Parent and Student Handbook

Table of Contents

ATTENDANCE POLICY FOR IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION

It is important that children attend class every week. Attendance is marked in every class. We are aware of the pressures and demands on time from extracurricular activities and family events. The faith formation of your child and their religious education need to be a priority for all Catholics. It is vital that all students receive religious education and our parish must have proper documentation of each year’s education for individuals to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. This is a policy mandated by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

ATTENDANCE POLICY FOR AT HOME INSTRUCTION

Homeschooling student “attendance” of religious instruction in the home is demonstrated through sample work submitted in the following ways:

Grades 1, 2, 6 ,7, and 8: Submit work samples by scanning samples of question responses and/or activities from your Activity book through the Religious Education website or by emailing them directly to the DRE (jhoy@ourladyofvictory.com). The directions for assignment submission and a direct link to your child’s online textbook activities by visiting the Religious Education website and following the link to “K-8 Class Schedules…” Follow your class link and you will find schedules, directions for submission, prayers to learn, and more. You may also submit sample copies of workbook activities mailed or delivered to the parish office at the end of October, January, and May.

Grades 3, 4, and 5: Submissions through the Loyola Press website chapter quizzes (See page 5 of this handbook for instructions). You can always find the directions and a direct link to your child’s text by visiting the Religious Education website and following the link to “K-8 Class Schedules…” Find your class link and you will find schedules, directions for submission, prayers to learn, and more. You may also submit sample copies of workbook activities mailed or delivered to the parish office at the end of October, January, and May.


High school students must attend 3 events, details for which can be found on our calendar and on the High School Religious Education page: High School Religious Education, K-10 Calendar 2021-2022


MASKING AND ILLNESS PREVENTION

At the recommendation of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, we will be masking during Religious Education with the exception of outdoor areas.

Students have been grouped with other students from their own weekday school as much as possible.

If your child is showing symptoms of illness, please keep them at home. We can send work to you for your child to complete when he or she is feeling up to it. Please send an email requesting work directly to your child’s catechist. Your online class calendar will also indicate what lesson were missed.


WEATHER AND EMERGENCIES

For weather closures and other emergencies, cancellation of CCD will be sent through Flocknote as well as posted on our website, re.ourladyofvictory.com and ourladyofvictory.com. Cancellation of CCD will be posted by 9:30AM. If the weather is inclement or calling for bad weather to move into the area then please check. If nothing is posted then we will have CCD. Please use your best judgment when weather is a concern. Assignments can be sent home to absent students. It’s better to be safe!

CURRICULUM

K, 3, 4 and 5 use Loyola Press textbooks. Loyola Press is inspired by the life and work of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Program components include Scripture Stories and guided reflections on spoken word CD, Vocal, Instrumental and reflective music CD, and Exploring Faith through Art. Access to online features is a highlight of this series. Directions for access can be found in this handbook and on your child’s grade level website.

Second grade children are preparing to receive the Sacraments, First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. The entire year is dedicated to preparation to receive these sacraments. Our textbook is from Ignatius Press’s Faith and Life series.

First Grade will also be using the Faith and Life Series by Ignatius Press. This is in an effort to create continuity through 2nd grade and begin the sacramental preparation earlier.

Grades 6, 7, and 8 also use the Faith and Life series from Ignatius Press.

Youth in 6th grade will receive Catholic Youth Bibles. The youth who were in 6th and 7th grade last year already have a Catholic Youth Bible. This Bible has special features to help youth learn how to study and understand the Bible as well as taking a deeper dive into some key points. The Bible belongs to your son/daughter as a gift from our church.


9th grade utlizes The Catholic Faith Handbook, 3rd Edition.


10th grade textbook is Theology of the Body. More can be found about this text on the High School Religious Education website.

HOMEWORK, ASSESSMENTS AND ABSENT WORK

The catechists may assign homework to children in grade 2 through 8, though this is very rare. The homework needs to be turned in at the next scheduled class or via email. In addition, there may be assessments on the material presented during class, the purpose of which is to provide insight into students’ understanding and not to provide a basis for grade level advancement. They are simply a tool that can be used by the student, parent, or teacher.

FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE ABSENT FROM CLASS IN GRADES 3, 4, & 5 please use the following procedure to teach the lesson at home when your child is absent.

This is the website, www.loyolapress.com. Follow these steps to find the online lesson.

Create an account – upper right hand corner

Scroll down and look for Faith Formation

Click on Read More then click on Finding God

On next page, click Parents & Student Resources

Select grade and click on the grade

Look for at Home Editions for parents

Click unit # you need. Check your child’s Grade Schedule for assignment date.

You can teach the Unit Session but your child doesn’t have an assignment for Unit Sessions. Only Sessions in each Unit.

Scroll to session you need. The session guide for parents follows your child’s textbook. The Session number is in the upper right corner of the page.

After you teach the lesson go back to previous page and look for Interactive Session Review for the Session # you taught to your child.

