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Family Handbook 2022-23
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St. Philip the Apostle

Family Handbook

2022-2023

Please note that in the case of a pandemic or other health emergency, policies and procedures may be changed to address the current needs of the students and staff. You will be notified in a timely manner of all changes to the school environment and schedule that impact your child. It is the goal of the school to provide your child with the best Catholic educational opportunities possible.

Introduction to the School                                                                3

Introduction

Mission Statement

Non-Discrimination

Right to Amend

Non-Public State Recognition of Diocesan Schools

General School Information                                                                5

School Hours of Operation

Arrival/Dismissal and Transportation Procedures

Extended Day Program

Emergency School Closing

Recess

Communication with Teachers

Custodial Parents

Visitors

Volunteers

Confidentiality

Social Media

General School Policies                                                                        13

Policy of Christian Conduct

Student Uniform and Dress Code

Attendance

School Owned Books, Supplies and Property

Parents Rights to Student Records

Birthdays and Party Invitations

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

Diocese of Joliet Technology Acceptable Use Policy

Withdrawal of Students from School

Reporting Attacks on School Personnel to Authorities

Reporting Drug Violations to Authorities

Reporting Firearms on School Property to Authorities

Threats of Violence on School Campus

Missing Persons and His/Her School Record

Admissions                                                                                        26        

Admissions Policies

Admission of Transfer Students

Tuition and Fees

Financial Obligation

Tuition Assistance

Fundraising

Instructional Program                                                                        31

Curriculum

Homework

Academic Progress

Grading

Promotion and Retention

Academic Evaluation/Testing Referral Process

Physical Education

Field Trips

Extra-Curricular Activities

Religious Program                                                                                41

Religious Formation

Sacramental Preparation

Discipline                                                                                        42

Student Discipline

Parental Expectations

Anti-Bullying Policy

        

Safety                                                                                        47

On Campus Supervision

Fire, Tornado and Lockdown Drills

Child Abuse Reporting

Student Health & Welfare                                                                        52

Snacks

School Lunch

Health and Wellness Guidelines

Allergies

Asthma

Diabetes

Administration of Medical Cannabis

School Physicals, Immunizations, Dental and Vision

Dispensation of Medicine

Emergency/Procedures in case of Illness or Injury

Counseling Services

School Organizations                                                                        59

School Board

Parent Association

Introduction to the School

Introduction

St. Philip the Apostle Catholic School belongs to the Diocese of Joliet and follows the policies of the Diocesan Catholic Schools Office as well as those of the Illinois State Board of Education.

The enrollment of your child indicates that you value the spiritual and moral as well as the intellectual growth of your child. Parents are expected to support the philosophy and mission of the school.

Mission Statement

St. Philip the Apostle School is a family that nurtures the Catholic faith, academic excellence and life-long service in each of our students.​

Non-Discrimination

Schools operated under the auspices of the Diocese of Joliet admit students of any race, color, sex, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally available to students at the schools. Questions and/or concerns regarding discrimination in admissions should be directed to the principal (if applicable) the pastor (or parish administrator) and the Superintendent of Schools in the Diocese of Joliet. The names of the elementary and secondary schools can be found in the OFFICIAL CATHOLIC DIRECTORY, published annually.

As per Illinois PA 102-0360, Schools in the Diocese of Joliet do not prohibit hairstyles that are historically associated with race, ethnicity, or hair texture, including, but not limited to, protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.

 Schools in the Diocese of Joliet allow student athletes to modify their athletic or team uniform for the purpose of modesty in clothing or attire that is in accordance with the requirements of their religion, cultural values, or modesty preferences. If a student chooses to modify his or her athletic or team uniform the student is responsible for all costs associated with the modification of the uniform and the student shall not be required to receive prior approval from the school for such modification. 

Right to Amend

This handbook is intended to be a reference and cannot address all issues that occur. St. Philip the Apostle School reserves the right to revise this handbook as necessary.  Parents and guardians will be provided with any changes to the handbook if any occur during the school year.

Governance and Policy-Making

St. Philip the Apostle School operates under the auspices of the Diocese of Joliet. Therefore, St. Philip the Apostle School adopts in whole all policies set forth in  the Handbook of School Policies published by the Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools Office. The school administrator, faculty and governance board are required to follow all policies of the Diocese. Additional local policies may be developed to govern the operation of the school but may not be contrary to those policies and procedures established by the Diocese of Joliet. The names of the elementary and secondary schools can be found in the OFFICIAL CATHOLIC DIRECTORY, published annually.

Access to School Procedures and Manuals

Copies of the Diocesan Handbooks as well as the local handbooks are available upon request for on-premise reading.

Non-Public State Recognition of Diocesan Schools

All elementary and secondary schools of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet shall be recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education. Schools must be registered with the State of Illinois and be recognized by the State Board of Education. To maintain ISBE recognition principals must annually comply with requirements which include meeting administrative deadlines as determined by ISBE thus ensuring compliance and recognition.


General School Information

School Hours of Operation (Grades K through 8)

        7:30 a.m.        Front door opens for students — supervision of students begins
         
7:45 a.m.        Tardy bell (all students arriving after this time are marked tardy)

Morning Prayer and announcements

           12:10 p.m.        Lunch and Recess
        12:50 p.m.        Afternoon classes begin
          3:00 p.m.        Dismissal of students

On days when early dismissal takes place, the students will leave at 11:00 a.m.

Preschool Schedule

Preschool students registered in the half day program attend school from 8:00 am to 11:00am. Preschool students may enter the building beginning at 7:30 am. Those registered in the full day program attend school from 8:00 am to 2:50 pm.

Arrival

Students should plan to arrive at school between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. This allows sufficient time to get organized and ready for class.  Students who arrive after 7:45 a.m. will be marked tardy.

St. Philip the Apostle School does not provide outdoor supervision prior to 7:30 a.m. Therefore, students are not to be dropped off prior to 7:30 a.m. Students who arrive prior to 7:30 a.m. must go to Extended Day by entering through Gym door #11.  

Children may be dropped off along the sidewalk; however, please pull forward in the car line as close to Door#2 as you can. Cars may never park in the circular drive. This blocks traffic flow.

For safety reasons, students will enter the school building through the preschool door (Door #2) on the east side of the parking lot. Parents will drop their students off along the sidewalk and students will walk to the east side door. Students are not permitted to be unattended while in the parking lot.

Please note that parents are not to enter the school building with their child.  If a parent needs to walk into the building, he/she must park in one of our two lots and enter through the main door.. For the safety of the children, there is to be only one lane of traffic in the circle drive.

Drivers are urged to demonstrate extreme caution on school grounds.

Remember that cell phone use is illegal in a school zone.

After 7:45 am, students will need to enter the school building through the main door and get a tardy slip from the school office before proceeding to their classroom.

Dismissal

Once again, there is no parking in the circle drive. This is a fire lane. Cars may be parked in one of the two parking lots using designated parking spaces.

For the safety of our children, all drivers are expected to cooperate with the following procedures:

1. No one is to be picked up in the main driveway or in traffic flow lanes. Cars should be safely parked (not the handicapped spaces) before students enter or exit vehicles.

2. Drivers who pick up students in the east lot (back of school) should exit by the east lot.

3. Drivers who pick up students in the north lot (gym side) should exit by the north lot.

4. ALL DRIVERS ARE TO PARK SO THAT THERE WILL BE NO NEED TO BACK OUT OF A PARKING SPACE. ALWAYS pull forward as you leave. Backing out of a parking space is unsafe since children are not always visible. This information needs to be conveyed to whomever will be picking up your child/ren.

5. Children are never to be left unsupervised. The school grounds and parking lot are not safe places to visit and congregate. Unattended children may quickly dart in between cars. The safety of your children is always our #1 priority.

6. Families are urged to please pick up children on time. Dismissal is at 3:00 p.m.

 7. Children who are not picked up by 3:00 p.m. will be taken to the extended day care area for supervision. (hourly rate will apply)

Transportation

Walkers

Students are to walk on the sidewalks to and from the parking lots. Students use the walkway on the side of the main driveway.
 Students who walk home from school must give parent/guardian permission (preferably written permission) to the school office.

Bicycles

For safety reasons, students are discouraged from riding bicycles to school. Students who  choose to ride bicycles are dismissed after the parking lot is clear. Helmets are strongly recommended. Bicycles should be locked. St. Philip the Apostle School assumes no liability for student bicycles.

Extended Day Program

St. Philip the Apostle School offers an extended care program from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. This program is open to
all students. The children are supervised by St. Philip staff.

Additional information including costs/registration is available in the school office.

Emergency School Closing

If severe weather or a local emergency necessitates the closing of school, an announcement will be made through the school notification system and will be posted on the school website.  In addition, the principal will notify the Emergency Closing Center which will provide the information to key Chicagoland media outlets such as WGN Radio and WBBM Radio as well as Channels 2,5,7,9, 32 and CLTV.

Recess

The safety of the children is always our primary concern. With this in mind, playground expectations are fully explained to the students. While physical activity is encouraged, rough play or fighting of any kind will not be tolerated. A student should notify playground supervisors, teachers, Principal, or other staff member if he/she ever feels unsafe on the playground.

Except in the case of rainy, snowy, or bitterly cold weather, students will have an outdoor recess of approximately 20 minutes. Students should dress for the weather so they will be comfortable during this brief outdoor recess break. In oppressively cold, snowy or rainy weather, students will have a recess break in the classroom or in the gym.


Communication with Teachers

Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher whenever necessary. Teachers will return calls or emails as soon as possible. Parents are reminded to address concerns with the teacher/staff first, and then, if there is a need for further discussion, the Principal should be contacted. At the local level, the principal supervises the teacher/staff members and the pastor supervises the principal.

The Catholic Schools Office may be contacted for advice at any time during the process.  Before the Catholic Schools Office acts to resolve an issue, all local recourse is to be exhausted.

If an issue about an individual employee is brought to a supervisor, the employee involved is advised of the nature of the issue.  The employee is given an opportunity for explanation, comment or presentation of the facts as he/she sees them.

Custodial Parents

St. Philip the Apostle School abides by the provisions of the Buckley Amendment with respect to the rights of noncustodial parents. In the absence of a court order to the contrary, the school will provide the noncustodial parent with access to the academic records and to other school-related information regarding the child. If there is a court order specifying that there is to be no information given, it is the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide the school with an official copy of the court order.

Visitors 


Families can be assured that a comprehensive safety and crisis management plan is in place at St. Philip the Apostle School. Staff meetings are held regularly to update faculty on safety issues.

The school building is locked during the school day and the Illinois School Code is observed for the safety of all.

Parents and/or visitors entering the building must report to the office, and secure a Visitor Pass. No one may go directly to any room without first stopping in the office.

Volunteers

Volunteers are a vital part of the St. Philip school community. All volunteers must FIRST complete the Virtus "Protecting God’s Children Program"
. Protecting God’s Children is an awareness program designed to create a safe environment for our children. The purpose of the program is to make every employee and volunteer in the Diocese aware of the issues surrounding sexual abuse.  If you attended a session in a previous year, you do not need to attend again.

A background screening is also required. There are no exceptions to this requirement. A background check is conducted every five years from the date of the background release that is on file.

