St. Bernadette School Handbook






Dear Families,

                We are delighted that you have chosen St. Bernadette School and look forward to watching your children grow throughout the school year. This handbook is a resource that will help you navigate and understand the school’s procedures. Please review the handbook with your children as it will help reinforce some of the key elements within the school and encourage a positive community. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teacher, the school office or administration.





Saint Bernadette Catholic School is a Christ-filled learning community

promoting faith, acceptance, service and peace.


Saint Bernadette School Belief Statement


·      successful education requires the collective effort of the student, staff, parent and


·      high expectations foster greater academic achievement

·      that a quality education teaches the whole child: spiritually, emotionally, academically,

and socially.

·      in honesty, integrity and responsible behavior

·      a safe, nurturing environment promotes growth and success

·      in a learning environment that values each individual and promotes self-worth

·      that everyone has the right to be respected and has the obligation to give respect

·      in teaching God’s children how to proclaim and live the Gospel in their everyday lives

·      the commitment to continuing improvement is necessary for our school to enable
        students to become self-confident, self-directed, and therefore, lifelong learners.

Accreditation and Continuous Improvement

St. Bernadette School is a Catholic school in the Diocese of Cleveland and is fully accredited by the Ohio Department of Education, through the Ohio Catholic Accrediting Association (OCSAA).


Our current Continuous Improvement Plan cycle, flowing from our Mission, from our Belief Statements, and driven by data, is guided by two main goals, one for Catholic Identity, and one for Student Performance.


Catholic Identity Goal: Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the celebration of our Roman Catholic Mass.


Student Performance Goal: Students will develop and apply their critical thinking skills focusing on reading and problem solving across all content areas.



Saint Bernadette School is a Catholic, parochial, elementary school operated by Saint Bernadette Parish, to provide a quality Catholic education for the children of the parish. Saint Bernadette School does not discriminate on the basis of religion, sex, race, color, or national or ethnic origin in administration of our educational and admission policies. All students are encouraged to participate in the Catholic educational experience and are nurtured to reach their potential. The feasibility of accepting any child into Saint Bernadette School will be dependent upon the school’s ability to meet the child’s educational needs. Reasonable accommodations will be made, if feasible, to include a student in the Saint Bernadette School community.


Non-parishioners may be admitted to St. Bernadette School on a space available basis. Placement of all students in grade one through eight will only be made after evaluation of prior academic records by the appropriate school personnel to determine if our school can meet the academic needs of the child. Children entering kindergarten must be five years old by September 30. All children planning to enter kindergarten must participate in the kindergarten assessment process to determine school readiness.


If the number of student registrations exceeds the available space for any grade, the following criteria will be applied to determine placement:

  1. Registered, active members of the parish.
  2. Children with siblings already attending Saint Bernadette School.
  3. Date of registration in the parish.


A waiting list will be maintained for active parishioners if class size has reached capacity. Those families with children on the waiting list who would like to continue on the waiting list the following school year should notify the school office during the registration period. School registration takes place the end of January, and is announced in the parish bulletin.  Official admission is not considered complete until all academic and health records have been received. Admission for all new students is conditional for the first quarter.


Student and family cooperation with school personnel, practices and policy is expected. Continued enrollment is not automatic or guaranteed. Students and families may continue to be enrolled in the school by invitation. Invitation to enroll in Saint Bernadette School or continued enrollment in Saint Bernadette School may be withdrawn at the end of the school year, or at any time during a current school year. Parents of children enrolled in school who are divorced must provide the school with a copy of the court custody order or court approved agreement. Children living with other court assigned guardians must also provide the school with court approved guardianship documentation.



Admission and readmission to Saint Bernadette School are done on an annual school year basis.



Four tuition payment plans are offered.  A one-time Annual payment or two semi-annual payments.  These are invoiced to the parent. If you choose a quarterly or monthly payment plan, you must sign up for the FACTS tuition program. If you use the AfterCare (Beyond the Bell) program, you must also register on the FACTS system.  The AfterCare is debited on the 15th of each month.  If tuition, AfterCare, library fees, lunch accounts, or any other fees are not current, GradeLink will be suspended and report cards will be held in the school office until payment is made.


If any parent is in need of financial assistance, please contact the Parish Finance Office at 440-734-1300.



All doors of the school building are locked to outside access during the school day to insure the safety of all within the building. A doorbell is located outside the school’s main office front doors. All visitors, including parents, must first report to the school office and sign in with their reason for visiting the school. Visitors must also sign out of the office when they leave the school. No person may go directly to the classroom or cafeteria during school hours. Forgotten lunches, books, etc., are to be brought to the school office.


A successful education is dependent on a student’s involvement and participation in class. When students are absent and tardy, they miss out on valuable experiences and this hinders their success.


Students begin to enter the building at 7:30 am and should arrive no later than 7:55 am. The school day concludes at 2:30 pm.


Students are expected to be in school on time, for the full day, every day, unless a medical or other excused reason exists. Parents are strongly encouraged to schedule medical and dental appointments and any other activities outside the regular school day. Family travel and vacation plans should be made during school vacations.


Absence: In the event that a student will be absent from or tardy to school, the student’s parent or guardian must report the absence or tardy to the school at 440/734-4601 no later than 8:30 am. Please provide the following information when calling:

                                                    • Name of parent or guardian reporting absence

                                                    • Student’s name

                                                    • Homeroom number

                                                    • Date of absence

                                                    • Reason for absence

Students returning to school from an absence must present a note from a parent or guardian explaining the reason for the absence.


A student who is absent on a particular day may not participate in any school or parish sponsored extracurricular activity that same day or evening. Violation will result in an unexcused absence.


The school office should be notified immediately of a prolonged illness. A physician’s verification that a student will be absent for at least six weeks is required so that tutoring may be arranged through the local public school district.

