Saint Ursula School
3937 Kirk Avenue, Allison Park, PA 15101 / 412 486-5511 / www.stursulaschool.org
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VISION STATEMENT / DEPARTMENT FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
The Vision for the Department for Catholic Schools is to promote and to sustain Catholic Schools of unparalleled quality, which integrate faith into every aspect of life and culture, producing graduates who continually strive for human and Christian perfection.
PHILOSOPHY OF SCHOOL
It is the aim of St. Ursula School to provide a Catholic, educational setting in which our students and their families can integrate Gospel values in daily living. We strive to create a climate in which each child can develop spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally, and socially, and in turn, enhance the world.
Each child will develop an understanding of Catholic Doctrine, Liturgy, the Sacraments, Sacred Scripture, and Personal Prayer to build a personal relationship with Christ.
All children will be provided with challenging, yet realistic goals to achieve their full potential. Individual learning styles and rates of achievement will be recognized.
Each child will receive guidance in developing sound attitudes and habits for both mental and physical health.
Each child will develop a Christian awareness of responsibility to God, family, parish, community, nation and world.
MIDDLE STATES ACCREDITATION
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredits St.Ursula School. Middle States accreditation is an expression of confidence in St.Ursula School' s mission, goals and objectives, performance and resources and validates publicly the excellence in education.
The Middle States Evaluation is an ongoing process requiring the submission of updated plans every three years. After ten years the school is re-evaluated for continued accreditation. We were re-accredited in May 2001.
CATECHETICS (Religious Education)
Catechetics is the center of the Catholic school. A conscious effort is made to create a Christ-centered atmosphere by stressing Christian values in the classroom as well as throughout the school. A conscious effort is made to integrate catechetics into every aspect of the school curriculum.
Our belief in Jesus has drawn us to this school community. Our beliefs are expressed in and strengthened by daily communal prayer. Students develop skills and a love for the Church's daily worship. Prayer includes a prayer service each morning with simple prayers for before and after lunch and at the end of the day.
An introduction each morning briefly sketches the saint or feast of the day or some aspect of the liturgical season. Attention is also given to the seasons of the year, to the anniversaries of historical figures and peacemakers of our time, and to the civil holidays that have significance for our children.
Faith experiences are an integral part of catechetics. Opportunities for Eucharistic Liturgies, Reconciliation, Stations of the Cross, classroom prayer and service to others are to be included. Community is at the heart of Catholic education, not simply as a concept to be learned, but as a reality to be lived.
The principal, in conjunction with the Pastor and the Director of Religious Education, work with the teachers in the religious development and sacramental preparation of the students. Parent Preparation Programs for Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Confirmation are held during the year. These are parish programs and involve all eligible children and parents of the parish.
II. DAILY PRACTICES AND POLICIES
St. Ursula School admits students of any race or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to all students formally accepted into the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race or national or ethnic origin in the administration of our educational policies, admission policies; athletic or other school administered programs. Children who are not Catholic are expected to participate in religion classes and to attend all religious functions of the school/church.
A student entering kindergarten must be five years of age by September 1st. Official certificates of birth and baptism are required at the time of registration. Students entering first grade must be six years of age by September 1st. Those registering for grades 1-8 must fulfill the age requirement for the desired grade and present letters of recommendation from the previous school. A mini-battery will be administered to all new students to verify placement. Grade level and academic group determinations are made on the basis of school records.
Immunization records must be complete before any child may enter school. The requirements are as follows:
1 dose of chicken pox vaccine
4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (one dose must be after the fourth birthday)
3 doses of oral polio vaccine
2 doses of measles vaccine after the first birthday (or proof by blood test of having had measles)
1 doses of mumps vaccine after the first birthday (or proof by physician's letter of having had mumps)
1 dose of rubella vaccine after the first birthday (or proof by blood test of having had German measles)
3 properly spaced doses of hepatitis B vaccine (K-4)
Regular attendance at school is a major factor in determining academic success. Students who are absent for more than thirty days during the academic year may be denied academic promotion.
Absences from school are defined as either Excused or Unexcused according to guidelines from the Pennsylvania School Code. Excused absences include illness, quarantine, impassable roads, recognized religious holidays, and urgent reasons, such as a death in the family or a court appearance. The state guidelines also permit an Excused Absence for Educational trips if a request is sent to the school prior to the dates of the trip. If no prior notice is received, the absence is classified as Unexcused.
Parents should call the school office on the first day that a child is absent from school. Give the child's name, homeroom teacher, and reason for absence. Unless the absence will be for an extended period of time, please make arrangements with another child to have assignments brought home.
Upon returning to school from an absence, a student must submit a written excuse to his/her homeroom teacher as required by state law. If this excuse is not submitted within three days following the absence, the absence will be classified as Unexcused.
A written excuse should be given to the teacher/principal for the following reasons:
Following an absence
Excused from gym class
Permission for out of school appointments (child is expected to return when possible)
Change of plans in leaving school (bus, ride or walk)
According to the Pennsylvania School Code, Section 1332, "The absence of any pupil who remains out of school with or without his parent's permission, and is not absent because of illness or for other urgent reasons, as defined in the School Code, shall be unexcused. Such absence will be recorded as 'unlawful-unexcused' for a pupil who is under the compulsory attendance age." Section 1333, "Any such child who has been absent three days, or their equivalent, during the term of compulsory attendance, without lawful excuse shall be given written notice. If, after such notice is given, attendance is again violated by the person, such person shall be liable for referral to the magistrate."
Parents and guardians of students who acquire excessive absences may be required to provide documentation from a physician indicating that the absences are relating to an existing medical condition.
All students must bring or buy a lunch. Those bringing lunch may purchase milk. All students may purchase items from the ala’ carte line.
The use of good manners is encouraged and, therefore, the following cafeteria rules are to be observed:
Remain seated unless disposing of garbage, etc.
Refrain from abusing food; your own or that of others.