We are grateful to parents who volunteer to help in our many school programs. However, when parents are in the building, spontaneous classroom visits are not permitted.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality generally refers to information given with the understanding it will not be revealed to another person.  Illinois State Law regulates some confidentiality issues i.e. Mental Health Act, the School Records Act, the Social Workers Act and the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.  Catholic schools follow these laws, regulations and guidelines as applicable.

Staff members inform students of ground rules regarding confidentiality before receiving confidences.  Students are told that confidences will be respected except in cases of health, life and safety.

The above rules also apply to written communication.  Teachers are expected to read what students write.  If a teacher cannot read an assignment, such assignments are not made.  If students engage in journal writing, confidences will be respected except in cases of health, life and safety.  

Confidentiality regarding information revealed during school retreats etc. follows the same rules.  If student leaders are used, they must understand about reporting confidences.

It is always expected that parents who volunteer in our school maintain a sense of professionalism and confidentiality. Comments, observations and opinions (in any format, including social media)  related to the strengths/struggles of our St. Philip children are held in confidence and should certainly not be shared with others to protect the privacy of our students.

Social Media

The Catholic Schools Office recognizes that the use of social media is being used in a variety of

methods as an important evangelizing, educational and marketing tool to promote school and

ministerial programs. However, those using the Internet should bear in mind that certain comments and information may have a harmful effect on the school, parish, the Diocese of Joliet, its reputation and its employees. In light of this possibility employees and volunteers are required to adhere to the following policy regarding the use of social media sites, networks and blogs.

This Social Media Policy (the “policy”) applies to all online or mobile-based tools for sharing content and discussing information, whether controlled by the diocese, local school or local parish or hosted on other platforms (such as Facebook), on which employees/ volunteers of the school /parish engage in activities relating to the school, parish or diocese. The term “social media” refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction through the use of words, images, video or audio tools. Examples include, but are not limited to, social websites, blogs, message boards, wikis, podcasts, image- and video-sharing sites, live webcasting and real-time communities. Because this is a constantly evolving area, this policy applies to all new social media platforms whether or not they are specifically mentioned in this policy.

General Guidelines

- Be selective –due to the availability of a variety digital tools, be selective in the type of

medium for your message – a blog or social network might not be the right place for messages

intended only for a small group.

- Be responsible – social media are individual interactions, not official diocesan/parish/school

communications. All employees and volunteers at the parish/school are personally responsible for their posts. Official statements of policy may only be made by the Superintendent/ Pastor/ Principal or designee. A blog or community post is visible to the entire world. Remember that what you write will be public, and potentially for a long time. In the event you identify yourself as,( or is manifestly understood to be) an employee of the local school, parish or diocese on a personal blog (or other website with a similar purpose), to help reduce the potential for confusion, the employee is required to put the following notice in a reasonably prominent place on the site:

“The views expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

my employer, or the Diocese of Joliet.”

- Identify yourself – authenticity and transparency are driving forces behind social media.

Use real identities to the greatest extent possible rather than anonymous posts and comments.

- Honor the privacy of others – do not publish the personal information of others without their permission or, in the case of minors, written permission of their parents. All guidelines for the Protection of Children as outlined in all agreements and policies are to be followed.

- Be respectful – if you disagree with others, do so with civility. Respect your audience,

express your views with appropriate language, and be respectful of the Church and its teachings.

-Comply to- all guidelines of the Employee/Staff Acceptable Use Agreement and all aspects of the Safe Environment Policy of the Diocese of Joliet.

Specific Policies

1. Use of Official Name and Logo.

Any use of the parish/school name or logo for branding or titling pages, blogs, or other similar

elements of social media must be approved in writing prior to use. Requests for prior consent to use such names or logos will be made to the Pastor/Principal or designee. Any uses in existence at the time of adoption of this policy are not grandfathered and would be authorized pursuant to this policy.

Permission to use the name or logo of the parish or school may be revoked at any time.

2. Duties of Moderators. Moderators of official parish/school social media are responsible for

ensuring compliance with this policy statement. If there is official parish/school social media, there will be an employee /volunteer of the parish/school designated as the moderator. All content, comment and blog response areas must be moderated. Those responsible for such areas must review and approve comments prior to posting, and should not post any comments that do not meet our standards for civility, misrepresent the position of the Church or diocese/ parish/school, or that include profanity, defamatory language or speech that is otherwise inappropriate or off-topic. Anonymous comments will not be permitted. All moderation functions reserve the right to ban repeat offenders. Moderators who permit users to post materials such as documents or photographs will make clear to users that the site will not archive those materials and will delete them after a published period of time (typically 12 months, except in cases where a project needs to be preserved for a longer period of time). Moderators must provide login in access to social media to pastor/principal.

3. Prudent Judgment.

A. Personal Use – Possible Negative Impact.

Even when engaging in social media for personal use, the comments of employees or volunteers of the parish/school may be viewed as a reflection on diocese/parish/school. Users will use their best judgment when engaging in social media activities and should be on guard against actions and discussions that could harm children, the interests of the diocese/parish/school or be subject to questioning as inappropriate by parents or school/parish administration.

B. Contact With Students

Employees and volunteers of the School cannot engage with current and prospective students

on social media sites unless the site is school-sanctioned. Also knowingly interacting with

students on a third-party social media page (such as a fan page for a local sports team) is

prohibited.

Caution and prudence should be used if there are communications with students who are 18 and have graduated.

The School will strictly limit friendly/engagement with parents to only school-sanctioned sites.

4. Copyright Laws.

Anyone who submits content must comply fully with copyright law. Any posting of materials to official parish/school social media must adhere to all copyright laws. Images and other materials from the parish or school websites will not be copied and uploaded to other forums without the prior written consent of the Pastor/Principal or designee.

5. Privacy. All users of social media within parish and school communities will take care to safeguard the privacy interests of other community members. In particular, personally identifiable information (that is, information that can identify a particular person, including name, photo, phone number, address or email address) will not be disclosed without the prior written consent of the person identified. In cases where a user has consented to the publication of such information, appropriate privacy settings and levels will be utilized.

6. Minors. Public social media maintained by the parish/school are not intended for the use of

children under the age of 13. Any site operated by parish/school that is oriented toward youth

between the ages of 13 and 18 must require registration for all users and must be password-

protected so that only registered users may access the site. Users of such a site may not post

images of minors without the prior written consent of a parent or legal guardian of any minor

depicted.

7. Enforcement. Any use of social media that does not comply with this policy should be brought to the attention of the appropriate party: the Pastor or the Principal or designee immediately. Failure to follow the social medial policy may result in the loss of privileges and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination, for an employee or removal from position, if a volunteer.

8. Social Networking Website Passwords: Illinois School Code 105 75/15. Illinois Public Act 098-

0129 Students and their parents or guardians are advised that the Diocese of Joliet Catholic

Schools may not request or require a student to provide a password or other related account

information in order to gain access to the student’s account or profile on a social networking

website. The school principal may conduct an investigation if the school has reasonable cause to believe the content of a student’s social media account has violated a disciplinary rule or policy of the school. The law allows that in the course of an investigation, the student may be required to share the content that is reported in order to make a factual determination.

This policy may be updated and modified at any time at the sole discretion of the Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools Office in light of changing circumstances and events.


General School Policies

Policy of Christian Conduct

Our Catholic schools are rooted in a vision and values:

Ø  The vision for the Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools is: an integrated network of vibrant schools that makes Catholic education available to all within a community of lifelong learners formed in faith, educated for excellence and sent to serve.

Ø  The values for the Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools are: incorporating faith into the classroom, balancing challenging courses with a nurturing environment, collaborating with families, holding each other to a higher standard, and looking ahead.

This vision and these values are based upon the Gospel and summarized by Jesus' command to "...love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.... You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Mk 12:30-31)

 In light of our Gospel vision and values, all our parents and their guests at our schools are expected:

 Ø  To display a truly Christian attitude in all activities and relationships with adults and other students.  Treat others how we want to be treated.

Ø  To be courteous and considerate of others.

Ø  To extend courtesy to guests and visitors of the school.

Ø  To treat the entire school community with dignity and respect.

Respect for ourselves and everyone who makes up our school community is an essential requirement for a Christian environment.  Children first learn appropriate behavior demonstrated by their parents and other role models. As adults, it is our charge to help children accept responsibility for their actions and to understand the consequences.

Our whole child approach integrates Catholic doctrine, prayer, sacraments, and moral decision-making with academic achievement and physical health.  This is accomplished in partnership with parents.

 The ideal discipline within Catholic education enables students to move from externally imposed discipline to self-discipline and finally toward adult discipleship.

 As we teach, advocate, and model the virtues and values we wish to instill in our children, we, as adults, must also enforce rules related to our own behavior, as well as accept responsibility and consequences. Adults must speak positively

Student Uniform and Dress Code

St. Philip the Apostle School maintains that neatness in the clothing and appearance of the students reflects personal dignity and respect for one’s self. St. Philip the Apostle School has a specified dress code, and students are expected to be in daily compliance. We have established a dress code that will give our children a look which is neat, clean, age-appropriate and befitting the image of Catholic school students.

Uniforms

All uniforms may be ordered directly from the uniform company.

Girls in Grades K-3 wear a choice of uniform jumpers, and a white Peter Pan collar blouse or white polo shirt as listed on the order form.Jumpers are to be an appropriate modest length. (No shorter than 2 inches above the knee). Girls may wear a solid red sweater or gray uniform sweatshirt. Uniform sweaters and sweatshirts are ordered from the uniform company. Non-uniform sweatshirts may only be worn on dress down days.

Black twill shorts are a warm weather option (start of school until September 30, and May l until the end of the school year). Black twill pants are a cold weather option. If pants have belt loops, a belt must be worn. Black full length leggings may be worn under the jumper.

Red, black, white, or gray anklets, or knee-high socks are worn. (No mesh, nylon knee-highs, socks with designs on them, or athletic-striped socks are permitted). Red, black or white tights may be worn.

Girls in Grades 4-8 wear a uniform skirt or skort, with a white collar blouse, or polo shirt as listed on the order form. Skirts and skorts are to be an appropriate modest length. (No shorter than 2 inches above the knee). Girls will wear a red sweater vest, or uniform sweatshirt.

Black twill shorts are a warm weather option (start of school until September 30, and May l until the end of school), and black twill pants are a cold weather option. A red polo may be worn in lieu of the red sweater vest in warm weather (start of school until September 30, and May 1 until the end of school).  Red, black, white, or gray anklets, or knee-high socks are worn. (No mesh, nylon knee-highs, socks with designs on them, no-show or athletic-striped socks are permitted). Red, black or white tights may be worn. Black full length leggings may be worn under the skirt.

Boys in Grades K-8 wear black dress trousers, along with a red knit shirt which is tucked into the pants. Jean or jean-type trousers are not worn.

Black twill walking shorts are a warm weather option. If pants have belt loops, a belt must be worn.

Boys in Grades K-8 may choose to wear a uniform sweatshirt or sweater. Styles are listed on the order form, and are ordered from the uniform company. Non-uniform sweatshirts may only be worn on dress down days.

Black, gray or white socks are worn. (No athletic-striped  or no-show socks are permitted).

Shoes

Shoes must be black or brown dress shoes or a white or black solid colored gym shoe. (A small logo is acceptable.) No light-up shoes or high tops are permitted.

