Our school is rooted in the legacy of Catherine McAuley, the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.  We affirm the Mercy tradition of caring for the poor, respecting the uniqueness of each person, and protecting the environment through responsible stewardship.  We teach the gospel values of Jesus Christ to provide our students with the knowledge to make just choices in life.  Administration, faculty, and parents work together to foster a community of love, respect, and academic excellence.


 Teaching Philosophy

“Catherine McAuley animated many to walk with her.  She animated others at centers of wealth, power, and influence to share in her heroic efforts. She connected the rich to the poor, the healthy to the sick, the educated and skilled to the uninstructed, the influential to those of no consequence, the powerful to the weak to do the work of God on earth.”  Tender Courage

Strong in our belief in God’s message as revealed by Jesus Christ, we are led by the Spirit to live a life of faith in action.  Our work is deeply rooted in the legacy of Catherine McAuley.  In the Mercy tradition, we proclaim our message of hope in our task of building the City of God on earth.  This calling is evidenced in our daily response of making a commitment towards a conversion of the heart.  Our chosen path is distinct;  it calls each of us to be the best that we can be so that each person will be able to walk confidently with a strong faith, a vision of hope, and a love for one another.  Our faith community continues to make a significant difference in bringing about the Kingdom of God on earth.  We believe that the experiences we share with our children in doing God’s work will lead them to choose to walk in the ways of the Lord.

We affirm that Catholic Education is built upon the Christian values which are rooted in the family.  Our school community continues to nurture these values through a commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Our pastor shepherds his people and calls each of us to share in this ministry.  Our faculty is strengthened through a spiritual and emotional support system evidenced in our shared prayer life, celebrations, and our daily noon meal.  Our community’s shared time together is cherished as an opportunity to grow towards wholeness in relationship with God and with one another as we seek to build the Kingdom.

We are called through the Church’s mission of service to live the message we proclaim.  The teachers willingly assume the responsibility of role models in creating an atmosphere of service.  Our children are challenged by this awareness of service to live the gospel message as peacemakers.  Our school community responds to injustices on a local, national, and international level through the impetus of our Social Justice Outreach Organization which fosters service to God, church, and neighbor.

Within each child we seek to nurture the desire to learn through a variety of experiences in religious, intellectual, social, personal and physical activities and programs.  The acquisition of knowledge is encouraged as an ongoing process.  Our children are taught how to learn, as well as basic skills, which are mastered as stepping stones to be utilized in seeking truth in myriad avenues of life.  Firmly rooted in our teaching is a strong emphasis on developing the faith life of each child.  We seek to enable each child to make just choices.

Our faculty consciously seeks to strengthen basic skills and to develop abilities in self-expression, critical thinking, problem solving, and creative thought.  We value highly the self-esteem of each child;  we call each other to personalize our school by identifying the unique individuals who come to learn, to pray, and to play each day.

We as a faculty are eclectic in our intellectual thought and approach.  We draw upon the professional expertise each member brings to the school through training, experiences, and resources.  Intellectual activity operates under conditions of freedom, whereby the children learn to accept responsibilities for their choices and actions and the consequences of those decisions.

We acknowledge each child’s intellectual ability and encourage our children to work towards their potentials.  Basic skills are developed through a sequential process from the concrete to the abstract.  Our educational program fosters opportunities for reinforcement and enrichment.

We view personal development as the continual growth of our children, from their perception as an extension of their family to that of independent decision makers.  We provide each child with the opportunity to interact with other children, to develop leadership qualifies, and to make choices which will strengthen self-image.  In light of our Christian values and beliefs, we emphasize our commitment to help our children realize that they are indeed made in the image of Jesus Christ.  Their choice to follow Jesus is a personal one but is guided by a community which truly believes in the gospel message of love and service.

We believe that the social development of our children involves the commitment of our community to help seek a just society.  We come together to serve one another in the name of Jesus.  The faculty fosters a spirit in which every individual is valued and treated with respect.  The children are given models to follow, while their ability to make choices is nurtured.  Social justice issues are incorporated into the curriculum so that the children will be able to think critically about their response to our call to live as Jesus did.  The faculty views itself as a catalyst in awakening and empowering the community to build the Kingdom of God.

We view the goal of physical education as an understanding and acceptance of the capabilities and limitations of one’s body.  Physical education is vital to the development of the total child.  We affirm the value of group play and cooperation, which teach respect for one another.

We maintain that the spiritual development of our children is an ongoing process as we nurture their faith life.  We call the children to recognize their Christian identity and to make a response to the call of Jesus.  A variety of liturgical experiences enriches both the personal and communal dimensions of our lives.  It is our hope that as our children journey through life, they may learn to accept its joys and sorrows, and become the image of Christ in the world.  “Catholic education is an expression of the mission entrusted by Jesus to the Church He founded.  Through education, the Church seeks to prepare its members to proclaim the Good News and to translate this proclamation into action.”