A quiz will pop up on screen. Your child takes the quiz and at the end of the quiz there is a place to email the quiz to your catechist and a place for the child’s name.

REQUIRED PRAYERS TO LEARN (GRADE K THROUGH 5)

Kindergarten – The Sign of Cross and Guardian Angel

First – Hail Mary and Our Father (Lord’s Prayer)

Second – Act of Contrition and The Ten Commandments

Third – Prayers Before and After Meals and Glory Be

Fourth – The Nicene Creed

Fifth – How to pray the Rosary

AUTHORIZATION OF USE OF PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE

Our Lady of Victory Religious Education adheres to the Altoona-Johnstown Diocesan policy to have parental permission to use student pictures to use for bulletins boards and parish media (i.e. bulletins, sacramental display boards, etc.). If we do not receive the authorization from you on your registration form, we will not use your child's photo in parish media or bulletin boards. Use of photos is extremely rare in any case. Please email the DRE to check or change the status of your permission.

DROP-OFF AND DISMISSAL FOR SCHOOL BUILDING

Children meet their catechist in the gym and return to the gym after class. No one is allowed to go directly to his or her classroom before 10:30am. Kindergarten through 8th grades classes will meet in the gym by the sign with the catechist name, grade & Room Number. The catechist will come to the gym to pick up the class at 10:30am.

Doors to the school building will be locked during class times (10:30-11:20 AM). Parents who wish to stay on the campus during classes are asked to use the Social Hall of the Activity Center. If you come to the gym and your child’s class has already left, please take your child to his/her classroom. Children in grades 4 through 8 may walk to class alone if they are late.

We will station volunteers to allow parents and children into the building for late drop off or early pickup. Exceptions to this policy will be announced. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this.

Children will return to the gym at 11:20am for dismissal. Children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade cannotbe dropped off at the door. Parents or an older sibling must walk child into the gym. The front doors of the gym and the back door will be open every Sunday morning. Please use these doors for entrance to the gym.

For dismissal, children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade must be picked up by parents or a sibling in the gym. Children in fourth through eighth grade may leave the building on their own after walking to the gym with their catechist if parents agree to this arrangement. Please remind your children that many drivers will be pulling in and out of the parking areas for the 12:00 Mass. If someone other than a family member is picking up your children, please tell the Director of Religious Education.

BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS FOR OUR PROGRAM

1. Keep your hands to yourself and maintain social distancing during

class as well as throughout the building.

2. Only one person may talk at a time and positive comments and

curious questions only.

3. Be respectful of Please do not touch items in the classroom without

permission, including items in the desk you may use during class.

4. Stay in your seat, do not lean back on chairs, and sit properly.

5. You may not touch a SMART Board

6. No eating, drinking or chewing gum.

Do not write on a desk.

Respect property, self, catechist and others.

IN ADDITION, CATECHISTS HAVE CLASS RULES CHILDREN/YOUTH ARE EXPECTED TO FOLLOW.


DRESS CODE

Students are expected to remove hats and hoods during class time. Clothing must not interfere with the educational process or the rights of others. Items of clothing that advertise or promote values that are not in line with Catholic teaching should not be worn to Religious Education. If a student is dressed inappropriately he/she will be sent to the religious education office.

ADHERENCE TO CATHOLIC TEACHING

A healthy curiosity and respectful requests for more information regarding a Church teaching are encouraged. If a student argues against accepted Catholic moral teaching in Religious Education classes or boasts to classmates of doing something the Church considers seriously sinful, that student may be asked to leave the classroom and report to the Religious Education office during class. The students’ parent(s) may be called, and a meeting with the DRE and/or pastor may be necessary. Following this meeting, the student may be reinserted into his/her class or be home-schooled (if in the child’s best interest). If the student returns to his/her class and the behavior is repeated, then the parents will be asked to home school their child for the remainder of the school year.

CELL PHONES

Cell Phones must be turned off when students arrive for class. If cell phones are found to be in use during class, the phone will be taken by the catechist and returned to the student at the end of class. Phones and other electronics must be turned off when class begins. Emergency use of the phones is acceptable, but if the situation allows time for requesting phone use, permission from the catechist should be asked.


DISCIPLINE POLICY

If a student breaks the above rules after one warning on the day of class the catechist will call his/her parents.

If a student continually disobeys the Code of Conduct the Director of Religious Education will request a meeting with the parents and child.

If a student commits an act of vandalism on school, parish, catechist or others property, the child’s parent will be notified for a conference with the Director of Religious Education. Clean up or restitution can then be established.


A PRAYER FOR FAMILY COMMITMENT

Loving and merciful Father, who instituted the family as in instrument of your fruitful love and raised it to be a sacrament of the love of your Son for his Church, send forth your Holy Spirit to forgive us for our sinful failures, to heal the personal and social wounds that afflict us, to bring consolation to the vulnerable among us, and to enable us to reach out in compassionate care

to all those families in need.

Make possible within us and for us what only you can do. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen


For a physical copy of the handbook, please contact the Director of Relgious Education.