Boys/Girls Uniforms should be kept neat and clean. Daily good grooming and cleanliness is a necessity in developing a sense of pride and self-worth.

Students who do not adhere to the uniform requirements will be given a referral for uniform violation and the form will be emailed for parent signature. If a student receives three referrals for uniform violations in a trimester, the student will lose the privilege of wearing school sweats on Wednesdays for two weeks.

Out-of-Uniform Days

We enjoy out-of-uniform days on special occasions. However, appropriate, modest attire befitting of a Catholic School student is expected. Students that do not comply with expectations will lose out-of-uniform privileges.

Hair

Hair styles are to be neat and appropriately styled for school. A moderate use of hair spray or gel may be used to keep hair in place. Hair coloring or highlighting are not permitted.

Girls are to keep hair ornaments simple. Hair extensions and hairpieces are not permitted. White, navy, or gray headbands, barrettes, and hair ties are fine. The Uniform Company offers several of these options.

Boy’s hair must be kept short (above the eyes, and above the ears, above the collar, and neatly combed).
Bowl cut, mohawks, pony tails,  ornamental shavings or tails are not permitted. 

Jewelry

        1. Small post earrings may be worn by girls and must be a single-matched pair.
           (stud-type only — No hoops or dangles) Boys may not wear earrings.

        2. A simple chain with a religious medal or cross may be worn.

3. Heavy chains and other ornamental jewelry are not allowed.

        4. Watches should also be kept simple (no alarms, music, Smart watches)        

        5. Students are not permitted to have body piercings or tattoos.

Makeup, Nail Polish, and Artificial Nails

Please be reminded that girls are not permitted to wear makeup to school. This includes eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow. Also, nail polish and artificial nails are not permitted. This policy also applies to 8th grade events.

Hats, Sports Caps and Stocking Caps

Students are not permitted to wear hats, sports caps and/or stocking caps in the building. This also pertains to athletic and extracurricular events that are held at St. Philip the Apostle School.

Attendance

It is extremely important for both the students and the class as a whole that every effort is made for all students to arrive on time. The school days begin promptly at 7:45 a.m. At this time all students should be in their seats and ready to begin. Students who are tardy need to report to the office. If a student receives five tardies in a trimester, a one hour detention must be served.

Regularity of attendance and punctuality are essential. Students need to understand that each day’s work is very important in order to ensure ongoing success. If a child is absent, parents are to phone the office (630) 543-4130 between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on each day that the student is absent and a reason for the absence. Absences in excess of five days require a doctor’s note upon return to school.

Attendance at class is an essential aspect of our educational program. Illinois law requires that whoever has custody or control of any child between the ages of six and seventeen must ensure that the child attends school the entire time school is in session during the regular school term, except as otherwise provided by law. Parents and/or guardians having legal custody of school-age children are responsible for ensuring the regular attendance of their children in school.

STUDENT ABSENCES  

 

EXPECTATIONS  

The Catholic Schools Office requires that parents/guardians ensure the regular attendance of their children, consistent with the Illinois School Code, and inform the school of any absences and the causes of such absences. A telephone call by the parent or guardian is required on the first day and each subsequent day of absence or tardiness. A written excuse signed by the parent/guardian may also be required upon the child’s return to school. 

   

ABSENTEEISM

 Each building principal is responsible for maintaining an effective system for recording student absences and for encouraging students to be prompt and to attend class on a regular basis. Absences are categorized as excused or unexcused. Valid causes of absenteeism (excused), as listed in the Illinois School Code are:

·       Illness (including mental or behavioral health of the student

·       Observance of a religious holiday

·       Death in the immediate family

·       Family emergency

·       Circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent or guardian for the student’s  

mental, emotional, or physical health or safety  

·       Other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the Building Principal and Pastor.

Additionally, a student will be excused for up to 5 days in cases where the student’s parent/guardian is an active-duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat-support postings. The principal and pastor, in their discretion, may excuse a student for additional days relative to such leave or deployment.

All other absences will be considered unexcused. Pre-arranged excused absences must be approved by the building principal.

Absences from school may result in failing grades, withdrawal from classes, and/or other disciplinary actions. It is imperative that parents/guardians attempt to plan family trips/vacations to coincide with scheduled school vacations and to plan professional visits to doctors, dentists, orthodontists, etc. during non-school hours. Attendance is a vital part of a successful education experience. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to substantiate an excused absence. 

NOTIFICATION OF ABSENCE

In the event of any absence, the student’s parent/guardian is required to call the school before 8:00 a.m. to explain the reason for the absence. If a call has not been made to the school by 10:00 a.m. on the day of a student’s absence, a school official will call the home to inquire why the student is not at school. If the parent/guardian cannot be contacted, the student will be required to submit a signed note from the parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence. Failure to do so shall result in an unexcused absence. Upon request of the parent/guardian, the reason for an absence will be kept confidential.

   

Diagnostic Procedures for Identifying Student Absences and Support Services to Truant or Chronically Truant Students  

State law requires every nonpublic school that receives public funds to collect and review its chronic absence data and determine what systems of support and resources are needed to engage chronically absent students and their families to encourage the habit of daily attendance and promote success.

 

Furthermore, State law provides that schools are encouraged to provide a system of support to students who are at risk of reaching or exceeding chronic absence levels with strategies and are also encouraged to make resources available to families to support and engage students and their families to encourage heightened school engagement and improved daily school attendance.

 

"Chronic absence" means absences that total 10% or more of school days of the most recent academic school year, including absences with and without valid cause, and out-of-school suspensions.

 

The CSO considers absenteeism excessive when it significantly interferes with a student’s learning, as reflected in academic performance or social development. Excessive absenteeism includes excessive tardiness.

 

The School will use diagnostic procedures for identifying the causes of unexcused student absences, such as Interviews with the student, his or her parent/guardian, any school officials or others who may have information about the reasons for the student absences.

 

In order to reduce or prevent excessive absenteeism, the school maintains a procedure to:  

1.     Track and provide early identification of potentially harmful attendance practices; and  

2.     Provide a progressive, multi-level plan toward remediation of the problem

Supportive services to truant or chronically truant students include: parent conferences, student counseling, family counseling, and information about existing community services.

 TRUANCY  

The CSO considers a student who is subject to compulsory school attendance truant if he/she is absent for the school day or a portion of the school day without an excused absence.

CHRONIC TRUANCY  

The CSO considers a student who is subject to compulsory school attendance a chronic or habitual truant if he/she is absent for 10% or more of regular attendance days without proper permission. Students who are chronic truants will be offered support services and resources aimed at correcting the truancy issue.

 

Resources and Supportive Services  

The following resources and supportive services, as determined appropriate, are available to truants and chronic or habitual truants with unexcused absences and their parents/guardians:  

·       Conferences with school personnel

·       Counseling services of school social worker

·       Special education assessment and placement  

·       Referral to community agencies  

Chronic Truant Minor

The CSO, in accordance with the Illinois School Code, considers a truant minor to be a chronic truant when the above resources and supportive services have been provided and have failed to result in the remediation of chronic truancy or have been offered and refused by the parent/guardian and/or student.

Referral of Chronic Truants  

The respective building principal will initiate the first action to handle the problem of truancy by notifying the parents. The principal will also initiate proper counseling and actions to secure resources to find a solution to the problem.

If the truancy continues, the principal will notify the superintendent or his designee. The local truancy officer will also be notified.

Punitive Action  

If chronic truancy persists after support services and other resources are made available, the school and CSO may take further action, including:

·       Reporting to officials under the Juvenile Court Act  

·       Referral to the State’s Attorney  

·       Appropriate school discipline

Pursuant to the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/26-12), schools will take no punitive action, including out-of-school suspensions, alternatives to suspension, expulsion or court action, against chronic truants for such truancy unless the above resources and supportive services have been provided to the student and parents/guardians.

Late Arrival/Early Dismissal

In order to keep our students safe and to account for their whereabouts, the following policy applies.  Any student arriving after 8:00 am must be signed in by a parent or responsible adult in the school office. Any student leaving before 3:00 pm must be signed out by a parent or responsible adult in the school office.

For an early dismissal, the parent/guardian must call the school office or the student must have a note signed by a parent/guardian stating the date, time, and reason for the early dismissal. Early dismissal notes are sent to the School Office.


If a child needs to go home during the school day because of illness, parents will be contacted by phone.

Under no circumstances may a child be released from school to anyone other than parents or an authorized adult without permission. The adult picking up the student must report to the school office. The safety and welfare of the children are always our number one priority.

Vacations

Although we recognize the importance of family vacations, we ask parents to please avoid scheduling them during school time. It is impossible to make up the instruction and learning that take place within the school day. If it is absolutely necessary to travel while school is in session, parents need to request a vacation form so that teachers and administration are apprised. A great deal of curriculum is covered each week; therefore, teachers are unable to prepare advance lesson plans for vacationing students. 

All assignments and tests are given upon the student’s return. Students will have as many days to complete the missing work as days missed. Also, please understand that teachers cannot be responsible to re-teach the curriculum, and it is the student’s responsibility to contact the teachers about missed work.

School Owned Books, Supplies and Property

Textbooks and Technology

All textbooks, iPads and Chromebooks are borrowed from the school. Students are responsible for these items. Damaged books or devices will need to be replaced at the student’s expense.

Supplies and Property

Students should carry their books to and from school in a book bag or backpack. These bags keep books and materials together, and protect the books from the elements of the weather. Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders do not have heavy materials to carry each day; therefore, wheeled backpacks are highly discouraged. The wheeled backpacks tend to be more of a hindrance than a help, and most of them do not fit well in the lockers.

Student Responsibility

Students need to be responsible to bring their books, supplies, lunch, gym clothes, eye glasses, and other daily materials to school each day.



Take Home Folders

Each student has a red "Take Home Folder". This folder is taken home each evening and is returned each morning. All important notes, papers, and school communication are in this folder. Parents are urged to please check these each day.

Lockers and Desks

The lockers and desks are available for student use during the school year and are the property of the school. St. Philip the Apostle teachers and administration reserve the right to examine lockers and desks.

Parents Rights to Student Records

St. Philip the Apostle School complies with the federal statute governing access to student records.  A written request is required.  The school has fifteen days to comply with a request.  Please contact the school office for further information.

Birthdays and Party Invitations


Teachers will inform students if they may bring a special treat for the class on their birthday. If allowed, the individual treats should be kept simple and ready to eat. Please do not send birthday lunches for the entire class, or bring in cakes that need to be cut. Paper napkins should also be provided. No beverages, please.

Invitations to parties may be given out at school provided that there are invitations for all the students in class, or there are invitations for all the boys, or all the girls in the class (check with the homeroom teacher as to when to pass them out).

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

Electronic devices such as video games,
Apple or other smartwatches, CD players, iPods, cameras, etc. are not permitted in school. As such we accept no responsibility for loss or damage of these prohibited items. Furthermore, cell phones are not permitted unless a parent authorization form is completed and on file in the school office. Those cell phones are kept in the office and are available to students at dismissal time.

If a student is found to have a cell phone with him/her during the school day, the cell phone will be held in the school office and not returned to the student until a parent/guardian comes to pick it up.