In all subject areas, St. Helena School follows the curriculum guidelines established by the Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.



At St. Helena School, we hold the belief that faith is a lifelong journey, undertaken in the community and guided by the Spirit.  The family is the primary community in which faith is shared and nurtured.  The whole church community, beginning with the parish, puts itself at the service of the family to help form young Catholics.  Our school intends to support the family and the church community in this mission.  The children will experience, integrate, and express the fullness of mature Catholic Faith at every age level, according to their stage of development.

We are using textbooks from Sadlier’s, We Believe with Project Disciple for Grades K – 6 and We Believe/We Live our Faith, Grades 7 and 8.  This is a spiral curriculum that presents the key concepts of faith each year in a deeper and broader way as the learner grows more capable of understanding and living in discipleship.


ELA (English language Arts)

Kindergarten to Grade 6

Into Reading, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is a research based, comprehensive Reading Language Arts program for grades K-6 that provides the resources needed to help all students succeed. High-quality literature, along with explicit instruction and reinforcement, ensures that students grow as life-long readers and writers.  This comprehensive, research-based reading program offers a wealth of high-quality literature to engage learners.  Nonfiction selections help students grow in evidence-based reading and writing skills, and critical thinking.  Lessons integrate grammar, writing, and spelling for a total language arts approach.

Teachers implement the steps of the writing process to help students develop their writing skills.  They also supplement the curriculum with various chapter books to provide additional student engagement and learning opportunities.

Grades 7 and 8

Literature opens minds. It should also open doors to a student’s future. Prentice Hall Literature Common Core Edition is a comprehensive literacy program that teaches the new standards and helps students become better readers, better writers, and better thinkers so they’re better prepared for college, careers, and beyond. You can be confident that what you are teaching meets the Common Core framework.

  • Leveled support and scaffolding for understanding increasingly complex texts
  • Informational texts across content areas
  • Emphasis on writing argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative texts
  • Critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills presented in instruction
  • Traditional and performance-based assessments
  • Best-in-class digital resources
  • Teacher training to implement the new standards
  • Leveled support and scaffolding for understanding increasingly complex texts
  • Informational texts across content areas
  • Emphasis on writing argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative texts
  • Critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills presented in instruction
  • Traditional and performance-based assessments
  • Best-in-class digital resources



The math curriculum is comprised of a variety of strands as recommended by the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Standards For K-12 Mathematics Programs in PA.  The standards included in this guide are: readiness concepts, number theory, problem solving, operations, mental math, estimation, geometry, measurement, reasoning skills, using data and statistics, probability, and pre-algebra skills.  While we continue to follow the Common Core Standards in Mathematics, we will introduce a new math agenda for all of our students:  IXL:  An On-Line Math Program that will be available for Grades Pre K through Grade 8.  It is an invaluable tool for strengthening our children’s Mathematical capacity.

Also, we will introduce new Math texts for our children in Kindergarten through Grade 5.  Students in Grades K to 5 will be using , Into Math published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.   This program will continue to challenge and foster the strength of our Mathematics Programs.  It also includes wonderful, easy to use, on line components which will be a tremendous help to our Faculty, Students and Parents alike! Grades 6 to 8 will continue to use the program issued by Glencoe.

Students who are able to work at an accelerated pace may be admitted to the Elementary Honors Math Program.  Participants are generally identified at the end of third grade and begin the process of acceleration at the fourth grade level.  The criteria for admission are determined by the Office of Catholic Education and are not arbitrary.  The student must have:

  • CSI (Cognitive Skills Index) of 125 or better,
  • Terra Nova Scores at or above 90%,
  • Consistent high scores on the Diocesan Mastery Tests.



We utilize the Scientific Method, the most highly recommended method of instruction.  Using this method, students may achieve six categories of objectives.  Knowledge is the ability to read and state the meaning of certain scientific principles.  Using this knowledge, students will develop the instrumental skills of manipulating basic scientific equipment, interpreting maps, graphs, charts, and tables appropriate to problems.  Of particular importance is the development of problem solving skills.  To demonstrate these skills, students will practice observing, inferring, making hypothesis, testing, investigating, drawing conclusions, measuring, and communicating results.  Students will further demonstrate scientific attitudes such as the development of open mindedness and a willingness to consider new facts.  To describe the uses, benefits, and limitations of science today, students will develop an appreciation of Science and an interest in reading, studying, and becoming involved in scientific pursuits.


