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LVA Handbook (2022-2023)
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LUMEN VERUM ACADEMY


Student and Family Handbook
2022-2023
ACADEMIC YEAR  

The Lumen Verum Academy (LVA) Family Handbook is published and distributed to members of  the LVA community for the purpose of providing information on aspects of academic and campus life so that students may  gain as much as possible from their experience at LVA. Students, parents, faculty, administration, and staff should  all read and be familiar with the contents of the Handbook, so that each member of the community knows and understands  our community expectations. While policies in this Handbook will generally apply, LVA reserves the right to take  actions that it determines to be in the best interests of the school, its faculty and its students. This Handbook does not  limit the authority of LVA to alter, interpret and implement its rules, policies and procedures, before, during and  after the school year. This Handbook is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to create, nor does it create, a  contract or part of a contract in any way, including, but not limited to, between LVA and any parent, guardian, or  student affiliated with or attending the school. LVA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to add,  revise and/or delete school policies before, during, and after the school year.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Prayer for Lumen Verum Academy
  2. Contact Information
  3. Our Vocation and Mission
  4. Profile of an LVA Graduate
  5. Our Academic Program
  6. Faith Formation and Student Life
  7. General Expectations for Student Conduct
  8. Attendance Policy for Academic Classes
  9. Uniform Policy and Dress Code
  10. Technology Requirements
  11. Responsible Use of Technology
  12. Anti-Bullying Policy
  13. Health and Safety
  14. Confidentiality of Student Information
  15. Disciplinary Policy
  16. Family Life

Appendix A: Living the Mission

Appendix B: Oath of Fidelity

Appendix C: Student Honor Code

Handbook Acknowledgement Form


I. Prayer for Lumen Verum Academy

Lord our God, in your wisdom and love you shine on us the True Light of Jesus Christ.

Send your Spirit upon Lumen Verum Academy and fill our school with your wisdom and grace.

Grant that our students may devote themselves to their studies, and to their journey as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Grant that our teachers may share both knowledge and expertise, but above all their witness as missionary disciples.

Grant that our families may be strengthened as Domestic Churches through the intercession of the Holy Family and the support of our school community.

May Lumen Verum Academy always be guided by the True Light of Jesus Christ, so that our students, families, faculty and staff may carry this light out into the world for the greater glory of God.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen.

V: The light shines in the darkness.
R/. And the darkness has not overcome it.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.


Patronage


Flores, Rafael.
The Holy Family, 1857, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte

We humbly place our school under

the patronage of the Holy Family.

May their example of faith, hope, and love

inspire and guide all our endeavors.


II. Contact Information

Phone number: 617-779-3605

Website: www.lumenverumacademy.org

Email: info@lumenverumacademy.org

Mr. Thomas Carroll,

Superintendent of Catholic Schools and President of Lumen Verum Academy

thomas_carroll@lumenverumacademy.org

Mrs. Karen Celano,

Principal

karen_celano@lumenverumacademy.org 

Mr. Jacob Nolan

Assistant Principal

jacob_nolan@lumenverumacademy.org

Mrs. Bridget Maricich,

Director of Admissions

bridget_maricich@lumenverumacademy.org 

Mrs. Jennie Richer,

Academic Programs Coordinator

jennie_richer@lumenverumacademy.org 

Non-Discrimination Policy

Lumen Verum Academy admits students of any race, color, creed, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed,  religion, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions  policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.


III. Our Vocation and Mission

The History and Vision of Lumen Verum Academy

Lumen Verum Academy was founded in 2021 by Thomas Carroll, the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Boston. In response to the tumultuous and dramatic cultural changes facing Catholics in the early twenty-first century, the school was founded to be a lumen verum - a true light of Christ, a beacon of light for the eternal truths of the Catholic Church.

At Lumen Verum, our aim is to support and assist parents in the integral formation of their children. Teachers and parents work together to introduce our children to Jesus, to incorporate them more fully into the Church, and to seek excellence in their faith and academic formation.

We strive to create a school that makes it exciting to have a Catholic identity, where children and adolescents can feel that living a virtuous life is not just good in God’s eyes but also in the eyes of their peers. Christians who are exemplars of faith and virtue abound throughout history and in our contemporary world; through our curriculum, we present these heroes to our children as inspirations. It seems essential to place before our children a vision of service and love that speaks to their Catholic identity both in the virtual classroom and through their in-person events. We expect our students to be respectful of their parents, teachers, and peers, grounding their emotions in virtue and self-control.

Mission Statement

Adopted by the Lumen Verum Academy Board in May 2022

Lumen Verum Academy forms Saints and Scholars of students grades 6 through 12 so that they can cooperate with the Holy Spirit to light, salt, and leaven our world.

Students, families, and educators around the globe participate remotely and in-person in a rigorous classical academic curriculum and Socratic learning style that reveals the true, the good, and the beautiful of God’s creation.

Joyfully and fully faithful to Catholic teaching, Lumen Verum helps parents form their children in body, mind, and soul to share the True Light of Jesus Christ.



Guiding Commitments

At Lumen Verum Academy, our guiding commitments are always to be:

  1. Catholic. All that we do is faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. All who work for Lumen Verum are dedicated, practicing Catholics who profess an Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
  2. Exceptional. We strive for excellence in all we do, and we seek to expose our children to all that is most true, good, and beautiful.
  3. Joyful. An authentic education is a joyful one, because it fulfills the end for which we were made: to know, love, and serve God.

Our philosophy is built around seven principles:

  1. To preserve and enrich the faith of the children entrusted to our care. We believe that children are made to know, love, and serve God through the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness. Every aspect of student life strives to help children fulfill this call to a life of holiness and to their final end of sanctity.
  2. To promote a just and proper sense of patriotism and commitment to the common good. In keeping with the Catholic moral tradition, we believe that a proper love of and sense of duty towards one’s country and community is a virtue. We wish to inspire students to use their education to become responsible, virtuous citizens.
  3. To make learning come alive using the best pedagogical practices and technological tools available. Traditionally, the success of Catholic schools has come from their prioritization of the classical liberal arts. Our curriculum promotes this effective and faithful pedagogy. At the same time, we know that twenty-first century learners will benefit from guidance in the proper use of technology as a tool for learning. Our academic model blends the best of our tradition’s pedagogical approach with modern-day tools.
  4. To give students access to the greatest minds, both past and present, in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Our students will read the classics of the Western intellectual tradition, thus encountering the collective wisdom of humanity and tapping into the potentialities of the past to be renewed in the present. They also learn about the contributions of Catholics to all branches of human learning. Through our blended learning model, they will also have access to contemporary Catholic intellectuals who will model for them academic rigor and faithfulness.
  5. To inspire wonder and joy through immersive in-person experiences. Our faith is an incarnational one. Through experiences in nature and at significant religious, historical and cultural sites throughout our local area, students experience themselves as embodied, relational members of their Church and community.
  6. To prepare students for service to their families, to the Church, to their communities, and to the world. We believe that God has placed us and our students here, in our present moment, for a reason: to see Him at work in our world and to bring His light into that world. As heirs to the beautiful intellectual tradition that we are offering, our students have an obligation to use their knowledge and wisdom as servant-leaders and to pass on the tradition to those around them.
  7. To care for each student as a person made in the image and likeness of God. Each student is a manifestation of God, created by God for a particular purpose and with a role to play in God’s plan. We strive to help our students grow in virtue and wisdom so that they can flourish in pursuit of their unique God-given vocation.

A description of how Lumen Verum seeks to bring this mission into reality can be found in Appendix A: Living the Mission.

Mission Integrity Policy

Lumen Verum Academy seeks to provide students and families with a Catholic environment that upholds the teachings of the Magisterium in all things. By enrolling at Lumen Verum Academy, families indicate their willingness to participate in the Catholic mission of the school. Students and families are expected to comport themselves according to the social and moral norms of the Catholic environment they have freely chosen.

As an academic institution committed to the pursuit of the truth through thoughtful inquiry, we welcome students and parents to share their sincere questions about Catholic teaching, practices, and traditions in order to more deeply understand them. However, parents and students should understand that open hostility to, public defiance of, or promotion of behavior contrary to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church stand in opposition to our school’s primary mission and cannot be tolerated by the school.


IV. Profile of an LVA Graduate

Begin with the end in mind.

An LVA graduate:

loves God:

loves his neighbor:         

loves learning:

V. Our Academic Program

A recurring theme in Church documents is the need for a clear Catholic perspective in education. This perspective means more than the infusion of Christian values into an otherwise secular curriculum. Rather, what is needed is a solid education illuminated by the Catholic faith. As the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education states, “A school is a privileged place in which, through a living encounter with a cultural inheritance, integral formation occurs” (“The Catholic School,” par. 26-27, 1977). Our academic program seeks to provide students with this living encounter.