Always walk while in the cafeteria.
Refrain from shouting or screaming; enjoy the company of those nearby.
Be courteous and respectful to all those helping during the lunch period.
Do not take food from the cafeteria.
The cafeteria is operated in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, age, handicap, religion, or national origin.
Cafeteria and Bingo
Every school family is required to volunteer a minimum of 6 days for either cafeteria duty, bingo duty or both, throughout the school year. If you cannot work the required 6 days due to other commitments there is a $120 fee to cover your responsibility. You have several options: you may opt out completely and pay the $120, you may choose to do several days and pay the remainder of the fee to opt out of those or you can go over the 6 required days. overage will result in a $20 credit towards your assessment for every day worked over the 6. We need several people to sign up for the start of the school year for cafeteria, if you are able to volunteer please go to the links below to sign up.
Cafeteria duty usually runs from about 10:30 - 1 p.m. (serve food, clean tables)
Bingo duty is every Tuesday night and runs from about 5:30 p.m. till about 10 p.m. ( Set-up, serve food,help clean up after bingo)
Please clink on the links below to sign up:
Parents are strongly urged to mark their children's personal belongings with their names. Since children do not readily claim lost items, proper identification helps us to find the owner and save parents the cost of replacement. Parents and children are encouraged to look for lost clothing items. Lost items, such as glasses, watches and purses, if found, are to be turned in to the office. Items that are not claimed by the end of each school year are donated to charity.
Discipline is the key to good conduct and to respecting the rights of others and is essential to learning. Classroom standards and expectations for student behavior vary according to age and are determined by the individual teacher. If behavior warrants action, any member of the faculty may issue a student detention. Depending on the severity, this detention may be served either during recess or after school hours. If the detention is after school, parents are responsible for transportation.
In the event of a serious act of misbehavior or repeated acts of misbehavior, a student may serve either an in-school or out-of-school suspension. If misconduct continues, a student may be asked to leave the school. These decisions rest with the administration and may be necessary for the benefit of the total program.
Parents should make every effort to schedule appointments when school is not in session. However, if a child must have an early dismissal, he/she must have a written note for the principal's approval. For these dismissals, parents or an authorized adult must meet the child at the office and sign him/her out at the authorized time. Children who arrive later than 10:00 a.m. will be marked as absent in the morning. Children who leave school before 12:00 p.m. will be marked absent in the afternoon.
At the beginning of each school year, parents are required to complete a Student Emergency Card. It is imperative that the school is able to reach you to inform you of illness or an emergency situation. It is also important to list the names of others who can be contacted should you be unavailable. Please keep the card updated by notifying the office.
Emergency Closings and Delays
If inclement weather or some other emergency requires that the school be delayed or closed, this information will be announced on KDKA RADIO AND WPXI TV. Because of the number of public districts represented in our school, it is important that you listen for an announcement that identifies St.Ursula School. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL OR RECTORY FOR THIS INFORMATION.
In the event of a two-hour delay, specifically naming St. Ursula School, all children should report to school at 10:20 am. If the announced delay does not specifically mention St.Ursula School, but does name one of the public districts that service our school, only those children should follow the announcement. Children who ride the buses of other districts who are not delayed or who walk or are driven should arrive at the normal time.
PLEASE NOTE: Because our attendance registers are legal indicators of a child's presence at the times we are in session, children who arrive late or are absent because of busing when school is in session will be marked as Excused Tardy or Excused Absence.
Teachers will be present at the usual time.
Situation 1 - In the event that we would be required to dismiss school early, homeroom coordinators will initiate a phone chain to notify parents as soon as possible. However, because phone service may be interrupted in the school, some emergency situations may not allow for this option. Children will be dismissed as parents are notified and transportation is arranged either by the school district or parents.
Situation 2 – All students may be required to be transferred to another safe environment during the school day. Procedures are in place for an orderly transfer of all students to Wyland School by the Hampton School District.
Situation 3 - All students may be required to be kept at our school building beyond the required school day or even overnight. In this case, enough food and water are available to our students and employees for up to 72 hours.
We will continue to update you on these and other measures that we are taking to make certain your children are safe at school and while under our supervision.
Before Care & After Care Program
We will have a before- school and after- school program this year. The earliest drop off time will remain at 7:30 a.m. Parents of children in Ready-K through 4th grade, if you plan on dropping your child off at 7:30 you will need to register for the program in the office the first day of school. There is a $25 registration fee for those who were not enrolled in the program last year. Before School care will be billed at $3 for the 1/2 hour. After school care runs from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. at a cost of $7 per hour, $10 will be applied if you pick your child up AFTER 6 p.m. Billing will be done on a monthly basis.
Every class is permitted 2 field trips during the year. Each student must have a signed permission slip before he/she is permitted to participate. Transportation, in accordance with diocesan directives, is provided by bus, and a fee is charged to cover costs. Proper behavior is expected from students and chaperones on field trips.
The Diocesan policy for funding elementary Catholic schools calls for each school to have fundraising activities to generate 10% of their total operating budget. School parents are expected to participate in these fundraising activities to the best of their ability. Each family is expected to raise the minimum set each year.
A reasonable amount of homework, according to grade level, is of great educational value and so is assigned every day. Assignments are not always written. Study and memory work is frequently assigned. Homework is assigned on a regular basis to: enrich school experiences, provide practice and review, develop good study habits teach responsibility, and foster originality.
Parents can assist students with home assignments in the following ways:
Provide a quiet spot away from the television, telephone, or other distracting elements;
Check to see what was accomplished during the designated study time regarding completeness, neatness, and correctness;
Be willing to listen to reading, spelling, and math facts and to explain procedures, but never do the assignment;
Consult the teacher if the child uses the excuse "no homework" too often.
