Parent/Student Handbook 2020-21
History of the School
In 1910, four Dominican sisters and a lay teacher opened Saint Luke School, in the basement of the church. The first year the registration was 120 children in grades one through six, led by Sister Anatolia. The first graduating class of 1913 had thirteen students. On October 29, 1916, a brand-new school building was dedicated at a ceremony officiated by Bishop Charles McDonnell. By the 1950s, the school grew to one of the three largest Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn, with a student body of more than 2,500 students.
For 100+ years, St. Luke School has remained dedicated to nurturing the growth and development of the whole student: intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Our mission is to continue to acknowledge our obligation to guide our children in the manner called for by Christ in His Gospel, educating the whole person; body, mind and spirit, for his/her eternal community.
Saint Luke school now boasts an enrollment of approximately 450 students, beginning with Nursery, our vibrant program for three year olds and continuing to Eighth Grade. We are proud to say we have over a 90% retention rate, which is a testament to the outstanding academic and Catholic education that students receive. We are also very proud of our dedicated and nurturing faculty of over 30 teachers and support staff who go above and beyond to ensure the success of each student.
Over the past few years, Saint Luke School has made numerous changes and began initiatives to keep up with the changing times and population. These initiatives include:
- Updated Science Lab
- Improved WiFi and class sets of Chromebooks and Kindles
- Reading Specialist to provide support to our students
- Improved Art, Music, and Library program including a digital library
- Google classroom used in Grades N-8
- Special Education services including SETTS, OT, Speech, and Guidance
- Enrichment and after school programs including Robotics, Chess, Band, Yoga, and Cooking
- Updated playground
- Spanish taught in Grades 2-8
- Vibrant parent organization (SLPO)
- Early morning and after care
- TAC (Technology Across the Curriculum) course for Grades 5-8
- School newspaper
- Artist of the Week and Students of the Month featured
For 100+ years, St. Luke School has remained dedicated to nurturing the growth and development of the whole student: intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically. Our mission is to continue to acknowledge our obligation to guide our children in the manner called for by Christ in His Gospel, educating the whole person; body, mind and spirit, for his/her eternal community.
St. Luke School acknowledges its obligation and intention to guide our children in the manner called for by Christ in His Gospel, educating the whole person; body, mind and spirit, for his/her eternal community. It is the community of staff, teachers, administrator, pastor and parents, who are all involved in the education of our children.
The mission of Catholic Education is to form children in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ as celebrated in the Catholic Church, while providing a comprehensive academic education that will help them reach their full human potential and contribute to the common good of our nation and the world. Ultimately, the mission of all Catholic education is to lead those entrusted to its care to find salvation in Jesus Christ.
In Catholic Schools on the Threshold of the Third Millennium (#11) Saint John Paul II wrote that Catholic schools are “…the privileged environment in which Christian education is carried out. Catholic schools are at once places of evangelization, of complete formation, of enculturation, of apprenticeship in a lively dialogue between young people of different religions and social backgrounds.”
Diocesan academies and schools strive to emulate the words of Saint John Paul II by:
· creating an evangelizing community, where people come to have a better and deeper understanding of Christ and His Church
· recognizing the importance of multi-cultural, multi-faceted, academically sound educational programs that meet the needs of the poor and the rich, the Catholic and the non-Catholic, the wise and the not so learned
· welcoming members to the school community regardless of culture, race, or religion and celebrating the diversity that exists within our communities, churches, and schools
· creating an environment that encourages young people to grow, not separated from others, but as part of a larger community, as part of the family of God
· not only promoting and encouraging academically sound individuals, but rejoicing with children who are spiritually, theologically, and liturgically enlivened and fulfilled
Statement of Nondiscrimination
Saint Luke School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all 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, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational and admission policies, athletic programs or other school programs.
Doors open at 8 am (Nursery to Grade 8 staggered entry)
First period begins at 8:30 am
Dismissal begins at 2:30 pm (Nursery to Grade 8 staggered dismissal)
The school doors open at 8:00 am. All students are to enter through their assigned doors and go directly to their homeroom. Parents should not enter the building. All entrance doors will not be opened before 8:00 am and after 8:30 am your child will be marked late on Option C. If it is absolutely necessary for your child to arrive earlier than 8:00 am, they are to wait in front of their entrance until the doors open. All children will be dismissed from the assigned entrances by their teachers. No student is to leave the line without the teacher’s permission. No parent should remove a student from the line without the teacher’s consent. Parents are asked not to stand near the entrance sidewalks so as to allow the classes access into the dismissal area.
New York State Law currently requires a school calendar to provide 176 days of instruction with 4 professional days and cites the following holidays when schools may not be in session:
- New Year's Day (First day in January)
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Third Monday in January)
- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
- Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)
- Veterans Day (Eleventh Day in November)
- Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)
- Christmas Day (Twenty-fifth day in December)
On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the feast of the patroness of the Diocese of Brooklyn, the academy or parish school will be closed. Academies and parish schools may also choose to observe other Holy Days. All advanced school closings will be indicated in the school calendar.
Arrival/Dismissal: Parents may park in the parking lot in designated parking spots at arrival and dismissal times. Please be courteous of parking regulations and neighbors.
The Catholic academies and parish schools within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn welcome students of all backgrounds to share in the Catholic education experience. As parents of children who attend the Catholic academies and parish schools, you are encouraged to share in our Faith community. In accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Faith, the Catholic academies and parish schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn admit students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin. The Catholic acadmies and parish schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin and ethnic origin in admission, policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
Non-Catholics are welcome to attend. All non-Catholic students must participate in formal religious instruction, as well as all liturgical functions conducted during the school day. Sacramental participation is, of course, excepted (i.e. Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation). Education at St. Luke School begins with a three year old Nursery Program and progresses through the Eighth Grade. To begin his/her formal education, a child should be ready for school. Students who do not meet certain criteria - e.g. age, emotional stability, age appropriate social maturity, ability to pay, may not be accepted into school.
Grade Age Date________
Nursery School Three years of age December 31, 2020
Pre-Kindergarten Four years of age December 31, 2020
Kindergarten Five years of age December 31, 2020
First Grade Six years of age December 31, 2020
The following records must be presented at the time of registration:
- Certificate of Birth
- Certificate of Baptism (if applicable)
- Complete Health Records with Immunization dates
- Records from previous school (if applicable)
- Any other pertinent information that may relate to the child’s school performance
- IEP/IESP/504 plan (if applicable)
- A $250.00 non-refundable registration fee is due when registering and each year after.
All students in grades 2-8 transferring from public school or other Catholic Schools require a parent/principal conference. At that time a review of the child’s academic record and behavioral characteristics will be discussed. Ordinarily, a child who is transferred will be placed at the grade level which was reached in the sending school. However, care should be taken to ensure proper placement. If serious doubt should arise, the principal and faculty of St. Luke School will make a final determination with the parents.
The transferral of records is the school’s responsibility. The principal is the legal custodian of all permanent records and is responsible for their preparation, maintenance, privacy, transcription and dissemination.
Change of Address/Phone Number
For student safety, it is imperative that parents/ legal guardians alert the academy or parish school to any changes in address or phone number. Parents/ legal guardians must also provide the parish school with an adequate number of emergency contacts (with up to date information).
Educational Records Requests
In the event of a student transferring to a different academy, parish school, or public school, the school will provide student records to the school of transfer. Requests can be made in writing by the parent/ legal guardian or by the school that the student will be transferring to. The school office is responsible for sending student records directly to the school of transfer. If records are not provided in a timely fashion, parents or legal guardians may contact the Office of the Superintendent to receive further assistance in this matter.
Authorization to Release Records
Academies and parish schools may not release the records of students without the written consent of the parents/legal guardians to any individual, agency or organization other than the following:
· Other academy or parish school officials who have legitimate educational interests.
· Officials of other academies or parish schools in which the student intends to enroll.
· Officials of the courts with lawfully issued judicial process, i.e., subpoena, court order, etc.
· Please note health records are the property of the Department of Health.
Review of a Child’s Official Records
Parents/legal guardians have the right to inspect any and all material which is part of their child’s permanent record. Academies and parish schools require parents/legal guardians to provide a written request prior to when they wish to examine their child’s permanent record. At the time of inspection, the academy or parish school administrator, or qualified delegate, will be present.
Custody, Guardianship Orders
Parents must provide accurate custodial information to be kept on file at the academy or parish school. Non-custodial parents do have rights. The law protects non-custodial parents and maintains that parents do not cease to be parents when they no longer have custody of their children. The Diocese of Brooklyn abides by the provisions of the Buckley Amendment with respect to the rights of non-custodial parents. In the absence of a court order to the contrary, a school or parish academy will provide the non-custodial parents with access to academic records and other school information regarding his or her child. If there is a court order specifying that there is to be no information given, it is the custodial parent’s responsibility to provide the school with a court certified copy of the court order.
School Tuition Policies
The success of our school relies on the commitment of our families to make Catholic education a financial priority. The school has full-year contractual and financial obligations that must be met, such as teacher salaries, utility bills, building maintenance and improvements, and other expenses. Families that seek enrollment are required to satisfy the annual tuition by specified due dates.