Classical Education

Lumen Verum Academy offers a liberal arts education that stresses the formation of  the “free” thinker; that is, one who is not bound by the ephemeral fashions of thinking of the time, but rather one who is oriented to the eternal truths of the faith. A study of the liberal arts aims at forming the entire person to know and to love truth,  beauty, and goodness rather than simply imparting knowledge or working for economic gain. This type of education is an active one, demanding that students fully engage their minds, hearts, and souls as they enter into the “Great Conversation” of thinkers throughout our tradition who have asked the most profound questions about God, man, and the nature of the world.

Our classical curriculum is designed to provide an outstanding foundation in the  critical academic disciplines of math, science, history, literature, logic, rhetoric, composition, and  language, crowned by regular study of and growth in the Faith. Our approach to learning  includes in-depth study of the classical works of the western world and the great works of  Christendom. Our theological studies focus on the analysis and understanding of the Scriptures  and significant Church documents (such as papal encyclicals and the Catechism). Our classes revolve around discussion, debate, presentations, and written papers.

Spiritual Life and Academic Formation

Prayer is an integral part of our academic work. Each class day begins with a prayer that offers our academic work to God and asks for divine assistance. Students are expected to cultivate their souls through their academic work by the practice of the intellectual virtues of responsibility, perseverance, integrity, honesty, fortitude, humility, awe, and love of truth. Students will learn to practice the skill of spiritual reflection and to consider how their academic growth is shaping their souls.

Academic Virtue

The word “scholar” comes from the Greek word for leisure - that is, the restful contemplation of the things that truly matter. A scholar is a person who knows how to pay thoughtful attention to all that is true, good, and beautiful.

The word “student” comes from the Latin word for zeal. A student is a person who eagerly and enthusiastically pursues wisdom and knowledge with wonder and curiosity.

As a school, our task as educators is not only to impart knowledge, but also to form our students in the dispositions (virtues) necessary to receive and pursue knowledge and wisdom. Virtues necessary for Christian academic study include:

Vices that hinder students’ ability to be formed as Catholic students include:

The Learning Environment

At Lumen Verum, we believe that meaningful learning happens best through real-time discussion of rigorous material. Our teaching is characterized by Socratic, discussion-based learning. Students are expected to prepare for these discussions by completing reading and video-lecture assignments curated by their teachers in advance, and they should come to class ready to engage in thoughtful conversation with their peers. This model of education encourages deep understanding and authentic participation, preparing students for a lifetime of learning. Furthermore, the discussion model reinforces and strengthens students’ identities as participants in a scholarly community.

Small class sizes, shared classes among grades, differentiated and individualized instruction, co-curricular participation, check-ins with faculty advisors, participation in prayer and the liturgy, and participation in our in-person events all contribute to a student’s educational life. LVA teaches and strives to foster a welcoming environment for all students. We believe that learning occurs best in a community of friends, where students can rest in the knowledge that every member of the community is genuinely seeking each others’ good.

Curriculum

  1. Integrated Humanities

The humanities, properly understood, are the study of what it means to be human. Our integrated humanities program is an interdisciplinary exploration of history, literature, art, philosophy, and theology. At the same time, our program strives to respect the integrity of each discipline.

Integration occurs in two primary ways:

(1) Chronological integration. History and literature are studied chronologically and in tandem to reveal change over time. Human thought builds upon what has come before; a chronological approach to the study of history is therefore essential in scaffolding a deep understanding of the development of human culture and knowledge. As we are a classical school, our focus is primarily on the legacy of Athens and Jerusalem, though as a matter of course other elements of world history are introduced as they connect to the overarching narrative of Western Civilization. Thus, we begin with an exploration of the ancient biblical, Near East, and Greco-Roman world. We then proceed to the medieval era and the rise of Christendom before entering the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Age of Exploration, and the modern world. Finally, we end with a study of American history.

(2) Thematic integration. Human history and literature are studied alongside one another to explore thematic questions, such as: What are the virtues of authentic heroes? What is justice, and what makes a human society just? What are the moral obligations human beings owe to each other, to themselves, and to God? What is the proper means to pursue justice? What is courage? When, if ever, is violence justified? What is beauty? Why do we seek to create beauty? What does it mean to be a flourishing human person?

History texts will include a variety of textbooks and authentic history texts, as well as primary source selections as chronologically and thematically appropriate. Literature texts will include selected literary works as curated by our faculty.

  1. English Composition

Our composition program follows the frameworks set forth by the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) and the Lost Tools of Writing (LTW). These programs teach students the classical canons of Invention, Arrangement, and Elocution. Sixth grade students begin with the IEW curriculum. Because the LTW program is systematic and sequential, students who enter LVA in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades will begin with LTW Level 1. In rare cases, an exceptionally gifted student may be permitted to proceed through the composition curriculum at a faster pace. However, in general, even strong writers can benefit from repetition and reinforcement of basic writing skills.

Grammar is taught using a variety of materials and pedagogical approaches, including direct instruction, drills, and proofreading practice. In middle school, attention is also paid to cultivating handwriting that is legible, neat, and precise, as well as beginning typing and mastering the MLA format for written assignments.

Structured courses in English composition end in ninth grade. By this point, students are From tenth through twelfth grades, composition is incorporated into the humanities classes.

  1. Science

In the classical Catholic understanding, science is the study of nature and how it reveals the order of creation as established by the Divine Creator. As we explore nature in depth, we come to know God in greater truth. We also come to recognize our role in creation and the moral obligations incumbent upon us within the order God has established. We utilize the rigorous Novare science curriculum, which we supplement with hands-on demonstrations and experimentation as well as exploratory nature excursions and field trips to sites of scientific interest in the local area.

  1. Math

In a liberal arts program, math prepares the mind for abstraction, helping to bridge the concrete, physical reality of the material world and the immaterial reality of pure ideas. Such habits of thinking prepare students for the contemplation of eternal truths. The study of mathematics enables students to see and marvel at the lucid order of the universe.

Our math program utilizes the Art of Problem Solving curriculum, an advanced math curriculum that trains students’ minds in logic and quantitative reasoning. Students who are advanced in mathematics upon entering LVA can take a placement test to discern the proper entry point for their study.

  1. Latin

Latin is studied because of its intrinsic importance to Western civilization and particularly to the Roman Catholic tradition. In addition, the study of Latin trains and focuses the mind on understanding the structure and logic that undergird language. The thrill of being able to read an ancient text in the language in which it was written is a joy that every student should experience.

Our Latin program utilizes the Memoria Press Latin curriculum as well as the Lingua Latina text. Introductory Latin is taught using the Memoria Press materials. Advanced students who have progressed beyond introductory Latin can begin Latin I with Lingua Latina, an immersive and sequential text.

  1. Theology

While theological themes are embedded into each subject studied at Lumen Verum, theology is taught as a specific course in order to provide a space for students to explicitly explore the teaching of the Catholic church. Lumen Verum utilizes the Sophia Institute Press curriculum in the middle school and the Midwest Theological Forum curriculum at the high school level.

  1. Elective Seminars

Elective courses are offered by a variety of guests, ranging from university professors to professionals working in the fields of medicine, law, journalism, and politics. These electives are designed to be rigorous, exposing students to college-style work that draws on a broad array of academic disciplines. Additionally, these courses bring our students into contact with Catholic professionals who are fully engaged in the public sphere in their lives and works, revealing to our students how the faith can infuse all aspects of one’s professional life. All students are required to take one elective seminar each year. The following is a selection of seminars offered at Lumen Verum Academy:

  1. Distinguished Guest Lecturers

Our unique model of education allows us to engage a variety of contemporary Catholic scholars from around the world to interact with our students as Distinguished Guest Lecturers. We are delighted to welcome outstanding Catholic scholars from all academic disciplines to serve in this capacity. These scholars will offer guest lectures, lecture series, book clubs, and discussion groups for our students throughout the year.