Social Studies

We seek to prepare our young people to be able to identify, understand, and someday work to solve the problems that face our increasingly diverse American Nation and interdependent world within the framework of Catholic Christian values.  Social Studies, as defined by the National Council for Social Studies, are a basic subject of the K-12 curriculum which:

  • Derives its goals from the nature of citizenship in a democratic society that is closely linked to other nations and peoples of the world.
  • Draws its contents primarily from History, the Social Sciences, and in some respects, from the Humanities and Science.
  • Teaches in ways that reflect an awareness of the personal, social, and cultural experiences, and the developmental levels of the learners.

The scope and sequence includes:  Awareness of Self, Family Life, Neighborhoods, Communities, Pennsylvania, United States Regions, Western Hemisphere, Eastern Hemispheres, and United States History.

The books used are:

Grade 3 – U.S. Communities and Neighbors, McGraw Hill
Grade 4 – Exploring Pennsylvania, Penn Valley Publishers
Grade 5 – Western World Geography, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Grade 6 – Eastern World Geography, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Grades 7 – U.S. History Beginnings to 1877, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Grade 8 – U.S. History Civil War to the Present, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Our Art Express program is run by volunteer parents on each grade level.  Our desire is to expose our children to a variety of art techniques and mediums: drawing, watercolor, charcoal, mixed media, sculpture, painting, etc. and provide hands on experience.  We strive to familiarize students with art terms and styles, help students develop creative ideas and ways to express them artistically.   Our goal is to enlighten our student’s knowledge of art and have fun while doing art.



We, at St. Helena, see our responsibility as educators to give all students the opportunity to augment their education with as many tools as possible.  The teachers themselves utilize the technology available to them in developing the techniques necessary for our children to become functionally successful in today’s community and tomorrow’s world.  In order for us to accomplish this goal, we stress cooperative learning, integration across the curriculum, higher order thinking skills and the importance of the teacher as a facilitator rather than as a master.  We emphasize the computer as a tool rather than an object to program.  Through the employment of the Internet, word processing, database, spreadsheet, and presentation software packages, the children are required to view the computer as an effective tool and a consistent resource in curriculum work.  An Acceptable Use Policy for the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is distributed to each family at the beginning of the school year.  Students are expected to abide by the conditions set forth for Internet usage.



Saint Helena offers an abundant music program. Students attend weekly music classes where they learn theory, composition, history, genres and vocal techniques. They prepare for school liturgies and various school performances, including the Christmas Show and grade specific productions. 

Students in the 4th through 8th grades, are welcome to join the SHS Chorus. The Chorus sings for school liturgies, sacraments, special events and performs a Scenes and Songs Production each spring.

Private lessons for piano, voice, percussion, strings and band instruments are also offered through St. Helena. Many opportunities are available to our music students, such as involvement in the Archdiocesan Festivals, as well as various performances within the community in all areas of music.



Dance lessons are available for boys and girls in grades Kindergarten through 8. Classes will consist of ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, liturgical and hip hop techniques.  Dance terminology and anatomy will be discussed. Students will be performing in various Liturgical Dances for school liturgies.  They will also be showcased in the Parish Christmas Concert and the Arts Festival in May.



To enable our children to have a broader vision, world-view and understanding of our multi-cultural reality, Spanish will be taught to all students in Grades 3 through 8.


Honor Roll

Children in grades 6 – 8 may qualify for First or Second Honors.  The following standards are:

  • First Honors:  A mark of 93 or above in the child’s General Average.  A mark of Satisfactory or above (3 or 4), in Effort and Conduct and Physical Education, Computer, Music, Art, and Spanish.
  • Second Honors:  A mark of 85 or above in the child’s General Average.  A mark of Satisfactory or above (3 or 4), in Effort and Conduct and Physical Education, Computer, Music, Art, and Spanish.

Terra Nova

The Terra Nova test is given to children in Grades 2 through 7.  The dates of the test will be listed on the calendar in July.  Please do not make arrangements for vacations, doctor’s appointments, etc. during this time.  We only have a short turnaround time, and the tests are scheduled for a UPS pick up date.


School Hours

Each child is expected to be on school grounds by 8:05 am.  The first bell rings at 8:10 am.  Children will be marked late if they do not walk in with their class.  The school day concludes at 3:00 pm.



There are four modes of transportation for your child.  He/she may walk, ride a bike, use a private car, or take the bus.  If there is to be a change in the child’s mode of transportation, this is to be communicated to the teacher in writing.  Children may not be transported by a school district in which the child does not reside.  Since this is the regulation of the State of Pennsylvania, a written note from a parent or guardian will not change this regulation.  Therefore, if it is your desire for your child to go to another child’s home, and they are transported by a district different than your own, you must arrange private car transportation.