These policies are not intended to deprive anyone of a Catholic education. It is our desire to maintain a fair approach to collection of tuition and to provide a sound financial policy for the overall welfare of our families. We encourage all responsible parties to maintain open communication with the business office to ensure a complete understanding of each family’s financial obligations. The goal of our school is to provide a Catholic education to every student who desires one, but only by mutual cooperation can we make certain that this goal is met. Parental non-payment or delinquency in meeting financial obligations creates an additional burden for the school.
· Tuition contracts specifying a payment schedule will be published and shared with families. All families must sign an enrollment contract that guarantees the family will be responsible for the full payment of tuition for the academic year.
· Schools will arrange for all tuition and fees to be collected through FACTS Tuition Management.
· Tuition payment schedule will follow the most appropriate schedule for the academy and parents: monthly, one payment, three installments, or full yearly payment.
· A Tuition Assistance Committee will be in place at every school.
Tuition and Other Fee Schedules
The parish school will collect tuition and fees over a ten month period. This ten month period will typically extend from June to March. Tuition collection will begin prior to the start of the school year.
Tuition rates can be found on our website or through this link:
Parish schools reserve the right to place severely delinquent accounts in the hands of a collection agency or its attorneys for collection. It is not our desire that any family should incur unnecessary legal fees or suffer further embarrassment or inconvenience in this regard. Again, we encourage prompt communication with the school in an effort to avoid litigation. In order to withdraw a student, the parent must submit written notice to the principal in advance of the withdrawal date. This enables the school to prepare necessary information and settle accounts. No student records will be forwarded to another academy or school until all accounts have been settled. Following the terms of the enrollment contract, refunds will be made only in accordance with the stated guidelines and/or at the discretion of the administration. The refund must be requested prior to the start of the period for which payment would be made.
Resources for Tuition Assistance
Catholic education is meant to be available to every Catholic family. Every family desiring a Catholic education for their child(ren) will participate to the extent capable in the cost of providing that education. Each family in need of tuition assistance must complete a scholarship application through Futures in Education, which may currently be found at: www.futuresineducation.org/
Tuition Assistance Committee
The Tuition Assistance Committee is an essential advisory body to the pastor and principal. It has a two-fold purpose.
· The Committee will have the responsibility of direct involvement in the monitoring and collection of tuition arrears from the families of its respective school or academy.
· The Committee will be empowered to recommend when needed a partial deferment of tuition for families that have demonstrated true financial need or face unforeseen extraordinary circumstances. Such a deferment will establish a fair and just tuition rate that will allow students to remain enrolled when even scholarship assistance is not enough. This discernment must be guided by an approved process that is fair, transparent and reasonable. Any recommendation made by the Tuition Assistance Committee must be approved by the respective pastor of a parochial school and the Board of Directors for an academy.
Should there be a concern regarding the tuition assistance process or if an appeal for discernment is requested, parents/guardians should present their concerns in writing. In the case of a parish school, the letter should be addressed to the pastor of the parish. In the case of a Catholic academy, the letter should be addressed to the chairperson of the Board of Directors. The response from the pastor or chairperson would be final.
FACTS is a tuition management company designed to make tuition collection simpler for families as well as academies and parish schools. There will be one FACTS record per family, and each student must be listed separately. This provides valuable details about the charges and discounts each student is receiving. In turn, this provides the school better reporting. A major benefit of FACTS is the ability to process automatic drafts of the payer’s bank account or credit card. There is a 2.85% convenience fee on credit card transactions. FACTS does offer an invoicing option as well. With this option, FACTS will send an invoice to the payer (via email or postal mail) 20 calendar days prior to the payment due date. The payer must then initiate payment either by using a credit card or bank account online, over the phone, or by mailing a check directly to FACTS. Families are encouraged to pay via automatic draft. FACTS also allows for flexible payment options. Common options are monthly payments, three trimester payments, and a payment in full.
· By standard practice, FACTS will send payment reminders prior to any due date, returned payment notices in the case of a failed payment, and will make automated phone calls to delinquent payers. Payers who fail to communicate with the school and resolve the delinquency through a payment schedule approved by the school will result in suspension of services for the student.
· Students will not be permitted to attend class at the start of the trimester should any balance be past due.
· No student will be permitted to begin an academic year unless all registration and other required fees are current. Registration and other required fees are paid through FACTS Tuition Management at enrollment. Enrollment for students whose families are not current in the registration or other required fees by June 30 may be cancelled at the discretion of the school. In no event will students be permitted to attend class at the commencement of the academic year unless the delinquency is paid in full.
· In order to participate in graduation activities, all debts for eighth grade students must be cleared by the first Monday of May. Eighth grade transcripts will not be released to the high schools if the financial obligations have not been met.
· All fees must be paid in full before records or progress reports will be processed. It is the sole discretion of the school to withhold trimester exams, report cards, transcripts, records, and diplomas until all financial obligations are satisfied in full.
It is of the utmost importance that children attend school daily unless seriously ill. The school is required to keep an adequate record of daily attendance, absence and tardiness in the Register of Attendance in a manner approved by the Commissioner of Education. If a child is absent from school, parents must call the office at 718-746-3833, no later than 9:00 am to excuse the child. This is a safety measure for your child and the school. Upon returning to school after an absence, the child must give a written note to the teacher indicating the child's name, date(s) of absence and reason for the absence. Notes from parents relating to excused absences are kept on file in the school's office for a period of one year. It is expected that absent students make up any work missed and are responsible for any work or tests upon their return to school. The attendance of students who leave school before the lunch period will be recorded as a half-day absence in the school register. Absences without a parent or doctor’s note, as well as absences due to family vacations will be marked as illegal.
Homework assignments for all classes will be posted on the school website (www.slswhitestone.org) and/or google classroom on a daily basis. In the event of a child’s absence, parents should check the homework section for work missed. Parents may also request to pick up books for the absentee.
However, no requests for pick up will be accepted after 9:00 am.
Saint Luke School has developed our attendance policy in accordance with New York State Education Law Section 3205 to be implemented on July 1, 2020. This comprehensive attendance policy will help to uphold the philosophy and mission statement of our school, as stated in this handbook. Daily attendance is encouraged. Studies show a high correlation between academic success and attendance at school. Regular and prompt arrival is a must if academic success is desired.
Release of Students from School
Students are expected to be in attendance for the complete session each school day. If for any reason a student must leave school before the regular dismissal hour, a parent or person authorized by the parent must come to the security desk with identification, after approval from the office. The authorized adult may escort the student out of the building. A sign-in and sign-out book indicating time of arrival or dismissal must be signed by the parent. Once a child arrives at school, he/she may not be sent home for assignments, books, projects, or lunch.
Parents are asked to make appointments for doctors and dentists in advance so that they may be after school hours or during holiday weeks.
A student who arrives after the 8:30 am bell will be marked LATE and recorded in the State Attendance Register. Students with excessive lateness or absence (as determined by administration) in one trimester may not eligible for any honors at report card time for that trimester. In addition, their grade for "Complies with School Policies" may also be negatively affected.
While students are being transporting to and from their parish school, it is expected that they will uphold the behavior expectations of the parish school as well as rules set forth by the bus driver or bus company. Students who continuously disregard bus procedures and rules are at risk of losing their access to bus transportation. Each bus company must hold an evacuation drill at least once a year. Students are expected to follow all instructions as given by the bus driver or other adult facilitating the drill.
The bus company we use is:
Lorissa Bus - (718) 276-7100
Use of Other Vehicles
Only a licensed public carrier that is fully insured should be used to transport students. Teachers or administrators should not transport students in their personal vehicles. Parents/ legal guardians must provide authorization for their child to be transported by someone else. This includes transportation for dismissal as well as extracurricular activities.
In case of extended illness or disability, provisions for home Instruction may be arranged through the school’s office.
Care of Books
Under the New York State Textbook Law (NYSTL), textbooks are loaned to the students. It is their responsibility, therefore, for the proper care of these books throughout the school year. Students are responsible for all books given to them and will be asked to pay for lost or damaged books before a new one will be issued or before the final trimester report card is given. The price of the book will be determined by the New York State Textbook Catalog listing.
Due to safety issues for all students, school bags with rolling wheels are not permitted.
Parental Expectation of Adherence to School Policy
Discipline in the schools should reflect the spirit of Vatican Council II, as expressed in the documents on Christian Education and Religious Liberty. Therefore, discipline should be geared to assist a child develop in the understanding of self as being made in the image of God.
….Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth (cf. Spe Salve, 4). This relationship elicits a desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ and his teaching. In this way those who meet him are drawn by the very power of God to lead a new life characterized by all that is beautiful, good, and true; a life of Christian witness nurtured and strengthened within the community of our Lord’s disciples, the Church…."Dear friends, I wish to conclude by focusing our attention specifically on the paramount importance of your own professionalism and witness within our Catholic universities and schools. First, let me thank you for your dedication and generosity. I know from my own days as a professor, and have heard from your Bishops and officials of the Congregation for Catholic Education, that the reputation of Catholic institutes of learning in this country is largely due to yourselves and your predecessors. Your selfless contributions – from outstanding research to the dedication of those working in inner-city schools – serve your country and the Church. For this I express my profound gratitude." -Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Catholic educators at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, April 17, 2008
Evidence of discipline exists in a school community when the students, teachers, administration, and parents/legal guardians work cooperatively to educate the whole child: spiritually, academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.
Discipline in the schools of the Diocese of Brooklyn should reflect the spirit of Christian living and help students to grow in the understanding of self and of Christian responsibilities to others. Respect and cooperation are KEY and are reiterated daily to all students by administration, faculty and staff.
A discipline code has been established which will influence Kindergarten through Grade Eight. This system will attempt to correct those behavioral actions that are deemed unacceptable for our children's development.
Teachers who are supervising students are directly responsible for handling disciplinary issues. Infractions of a more serious nature, require referral to an administrator. If needed, parents will be notified of the action and outcome. Students are part of the conferencing process related to discipline. The principal is the final recourse in all disciplinary situations and may waive or enforce a disciplinary rule for the cause at her discretion.
As a team, Saint Luke has decided to continue to use a demerit system, with the added feature of a merit system as a guide for discipline and recognition in Grades Six through Eight. The administration and faculty at Saint Luke expect students at our school to be respectful of themselves, their schoolmates, and our teachers at all times. Failure to abide by the standards of conduct will result in the issuing of demerits, detention, or other disciplinary actions. Conversely, students who abide by the codes and go above and beyond expected behaviors through excellent conduct, cooperation, and acts of kindness will be recognized with merits.
Saint Luke School has high expectations for student behavior. We feel it is important to recognize and encourage exemplary behavior. When students are seen going above and beyond to help peers, faculty, and/or administration, merits are issued. Some examples of these merits are kind deeds, helping a staff member or student, charitable works, and in-class cooperation and conduct. Administration, teachers, and our parish will recognize those students who earn merits. In addition, these students will be given a small token of our pride in their outstanding merit.
Students who engage in a disciplinary offense as listed in the Parent/Student Handbook will receive a demerit. Some examples of these violations include disruptive class behavior, uniform infractions, inappropriate physical behavior, improper language, inappropriate behavior in the hallway or at lunch/recess, and use of cell phones during the school day. Any student who receives two demerits will automatically receive a detention upon the third offense. These demerits are cumulative throughout the trimester. Detentions will be served throughout the entire lunch period in a lower grade classroom or the office. During this time, students are asked to reflect on their choices. All demerits are posted on Option C and may require a parent signature. Two cumulative detentions during the year will result in the student’s loss of the next upcoming privilege. Students may be given immediate detention and/or further disciplinary action for more serious infractions that involve potential physical damage, bullying, cheating, or harm to people or property. It should be noted that detentions will affect a student’s conduct grade ("Complies with School Policies") on their report card, may prevent the student from receiving honors, or attending trips/dances.
Students who fail to comply with school policy occurring on school grounds or during school functions will face disciplinary action. Infractions that may lead to demerits, detention, or disciplinary action are as follows, but not limited to:
~food and/or drink outside the cafeteria
~improper uniform appearance
~disruptive classroom or hallway behavior
~cheating, copying work, or plagiarism
~out of classroom without permission
~defamation of another's character
~destruction of school property or the property of another.
(Payment is expected for the replacement of purposefully
destroyed school property.)
~misrepresentation of the school.
(Misrepresentation of the school includes disorderly conduct,
words or actions outside the school property where an
offending student is recognized as a student of St. Luke's School.)
~disrespect to a teacher, staff member, or parent volunteer
~use of cell phones, or other electronic devices, etc.
(electronic devices may not be used or seen during the school day, cell phones must be turned off and may be collected and returned at the start and end of the school day.
If seen these items will be confiscated and will need to be retrieved by a parent.)
It is understood that in addition to the schedule of offenses listed above, disciplinary action may be imposed at the discretion of the administration and faculty in the case of students who commit offenses previously unforeseen.
Serious infractions are referred to the principal and pastor.
When it is deemed necessary, the administration may suspend students from class. Either home suspension or in-school suspension will be left to the discretion of the administration Parents will be notified by telephone and a conference will be arranged. During in-school suspension, a student is marked present. In the case of home suspension, the student is marked absent and suspended. A student would be required to complete all school assignments during the period of suspension. Home suspensions are entered on the student's permanent record card at the discretion of administration. Subsequent suspensions may result in a student’s expulsion.
Expulsions are the permanent dismissal of a student from school and are viewed as a radical action at which point the school is saying that the student's interest would be better served in another environment, or that a student's behavior is a serious threat to the school community, or both. This decision ultimately rests with the principal. Consultation with parents, teachers, the pastor and the student is required. When serious infractions escalate to the level of expulsion, they are recorded on the student’s permanent record. Parents should note that by this stage they have long been apprised of the offensive action(s) and involved in the process of discipline.
In all cases involving possible suspension or expulsion, the parents of the student will be notified as soon as possible.
An appointment will be mutually arranged for the school administrator, parents and student to confer.
Serious offenses that might warrant student suspension or expulsion are as follows, but not limited to:
- Continued and willful disobedience
- Physical assault*
- Possession of alcohol, drugs or vaping devices
- Possession of a weapon
- Immoral behavior
- Inappropriate use of electronic devices
- Academic dishonesty
- Defacement or destruction of school property
*All students are instructed that physical retaliation to provocation is unacceptable. Students always have recourse to a teacher, staff member, or administrator if struck by another student. The student who chooses to fight, chooses suspension. Refraining from physical retaliation demonstrates self-control and good decision making.
Alcohol and Drug Free Zone Policy
The New York City Tobacco Products Regulations Act of 1994 curtails exposure to tobacco use on school grounds. For the purpose of this legislation “school grounds” means the “buildings, grounds or facilities, or any part thereof, owned or occupied by public or private institutions for the primary purpose of providing educational instructions to students at or below the twelfth grade level.” Tobacco use is not permitted on school grounds at any time. A “tobacco product” is any substance which contains tobacco including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco. New York City regulations are far more stringent than the regulations promulgated by New York State. However, schools subject to the rules of this municipality, as are the schools of the Diocese of Brooklyn, must follow the local laws. Thus, smoking is prohibited on ALL SCHOOL PREMISES AT ANY TIME.
Students and adults in our building are forbidden to possess, use, distribute or sell any illegal drug, alcohol, or weapon. This includes all illegal drugs as well as e-cigarettes and vaping devices. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action as well as police involvement.
For the safety of our students, alcohol is also prohibited from being consumed on school premises at any time.
Cell Phones, IPhone, IPod, IPad, Android, Nooks, Kindles and All Types of Electronic Devices
Cell phones and electronic devices are disruptive to our educational setting. While our school understands the need for cell phones for parents to get in touch with their child, the phone or any other electronic device has no purpose while the student is in school.
Students are not permitted to use cell phones on school grounds.
Students are not permitted to take out cell phones to make calls, answer calls, receive texts, send texts, take pictures, send pictures, receive e-mail, or compose and send e-mail.
Students at St. Luke School are not permitted to have a cell phone either on their person, in their schoolbags, coat/jacket, purse, etc. If it is necessary to bring a cell phone to school, the student must give the (turned off) phone to their homeroom teacher at the start of the day for retrieval upon dismissal.
AFTER SCHOOL and OFF OF SCHOOL GROUNDS the student may turn on the phone and
use it in the manner the student has been instructed by his/her parents.
CELL PHONES WILL BE CONFISCATED FROM A STUDENT IF THAT STUDENT IS USING THE PHONE OR CARRYING THE PHONE VISIBLY.
When a cell phone, or any electronic device is out and visible, it will be taken by the teacher or staff member and given to the principal. A detention will also be issued to the student. The electronic device must be picked up from the principal by a parent for a fine of $25. If the student takes out the cell phone, or any electronic device, for a second time after it has been confiscated, the cell phone or electronic device will be kept until the last day of school. The cell phone or electronic device must be picked up from the principal by a parent for a fine of $50. THIS POLICY CAN BE CHANGED, AT ANY TIME, BY THE PRINCIPAL. If this occurs, the principal
will inform parents and students of the policy change.
Responsibility for Valuables
The academies and parish schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn are not responsible for valuables that are lost or damaged. It is strongly advised that students do not bring valuables into the school building including electronic devices such as tablets, phones, etc.
The school communities within the Brooklyn Diocese believe in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person. We believe that all students, school employees and volunteers have a right to a safe and healthy school environment. All members of the school community, in turn, have an obligation to promote mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance. Research shows that students who learn in a safe and supportive environment succeed academically. Students and teachers have a right to learn and teach in an environment free of any harassment that substantially interferes with their education.