Bell Schedules

Virtual Learning Schedule (Mondays and Wednesdays)

On virtual learning days, the schedule will proceed as follows:


8:00-8:05         Prayer

8:10-9:00         Block A

9:10-10:00         Block B

10:10-11:00         Block C

11:10-12:00         Block D

12:00-12:40  Angelus and lunch

12:40-1:30         Block E

1:40-2:30        Block F

2:30-2:50         Homeroom and Evening Prayer

2:50-4:00         Office Hours/Homework

Half-Day Virtual Schedule

On days on which school meets for a half-day as indicated on the school calendar or when necessitated by emergency, the schedule will proceed as follows:

8:00-8:05        Prayer
8:10-8:40        Block A
8:50-9:20        Block B
9:30-10:00        Block C
10:10-10:40        Block D
10:50-11:20        Block E
11:30-12:00        Block F
12:00-12:10        Angelus and Dismissal

Assembly/DGL Virtual Schedule

On days on which a guest lecturer is scheduled to present to the whole school, the schedule will proceed as follows:

8:00-8:05        Prayer
8:10-9:00        Assembly/DGL
9:10-9:50        Block A
10:00-10:40        Block B
10:50-11:30        Block C
11:40-12:20        Block D
12:20-1:00        Angelus and lunch
1:00-1:40        Block E
1:50-2:30        Block F
2:30-2:45        Homeroom and evening prayer
2:45-4:00        Office Hours

MAP Testing Schedule (Virtual Wednesdays)

Three times a year, the school hosts NWEA MAP Testing as required by the Archdiocese. These tests are administered on back-to-back Wednesdays in September, January, and May. On days when MAP testing is being conducted, the schedule will proceed as follows:

8:00-8:10        Prayer
8:10-8:15        MAP test set-up
8:15-9:45        MAP Test #1/#3
9:45-10:15        Break
10:15-11:45        MAP Test #2/#4
11:45-12:25        Angelus and Lunch
12:25-1:00        Academic Block A/D
1:10-1:45        Academic Block B/E
1:55-2:30        Academic Block C/F
2:30-2:45        Homeroom and evening prayer
2:45-4:00        Office Hours

In-Person Learning Schedule (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

On in-person days, the academic schedule will proceed as follows:

8:30-9:00        Drop-off and morning activities
9:00-9:45        Mass and Marian antiphon
9:45-10:30        Whole-school Meeting
10:35-11:20        Academic Block A
11:25-12:10        Academic Block B
12:10-1:00        Angelus and Lunch
1:00-1:45        Academic Block C
1:50-2:35        Academic Block D
2:40-3:25        Academic Block E
3:30-3:40        Evening Prayer and Dismissal
3:45-4:45        After School Activities


Asynchronous Fridays

On Fridays when students are not on a field trip, they will have asynchronous time to complete school work. Students will not attend synchronous classes, but their teachers may provide work for them to complete independently, and work may be due for submission on that day. Student obligations on these days will be:

Teachers are asked to abide by Homework guidelines (see below) when assigning work on Asynchronous Fridays; that is, work for each subject should take no longer than 20-30 minutes to complete.

Please refer to the school calendar for asynchronous Friday dates. Also visit Appendix D for an FAQ about Asynchronous Fridays.

Grading Scale

Student grades are determined using a variety of metrics appropriate to the academic discipline under study, including: formative and comprehension quizzes, summative exams, essays, projects, class participation, and homework completion. The grade scale is defined as followed:

98-100 A+

94-97 A

90-93 A-

87-89 B+

83-86 B

80-82 B-

77-79 C+


73-76 C

70-72 C-

67-69 D+

63-66 D

60-62 D-

Below 60 F

In general, the following principles apply when assigning grades:

Grades represent a teacher’s professional assessment of the quality of a student’s academic work. They are a reflection of a student’s mastery of the content, skills, and intellectual dispositions necessary for each respective field of study, based on the work that the student has produced.

 Grades reflect something true about a student’s academic performance. Thus, they are not merely semantic or numeric calculations that are manipulable at will. However, they are also not a reflection of a student’s worth or dignity as a person or even as a student. They are simply a judgment on the quality of the work that has been done for the particular assignment being assessed.

In order to cultivate a proper attitude towards grades, requests for extra credit or make-up work to artificially “boost” grades will not be considered except in very rare instances.

Grade Reports

Grades are reported on a quarterly basis. Dates for quarters for the 2022-2023 school year are as follows:

Semester 1:

        Q1: September 6 - November 2

        Q2: November 3 - January 18

Semester 2:

        Q3: January 19 - March 24

        Q4: March 27 - June 7

The semester grade is the average of the two included quarters. The yearly grade is the average of the two semester grades.

Narrative Reports

When grade reports are distributed, students will also receive a narrative report (5-7 sentences) from each teacher in which teachers summarize the quality of work, habits, and behavior exhibited by the student during that quarter. These reports enable students to grow in self-awareness and enable parents to understand how they can support their child’s intellectual growth.

Academic Performance Standards

The participatory nature of the classical classroom means that each student contributes to class. As a result, it is critical that students keep up with their work. If a student is absent for more than 12 periods for any one course in a semester (even for medical reasons), the school reserves the right not to grant credit for that course.

The policies below are intended to alert families when a student’s academic performance is not meeting adequate expectations and to intervene while there is still time for correction. If, after several quarters of attention, performance does not improve, students may no longer be able to continue at LVA.

  1. Honor Roll

We believe that placement on the honor roll should reflect just that: an honor that recognizes exceptional achievement. Honor Roll is announced each semester. To qualify, students must have earned above an A- or above in all subjects on their semester grades.

  1. Low Grades and Academic Return to Excellence (RTE)

In the case of a student who is struggling to maintain satisfactory grades, the following will result in a student’s placement on an Academic RTE Program for the following quarter:

A student in Academic RTE is put on case management, where a plan is made for the student’s return to academic excellence. The plan will be made in consultation with the student, the teachers of the classes in which the student is struggling, and the Co-Principal for Academics. The plan may include mandating student participation in after-school remediation, check-ins with teachers and/or the Co-Principal for Academics, mandated tutoring, and/or limits on student participation in co-curricular activities. The plan will also outline possible consequences if the plan is not followed. Parents and the student will sign the action plan indicating agreement with the policy.

  1. Academic Expulsion

Four consecutive quarter reports meeting the Academic RTE criteria may result in expulsion.  

  1. Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade may be issued to a student who has had an illness, injury, or other personal circumstance that has caused the student to miss a significant amount of school. The student must initiate communication with his teacher(s) to make arrangements to make up the incomplete work. These arrangements are subject to the discretion of the teacher and the Co-Principal for Academics. Students may not request “incompletes” simply for failure to meet assignment deadlines.

  1. Homework

Pedagogically, students benefit from academic work that they can do between classes to assist their memory and executive functioning. Homework also allows students to make progress on their work at their own pace and supports students’ identities as independent learners. However, we also acknowledge that students are entitled to have leisure to enjoy life with their families and friends in the evening that will refresh them for the next day’s labors.

At LVA, we  have intentionally structured our school day such that almost all academic assignments can be completed during the school day (from 8am-4pm). The last hour of the day (3:00-4:00) is designated for the completion of homework assignments as needed. Students can work independently with the awareness that if they need assistance their teachers will be available to them during those times. On occasion, students may be assigned larger projects or assignments that will require them to work beyond those designated hours.

We invite and welcome parents to be actively involved in their students’ academic work, and we ask parents to assist their students in coming up with a plan for studying and completing academic work that is appropriate for their family’s rhythms. Furthermore, we are committed to transparency about what we are teaching and discussing in class. Homework assignments may at times ask students to include their parents. We encourage parents to converse with their children regarding what they are learning in school.

Parents and students should expect the following guidelines to be followed when teachers assign homework:

Scholars should use the following strategies, in the order below, to confirm that they understand what assignments are due:

Scholars should use the following strategies to complete assignments in an efficient and effective manner. Please note that not all strategies will be helpful to all students; students should be willing to try new strategies to find what works best for them!

Academic Integrity

The Co-Principal of Academics makes decisions regarding academic behavior such as:

  1. Late/Missing Work: If a student consistently does not turn in school work, and the teacher has  communicated with the parents without any result in a change of work, then the student will be placed on the Academic Return to Excellence program.
  2. Cheating: Honesty is the hallmark of a person with a well-formed conscience. Cheating may include but is not limited to:

Cheating of any kind results in a meeting with the teacher and a “zero” grade on the assignment; parents are informed. If a student cheats a second time, he, his parents, the teacher, and the Co-Principal for Academics will meet; he may receive an F for the class, and a suspension and/or Disciplinary Return to Excellence Agreement may be enforced. If a student cheats a third time, he will face an Accountability Hearing and possible expulsion.

  1. Plagiarism: Plagiarism (passing off the ideas or words of another as one's own without crediting the source) is unacceptable. Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

Students who plagiarize will suffer the same consequences as for lying and cheating.  

Learning Management System

LVA utilizes the Canvas Learning Management System. Each class will have a Canvas page, where students will access course materials, assignments, and grades. Teachers may also use Canvas to communicate announcements and other important information related to the course. As part of our commitment to transparency about what we are teaching and about student progress, parents will have full access to these pages at all times.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences will be formally held after the end of the first quarter. They may be scheduled at either the parents’ request or the teacher’s discretion at the end of the second or third quarters.

Communications with Teachers

Teachers will commit to responding to student emails between the hours of 8am-4pm on academic learning days. They also commit to posting any necessary information regarding assignments and class expectations on Canvas by 4pm each virtual learning day.

Teachers will respond to parent emails within one academic learning day. Thus, a parent email sent on Thursday afternoon may be answered the following Monday.

After 4pm on academic days and on weekends and holidays, teachers are not expected to respond to emails. Emails received during those times will be responded to on the next academic day. Please be respectful of our teachers’ lives, practice courteous email etiquette, and try to be proactive in seeking clarification for your questions during curricular hours.