If for some reason the child cannot complete an assignment, the parent should inform the teacher by written note stating the reason. Arrangements should be made as soon as possible to make up incomplete assignments. The Diocese recommends the following time schedule for home study:
Primary (levels 1-3) 30 min. Intermediate (levels 4-5) 45 min. Upper Elementary (levels 6-8) 1 to1-1/2 hrs.
At the discretion of the teacher, homework is not generally assigned on weekends. In case of student's absence, requests for homework should be made before 9:00 am.
The school library is open on school days. All books may be checked out for one week and a fine of 5 cents a day is charged for overdue books. Students are responsible for paying for any lost or damaged books.
The Student Life Committee sponsors parties for special occasions during the school year. No other instructional time should be used for parties without the principal's permission. Birthday treats should be distributed during lunch or recess. A note should be sent to the homeroom teacher the day before the treat will be sent to school.
Please do not send party invitations to school to be distributed for your child's birthday. This may cause hurt feelings among the students who are not invited. The only exception to this is if every boy or every girl or all students in your child's room are invited.
RIGHTS OF NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act gives full rights to each parent, unless the school has been provided with a court order (state’s statute or legally binding documents relating to such matters as divorce, separation or custody that specifically revokes these rights). Such an order is to be on file in the school and those persons responsible for the child(ren) are to be informed of the circumstances. Every effort is made to keep the non-custodial parent appraised of the progress of the child(ren) through reports, report cards and parent/teacher conferences.
St.Ursula School participates in Pennsylvania's Act 195/90 whereby the state purchases textbooks and instructional materials of non-religious items. A parent form with permission to have their child use these books is kept on file in the school office. All books are to be covered at all times. Students are responsible for the condition of the books given to them at the beginning of the year. Students will be required to pay for the book if it is damaged or lost. Books taken to and from school are to be placed in a bookbag.
For the convenience of families, supply lists are available for the year. Students provide their own school supplies but are expected to comply with individual teacher requirements.
Standardized, textbook, and teacher-made tests are administered to students throughout the year. These assessments require students to synthesize information, apply what they have learned and demonstrate their understanding of what has been taught.
Achievement Tests: Students in grades 2-8 are administered a standardized test to measure progress from one year to another. A component of the standardized testing program is an aptitude test that helps to define the ability of a student in relationship to the results of the standardized test. If a child should be absent due to illness, every attempt will be made to enable the child to make-up the tests. However, since the tests must be mailed on the last scheduled test day, make-up testing often necessitates taking more tests daily than is ideal. To prevent this, we ask that you do not schedule trips or appointments during the time of standardized testing.
Performance Assessment: Each child in grade K-8 participates in a Performance Assessment. This task allows students to respond to open-ended questions and to demonstrate their ability to use higher order thinking skills.
Teacher-made: Tests, which are constructed by teachers to measure, evaluate and determine what students have learned.
Textbook: Tests, which accompany textbooks, adopted for use with students in a particular area and are administered at the conclusion of a chapter and/or unit.
It is important that we know the ordinary means by which each child arrives and departs daily. A note is to be sent when a change is necessary. For reasons of safety and insurance, each child is to ride his/her assigned bus.
Students who live more than a 1.5 mile radius from St.Ursula School are eligible to be bused to school. Those who live along a route that has been declared "hazardous" are also eligible for busing. The Board of Education Transportation Division determines "hazardous route" claims. The student transportation policies and procedures of the local educational agencies responsible for busing students are applicable to all students in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Students are expected to maintain appropriate behavior and remain seated while in route on the bus. This insures their safety and the safety of others. If improper conduct occurs, the driver prepares a report, which is sent home to alert the parents to the problem. If the behavior persists, the bus company has the right to ask the school district to suspend the student's privilege of riding the bus, If the bus driver/company recommends that a student is removed from the bus, the principal will support it. This will result in the student losing bus privileges. The student/parent will then be responsible to make other arrangements for transportation.
The following bus rules are to be obeyed:
1. Remain seated at all times until the correct stop has been reached. If the driver has assigned seats, these seat assignments are to be honored
2. Keep head, hands and feet inside the bus.
3. In vehicles where seat belts are available, use them properly.
4. Do not ask to ride a bus other than the one to which you have been assigned or ask the driver to let you off at another stop. Only the Department of Transportation can authorize such changes.
Observe the same conduct as in the classroom. Quiet talking is permitted. Loud talking, etc. may distract the driver, prevent students from hearing instructions, or prevent the driver from hearing signals from emergency vehicles.
Be courteous; use no profane language.
Do not eat, drink, or chew gum on the bus.
Keep the bus clean
Cooperate with the driver.
Do not put anything out the window of the bus.
Do not be destructive
The driver is in charge. Any directives of the bus driver in addition to the above are to be followed.
At dismissal students walking and riding cars are dismissed shortly after the bus riders. Those picking children up by car should report to the office and the children will be called to the lobby.
At St. Ursula School various activities are offered:
Altar Servers (grades 4 through 8)
Students have the privilege of serving at the altar. Students who choose this privilege are expected to fulfill assigned responsibilities and be on time. Servers are expected to be in the sacristy at least 10 minutes before the liturgical service.
Assemblies are held for children throughout the school year. The assemblies are planned in conjunction with the principal, faculty, and the Student Life Committee with a focus on education.
Athletics (grades 4-8)
Students at St. Ursula may participate in the following Diocesan League sports: basketball, cross country, and soccer.
Basketball is offered at all levels, beginning with developmental teams in the intermediate grades and continuing with separate boys' and girls' junior varsity and varsity teams at upper levels.
Cross-Country is offered in the Fall and the Spring for students.
Soccer offers two coed levels. The varsity team is composed of students in grades 7 and 8, and the junior varsity students from grades 5 and 6. Fall and Spring season lasts eight weeks.
Fund raising for all teams is provided through bingo receipts. A general organizational meeting is held to acquaint parents and students with the athletic program.
Cantors and Choir (grades 3-8)
Students may cantor at school Masses and/or join the choir. Members of the choir meet after school and sing for the Parish Masses one Sunday a month.