Completing Missed Work After an Absence: Requests for work should be made when the parent/guardian calls the attendance line, no later than 8:30 am. The student’s work will be available in the school office after completion of the school day. Jr. high students should refer to Google classroom the first day they are absent, and teachers will gather materials after a students is absent for two days. Siblings may pick up the work in the office at the end of the school day. Students will be allowed the same number of days to complete missed work as the number of days absent (i.e., if you are absent for two days, you will have two days to return completed missed work). It is the responsibility of the student to inquire and make arrangements with teachers to complete any missed assignments or tests during absences. These arrangements should be scheduled outside of class teaching time. Available times may be before school, after school or during a study time.

Tardiness: Students who are not in their homeroom at 7:55 am are considered tardy and must first report to the school office for a tardy slip. Late students are considered tardy until 8:30 am, after which time students will be recorded absent for ½ day (morning).  Students who leave school before 2:30 pm are recorded absent for ½ day (afternoon). Students who leave for appointments during the day for 30 minutes or longer will be recorded absent for that part of the day.


Early Dismissal: Students requiring an early dismissal from the school day must submit a note signed by a parent or guardian indicating the dismissal time and the reason for the dismissal to the office at the beginning of the school day. Any parent/guardian desiring to take a child out of school must sign the child out in the office. The student will then be called from the classroom. If the student is returning to school after completing the appointment, the parent should make sure the student enters the building to be signed in at the office before returning to class.

After School Activities: Students attending after school activities (i.e., Aftercare, Girls on the Run) should submit a note to the office indicating the dates the child will attend the activities.


Absence and/or tardiness for 10% of the school year constitutes chronic absenteeism. Students who are absent/tardy a combined 5 times in a quarter will receive a written alert. If repeated absences continue, a parent conference will be scheduled and the student will be placed on an Attendance Contract. 

Standardized Testing

The standardardized testing program for schools within the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is designed to serve and assist teachers and administrators in the systematic evaluation of the curriculum and planning of designed instruction. Use of data from these and all assessments helps teachers see students’ strengths and weaknesses, and discrepancies between students’ abilities and their performance and achievement.

The Cognitive Abilities Test is a national norm-referenced test that is composed of a battery of sub-tests which are a measure of verbal abstract reasoning and problem solving ability. Cognitive Tests are administered to students in grades 1, 3, and 5.

NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress or MAP Tests have replaced the IOWA Test of Basic Skills. MAP is a computer adaptive test that is given given three times a year in the areas of Math, Reading and Language Usage. Students in grades 2-8 take MAP, and students in kindergarten and first grade take MAP for Primary Grades, which provides audio support to help students demonstrate their knowledge. These tests measure student growth and assess student’s mastery of skills. This guides teachers’ planning and helps them differentiate instruction.


Principal’s Pal

This quarterly award is given to students in grades K -3 who earn an Outstanding in Conduct and Effort for the Quarter.


Honors are awarded quarterly to students in grades four to eight who meet the following benchmarks.

First Honors: Students have an an average between 93% and 100% in each of their daily courses: Religion, Math Language Arts, Reading, Socials Studies, and Science.

Second Honors: Students have an average between 85 and 92% in each of their daily courses: Religion, Math Language Arts, Reading, Socials Studies, and Science.

Honors students must earn an Outstanding or Satisfactory in Conduct and Effort.

Honors students must earn at least a C (80%) in all of their Specials classes.


Report cards are issued four times per year. Student Interim Progress updates are posted on Gradelink, the school’s student information system. Promotion to the next grade level is based upon the successful completion of the student’s current grade level. Saint Bernadette School uses the grading scale recommended by the Diocese of Cleveland.

A+           98-100        B+           90-92                C+           82-84                D+           75-76
A             95-97                B             87-89                C        79-81                D             72-74
A-        93-94                B-            85-86                C-            77-80                D-            70-71                F 0-69                                              

A = The student consistently performs superior work in accomplishing goals, objectives and requirements.

B = The student usually performs above average work in accomplishing goals, objectives and requirements.

C = The student usually performs average work in accomplishing goals, objectives and requirements.

D = The student usually performs below average work in accomplishing goals, objectives and requirements.

F = The student usually performs unsatisfactory work.



Parent-Teacher conferences are planned in the fall and spring and by request throughout the school year. Teachers are not available in the evening hours. Parents should not confer with teachers in the hall or at lunch during the teaching day.



It is the principal, after consultation with teachers and parents, who makes the final decision as to the promotion of students. Retention will be considered for the following reasons:


Retention must have prior approval of the principal and be accepted in writing by the parent or legal guardian. A Retention Contract must be completed and signed by both the school and the parent or legal guardian. This document will become a part of the student's permanent file. If the parent or legal guardian refuses to have a child retained, a Refusal to Retain Contract must be completed and signed by the parent or guardian. This document will become a part of the student's permanent file. The school may exercise the right to refuse to accept the child for the next school year.



The school office is to be informed if a student withdraws from Saint Bernadette School. Student records may be released only after a parent or guardian signed Consent to Release Records has been received in the school office, and all tuition and outstanding fees are reconciled. Students who are withdrawn for reasons other than a special education service need or a move out of the area will not be re-admitted without the approval of the administration.


All employees and volunteers who have contact with students undergo thorough screening, including background checks through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification (BCI&I). For complete information on screening policies, see the revised Policy for the Safety of Children in Matters of Sexual Abuse, section 1.2 (p. 3).


All volunteers must have completed:

1. VOLUNTEER APPLICATION: Complete and submit to the school office the Saint Bernadette School Volunteer Application. Proof of identification (i.e., copy of current driver’s license) must accompany all applications.

2. BACKGROUND CHECK: Volunteers must partake in a Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) check until it expires five years from when it was taken. For locations, please check the list on the Ohio Attorney General’s website. After five years, ths check expires and can be renewed through

3. ATTEND AN EDUCATIONAL AWARENESS SESSION TITLED PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN or VIRTUS: Awareness sessions are held at parishes throughout the Diocese. Information regarding class locations, schedules and registrations here.

4. PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN ONLINE UPDATES: Once you attend the educational awareness session, you will automatically receive online bulletin updates. These updates are monitored by the school office and need to be current at all times.

5. View the online video series “Child Protection Policy In-Service” found on the Diocesan website:

6. READ THE DIOCESAN POLICY FOR THE SAFETY OF CHILDREN IN MATTERS OF SEXUAL ABUSE (2016) AND SIGN ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORM: This policy can be found here. The acknowledgement form is the last page of this document and must be printed, signed and returned to the school office.

7. READ THE DIOCESAN STANDARDS OF CONDUCT FOR MINISTRY (2016) AND SIGN ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORM: This policy can be found here. Print, sign and return the acknowledgement form to the school office.



Student eligibility for transportation service is determined by the student’s public school district of residence. Questions regarding service should be directed to the respective transportation office. Only those students assigned to the individual school district transportation service may ride the bus. There are no exceptions. School district bus drivers are prohibited from transporting students not assigned to services. In the event that an eligible transportation student must be dropped off at another student’s address, the bus driver must receive a note from the parent or legal guardian, approved by school personnel. Students may only ride on their assigned bus.


All students who ride school transportation are expected to follow the rules as prescribed by the public school transportation department. Failure to comply with transportation rules will result in the penalties as determined by the transportation department and Saint Bernadette School. These penalties may include permanent removal from the bus service. The report of the bus driver will be accepted and acted on by the administration of Saint Bernadette School in accordance with the expectations of the respective transportation department.




In the event of dangerous weather conditions, St. Bernadette School will close if Westlake City Schools close. We will notify our families regarding school closings via email, School Messenger and on and also on TV – Channels 3, 5, and 8.


Other than in extreme circumstances, school will not be dismissed early due to weather conditions. In the event that an emergency situation develops and it becomes necessary to evacuate the building, students will be directed to the church.  Information from the Emergency Information Forms regarding an early dismissal will be used if parents or guardians cannot be reached by telephone.



Students are not permitted to enter the school building until 7:30 am. Unless tardy, all students arriving for school are to enter the building from the back. Students arriving late to school should report to the office using the front entrance.


Bus Students: All students arriving to school in the morning by bus are dropped off at the back of the building.


Car Riders: All students arriving to school in the morning by car should be dropped off in the back of the building. Drivers are asked to be very cautious—not exceeding 5 mph speed—to watch for students, and to stay clear of buses.


Walkers & Bicycle Riders: All students walking or riding a bicycle to school are to arrive at the front of the building, then proceed to the front door, ringing doorbell for entry, proceeding through hall to the north hall where students assemble. All walkers and bicycle riders are to walk across the main streets at the corners where a guard is posted. All students should follow the directions of the crossing guards.


Roller blades, roller skates and skateboards are not permitted on school grounds during the school day, including arrival and departure time of students and staff. Violation will result in the confiscation of the equipment and returned to the student at the end of the school year.



7:30 am: Students enter the building

7:45 am: Students proceed to their classrooms

7:55 am: School begins with prayer and announcements

10:53 am – 12:59 pm: Lunch Periods



Grade level













2:25 pm Bus Dismissal

2:35 pm Walker, Car Rider Dismissal

The school celebrates Mass at 9:00 on most Fridays. We invite parents to attend. On days that we celebrate Mass, we have an alternate lunch schedule.  



Grade level














All students are to leave the building immediately following the conclusion of the school day unless they are participating in an activity that is under the direct supervision of a staff member or other supervising adult. No students are permitted to wait in the building for an after school activity unless the designated supervisor of that activity is present. In the event that a student or parent wishes to use an alternative means for returning home, a written blue note provided by the office, signed by the parent or guardian, must be sent to school.


Bus Students: Students transported home by bus are dismissed first from the back of the building. Students are to board their assigned bus immediately. All students are required to follow the safety rules established by the transportation department and enforced by the bus drivers.  Saint Bernadette School will follow the same enforcement procedures and penalties as designated by the local transportation department. Penalties include temporary or permanent removal from the bus.  If for any reason a bus is late arriving for students, the school will be notified and students will be held at school with supervision until a bus arrives.


Car Riders: All students returning home by car are dismissed from the back of the building. Drivers picking up students at the end of the school day by car are to form a line along the long driveway at the south end of the school. (The area along the sidewalk in the back parking lot is reserved for buses.) After all buses are boarded and departed, car drivers are asked to pull up all the way to where the teacher/supervisor is waiting with children. Students are instructed not to go to the car until their driver has the opportunity to drive up to the boarding location. Drivers are asked not to wave, call or otherwise signal children to cars before the car has reached the pick up location.


Walkers & Bicycle Riders: All students walking or riding bicycles home from school exit the building from the front door near the maintenance office. No students will be permitted to enter a car in the front lot. Students are to stay on the sidewalk when leaving school. Students are to cross the main streets at the corners where a crossing guard is posted. All students are to follow the directions of the crossing guards.


Alternative Dismissal Procedures: When a student is taking a different means of transportation home from school, parents/legal guardians should return a blue note that was provided in the back to school packet at the beginning of the year. Signed blue notes must also be written if a student is staying after school for extracurricular activities (i.e., Girls on the Run, Community Action, etc.).


The purpose of the dress code is to contribute to an atmosphere that is conducive to the mission of St. Bernadette School. By wearing the school’s uniform, students embrace their membership in the St. Bernadette community.


Students are expected to comply with the

dress code all day, everywhere in the building unless specifically excused by the principal. The school administration reserves the right to determine appropriateness of student’s apparel.




Grades K-4:

V-Neck, Pleated Jumper Shirt: White button-down, short or long sleeve, with Peter Pan round collar; white or navy blue short or long-sleeve, monogrammed pullover knit shirt; or white, red, or navy blue turtleneck. Please note that the monogrammed pullover knit shirt can now be worn with the jumper.