Accommodations

If a student has been diagnosed with an illness or disability that requires academic accommodation, parents are responsible for sharing this information with LVA. All students requesting accommodations must submit a current neuropsychological evaluation to support their request. LVA will make every reasonable effort within the school’s means to accommodate students with learning disabilities. LVA will work with parents to determine whether LVA can offer appropriate accommodations to help such students succeed at LVA.


VI. Faith Formation and Student Life Program

Mission of the Faith Formation

The Faith Formation and Student Life team takes as its mission the Great Commission of Christ:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:19-20).

We seek to enact this commission in several important ways. We “Go” with our students out into God’s creation through a variety of educational and enjoyable field trips. We strive to “make disciples,” helping our students follow Jesus Christ and become the saints God has made them to be. In response to Our Lord’s call for “baptizing,” we ensure that our students have ample access to the sacraments, particularly Confession and the Eucharist in Holy Mass and Adoration. It is in the sacraments that students can encounter the power and love of the Risen Christ. Finally, we observe Christ’s command of “teaching” by presenting the richness and fullness of God’s truth entrusted to the Catholic Church. This teaching is always to be orthodox and in full conformity with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Purpose of Friday Field Trip Days

Integral to the formative experience of our students and the maturation of Lumen Verum Academy are the bi-weekly in-person Field Trip experiences offered and overseen by the Assistant Principal. We believe that, while books and formal learning are essential, they are not the only thing that matters in an education. We want our students to develop a sacramental imagination and a Catholic way of engaging the world - to drink deeply from all that is beautiful and excellent in the world, as well as to confront the world’s challenges and pain. We believe that adventures in the outdoors, works of mercy, and engaging our culture are ways that we can help our students deepen their faith and build community. Field trips are carefully curated and planned to ensure consistency with our Academic Program, with our “Profile of an LVA Graduate,” and with the broader mission of the school.  

Attendance on Field Trip Fridays is required; the day counts as a school day in our academic calendar.

Permission Slips/Forms

Due to the numerous opportunities for field trips and excursions at Lumen Verum Academy, families will be sent a permission form every month with the list of events planned for the upcoming month.  These forms must be handed in 1 week before the first event (field trip or excursion).  Students will not be allowed to attend in-person events in the absence of a completed permission form.

Retreats

Retreats offer an opportunity for students to take time away from distractions as they encounter Jesus Christ through prayer, reflection, contemplation, sacramental grace, Scripture, inspiring presentations and a community of believers.  All students will be required to attend both of our annual retreats which will take place during Advent and Lent.  

Disciplinary Action on In-Person Days

If a student acts in non-conformity with the expectations detailed in this handbook, the Co-Principals or their delegates have the right to require the parents/guardians of the student to come to the in-person site in order to accompany the student home.  Please see section XV (“Disciplinary Policy”) for more information on Lumen Verum Academy’s disciplinary policy.

Co-Curricular Activities & Clubs

We believe in the importance of student life outside the classroom and are committed to growing a program of co-curricular activities as the school grows.  It is in our plans to give our students the opportunity to participate in academic competitions and clubs. These programs are coordinated by our Academic Programs Director.

Lumen Verum Academy also believes that the maturation and development of our students is enhanced and further cultivated by encouraging the creativity and talents of the students. To that end, we wish to make available co-curricular activities and clubs that reflect our students’ interests. Students who have ideas for co-curricular activities and clubs should present their ideas to the Principal or Assistant Principal for approval. Student participation in extracurricular activities is dependent on adequate performance in academic subjects and on good disciplinary standing.

The following list is a sample of the Co-Curricular opportunities offered at Lumen Verum Academy:

Co-Curricular

Description

Faculty Contact

LVA 4 Life

Our Pro-Life Club sponsors activities to promote the dignity of life, as well as service projects and fundraisers to support pregnancy centers and the Sisters of Life!

Jennie Richer (jennie_richer@lumenverumacademy.org)

Engineering Club

Drama Club

Our drama club is responsible for producing our end-of-year show.

Emily Schwartz (emily_schwartz@lumenverumacademy.org)

Newspaper Club

Our newspaper club produces a quarterly newspaper!

Emily Schwartz (emily_schwartz@lumenverumacademy.org)

American Heritage Girls

Boys’ Formation Club

Schola

The Schola provides the liturgical music for our school Masses.

Jacob Nolan (jacob_nolan@lumenverumacademy.org)

Middle School Ethics Bowl

This team competes in the National Middle School Ethics Bowl.

Karen Celano (karen_celano@lumenverumacademy.org)

Running Club

The running club practices after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and participates in independent school meets throughout the fall.

Craig Dyke (running@lumenverumacademy.org)

In all activities in which students are segregated by sex, students must participate in the activity consistent with their biological sex.

Co-curricular clubs generally meet on Thursdays from 9:45am-10:30am during our Co-Curricular block. Occasionally, co-curriculars may meet during lunch or after school.


VII. General Expectations for Student Conduct

Education is not only intellectual in nature; it is also morally formative. We believe that virtue is cultivated through the formation of good habits; thus, we expect our students to practice the habits that lead to virtue. Lumen Verum Academy has in place a series of expectations that clearly indicate the behavior expected of our students and the consequences for misbehavior. Our expectations seek first of all to promote the right of each student to a safe environment in which he can fulfill his vocation to learn and grow in wisdom. It is also designed to guide students as they strive for growth in virtue and as participants of a flourishing community.

Parents who wish to discuss disciplinary issues are asked first to speak with the teacher in charge of the particular class, then with the Assistant Principal or Principal. After that, the parents may go through the grievance process.

Please note that all students are honor-bound to abide by the Student Honor Code (Appendix C), which they sign and publicly affirm at the beginning of the school year. This Honor Code serves as a distillation of our behavioral expectations for all of our students and will be referenced in disciplinary cases.

General Expectations

At Lumen Verum Academy, we believe that each person is created in God’s image to know, love, and serve Him in all that he or she does. At the heart of our code of conduct is the awareness that every human being has inherent dignity and worth. Every person is a treasure of infinite value in the eyes of God. As such, students are called to live in a way that honors and respects God’s image in themselves and others. Students are expected to demonstrate the qualities of a good friend, who genuinely seeks the good of others. Bullying of any sort is not tolerated (see the Anti-Bullying Policy below). Students are also called to an awareness of their personal responsibility, to God and to themselves, to develop their intellectual capacities to know the truth and acquire the virtue needed to put their knowledge in the service of God and others.  

At Lumen Verum Academy we expect students to abide by the following Honor Code:

Student Responsibilities

On virtual learning days, students are expected to demonstrate pride in their identity as scholars who are striving for excellence. Thus, they are expected to:

  1. Show up on time for prayers and class.
  2. Demonstrate a respectful, pious demeanor during prayer.
  3. Keep their cameras on in class.
  4. Keep microphones muted unless otherwise instructed.
  5. Use appropriate and respectful video backgrounds.
  6. Sit upright at a desk in an appropriate location that is conducive to learning and free from distractions.
  7. Listen carefully in class and ask questions appropriately.
  8. Participate appropriately in classroom discussions.
  9. Complete assignments fully, neatly, and on time.
  10. Check in with classmates and teachers regarding work missed due to absences.
  11. Do their own work.
  12. Use the internet appropriately. (See the Technology Policy below.)
  13. Take proper care of school property, being mindful that their computers are school property.
  14. Use respectful, dignified, and scholarly language, both in speech and writing, suited to an academic setting.
  15. Refrain from eating or chewing gum during class.
  16. Follow the school Uniform Policy (Section IX).  

On in-person academic days, students are expected to:

  1. Show up on time for class and prayers.
  2. Demonstrate a respectful, pious demeanor during prayer.
  3. Listen carefully to the instructions of their teachers.
  4. Ask questions when necessary.
  5. Participate fully and respectfully in class and other activities.
  6. Complete assignments fully, neatly, and on time.
  7. Check in with classmates and teachers regarding work missed due to absences.
  8. Do their own work.
  9. Take proper care of school and church property, being mindful that their computers are school property.
  10. Use respectful, dignified, and scholarly language, both in speech and writing, suited to an academic setting.
  11. Refrain from eating or chewing gum during class.
  12. Follow the school Uniform Policy (Section IX).  

On Field Trip Fridays, students are expected to:

  1. Show up on time and communicate promptly about tardiness or absence.
  2. Listen carefully to the instructions of their teachers.
  3. Participate fully and respectfully in the experience or activity.
  4. Demonstrate faithful stewardship of the environment when on nature excursions, leaving the location in better shape than when they arrived.
  5. Demonstrate the qualities of a polite guest when visiting historical or cultural sites.
  6. Demonstrate reverence and dignity when visiting religious sites or participating in liturgies and prayer.
  7. Refrain from chewing gum.
  1. Follow the school Uniform Policy (Section IX).

Students should take pride in their identity as LVA students and be aware that they represent LVA at all times, whether they are in school or not. While it is not LVA’s intention to monitor students in all of their off-campus activities, the school reserves the right to take disciplinary action in response to inappropriate behavior occurring outside of school events.


