Parent and Student Handbook
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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 needs 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.
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 lessons were missed.
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 1-8: Directions for assignment submission and a direct link to your child’s online textbook activities can be found by visiting the Religious Education website and following the link to Online Classroom Pages: https://sites.google.com/view/olvre/home 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. Please submit work samples by scanning samples of question responses and/or activities from your Student Activity Book through the Religious Education website or by emailing them directly to Anne Bord the DRE (email@example.com).
High school students must attend all mandatory events for Confirmation preparation. These events can be found on our calendar: K-10 Calendar 2022-2023 and on the High School Religious Education page: High School Religious Education,
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 bad weather is forecasted 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!
PreK & Kindergarten students will be learning about our faith with a hands-on Montessori method found in the curricular series: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi.
First-Eighth Grades will be using the Faith and Life Series by Ignatius Press. This is in an effort to create continuity through all grade levels.
Second Grade students are preparing to receive the Sacraments: First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. The entire year is dedicated to preparation to receive these sacraments. They will also be using the St. Joseph New American Catechism, Going to Confession & Receiving Holy Communion, all by Fr. Lawrence Lovasik.
Ninth Grade utilizes Teen formation programs from Ascension Press: CHOSEN, CONNECTED & Venture, the Bible Timeline for High School.
Tenth Grade utilizes Theology of the Body: YOU by Brian Butler, Jason Evert, and Crystalina Evert. published by Ascension Press. 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.
REQUIRED PRAYERS TO LEARN (GRADE K THROUGH 5)
Kindergarten – The Sign of Cross and Guardian Angel
First – Hail Mary, Our Father (Lord’s Prayer) & Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
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
~Sixth grade and up should know all the above prayers.~
These prayers can be found here: https://re.ourladyofvictory.com/prayers-to-know
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 AT THE OLVCS 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 10 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 cannot be dropped off at the door. Parents or an older sibling must walk child into the gym and stay with these young children until their teachers arrive. 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. PreK & K students will be delivered to their teacher at the preschool.
For dismissal, PreK & K students must be picked up by a parent at the preschool. Children in First through 3rd grade must be picked up by parents or a sibling in the school auditorium. Children in fourth through tenth 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 11:30 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. Participate as much as you can each week. :) Only one person may talk at a time using positive comments and curious questions.
2. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
3. Be respectful of the belongings in the desk where you sit as they do not belong to you. Please do not touch items in the classroom without permission, including items in and on the desk where you sit during class. Do not write on any classroom desk. Any child breaking any of these rules will be sent directly to the DRE's office.
4. Stay in your seat, do not lean back on chairs, and sit properly.
5. You may not touch classroom Promethean Boards. Only the teachers may do this.
6. No eating, drinking or chewing gum.
7. Be respectful of school property, yourself, your catechist, others and yourself. Remember, we are all made in God's image and likeness.
~CATECHISTS MAY HAVE THEIR OWN CLASS RULES STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO FOLLOW.~
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 Church teachings 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 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.
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 Religious Education: firstname.lastname@example.org