Grade 4: Girls may choose to wear the primary uniform or the middle school uniform.

Grades 5-8:

Skirt: Pleated or Wrap Kilt

Shirt: Monogrammed, ribbed bottom, short or long sleeve, white or navy blue pullover knit shirt.


All Grades K-8:

Jumpers and Skirts: All jumpers and skirts must be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee. Jumpers and skirts must be buttoned at all times.


Slacks: Beginning November 1st through March 31st each year, girls can wear either navy blue or khaki designated Saint Bernadette slacks. Belts are to be worn with the styles that include belt loops. No slacks, sweats, etc., are to be worn under the jumper, pleated skirt or wrap kilt shirt during the school day. Tights with the jumpers and skirts or slacks are available options for warmth.


Socks: Solid navy blue, black, red or white worn at least 2 inches above the top of the Anklebone (malleolus). No low cut socks are allowed. Solid navy blue, black, red or white tights are permitted. No nylons. Solid navy blue, back, red or white knee-highs are also permitted. No nylon type (trouser socks) knee-highs are permitted.



Grades K-8:

Shirt: Short or long sleeve white oxford or broadcloth button-down dress shirt OR short or long sleeve, white or navy, monogrammed pullover knit shirt. Shirts must be tucked in smoothly at the waist.


Trousers: Navy blue or khaki uniform pants from Schoolbelles or a department store Uniform Line. Belts must be worn.


Socks: Solid navy blue, black or white worn at least 2 inches above the anklebone (malleolus). No low-cut socks are allowed.




Sweaters, Sweater Vests, and Sweatshirts (optional): Solid navy blue, red or white sweaters. No logos other than St. Bernadette Spirit are permitted. NO HOODS.


Shoes: Black, brown, red or navy blue dress shoes must be worn. Heels may not be higher than 1½ inch. Soles may not be higher than ½ inch. Hiking boots, clogs, moccasins and open-back shoes are not permitted.


Summer Uniform: During the months of August, September, May and June all students can wear the regulation Saint Bernadette uniform shorts (khaki or navy blue) with their regulation shirt, socks as described in this handbook and tennis or school shoes. Belts are to be worn with the shorts, and shirts/blouses must be tucked in if the shirt is not banded. On the day that the students have physical education class scheduled during the months of August, September, May and June, they may wear their physical education uniform with acceptable socks. Students may not wear the summer uniform on Mass Days.


Hair: Unusual, drastic or fad haircuts may not be worn. Hair is to be combed, clean and cut so that it is out of the area of vision. Girls’ hair length should be safe from being caught while in the classroom, physical education class, and recess, in backpacks, zippers and on school buses. Boys’ hair must be shorter than the shirt collar. No chemical alteration of natural hair color for boys or girls. Any questionable styles, cuts, etc., are determined in compliance by the teachers and/or principal.


Headwear: While it is imperative that students wear hats to and from school during the cold, winter months, no hats, bandannas, scarves, etc., may be worn in the building during the school day. Girls may wear headbands and ponytail holders.


Jewelry: Girls may wear only one earring in each earlobe of small post earrings not hanging below the earlobe, religious necklace and a watch. No other jewelry is permitted. No jewelry is permitted during gym class. Boys may wear a religious medal and a watch. No other jewelry is permitted. No jewelry is permitted during gym class. Saint Bernadette School does not assume responsibility for missing or damaged jewelry.


Cosmetics: No make-up, perfume, cologne, after-shave lotion or strongly scented sprays. Girls may wear nail polish, but artificial nails are not permitted.


Winter Outerwear: It is expected that students come to school dressed appropriately for cold weather. Students will go outside for recess unless the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit at the scheduled time for recess. The National Weather Service at Hopkins Airport serves as our information source for weather related decisions. For this reason it is important that students come to school with hats, gloves, coats, slacks and boots for the cold winter months. Coats are to be removed during class time and during lunch in the cafeteria. All of our classrooms are carpeted. When we have snow or ice on the grounds, students will be expected to wear boots or some other outdoor footwear that will be removed and left in the hall outside the classroom during the school day.

Mass Day

Girls 5-8: tights with their skirt

Boys 5-8: white button down dress shirt with a tie

All students: No sweatshirts

No Summer uniform on Mass days

Spirit Day

Students are permitted to wear pants: Regular length denim jeans (not shorts). Dress Down Days observed in August, September, May and June includes appropriate shorts or Capri-length pants. Students may wear gym uniform pants if they do not have jeans. Shirt: Gym shirt, St. Bernadette School spirit apparel shirt, solid color shirt with no graphics or regular uniform shirt. Shoes: Tennis shoes and socks as described in this handbook.

Dress-Down Day

A Dress-down Day is a non-uniform day. Appropriate attire must be worn.  Blue jeans must be in good repair. Shorts may be worn from the beginning of the school year in August to October 31st and from May 1st until the end of the school year in June. Shorts must be an appropriate length; fingertip length.  Any questions about length of shorts will be addressed by administration. Tee shirts may bear no negative advertisements.  No tank tops, muscle shirts, midriff shirts, sleeveless shirts, etc. are permitted. Skirts and dresses worn on Dress-down Days must be of uniform length, which is 2 inches above the knee. Any questions about length of skirts/shorts will be addressed by administration.

School Picture Day

Special days throughout the year and school picture day are designated as “Dress-Up Day.” On these days girls should wear dresses, skirts, dress slacks, suits, etc., with dress shoes, hose, etc. Boys should wear dress trousers, shirts, ties, sports coat, etc., with dress shoes. Students must wear clean, neat, hole, rip and torn free clothing that is age, length and size appropriate. All clothing should be in good taste.


Physical Education Uniform

All students in Grades K-8 are required to wear a uniform for physical education class. The Saint Bernadette School physical education uniform consists of the following items:

Shirt: gold tee-shirt with navy logo

Shorts:  navy knit or mesh with the gold logo.