Drama (grades 3 –8)
Students may audition for parts in the yearly play/musical. Practices are held outside of school time for several weeks before the performance.
Religious Activities (all)
Gospel Dramas- Classes may enact the gospel story during Mass to add to the knowledge and solemnity of the celebration.
May Crowning – Students honor Mary with procession and prayers during May.
Living Stations – To bring to life the story of the crucifixion; students portray in a solemn way Jesus’ way of the Cross during Holy Week.
FirstinMath (grades 3-8)
Students may participate on-line (www.firstinmath.com) for individual and school recognition in solving math problems. Program is sponsored by McDonald’s, Steelers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Forensics (grades 5-8)
Students may participate in the SouthWestern PA Forensics League. Students present speeches in poetry, prose, declamation, impromtu or debates three Saturdays throughout the year at hosting schools.
Instrumental Music Program (grades 4-8)
Band instruction is available for a fee for interested students from grades 4-8. The Diocesan Program dictates the monthly fee annually. The instruments are rented with the option to buy. Small group lessons are provided one period a week and practice is held once a week. It remains the responsibility of the student to make up missed work. A meeting is held at the beginning of each school year to provide more information for interested parents.
Junior Achievement (grades K-4)
Junior Achievement allows students to learn about economics, business and capitalism using fun activities for five sessions. Junior Achievement sponsors the program with parent volunteers teaching the classes.
Math 24 Challenge (grades 4-8)
Competition is open to all students for the Math contest at the school level. Top 4 students can then advance to further competition at the Diocesan and State Finals. Each school can enter 1 student from grades 4 or 5, 1 from grade 6, 1 from grade 7or 8, 1 student at the Platinum level.
Pizza Hut Book-It (grades K-6)
With the Book-It Incentive students are encouraged to do independent reading. After reading the required number of books designated by the teacher, students may earn a free pizza. Program runs October to May.
Robotics (grades 5-8)
The National Robotics Consortium sponsors the LegoLeague Robot Competition at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Center. Students prepare for the challenge by building robots and programming them to perform various required tasks. The RoboVikings compete usually the first Saturday of December.
Student Council consists of students from grades 5-8. To be selected, those students who desire to be on student council prepare and present a speech to the students. Elections are held and President, Vice-president, Secretary, and Treasurer, as well as, two representatives from each class are chosen. The officers are given the charge of planning and running the meetings, with the help of the faculty advisors.
The organizational goal is to foster espirit de corps through student planning and implementation of school activities. The Student Council sponsors social events, such as dances, pep rallies, talent shows. Students may volunteer to be teacher-aides during their free time. They raise money for various charitable causes, such as Chimbote, Catholic Charities, and the Holy Childhood Association. They sponsor an annual food drive each Thanksgiving and the "Souper" bowl.
St. Ursula School offers a strong traditional curriculum. In the "Continuous Growth Program" of the Diocese of Pittsburgh students advance through a defined curriculum according to their individual needs and abilities. In addition to meeting all the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the curriculum gives special attention to the integration of Gospel values.
Curriculum Guidelines for all subject areas are utilized by the Catholic elementary schools and provided through the Department for Catholic Schools. The guidelines endeavor to give continuity to the teaching/learning process, and are geared to meet the individual needs of students and to guide the teaching/learning process.
All textbooks have been selected from the list of recommended texts devised by the Curriculum Directors of the Diocese. They are approved because the philosophy is consistent with the Catholic philosophy of education, the subject matter is adaptable to the Continuous Growth Program and because there is sequential, consistent development of material.
A formal catechetical program is taught daily. The Diocesan Catechetical Curriculum Guidelines, "Growing in God's Covenant" contains a balance of doctrinal content, scriptural understanding, faith formation, prayer and worship experiences. A variety of materials and resources are used to foster both spiritual growth and moral development.
The computer curriculum in the primary grades develops familiarity with functional uses of the computer with programmed software. In the upper grades, skills such as word processing, database, composition and entry, and the use of spreadsheets are emphasized. Efforts are made to integrate technology into all subject areas.
Instruction in the fine arts contributes to the development of the whole person; promotes individual expression; allows experimentation with diverse materials and elements; enables exploration and appreciation of the works of other students and major artists; develops an awareness and sensitivity toward the environment and finally promotes a deeper understanding of heritage and culture.
The fine arts curriculum provides a holistic approach to education, which incorporates many aspects of the core curriculum and can be integrated into the total educational experience.
Health and Physical Education
Health education, which leads to the total well being of each student, is the goal of the Diocesan "Health for Success" program. The program is a complete, comprehensive approach to developing our students physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. A health text, along with current periodicals such as "Current Health," is used. Guest speakers are invited to speak to the students about various health related topics.
A quality physical education program recognizes the value of teaching students to stay physically active and develop skills needed for present and future leisure. To achieve this goal, St. Ursula School incorporates the Department for Catholic Schools Curriculum, "Fit for Life" into the program. This program assists students in identifying their strengths, to build on their strengths, and to achieve personal goals.
The health and physical education curriculums strive to establish health, active students so that each child can develop to his or her full potential. Students learn to respect the rights of others and to follow rules through games and to be physically active. Learning to constructively channel energies helps the student to develop a good self-image. The skills, habits and attitudes developed within the program provide opportunities for greater success in the students' lives.
All students have a period of gym each week and are expected to wear gym clothes for that class. Kindergarten and first grade are not expected to change to school uniforms on their gym day.
The language arts curriculum has been developed to enable each student to be introduced to language as a viable form of communication, as an invaluable skill, and an art to be enjoyed. English classes center on improving writing, grammar and speaking, as well as expanding vocabulary and improving spelling.
Language, as a skill, provides the student with the important tools to speak fluently, to read and comprehend, to compose, to write legibly and to spell correctly. An awareness of the history of language and the continuous development of vocabulary also are important phases of skill development.