Diocese of Joliet Technology Acceptable Use Policy

The Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Joliet and St. Philip the Apostle School hereinafter (the “School”) support the use of technology in the instructional program through internet capable devices and digital equipment (sometimes collectively referred to as “Technology Resources”), as a means to facilitate learning and teaching in an interconnected digital world.

All uses of Technology Resources shall be for educational purposes only, and will be consistent with the Diocesan and School’s goal of promoting Catholic values and teaching, and academic excellence as defined in the respective mission and philosophy statements.

The Parents/Guardians of student users of Technology Resources must agree to and accept the Terms and Conditions below before their children will be granted access to the Technology Resources within the School. Both the Parent/Guardian and Student user acknowledge that the Code of Conduct herein also applies to personal electronic devices, including, but not limited to cell phones and other handheld devices, laptops and Notebooks/tablets (“Privately Owned Devices”) Students and their parents or guardians are advised that the Diocese of Joliet Schools may not request or require a student to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to a student’s account or profile on a social networking website. The school may conduct an investigation and if the school has reasonable cause to believe the content of a student’s social media account has violated a disciplinary rule or policy of the school, the law requires the student to provide social networking website passwords or other related account information to gain access to the student’s account or profile. (IL School Code 105 75/15, Illinois Public Act 098-0129)

The failure of any user to follow the terms and conditions of this Agreement may result in the loss of privileges, disciplinary action and/or legal action.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1.       Acceptable Use

The Diocese and School will make reasonable efforts to ensure that all Technology Resources are used in a responsible, moral and ethical manner consistent with the educational and moral objectives of the Diocese and School.

Responsibility

School administrators, teachers, and staff work together to help students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and online social interactions in ways that are positive, ethical, safe and legal. However, there is an enormous range of material available on the Internet, some of which may not be fitting with the particular values of a student’s family.  It is not practically possible for the Diocese and School to monitor and enforce a wide array of social and religious values in student use of the Internet. Therefore, the Diocese and School recognize parents as primary educators of their children and the need for them to be involved in instructing their children as to what material is and is not acceptable for access and communication through the School network system and at home when in possession of a school owned device.

The students, teachers and staff have the responsibility to respect and protect the rights of every other user in the School and on the Internet.

The Principal or Pastor has the authority to determine what constitutes inappropriate use and his/her decision is final.

 

2.    Code of Conduct

Expectations for conduct Grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 are defined with the expectation for age appropriate behavior when using technology.

3.   Safety

Reasonable efforts will be made to protect users of the network from harassment, or unwanted and unsolicited communication.  Any network users who receive threatening or unwelcome communication shall immediately bring this to the attention of a teacher or Principal.

4.   Internet Filtering/CIPA

The school will use technology protection measures in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to protect minors and all users against access to visual depictions that are violent, obscene, constitute child pornography, or are otherwise harmful to others.

5.   Privacy

The user does not have any right of privacy or ownership whatsoever in relation to his/her use of the School network and or email. Consequently, all electronic and telephone communication systems and all  communication and information transmitted by, received from, or stored in any  manner are the property of the Parish, School or Diocese and are to be used for educational purposes only.

To ensure that the use of the network is consistent with the educational objectives and philosophy of the School, Parish, and Diocese, authorized representatives may monitor the use of the network from time to time, which may include the printing and reading of all information stored, and all emails entering, leaving or stored and all files created and saved in the system.The system administrator (Principal or designee, Pastor) may remove any material stored by the users which violates the terms of this Agreement.

6.  Consequences for Inappropriate Use  

The School network user shall be responsible for damages to equipment, systems, and software resulting from deliberate and willful acts or installation of unapproved software and/or files. Illegal use of the School network, intentional deletion or damage to files or data belonging to others, copyright violations or theft of services will be reported to the appropriate authority and will be deemed a failure to follow the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

If a user mistakenly accesses inappropriate information, the user shall immediately inform the teacher or adult supervisor.

 7.  Web Pages

The School may choose to publish Web Pages for purposes of providing School or Parish  information and teacher or class information.  This may include the posting of meetings, agendas, student activities, projects and accomplishments, schedules and other information of interest to students, parents and the community.  Classrooms may participate in the development of web pages as ongoing educational projects. The posting of any material that may violate copyright  law is expressly prohibited.

Disclosure of student information on the School website will be limited to first name and last initial.  Photographs or video of students may be posted on the school website; however, no photograph or video of any student will be captioned with the student’s name, or identify the student by name in any other manner.  No image of a student may be posted in such a way that the image of that student may be matched up with the student’s name.

 The principal or his/her designee shall monitor school web publications.

8.  Personal Electronic or Cellular Devices

Students may not carry personally owned devices with them during school hours unless special permission is granted by the Principal or his/her designee.  Privately Owned Devices otherwise stored in student lockers must be turned off.  These items include, but are not limited to: cell phones, pagers, Mp3 players, iPods, cameras/video recorders, laptops, notebooks/tablets and all other handheld devices (with the exception of those covered in #9 of this agreement).

9.   Indemnification

The user’s parent/guardian hereby agrees to indemnify the School/Parish/Diocese for any losses, costs, or damages, including attorney fees, incurred by the School, Parish, or Diocese relating to or arising out of the breach of, or the enforcement of this Agreement or the School/Parish/Diocese enforcement thereof.

10   Financial Obligations

The student, parent, guardian, agrees to be responsible for any financial obligation incurred through the use of the School network that is contrary to the terms of this Agreement.

11  Limitation of Liability

The School/Parish/Diocese makes no guarantee that functions and services provided by the School’s computer system and network will be error free or without any defect.  The School/Parish/Diocese have no responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the use of the School network or for any damages users suffer.

Withdrawal of Students from School

When a student transfers to another school, the Principal should be notified in advance. If the student is transferring to another Catholic elementary school in the Diocese of Joliet, a transfer form is required to be signed by the principal, pastor and superintendent of Catholic schools before the transfer can occur. For a transfer to any school, it is necessary to know the name and address of the receiving school. All personal records will be forwarded
directly to the new school. A "Request for Records" form must be received by the school office at St. Philip’s before records can be released and sent to the transfer school. All financial accounts must be paid in full before records will be forwarded.

Reporting Attacks on School Personnel to Authorities

Upon receiving a written complaint from any school personnel, the superintendent or his or her designee shall report an incident of battery committed against a teacher, teacher personnel, administrative personnel or educational support personnel to the local law enforcement authorities immediately after the occurrence of the attack and to the Illinois State Police’s Illinois Uniform Crime Reporting Program no later than 3 days after the occurrence of the attack. Note that reporting through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program does not satisfy the requirement to report the incident to local law enforcement authorities as well 105 ILCS 5/10-21.7

Reporting Drug Violations to Authorities

Each school shall follow the provisions of the School Reporting of Drug Violations Act, 105 ILCS 127 which provides that the superintendent of the school or his or her designee shall report all instances of “drug violations” to local law enforcement officials or to the office of the county sheriff of the municipality or county where the school is located.

 

  1. A “drug violation” is when any of the following occurs on school property, on a public way within 1,000 feet of a school, or on any property owned, leased, or contracted by a school to transport students to or from school or to or from a school related activity:

 

 

 

 

  1. Reporting. Upon receiving any report from any school personnel regarding a verified incident involving drugs in a school or on school owned or leased property, the superintendent or his or her designee shall report such drug-related incident occurring in a school or school property to the local law enforcement authorities immediately and to the Illinois State Police. Reports to the Illinois State Police can be made through the School Incident Reporting System (“SIRS”), a web-based application used by schools to report incidents electronically. Note that reporting through SIRS does not satisfy the requirement to report the incident to local law enforcement authorities as well. 105 ILCS 5/10-27.1B The school notifies the parents or guardians of students in possession of drug violations.

 

Reporting Firearms on School Property to Authorities

Upon receiving any report from any school personnel regarding a verified incident involving a firearm in a school or on school owned or leased property, the superintendent or his or her designee shall report such firearm-related incident occurring in a school or on school property to the local law enforcement authorities no later than 24 hours after the occurrence of the incident and to the Illinois State Police. Reports to the Illinois State Police can be made through the School Incident Reporting System (“SIRS”), a web-based application used by schools to report incidents electronically. Note that reporting through SIRS does not satisfy the requirement to report the incident to local law enforcement authorities as well.

105 ILCS 5/27.1A, 5/34-8.05 The school immediately notifies the parents or guardians of students in possession of firearms on property or within 48 hours of becoming aware of the incident if off property.

Threats of Violence on School Campus

St. Philip the Apostle School and the Diocese of Joliet take the threat of violence very seriously. If a student, employee or visitor makes a statement or behaves in a way that causes a safety concern, the School is to follow the protocols set forth by the Diocese of Joliet. This may include reporting the incident to the local police department, the Pastor, and the Diocese as well as providing a  written communication sent home to all school parents regarding the incident.

 

Missing Person and His/Her School Record

Each school shall follow the provisions of Section 5(a) of the Missing Children Records Act, 325 ILCS 50/5, which requires each school to have a system in place that flags records requests for any current or former student reported as a missing person by the Illinois State police.

The procedure is as follows:

Upon notification by the Illinois State Police of a person's disappearance, a school in which the person is currently or was previously enrolled shall flag the record of that person in such a manner that whenever a copy of or information regarding the record is requested, the school shall be alerted to the fact that the record is that of a missing person. The school shall immediately report to the Illinois State Police any request concerning flagged records or knowledge as to the whereabouts of any missing person. Upon notification by the Illinois State Police that the missing person has been recovered, the school shall remove the flag from the person's record.

 


Admissions

Admissions Policies

Religious formation in the Catholic faith is the primary purpose of Catholic education.  An interview with the principal to assess the religious and academic commitment of parents or guardians is customary.

Students entering preschool must be three years old or four years old, respectively, on or before September 1st of the year of entry to school.  Toilet training (as defined as being able to independently use bathroom facilities) must be completed before entering the preschool program.

Students entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before September 1st of the year of entry to school.

The verification of age with a birth certificate is presented at application time. The school maintains copies of certified birth certificates for each student attending upon enrollment. These documents must be provided by parents/guardians within 30 days of enrolling the student.

Families are encouraged to register, and become active, contributing members of St. Philip the Apostle Parish.  St. Philip’s believes that active participation in parish life is an important element in the development of the student.

Admission of Transfer Students

When a student who is transferring from one Catholic school in the Joliet Diocese applies for admission to another Catholic school in the Joliet Diocese a Student Transfer Form must be completed. During the process of completing this form contact between the two principals is advisable. Such contact with the former principal of any school may be needed to clarify the reason for student transfer, i.e. suspension/expulsion or unpaid tuition.

 

Transfer students may be admitted following receipt from the transferring school of attendance records, health and academic records, etc.  Until such records have been received and analyzed, the child’s admission status is probationary. Certified copies of transfer students’ records must be requested within 14 days of enrollment.

When a student transfers to another school, the student’s permanent record card is retained. Records are transferred according to the Illinois School Code.

In general, no official student records are transferred until all financial accounts with the school have been settled. Unofficial school records are transferred within ten days of request. Unofficial records are minimally defined as copies of the last report card. Health records are transferred along with unofficial records. In the case of homeschooling, if records are requested by the district office, they are sent. Otherwise records are released to parents/guardians according to the release of records act as cited in policy 5250.

