Handbook

St. Joseph School Student / Parent Handbook

2009-2010 

Absences

If a child is absent, the school office should be called by 8:30 A.M. at 864-5623.  If no call is received, the school will call your home to confirm that your child is in your care.  This policy is for the protection of the St. Joseph School students.

Admission

St. Joseph School admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the school.  St. Joseph School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, or athletic and other school-administered programs. 

Pre-school students must be four, kindergarten students five, and first grade students six by September 1 of the school year in which they are enrolling. Immunization records and birth certificate must be complete before the child is admitted.  The procedure for transfer students is as follows: parent meets with principal and tours the school, student visits for a half or full day for assessment, principal and teacher meet to discuss student, principal notifies parents of decision. All new students will be given a trial period in which to prove himself/herself both socially and academically.  If during this trial period any problems arise, a student may be asked to withdraw his/her attendance at St. Joseph School. 

After-school Program

The after-school program is available on a daily basis from 2:30 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. at $9/day for students in K – 8.  Students are provided with a snack during this time and a homework study time.  It is the student’s responsibility to have all materials needed to accomplish homework tasks.  If you know routinely that you cannot pick up your child by 2:45 PM, a prior arrangement must be made with the ASP Director.  Due to concerns regarding school liability, any student who is not picked up by 2:45 PM will be sent to the After School Program and charged a $15 ‘drop in’ fee.  A ‘drop in’ student is one who is not on the ASP schedule. 

Alcohol and Drugs

The possession, sale, or use of alcohol, tobacco products, or any other controlled substance is strictly forbidden on school grounds or at any school-sponsored event.  Violation of this rule will cause immediate suspension. Second offense may cause expulsion. All violations will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

 Arrival

It is important that children be ON TIME for the start of the school day.  Students arriving after 8:05 A.M. should go to the office for a tardy slip.  Students are to arrive no earlier than 7:30 AM to begin their school day.  Teacher coverage in the cafeteria only begins at this time.  All students are expected to report to the cafeteria prior to school and sit in their assigned area.  Students are encouraged to have something to read or study during this time.  No students should be in the hallways or stairways prior to 8:00 A.M.     

Behavior

All students are expected to act in a respectful, caring, and Christian manner.  Difficulties with behavior or other matters, such as touching others, running in the building, and disrespectful language, etc. are not acceptable and may result in time in from recess, time after school, suspension, or expulsion.  St. Joseph School reserves the right to enforce these policies at their own discretion.  Students who are physically fighting will be suspended for the remainder of that day.  Students will be readmitted only after a conference with parent and school administrators.  Further offenses will be with stronger consequences as determined by principal and teachers involved.  Expulsion could result.  Students who leave St. Joseph School for disciplinary reasons are not granted tuition refunds.

Books

The loan of books to students is included in registration and tuition.  If a book is damaged, the student will be asked to pay for damages or the replacement cost of the book.  Some of our text books cost as much as $50 per book.  We ask that you help preserve our books by keeping them covered all year.  

 Bullying

“Bullying” means any overt act or combination of acts directed against a student by another student or group of students and which:  1) is repeated over time; 2) is intended to ridicule, humiliate, or intimidate the student; 3) occurs during the school day on school property or at a school-sponsored activity, or before or after the school day at a school sponsored activity.  Bullying is a form of dangerous and disrespectful behavior that will not be permitted or tolerated.  Students are to report anonymously to teachers and school administrators any acts of bullying.  Parents or guardians of students are to file a written report of suspected bullying.  A conference with parent and school administrators will be required to work on a plan of action.  If the behavior does not change, suspension or expulsion could result.  Students who leave St. Joseph School for disciplinary reasons are not granted tuition refunds.  

 Bus

The CCTA bus does make stops in the area of the school.  Contact the bus company to find out the schedule.  We will assist in making sure that students get to the bus stop safely.