Sweatpants: Saint Bernadette sweatpants; wear during cooler months

Uniform items are available from Jim Mayer at Hometown Threads located on Great Northern Boulevard in North Olmsted. You may contact Hometown Threads on their website or (440) 779-6053.  All students are also required to have clean gym shoes for physical education class. The soles on the gym shoes must be non-marking. A gym bag can be purchased through the PTU.



Graduation dress described below applies to both the last day of school and the graduation ceremony.

Boys: solid color dress shirt, tie, dress pants, dress shoes (socks must be worn) suit jacket/sport coat is optional.

Girls: dress with sleeves (no spaghetti straps, no halters), or blouse with sleeves and skirt dress/skirt should be no shorter than the top of the knee cap and must be opaque rather than see through closed toe and heel dress flats (NO FLIP FLOPS) or closed toe and back dress heels not higher than 2 inches



Boys: white dress shirt and tie, dress pants, navy or black dress shoes (socks must be worn) suit jacket is optional

Girls: white Communion dress (not floor length) Communion veil white socks or white tights white dress shoes (no high heels)



Phone call privileges are reserved for emergency situations. Messages are given from the office in emergency situations, but students and parents are responsible for communicating plans, needs, etc., before school. Please do not use the office for messages that should have been given to the student before he/she arrived at school. Except for emergencies (forgotten eyeglasses or medication) students may not use the school phone for personal calls.



The school administration recognizes that some families feel the need to equip their students with a cell phone.  We acknowledge that for reasons of safety parents want to be able to contact their student before school, after dismissal and at any other times outside the school day.  



Items delivered to school after the morning bell will be placed in the homeroom teacher’s mailbox. These items will not be delivered to the classroom.



All personal items should be labeled with the student’s name (jackets, uniforms, lunches, etc.). The Lost and Found box is kept in the (main) hallway across from the mural. At the end of each school quarter, all lost and found items will be donated to charity.



Students should plan to take care of their needs during the times they are not in class. Students should not be stopping in the restrooms when passing between regular class periods unless they are certain they can reach their next class on time. Students can use restrooms adjoining the cafeteria during lunch when necessary. Students who find it necessary to use the         restroom once classes have begun must have a pass from a teacher designated for that purpose. In particular, once classes have started, students are not to stop in the restroom on their “way to or from someplace.” Students are not to bring food into the restrooms at any time.



Birthdays are celebrated at home with the family. Students may bring one small birthday treat to share with classmates when it is their birthday. Non-food treats are encouraged. If possible, edible treats should be individually wrapped. Families are reminded to be conscious of food allergies (nuts, milk products, etc.) that children in their homeroom have. Please check with the school nurse if you have any questions. Invitations for celebrations outside of school can be distributed only if every child in the class is included, or all boys/all girls. Birthday parties do not begin on school property.



If a parent/guardian has a question or concern, they should first meet with that particular teacher. If a parent cannot accept the decision or explanation given by the teacher, they should take the matter to the principal. In meeting with the teacher or principal, an appointment is to be scheduled in advance. Faculty and staff should never be called at home.



If a parent needs to book Outdoor Fields, Dempsey Hall or the PAC, contact Ms. Mary Egan so your event can be added to the master schedule. She can be contacted at the Parish Office: 440-734-1300.



If a student becomes ill or is injured while at school the student should report to the school clinic or school office. In the event of serious illness or injury, parents or the emergency contact person will be called. School personnel cannot provide transportation.



All students are required to have a current Emergency Medical Authorization form on file in the school clinic. This form includes information from the parent or guardian regarding how the parent or guardian wishes the school to proceed in the event of illness or medical emergency for the student. This form also provides a parent/guardian release for the school in case medical emergency action must be taken. These completed forms must be returned to the clinic on the first day of school each year. Any change that occurs in student health status or names and telephone numbers of parents or emergency contacts should be reported to the school office immediately. Additional copies of form are needed on file.  The number of forms to be filled out will be included in the August family packet.



All students entering St. Bernadette School must provide documentation for current required immunizations. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) mandates that all students entering kindergarten provide documentation of having received the following immunizations:

Other immunization requirements will be communicated at the beginning of each school year based on the ODH requirements.


Students exhibiting the following conditions will be required to go home after notifying the parent, guardian or emergency contact person.

                                        • Nausea and/or vomiting

                                            • An undiagnosed skin rash

                                            • Suspicion of pink eye

                                            • Head or back injury

                                            • Suspicion of broken bone

                                            • Temperature of 99.6 or above


The symptoms or conditions listed below may signal the onset of a communicable disease or adverse condition that could affect many children and teachers in the classroom. Please keep your child home from school if he or she has any of the following symptoms:

                                            • Diarrhea within the last 24 hours

                                            • Temperature of 100 or higher within the last 24 hours

                                            • Vomiting within the last 24 hours

                                            • While waiting for results of a strep test

                                            • Sore throat with or without difficulty swallowing

                                            • Severe cough

                                            • Severe cold

                                            • Undetermined rash

                                            • Red, watery, burning, itchy eyes

                                            • Nits in hair



Ohio law stipulates that all prescribed and over the counter student medication must be kept in the school clinic. No student medications may be kept on their person, in a locker, desk, lunch bag, etc. (Recent law has permitted students to carry inhalers or EpiPens only with physician and parent or guardian documented approval.)  All medications (prescription and over the counter) to be administered at school must be accompanied by a current Medication Form completed and signed by a physician and a parent or guardian.


All medication must be in its original container with prescription label, complete with the student name, medication name and dosage, and time of administration or over the counter label affixed to the container with the student’s name. Forms are available at the beginning of each school year per parent request and are available throughout the year. If there is any change in a student’s medication it is the responsibility of the parent to inform the school nurse of the change and provide the appropriate approval documentation. No medication can be administered or permitted without completion of the above procedure.