 

All incoming transfer students are accepted on a probationary basis for the first trimester that they attend St. Philip the Apostle School. This is done to determine if the student is a good fit for St. Philip the Apostle School and if St. Philip the Apostle School is a good fit for the student.   If the student fails to comply with the school mission, code of behavior, or academic expectations, the parents/guardians will be asked to withdraw their child from the school.  This will occur at a conference with the parents after help has been given by the teachers and principal.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition

Tuition payments form the primary source of financial support for the academic programs of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic School. Tuition payments are the responsibility of the parents. Failure to pay tuition seriously jeopardizes the fiscal health and stability of the school. Tuition rates are communicated to each family prior to the start of each school year. The tuition rate is based on the number of students in a family.

All families who have signified their intention to have their children attend our school by completing the school registration process must pay the first month’s tuition for the upcoming school year by August 15th. School fees (technology, playground, security, book and preschool (if applicable)) are due by July 15th.

In the event a family subsequently makes the decision not to attend our school, school fees shall be non-refundable, as it will help to offset the revenue which is lost by virtue of reserving space for a family which has chosen not to attend.  Tuition will be prorated over the number of days attended.

In addition, those families who have not paid their school fees by August 1st have forfeited their place in school for the upcoming year.  Such action is to allow the school to offer placement to other prospective families.

As most of the school families elect the ten month installment plan to pay their tuition, the process is as follows:

July 15th        All fees (no monthly tuition installment) (cash, check or money order only) – Refer to description of fees section.

August 15th        First month tuition installment (cash, check or money order only)

September 15th The remaining nine tuition installments (refer to the methods of payment section.) thru May 15th                 

NOTE:        All school accounts must be paid in full no later than May 15th.

Methods of Payment:

The use of electronic processing whether through bank debit or credit card is greatly encouraged. Either form is available upon request from the Business Office.

Please note that all installments are due by the 15th of each month. Late fees are assessed for all installments not received by that date. A late fee of $30.00 is applied each month that an installment remains delinquent.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Any family delinquent in tuition payments by three months or more must meet with the Business Manager to make arrangements to bring their tuition account up to date. It is the responsibility of the parent to make contact with the business manager as soon as possible if alternate arrangements for payment are necessary.  This alternate arrangement must be captured in writing and signed by all the parents, pastor, and business manager.

 If three monthly payments are missed and no alternate agreement is on file or if performance is not made on the alternate agreement on file, the child(ren) may be refused class admittance until the account is brought current and the principal and business manager agree to reinstate the student.  

Fees

Fees are for the purchase of textbooks, school supplies, technology, etc. and are due by July 15th prior to the school year.

A separate fee is charged to families of 8th graders to cover graduation expenses such as a diploma, cap and gown, ribbons, etc.

As is the case for all financial matters relative to the parish, all school financial issues should be directed to the Business Manager.

Financial Obligation

St. Philip the Apostle School is partially funded through tuition. St. Philip the Apostle Parish subsidizes all students’ education.  Tuition rates are available for the current school year through the school office.

 It is expected that all school families will honor their financial commitment with timely tuition payments as well as regular attendance at Mass and consistent use of their Sunday envelopes.

Tuition Assistance

Financial assistance is available through the Catholic Education Foundation. Grant awards are given on an “as needed” basis. Applications are available in an electronic format on the school website.

Fundraising

Fundraising is necessary to the school operating budget. Therefore, each family is expected to participate to the extent that they are able.

A mandatory fundraising fee will be added to the account of families who have not sold the raffle tickets provided to them at the beginning of the school year.

Other fundraising opportunities will be communicated to school families throughout the year.


Instructional Program

Curriculum

Standards/curriculum guidelines, consistent with the State of Illinois Standards, are followed for the teaching of all secular subject areas.  Diocesan standards are accessible on the Diocesan website (www.dioceseofjoliet.org)

Homework

Time allotted to homework varies by grade level and by subject area. Homework is oral, or written, and includes the completion of class assignments. Students will usually have homework each day. Weekend assignments may be given as necessary. Even though written assignments may have been completed in school, students need to spend time studying each day.

Grades 3 through 8 students have an assignment notebook for recording daily assignments. It is the expectation that students complete their homework each night, so they are well-prepared for the new day.

Late and missing assignments have a serious effect on performance and grades.  

Academic Progress

Parents/guardians can monitor their student’s progress at any time by logging onto Schoolspeak.  No paper progress reports will be issued as Schoolspeak can generate and send the reports electronically.  

Diocesan report cards are issued at the end of each of three trimesters.  Report card dates are indicated on the school calendar.  The purpose for evaluating the student, both in subject matter areas and character development, is to allow both the parents/guardians and teachers to cooperate in helping the student reach his/her highest potential.

Parent/teacher conferences are held at the end of the first trimester.  At this time, the student’s progress and other matters of mutual interest and concern are discussed.  Other conferences are held at the parent's or teacher’s request.

Late Work (Grades 4-8)

Teachers will issue a referral for an assignment that is not turned in on time.  “On time” is the beginning of the class period.  A parent signs the referral and staples it to the completed assignment.  The student must return the completed assignment the next day.  If the student fails to return the late slip and/or the assignment the next day, the student will receive another referral.

Late work will result in an automatic lowering of the student’s grade to 50%. A teacher may offer the opportunity to revise the assignment for an additional grade of up to 10%.

If a student receives three referrals in a trimester, the student will serve an academic peace workshop.

If a student has two or more academic workshops in a trimester, the student will be placed on an academic contract.

Grading

Report Card Codes for Kindergarten through Grade 3

 

The marks used to report progress are 4 (Exceeds Expectations), 3 (Meets Expectations), 2 (Approaches Expectations), 1(Needs to Improve to Meet Expectations) and NG (Not Graded). The categories and their explanation are listed below.

4 – Work Exceeds Expectations ~ Student demonstrates an in-depth understanding of grade level concepts, skills, and processes taught to date and exceeds the expectation of the curriculum. Student completes tasks without teacher assistance.

3 – Work Meets Expectations ~ Student consistently demonstrates an understanding of grade level concepts, skills, and processes taught to date to meet the expectations of the curriculum. Student completes tasks with little teacher assistance. (Most students will achieve in this range.)

2 – Work Approaches Expectations ~ Student’s work demonstrates that he/she is approaching an understanding of grade level concepts, skills, and processes taught to date to meet the expectations of the curriculum. Student requires some teacher assistance: prompts, directions, and reminders.

1 – Needs to Improve ~ Student has not yet demonstrated an understanding of grade level concepts, skill, and processes taught to date and needs consistent support. Student requires significant teacher assistance with prompts, directions, and reminders.

NG – Not Graded ~ Used when a particular subject is not taught.

 

Grades 4-8

 

The following grading scale is used for students in grades 4 through 8.

 

A+ =        100%     B+=   92-91     C+=   84-83     D+=   76- 75    F =         69-0

A =          99-96     B =        90-88     C =    82-79     D =        74-72

A-=          95-93     B-=        87-85     C-=        78-77     D-=        71-70

Some subjects, such as PE, music, art, and technology receive an effort grade.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and passing it off as your own. This practice is unacceptable and will result in an automatic lowering of the student’s grade to 50%. A teacher may offer the opportunity to revise the assignment for an additional grade of up to 10%.

 

Honor Roll (6th - 8th grades)

A grade of less than B- in any class  including PE, music, or Spanish disqualifies a student from Honor Roll. 

A grade of less than A- in any class including PE, music,  or Spanish disqualifies a student from High Honor roll.

In addition, any notation of numbers 6 through 10 in the Behaviors that Support Learning or an “X” in effort in any class disqualifies a student from either Honor Roll.

Promotion and Retention

Students completing a grade level to the best of their ability and meeting the criteria will then be promoted to the next grade.  At times it is in the student’s best interest to repeat a grade.  Parents will be informed if retention is recommended.

All students must receive a passing grade in all subjects to advance to the next grade level or to receive a diploma at graduation.  A failing grade in two trimesters of any subject necessitates makeup work by the student before promotion or receipt of a diploma.  Summer school or a tutorial may be used to make up required work.  This process must be outlined and a program approved by the principal must be initiated before the end of the school year.

Academic Evaluation/Testing Referral Process

If a child is not progressing academically, St. Philip the Apostle may initiate, or ask parents to initiate, the process to request professional assistance from Addison School District 4. The Child Find assessment process is available to students who may need further academic assistance. The process begins with collecting screening information to determine if there is a reason to suspect a disability under special education laws. An initial meeting with the child’s teacher(s), the administration and other relevant personnel will be scheduled. Once a request for testing is initiated from District 4, St. Philip the Apostle School will participate in meetings to determine whether the student is eligible for special education services. If found eligible through a review of academic data and testing, an Individual Service Plan will be written. St. Philip the Apostle works with students of diverse learning abilities and is committed to assisting students achieve their potential.

Physical Education


The Physical Education Curriculum flows out of the State of Illinois Physical Education Standards, and emphasizes physical development, fitness, health and team-building activities. The Physical Education Program incorporates more than recess-type sports activities.

It is important that all students have the proper clothes and shoes for each class. Students’ gym clothes and mesh bags are purchased through the school. Gym shoes should be kept simple. (No light—ups, platform soles, or extra gadgets, please). IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ALL CLOTHES ARE LABELED WITH THE STUDENT’S NAME. If a religious chain or watch is worn, it must be removed for the physical education classes.

Students who cannot participate in class must have a signed and dated note from parents. A note from a physician will be needed for longer periods of non-participation. Grades will be adversely affected by frequent non- participation.

Field Trips

Field trips are educational experiences which are arranged by the staff to enrich the curriculum. Field trips are a privilege and participation is dependent upon appropriate student behavior. Students must return the field trip permission forms to school on time. Telephone calls cannot be accepted in place of the proper form.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Eligibility

There are a variety of extracurricular activities including drama club, band, choir, sports, etc.

Students must keep up with their studies while participating in extracurricular activities.. Students may not participate in extracurricular activities if they are receiving a grade of F (69% or below) as checked in SchoolSpeak on September 15 and October 1st for volleyball and on January 15th, February 1st and February 15th for basketball.  Students may not attend practices or games until grades are improved and reviewed at the end of the following three (3) week period. Parents and coaches are notified when students are ineligible and are also notified when students may begin to participate again.

1. We are proud of our students and they represent our St. Philip the Apostle School and Parish family. Therefore, responsible behavior is always a criterion for eligibility. Exemplary behavior is expected in school as well as at school events, events at other schools or locations, and when traveling to and from these events.

2. Student attendance at after- school activities must always be chaperoned by an adult.

3. Students may not attend games, practices or other after-school activities on the same day when they are absent from school due to illness.

4. Any student who is not participating in PE class due to medical reasons may not participate in extracurricular athletics.

Interscholastic Athletics

Interscholastic athletics are a part of the educational process, and are consistent with the philosophy and goals of the Diocese and local school.  The athletic program is an outgrowth of a sound physical education program and emphasizes good sportsmanship, teamwork, and personal development.

 Each local school provides interscholastic sports for boys and girls.

 Competitive sports are not permitted below the fifth grade.  Where training programs exist before fifth grade; they are not to include competition between schools. 