 Cell phone / Telephone

The office telephone is a business phone and is not to be used by students except in an emergency.  Parents or guardians should make all arrangements about dismissal and/or after school plans before the child comes to school each day.  We will not call students out of class to receive telephone calls except for emergencies. No cell phone calls will be allowed during school hours.  All cell phones must be turned off and in the students’ backpacks.  Cell phones will be confiscated if used during school hours/activities or heard ringing.  

Change of Address or Telephone

Please notify the office immediately of any address and/or telephone change during the school year.

C.Y.O. Basketball

The Parish sponsors basketball teams for boys and girls in grades 5 through 8.  These teams are directed and supervised through the parish.  St. Joseph School students are eligible to participate in this program but the opportunity is not guaranteed as part of the school program.  A student must maintain an overall C average or better to maintain their status in the program.  A two week probationary period may be granted to a student who needs to show improvement before s/he is allowed back into the program.  

Communication

Parents wishing to speak with a teacher may make an appointment directly with the teacher by note or by calling the school office.  Before contacting the principal, parents are asked to speak to the teacher regarding student issues.  Do not call teachers at home or allow students to call teachers at home. 

Please note: If there are any court documents regarding your child, they must be presented when the order goes into effect.  It is each parent’s responsibility to see that we have a copy of these documents. 

Computer Use

Use of the computers in the computer lab at St. Joseph School is an educational opportunity and privilege.  Any misuse of the computers will result in the loss of privilege to use the lab.  Our computers are internet accessible therefore students need to follow teacher directions for proper use.  A Computer User Agreement signed by student and parent will be kept on file all school year. 

Crisis Plan

In the event of an emergency and need for evacuation or lockdown, St. Joseph School does have a plan in place.  Evacuation to the chapel or Lawrence Barnes School is the destination point if needed.  Exit of the building follows the fire drill procedure in place.  Fire drills are planned monthly. 

Dress Code

Uniform components (jumper, pants, skorts, polo shirts, fleece vest & jacket) may be purchased through Lands End at

1-800-469-2222 or landsend.com/school.  Our school ID is # 9000-8137-3.  Uniforms are mandatory for grades K-8 at St. Joseph School.  In addition to a dress uniform, students are required to wear a uniform for Physical Education.  Fleece vests and jackets with the school logo can be ordered through Lands End and worn as part of the uniform.  On any ‘out of uniform’ days, guidelines are discussed with students.  When a class is responsible for celebrating the mass (doing readings, music, etc.) the dress uniform is the appropriate attire.  If a class has PE on that day, time will be allowed for a change of uniforms.  Please label all clothing, lunch bags or boxes, book bags, and boots. 

     GIRLS

The Lands’ End at the knee skort or just above the knee A-line skirt with the logo polo shirt will be an added option for all girls this year.  The feminine polo can also be ordered and is included on the school list. 

We are working on phasing out the jumper over the next three years or so.   

Please note:  Oversized clothing is unacceptable.  Navy blue is our school uniform colorBlack pants are an unacceptable color as part of the uniform. 

      BOYS

Shirts – Boys in K-8 wear a solid color light blue polo – short or long sleeves.  

Pants – All boys (K – 8) wear navy blue cotton twill or corduroy pants, flat front or pleated.

      BOYS AND GIRLS

 Shorts – Dress shorts (flat or pleated front) may only be purchased at Lands’ End and must be worn with a light blue logo polo shirt and can be worn from through October 15th and after April vacation. 

Footwear – Boys and girls may wear sneakers or soft sole shoes with navy or white socks/stockings/knee socks.  Shoes need to be blue, black, or brown.  High-heeled shoes, clogs, platform or roller sneakers are not acceptable footwear.  Sandals must have a back strap.

 Physical Education Uniform

Students wear navy blue sweatpants, royal blue T-shirt, and/or navy blue sweatshirt with the St. Joseph School logo. Shorts will also be available as an option through October 15th and after April vacation. Shorts have to be below finger tips.   Athletic, tied, non-marking sneakers are the appropriate foot attire.  Team sweatshirts will be allowed only during the basketball season with the gym uniform. 

 Good Rule:  If you think you shouldn’t wear it, you shouldn’t!