A complete physical examination is required for all kindergarten and new transfer students. Forms are available through the school office or clinic. The school physical form does not satisfy the requirement for the CYO sports program.  Additional medical and insurance forms for participation in the CYO program are required and are available through the Athletic Board.



The clergy, administration, faculty and staff of Saint Bernadette School are committed to providing a Christ-filled learning community promoting faith, acceptance, service and peace. A high standard of conduct, based on and modeling Christian gospel values, is expected of students at St. Bernadette School. Our ultimate goal is to impart a sense of wholeness to each student for life. In partnership with parents/guardians it is our deepest desire that the students know they belong to a community bonded by Christian love and respect. Standards of discipline are an essential part of the Saint Bernadette School environment, allowing each student to act within an established order, and ensuring a climate conducive to learning.  Students are expected to abide strictly by these standards of conduct in school and while participating in school-related activities. Parents/guardians are expected to join in ensuring their children’s compliance with these standards, and to support any disciplinary decisions made by the school administration.

As a responsible member of this community I will:

Sometimes a student may choose to violate these standards and needs to understand and be responsible for the consequences of his/her behavior.  Below is outlined what would happen if a student chose to violate these standards.


K-3 Discipline Policy

All primary discipline will be handled in the classroom by the homeroom teacher. School administration will intervene when necessary.

Grades 4-5 Discipline Policy

Students in grades four and five will be asked to sign a clipboard when they break the code of conduct. Reasons students will be asked to sign a clipboard include but are not limited to: uniform violation, talking during classroom instruction, inappropriate use of a chromebook. See junior high policy for more information. Once a student signs the clipboard three times in one day, the student will be issued a detention. Clipboard signatures start fresh each day.

Grades 6-8 Discipline Policy

Students in grades six-eight will be assigned behavior infractions that are half sheets of blue paper, when they break the code of conduct. Behavior infractions include but are not limited to:

Once a student receives four behavior infractions in one semester, the student will be issued a detention. Behavior infraction counts start fresh each semester.


Detentions are assigned once a fourth or fifth grade signs a clipboard for three breaks in the code of conduct in one day or once a jr. high student is assigned four behavior infractions for breaking the code of conduct four times in a semester.  Detentions are also assigned for serious offenses to the code of conduct. Detentions accumulate for the entire school year.

Detentions are served on a day assigned by the grade level teacher, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.  Students serving detentions are supervised by teachers in grades 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and are sent to the school office at 3:15 p.m. to be picked up by a parent/guardian. If no one is in the office, the students go to Aftercare to be picked up.

Causes for a detention include but are not limited to:

Additional Disciplinary Measures

The following disciplinary measures are used (depending on the offense or frequency of the offense) and will be determined by the principal:

BEHAVIORAL CONTRACT:  This document is completed by the administration and signed by student, parent/guardian, principal, and teachers. Failure to comply with this document will result in further action, which is at the discretion of the administration.

PROBATION:  When reasonable measures have been taken to correct a problem and no significant improvement is noted, a student may be placed on probation by the principal.  The terms of the probation will be clearly stated in writing.  

SUSPENSION: After parents/guardians are notified of an offense, students may be suspended from school by the principal. If a student receives three detentions during a school year, he/she will be suspended.  Regular suspension excludes the child from school.  The student, not the teacher, is responsible for work missed.  This work, done in an acceptable manner, is required to re-enter the classroom. In-school suspensions may be given whereby the student works in the school, but is excluded from classes.  

When a student serves an in-house suspension:

  1. Tests, homework and assignments completed during the  in-house detention are accepted for grades.
  2. Some in-house assignments will be impossible to make up               (i.e. group activity or group work or projects).

EXPULSION:  In cases of extreme offense, or lack of parental support, students may be removed from school.  The principal makes this decision after conferring with the pastor and the teacher(s).

DAMAGES:  If a student is at fault and responsible for property damage, or loss to any extent (school or personal), the student is required to pay for or replace it. Further action may be taken at the discretion of the administration.

OTHER OPTIONS:  In some instances, (such as in the case of bullying or extensive meanness) in addition to the disciplinary measures above, students are referred to assisting agencies for additional help or counseling.  Any drug related problem requires a professional assessment.  Students who pose a serious threat to self or others or who make threats to a student or parent will be removed from the classroom and school premises immediately.  He/she will require a professional assessment before returning to school.


Field trips are an extension of classroom learning and school curriculum. All students should plan to participate in these field trips. Participating in a school field trip is a privilege that may be revoked for behavioral reasons at the discretion of school personnel. Admission and transportation costs for each trip will be charged to the student. If a student or family has difficulty in paying for the trip, please contact the principal. Field trips have a non-refundable stipulation.  The diocesan approved field trip permission form must be completed, signed by a parent or legal guardian, and returned to the school office before a student may leave on any school trip. NO STUDENT WILL BE PERMITTED TO ATTEND A FIELD TRIP WITHOUT THE COMPLETED FIELD TRIP PERMISSION FORM.


Transportation for field trips may be through the Westlake City Schools, Saint Joseph Academy, Precious Cargo, other commercial bus service or volunteer drivers. In addition to fulfilling the volunteer requirements listed above, volunteer drivers must complete the diocesan approved Volunteer Driver’s Statement and provide the office with a copy of their driver’s license and insurance cards. Volunteer drivers’ personal auto insurance will be enjoined in the event of an accident or claim. No drivers under the age of 21 are permitted to drive on a field trip. Volunteer chaperones accompanying the students may not bring any other children.


The Office of Catholic Education (“OCE”) of the Diocese of Cleveland does not approve of overnight, out-of-town trips, (i.e., Washington, D.C.) for elementary schools. The legal liability far outweighs the educational benefits of such a trip.  The OCE advises parishes and schools not to sponsor such tours.