Students in grades K-5 center on an integrated approach to language arts developing the necessary skills essential for success including phonetic skills of the student. Students in grades 6-8 learn an appreciation of literature with skillful authors who vicariously open new worlds of adventure of far off places, times long past, and modern trends of good reading. Having developed a love for good literature, this aesthetic element overflows into the student's personal, oral and written expression.
The school library exists primarily to support and enrich the curriculum. It is a service and teaching agency as well as a place of purposeful learning.
The librarian and classroom teacher are partners in the instructional process. They plan and implement these activities so that the goals of both the content area and the library program are achieved.
The mathematics curriculum is designed to help students meet the mathematical needs of the present and future, to provide practice in logical reasoning, and to develop the ability to find patterns and recognize structure in mathematics. Basic facts are taught in the lower grades and must be memorized. Concepts are taught sequentially. In primary grades, students are introduced to many ideas that are foundational to an understanding of algebra. A full year of algebra is available for students who qualify in the eighth grade. Teachers promote problem solving skills and an exploratory inquisitiveness in all students to assure critical thinking skills. Cooperative learning in the classroom is essential to heighten student awareness in the value of cooperation in group situations, to strengthen communication skills in mathematics, and to promote a mathematically literate society.
The science curriculum is specifically designed to develop a student's understanding of science in human experience and the individual's role in the community and in society. Examples of scientific phenomena are explained and demonstrated. Students become scientists as they learn to understand and use the scientific method to organize ways to solve problems, and to seek the answers to the wonders of God's world. All students utilize a science lab for hands on participation. Students in grades 6-8 participate in Robotics Competition and Science Olympiad.
The social studies curriculum begins with an introduction to community helpers. It progresses to the study of family and friends, and later encompasses a more in-depth study of the community. Beginning in fourth grade, the curriculum focuses on the study of the United States land regions and Pennsylvania history. At the fifth grade level, United States history through the Civil War and a study of the United States geographical regions is covered. Sixth grade students study World Cultures and World Geography with an emphasis on the countries of the Eastern Hemisphere. Seventh grade studies United States history to the Reconstruction and eighth grade studies United States history beginning with the Reconstruction to the modern day. Map and geography skills are taught at all levels. Values such as social justice, peace, cooperation between states and governments' opposition to the "isms" such as racism, sexism, and materialism are integrated in the social studies program.
Language students learn the sounds and syntax of the language. Students are also introduced to culture. A variety of materials and methods are used for instruction.
Students in grades 2 through 5 receive instruction in Spanish. Students in grades 6 are introduced to several languages through "Languages Around the World"; Grades 7 and 8 receive a minimum of two hours of instruction per week in Spanish. Students are working toward proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing of the language. Most students qualify for year two of the language Spanish in high school.
The following services are offered through the Intermediate Unit or Public School District:
Math (Title I)
The Title I program is designed to provide additional assistance to students who are not demonstrating grade level proficiency in math. Funding for these services comes through the local public school district. Referrals for the program are based on teacher input, standardized test results, and parent approval. Alternate strategies are planned for students in accordance with individual instructional goals and in support of the classroom curriculum to help students develop mastery of basic skills.
ACT 89 SERVICES
Intermediate Unit personnel work with and provide support to students. These teachers, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, identify educational needs and design educational interventions and strategies to help a child succeed.
Speech and language is a special service offered to students to enhance communication skills, which directly impact social and academic interactions. Students must qualify through testing to be eligible for this service.
Student Assistance Program
The Student Assistance Program (E-SAP) is mandated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Act 211 of 1990. It is a comprehensive program of prevention, intervention, and support for students in grades K-12. The members of the team are the principal and faculty members of the school who have received special training through approved agencies.
The program exists in order to promote the growth and development of the child. The team members work with students who are experiencing behavior difficulties which impact their social, emotional, and educational progress.
Faculty and/or parents make referrals for the program. Once the team has received a referral, classroom teachers are asked to complete a form, which helps identify the behaviors. The team then makes informed assumptions as to what is needed to help the student, conveys this information to classroom teachers, parents/guardians and evaluates the results. If necessary, after consultation with parents, appropriate referrals are made to outside agencies.
Team members must maintain all information regarding students and their families under safeguard of privacy and confidentiality. Access is limited to those who have a legitimate educational interest.
A packet of school information is sent home each Monday. Parents are asked to sign this envelope and return it to school the next day. Any information or fliers, etc. that a parent may want to distribute must be approved by the principal. Parents may return any necessary forms in the envelope.
A monthly calendar and our monthly hot lunch menu are also included in the envelope. These two items should be saved for quick daily reference.
Any questions concerning your child should be directed to the teacher. Please call the school office and the teacher will be notified to contact you. Positive communication between teacher and parent is vital to our total educational program. Parents are asked not to call teachers at their homes.
Parents are informed of the student's progress and other school information as follows:
Quarterly report cards
Conferences on request
Parent Teacher Guild meetings
St. Ursula School administration and faculty are committed to teach and model Gospel values to encourage students to live their lives as a reflection of Christ. The philosophy of the school strives to recognize and respect the dignity of each person and to offer a positive, Christ-centered, safe learning environment based on the Social Teachings of the Church. Discipline is considered an element of moral guidance not as a form of punishment.
Every teacher and staff member shares the responsibility to model appropriate behavior and to support the structure necessary for learning self-discipline. Students are encouraged to assume responsibility for their actions, develop self-control, and accept responsibility and consequences for inappropriate behavior.
A Christ-centered school environment fosters the following behaviors:
1. Recognizing and fostering the uniqueness and dignity of each individual
2. Nurturing respect in all relationships involving school and parish community
3. Developing a sense of rights and responsibilities and commitment to the entire school and parish community.
Social skills, both interpersonal and intrapersonal, are taught, modeled, practiced, and infused into the daily life and experience of the school family.