Bullying, bias-based harassment /intimidation are intentional, repeated, hurtful acts (physical, verbal, written) committed by one or more persons towards another person or persons. It usually involves an actual or perceived imbalance of power which can be physical, emotional or verbal.
If not addressed, bullying can lead to the creation of a hostile, offensive or intimidating school environment and can affect a student’s educational opportunities.
- Physical: physical violence, stalking, threats, aggressive or menacing gestures, exclusion from peer groups which is intended to humiliate or isolate the target (relational bullying)
- Verbal: taunts, teasing, derogatory language, derogatory jokes, name calling, slurs, spreading rumors
- Written: written or graphic material including graffiti containing comments or stereotypes that are electronically written and transmitted via internet, social media/messaging sites, blogs, text messages, cell phone, videos,. This would also include forwarding such messages if received. This generally constitutes cyberbullying.
- The targeted student, parent/guardian of a student or other students in the school (bystanders), or any school staff who believe that bullying has occurred should report the incident to the principal.
- The principal needs to conduct an investigation by interviewing all parties separately.
- The parents of all involved students should be notified.
- A bullying report may be completed.
- If it is determined that bullying has occurred the child who bullied is to be subject to consequences per the school’s disciplinary code.
- Parents should be advised to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency if the situation warrants such a report.
- Referral to counseling should be made for all parties if deemed necessary.
- The principal must follow up to see that the offending conduct has stopped.
- All students should be notified that retaliation against anyone who makes a report will not be tolerated and those that retaliate will be subject to disciplinary actions.
Diocesan Cyber Bullying Policy
In accordance with New York State Law on Cyber-Bullying, inappropriate, defamatory, or content found to be injurious to an academy or parish school community member may result in disciplinary action, even if done outside of academy/parish school premises or using devices not owned or controlled by the academy/ parish school. All instances of such behavior must be reported immediately to the administration, who will investigate the matter and enforce the consequences deemed appropriate. Violation of this policy in whole or in part may result in any or all of the following and will be issued at the discretion of the academy or parish school principal:
• Loss of use/privileges of school/academy technology.
• Disciplinary action including, but not limited to, detention, suspension, expulsion, and /or legal action by the school/academy, civil authorities, and/or other involved parties.
• Compensation for damages, both physical and punitive, incurred due to actions in violation of this policy
Social Media Policy
Students and parents may not post anything considered derogatory, defamatory, or slanderous about another student, parent, teacher, administrator, staff, or St. Luke School itself. Offenses may require disciplinary action , suspension, or expulsion.
Personal use of Social Media (Teachers, Students)
This section refers to the personal use of social media. This includes, but is not limited to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Snapchat or any other such medium. All references to school/academy personnel, students and/or any member of the school/academy community in technology related mediums such as web pages or email which is deemed to be conduct injurious to the moral tone of the school or academy are violations of this policy. Any communication with current students by faculty, staff or administration is strictly forbidden on any personal social networking site. Personal posts must use appropriately respectful speech, and refrain from harassing, defamatory, abusive, discriminatory, threatening or other inappropriate communications.
Representation of the school/academy in whole or part on any personal posts and/or communication is prohibited.
Diocesan Acceptable Use Policy
The use of technology is permitted on school premises under limited conditions as authorized by the Principal for the sole purpose of enhancing academic achievement while respecting the dignity and safety of all members of the Saint Luke School community.
In using the information and technology in safe, legal, and responsible ways, the following conditions of being a digital citizen within the Diocese of Brooklyn are expected:
- Respect One’s Self
- Public names should be appropriate
- Be mindful of any and all content you post including photos, personal views, comments, personal information, etc.
- Avoid seeking out and/or viewing inappropriate content
- Do not engage in potentially harmful activities such as communicating with persons unknown to you or internet challenges
- Respect Others
- Be mindful of comments, posts, photos or any content directed toward or including others
- Refrain from engaging in inflammatory, harassing, or any other such disrespectful behavior
- Do not perpetuate inappropriate content by sharing it with or sending it to others
- Warn others of potentially disturbing or harmful content that should be avoided
- Protect One’s Self and Others
- Report any and all cyber-abuse committed against you or others to parents, teachers and/or administrators
- Keep groups with friends private to avoid potentially inappropriate or dangerous content and communications from unknown sources
- Respect Intellectual Property
- Cite sources when using any content not originally authored by you
Members of Parish School and Catholic Academy communities must remember that when telecommunicating with individuals, groups, or institutions, you are doing so as an individual. You should not represent yourself, your views, ideas, questions, or actions as representing the Parish School or Catholic Academy you are associated with without the expressed permission of the principal.
Security of Technology
The schools and academies of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn assume no responsibility for the theft, loss, repair or replacement of any technology devices that are brought onto school/academy property, whether it is lost, stolen, damaged, or confiscated. Security on any computer system is a high priority. If you believe you can identify a security issue, you must notify a system administrator, principal, or teacher and not disclose the problem to others in any way. Although there are safeguards in place to protect all users from inappropriate content, we are not responsible for failures in filtering that result in a bypass of our program and/or access to objectionable content. If any inappropriate content bypasses these safeguards, any parties involved should turn off the monitor and report the security breach immediately to a system administrator, teacher or the principal. Additionally, member of the school/academy community shall not:
· Use another’s credentials for any reason
· Gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to Diocesan or school/academy computers or computer systems.
· Download or install any software application without prior authorization.
Administrative Rights (To monitor use of technology)
The school/academy reserves the right to monitor both student and employee use of technology and computer accessed content. Due to the evolving nature of technology, the Catholic Schools and Academies of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn reserve the right to amend or add to this policy at any time without notice.
Communication of Policy
Annually all staff, students and parents should be apprised of school policies and such policies should appear in the parent/student handbook and faculty handbook. The handbook may be modified at any time by the administration.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn believes that clothes do not define a person. The wearing of a uniform allows everyone to be seen for who they are, not by what they have. The purpose of a uniform is a means of consistency in student dress, while keeping costs to a minimum. It also reduces the problem of competitive dressing. Students, unless otherwise notified by Administration, will wear the school uniform.
All students are expected to keep themselves well-groomed and neatly dressed at all times. A clean and healthy appearance is important. Any form of dress or hair style which is considered by the Administrations to be contrary to good hygiene or which is distractive or disruptive in appearance and detrimental to the purpose or conduct of the school will not be permitted. All clothing must be clean, neatly pressed, and in good repair. No ripped, torn, or defaced item may be worn.
Our uniform distributor is Flynn O'Hara. They can be reached at https://www.flynnohara.com/
The purpose of the uniform is to emphasize that school is important - that it is a place in which serious thought and learning happens. The environment which includes the cleanliness of the building and the appearances of faculty, staff and students speaks of the quality of the school. We are proud when people enter our building and notice that we respect our building and ourselves as evidenced by our appearance. A visual check of uniforms will be performed each morning by the teachers. Violations of the uniform code are taken seriously. If a child is not properly attired, a demerit may be issued to the student.
-Sweatshirts (other than school issued) or High school sweatshirts by 8th grade only
-Boots or shoes with platform soles
-No show socks
-Colored nail polish
-Fingernails longer than average length
-Acrylic Nails or Tips
-“Fad” haircuts, shaved hair designs, hairstyles, accessories, or unnatural hair colors
-Jewelry (see exceptions below)*
-Facial hair (mustache, beard)
-Boys are not permitted to wear earrings
-Boys hair should not be below the collar
-Watch (smart watches are not permitted)
If a student chooses to use their N.U.T. card, appropriate dress is required.
Shorts (no more than 2” above knee) tank tops, mini skirts, tight clothing, leggings without a long shirt, no ripped jeans.
Inappropriate t-shirt logos will not be permitted.
Non-complying students will notify parents to bring the regular school uniform or a change of appropriate clothes.
All N.U.T. cards must be used by date indicated on card and may not be used on First Fridays or days when the class is attending Mass.
Fire Drills/Evacuation Drills/Lock Down Drills
drills. Students are expected to follow all directives provided to them by school teachers and staff. Failure to comply or act appropriately during emergency drills will result in disciplinary
action. These drills are usually unannounced and held at various times under varying conditions. Students follow emergency exit directions and emergency guidelines posted in each room.
The children are taught to leave and return to the building quickly, quietly and safely. In the event that a parent/relative is in the building during a drill or actual emergency, the child is the
responsibility of the teacher and may not be removed until advised to do so. Adults visiting the building should remain calm and allow school personnel to follow practiced and regulated
procedures in order to ensure the safety of all.
The Diocese of Brooklyn will base their closings on the New York City Public School System. If the New York City school system closes due to inclement weather, the schools within the
Diocese of Brooklyn are closed. Local academies and parish schools may also make decisions to close their individual schools based on inclement weather or other hazardous conditions
(infrastructure issues, flooding, property damage, etc.). Parents will be notified as soon as possible. In the event of a closure during the school day, proper provisions will be made for students
to return home or to be cared for in other premises until usual dismissal time.