Dismissal

Dismissal is at 2:30 P.M. for all students.  All students will be picked up in the back parking lot of the school.  Playground equipment is closed to all students and their siblings from 2:30-2:45 PM.  Parents of pre-school and kindergarten students are expected to pick up students in the classroom. 

Parents are not allowed in the hallways when classes are in session in order to allow teachers to effectively teach and dismiss students.  If necessary please wait in the office hallway. 

Due to concerns regarding school liability, any student who is not picked up by 2:45 PM will be sent to the After School Program and charged a $15 ‘drop in’ fee.  A ‘drop in’ student is one who is not on the ASP schedule.  If you know routinely that you cannot pick up your child by 2:45 PM, a prior arrangement must be made with the ASP Director.  

 If a student is to leave the school at any time during the school day, the student must bring in a note signed by the parent stating the time of dismissal and whether the student is to return.  Parents should always check in at the office and sign the child out before taking the child.  No student will be dismissed during the school day unless accompanied by a parent or authorized adult.  Only the principal or the assistant principal may grant permission for an early dismissal.

Field Trips

Permission slips must be filled out and signed prior to any field trip.  Permission given over the phone or by fax is unacceptable.  If a parent requests that a child not participate in a field trip, it is the responsibility of the parent to make arrangements for childcare during that time.  Field trips are a privilege and not a right of students.  The school reserves the right to use its own discretion in not allowing students on field trips due to missing work, behavior concerns, etc.

Ear / Body Piercing

Girls may wear one pair of earrings not larger than a dime.  Boys may not wear earrings of any type.  No other body piercing decorations are acceptable.  Any jewelry worn by either boys or girls that becomes a distraction to others may be taken away at the teacher’s discretion. Gum chewing is not permitted in school or on school grounds during school hours.  This includes any after-school and evening activities as well. 

Hair Styles

Hair should be neat, clean, traditional, and modest.  Boys’ hair should not touch the collar or hang in the eyes.  No “punk” or “radical” hair styles are acceptable.  Hair dyeing is unacceptable.  If there is a question, please check with the administration BEFORE making a change from any traditional style.

Harassment / Hazing

Harassment is unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct, by one or more individuals directed at a person(s).  Such conduct includes derogatory remarks, jokes, demeaning comments or behavior, slurs, mimicking, name calling, graffiti, gestures, threatening, or bullying behavior.  Harassment or hazing will not be tolerated at St. Joseph School and students who participate in the harassment or hazing of another will be subject to disciplinary action that may lead to suspension and/or expulsion. 

Head lice

In the event that a child in a classroom should have head lice, we will do a head check in that classroom.  Any child found to have head lice is sent home for the day for treatment.  Should you discover the nuisance at home, please notify the school office so we can check the class.

Home and School Association

The St. Joseph Home & School Association is the primary organization for our school parents and faculty.  It is a volunteer organization that coordinates fundraising activities for the school while providing a forum for parent and faculty exchange of information and input.  Signups for various activities throughout the year happens in September.  All parents are expected to participate some way.  Meetings are held during the school year and every parent’s attendance is strongly encouraged. 

Home and School Communication

In order to insure that all communication from school reaches home in a timely manner, St. Joseph School uses a Thursday envelope system.  Official envelopes containing all correspondence are sent home on Thursdays and should be returned the following day with a parent signature.  Your child is responsible for emptying the contents of his/her envelope when it is returned to their homeroom.  There is a $1.00 replacement charge for envelopes that are lost.  Official school-wide communications are sent with the youngest and only child.  A weekly “pink” newsletter will be included.  Our newsletter contains items of interest, upcoming events, and lunch menu.  The newsletter is posted on our web site at www.stjosephvermont.com.  

Homework

Homework is an extension of the learning that takes place during the school day.  Homework is regularly assigned in grades K through 8.  Parents can help their children by arranging a quiet, comfortable place for their children to work and seeing that assignments are completed.  Homework is the responsibility of your child.  No phone calls may be made to retrieve forgotten homework.  The homework expectation is 15-30 minutes in grades 1-3 and 30-60 minutes in grades 4-8.