The following seven principles are the basis of Catholic Social Teachings and are the principles that guide us in all of our interactions.
We believe in the life and dignity of the human person. Each person is sacred.
We believe we are called to family, community, and participation. It is our duty to support each other by our actions.
We believe that we have rights and responsibilities. Every person has the fundamental right to life and responsibility to and for one another.
We believe that we have an obligation to the poor and vulnerable. We are called to put the rights of others before our own.
We believe that we are called to care for God's creation. We are all stewards of the earth.
We believe that workers have rights and that work has dignity. Work is a form of participating in God's creation.
We believe that solidarity is our call. We are one family regardless of our differences.
As a matter of safety, students are expected to behave in the following manner:
1. to arrive after 7:35 am.
2. to gather in the designated area
3. to engage in quiet conversation to enter classroom after the teacher arrives
1. to walk quietly through the halls
2. to use proper language at all times
3. to follow the dress code for school days and dress up/down days
4. to respect school property and the property of other students
5. to have a note from their parent/guardian if they change their mode of transportation
In the classroom
1. to follow the classroom rules of the teacher
2. to be responsible for submitting homework on time and making up assignments missed within a reasonable amount of time
3. to have a respectful attitude toward teachers and one another
4. to be responsible for appropriate supplies
5. to be honest in all communications
6. to use computers and school equipment appropriately
7. not to chew gum
8. not to remain in or enter a classroom at any time without a teacher or designated adult present
1. not to re-enter the building unless for an emergency
2. to display good sportsmanship and exercise self control
3. to play in assigned areas only
4. to stay on school grounds at all times (This includes not retrieving a ball that has gone off school grounds.) To obey the directives of playground monitors, courteously and promptly
5. stop playing and walk quietly to their designated classroom when recess is over
to remain seated until finished eating and dismissed
to clean up, pick up all papers, scraps of food, etc., and dispose of them properly
to obey playground supervisors at all times
to follow dismissal procedures
to walk to assigned place to wait until bus or car ride arrives
to sign in at the extended care program if not picked up by 3:15 PM
At athletic events and assemblies
to practice good sportsmanship as spectators and participants
to show respect towards coaches, referees, and visiting teams
to maintain an appropriate silence during special performances
to behave responsibly
(If the principal is made aware of misconduct off school property of a child recognized to be a student in St. Ursula School, parents may be contacted; however, it is important to note that the school is not responsible for students actions that occur off school property.)
Principal will forward disciplinary notices given by public school bus drivers to parents to support the disciplinary report of the bus driver. (See page 10 for Bus Expectations.)
Please be aware that any disrespect, destructive act, or inappropriate behavior will be dealt with accordingly. If an individual student does not meet his/her personal responsibility for good conduct, the school may discipline the student.
The severity or repetitive nature of non-compliance to the above expectations will determine the appropriate consequences. To remediate unacceptable behavior, the following actions may be taken:
Teacher/student conference to develop a plan for remediation
Notification to parents
Referral to the E-SAP Team
School service required
Loss of recess
Denial of participation in school activities, including sports
School probation, or
The following behaviors will result in immediate administrative referrals and can result in referrals to law enforcement or other government agencies:
Violations of weapons policy
Violations of the drug/alcohol policy
Any purposeful action that results in bodily harm to another
No Bullying Policy
Bullying behaviors include not only physical aggression but also emotional, harassment and social alienation. The three major types can be further split into verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Each of these six categories of bullying behavior exists along a continuum from low-level violence to more severe. This program uses a chart to show the range and scope of bullying behavior that can occur at school, on the bus, at sports and social activities or on the internet.
The No Bullying Program allows students who bully to experience the consequences of their aggressive behavior. These consequences are administered not to punish but to help students change their behavior.
The consequences are:
First Occurrence: Teacher Intervention
Child identifies inappropriate behavior
Child gives a verbal promise to correct behavior
Teacher completes intervention form and sends it to the office
Second Occurrence: Teacher Intervention
Child identifies inappropriate behavior
Child gives a verbal promise to correct behavior
Child is given a “loss of privilege”
Teacher completes intervention form and sends it to the office
Third Occurrence: Teacher Intervention
Child identifies inappropriate behavior
Child gives a verbal promise to correct behavior
Child is given a “loss of privilege”
Child’s parents are contacted
Time scheduled with counselor
Teacher completes intervention form and sends it to the office
Fourth Occurrence: Teacher Intervention
Child is sent to the principal
Parent contact made
Student has in-school suspension
Once a child has reached the fourth occurrence, discipline continues to be at an administrative level.
NOTE: A behavior that is a serious physical threat would be directed straight to administration. Depending on the severity of the threat, in-school or out of school suspension or expulsion is possible.
Bullying Behavior Report Form
Name of student engaged in bullying behavior _____________________________
Name of student targeted ______________________________________________
Date and time of incident ______________________________________________
Location of incident __________________________________________________
Behavior was witnessed/reported by ____________________________________
Person completing the report ___________________________________________
Bullying Behavior was:
Physical Social Emotional
☐ Hitting ☐ Gossiping ☐ Insulting gesture
☐ Kicking ☐ Spreading rumor ☐ Name-calling
☐ Pushing ☐ Ostracizing ☐ Teasing
☐ Harming property ☐ Humilitating ☐ Other
☐ First incident Student gives a verbal promise to correct behavior.
☐ Second incident Student is given a “loss of privilege”.
☐ Third incident Student is given a “loss of privilege”.
Student’ s parents are contacted.
Time scheduled with counselor.
☐ Fourth incident Student is sent to the principal.
Parent contact made.
Student has in-school suspension.
☐ Fifth incident Depending on the severity of the threat, in-school or out of school
suspension or expulsion is possible.