Car Access

If you are dropping off and picking up your children by private car, we ask that no parent enter the building with the children unless there is an emergency.  The procedure is as follows:

AM Passenger Car/Parent Drop-Off Instructions

  1. Passenger cars with SHS school children should enter the Parish property from the Yost Road “entrance only” driveway.
  2. Cars shall follow the new, one-way circulation road around the perimeter of the upper parking lot.
  3. Cars should turn left into the upper parking lot at the drive-aisle closest to the grass area that separates the lower lot from the upper lot.  Cars will be driving toward Yost Road, and stop at the furthest point possible that is closest to the Yost Road end of the parking lot where the parking lot/teacher monitor is directing the driver to stop & unload.  The monitor will then guide the school children to the safety of the lower lot.
  4. Adults dropping off should remain in your vehicle and allow the faculty or staff member to assist your child/ren. After unloading, cars may exit the Parish property by one of two ways, paying close attention to the safety of all pedestrians and not pulling out of the queue of unloading traffic,
  5. By turning right and heading toward the school along the perimeter road of the parking areas closest to Yost Road, turning left at the stop “exit only” drive aisle in front of the school, and then exiting onto Yost Road; or
  6. By turning left and heading toward the “entrance only” circulation driveway at the rear of the upper lot, yield to incoming traffic from Yost Road, and circulate counterclockwise around the school parking lot to the dead-end at the front of the school, and turning right to exit at the traffic signal on Rt. 202 at the far north end of the Parish property.


PM Passenger Car/Parent Pick-up Instructions

  1. Note to returning parents that this pick-up pattern is the same as prior years.
  2. Passenger cars to pick-up SHS school children at the end of the school day should enter the Parish property from the Yost Road “entrance only” driveway.
  3. Cars will follow the new, one-way circulation road around the perimeter of the upper parking lot in a counterclockwise direction.
  4. Cars will turn into the lower and upper parking lots according to the youngest child’s color (Orange- Grade K, Red– Grades 1 and 2, YellowGrades 3 and 4, Blue– Grades 5 and 6, and Green– Grades 7 and 8 and drive toward Yost Road to the rear of the queue and take that place in line. The  Orange, Red, and Yellow Lanes are on the bottom lot. The Orange Lane is closest to the school building. The Yellow and Green Lanes are on the top lot.
  5. As drive-lanes fill, cars will form a new lane by pulling to the furthest location at the Yost Road end of the lower parking lot.
  6. As SHS children are released, drivers will take children to their vehicles and load them for immediate departure.
  7. All cars will be directed by a teacher/parking lot monitor to exit from a single location at the front “exit only” driveway of the school.  The lane of cars closest to the school will be directed to the exit, followed by the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.

We ask for your cooperation in this matter to insure the safety of our children.  If you unexpectedly will be picking your child up from car line, please call the office before 2:45 p.m.  We will direct your child to the correct dismissal line.

Children not picked up by 3:15 p.m. or 12:15 p.m. on half days will be sent to CARES, which is our after school program.


Inclement Weather

Saint Helena School follows Wissahickon School District for closings or delays.

You will receive an email and phone call through FACTS COMMUNICATION System to notify you of school cancellations; early dismissals and late openings.  If the district makes the decision to close midday, we must send your child home on the bus if that is the regular means of transportation.  It is advisable to give your child/children a “Buddy-House” to go to in case you will not be home. CARES will not be available on early dismissal days due to inclement weather.

We ask that you not call the school to confirm an unscheduled midday dismissal.  It is impossible to handle the number of calls efficiently that come in at this time.  It also ties the phone lines up while we wait to hear from the school districts regarding an emergency early dismissal decision.  However, we will be happy to facilitate an emergency call if necessary.  


School Uniform

Each child is expected to be in complete uniform each day.  If for some dire reason your child needs to be out of uniform, there must be a note sent to the principal and teacher requesting permission.  Disregard of the uniform policy will warrant a conduct referral.  All clothing items are to be purchased at FlynnO’Hara Uniform Company.  No other vendor is authorized to supply our uniforms.

