinely inspired Scripture affirms the male and female forms of human nature as reality. They are not mere cultural phenomena or subjective constructs. Although wounded by the entrance of sin into human experience and its far-reaching effects on our bodily nature, man and woman continue to image God in both their uniqueness and complementarity. Scripture is clear on the necessity of respecting God’s order and commands for human beings to experience the fullness of life he intends.

As articulated by Pope Francis, the clear and constant moral teachings of the Catholic Church have always envisioned a connection between our highest human happiness and our willingness to embrace the biological sex given us at birth2. Our bodies teach us profound truths about ourselves and our purpose in life. Our bodies signify that we are called to and gifted for relationships that are complementary in nature, open to new life, and destined for eternal happiness and joy. Our bodies are God-given means of deepening our human generosity and communion with both God and each other.

Pope Saint John Paul II affirmed in his teaching known as the Theology of the Body that in our given biological complementarity, as distinctly male and female, God clearly intended us to live in loving communion with him and with each other. Through mutual self-giving and interdependence, he invites us to share in his own act of creation, as well as his own eternal happiness and joy. Therefore, our God-given maleness and femaleness clearly make visible our calling to love and co-create with God in bringing new life into the world. This is what Pope Saint John Paul II called the “sacramentality of the body.” Our bodies are “icons” that reveal the deepest essence of who we are in the moral, spiritual, emotional, and physical dimensions of life.

1 Gaudium et Spes 27.

2 Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia 285.

Catholic teachings envision biological sex as neither a politically defined nor socially constructed reality.

It is an objective reality, a cornerstone of our createdness, and an invitation to enter joyfully and generously into what we believe to be the central mystery of the Christian faith, namely, that God is himself an eternal exchange of love emanating from the love shared between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit3.

The Catholic Church recognizes that there is much confusion regarding human sexuality and gender in today’s society. Knowing that this confusion touches the lives of many people very personally, the Catholic Church is committed to walking with each individual on the path towards a more integral understanding of their human dignity and their unique vocation in the Creator’s plan for salvation history.

St. Mary’s Catholic School

Handbook Review

Dear Parents, It is our hope that this handbook will be a quick and easy reference in answering those inevitable questions about school life at St. Mary’s.  Please read it carefully and keep it in easy access for future reference.  St. Mary’s faculty regards it a privilege to assist you in the Christian education of your child and they want to strengthen the bonds between home and school in every way possible.  The greater the understanding between Parent-Teacher-Child, the greater will be the child’s growth spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and socially.  This handbook will not answer all the questions regarding school matters, When you have additional questions please feel free to contact the office (419-943-2801).  We want to be of service and we need your support.  We ask that you sign the lower portion of this page and return the page to the office, indicating that you have received and reviewed your copy of the St. Mary’s Parent-Student Handbook.  

Thank you and God Bless.

Mrs. Michelle Knippen, principal

Children enrolled at St. Mary’s Catholic School

1. _______________________________________ Grade____________

2. _______________________________________ Grade____________

3. _______________________________________ Grade____________

4. _______________________________________ Grade____________

5. _______________________________________ Grade____________

My child/children and I have reviewed the St. Mary’s Catholic School Handbook

Parent/Guardian Signature: __________________________________ Date: _______________

 

 

Request for Administration of Medication at School

To be completed by parent

I hereby request that ________________________________________ receive medication during the

Child’s Name

School day as recommended below by our physician.

_________________________________                                ________________________

                        Parent’s Signature                                                                Date

_________________________________                                  _________________________

                            Address                                                                                     Phone

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

To be completed by Physician

Please outline the physical condition(s) which require medication during the hours the child named above attends school.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Specify the medication and dosage prescribed:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Provide instructions for administration of medication:

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________        ____________________________        __________________                Physician’s Signature                                Phone                                      Date

Please return this form to the office. God Bless.  

Requesting EMail Information from Parents and Guardians

Your email address will be used for school related business only.  We will follow the same guidelines indicated on attached “Guideline” sheet for Parents

_____ No, we do not have an email address at this time.  We will contact the school if this changes and an address is available for the school to use.

_____ Yes, we have an email.

Name:                 _________________________________________

Email Address:         _________________________________________

Parent Signature:        _________________________________________

Children in Grades:        _________________________________________

Date:                        _________________________________________

Revised August 2020