Teacher Signature Principal Signature
Student Signature Parent Signature
St. Ursula School is a Catholic school that maintains the right to establish a uniform dress code for its students. It is recognized that proper school attire and good grooming are conducive to a student's educational and social development. This Dress Code was developed:
to promote a Christian atmosphere
to free children for academic concentration
to de-emphasize competition among children regarding clothing
to allow more economical dress for school, and
provide some choice to accommodate individual differences.
This Dress Code is required of all students in all grades, kindergarten through eighth grade. This policy is intended to maintain a standard of dress that is neat, economical, modest and attractive.
St. Ursula Parents and Faculty have adopted the following uniform code:
Slacks or Walking Shorts - navy or khaki
Shirts & Sweaters- red, white or navy
Jumpers, Skorts, Skirts - plaid and purchased from SchoolBelles
Slacks & Walking Shorts -navy or khaki
Shirts & Sweaters - red, white or navy
1. Dress or clean tennis shoes are acceptable. Socks or stocking are to be worn at all times. For safety and health concerns, all tie shoes should be kept tied.
2. Coats, jackets and outerwear are unacceptable classroom attire.
3. Hair is to be neatly combed and attractive in appearance. Hats, scarves or sweatbands are not permitted during class time. Students should not use hair spray, spray colognes or aerosol cans while in school.
Guideline for "Internet Use Policy" Implementation and Practice
St. Ursula School
This guideline is established to ensure understanding and application of St. Ursula School Internet Use Policy. St. Ursula School reserves the right to amend these guidelines at any time. It is understood that the administration of St. Ursula School will inform parents/guardians of any changes made in these Guidelines via the school's newsletter. Students' parents and/or guardians are required to review these guidelines with their child(ren) and complete and return the attached parent/guardian consent form.
This guideline includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:
Public domain and shareware software of all types
Access to any educational institutions and libraries.
Information and news from a wide variety of sources and research institutions
Be polite when sending written messages to others
Appropriate language is expected in all messages
Anything pertaining to illegal activity is expressly forbidden
Do not reveal access information, personal or otherwise
Do not disrupt others' use of the internet access
All users should remember that deleted materials could be retrieved.
The following actions, which are not inclusive, are considered unacceptable actions by the administration of St. Ursula School:
Placing unlawful information on the Internet
Using the Internet for non-school related activities
Sending messages that are likely to result in loss of the recipient’s work or systems
Using the Internet for commercial purposes
Using the Internet for political lobbying that does not support the expressed philosophy and tenets of the Catholic Church
Sending or receiving copyrighted material without permission.
Using Internet access to send or retrieve pornographic material, inappropriate file text, files dangerous to the integrity of the system, violent or threatening material or messages
Circumventing security measures on school or remote computers or networks
Falsifying one's identity.
VI. Individual Student Internet Use Contract
Be advised that your child(ren) will not be permitted to access St. Ursula School’s Internet until this agreement is signed, dated, and returned.
I have read the St. Ursula School Policy on Internet Access and the guidelines established from that policy. I understand fully and agree to abide by the policy statement and the guideline statements expressed or implied.
Each child in the household who attends St. Ursula School, grades 2-8, must sign this agreement.
I have read the St. Ursula School Internet Access Policy and the guidelines established from that policy. I understand fully the information that is contained therein. I agree to not hold school administration and faculty responsible for materials my child(ren) acquires as a result of inappropriate Internet use.
I accept full financial responsibility if and when my child(ren) access the Internet without an account on equipment provided on the school site.
Return this document to St. Ursula School via your oldest child's homeroom teacher.
All sport programs are the responsibility of the Pastor/Principal. The Athletic Director is accountable to the Pastor/Principal. Coaches are selected by the Athletic Director and approved by Pastor/Principal and serve on a volunteer basis. The Diocesan Guidelines for Elementary Catholic Schools Sports programs guides the policies. Parent interest and willingness to serve on the Board are vital to the continued success of the program.
Fund Raising Committee
The goals of this volunteer group are straightforward, yet challenging. Simply stated, the first of the primary goals is to raise fund to meet 10% of the annual budget as mandated by the Diocese. The second is to provide opportunities for families to meet their assessment through various activities. (e.g. certificate program, Annual Dinner & Auction, Market Day, candy sales, lottery tickets, entertainment books, bingo) All parents are encouraged and welcomed to participate. Meeting dates are listed on the monthly calendar.
Vision and Planning
"Focusing on our Future; Building on our Strengths" is the motto of this volunteer planning group. The purpose is to develop a comprehensive strategy to provide the highest quality, affordable, faith-based education available. They aim to develop a strategy that integrates the needs of the school with the parish and the host community. All parents are encouraged to participate.
Student Life Committee
The Student Life Committee is established to enrich the academic experience for both our students and their families through a comprehensive plan of social and service oriented activities. The Student Life Committee works with faculty and administration to plan field trips, holiday parties, Catholic Schools Week activities, service projects and social gatherings. Meetings are held three times a year and are open to all interested parents.
The supplies needed by the students vary at each grade level and are determined by the needs of the subject. Teachers will inform students of specifics during the first week of school.
Except for emergencies, no child is permitted to use the telephone, including cell phones. Forgotten homework, books, lunch, gym clothes or changes in afternoon plans are not sufficient cause to call home. In all cases, the office will make the phone call home.
When a student transfers to another school, parents should notify the school office as soon as possible. Academic records will not be forwarded until all financial obligations to the school have been met.
Parents who register a student in the school enter into a contractual obligation with the school. The first tuition payment is due by July 10th of the upcoming academic year; subsequent payments are due the tenth of each month, with the full payment due by April. Parents are reminded that the operational budget of the school is dependent on timely fulfillment of this obligation. Parents whose tuition is in arrears will receive a notice indicating the past due amount. Registration for the next school year, final grades, and transfers of academic records will not be processed if there is an outstanding balance.
Scholarship monies are available for eligible families. The Private School Aid Service (PSAS) application is used. An independent evaluator assesses these applications. This one application is used for Scholastic Opportunities Scholarships, Bishop's Education Fund and must be filed by March 15th. Application forms are available in the school's office.