Each local school develops its own specific athletic philosophy, rules, regulations and eligibility standards for interscholastic sports in accordance with direction provided by the Catholic Schools Office. This philosophy and its accompanying policies, rules, regulations are developed under the direction of the principal in collaboration with local school board and athletic personnel. 

Eligibility standards are developed in accord with a school’s athletic philosophy. When possible, regional consultation is sought before enacting such standards. Behavioral and academic criteria are considered in setting standards. Students who play on school teams should be students of the school, so that other eligibility standards can be maintained.

 Every effort should be made to schedule athletic events so that they do not interfere with a family’s attendance at liturgy. No games or practices are scheduled in a parish facility before the last Sunday morning or early afternoon liturgy has been completed.

 The superintendent, in collaboration with the principals, develops administrative regulations general to the interscholastic athletic program and specific to the various sports. (See Athletics Handbook)

 Schools comply with these regulations or discontinue sports programs which repeatedly do not comply.

All athletes in grades 5-8 must show proof of an annual sports physical. 6th grade physicals as well as sports physicals are a state requirement.  Our diocese requires annual physicals of all athletes in grades 5-8. without a physical, students will not participate in practices or games.  

This information is required by law on the first day of school, with an extension time of October 1st for students who begin school on the first day.  Any students entering school after the first day will be allowed 30 days from their entrance date to comply with this policy.  Children can be excluded from school if they are not in compliance with the requirements.

 

Concussion Management Policy

The purpose of this policy is to safeguard student athletes by (1) educating student athletes, school personnel and parents/guardians about concussions, (2) requiring that a student athlete be removed from play when a concussion is suspected and requiring a licensed health care professional to provide clearance for the student athlete to return to play or practice, and (3) implementing the concussion management requirements specified by the Illinois High School Association and Illinois Elementary School Association.

This policy applies to athletic play occurring in Diocese-sponsored sports programs provided by elementary, middle and high schools regardless whether the sports program is intramural, interscholastic, after school or provided during the summer (e.g. summer sports camp). This policy applies regardless of whether the sports activity or program is offered by or through a Diocese consultant, vendor or partner.

 Concussion Signs and Symptoms

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal brain function. A student athlete does not have to lose consciousness to have suffered a concussion. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include the following

 

Signs Observed by Others

Symptoms Reported by Athlete

Appears dazed or stunned

Headache or “pressure in head’

Appears confused

Nausea

Forgets sports plays

Balance problems or dizziness

Is unsure of game, score, opponent

Sensitivity to light or noise

Moves clumsily

Double or fuzzy vision

Answers questions slowly

Feeling sluggish or slowed down

Loses consciousness (even briefly)

Feeling foggy or groggy

Shows behavior or personality changes

Does not “feel right”

Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall

Concentration or memory problems

Can’t recall events after hit or fall

Confusion

 

Removal and Return to Play

Any player who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the game or practice and shall not return to play until cleared in writing by a licensed healthcare professional. If a healthcare professional is not immediately available at the athletic event or practice and an injured student athlete has any of the described signs, symptoms or behaviors of a concussion, s/he shall be promptly taken to a facility for appropriate medical evaluation and care.

 A player must be removed from an interscholastic athletics practice or competition immediately if one of the following persons believes the player might have sustained a concussion during the practice or competition:

·         a coach;

·         a physician;

·         a game official;

·         an athletic trainer;

·         the student's parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student;

·         the student; or

·         any other person deemed appropriate under the school's return-to-play protocol.

 A student removed from an interscholastic athletics practice or competition may not be permitted to practice or compete again following the force or impact believed to have caused the concussion until:

·         the student has been evaluated by a treating physician (chosen by the student or the student's parent or guardian) or an athletic trainer working under the supervision of a physician;

·         the student has successfully completed each requirement of the "return-to-play" and "return to learn" protocols established for the student to return to play;

·         the treating physician or athletic trainer working under the supervision of a physician has provided a written statement indicating that, in the physician's professional judgment, it is safe for the student to return to play and return to learn; and

·         the student and the student's parent or guardian have acknowledged that the student has completed the requirements of the "return-to-play" and "return-to-learn" protocols necessary for the student to return to play; have provided the treating physician's or athletic trainer's written statement and have signed a consent form indicating that the person signing has been informed and consents to the student participating in returning to play in accordance with the "return-to-play" and "return-to-learn" protocols and understands the risks associated with the student returning to play and returning to learn and will comply with any ongoing requirements in the "return-to-play" and "return-to-learn" protocols.  A sample acknowledgement is found in the link below:

http://www.ihsa.org/documents/forms/current/Post-concussion%20Consent%20Form%20(RPT-RTL).pdf

·         A coach of an interscholastic athletics team may not authorize a student's return to play or return to learn.

Licensed Healthcare Professional

For purposes of this policy, licensed healthcare professional means physicians licensed to practice medicine in all its branches in Illinois and certified athletic trainers.

 Concussion Policy/Fact Sheet

Information on the school's concussion and head injury policy must be a part of any agreement, contract, code, or other written instrument that a school requires a student-athlete and his/her parents or guardian to sign before participating in practice or interscholastic competition. The IHSA/IESA has provided a Concussion Information Sheet and Sign-Off Form that schools may use to notify athletes and their parents/guardian about the dangers of concussions and head injuries.

http://www.iesa.org/documents/general/IESA-ConcussionSign-Off.pdf

 The parent/guardian of each student athlete and the student athlete shall receive annually a concussion information sheet and they shall submit written verification(s) that they have read the information. A student athlete may not participate in practice or competition prior to the school’s receipt of this written verification.

 Each school shall also use education materials provided by the Illinois High School Association, and Illinois Elementary School Association see links below, to educate coaches, student-athletes, and parents/guardians of student-athletes about the nature and risk of concussions and head injuries, including continuing play after a concussion or head injury.

http://www.ihsa.org/Resources/SportsMedicine/ConcussionManagement/ConcussionResources.aspx

https://www.iesa.org/activities/concussion.asp

 Concussion Oversight Teams (COT)

Each school shall form a Concussion Oversight Team (COT). The COT’s primary function will be to develop return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols for students believed to have experienced a concussion. The protocols should be based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence consistent with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. These teams can contain a range of individuals based on the resources available to the school in their community or neighborhood but must include one person who is responsible for implementing and complying with the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols.

 Per the law, each concussion oversight team must include to the extent practicable at least one physician. If a school employs an athletic trainer, the athletic trainer must be a member of the school concussion oversight team to the extent practicable. If a school employs a nurse, the nurse must be a member of the school concussion oversight team to the extent practicable. At a minimum, a school shall appoint a person who is responsible for implementing and complying with the return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols adopted by the concussion oversight team. A school may appoint other licensed healthcare professionals to serve on the concussion oversight team.

 Coaches Training

All interscholastic coaches and licensed officials will need to complete a training program of at least two hours on concussions. Coaches, nurses, and game officials must provide the school with proof of successful completion of the training. Training must be completed every two years. Head coaches and assistant coaches must complete the required training. Compliant courses are available on the IHSA and IESA websites.  IESA member schools may access the course through the IESA Member Center. It is recommended all elementary schools with athletics join the IESA-$75 dues-to allow access to these materials. (from Policy 6860 Concussion Management)

Emergency Action Plan

Each school must also develop a school-specific emergency action plan for interscholastic athletic activities to address the serious injuries and acute medical conditions in which the condition of the student may deteriorate rapidly. There are certain provisions the plan must include and it must be reviewed by the COT before being approved by the school. The plan must be distributed to appropriate personnel, posted at the school, and reviewed annually. Links to sample information may be found below on the IESA website and on the IHSA website.

http://www.ihsa.org/documents/forms/current/Emergency_Action_Plan_Form.pdf

Guidelines

The Superintendent or designee is authorized to issue Guidelines for the effective implementation of the requirements of this Policy.

Compliance

Failure to abide by this Policy or Guidelines will subject employees to discipline up to and including dismissal.

Band

Band lessons are available to students in Grades 4 through 8. Students who participate in band need to maintain good academic standing in all subjects since band lessons are held during regular school hours.

Children’s Choir

Students in Grades
1 through 8 may participate in the Children’s Choir. Call or see the Pastoral Musician for details.


Religious Program

Religious Formation

The most important aspect of St. Philip the Apostle School is the emphasis on religious formation in a Catholic/Christian environment. The students are guided through daily instruction in developing a strong foundation for growth in faith and Christian values.

Prayer begins each day as a school community via morning announcements.  Teachers are encouraged to begin each class with a prayer (especially in departmentalized grades).

In daily Religion classes, students are instructed in the tenets of their faith, in the meaning of prayer, sacraments, and liturgy.

Christian/community service projects are encouraged for all students.


Students attend Mass weekly and participate in singing, lecturing, and serving. Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend and participate in all school religious celebrations.

Religious formation is enhanced by daily prayers, penance services, seasonal devotions, and days of recollection, family life/sexuality programs, and safe environment classes.

Sacramental Preparation

Students in second grade receive instruction in the reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Eighth grade students receive instruction for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Teachers and staff support the parents in their child’s sacramental preparation. Families of faith are expected to attend weekly Mass, to pray together daily, to read scripture with their children, and to model Catholic Christian values. With parents as partners, together we strive to teach as Jesus did.


MAY ALL THAT WE DO, BE DONE IN HIS NAME


Discipline

Discipline in a school creates the proper environment for study and an orderly school life. It is the very basis for learning. Proper behavior grounded on Christian principles will be expected of all students.
Inappropriate behavior or conduct unbecoming of a Catholic, Christian student will be handled on an individual basis by the principal. Parents have made a free choice in sending their children to St. Philip’s. As such it is understood that parental support regarding respect for authority, support for school rules and policies, and appreciation for the efforts of the school staff are essential to create a Christian learning environment at St. Philip’s School. We are in partnership — church, school, and home —working together to build a Christ-centered environment where all can grow spiritually, academically, physically and emotionally.

Student Discipline

Expectations of student behavior are as follows:

        1. Kindness and courtesy at all times

2. Cooperative Spirit

3. Truthfulness/Trustworthiness

4. Respect for faculty, staff and volunteers

5. Respect for other students and their belongings

6. Respect for all school property

Disregard for expectations of behavior will result in an office referral being given by a staff member. If a student receives three referrals for behavior or academics, attendance at a Peace Workshop will be required.

Academic Peace Workshop

An academic peace workshop is given when a student has received three office referrals for late or missing work. The workshop will be used to allow the student to complete their missing work.

Behavioral Peace Workshop

A behavioral peace workshop is given when a student has received three office referrals for inappropriate behavior.

A peace workshop is a time for the student to reflect on his/her decisions in light of Christian attitude, responsibility, and safety.  The goal of the workshop is for the student to respond with positive behavior.

Two peace workshops of the same type (academic or behavioral) in a trimester require that a conference be held with the student and principal during which a behavior contract is written.

Three peace workshops of the same type (academic or behavioral) in a trimester require that  conference with the parent/guardian, homeroom teacher, and principal be held.  A student receiving a third peace workshop will be suspended from athletic and extracurricular activities for two weeks (Monday through Sunday). The behavior contract will be revised.