Illness

A student must be fever free for 24 hours, without medication, before returning to school so as not to compromise his/her health as well as others in our school community. In case of illness or injury at school, a student will be cared for temporarily by a member of the school staff until either parent or parents can be notified.  If time is critical, it will be necessary for the school to contact the ambulance service and then contact parents as soon as possible. It is essential that emergency information be kept on file in the school office and updated as necessary.

Immunization

State law requires that every student who is admitted to school have evidence of a complete vaccination program.  School health records must be kept up to date.

Late Pick-up  

School dismissal is at 2:30 PM for all students.  Students must be picked up no later than 2:45 PM in the school parking lot.  Due to concerns regarding school liability, any student who is not picked up by 2:45 PM will be sent to the After School Program and charged $15 ‘drop in’ fee.  A ‘drop in’ student is one who is not on the ASP schedule.  If a 2:45 PM pick up is not possible due to work scheduling, a prior arrangement must be made directly with the ASP Director.  

Library

Students visit the library once a week for the purpose of library instruction, supervised computer use, and enjoyment of the materials and books.  Students are allowed to sign out books for a one-week period.  After 20 school days students will be charged the replacement cost of the book.  All charges will be non-refundable.

Lockers

Middle school students are assigned a locker in which to store clothing and textbooks.  In order to maintain a quiet atmosphere for class, students are allowed to go to their lockers only at specified times.  The school reserves the right to inspect lockers at any time. 

Lunch

Hot lunch is served daily at the school.  Monthly, weekly, or daily tickets may be purchased.  Please send money in a well-marked envelope at the beginning of each week.  A family will not be allowed to charge more than 20 lunches.  Students must eat lunch daily.  If a student chooses not to bring a lunch, s/he will be served and charged for a hot lunch.  Candy and soda are not allowed at lunch.  Check our website at www.stjosephvermont.com for the weekly menu.  

Medication

All medication prescribed or over-the-counter, must be brought to the office where it will be locked.  All medication must be in the original container with the student name and dosage.  Parents must sign a form for any medication dispensed at school which must be kept on file at the school.

Parties

Individual invitations to private parties are not allowed to be distributed at school at any time.  Student directories will be made available to families for mailing purposes.  This directory is to be used only by school families for school purposes.

Personal Property

Toys, skate boards, walkmans, laser pointers, and other personal property are not to be brought to school.

Registration Policy

For the parishioner rate, attending students must be part of a registered and participating family of St. Joseph Parish or other Catholic parish in the area.  Registered and participating is defined as attending mass regularly and utilizing the parish envelope system.  The parishioner rate requires attending students to be baptized Catholic. 

Report Cards

Report cards are given four times during the school year.  Progress reports are issued at the mid-point of each quarter.  Parent teacher conferences are scheduled in November and March/April of each school year.  Parents are welcomed to seek a conference if there are special concerns or questions to address during the school year.  

School Board

The St. Joseph School Board serves as an advisory board to the pastor and administration.  Members are appointed to participate on the school board for a three year term.  Areas of responsibility include planning, policy formation, finances, selection or appointment of the principal, development including public relations and marketing.   Parents are invited to submit agenda items in writing 10 days prior to the board meeting which meets on the second Tuesday of each month.

Snow Days

Listen to the TV & radio stations for snow day cancellations. Those stations are: WOKO, WJOY, WKOL,WEZF, WVMT, WXXX; TV channel 3, 4, and 5. Announcements are usually aired by 6:30 A.M.  It would be very unusual for school to be canceled during the school day once classes have begun.  In the unlikely event that this could happen, the administration would determine that all children have satisfactory transportation and supervision at home before releasing them from school. A school employee would telephone parents or guardians.  However, in the event of inclement weather, parents should always feel free to pick up their children.

Student Directory

Within the first month of the school year, each family receives a Student Directory listing students’ and parents’ names, addresses, and home telephone numbers.  The Student Directory should be used to acquaint parents with the names of their children(s) classmates and parents.  These directories should not be used or sold for other purposes.