The help of volunteers is always welcome in the school and at school-sponsored events. Please consider using some of your time and talent to help enhance our quality program. The possibilities are endless. At St. Ursula School, parents play an integral role in the education of their children through the Parent Teacher Guild, athletics, fund-raising activities, homeroom parents, lunchroom helpers and field trip chaperones. This partnership is invaluable to the success of our school.
VI. HEALTH AND SAFETY
It is often difficult to decide if your child should stay home from school when complaining of illness. An objective sign is an elevated temperature. It is recommended that a child be kept home from school until the temperature has remained normal (below 100° ) for 24 hours.
If a child has a temperature of 100° or more, skin rash, diarrhea/vomiting, strep throat, or evidence of lice, the child will be sent home. Parents are asked to use discretion in sending their children to school if they display any of these symptoms. Please inform the school office if your child becomes sick with a contagious illness. Notes will be sent home with the other children to warn parents of contact and incubation of communicable diseases.
Accident and Injury
In the case of accident or illness at school, parents are contacted to take the child home, to the doctor, or hospital. In an emergency, it is the procedure to dial "911" and have the student transported to the nearest hospital (or other hospital as determined by the responding emergency providers). It is important for your child's safety and comfort, as well as the effective operation of the office, that emergency information needed to locate parents is available for each child and that this information is kept up-to-date by parents.
Parents of children who have any type of physical disorder should contact the principal, school nurse, or teachers to make them aware of the problem.
Whenever possible, medicine is to be given at home. Parents should request their physician to adjust the schedule for administration so that it can be given before and after school hours.
If medicine must be administered at school, the following guidelines apply:
The medication must be delivered to the school by a responsible adult along with a physician's written request for distribution by school personnel.
Medication brought to school must be in a container labeled by a pharmacist or doctor. The label must include the student's name, the name of the physician, date of prescription, dosage, and frequency of administration.
Parents must sign an Indemnity Agreement which has been prepared by the Legal Office and distributed through the school office.
Fire drills are held monthly. Exit directions, which are posted in prominent places in each room, are to be followed. No one--teacher, student or other personnel--may remain in the building during fire drills. When the fire bell rings, all are to leave the room quickly and quietly in single file. Students remain outside until summoned back to class.
Students are to remain in absolute silence during all fire drills. Misconduct of any nature is to be reported to the principal. This is a very serious offense and will be dealt with immediately.
Weather Emergency Drills
Weather emergency drills are practiced twice a year. Teachers follow the policy governing weather emergencies for student safety. Students must maintain silence at all times during a weather emergency drill. Staff assists handicapped students.
For security reasons, anyone entering St. Ursula School is to report to the office or receptionist immediately regardless of the purpose of the visit. For the safety of all students, a visitor's badge must be worn. Communication with teachers and students will be handled by the school office and will be done in a manner that does not disrupt the educational process in the school.
Any articles or items to be left for a student will be left in the school office or with the receptionist. This will eliminate any unnecessary interruptions to classes and instruction.
All doors to the school will be closed and locked during school hours. Parents and visitors should ring the buzzer on the main school door to gain entrance to the building.
Every school day, weather permitting, the students enjoy an outside break supervised by staff members. Organized play is encouraged. Rough games, water guns, snowballing, hard balls, and frisbees, are not permitted.
Students are never to leave the playground area without the permission of the principal and the knowledge of the playground monitor. In case of illness or accident, the student is to report to the school office.
Lunch monitors have the responsibility of enforcing rules. They are to be obeyed and treated respectfully. When the bell rings to end the playground session, the students will be met by their homeroom teacher and brought to their classrooms in silence.
If inclement weather makes it necessary to stay indoors at lunchtime, classroom rules are to be observed.
A school nurse is assigned to St. Ursula School by the Hampton School District and is present in the building one day a week. She is available in any emergency situations. The responsibilities of the school nurse include:
Keeping updated health records for all students.
Screening students for hearing—grades K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 7th.
Assuring the completion of a physical examination before entrance to school and in the 6th grade
Screening students for vision—yearly.
Scoliosis screening—grade 7.
Recording height and weight for students—yearly.
Recording required immunizations. (Seventh grade: Hepatitis B and 1 dose chicken pox vaccine.)
The Pennsylvania School Health Law requires dental examinations for students entering grades K, 3rd and 7th. These grades were selected because they represent critical periods of growth and development in a child's life. We recommend that your family dentist do these examinations. School dental health evaluations will be provided for students who do not furnish proof of a private dental examination within the last six months. Forms are given out to the students before school ends so that appointment can be scheduled over the summer.
St. Ursula School Traffic Safety Information
St. Ursula School is a wonderful learning place for our children. Parents choose to send their students to St. Ursula because the education, values, and Catholic faith taught meet their needs and enhance and support family life.
Please take a few moments and carefully review the following information regarding the school traffic flow, map, and guidelines. Also please share this information with anyone who will be transporting your student(s).
Keep in mind that these guidelines are not intended to inconvenience anyone but to help ensure the safety of our children and parents. Being aware of our actions and maintaining order will prevent accidents and injury. Please put safety first.
Guidelines for Parents and Faculty
Treat the entire length of Kirk Avenue as a one way street going downhill
Maintain a speed limit of 15 mph
Do not drop children off in the middle of the intersection (Cella and Kirk)
Turn off your engine when you leave your car --NEVER leave your car running and unattended
Cross the street with children less than 10 years old
Yield to pedestrians in crosswalk
Utilize the bus line to quickly drop off children in front of school
Set parking brake/curb car when parking on hills
When accompanying your child into the building, park in an approved space and use the crosswalk
Please refer to map for approved parking spaces and traffic flow
See the map below to illustrate the points made here.
We appreciate your attention and help in maintaining a safe environment both inside and outside St. Ursula School.