Four peace workshops of the same type (academic or behavioral)  in a trimester result in a one day in-school suspension after a conference.   A student receiving a fourth peace workshop may be suspended from activities including but not limited to field trips, athletics and other extracurricular activities for the duration of the school year.

More than four peace workshops of the same type in a trimester result in a two day in-school suspension or expulsion from St. Philip the Apostle School.

Peace workshops earned in one trimester do not carry over to the next trimester. However, multiple behavior contracts will impose more serious consequences.

CONDUCT THAT IS DISRUPTIVE to the educational process or that infringes upon the rights and safety of others will not be tolerated.

Students who are in school, participating in a school event, or attending any school-sponsored activity SHALL NOT:

1. Participate in "name calling" or use of offensive language.

2. Demonstrate disregard for St. Philip’s "Anti-Bullying Policy”; engaging in harassment, touching, rumor-spreading or intimidation, threatening, violent, or physically aggressive behavior.

3. Display threatening, violent, or physically aggressive behavior.

4. Possess any controlled substance (alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana), any other narcotic or look-alike drug.

5. Possess any firearms, knives, lethal weapons of any type or look-alike weapon. This includes all toy weapons as well.

6. Wear gang-related clothing; possess gang-related use gestures that represent cults, gangs, or other related groups.

7. Demonstrate disregard for St. Philip’s Internet Acceptance Use Policy/Agreement.

8. Cheat on a test or other assignment or plagiarize an assignment.

The grade level of the student is taken into consideration when consequences are determined. The parents/guardians of students who violate any of the above will be notified and students will face an appropriate course of action as determined by the principal and pastor. Consultation with law enforcement officials may be necessary.

Suspension

A student may be suspended from the school or within the school if that student’s behavior endangers the health, safety, moral well-being or learning environment of the other students.

Parents will be notified before the suspension goes into effect by letter and/or telephone. A conference with the teacher, student, parent and Principal will be mandatory before the student may return to class. The student must demonstrate an understanding of the consequences of further misbehavior before being allowed to return to class. Further conditions may be imposed by the Principal. In the case of suspension, missing work or tests must be made up.

Expulsion

According to the Diocesan Handbook two general situations may lead to expulsion:

        • When the moral or physical well-being of those in the school is endangered.

        • When there is prolonged and/or open disregard for school authority. Every
                effort will be made to enlist the cooperation of the parents/guardians in order
                to avoid this extreme consequence.

Exclusion

If a student is awaiting trial on a legal matter we can require that he/she be home-schooled at the parent’s expense until the legal matter is resolved.

Parental Expectations

As parents who have chosen to send their child to St. Philip the Apostle School, a Catholic school, we expect the following parent behaviors:

 Parents/guardians display a positive attitude towards Catholic education.

·Parents/guardians show a positive attitude towards St. Philip the Apostle School.

· Parents/guardians support school activities including fundraising activities.

· Parents/guardians are an example of Catholic values including Mass attendance.

· Parents/guardians are an example of respect for the rights and property of others.

· Parents/guardians accept the regulations and policies of the school.

 

Anti-Bullying Policy

All elementary and secondary schools in the Diocese of Joliet shall actively seek to provide a supportive, caring environment in which all persons are safe from all forms of intimidation including bullying, which is unacceptable, unchristian and strictly prohibited.

For the purpose of this policy, bullying is defined in conformity with Illinois Law as follows:

 “Any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

  1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
  2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
  3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
  4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the school.” 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7(b)

Bullying Conduct

Bullying conduct covered by this policy is conduct that occurs on school property or at school sponsored activities or events; while students are being transported or walking to or from school or school sponsored activities or events; while students are waiting at school bus stops; or cyber bullying as defined hereinafter.

Cyber Bullying

This policy prohibits bullying and intimidation of students through the use of internet and social media sites on any electronic device (private, public, or school owned), whether on or off the school campus, or during non school hours.

Any student who engages in bullying will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion and referral to local law enforcement.  Behavioral interventions may be included as a component of the disciplinary actions.  This may include but is not limited to mandatory counseling.

Retaliatory behavior by a student accused of bullying will also incur consequences.  False accusations of bullying will result in disciplinary action taken against the accuser.

Any reported bullying issue will be promptly brought to the attention of the appropriate party:  the Pastor or the Principal or designee, and thereafter investigated.

Reference:  The Illinois School Code, 105 ILCS, 5/27-23.7


Safety

On Campus Supervision

School hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Students are under direct adult supervision when they are on campus.  Students may be released from school only at the request of the parent or guardian.  Any time a student is taken off campus, whether for athletic competitions, field trips, or school-sponsored activities, the permission of the parent or guardian is required.

Fire, Tornado and Lockdown Drills

According to State Law, fire drills are held periodically. Teachers will acquaint children with the correct procedure for fire drills.

Tornado drills are held in the spring. Directions for drills are posted in each classroom.

To further insure the protection of our students, lockdown drills will also be held. Be assured that St. Philip the Apostle School works closely with the Village of Addison Fire and Law Enforcement agencies to implement and evaluate crisis management plans.

Child Abuse Reporting

According to the revised Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, school principals and teachers are mandated to report suspicion of abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Family Services. According to Illinois School Code, licenses/certificates may be suspended and/or revoked if there is proof that professional school personnel had knowledge of suspected child abuse and/or neglect and did not report it.

In an effort to keep students safe, an annual age appropriate Safe Environment program will be held in each grade in the school.  Parents will be given the opportunity to opt out of this program.  

Below is a parent guide to help families prevent child sexual abuse:

Diocese of Joliet

Parent Guide: Understanding & Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

Dear Parents and Guardians,

         The Diocese of Joliet is committed to promoting an environment that will help ensure the safety of children and young people. If you have participated in a Protecting God’s Children session, you have already received much information.

         This brochure is the next step in our efforts to help keep children safe. You are the primary educators of your children, so it is important that you talk with them personally about their safety.  The material in this brochure is designed to give you background information about sexual abuse, to inform you about other ways to keep your children safe, and to provide you with tips for talking to your children.

         Staff members at the Catholic Schools Office (815-838-2181) and at the Office of Youth Formation (815-221-6147) are available to help you.  Please call them if you have any questions about the material contained in this brochure or if you need more information.

                    Sincerely,

                                                                                                          

                        Dr. David Castronovo, JD JCD

                        Chancellor

 

SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION

What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

Child sexual abuse is the use of a child for sexual purposes by an adult or an older, more powerful person, including an older child. It is a crime in all 50 states. Sexual abuse is called incest when it happens between family members.

Who Are the Offenders?

·           Most sexual abuse is committed by a person the child knows and trusts.

·           Offenders come from all walks of life and from all social and ethnic groups.

·           Offenders actively work to develop trusting relationships with children.

Who Is At Risk?

·           Sexual abuse happens to boys and girls from all social and ethnic groups from infancy to 18 years.

·           Young children are especially at risk.

Why Don’t Children Tell?

Some reasons children do not tell are:

·           They have been taught to obey adults.

·           They promised or have been bribed to keep the abuse secret.

·           They have been threatened by the offender and are afraid to tell.

·           They feel guilty because they believe that the abuse is their fault and are ashamed to tell.

·           They are confused because the offender is someone whom they know and trust.

·           They have been convinced that the abuse is normal or okay.

·           They are too young to know the touching is not appropriate, especially if someone they know and trust does it.

·           They don’t know the words to tell about the abuse.

Do Children Lie About Abuse?

Children rarely lie about sexual abuse. More often, they are afraid to tell.

PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN

Here are some things you can do:

·           Educate yourself about sexual abuse.

·           Learn and practice specific guidelines for protecting children from sexual abuse.

·           Talk to your children about touching safety.

          (See Teaching Personal Safety Skills.)

·           Teach your children personal safety rules before they reach school age.

·           Allow your children to participate in personal safety instruction.

Safety with Babysitters

·           Ask babysitters for references and check them.

·           Interview babysitters in person. Ask how they discipline children.  Ask what if questions to find out how they would cope with tricky situations.

·           Inform them about your family safety rules, including touching safety rules.

·           Set other rules for the sitter. (TV, phone use, and friends)

·           Make surprise visits to check on them.

·           Ask your children what happens when a babysitter is there and whether they like him or her. If they don’t like the babysitter, ask for reasons.

Follow these guidelines even if the babysitter is a family member.

Guidelines for Single Parents

If you are a single parent and are dating, this brings unfamiliar adults into your home.

·           Let your new friend know your family’s safety rules, especially about touching.

·           Tell him or her that your children have been taught to tell if any of these rules are broken.

·           Don’t leave your children alone with a new friend until you know him or her well.

·           Ask your children if they like the new person and why or why not.

·           Watch your children’s reactions for clues to how they feel.

TEACHING PERSONAL SAFETY SKILLS

Talking openly and honestly sets a tone that helps children feel safe and allows them to talk to you about anything. Talk with them about touching and private body parts.  Here are some tips:

·         Make touching safety a part of your family’s safety rules.

·         Take advantage of everyday teachable moments: bath time, physical play situations, when a child expresses curiosity about his body or sexuality, and before a child goes out without you.

·         Read a book or view a video on touching safety together with your child.

·         Revisit the conversation. Don’t just talk about this important matter once!

Teach Your Children These Rules

·           It is not okay for someone to touch your private body parts.

·           It is not okay for someone to touch his or her own private body parts in front of you or to ask you to touch them.

·           It is not okay for someone to ask you to take your clothes off or to take photos or videos of you with your clothes off.

·           It is not okay for someone to show you photos or videos of people without their clothes on.

Types of Touches

Teach your children the names of their private body parts. Help them understand that they are the boss of their own body. Explain that there are three kinds of touches:

·           Safe touches.  These are touches that keep children safe and are good for their bodies. Safe touches include hugging, holding hands, pats on the back, and an arm around the shoulder. Safe touches can also include touches that might hurt, such as removing a splinter.

·           Unsafe touches.  These are touches that hurt children’s bodies, feelings, or spirits, for example, hitting, pushing, pinching, and kicking. This also includes the sexual touches described in the previous section. Teach children that these kinds of touches are not okay.

·           Unwanted touches.  These are touches that might be safe but a child doesn’t want. These include the sexual touches discussed earlier. It is okay for a child to say no to an unwanted touch, even if it is from a familiar person.

For Young Children

Young children remember better how to protect themselves from sexual abuse when they learn and practice a few simple steps so they don’t have to wonder what to do, or have to stop and think. Children can be taught to follow these three steps when someone breaks the touching rules.

·           Say no or words that mean no.

·           Get away.

·           Tell a grown-up.

Expand your child’s understanding of the third step by teaching the following:

·         Never keep secrets about touching.

·         Always tell about a touching problem even if it has gone on for a long time.

·         Keep telling until someone believes you.

Teach Assertiveness Skills

Children who are assertive are better able to use the safety steps effectively and resist unsafe situations. Assertive behavior includes standing up straight, looking directly at the person and using a strong, clear voice.

Safety on the Internet

It is important for parents to educate children

about Internet risks and monitor use of the Internet.  Some rules:

·           Never give out personal information or use a credit card online without your parent’s permission.

·           Never share passwords with anyone.

·           Never arrange to meet someone in person

you have met online unless parents go along

with you.

·           Never reply to uncomfortable messages. Always tell parents about them.