VIII. Attendance Policy

Our educational model, in keeping with the classical tradition, places a great emphasis on class discussion. In a classical school, class discussion is an essential aspect of formation and learning. Absence from these discussions cannot be “made up.” A teacher can provide students with the content, but they cannot recreate the formative conversation that the student has missed. As class participation is an essential part of a student’s grade, a student cannot afford to miss many class periods without his or her grades being affected, and multiple absences can set the student back for the entire quarter. Every class counts.

It is also important to form the student in the idea that education is his or her vocation.  Absenteeism erodes this sense of personal responsibility and accountability and encourages thinking of their school time as an imposition to be avoided.

Please note as well that student attendance at daily prayers (Morning Prayer, Angelus, and Evening Prayer) is required. Absence from prayer will be treated as an absence from class, with accordant disciplinary consequences.

Doctor and dentist appointments should be made outside of class time as much as possible. Vacations during school terms are strongly discouraged.  

If your son or daughter needs to be absent on an Academic Day for any reason, please inform the Principal by email at karen_celano@lumenverumacademy.org. Absences may NOT be self-reported by students. Parents are REQUIRED to verify student absences and/or tardiness.

Absence or Tardiness Due to Technological Difficulties

As a blended-learning school, we are aware that technology can at times be unreliable. If a student is experiencing technical difficulties that prevent him or her from accessing class, such as an internet outage or broken hardware, the student should first try to email the teacher whose class has been impacted as soon as possible.

It is not acceptable for a student to simply send an email and then expect not to be required to attend class. Students must make every reasonable effort on their own part to troubleshoot the technological issue they are facing, utilizing the resources at his or her disposal. Students also must commit to communicating clearly and promptly with the teacher about the difficulties he or she is facing so that the teacher can work towards a resolution.

Unexcused Absences

If a student is absent from class without an explanation from the parents, the absence will be marked “unexcused.” Please note that absences NOT due to illness or emergency, or absences that have not been approved in advance, may be considered unexcused at the administration’s discretion.

Excused Absences

Excused absences include illness, emergencies, and approved planned absences. Students with excused absences are entitled to make up missed work, but they are responsible for contacting their teacher to determine and schedule what they have missed. Teachers have discretion to determine policies for accepting work due to unexcused absences or tardiness.

While excused absences do not incur any disciplinary measures, due to the nature of classical education, three excused absences per quarter are the limit. Much of the students’ education comes from their participation in the classroom and absences beyond the limit of three will already negatively impact a student’s grade.

Extraordinary circumstances may be discussed with the Principal for further evaluation.  

Planned Absences

Students who know they will be absent from school for one or more class periods must  coordinate all make-up work with their teacher (as is always the expectation), but they must do so ahead of time. All school work missed during a planned absence is due on the day of the student’s return to class. A meeting with the teachers may be required if the student missed  discussions.  

Tardiness

Consistent tardiness communicates disrespect for one’s fellow classmates and one’s teacher. The following are consequences for students who are more than five minutes tardy for class without an excuse:

If the problem persists, administration will determine additional consequences.


IX. Uniform Policy and Dress Code

Lumen Verum Academy intends to form students of virtue and character. We believe that wearing a uniform and abiding by a dress code serve to foster a sense of community among students and to discourage students from judging their fellow schoolmates based on external appearance. Wearing a uniform promotes the virtues of modesty, humility, and dignity. Students are expected to demonstrate self-respect and respect for their school through neat and orderly compliance with the uniform policy. Students are also expected to wear the uniform appropriate to their biological sex while at school or while representing the school at outside functions.

Students who are in violation of the dress code on virtual school days will be removed from the virtual classroom until the infraction is resolved. The violation will also be noted by the observing teacher. After three infractions, the student will be issued a detention.

Students who are in violation of the dress code on in-person days will have a letter sent home to parents. If the infraction is not resolved after the first notice, students may be suspended from participation in in-person events.

Hair, Jewelry, and Hygiene

Uniform Policy for Virtual School Days

Enforced on all days when virtual learning is taking place.

Uniform Policy for Formal In-Person School Days

Enforced when students are in person and attending formal events (e.g., High Mass, special feast day events, or other events where formal attire would be required)

Boys

Girls

Uniform Policy for Informal In-Person Days

Enforced on in-person days when informal attire is appropriate (e.g., nature excursions, etc.)

Boys:

Girls

Uniform Shopping List

Our uniform can be purchased from Lands’ End. Purchasing the items on the list below should ensure your child has what he/she needs to fulfill uniform requirements for the school year. While all items may be purchased from Lands’ End, asterisked items must be purchased from Lands’ End. Purchasing from Lands’ End will ensure that your student’s attire meets uniform requirements. If you choose to purchase Oxford shirts, pants, or skirts/skorts from other vendors, you may wish to confirm that the clothes meet uniform standards. LVA reserves the right to determine whether or not a student’s attire conforms to the uniform policy.

Boys:

Girls

Dress Guidelines for School Functions Outside of the Normal School Day

The guidelines below are to be followed at any Lumen Verum-related event that occurs outside of the normal school day (e.g., formal events, dances, socials, sporting events, musical practices, etc). Please note that Wednesday and Saturday excursions are considered school days and the “Uniform Policy for In-Person School Days” above will apply.

The guidelines below apply to both men and women.

Shirts:  

Pants and Shorts:  

Skirts and Dresses:  

Shoes:

Swimwear:

On occasion, students may attend events at which swimming and/or other water sports may be included in the activities. On those occasions, the following guidelines for swimwear should be observed:


X. Technology Requirements

As part of our commitment to families and to ensure that all students at Lumen Verum Academy have full access to our educational programming, Lumen Verum will provide to each student the necessary hardware for successful participation in virtual learning.

Students who wish to bring their own devices may do so provided their devices meet or exceed required specifications and families agree to certain stipulations. Please read the following carefully to decide if you wish to use an LVA-provided device or to bring your own.

LVA-Provided Devices

Using an LVA-provided device will ensure that your student’s computer and equipment meets all the necessary specifications for accessing our academic programming.

 Tuition at Lumen Verum Academy includes the following:

 The laptop will come with the following software and services, managed by LVA:

Additionally, in the event that an LVA device fails, a new one will be deployed within 24 hours.

IMPORTANT: If an LVA device is lost or damaged, the student’s family will be financially responsible for acquiring a replacement. Insurance for lost devices is not provided by LVA. Families are strongly encouraged to purchase an insurance policy for the device. For more information, please reach out to Technology Coordinator William Gross at william_gross@lumenverumacademy.org.

Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD)

Families that decide to bring their own devices will be responsible for providing their student with the following equipment:

LVA will provide a license and installation instructions for the following:

 LVA will not provide a license for the following software, but strongly recommends that families maintain them on their BYOD devices:

Please see “Section IX: Responsible Use of Technology” for more suggestions on how to keep your home Internet safe for your children.

Responsibilities for Maintenance of Bring-Your-Own Devices

BYOD families are responsible for troubleshooting all hardware issues. Bring-your-own devices will not be remotely monitored or managed by LVA.

 BYOD families may contact LVA technology staff for software support, but responses may be delayed.

 BYOD families are responsible for ensuring that their students have access to a backup device in the event that the primary device fails. If a student’s BYOD device fails, students may request an LVA device subject to availability. Students would then be subject to all the requirements and expectations listed in the “LVA-Provided Devices” section above. Please contact William Gross (william_gross@lumenverumacademy.org) if you need to acquire an LVA device.

 Minimum Specifications for Bring-Your-Own Devices

Optional but Recommended Peripherals

Students who wish to bring their own laptop but would like these optional peripherals are welcome to obtain them from LVA or purchase their own. Please note that headphones are not provided by LVA.

Other Required Equipment for All Students

Students will also be expected to have access to the following equipment:

If you do not own a printer and purchasing one would pose a financial hardship for your family, please contact John Ribeiro at john_ribeiro@lumenverumacademy.org.

 Internet Requirements for All Students

 To ensure optimum connectivity, parents are responsible for ensuring that students have access to:


XI. Responsible Use of Technology

Lumen Verum Academy is a blended learning school. This means that students will be required to use technology as part of their learning experience. At Lumen Verum we recognize that technology is a powerful tool. It can be used prudently and productively, or it can be used improperly and destructively. We take very seriously our responsibility to help students learn how to use technology in an appropriate, healthy way. Ultimately, our aim is to ensure that our scholars learn to use technology with discipline, self-control, and temperance.

Proper Technology Use

Technology is a tool, not a toy. As a tool, it should be used purposefully. It should not be used for mindless entertainment. When used properly and intentionally, technology can be used to help students learn, connect with others, and showcase their work. At Lumen Verum, we strive to help students maximize the educational potential of technology while also helping students practice the skills of self-discipline and moderation as they learn how to use technology prudently. We invite parents to work with us and with their children to establish healthy limits on technology use.