Children need to be presentable at all times.  All shirttails and blouses are to be tucked in, and school sweaters are to be worn.  Boys need to wear their pants securely at their waists.  If needed, a belt should be worn.  Hems on skirts and tunics should be a modest length. The hem should not exceed 2″ above the kneecap. The Full Zip Fleece Jacket with the embroidered logo may be worn as a lightweight jacket but may not be worn in place of the school sweater(s) listed below.  The uniform consists of the following articles of clothing:

Winter Uniform

Boys Gr K-8 Khaki slacks; white knit shirt with school logo; maroon sweater with school logo; or maroon ¼ zip pullover sweater w/ logo; white, black, or tan socks- must be over the ankle; school shoes (tan/brown colored merrells or tan bucks)
Girls Gr K-4 Plaid tunic with school logo- hem not to exceed 2″ above kneecap; pink blouse; maroon button down sweater with school logo; maroon knee socks or leotards; school shoes (tan/brown colored merrells or tan bucks); or Khaki pants with pink blouse or white or pink knit shirt with button down sweater with school logo or maroon 1/4 zip pullover sweater w/logo; white, black, or tan socks
Girls Gr 5-8 Plaid kilt- hem not to exceed 2″ above kneecap; pink oxford cloth shirt; pink oxford shirt with maroon crew neck sweater with school logo or maroon ¼ zip pullover sweater w/ logo; maroon knee socks or leotards; school shoes (tan/brown colored merrells or tan bucks); or Khaki pants with pink oxford shirt with maroon crew neck sweater or maroon 1/4 zip pullover sweater w/logo with school logo; white, tan, or black socks



Gym Uniform        

All Gr K-8 Green sweat suit with school logo; yellow T-shirt with school logo; green mesh gym shorts; sneakers; sport socks. Green sweat suit must be worn when the school winter uniform is worn. SHS Spirt wear cannot be worn in place of the school PE Uniform.


Summer Uniform

The summer uniform may be worn from September until the end of October and from early- April until the last day of school.  Check the school calendar for exact dates.

Boys Gr K-8 Khaki walking shorts, white knit shirts with school logo for boys; all shirts without the banded bottom are to be “tucked in” at all times; white or black socks only (low cut/must be over the ankle); school shoes (tan/brown colored merrells or tan bucks).
Girls Gr K-8 Khaki walking shorts; Khaki skort may also be worn in Grades K-4 only; pink or white knit shirts with school logo- all shirts without the banded bottom must be tucked in; white socks only (low cut/ must be over the ankle); school shoes (tan/brown colored merrells or tan bucks).
Girls Gr 5-8 Optional pink cord kilt- hem not to exceed 2″ above kneecap; fitted white knit shirt with the school logo; maroon knee socks or white socks (low cut/ must be over the ankle); school shoes (tan/brown colored merrells or tan bucks).


School Shoe – Tan/brown colored merrells or tan bucks

Shoes may be purchased at:

  • Flocco’s, 110 Fayette St, Conshohocken, Pa , Phone: (610) 828-5544
  • FlynnO’Hara’s, 901 North Bethlehem Pike, Springhouse, PA 19477 (215) 793-9436


Dress Down Days

There are times during the year when the children are permitted to dress out-of-uniform.  Children are expected to dress modestly.  They may not wear shirts with inappropriate verbage. On warm dress down days, crop tops are not acceptable.  If a student chooses to wear shorts, the shorts should be no shorter than the Gym uniform shorts.  If a child comes in to school with inappropriate clothing, the student will be given something to wear out of our uniform closet or will be asked to call home for a change of clothes.


Seventh and eighth grade girls may wear light make-up that is appropriate for school.  Only clear or sheer nail polish may be worn to school.  No press-on or glue-on nails. No dark colored nail polish. There should be no temporary tattoos or drawings of any kind visible.



  1. Girls may wear small pierced earrings.  Oversized hoops or long dangling earrings are not appropriate for school. One thin necklace with a religious medal may be worn. Bracelets are not permitted.
  2. Boys may not wear earrings at any time. 
  3. Because of the high possibility of loss, we would ask that no other jewelry be worn to school.


Hair Appearance

Both boys and girls hair needs to be clean and neatly styled.  The length of the boys’ hair may not touch the shirt collar.  Their bangs need to be above their eyebrows and clearly out of their line of vision.  Girls’ hair must be out of their line of vision. Girls may wear hair accessories that match their uniforms.  Hair accessories are limited to barrettes, ponytail elastics, and headbands.  Children may not wear hair extensions, feathers, or use hair dye. Children who do not follow these guidelines will be sent home until their hair is within the recommended guide lines.



Lunch may be brought to school or may be purchased in the school cafeteria.  Notification of menus, prices, and the official start of the program is communicated in mid-September.  We ask that each child bring a cloth napkin or placemat everyday upon which he/she may layout the lunch.  This will aid in keeping the tables neat and it will also help in reducing trash.


Conduct Code

Our rootedness in Gospel values holds that we strive to have respect for ourselves, our classmates, our teachers, and any adult standing in place of a teacher (teach-aides, lunch and recess aides, bus drivers, etc.).  This respect also includes property and personal belongings.  Any breach of these values will result in disciplinary action appropriate to the situation.  Contraband brought to school will result in immediate suspension or expulsion. 