Procedures for Visitors
All visitors must be admitted to the building by school staff. Visitors should proceed to the front desk to sign in and receive a visitor designation (lanyard, sticker, etc.) if available. Visitors
to the school are asked to remain in the waiting area until they have confirmed their destination within the school. For the safety of staff and students, visitors should not walk about the
school but should travel to their intended destination within the school. Prior to leaving the school, visitors should return to the main office, sign out, and leave through the main doors.
Visitors should not exit through side doors to ensure that building security is maintained.
**During COVID-19, we ask all parents and legal guardians to visit the academy or parish school only when necessary as well as to keep any visits as brief as possible.
Video Surveillance Cameras
Academies and parish schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn are authorized to use video camera surveillance on academy/ parish school property to monitor the health, welfare, and safety
of all staff, students, and visitors to the property, and to safeguard facilities and equipment. Video cameras may be placed in locations as deemed appropriate by the designated school
administrators. Violations of Diocesan policies, administrative regulations, building rules, or laws that images, video and audio capture through surveillance may be used as evidence
that may subject students, staff, and visitors to appropriate disciplinary and legal action, including, but not limited to, disclosure to law enforcement.
Video surveillance is typically retained for a year. Data related to a known incident which involves injury to students, staff or members of the public or property, or which involves any
potential violation of the law or Diocesan policies will be kept with reports of the incident until the incident has been appropriately resolved.
The school lunch program is provided for children in grades K-8 between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm. Children may bring their own lunch to school or purchase lunch from the daily menu. The purchase of daily milk is made available to students on a monthly basis. Water is also available for purchase on a daily basis as are snacks. No glass bottles are allowed to be brought to school. If a child has forgotten their lunch, parents may bring it to the security desk no later than 9:00 am, otherwise an alternate lunch will be provided for them on that day. Parents may be billed for this. Parents may not visit their child during lunch time in the cafeteria or the school yard.
Parents may not bring in fast food for their child at any time. Any necessary communication with your child must be secured through the office.
Children at play in the schoolyard may not play dangerous running or ball games. Food, beverages, radios, cell phones or other electronic devices, etc., are not permitted in the schoolyard. When at play and in the cafeteria, children are not permitted to return to their classroom for any reason without an adult. Unescorted visits to any part of the building at this time is an unsafe practice. Proper behavior is required during the lunch period. Any student who displays improper lunchtime behavior will be subject to disciplinary action. Due to COVID-19, students may not bring food into the classroom to be shared with other students. To promote health and safety, students should consume only the foods that they have brought to school or have been provided by the school.
New York State law requires 176 days of actual student attendance. In addition, four professional days form part of the professional life of the Diocesan School Community totaling 180 days.
To meet professional obligations to students and their parents, schools are required:
A. To provide five hours of formal instruction for grades 1 through 8 per day.
B. Scheduled events/meetings warranting a half day dismissal.
On-going curriculum review is the responsibility of the administration and faculty. The responsibility for the selection of textbooks, instructional materials and equipment is also their concern. Review of textbooks is done annually.
**The use of technology is permitted on school premises under limited conditions as authorized by the Principal for the sole purpose of enhancing academic achievement while respecting the dignity and safety of all members of the Saint Luke School community.
Protecting Instructional Time
Maintaining school schedule and structure is of the utmost importance during the school year. As academies and parish schools make their calendar and schedules, their goal is to protect instructional time as much as possible. In protecting instructional time, parents are asked to refrain from removing their child during the school day for unnecessary activities. Appointments should be scheduled, when possible, before or after the school day in order to avoid disrupting student learning. Vacations and family trips should also be planned, when possible, for existing school vacation weeks. In the event of a necessary absence, parents should alert the school and classroom teacher as soon as possible. If an extended absence is known, parents should communicate with their child’s teacher to create a plan for making up missed work.
Evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of a student’s achievement arrived at after using a variety of measurement tools which may include daily classwork, homework assignments, independent work or projects, cooperative work or projects, written assessments and quizzes. Students may receive support services from specialists in our building if it would benefit the child. Teachers may also invite students to attend voluntary extra help sessions from 7:45 am to 8:00am based on teacher scheduling as per the extra-help policy.
A student’s achievement of program objectives in grades Nursery through Eight is evaluated and reported at three checkpoints during the year. Report cards are distributed at the Parent/Teacher Conferences in December and March. The third trimester report will be sent home in June. The final grade for the year is recorded in the fourth column of the report card and listed on the permanent record card. All academic work for a marking period must be completed by the close of the marking period. Incomplete work will warrant a failing grade for any assignment that has not been handed in. Report cards will be withheld for any family who has an unresolved financial obligation to the school. Progress reports are e-mailed midway through each trimester, for students who are failing, in danger of failing a subject, and/or have numerous disciplinary offenses.
Teachers will contact parents as the need arises, and parents should also feel free to ask for an appointment with their child's teacher at any time during the year.
Progress Reports & Report Card Schedule
Parents/ legal guardians will receive report cards three times a year, at the end of each trimester. Parents/ legal guardians will also receive progress reports during each trimester prior to receiving the report cards. It is vital to a student’s progress that an open communication exists between parents/ legal guardians and their child’s teacher. Any concerns regarding a child’s progress should be addressed first to the child’s teacher.
Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled formally twice each year after the issuance of report cards. Conferences at other times during the year may be scheduled at the request of the principal, parent, or teacher. Parents are asked to contact the teacher first to arrange a suitable time to discuss their child’s progress or concerns. Please understand that communication regarding your child’s progress is mutual; you as a parent have as much obligation to inquire as the teacher has to inform. If a parent wishes to speak with a teacher or administrator, they may do so via the school’s gmail accounts or leaving a phone message with the main office. Calls and emails not requiring immediate assistance will be returned within 24 hours. For the safety and supervision of students, parents should not approach teachers or administrators with detailed concerns at dismissal, during Mass, or at school/parish events. Please call or email the office/teacher to schedule a conference/meeting at a mutually agreeable time.
Any child in grades 4-8 who has attained a trimester grade average of 95% or above is eligible for the Principal’s Award. Exact averages are used and rounded up after .5. This award is given to the students each trimester. Students receiving a 1 in a special class or who have excessive latenesses as determined by administration in one trimester or who have received a 1 for personal progress/conduct, are not eligible for any honors at report card time for that trimester. Students must also achieve a 93% and above in Spanish.
Outstanding Achievement Award
Any child in grades 4-8 who has attained a year average of 95% or above in each major subject area is eligible for the Outstanding Achievement Award. Exact averages are used and rounded up after .5. This award will be given to the students at an awards assembly to be held in June. Students receiving a 1 in a special class or who have excessive latenesses as determined by administration in one trimester or who have received a 1 for personal progress/conduct, are not eligible for any honors at report card time for that trimester.
Any child in grades 4-8 who has attained a year average of 90% or above in each major subject area is eligible for the Honor Roll Award. Exact averages are used an rounded up after .5. This award will be given to the students at an awards ceremony to be held in June. Students receiving a 1 in a special class or who have excessive lateness as determined by administration in one trimester or who have received a 1 for personal progress/conduct, are not eligible for any honors at report card time for that trimester.
All retentions are decided upon by the principal and teachers in consultation with the parents. The final responsibility for a pupil's retention rests with the principal.
Private tutoring may be recommended or required for students who, through early identification and assessment, indicate difficulty in completing required program objectives.
Parents of students identified as potential holdovers, will be consulted in the Spring. In June, a final decision will be made. Students who fail one or more subjects may be required to attend summer school or complete 15 hours of private summer tutoring in order to advance to the next grade.
Diplomas are granted by the Diocesan Office of Catholic Education and affirm that a student has successfully completed all of the requirements of the curriculum for eight consecutive years. Graduation occurs at the end of the Eighth Grade. A student who has failed one or more subjects may participate in the commencement ceremony, but may not be awarded a diploma. The diploma will be awarded subsequent to the passing of said subjects in summer school along with required documentation. A student may also be denied participation in the commencement ceremony, and/or 8th Grade events for continued serious infractions of the school's code of conduct. Finally, promotion, graduation and attendance at 8th Grade events are subject to the full discharge of all financial obligations to the school.
Students in grades 4, 6, 7, and 8 will participate in New York State Testing. Parents receive an Individual Student Report (ISR) which includes a breakdown of a student’s performance in different skill areas within ELA, Math and Science. This helps parents understand where their child is doing well and in what areas he or she may need additional practice. Parents can use these results to guide a discussion with their child’s teacher about additional supports or challenges that may be needed in the classroom, as well as ways to support learning at home.
There are no negative consequences when taking state tests as the tests are considered diagnostic. The ELA and math test results are not recorded on student permanent record cards or report cards. New York State law forbids the use of state test results as the determining factor in promotion.
Students in grades 3-8 will participate in TerraNova Testing in the fall. TerraNova testing is a nationally- normed, standardized testing program. This series of tests is issued to diagnose student performance and develop student learning goals.
All students are expected to participate in class activities, assignments, projects, and homework. Report card grades are a combination of assessments, class participation, homework, quizzes, behavior and projects. Our school is on a trimester reporting system.