General Guidelines for Technology Use

LVA students are expected to use technology - both at school and away from school, whether they are using LVA equipment or network or their own equipment or network - in a manner that conforms to the virtues of honesty, integrity, respect, and responsibility. By its very nature, student technology use cannot be monitored by adults at all times. Thus, the privilege of using technology comes with a very grave responsibility. LVA reserves the right to take disciplinary measures against any student whose use of technology compromises the security and integrity of LVA, or who uses technology in a way that endangers the well-being of others.

Responsible technology use includes:

Responsible Use of School-Issued Computer, Email Account, and Other Online Communications Applications

A student’s school-issued email and computer is to be used for school-related, educational purposes only.

The school email and computer may NOT be used:

Students may NOT use their school-issued email or their school-issued computer to transmit or store any of the following:

Students are responsible for their individual accounts and should take all reasonable measures to protect the security of their accounts. They should not share their passwords with others. If their accounts are compromised or if students become aware of any other security issue (such as, for instance, a virus on their school computer), students must report the issue immediately to a teacher or school administrator.

Under no circumstance should a student use a personal electronic device OR a school-issued device to photograph or record audio or video of other students, faculty, and/or staff without their consent.

Classroom Technology Use

Students must abide by their teachers’ policies regarding technology use in the virtual classroom. Students must follow their teacher’s instructions regarding what websites, apps, or other technology tools they are permitted to use. Examples of prohibited behaviors include:

Teachers reserve the right to initiate disciplinary action against students who are found to have disobeyed his or her instruction regarding technology use.

Personal Electronic Devices on In-Person Academic Days and Field Trip Fridays

In-Person Academic Days and Field Trip Fridays are “tech-free” days. We recognize the danger inherent in the use of personal electronic devices such as cell phones, tablet computers, earphones/headphones, personal music players, and laptops. These devices can isolate individuals from the people around them. On in-person days, the use of these devices will not be allowed without explicit permission. If students bring cell phones to in-person events, they may be collected at teachers’ discretion. Unauthorized use of cell phones or other personal electronic devices will result in the confiscation of the device by school personnel. The device will not be returned directly to the offending student. Parents will be notified that they must collect the device in person at pick-up/dismissal.

Students may not lend another student a cell phone or any other electronic device while at school events. If such a lending is done, the lender is the one who will be held responsible for any communications from that electronic device. This means the lender may also be held accountable for any disciplinary and/or legal consequences of such communications.

Social Media

All students should be aware that the things they say on social media reflect upon their charity and virtue. No one should assume that remarks made via social media will remain private. Students should consider any comments on social media to be public and permanent, that  is to say, lasting for life. Uncharitable, scandalous, or libelous remarks which harm LVA or any member of the LVA community may be subject to school discipline or even legal action.

Safe Technology Use: Guidance for Parents

LVA-provided computers come with Cisco Web Filtering, which will prevent students from accessing unauthorized websites. Student email accounts are also configured to prevent students from signing up for accounts on unauthorized sites or apps.

However, while the faculty and staff of Lumen Verum Academy strive to help students use technology virtuously and responsibly, we rely on parents to reinforce these expectations at home and to monitor their children’s technology use in accordance with their family’s values. We recommend that parents take the following steps in keeping their children safe online and helping them learn how to use technology with prudence:

  1. Pray for the protection of your children’s technology (see Appendix E).
  2. Educate yourself about the effects of technology on adolescents.
  1. The Ethics and Public Policy Center, “Raising a Family in the Digital Age: A Technology Guide for Parents
  2. “How Parents and Educators Can Protect Children’s Online Privacy”
  3. Axis Parent’s Guide to Social Media
  1. Help your child practice self-control, discipline, and good character in other aspects of their life, such as:
  1. Keeping their room and personal belongings in order
  2. Managing their own schedule
  3. Developing disciplined work habits
  4. Developing courteous, confident face-to-face interpersonal skills
  1. Talk to your children about technology use, and develop appropriate boundaries and guidelines with them.
  1. The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed this tool to guide parents in creating a “technology contract” for their families.
  2. Create “tech free” spaces and times in your home and family schedule
  1. Consider possible tools to monitor, filter, or block harmful websites.
  1. LVA recommends Covenant Eyes, which provides families with tools for mutual accountability.
  2. Other useful tools might include Bark or Qustodio
  3. If you have questions about how to install these tools on your child’s LVA device, please contact William Gross at william_gross@lumenverumacademy.org. The school may be able to provide financial support for these tools.
  1. Consider parental controls through your Internet Service Provider. Possible controls may include:
  1. Blocking websites
  2. Monitoring Web use
  3. Setting time limits
  1. Consider parental controls on internet search engines.
  2. Consider parental controls on popular apps your child may be using (e.g., Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, etc.).

XII. Anti-Bullying Policy

In accordance with our firm conviction that human beings are created in God’s image and must be treated with dignity and respect, Lumen Verum Academy does not tolerate physical or verbal behavior that constitutes bullying or harassment, whether such behavior occurs in person or online (cyberbullying).

Bullying is defined as repeated actions that intentionally target a victim and cause a significant negative impact on the victim and/or on the school community. This impact may include:

Cyberbullying is defined as bullying actions that take place through the use of electronic means, including but not limited to text messaging, social media, email, and other forms of virtual communication.

Please note that if bullying behavior meets the standard for the legal definition of harassment, it may be necessary for the school to alert civil authorities. LVA reserves the right to define bullying in stricter terms than the law and to discipline students accordingly.

Reporting Bullying Behavior

If a faculty member witnesses an incident that might indicate that bullying is taking place, he or she is required to report it to an administrator. If a student is the target of or a witness to such behavior, he or she is strongly encouraged to report the matter promptly to a teacher or administrator. Parents who witness such behavior or who suspect that their child is a target of bullying should also report to the school.

Faculty and staff may not make reports anonymously. LVA strongly encourages students and parents not to make anonymous reports. Although in some cases an anonymous report may be better than none, it is far more difficult to determine the facts of what occurred when reports are made anonymously. Disciplinary action will generally not be taken against an individual accused of bullying or harassment solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

False Reports and Retaliation

Lumen Verum Academy expects all of its students to act with integrity and with respect for others. A false accusation of bullying against another student constitutes slander and can cause significant harm to the falsely accused.  LVA will not take disciplinary action against any student who makes a good faith report of inappropriate interpersonal conduct, but any person who is discovered to have knowingly made a false accusation may be subject to disciplinary action.

LVA will not tolerate retaliation against individuals who have made a good-faith report of potential bullying behavior. Such retaliation will result in disciplinary action and/or expulsion.

Investigation

When a report of bullying is made, the administration’s first step will be to assess the safety of the individuals involved and to prevent disruption to the learning environment while an investigation is being undertaken. Strategies such as increased supervision and “stay-apart” plans may be appropriate. During this time, teachers and staff will exercise vigilance in monitoring and reporting student interactions.

The school will then launch an investigation. The goals of the investigation will be:

The investigation may include:

Upon completion of the investigation, the administration will make the following determination:

Parent Notification

Parents of the alleged target and the alleged aggressor will be notified promptly when a report involving their son or daughter has been made. In addition, they will be notified of the results of the investigation and the disciplinary actions (if any) that will be undertaken. Please note that confidentiality protections that guard the privacy of student records may limit the amount of information LVA is able to share. The school will make every reasonable effort to provide transparency about the process and outcome of an anti-bullying investigation.

Anti-Bullying Education

LVA offers education programs for faculty, parents, and students that are focused on proactively cultivating a school climate in which bullying is not tolerated. Such education may address the following topics:


XIII. Health and Safety Policies and Procedures

School Nurse

LVA employs a part-time school nurse who oversees the health and safety of our students. The nurse’s responsibilities include:

Communications

All questions about our school health policies should be directed to our school nurse, Mrs. Rita Shann, MS, RN, at rita_shann@lumenverumacademy.org.

Required Documentation

Parents are required to submit a recent physical exam (completed in the last 12 months) to the school nurse each year. All students are required to submit documentation of the state required immunizations.  

If your child has a medical or religious exemption for immunization, we will accept that in place of immunization records.

Student Illness on In-Person Days

Students should check in with the School Nurse if they are not feeling well or are injured.  They will be evaluated and treated.  All measures will be made to help them rejoin the group; however, if symptoms warrant, a phone call will be made to parents/or emergency contact to pick the student up and bring them home.  Please make sure to update best primary contact information and emergency contacts.

Student Illness Protocol

A student must remain home if he/she has any of the following:

  1. Strep throat, until at least 24 hours on antibiotics
  2. Influenza, until cleared to return to school by a doctor
  3. Vomiting and/or diarrhea in the last 24 hours
  4. Fever in the last 24 hours
  5. Rash (unless determined to be non-contagious)
  6. Pink eye (until 24 of antibiotic treatment)
  7. COVID. Student may return 5 days after onset of symptoms as long as symptoms are waning, and:
  1. The student must be fever free for 24 hours (without taking fever reducing medication).
  2. Mask will need to be worn for 5 additional days per CDC guidelines.