 Cell Phones, or other electronic devices are not permitted in school or on field trips without permission from the administration. Children and Parents in Grades 3-8 will be asked to sign a contract regarding cell phones and use of social media.  All cell phones brought to school must be kept in a locked box in the homeroom.  The cell phones will be returned to the child at the end of the school day.   Kindle and Nooks may be brought to school to be used for reading materials as long as email access is not available on the device.  You may do this at your own risk, SHS does not take responsibility for these devices.

Chewing gum is not permitted on school property at any time.

For each marking period, three or more conduct referrals will automatically result in a grade of 2 for Conduct.  This automatically disqualifies a student from school honors.  A detention will be issued if behavior persists.  If a child is suspended from school, this will be reflected on your child’s report card in the area of Personal Growth and/or Conduct.  If a child is suspended, the child’s participation in CYO Sports is not permitted during that time period. Suspension automatically disqualifies a student from school honors.

Harassment and/or Bullying

Any threatening, harassing, or violent acts by children or parents would constitute ground for immediate dismissal of the child.  In the case of children, we will investigate all such incidents promptly and confidentially.  A student under investigation will be suspended from school until the investigation is completed.  Any acts involving a weapon will be reported to the local police.  Threats of violence and/or acts of violence either through technology or personal confrontation may also be reported to the local police.


We do accept transfers during the school year if there is room in a particular classroom.  Records will be requested in order to see that we can meet a child’s needs.  We do reserve the right to ask  parents to withdraw their child after one month if we find our reasonable attempts to accommodate the child are not working. 


Parent Visitation

Visitors are most welcome by appointment.  To arrange for a visit, visitors should contact the school office.  Parents coming to school to bring forgotten articles or to relay messages should come to the school office.  Classes may not be disturbed for these reasons.  Parents may not confer with a teacher or visit a classroom between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. without a pre-arranged appointment or unless the Principal gives permission for such a visit.  When parents come to school, we ask that they come to the school office first.  An atmosphere of quiet respect for the learning rights of others should prevail throughout the school building.  To avoid confusion, we ask that parents not be in the hallways at the beginning of the school day or at dismissal time.  This is necessary to protect each child’s safety.


Parent Conferences

Formal parent conferences will be held in the fall.  Parents or teachers may request a conference at any time during the school year.  If you wish a conference with a teacher, please put that request in writing to the teacher or call the school office and the teacher will return your call at a convenient time.  Teachers are not to be telephoned at their own homes.





In order to protect your child’s safety, a call to the school office on the day of absence is required.  Please call the school office (610-279-3345) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. or send an e-mail to Mrs. Ryan. Please remember to include your child’s teacher in that e-mail.  A written note explaining the reason for the absence is required the day the child returns to school.  A child will be sent home from school if she/he has an elevated temperature or is vomiting.  If a child is absent more than three consecutive days, a doctor’s note is required.

If a child needs to leave school due to a doctor’s appointment or for another urgent reason, that will be marked as an absence, even if it is only for a portion of the day.  A note is to be sent to the office and to the teacher stating the time of the appointment and the time the child will return.  The child is to be picked up from the office, not the classroom and be returned via the office.

If a child is absent, it is the child’s responsibility to complete missed assignments.  These assignments may be found daily on the school’s website.  In the case of prolonged illness, certainly every consideration will be given to the child to provide the assistance he/she needs in order to fulfill assigned tasks during the absence.

If a child will be out of school for a family vacation, the principal and the teachers involved need to be notified of these plans prior to the trip.  Missed assignments will be given upon returning to school.  A timeline will be established by the teacher for the child to complete the work.

Students that miss excessive school days without a physician’s note or known valid reason will be considered truants and retention or dismissal will be considered.


Sick children need to be kept home from school.  Resting at home will help them get better more quickly and will prevent them from exposing other children or the staff to their illness.

Keep your child home and consult with your child’s Primary Care Provider if he or she:

1.      Has a temperature greater than 100⁰F taken with an oral thermometer.

2.      Has nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting

3.      Has diarrhea (frequent, loose, watery stools) Symptoms may include cramps, bloating, nausea and an urgent need to have a bowel movement.

4.      Has stomach pain that is constant.

5.      Has a headache that is interfering with activities

6.      Has a sore throat that causes difficulty swallowing

7.      Has yellow discharge on eye lashes in the morning that comes back after being wiped off of lashes and eyes that are red (Pink eye / conjunctivitis)

8.      Has a skin rash that causes itching and/or is on most of the body (Not diagnosed as psoriasis)

9.      Has a constant cough and/or difficulty breathing

10. Is complaining of feeling ill, has a lack of energy and/or a decrease in activity

What will happen if your child gets sick at school?