Homework is given to reinforce the learning process and to meet individual needs. Homework and class assignments may be used as a test grade. For a child to benefit from the work assigned and to develop good study habits, a definite period of time and a quiet place should be provided. It is the responsibility of every parent and child to check homework for neatness and accuracy. The amount of work given nightly is up to the discretion of the administration and faculty. In order to help our children become more responsible, they will not be permitted to call home if they have forgotten books, homework, projects, etc. Students who are absent from school must make up the assigned work. Homework is posted on the school website or Google classroom on a daily basis.
The Program for the Development of Human Potential (PDHP) provides St. Luke School with a guidance counselor. The counselor conducts grade appropriate lessons with classes and is available for consultation with individual students and/or parents if needed.
Our well-equipped library acts as a complement to our instructional program and is available to teachers and students. All students have a scheduled period in the library weekly.
Students in grades Nursery-Grade 8 use the fully equipped Science Lab on a regular basis.
Our Computer Technology Lab equipped with internet access is available to all classes when not in use. All students in Grades PK - 8 visit the lab weekly.
Teachers receive on-going professional development in technology in order to fully integrate technology into the curriculum.
The spiritual life is an integral part of the education of a student at St. Luke’s School. We do not look on it as an addition, but as the unifying principle that nourishes and enriches our curriculum.
Each day begins with prayers. Students also pray before lunch and at various times throughout the day. During the Advent and Lenten seasons, the morning announcements contain a theme relative to the Season and are intended to set the tone for the day.
On the first Friday of each month at 8:30 am, there is a special school Liturgy prepared by the students under the direction of their teachers. Each grade level has its turn in the preparation and participation of the liturgy, giving the students a deeper appreciation of the value of the Mass. Family members are always welcome to attend.
Classes are scheduled to attend the 8:30am Parish Mass each month. The dates for class Masses are included on the calendar that is posted on the school website.
The parish priests hear confessions for students in grades 3-8. Each class is given scheduled times during the school year.
Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross are conducted during the season of Lent. Classes are invited to attend and participate in the traditional devotion of Christ’s journey on the Cross.
The Blessed Mother
The month of May is dedicated to our Blessed Lady and is celebrated in the school with class projects and a special Mass in honor of Mary.
During their years in St. Luke’s School, the students are prepared for the Sacraments of First Penance and First Eucharist in the Second grade, and for the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Eighth grade.
Written permission must be obtained from parents/legal guardians of students who wish to go on scheduled trips. Information to the parents/legal guardians will include the date, purpose and destination of the trip, the expense, the means of transportation, and probable time of return. Adults who wish to chaperone must complete Virtus training and background checks prior to accompanying students. Field trips are learning experiences and are considered an extension to the educational process. Field trips are a privilege. Students may be denied participation if they fail to meet academic or behavioral requirements. Grade level teachers, in consultation with the principal determine the appropriate trip for their classes. Written permission slips must be obtained from parents of students who wish to go on a scheduled trip. No verbal, text or email permission will be accepted. A copy of the field trip permission form is included in this handbook. Students who fail to submit this form will not be allowed to participate in the field trip. When necessary, parent chaperones who have been Virtus trained are invited by the teacher to assist in the supervision of the students. Parent chaperones take responsibility for the group assigned, not only their child. Transportation is provided by insured carriers and approved by the Diocesan Office of Catholic Education. Bringing cell phones on field trips is determined by the administration and faculty on a case by case basis. Parents have the right to not allow their child to participate in a field trip. Attendance at school is then expected.
Our school website and social media pages contain photographs of the school community including our students and staff as they participate in events. In addition, the Diocese, De Sales Media Group, and Futures in Education frequently use photos from schools for their printed material. Names are not usually listed with these photos. If a parent does not wish for photos of their child to appear on the school website or social media pages, marketing material, in newspapers, etc. a letter needs to be submitted to the office indicating such by September 30, 2020.
The Option C Parent Portal allows parents to be involved in their child’s academic life on their schedule and more efficiently. Rather than writing a note to a teacher to see how their child is doing on assignments, they can access the portal and see it in real time. It allows teachers to contact parents directly and keeps a record of the interaction should it be necessary. As grades are recorded for student work, they can be shared with parents, giving any time up-to-date progress reports.
Option C's Parent Alert System is a flexible notification system that lets its audiences - parents, principals, and school staff - communicate quickly and reliably. Academies and parish schools may also create alerts to send to parents regarding fund raisers, events, drills, community affairs, school closings and any information they would like to communicate quickly. Users can decide how they want to be reached, either by voice, text or email, or any combination. Parents should check their settings on Option C to ensure that all contact information is up to date and all options are set correctly.
The vision of the school cannot be realized without the cooperation of the parents or guardians of our students. Acceptance of a student to our school/religious community is a two-fold reality: the student becomes part of our school and the parent accepts its program/rules and regulations. Support from the home in the form of cooperation in the accomplishment of assignments and encouragement in study is essential. Necessary, too, is a spirit of support for the school and care that its good name and that of its staff are maintained in conversations and expression of gratitude. Hence, a parent who enrolls a child with us agrees to:
~civility in conversation in any meeting with school personnel since it is the expected behavior of polite dialogue;
~present any complaints in a composed and rational manner, as they are best attended to when they are presented calmly and reasonably to ensure that they are focused with supporting evidence;
~refrain from libelous and defaming gossip, as it will not be tolerated;
~for the safety of the students and faculty, all visitors to the school must register at the Security desk and parents may not go to a child's class or the lunchroom without specific authorization;
When issues arise, administration can always be called upon. Prior to that, parents are asked to communicate their concerns with the teachers involved.
~The administration, teachers, school secretaries, security assistant, security guard, lunch assistants, and aides in the classroom are members of the school's official family and are to be treated with respect.
~attendance at parent meetings is an important part of the educational process and we expect that at least one parent or guardian will attend when such meetings occur.
-Failure to abide by these common courtesies, of respect and appropriate behavior may result in parents needing to seek another school for their child.
Communications with Teachers
Students benefit tremendously when an open line of communication exists between families and teachers. It is recommended that parents/ legal guardians communicate any concerns regarding their child. Parents/ legal guardians as well as teachers should always use Option C, teacher's school gmail addresses, school communication platforms (I.e. Google classroom), or a note sent directly to the teacher/ family. If needed, the parent/ legal guardian or teacher can schedule a follow-up meeting to address any further issue. It is also recommended that a parent communicate with a teacher regarding their concerns prior to involving the administration. Initiating an open communication with the teacher first continues a positive relationship between families and teachers.
It is strongly advised that parents and teachers do not use personal social media accounts or personal cell phones (texting) as a means of communication in regards to school related concerns.
Home is the first place where a child learns love and respect for God and neighbor. Parents/legal guardians, in choosing a Catholic school to continue the education begun at home; have responsibilities as well as opportunities to share in the continuance of their children's education.
Parental involvement consists of parents/legal guardians and staff meeting together because of common interest in the child. It is expressed in many ways such as sharing in student supervision in the lunchroom or playground or serving as library or teacher aide. In some instances, parents/legal guardians may be asked to assist in advocacy in all areas that would benefit the schools, including programs that request government assistance, in consultation with the Office of the Superintendent. The involvement of the total family is also a means of communicating the academy’s and parish school’s performance to the total parish community.
Parental support for the education of their children is of the upmost importance. Parents and legal guardians are also expected to uphold the behavioral expectations set forth for students and staff within the academy or parish school community. Failure of parents to act in a manner compatible with the values of the academy or parish school may result in student dismissal.
Families are asked to participate in as many fundraisers as possible. Tuition does not cover the cost of a Catholic education, therefore fundraisers are an essential part of maintaining a Catholic school.
Donations and gifts such as: books, toys, games and furnishings are always greatly appreciated. Please contact the school office if you wish to contribute materially, monetarily or of your own personal time.
Parent Volunteer Guidelines/Fundraising
St Luke School appreciates parents who are willing to volunteer to provide service to our school, as well as participate in fundraising opportunities which help to create a Catholic environment and financially sustain our school. All parents who volunteer in our school or at school events must be Virtus trained and adhere to our policies and procedures, including safety and behavioral guidelines. Fundraising ideas and events should be discussed with administration. The principal makes the final decision in regards to the scheduling of events and allocation of funds.
Parent Teacher Association (PTA) - SLPO
Every academy or parish school is encouraged to establish a Home School Association. Its purpose is the educational enrichment of parents/legal guardians and teachers. The goal of the Home School Association is to foster a clearer understanding of the mutual responsibilities of parents/legal guardians and teachers regarding the education of the students.
An added responsibility of the Home School Association will be to assist in the fundraising efforts of the academy or parish school. In the school, this is done in coordination with the administration. In an academy, it is done in coordination with the board of directors of the academy. No organization may hold title to accounts nor have access to funds raised for the academy or parish school. All financial transactions must be approved by the pastor/academy board of directors.
Volunteering, Chaperoning & Virtus Training
Parent volunteers and chaperones are an integral part of the school community. All parents/ legal guardians/ other adults, must complete VIRTUS training, sign a Code of Conduct, and complete a background check.