Medical Conditions and Allergies

Parents should notify the nurse of any medical condition that requires special attention, specialized health care, or potential emergency intervention during in-person classes.

These conditions include, but are not limited to asthma, diabetes, life-threatening allergies, a seizure disorder, and mental health concerns. The student and his/her family are responsible for monitoring the medical condition or allergy.  It is the student’s responsibility to avoid food or substances to which he/she may be allergic. The nurse will take reasonable action to inform teachers about student allergy or special conditions and educate the staff as to the appropriate actions to be taken in the event of an emergency. **If your child has severe food allergies, you must plan to bring your own lunch and snacks for in-person days.  It cannot be guaranteed that food provided by vendors will not contain traces of allergens. Due to the nature of our school, we do not have our own food services.

Emergency Medications on In-Person Days

In middle school, our goal is to initiate student independence. Therefore, students who are prescribed an emergency medication such as an Epi-Pen or asthma inhaler, are required to carry it on himself/herself.  This includes during transportation and in-person field trips.  Students are expected to know how to self-administer in the case of an emergency.  It is recommended that parents provide a backup to be held by the nurse.  Students must have any supporting documentation (Physician’s Order, Asthma Action Plan, Allergy Management Plan, etc) on file with the nurse.  These orders need to be renewed annually.  

The nurse is available to assist with educating and supporting students in understanding their medical conditions, in the proper use of his/her emergency medication, and in learning to advocate for himself/herself.

Administration of Medications

LVA will comply with MA Dept of Health regulations 105 CMR 210.000 and state guidelines regarding the administration of medications in school.  These regulations are as follows:

  1. Students may not carry any prescription or over the counter medications on themselves.  The only exception to this rule pertains to emergency medications such as Epi-Pens, Inhalers, etc.
  2. Whenever possible, medications should be scheduled at times other than school hours
  3. Over the counter medication will be given to students provided that parents have signed a consent form.  If medication is dispensed to the student, the parent will be contacted. The nurse may contact parents to discuss symptoms prior to dispensing medications.
  4. Prescription medication must be accompanied by a medication permission form signed by both the parent and physician.  For short term medications such as antibiotics, the prescription label and bottle serves as a doctor’s order.  The medication permission form or a written permission statement by the parent is still required.  The nurse will contact a physician directly if there is a question about the order.  
  5. Medication must be supplied by the parent in the original pharmacy container.  Please ask your pharmacist to provide a second container and send only the amount of medication needed to school.  Medication is kept secure by the nurse during field trips.
  6. Asthma and allergy action plans will be shared with teachers and teachers will be trained to administer or assist the student with emergency medication.

Concussion Management

Any student exhibiting signs of concussion during school will be required to seek medical attention immediately.  The nurse should be notified about any diagnosed concussions.  Students will need a doctor’s note to participate in school-- INCLUDING VIRTUAL CLASSES. We would like to work together to make sure the student gets the rest and recovery they require for this type of injury.  

Severe Injury or Surgery

All severe injuries, surgeries, or extended illness should be reported to the nurse.  Students will need a doctor’s note clearing them for in-person participation following any of these events.  The nurse will communicate with teachers/faculty to implement accommodations recommended by the doctor.  

Medical Emergencies

In the case of potential severe illness or injury (including the administration of epinephrine in response to allergic reaction), EMS will be called for transport to a medical facility.  The parent or guardian will be contacted after EMS has been notified.  A staff member will accompany any student being transported via ambulance.  

Confidentiality

The school nurse is responsible for maintaining confidentiality with respect to a student’s health.  In-person faculty may be informed of a student’s health condition on a “need to know basis” only for protecting the student’s safety or well-being.

Alcohol, Drugs, and Weapons

Alcohol and drugs are prohibited at any virtual or in-person LVA event. A student may not buy, sell, use, or possess alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, or illicit drugs of any kind. Students may only use prescription or over-the-counter medications in accordance with a physician’s recommendation. Violation of the spirit or letter of this policy will trigger an immediate suspension and Accountability Hearing.

The use of weapons and/or firearms (including fireworks) are prohibited at any virtual or in-person LVA event. Violation of the spirit or letter of this policy will trigger an immediate suspension and Accountability Hearing.

Child Abuse and Mandated Reporting

In accordance with state law, all LVA employees are required to report any suspected abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18. If an LVA employee has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being neglected or abused, the employee is required to file a report with DCF.

Safe Environment Training

All teachers and staff employed at LVA, as well as all volunteers who interact with students in any capacity, are required to meet the Safe Environment standards set by the state of Massachusetts and the Archdiocese of Boston. The checks and clearances include: State Police, Child Abuse, Archdiocesan Safe Environment Training, Online Mandated Reporter Training, FBI fingerprints, and CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) and SORI (Sexual Offender Registry Information) background checks. Completed background checks must be returned to LVA at least two weeks prior to employment or volunteering.

Safe Environment classes are offered through www.virtus.org.


XIV. Confidentiality of Student Information

Members of the LVA community commit themselves to appropriate professional tact with regard to confidential information. While, as a private institution, LVA is not legally bound by the regulations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we believe it is both ethically and institutionally prudent to uphold the standards set forth by FERPA as much as possible.

Paper copies of student educational, disciplinary, and medical files are stored in a locked cabinet in the Lumen Verum offices. Electronic files are safely stored in FACTS, our protected Student Information System. If student information needs to be shared with members outside the school community, parental consent will be requested. Please note, however, that confidential information may be shared with appropriate individuals when there is a compelling reason to do so. Such individuals may include but are not limited to: medical care providers, law enforcement, and other educational institutions that require access to these files for admissions purposes.

Student Media Information

LVA makes a concerted effort to highlight the accomplishments of our faculty and students, as well as to publicize the strength of our programming, in a variety of media formats. Student Media Information, including student names, photographic images, audio and video recordings, and reproductions of student work, may be used for educational and/or promotional purposes. Outlets for publication of this information may include, but are not limited to, marketing materials, social media outlets, newspapers, newsletters, and the LVA website. Parents are asked to contact LVA if they would like to opt out of the use of Student Media Information.


XV. Disciplinary Policy

The Disciplinary Policy of LVA is designed to protect the right of all students to a safe school environment that nurtures their academic and personal growth. It is also designed to help students grow in the habits of virtue and responsible, honest, and dutiful citizenship. As persons created in God’s image and created for communion with others, the Disciplinary Policy of LVA strives to educate and form students in how to live in a manner that respects the dignity of themselves, others, and the community of which they are a part.

Students will be disciplined for committing any of the following prohibited behaviors or for any other behavior judged to be unacceptable. The Administrative Team of Lumen Verum Academy will evaluate the circumstances of each offense. Disciplinary actions escalate for repeated offensives. The Co-Principals reserve the right, on an individual basis, to deviate from the disciplinary action set forth below when, in their judgment, it is necessary for the student and for the common good.

Behavioral Infractions

The following offenses will be dealt with by the teacher or staff member who observes them in accordance with the other policies found within this handbook. For recurrent offenses, the student will meet with the Principal. Common consequences include writing assignments, detention, parent phone calls, or other logical consequences.

Students will receive detention for the following offenses:

Students will be placed on the Disciplinary Return to Excellence Program or otherwise face immediate expulsion for the following offenses:

Disciplinary Actions

Any student who poses discipline problems may be referred to the Principal. The Principal may choose to consult with the Board on complex cases. Parents are expected to be partners with the school and  supportive of school discipline. If, in the assessment of the administration or the Board, a student is not profiting from an LVA education, or if the administration or the Board find that the family is not cooperating with LVA policies, then the student or family may be required to leave LVA and find alternative educational arrangements.

The following disciplinary actions may be taken at the discretion of the faculty and staff of LVA. In most cases, an escalation of disciplinary actions will ensue.

Grievance Process

LVA is committed to fair process in its disciplinary proceedings. If a family has a grievance related to disciplinary action taken against his or her child, the parents should first meet with the teacher. If the teacher is unable to resolve the issue, or if the issue is properly a matter for the administration, the teacher should advise the family to meet with the appropriate administrator. If the issue is still unresolved after the family meeting with the administrator, then the family should write a concise letter to the administrator and the Board giving notice of the grievance and the attempts made so far to resolve it. This must be done within 30 days of the circumstances from which the  grievance arose. The Board will assign a conciliator who will attempt to resolve the grievance  informally by meeting with both parties together. The conciliator will conclude these efforts and propose a resolution for implementation under the administrator’s authority. If the administrator chooses not to carry out the proposed resolution, the conciliator will file a written report with the  Board, which will decide the matter.