In two-parent families it is assumed that both parents are living at the same address unless we have been notified otherwise. Saint Bernadette School personnel will, therefore, send home notices and communications with the child. It is assumed that both parents are communicating regarding the child and that all information is shared by and between the parents. This information includes but is not limited to conference appointments, report cards, mid-quarter discussions with school personnel, and tuition statements.


In families experiencing separation of parents, pending divorce, or divorce, the above information will be sent home with the child to the parent who currently has primary custody of the child. It is assumed that this information is shared by and between the parents. Since this situation frequently impacts on a child’s achievement and interactions at school, parents are asked to inform both the principal and teacher of this fact so that appropriate support can be given to the child.

In cases of an actual divorce decree involving clear custody by one parent, the principal is to be informed by the custodial parent of this fact. A full copy of the court decree bearing the case number and the final page bearing the judge’s signature is to be submitted to the principal. Unless the decree indicates otherwise, school communications will be sent home to the custodial parent. Custodial parents should understand, however, that unless the divorce decree specifically limits the non-custodial parent’s right to access to records, the non-custodial parent has a right to the same access as the custodial parent. We will, unless instructed by a Court Order, release such records upon request to the non-custodial parent.


“Records” include official transcripts, report cards, health records, referrals for special services, and communications regarding major disciplinary actions. It does not include daily class work and papers or routine communications sent through the children to the home residence. In these cases the custodial parent is asked to cooperate with the school and share this information directly with the non-custodial parent. This avoids time-consuming duplication of services.

Unless restricted by Court Order, any non-custodial parent has the right to attend any school activity of his/her child, which includes sports’ activities and class programs. Parents should keep each other informed as to these activities to avoid duplication of communications and to allow the school to better attend to the duty of teaching the children. In cases of ‘joint custody’ (shared parenting agreements) entitling both parents access to school personnel and activities, it is assumed that one copy of communications and information will be sent home with the child and that this will be shared by and between the parents.


Regarding parent conferences in all custody situations, it is preferred and will be the general procedure that one conference appointment be scheduled ‘jointly’ if both parents wish to be present. It is assumed that parents are able to set aside differences and to come together on behalf of their child for this time. A joint conference further insures that both parents are given the same information at the same time, thereby avoiding misunderstanding and misinterpretations.

In cases where joint conferences are clearly neither possible nor desirable by all parties involved, alternate arrangement may be discussed with the principal and further reviewed by St. Bernadette School’s legal counsel. Every effort will be made to keep communications open with both parents while at the same time avoiding duplication of services and excessive demands on the teacher’s time.


Visitation should generally begin at the home of one of the parents and not at school. It is hoped that visitation arrangements would reflect the sensitivity of both parents to the consistency and routines that foster security in a child and allow for school responsibilities and homework to be taken care of during the school week. If there are questions concerning these procedures or circumstances you feel necessitate other arrangements, please contact the principal personally.


AIDS Policy

Saint Bernadette School does not discriminate against students with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS related Complex or Conditions, or those who carry the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).  Each case is treated individually with charity and compassion.  The school recognizes its obligations to the common as well as the individual welfare of the students and personnel.  This requires decisions that respect both the person with AIDS and the welfare of students served in the school.  A detailed explanation of this policy is available through the office.

Drug Policy Regarding Possession, Sale, Use, or Abuse

We recognize that alcohol and drug abuse is a serious societal problem which does not respect any age or group, and that the dependency stage of alcohol and drug abuse is a treatable illness.  Health and social problems of youth are primarily the responsibility of the family.

As educators in the church, we, in an effort to provide a drug free environment, call ourselves to charity and compassion for the sick and concern for each student.  We also recognize that we have an obligation to the common as well as the individual welfare of our students.  Continuing educational programs for parents/guardians, teachers, and students convey the message that drug and alcohol abuse is harmful and usage is not permitted.  Prevention programs are implemented at all grade levels.  Appropriate sanctions are to be imposed on those who violate any of the provisions of this policy or any local law or statute concerning illegal substances.  These sanctions are listed as disciplinary measures in the Discipline Code.

Under NO circumstance is a student ever permitted to carry or give an over-the-counter medication.  This includes, but is not limited to, Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, Midol and cough remedies.  This constitutes a disbursement of DRUGS.

Pregnancy Policy

Saint Bernadette School is convinced of the values and dignity of human life.  If a girl becomes pregnant while in school, she is dealt with individually and treated with charity.  Every measure is taken to preserve this life and the reputation of the students involved.  This is derived from the Diocesan policy that is available through the office.

Anti-Bullying Policy

The law defines "harassment, intimidation, or bullying" as any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once and the behavior both:

This means that bullying includes both physically beating up or attacking your child, OR verbally abusing your child with threats, taunts, etc.  Your child does not have to be physically harmed to be a victim of bullying. Bullying is not tolerated at St. Bernadette School and will be dealt with by administration on a case by case basis.

Sexual Harassment Policy

Upon receiving a complaint from either a student or a school employee, the principal shall discuss the allegations with the complainant-victim to obtain a statement of the facts (e.g., what occurred, when, where, by whom, names of witnesses).  All complaints are to be taken seriously.  It is the responsibility of the principal to investigate promptly and impartially all claims of sexual harassment and to take appropriate and equitable action. Parties shall be given an opportunity to present witnesses or other evidence during the investigation.

Information regarding an investigation of sexual harassment shall be confidential to the extent possible, and those individuals who are involved in the investigation shall not discuss information regarding the complaint outside the investigation process.

No one shall retaliate against any employee or student because he/she filed a sexual harassment complaint, assisted or participated in a sexual harassment charge or because they have opposed language or conduct that violates this policy.  Retaliation will result in discipline.

If the investigator is the alleged harasser or witness to the incident, an alternate investigator shall be designated.When a crime has been committed, the designated administrator shall immediately notify the local police department.