Student Records

Parents have the right to review their child’s permanent records that are kept in the main office.  Please give the office 24 hours notice and a written request for any such review.  Student records may not be released to another school without written parental consent or direct school request.  Records are then released directly to the school.

Student Insurance

As part of the registration fee, the school is purchasing insurance coverage for each student for the 2009-10 school year at $3.00 per student.  Christian Brothers Insurance will cover: (1) attending school and participating in any classroom activity during regular school hours, (2) traveling directly to or coming directly from school on regular school days, (3) attending religious activities and retreats, including travel directly to and from (this also includes school sponsored field trips), and (4) summer programs sponsored by the school.  

Tardy Policy

We at St. Joseph School feel that being on time is important.  If a child is late each day it sends the message that school is not important.  It is important for a student to begin his/her day on time as it sets the tone for the day and avoids interruptions in the classroom.   Students are tardy after 8:05 A.M. and need a tardy slip from the office for admittance to class.  Tardies are tracked and do become part of a student’s permanent record.     

Tuition 

Since St. Joseph Parish provides support for our school, envelope using members of the parish have a lower tuition rate than non-envelope users.  Parish support and fundraising accounts for the modest tuition fee per child, thus every family is receiving some degree of tuition assistance.  Payment options are: one payment, two payments, or 10 automated monthly payments through the FACTS Management Plan.  Full payment is due on July 20th; 2 payment option due on July 20 and December 5th (variations of these dates may occur if they fall on the weekend); 10 automatic monthly payments begin in July on either the 5th or 20th of each month.  No student will be allowed in school after the first, second, or third marking periods until the tuition payment has been met. Report cards, diplomas, and/or student records will be held until financial obligations have been met.  Limited scholarships are available through the Turk Fund and St. Joseph School based on financial need.  All applicants seeking financial aid will need to complete a financial aid form and submit the form as well as most recent tax return to FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment.  There will be a $20 fee per family for this service.                                                          

2009-2010 Tuition 

Per pupil cost is $6,183

Grades K- 8                                                                                          

                                   SJ                                                                        

                          Parishioner             Other                        

1 Student                  $3,545                   $4,355                      

2 Students               $6,381                 $7,839                        

3 Students               $9,217                $11,323                                      

Tuition Refunds

The budget is developed yearly based on student enrollment therefore the school is obliged to meet costs it cannot cancel in the case of student withdrawals.  A student who voluntarily withdraws from school will receive a refund of tuition based on the following:           

*penalty for withdrawal anytime during July would equal one month’s tuition.  Withdrawal anytime thereafter would equal two month’s tuition.

*after the first day of the second semester which begins in January, there will be no refunds 

Extenuating circumstances such as an unexpected re-location, family illness, etc. will be considered on a case by case basis.

Vacations

Parents are asked to plan vacations according to the school calendar.  Students are responsible for getting the work that was missed during an excused absence.  The school is not obliged to provide make-up instruction for students who vacation at unscheduled times.  It is important to recognize that a student’s missing work may affect his/her academic standing. Please notify the office of any absences due to vacation. 

Weapons

No weapons of any kind (guns, knives, martial arts weapons, or other that has a potential violent use, etc.) are to be brought to school.  Any weapon found will be immediately confiscated.  Parents and the proper authorities will be notified.  The situation may be turned over to the police.  The pastor, parents/guardians, and superintendent will be notified immediately.

Pending an investigation of the incident, any student possessing such a weapon will be placed on immediate out-of-school suspension for no less than 3 school days.  Before readmission to school, a meeting will take place with the student involved, parents, and principal.

The principal has the right to expel the child if s/he deems it appropriate after consulting with the pastor and the superintendent of schools.  Expulsion is to include all school related activities and any other activities as deemed by the pastor.

 Any adult who brings a weapon at school (other than civil authority such as a DARE officer or officer coming in on school business) will be immediately banned from school property.  The police will be notified in the event of any weapon being found on school grounds if the principal deems it appropriate.

 St. Joseph School has the right to amend this handbook.            Revised August 2009

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