Disclosure of Disciplinary Actions to Next Schools

LVA is committed to upholding the same values of integrity and honesty it expects of its students. It is also committed to respecting and honoring the rightful confidentiality and good reputation of its students. If a school to which an LVA student is applying requires information about disciplinary action taken against that student, LVA will honestly and fully disclose such information. LVA will work with the student and the student’s family to ensure that communications about such information are made in a transparent and consistent manner.






XVI. Family Life

The Role of Parents in Our School

Parents, the primary educators of their children, establish a partnership with Lumen Verum Academy when they choose our institution. This choice implies that parents trust and support the school in her mission, goals, curriculum, and forms of teaching and discipline. When issues or disagreements arise, parents are expected to seek resolution of them in orderly, charitable ways, collaborating with the school’s administration and faculty. Parents contribute to their child’s formation at school when they assume that the faculty and administration will act in good faith and when they initiate communication about their own particular needs and concerns — and rightly hold the school accountable for a timely, appropriate response.

Only when parents and the school truly work as a team can the formation of young men and women be successful. Parents typically contribute to this formation at home, where they can make their homes to be environments supportive of the habits of faith, sound moral character, and intellectual culture. Parents who send their children to a Catholic school are not absolved from their responsibility to teach their children the Faith: Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.

Likewise, it is expected that parents oversee the academic progress of their children by offering assistance to them in school studies, organization, and general habits of personal and academic responsibility. Of great importance, too, is parental attendance at school activities.

Communications with Parents

Lumen Verum is committed to supporting parents in their role as primary educators of their children.

Parents Guild

Lumen Verum celebrates parents’ roles as primary educators of their children. We are honored that you have chosen our school to serve and partner with you as you live out this tremendous vocation, and we humbly ask parents to support us and each other as we strive to educate your children as disciples of Jesus Christ.

At any time, parents are invited to submit proposals for family activities to the school. Such activities may include social events, trips, educational opportunities, retreats, etc. The school may be able to provide financial and institutional support for such activities.

We also invite families to share their gifts of time and talent with the school. If you have an idea that you believe might benefit our school community, we invite you to share it with us at any time.

As our school grows, our hope is to develop a robust Parents Guild committed to growing in fellowship and to supporting the mission of LVA.

General Recommendations for LVA Families

Conferencing with Children about Academics

At least once a week, consider spending fifteen minutes conferencing with your children about their school work. Try the following exercise:

Appendix A: Living the Mission

In order to make our philosophy a lived reality, the LVA community engages in the following practices:

Principle 1: To preserve and enrich the faith of the children entrusted to our care.

How we live this out:

Principle 2: To promote a just and proper sense of patriotism and commitment to the common good.

How we live this out:

Principle 3: To make learning come alive using the best pedagogical practices and technological tools available.

How we live this out:

Principle 4: To give students access to the greatest minds, both past and present, in the Catholic intellectual tradition.

How we live this out:

Principle 5: To inspire wonder and joy through immersive in-person experiences.

How we live this out:

Principle 6: To prepare students for service to their families, to the Church, to their communities, and to the world.

How we live this out:

Principle 7: To care for each student as a person made in the image and likeness of God.

How we live this out:

Appendix B: Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium

All staff members of Lumen Verum Academy are required to profess the following Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church:

I, (Name), in assuming a position at Lumen Verum Academy, promise that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.

With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the duties incumbent on me toward the Church, both universal and particular, in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to exercise my service.

In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it.

I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.

With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith, declare, or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish. I shall also faithfully assist the diocesan Bishops, so that the apostolic activity, exercised in the name and by mandate of the Church, may be carried out in communion with the Church.

So help me God, and God’s Holy Gospels on which I place my hand.

 Profession of Faith

I, (State your name), with firm faith believe and profess each and everything that is contained in the Symbol of faith, namely:

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition,which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.

I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.

Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.


Appendix C: Student Honor Code

Students at Lumen Verum Academy are bound on their honor to abide by the following Honor Code, which they publicly sign and affirm on the first week of school:

As a scholar at Lumen Verum Academy, I pledge on my honor that I will:


Appendix D: Asynchronous Fridays FAQ

A new feature of our school calendar for the 2022-2023 School Year is the introduction of Asynchronous/Faculty Formation Fridays. On Fridays throughout the year during which Lumen Verum scholars are not attending a field trip, scholars will be expected to work asynchronously on assignments for their classes. The document below details how those days will be structured.

What are Asynchronous/Faculty Formation (AFF) Fridays?

On our school calendar, you will see that some Fridays are labeled as FACULTY FORMATION or ASYNCHRONOUS days. On these days - called AFF Fridays for short - scholars will be expected to work independently and asynchronously on assignments for their classes.

What is the purpose of AFF Fridays?

The purpose of Asynchronous Fridays is to give scholars an opportunity to:

What is the difference between a Faculty Formation Friday and an Asynchronous Friday?

On Faculty Formation Fridays (generally the first Fridays of each month, except where otherwise noted on the School Calendar), faculty will not generally be available to meet with students.

On Asynchronous Fridays, teachers will be available to meet with students. On those days, teachers may:

How much should I expect to work on an AFF Friday?

Students are expected to treat an AFF Friday like a regular school day. They are expected to sign in on Canvas for attendance at 8am and to be available and in “school mode” from 8:00am-2:30pm.

Can teachers assign work that is due on Friday?

Teachers may, at their discretion, assign work on AFF Fridays that may be due on that Friday at 4pm. If teachers choose to assign work that is due on an AFF Friday, that work will be posted by 4pm on Thursday afternoon.

How much work can teachers assign on an AFF Friday?

When assigning work on AFF Fridays, teachers are expected to abide by the same principles that govern assigning work on other days. Each assignment should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete if students are giving the work their full attention. Given that Lumen Verum Academy scholars each carry a course load of eight classes at a time (including electives), in the (very rare) case that each class were to assign work on an AFF Friday, this would amount to approximately four hours of academic work, leaving time in the day for meeting with teachers and getting a head start on other assignments.

What if I have no work due for a class on an AFF Friday?

In the event that a scholar has no assignments due on a particular AFF Friday, he or she should check Canvas and begin work on any upcoming assignments for the following week.

What am I expected to do on AFF Fridays?

On AFF Fridays, scholars will:

I think I need help from a teacher, but he or she did not ask me to meet with them. Can I request a meeting with them on an AFF Friday?

Yes! Scholars may absolutely reach out to teachers to schedule meetings on Asynchronous Fridays if they feel they would benefit from additional assistance on their work. Although teachers are attentive in identifying scholars who may benefit from extra help, scholars are encouraged not to wait for teachers to approach them but to be proactive in reaching out for assistance.

Help! I don’t think I can manage my schedule on AFF Fridays on my own. What should I do?

During Quarter 1, Faculty Mentors will be available from 8am-9am on Asynchronous Fridays in order to assist their mentees in coming up with a plan for how they will approach their work for the day. Mentees will be expected to share their schedule for the day with their Mentors. As scholars gain confidence with regard to their time management and organizational skills, Mentors will gradually allow scholars greater independence in determining how to structure their time on AFF Fridays. Scholars are encouraged to reach out to their mentors if they are ever struggling with how to manage their time on AFF Fridays. Mentors can help you come up with a plan and hold you accountable for it!


Appendix E: Prayers

  1. Umbrellino Prayer Over Technology

Lord Jesus Christ, Sovereign King enthroned in Heaven, in your love and mercy establish a perimeter of protection with Your Precious Blood around our communication devices and all technology used at Lumen Verum Academy: the cameras, microphones, speakers, displays, any and all software, WiFi connections, routers, optic cables, and light waves being used to transfer data.  Cleanse them with your precious blood and drive from them any satanic influence. Establish around them a sanctuary of your mercy where Satan and any other evil spirit or human agency cannot interfere.

Father, I ask that you would block, bind, rebuke and render impotent any assault of the evil one on them in any way. Father, so long as these instruments are utilized at Lumen Verum Academy, we ask you to allow them to enjoy the protection of the Blessed Mother, St. Michael the Archangel, and all the Holy Angels. We ask this in Your Most Holy Name, the Name before which every knee shall bow, in heaven, on the earth and under the earth, that Jesus Christ is Lord. Amen.


Handbook Acknowledgment Form

By signing below, I acknowledge that I and my child(ren) have received and carefully read the Lumen Verum Academy Student Handbook. I confirm that I and my child(ren) are familiar with all the contents of this Handbook and agree to abide by the policies set forth therein.

I understand that there may be consequences for my or my child(ren)’s failure to comply with the policies and expectations set forth in this Handbook.

_______________________                        ________________________

Mother’s name (printed)                                Father’s name (printed)

________________________                ________________________

Mother’s signature                                        Father’s signature

________________________                ________________________

Date                                                        Date


_______________________                        ________________________

Student 1 name (printed)                                Student 2 name (printed)

________________________                _______________________ Student 1 signature                                        Student 2 signature

________________________                ________________________

Date                                                        Date