· The VIRTUS program for adults is a three-hour live awareness session that instructs adults of the Church that to protect children you must have continuous awareness and vigilance. This awareness session helps trainees understand signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and five empowerment steps to prevent child sexual abuse.
· The Code of Conduct is a document that acknowledges the importance of legal, professional and responsible conduct of all who work with children and young people. All clergy, employees and volunteers are required to read the Code of Conduct and to sign a Statement of Acknowledgement Form. The Code of Conduct is distributed at all VIRTUS sessions.
· All employees and volunteers are also required to have a criminal background screening completed before they start their employment or service. These forms are also distributed at all VIRTUS sessions. As of May 2010, all background screenings (employees and volunteers) will be done through the Safe Environment Office. The searches are done through LexisNexis (volunteers) or HireRight (employees). All information is kept confidential and if a positive result is returned, the pastor/administrator will be notified and appropriate steps will be taken. Background searches will be rerun every 3 years for employees and 5 years for volunteers.
School notices are available online via the Family E-envelope section of the school website. It is the responsibility of each school family to view postings. New posts are added on Tuesdays and Fridays. Any organization wishing to send something home through the e-envelope system must have the information in the school office a week before posting. All communications must be approved by the principal. Please be sure that your email address stays current with the school office.
Emergency School Closing
There are times when school must be closed due to inclement weather or other emergencies. Radio and/or television announcements stating the close of the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Schools and NYC public schools include St. Luke’s School. Parents will be notified through the Parent Alert System by telephone, text messaging and e-mail, if applicable, as well as the St. Luke website at www.slswhitestone.org .
Early Childhood Programs Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten
The Early Childhood Program offers time and space for youngsters to be children where they are free to play, explore, and imagine. It is designed to lead them from wonder to discovery and from imagination to affirmation. It provides the opportunity for all children to associate pleasure with learning so that each one feels good about herself or himself. In this program, the teacher collaborates with parents in sharing religious beliefs and values with children. Their adult encouragement and example are among the most important factors which influence faith development. As collaborator in the child's education, the teacher fosters a deeper awareness of God’s presence. The teacher is flexible and supportive in meeting the needs of each new group. The teacher offers each child space to experience the joy of learning at his or her own capacity and pace.
A child’s introduction to school is a most exciting and important step in his development. Energy, enthusiasm and eagerness are components characteristic of most three year olds. Our program focuses on the enhancement of social skills emphasizing the importance of interaction and cooperation with peers. Readiness skills are developed through various mediums, including age-appropriate academic skills such as number concepts (counting), shape/color identification, and pre-literacy skills. Exposure to painting, coloring, drawing, writing, and building develop fine motor skills while large motor skills are enhanced through physical activity, music interaction and circle games. Language expression is developed through show and tell, daily discussions on weather, time and the calendar. Singing, cooking and creating art projects are all part of a child’s day in Nursery School. A full time aide(s) is in attendance at all times to assist the teacher. Children also attend outdoor playtime, physical education, and art weekly.
At the age of four, the pre-school child has already developed many vital skills. In this year, children will be more adept at most of the tasks introduced to them in Nursery School. Painting, cutting, drawing, writing and coloring will begin to take on a new form as these accomplishments become more proficient to the child. Language expressions and readiness skills for the child are developed daily. To cooperate with others, sharing, waiting your turn, being helpful, demonstrating math skills, and reading readiness concepts, painting, creating, cooking and drawing recognizable objects are a few of the triumphs of a four year old child.
A full time aide is in attendance at all times to assist the teacher. The children attend physical education, computer classes, music and library, weekly and have outdoor playtime in a supervised, fenced-in playground.
Medical Requirements for School
The Education Laws of New York State mandates that students attending non-public schools receive the same health services provided to students attending public schools. The New York City Department of Health requires that all new students entering nursery through grade 12 show proof of having received a complete medical evaluation. Children who transfer from one school to another in New York City are not considered new students. These requirements may change from year to year. New York State Law states that all students in Grades Nursery through 12 must be immunized as directed by the New York State and New York City Departments of Health. New students may enter school provisionally with documentation of an initial series of immunizations. Once admitted provisionally, a student has a certain amount of time to continue and complete the medical requirements. Students who fail to complete the necessary requirements within the appropriate time frame must be excluded from school. Parents must provide records of immunization to be kept on file at the Academy or parish school. Any exemptions to the immunization requirements must be approved by the Academy or parish school with documentation being kept in the student’s health records. Only medical exemptions are permitted per New York State Law. Religious exemptions are no longer permissible.
· For Nursery, Pre-K , and Kindergarten Programs--Between July 1 and December 31 of each year, all children between the ages of 6 months and 59 months and attending a group child care or school-based child care program must receive one dose of influenza vaccine.
Administering Medications at School
School nurses may administer over-the counter-prescription drugs to students with written consent and medical authorization from a parent or legal guardian. School nurses may administer prescription medication that has been prescribed by a physician but must be provided with:
· Medical authorization from the parent or legal guardian consenting to administering the medication
· A medical plan developed by the child’s parents and health care provider detailing the proper administration of the medication, details regarding the child’s medical concerns, and other pertinent details.
Parents or guardians will supply their own epinephrine auto-injector and must provide written consent and medical authorization for its use. The academy or parish school must have an up-to date medical statement on file for each child in care. For a child with identified allergies or with special health care needs, the academy or parish school must have a copy of an individual health care plan developed by the child’s parents and health care provider. Parents must make program staff aware of the individual health care plan on their child’s first day at the program.
It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian of the student who is at risk of anaphylaxis:
· to notify the school that the child/student is at risk of anaphylaxis and is in need of the presence of epinephrine on school premises
· to indicate to the school if the child/student is capable of self-administration of the epinephrine device
· to supply the school with the epinephrine device* in its original packaging as received from the pharmacist
· to replace the epinephrine device when it expires, discolors or has been used
*It is recommended that two epinephrine devices be supplied, the second functioning as a back-up in case of malfunction or if an extra dose is necessary in accordance with medical documentation.
Administering Epinephrine on Field Trips
In the event of a school trip or school event conducted outside of the school premises, it is the responsibility of the parent (or a designated person who appears on the child’s emergency contact list) to attend with the child/student for the purpose of epinephrine administration, if necessary.
City & State Health Services
The Education Law of New York State mandates that students attending nonpublic schools receive the same health services provided to students attending public schools
The New York City Department of Health, if the City budget allows, provides a school nurse for public and non-public schools. It is the nurse’s responsibility to maintain all health records. He/she is available to assess unexpected illness and injuries and make appropriate referrals. The City of New York, Department of Health and Department of Education prohibit the unauthorized distribution of medication, including aspirin, to students. The School Nurse will supervise the administration of parent/physician authorized medication to students (only written authorization is valid).
Transfer of Health Records
All medical records are kept in the permanent record file and are transferred to receiving schools upon a child’s withdrawal from a school. These records are the property of the Department of Health. They are confidential and subject to regulations established by the Law. The Principal is the chief custodian of all medical records.
Accidents and Illness at School
In case of a serious accident at school, parents will be notified immediately. It is important that parents fill out the emergency information sheet given to each child at the beginning of the school year and NOTIFY US IMMEDIATELY OF ANY CHANGES DURING THE YEAR.
If emergency medical attention is needed, an authorized member of the faculty or staff will accompany a child to the hospital and remain with that child until a parent arrives. Hospitals reserve the right to treat patients under eighteen years of age without parental consent in life-threatening or emergency circumstances. No "elective type" treatment will be given without the consent of the parent.
The Parish and School are insured through Parish Services Corporation for claims of liability. Optional insurance coverage is available for all students through AIG.
Forms for insurance are sent home to parents in the beginning of the school year
Crisis Management Plan
St. Luke’s School has a Crisis Management Plan in place which provides specific and detailed procedures for responding to a range of incidents including specific written evacuation procedures identifying primary and alternate exits for evacuation. These procedures are practiced by the students and staff throughout the year in order to insure a smooth and efficient process for evacuation in an emergency. Our plans have been filed with the 109th Precinct as well as the local fire house so that we may all work together in the event of an emergency.
In compliance with the EPA’s regulations covering asbestos-containing building material in schools, this is St. Luke’s School annual notification that ACBM’s are present in the building. A program has been implemented to ensure that the material is maintained in good condition, and appropriate precautions are followed if the material is disturbed for any reason. This management program consists of surveillance, inspection, response action, record keeping and training for maintenance and custodial staff, and is available for review at the school office. It is the policy of St. Luke’s to provide a safe environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors.
New York State Education Law, Section 409-H, requires schools to provide written notification regarding actual or potential use of pesticides throughout the school year. St. Luke’s School is also required to maintain a list of students, parents or staff members who wish to receive a 48-hour prior written notification of specific pesticide applications in the District. While the school does not anticipate any situation where there will be a need to provide notification of a pesticide application 48 hours in advance, if you would like to receive such notification if one were required, please call the school office, requesting pesticide application notification. In the unlikely event an application of a regulated pesticide application is required, the school would not apply such chemicals unless the school was to remain unoccupied for a continuous 72 hours following the application. In doing so, a 48-hour notification would not be required.