If your child gets sick at school he/she will be seen by office personnel or school nurse.  If the office/school nurse determines your child is sick, then you will be called to come pick him/her up.  Therefore, it is important that you provide the school with up-to-date information and phone numbers.  If you are not available to pick up your child within 30 minutes, it is important that the school have emergency contact phone numbers of persons that can pick up your child in your absence.

When may your child return to school?

Your child may return to school when symptoms (e.g. vomiting or diarrhea) are gone for 24 hours or if your child has taken the antibiotic prescribed by the health provider for a full twenty-four hours.  If your child has been ill for more than 3 days documentation from your health care provider will be needed.  Please keep your child home until his or her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication.

If a child is absence or leaves school early due to illness, he/she is not eligible to participate in any after school or evening school-related activity.


If a child is late for school, it will be marked on the child’s report card.  Please keep in mind children’s school records are sent to high schools.



Homework will be given Monday through Thursday evenings.  Long term projects may necessitate weekend work.  If homework is not completed on time, parents will be notified either in writing or by phone.  Conduct referrals will be issued for repeated infractions of this policy.  The following table may assist you in estimating the approximate time necessary to complete home assignments:


Grades 1 – 2:           15 to 30 minutes                    Grade 4:                  45 to 60 Minutes

Grade 3:                  30 to 45 minutes                    Grade 5-8:               90 to 120 minutes


Homework will be listed on the website each evening.


Information Changes

If during the course of the school year there is any change of address or phone number, please inform the school office in writing and update your ParentWeb contact information so that our records are kept current.



A child may not receive telephone calls at school.  If it is urgent, a message may be delivered to a child through the school office.  A child may call home with the direct permission of the Principal.


Middle States Information

We are now listed on the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools website.  To access this site please go to www.ces-msa.org.  Go to ‘The Registry’ and double click.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see Search Criteria.  Enter Helena for the school name.  Click on the SEARCH button and scroll down.  Double click on Saint Helena, Center Square, PA.



Going along with our Care of the Earth program, we are going to make a valiant effort to minimize communication on paper and increase electronic communication.  In order to fulfill this dream, we need to be sure that everyone has given us correct email information.  If you have any email address changes during the school year, please inform the school office and update your ParentWeb contact information.  We will send an email blast to each email registered as correspondence in our FACTS SIS and post information to our school website.  It will be your responsibility to regularly check your email in order to be aware of school happenings.


Asbestos Information

Please be advised that we are required to notify all employees and parents on a yearly basis that St. Helena has and maintains an asbestos program as required by the Asbestos Emergency Response Act of 1986.  St. Helena School has developed and maintains an Asbestos Inspection and Management Plan.  A copy of the plan is available for inspection at the parish during regular office hours in our business office.  Our Asbestos Program manager is Mr. Terence McKenna.  All inquiries regarding the plan may be addressed to:

Keating Environmental Management, Inc.

Contact: Mr. Terence McKenna

Phone 610-594-2600 ext. 203


All Our Invited To Attend

“Our parish school admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at our school. Similar policies apply to the school staff. Our school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, its admission policies, or in any school-administered program.”


Acceptable Use Policy for Technology

Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia / Revised June 2012



Technology is a valuable and real world educational tool. All Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyber-bullying awareness and response to ensure responsible use of technology. The policy outlined below applies to all technology use including but not limited to Internet use. The Acceptable Use Policy for Technology applies to all students, faculty, administrators, staff, volunteers or community members allowed access to school technology resources. In some cases outside or personal uses of technology may be applicable under this policy.


Scope of Use

We recognize that the digital world allows anytime, anywhere access. Uses mentioned in this policy apply to inside school use and may in certain instances apply to personal technology use and/or uses outside of school. Where personal outside use of technology threatens a likelihood of substantial disruption in school, including harming or interfering with the rights of other students or teachers to participate fully in school or extracurricular activities, these activities may be viewed as a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy and may be subject to the disciplinary measure found herein.

N.B. The types of electronic and digital communications referenced in this AUP include, but are not limited to, social networking sites, cell phones, digital cameras, text messaging, email, voice over ip, chat rooms and instant messaging.



The school’s goal is to prepare its members for life in a digital global community. To this end, the school will:

  • Integrate technology with curriculum to enhance teaching and learning
  • Encourage critical thinking, communication, collaboration and problem solving skills
  • Facilitate evaluation and synthesis of information
  • Encourage ethical practices and provide education for internet safety and digital citizenship
  • Provide a variety of technology based tools and related technology skills


Responsibilities of Users

Our schools will make every effort to provide a safe environment for learning with technology including Internet filtering and safeguards. The students, faculty, administrators, staff, and school community are granted the privilege of using the computer hardware and software peripherals, and electronic communication tools including the Internet. With this privilege comes the responsibility for appropriate use. In The Archdiocese of Philadelphia we use information and technology in safe, legal, and responsible ways. We embrace the following conditions or facets of being a digital citizen.