For Teens or Pre-Teens

Honest, open discussions about sexual values/limits, healthy relationships, and personal safety can make a difference. Teens should:

·           Recall that human sexuality is a graced gift from God. Intimate touching and sexual intercourse are morally appropriate only within marriage.

·           Know their own wishes, limits and values, and clearly communicate them to their dates. They should listen to their date’s limits and respect them.

·           Notice if their date is not respecting their limits and wishes or if their date’s behavior doesn’t seem right.

·           Trust their feelings and intuition. If they are feeling pressured into sex, they have the right to say no.

·           Be assertive and act immediately if their limits are reached, even if it means making a scene.

·       Understand that it is never too late to say no and never too late to hear no.

More Safety Tips for Teens

·           Avoid drugs or alcohol, which reduce one’s ability to think clearly and manage one’s behavior.

·           Always pour your own beverages at a party and keep them in sight.  Date-rape drugs can be put in drinks and are often undetectable.

·           Go to parties with a buddy and look after each other. Always have a safe way home.

·           Meet a date in a public place or stay around others.

·           Tell someone about the date, where it will take place, and what time it will end.

·           Take a cell phone along if possible.

The Bottom Line

·         No means no whenever a person feels pressured about anything and it should be respected!

·         If a person says no and the other person continues to touch or to force touch it is abusive behavior.

·         If a person forces another person to have sexual intercourse, it is rape, a criminal offense.

Safe Families

Being a parent is one of life’s greatest challenges.  However, if you have a strong relationship built on a foundation of trust, and your children have skills in self-management, relationship-building, and problem-solving, they are more likely to make safe choices and set personal safety boundaries.

 

 

 

For more tips for parents, please visit http://www.cfchildren.org/parentsf/parenttipsf/

 

If someone has been abused, contact the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at 1-800-25ABUSE (1-800-252-2873)

 

Content of this document is adapted from “Keeping Children Safe from Abuse: Tips for Parents and Caregivers” © 2004 Committee for Children www.cfchildren.org With permission from Committee for children and from the Diocese of Springfield, IL

Student Health & Welfare

Snacks

Students are welcome to bring a nutritious snack each day. Each classroom teacher will schedule a snack time for their class. Food may not be eaten outside of snack or lunchtime.

School Lunch

Students are encouraged to bring a nutritious lunch which might include high-energy foods such as fruit, vegetables, cheese, and granola. Also, lunch portions that are too large are often wasted. Please do not send candy or sweet treats. No soda is allowed.  Good nutrition choices enhance learning.

Students bring their lunch and eat in their classrooms (K-3) or the gym (4-8).


Each student needs a cloth napkin at lunchtime to serve as a placemat for the desk. This provides a neat, clean space, and also helps to keep lunch crumbs together.

To keep our school earth-friendly, lunches are carried in lunchboxes or soft nylon lunch bags.

Since the office is a very busy place, it is not possible to accommodate fast food or hot lunch deliveries. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated. If a  student’s lunch is forgotten, the school office will provide a snack so the child does not go hungry. On holiday occasions, the students can look forward to special fast food lunches provided by the Parent Association.

Milk

Low fat white or chocolate milk is available for K-8 students at lunchtime. This program is subsidized by the state, so it is a reduced cost to our families. Milk money is collected at the start of each year in August.

Other Lunchtime Considerations

For safety reasons, glass containers are never used to bring food or drink to school. Can openers and knives are also prohibited.

Staff members provide supervision during lunch time. Students are expected to follow orderly lunchtime procedures.

        1. Quiet talk among neighbors. NO screaming or yelling.
        2. Respect the property of others; no one else’s lunch should be handled for any reason.
        3. Each child is responsible for his/her own area. If you spill, notify the lunch supervisor.
        4. Garbage should be disposed of in proper containers.
        5. Throwing or tossing food is never permitted.
        6. If there is a problem, the student should tell the lunch supervisor.

Health and Wellness Guidelines

Each family must complete and have on file in the school office an Emergency Form providing the telephone numbers of close relatives, friends, or neighbors to be called in the event that the parent cannot be reached. This Emergency Form must be updated each year at registration. Please advise the school office of any change in the information on the Emergency Form during the year.

Students who have recurring health problems such as asthma, seizures, diabetes, allergies or heart conditions should have this information recorded in their health file and also stated on their Emergency Form.

Notify the school office immediately when your child has a communicable condition.

If your child has vomiting, diarrhea, earache, skin rash, eye infections, or elevated temperature, the student should be kept home. Temperature must be normal, without medication, for 24 hours, and there must be no vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school. Children diagnosed with Strep Throat must be on an antibiotic for 24 hours before returning to school. If a child stays home because of illness, the student should not attend any extracurricular activities (i.e., sports, scouting, etc.) until after the next day of school attendance.

When head lice is discovered at school, information will be sent home with students in the affected classes.  All students in affected classrooms are checked for head lice until no other cases are found.  No infected student may attend school as long as nits are visible on the hair follicle.

When a student is absent, it is important that his/her missed schoolwork is made up. Assignments will be ready to pick up at the end of the school day. When a parent phones in the morning, he/she may identify a student with whom to send the work. Our policy is that students will have the same number of days to make up the work as the number of days absent. It is the student’s responsibility to make up the work.

Allergies

If a student has been diagnosed by a physician to have allergies and the necessity to self- administer and to self-carry an epinephrine auto-injector a signed parent permission notification and a signed physician authorization must be provided to the local Catholic School either at the start of a new school year, upon enrollment, or immediately following diagnosis of such requirement. Both the parental permission and physician authorization will be held on file at the school site where the student attends.

 

Accommodation requests are initiated by a parent/guardian to the local Catholic School and include a physician’s report outlining the severity of the allergy and the recommended actions by the physician that are medically necessary to avoid any reaction. Administration explains to parents/guardians what reasonable accommodations they can make. Allergy free is not a credible accommodation that schools make, however, effective practices to reduce the chance of exposure to allergens may include, but are not limited to:

 

Asthma

A school, whether public or nonpublic, must permit the self-administration of medication by a pupil with asthma or the use of an epinephrine auto-injector by a pupil, provided that:

 

If a student has been diagnosed by a physician to have asthma and is required due to this diagnosis to self-administer and to self-carry asthma medication of any type, a signed parent permission notification and a copy of the prescription must be provided to the local Catholic School either at the start of a new school year, upon enrollment, or immediately following diagnosis of such requirement.  Both the parent permission and the copy of the prescription will be held on file at the school site where the student attends. Parents/guardians please be informed that the school and its employees and agents incur no liability, except for willful and wanton conduct, as a result of any injury arising from the self-administration of medication or the use of an epinephrine auto-injector by the student.

A school or a school employee is not liable for civil or other damages as a result of conduct, other than willful or wanton misconduct, related to the care of a student with diabetes. (b) A school employee shall not be subject to any disciplinary proceeding resulting from an action taken in compliance with this Act, unless the action constitutes willful or wanton misconduct.

 

Diabetes

Students are allowed to self-manage their diabetes in the school setting if they are authorized to do so by their diabetes care plan. The diabetes care plan should specify the nature of the student’s self-management and may include: allowing students to check blood glucose levels when and wherever needed; self-administration of insulin; self-treatment of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia; and allowing the student to possess, at all times, supplies and equipment necessary for diabetes management including, but not limited to, syringes, food and drink.

If a student has been diagnosed by a physician to have diabetes and to self-administer and to self-carry diabetes medication a signed parent permission notification and a signed physician diabetes care plan that would also carry a parent signature must be provided to the local Catholic School either at the start of a new school year, upon enrollment, or immediately following diagnosis of such requirement. Both the signed parent notification and the physician diabetes care plan will be held on file at the school site where the student attends.

Diabetes Care Plan Requirements: 

105 ILCS 145 states (a) A school or a school employee is not liable for civil or other damages as a result of conduct, other than willful or wanton misconduct, related to the care of a student with diabetes. (b) A school employee shall not be subject to any disciplinary proceeding resulting from an action taken in compliance with this Act, unless the action constitutes willful or wanton misconduct.

Administration of Medical Cannabis

 The only medical cannabis that is permitted to be administered on the premises of the school or on a school bus are cannabis-infused products limited to foods, oils, ointments or other products containing usable cannabis that is not smoked.

 A school or the Diocese may prohibit the administration of medical cannabis if the school or the Diocese determines that doing so would create a disruption to the school environment or would cause exposure of the product to other students.

A school or the Diocese may prohibit the administration of medical cannabis if the school or the Diocese would lose federal funding as the result of the implementation of this Policy.


School Physicals, Immunizations,  Dental and Vision

Physical examinations as prescribed by the Department of Public Health are required of all students immediately prior to or upon entrance into pre-school, kindergarten, (or the first grade), the sixth and ninth grades. Physical examinations of students are required immediately prior to entrance into school if such student has not previously been examined according to Illinois law. 

 

All students are immunized according to Illinois School Code and the Department of Public Health regulations. Students are excluded from school (by October 15th) for noncompliance with this law.

All students entering Kindergarten are required by the State of Illinois to have a current vision examination by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist.


All students entering Kindergarten, second and sixth grade are required by the State of Illinois to have a current dental examination.

Also, Grade 5-8 students participating in sports teams must have a sports physical on file before the first scheduled practice.

Dispensation of Medication

Ordinarily, local school personnel do not administer medication to students. The school allows the selfadministration and/or self-carry of asthma/diabetes/seizure medication and epinephrine injectors upon receipt of the necessary documents. Schools notify parents and guardians in writing that the school/school personnel incur no liability for injuries occurring when administering any medication and parents sign a statement acknowledging this protection.

Parents sign the parental consent form for student self-medication. Doctor authorization is attached to this parental consent form.

Emergency/Procedures in case of Illness or Injury

When a student becomes ill at school, he/she will be sent to the school office. If a child is running a fever, the parent will be called to come take the child home.


When it appears that an injury warrants a doctor’s care, or the parent’s decision as to necessary care, the parents will be called immediately.

Each family must complete
Emergency Contacts on SchoolSpeak providing the telephone numbers of close relatives, friends, or neighbors to be called in the event that the parent cannot be reached. This information must be updated each year at registration.

Counseling Services

St. Philip the Apostle has the services of a social worker. The social worker will help support the efforts of the school to foster the social-emotional development of students. The social worker will work with the staff to identify students who would benefit from social work services. In instances where the social worker meets regularly with a student, written permission will be obtained from parents, as needed.  The social worker is in each class weekly to do preventative work with the students’ social-emotional needs.



School Organizations

School Board


The School Board is consultative and participates in the decision-making process in areas of responsibility. As a consultative body, the Board formulates and supports policy, but does not enact it. St. Philip the Apostle policy is developed in the light of principles and regulations published for the School System by the Joliet Diocesan Board of Education and the Catholic Schools office. The School Board meets monthly from September to May. All meetings are open.

Parent Association

Every parent/guardian of a St. Philip the Apostle student is a member of the St. Philip the Apostle Parent Association. The purpose of the Parent Association is to promote Catholic Education by planning social activities for families, by providing cultural activities for the children, and by planning activities that will aid in the financial support of the school. Fundraising events are planned each year. The proceeds from these events assist with the school operating budget.