After the investigation is complete, notice of the outcome shall be given to the complainant(s) and alleged harasser(s) consistent with the mandates of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Sexual Abuse Policy (Protecting God’s Children)

Students and/or parents need to report the abuse to a teacher or principal.  State laws mandate that certain persons report suspected incidents of child sexual abuse to civil authorities.  All clergy, staff and volunteers, even those not mandated by state law, must report knowledge or belief that a child is the victim of abuse to child protection or law enforcement authorities and the appropriate Church official or supervisor.

Harassment Policy

The administration and staff of Saint Bernadette School believe that all employees and students are entitled to work and study in school related environments that are free of sexual harassment. Saint Bernadette School will NOT tolerate harassment of any type, and the appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.  Disciplinary action may include suspension or expulsion.

Examples of peer harassment include, but are not limited to, verbal or written taunting, bullying, threats or other offensive intimidating, hostile or offensive conduct, jokes, stories, pictures, cartoons, drawings or objects which are offensive, annoy, insult, abuse or demean an individual or group.  

Student Threats Policy

Since the mental health professionals are continually addressing the area of risk assessment for violent or potentially violent behavior, these guidelines will be reviewed periodically or as needed:

1        Any and all student threats to inflict any harm to self or others must be taken seriously immediately.

2.        Whoever hears the threat should report it immediately to the principal.

3.        Police should be notified immediately.

4.        Student is to be kept in the principal’s office under supervision until the police arrive.

5.        The parent/guardian of the student who has made the threat shall be notified immediately.

6.        Any adult or the parent/guardian of any students who have been verbally mentioned as potential victims or listed in writing as potential victims shall be notified immediately.

7.        The student should be suspended and not be considered for readmission to school until a comprehensive mental health evaluation/risk assessment has been conducted by a Psychiatrist/Psychologist (Ph.D.). If a Psychiatrist performs the primary evaluation, he/she shall determine the necessity to utilize a Psychologist (Ph.D.) for psychological consultation and/or testing.  If a Psychologist (Ph.D.) performs the primary evaluation, he/she shall determine the need for psychiatric consultation.  The evaluation shall comply with the provisions of the Ohio Revised Code 2305.51.  (Refer to Release Form - copy available in school office.)

The principal shall provide the mental health care professional (Psychiatrist and/or Ph.D. Psychologist) with all relevant facts, including, but not limited to, aggressive behavior, details of the threat as known to the principal, copies of any drawings or writings, disciplinary history of the student, behavioral concerns, and the names of any known victims or potential victims.        

The principal shall receive a written comprehensive, detailed evaluation and report and a documented treatment plan in accordance with Ohio Revised Code 2305.51 from the mental health care professionals stating the basis (factual and risk factors and testing results) upon which he/she determined that the student is not/does not pose a danger to self or others.  The report shall also address the concerns raised by the principal to the mental health care professional.  The evaluation and report shall be made available to the principal who will share them with legal and/or mental health care consultants and administration assisting the principal in his/her education regarding the readmission of the student to school.

The mental health care professional (Psychiatrist and/or Ph.D. Psychologist) shall provide a follow-up assessment of the student to the principal if the student is readmitted to school.  The mental health care professional shall provide the principal with a copy of the follow-up assessment and/or evaluation and shall inform the principal if therapy, counseling and/or treatment will be needed and/or provided.

8.        Counseling should be made available to children who are victims of the threatening behavior or who observed the threatening behavior if it is determined that such counseling is needed and parental permission is granted.

9.        Documentation from the mental health care professionals concerning any student is to be placed in a separate, confidential file and should not be a part of the student’s academic/disciplinary file with access only by the principal and/or pastor.  This documentation may be kept for a period of one year beyond the time when the child leaves the school as a result of expulsion, withdrawal by parent/guardian, graduation or non readmission before being destroyed.

Weapons Policy

In furtherance of the overall philosophy, goals and objectives of the Catholic educational experience, the Diocese of Cleveland has proposed a policy that expressly prohibits the use, possession, sale, or discharge of any weapons or explosive devices in the school, on school grounds, or at school sponsored activities.  This policy shall apply to all students, participants in parish programs, teachers, administrators, and other personnel in the school or parish.

This policy includes, but is not limited to, any firearm, knife, and deadly weapon, explosive or incendiary device.  As defined by State law, a deadly weapon is “any instrument, device, or thing capable of inflicting death, and designed or specifically adapted for use as a weapon, or possessed, carried or used as a weapon” (Ohio Revised Code 2923.11A).  Firearms shall include any loaded or unloaded gun of any caliber or type.  This prohibition also includes any pistol, rifle or other device that uses air or gas propelled projectiles.

Violations of this policy will warrant notification of the police, immediate suspension, and possible expulsion.  If possession of a weapon is suspected, the principal or other administrator will immediately contact the police department and the Diocesan Legal Office (216-696-6525) before confronting the individual.  If it is determined that this policy has been violated, the parents/guardians of the offender shall be immediately contacted and must cooperate with the disciplinary process.

Youth Gangs & Gang Related Activity Policy

Youth gangs and gang related activities are prohibited.   A gang is defined as any non-school sponsored group, usually secret and/or exclusive in membership, whose purpose or practices include unlawful or antisocial behavior or any action that threatens the welfare of others.  Saint Bernadette School follows the policy of the Diocese in regard to gangs.  This policy is available through the office.


All lockers, desks and books are property of the school and are subject to search by school officials at any time. When there is reasonable suspicion that a violation of a school rule has occurred, or a criminal act has been committed, teachers and/or administrators may search a student’s person and his or her personal belongings.

Student Acceptable Use Policy

Click on the link to read this policy:

At the beginning of the school year, all students are to sign the above policy.  By signing off on the school handbook, parents have agreed to the policy for this school year.

Amendment to Saint Bernadette Handbook Policies


Saint Bernadette School and/or principal retain the right to amend this Handbook for just cause with or without notice.  The school will attempt to keep parents promptly informed of all changes made to this Handbook.  However, some changes may have to be made immediately due to unforeseen circumstances.



















Revised August 2017