  • Respect One’s self. Users will select online names that are appropriate and will consider the information and images that are posted online.
  • Respect Others. Users will refrain from using technologies to bully, tease or harass other people
  • Protect One’s self and Others. Users will protect themselves and others by reporting abuse and not forwarding inappropriate materials or communications.
  • Respect Intellectual Property. Users will suitably cite any and all use of websites, books, media, etc.
  • Protect Intellectual Property. Users will request to use the software and media others produce and protect license agreements for all software and resources.


Technology Use Guidelines

Educational Purpose/ Appropriate Use: School technology is to be used to enhance student learning.  Students must not access social networking sites or gaming sites, except for educational purposes under teacher supervision.


Intellectual Property and Identity: All sources obtained for teacher and student work should be properly cited. Users are to respect the rights of and the intellectual property of others in accordance with Federal Copyright Law. Transferring copyrighted material to or from a school without expressed permission of the owner is a violation of Federal Law.

Communications: Electronic and/or Digital communications with students should be conducted for educationally appropriate purposes and employ only school sanctioned means of communication. The school sanctioned communications methods include:

Teacher school web page, email, and/or phone number

Teacher created, educationally focused networking sites

Teachers or administrators in their normal responsibilities and duties may be required to contact parents outside of the school day. A teacher or administrator is free to contact parents using a home phone or a personal cell phone. However, they should not purposely distribute a home phone number or a personal cell phone number to students. If a student contacts a teacher or administrator using a teacher or administrator’s personal numbers, email or networking sites, the teacher or administrator should immediately report this to the administrator or appropriate authorities.

Electronic and Mobile Devices, Cellphones: Users must adhere to local school policy that may further define uses of mobile devices. The administrator of the local school will determine permissible use. If a particular mobile device is to be used for educational purpose, the school administration and/or teacher will provide parameters for this use.

Examples of Unacceptable Uses – Users are not to:

  • Use technology to harass, threaten, deceive, intimidate, offend, embarrass, or annoy any individual.
  • Post, publish, or display any defamatory, inaccurate, violent, abusive, profane or sexually oriented material. Users must not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude or threatening language. Users must not knowingly or recklessly post false information about any persons, students, staff or any other organization.
  • Use a photograph, image, video or likeness of any student, or employee without express permission of that individual and of the principal.
  • Create any site, post any photo, image or video of another except with express permission of that individual and the principal.
  • Attempt to circumvent system security.
  • Deliberately visit a site known for unacceptable material or any material that is not in support of educational objectives. Students must not access social networking sites or gaming sites, except for educational purposes under teacher supervision.
  • Violate license agreements, copy disks, CD-ROMs, or other protected media.
  • Use technology for any illegal activity. Use of the Internet for commercial gains or profits is not allowed from an educational site.
  • Breach confidentiality obligations of school or system employees
  • Harm the goodwill and reputation of the school or system in the community
  • Transmit any material in violation of any local, federal and state laws. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted material, licensed material and threatening or obscene material.

Reporting: Users must immediately report any damage or change to the school’s hardware/software that is noticed by the user.

Administrative Rights: The school has the right to monitor both student and employee use of school computers and computer accessed content. Due to the evolving nature of Technology, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office of Catholic Education reserves the right to amend or add to this policy at any time without notice.


Personal Use of Social Media

This section of the policy refers to the personal use of social media sites such as, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.

  • Teachers and students may not mention members of the school community without their consent unless the subject is of public concern and the speech falls under applicable constitutional protections.
  • ‘Friending’ of current students by teachers is forbidden on a teacher’s personal social networking site.
  • Personal posts’ must use appropriately respectful speech, and refrain from harassing, defamatory, abusive, discriminatory, threatening or other inappropriate communications.


Policy Violations

Violation of the above rules will be dealt with by the administration of the school. Violation of these rules may result in any or all of the following:

  • Loss of use of the school network, computers and software, including Internet access. The student will be expected to complete work on a non-networked, stand-alone computer system.
  • Issuance of demerits/detentions, if applicable.
  • Disciplinary action including, but not limited to, dismissal and/or legal action by the school, civil authorities, or other involved parties.

Updating of Forms

It is the responsiblity of the parents to update forms each year when re-registering your child or when need be.

*Items listed in green have been added or changed to the handbook for the 2022-2023 school year.  Thank you!