Extended Day Programs
St. Luke School provides Morning Care, beginning at 7:00 am, for families who are in need of early drop off for their children. An After School Program is also offered for students from dismissal until 6:00 pm. A daily/weekly fee is charged for those who participate. Students who attend the Morning Care or After School Program must follow the directions of the program supervisors. Any student who is a disruption to either program will not be permitted to return.
After School “Clubs”
Teachers often volunteer to host an afterschool club/workshop. Flyers are posted on e-envelope and admittance is on a first come, first served basis, with size limitations decided by the teacher. Parents/guardians must pick up their child at the designated spot in a timely fashion. Students who do not follow behavioral guidelines may be removed from the club/workshop.
Bus service is provided by the Office of Pupil Transportation for students in Grades K to 6 who qualify based on distance from St. Luke School. Student Metro Cards can also be issued for those who qualify, upon request.
Private Bus Service is available at the expense of the parent. Call the school office for further information.
Limited subsidy from the State of New York for services mandated such as attendance recording, testing and curriculum is received annually.
Child Lures Prevention Program
The Child Lures/Teen Lures Prevention programs are presented to the children and youth who attend each academy or parish school. This program is tailored to different age groups and covers topics such as staying healthy and safe, kindness and respect, trusted adults, my body belongs to me, child luring, choosing grown-ups to help, children are special, and abuse is never a child’s fault (topics will vary based on age level appropriateness). For older students, topics include sexual assault, harassment, dating violence, bullying/cyberbullying, sexting, identity theft, online luring, suicide and human trafficking with the goal of facilitating authentic conversations to bring awareness to the topics.
Each program provides teachers with the resources to facilitate appropriate conversations. Parents/ legal guardians will also be provided with a link to access parent guides digitally to continue the conversations within their homes.
Signs of Suicide (SOS) Prevention Program
SOS Signs of Suicide (SOS) is a universal, school-based prevention program designed for middle school (ages 11-13) and high school (ages 13-17) students. The goals of this program are:
· Decrease suicide and suicide attempts by increasing student knowledge and adaptive attitudes about depression
· Encourage personal help-seeking and/or help-seeking on behalf of a friend
· Reduce the stigma of mental illness and acknowledge the importance of seeking help or treatment
· Engage parents and school staff as partners in prevention through “gatekeeper” education
· Encourage schools to develop community-based partnerships to support student mental health
Through a video and guided discussion, students learn to identify warning signs of suicide and depression. At the end of the session, students complete a seven-question screening for depression (anonymous or signed – the school can decide) to further encourage help-seeking and connect students at risk with trusted adults. The curriculum raises awareness about behavioral health and encourages students to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) when worried about themselves or their peers.
The principal reserves the right to amend this handbook at any time for just cause.
TRIP PERMISSION SLIP - BLANK FORM - TO BE SUBMITTED WHEN THERE IS A TRIP - COPY LOCATED ON THE PARENT E ENVELOPE
*All health related policies and procedures have been adopted from the regulations published by the NYC Department of Education in partnership with the NYC Board of Health.
Hygiene and Health Requirements
a. Face Coverings
Students are required to wear face coverings when in the school building and maintain appropriate social/physical distancing. Students should bring an appropriate face covering from home. The school will have surgical masks available for students as needed. Students’ cloth face coverings should be clearly identified with their names or initials, to avoid confusion or swapping. Students’ face coverings may also be labeled to indicate top/bottom and front/back. Non-disposable masks should be washed daily.
All visitors to the school for any reason will always be required to wear a face covering while on school grounds or in the school building. Faculty and Staff are also required to wear masks
All masks for faculty, staff, and students are subject to approval by the principal and Office of the Superintendent of Schools. Masks should be plain and free of any objectionable statements or support for any group, product, political view, and so on, other than the name of their Parish School or Catholic Academy.
Students will be provided opportunities for short breaks to remove masks throughout the day, while social distancing, in addition to removing them during outdoor times and while eating.
b. Social Distancing
Classrooms and other school areas will be set up to ensure social distancing between students. Students will also be required to maintain social distance when they are not at their desk. This is particularly important when students are not wearing face coverings such as while eating or during mask breaks.
If a student or staff members displays symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day, the following procedures will be followed:
· Each building will have a designated Isolation Room for students or staff who display symptoms
· A student showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be escorted to the Isolation Room by a staff member wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
· The area where the student was showing symptoms will be immediately cleaned and disinfected.
· The student will be evaluated by the nurse/health professional in the Isolation Room.
· A family member or guardian will be contacted by a staff member and asked to pick up the student.
· Upon pick up, the nurse/health professional and school staff will strongly advise the family to visit a doctor and get the student tested for
· Any student placed in the Isolation Room will be adequately supervised by a staff member during this time until the ill student can be picked up.
Parents/ legal guardians will be asked to check student temperatures and screen students for symptoms prior to their arrival to school grounds. In the event that parents/ legal guardians are unable to do so, school staff members will be designated to complete health screenings. It is asked that all parents/ legal guardians are vigilant in temperature and symptom screenings for their children for the safety of other students as well as staff members. School staff will also perform random temperature screenings for both students and staff members using no-touch thermometers.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are:
· Fever of 100.0°F or higher or chills
· Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,
· Muscle or body aches,
· Loss of taste or smell,
· Sore throat, congestion or runny nose,
· Nausea or vomiting,
Students Excluded from In-Person Learning
School-based staff and students cannot report to school if they have:
· Been knowingly in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19.
· Tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
· Experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F, in the past 14 days.
· Traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.
Returning to School after Showing Symptoms
Any individual (student or staff member) showing signs of COVID-19 can only return to school when the following conditions are met:
• Received a positive COVID-19 test AND
• Isolated for 10 days AND
• Presents clearance from a healthcare provider AND
• The individual has been symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
• Received a negative COVID-19 test AND
• Presents clearance from a healthcare provider AND
• The individual has been symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
• Never got a COVID-19 test AND
• At least 10 days have passed since symptoms started AND
• Presents clearance from a healthcare provider AND
• The individual has been symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
If DOHMH or NYC Test & Trace Corps determine the individual is considered a close contact of a positive case, the individual can only return to school when all the following are met:
• The individual has completed a 14-day quarantine regardless of symptoms or COVID-19 test results since their last exposure to that case AND
• Presents clearance from a health care provider evaluation AND
• The student has been symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
• Students in quarantine should participate in remote learning if feeling well enough.
Academies and parish schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn will continue to work to provide in-person learning as long as it is safe to do so. Academies and parish schools will follow guidance from local Board of Health officials as well as directives from the City of New York to ensure student safety.
Per the New York City Department of Education “In order for schools to reopen and stay open, the percentage of positive tests in New York City must be less than 3% using a 7-day rolling average. Schools will need to close if the percentages of positive tests in New York City are equal to or more than 3% using a 7-day rolling average. It is important to note that the above threshold is just one trigger for closing schools but may not be the only trigger. For example, a decision to close schools would be made where there were recurrent, uncontrolled outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools, even if the overall case rates across New York City were to remain low.”
In the event of positive cases reported within the school community, the following procedures will be followed per NYC Test & Trace Corps and DOHMH Investigations:
Distance/Remote learning that is facilitated by a Catholic Academy or Parish School within the Diocese of Brooklyn is bound by all parts of the Acceptable Use Policy. As distance/remote learning requires the use of other mediums such as teleconferencing platforms, virtual classrooms, digital file transfer and online work, there are other factors that need to be addressed.
· Device Usage – The use of school/academy or personal devices for distance learning is allowed. It is recommended that all school/academy issued accounts only be used for schoolwork purposes and that those accounts are signed out of after work is completed. All usage is governed by this policy.
· Video/Audio Conferencing – Video or audio-conferencing platforms may be used to facilitate class meetings and communication between teachers and students for teaching and group work. When using these platforms, participants must remember to conduct themselves in a professional manner commensurate with behavior expected in a physical classroom. Entering meetings other than those you are explicitly invited to by the coordinator (teacher, principal, etc.) is strictly prohibited. Trying to circumvent the security of a meeting, “hijacking” a presentation or displaying any objectionable content during a meeting is a direct violation of this policy and subject to the disciplinary actions contained within. Recording of video/audio conferences is also prohibited.
· File Transfer/Submission – The transmittal of files may be required at times for teachers to provide and students to submit work. The willful transfer of objectionable material, malicious content or any other such transmissions is a violation of this policy.
· Learning Platforms – The use of learning platforms such as ThinkCentral, Learn360, Mathletics, Microsoft 365, Google Classroom and others is for the sole purpose of supporting and furthering the education of students. Any use of these platforms for any other reason may be considered a violation of this policy.
· Any use or misuse of the technology provided for distance learning that interferes with the education of students or the operations of the school/academy is a violation of this policy.