MISSION STATEMENT OF SAINT HELENA SCHOOL

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 and Core Values

“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.”  From Tender Courage

The Saint Helena faculty is led by the Spirit to live a life of faith in action.  In the Mercy tradition, we proclaim a message of hope, reflected in our daily commitment towards a conversion of heart.  Our faith community makes a significant difference in our students because the experiences we share with them will lead them to walk with confidence in their hopes for their futures.

Our faculty is strengthened through a spiritual and emotional support system evidenced in our shared prayer life, celebrations, and time together.  We seek to nurture within each child the desire to learn through a variety of experiences in religious, intellectual, social, and physical activities and programs.  Our children are taught how to learn as well as mastering necessary basic skills.  These are the skills the children can use to seek truth throughout their lives, enabling them to recognize kind and just choices as they navigate life’s challenges.

Our teaching methods strengthen basic skills and develop abilities in self-expression, critical thinking, problem solving, and creative thought.  We value the self-esteem of each child by recognizing the uniqueness of the individuals who come to learn, to pray, and to play each day.

Profile of a Saint Helena Graduate

Upon the successful completion of our education program, Saint Helena students will spread the Mercy tradition from a firm understanding of the following areas:

Spiritual

  • The legacy of Catherine McAuley
  • Awareness of the presence of God through daily prayer
  • The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

Moral

  • Distinguish right from wrong, recognize peer pressure and resist just going along for acceptance
  • Honest, ethical, empathic, and selfless behavior
  • All actions have consequences

Intellectual

  • Communicate effectively
  • Ability to reason in real world situations
  • Establish short and long-term goals
  • Use technology efficiently and effectively

Social

  • How to be a positive and contributing member of society
  • Establish peaceful conflict resolution practices
  • Maintain and nurture long-term relationships

Cultural

  • Appreciation, tolerance, and respect for all cultures and religions
  • Appreciate the diversity of other cultures

Curriculum

Religion

Textbooks: Grades K-6- We Believe with Project Disciple, pub. by Sadlier

Grades 7 and 8- We Believe/ We Live Our Faith

The entire Saint Helena Parish community puts itself at the service of the family to nurture the faith of their children.  This is a spiral curriculum that presents key concepts of faith each year in a deeper and broader way as the learner grows more capable of understanding 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

 

Mathematics

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 use Into Math published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for our children in Kindergarten through Grade 5.  This program will continue to challenge and foster the strength of our Mathematics Programs.  It also includes wonderful, easy to use, online components which will be a tremendous help to our Faculty, Students and Parents alike! Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, we are continuing the Into Math program/curriculum with Grades 6 to 8.

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) in the range of 125 or better (118 or higher)
  • Terra Nova Scores:  Math at or above 90%, Reading at or above 80%
  • Consistent high scores on the Diocesan Mastery Tests.

 

Science

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

 Art 

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.

 

Technology

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.

 

Music

Students attend weekly music classes to learn theory, composition, history, genres, and vocal techniques.  They prepare school liturgies and various school performances, grade specific productions, and the Christmas Show.  Private lessons for piano, voice, percussion, string and band instruments are also available.

Students in 4th through 8th grades are welcome to join the SHS Chorus, which participates in school liturgies, sacraments, special events and the Spring Arts Festival.

Physical Education

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.

Dance 

Dance lessons are available for boys and girls in Grades K-8. Ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, liturgical, and hip-hop techniques are available for learning.  Dance terminology and anatomy will be discussed. Dance students are showcased in the Parish Christmas Concert and the Spring Arts Festival.

 

Spanish

Spanish is taught to all students in Grades 3-8, enabling them to have a broader world view and an understanding of our multi-cultural reality.

 

Honor Roll

Students in Grades 6 – 8 may qualify for First or Second Honors according to the following standards:

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

TOPICS FOR PARENTAL ATTENTION AND COOPERATION

Terra Nova

The Terra Nova test is given to children in Grades 2 through 7.  The dates of the test are listed on the calendar in July.  Please do not schedule  vacations, doctor’s appointments, etc. during the test times.  Tests need to be completed in a timely manner.  Terra Nova tests provide important evaluation information for administration, faculty, parents, and students.

School Hours

Every student is expected to be on school grounds by 8:05 a.m.  The first bell rings at 8:10 a.m.  Students will be marked late if they do not walk in with their class.  The school day concludes at 3:00 p.m.

Transportation

There are four (3) modes of transportation for your child:

  • Walk, Private car, Take the bus

If there is a change in the child’s mode of transportation, the teacher must be notified in writing or e-mail.  Children may not be transported by a school district in which the child does not reside.  This is a State Regulation, a parental note will not change this regulation.  If your child is to go to another child’s home, the parents must arrange for private car transportation only.

Car Access

If you are dropping off and/or picking up your children by private car, parents are asked not to enter the school building unless it is an emergency. Therequired 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 3″ 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 3″ 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 for Grade 5, maroon leotards for Grades 6-8; 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 3″ 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, black leather mary-janes (girls K-4)

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

New School Uniform

Boys K-8

Summer School Uniform– white or green banded polo shirt with khaki shorts, white or black crew socks (must be over the ankle), shoes listed on FlynnO’Hara site.

Summer Gym Uniform– yellow gym shirt, green shorts, crew socks over the ankle, and sneakers. – Spirit wear and field day shirts may not be worn on gym days.

Winter School Uniformwhite long sleeve or short sleeve banded polo shirt, green ¼ zip sweater, khaki pants, white, tan, or black socks, and shoes listed on the FlynnO’Hara site.

Winter Gym Uniform– Yellow gym shirt, green sweatpants, green sweatshirt, socks over the ankle, and sneakers.  Gym uniform shorts may be worn under the sweatpants. Spirit wear and field day shirts may not be worn on gym days.

Girls K-4

Summer School Uniform– white or green banded polo shirt with khaki shorts/skort or green pincord jumper with white short sleeve peter pan color blouse, white socks over the ankle, and shoes listed on the FlynnO’Hara site. Blouses, not polos, need to be worn with the pincord jumper.

Summer and Winter Gym Uniform– same as listed under boys K-8.

Winter School Uniform– drop waist jumper with white short sleeve or long sleeve peterpan color blouse, green crewneck cardigan, green knee socks or green tights, and shoes listed on FlynnO’Hara site. Blouses, not polos, need to be worn with the jumper. Girls may also wear khaki pants, white short sleeve or long sleeve polo, green crewneck cardigan or green ¼-zip sweater, white or tan crew socks, and shoes listed on the FlynnO’Hara site.

Girls 5-8

Summer School Uniform– white or green short sleeve banded polo shirt with khaki shorts/skort or plaid wrap–around kilt/ plaid 2 pleat skort or green pincord skirt with white, green or black crew socks, and shoes listed on FlynnO’Hara site.

Summer and Winter Gym Uniform– same as listed under boys K-8

Winter School Uniformwhite short or long sleeve polo shirt, plaid wrap-around kilt, 2 pleat skort, green ¼ zip sweater, green knee socks or tights- Girls in Grades 6-8 must wear green tights.  Girls may also wear white short or long sleeve polo shirt, green ¼-zip sweater, khaki pants, white or tan socks– shoes listed on FlynnO’Hara site.

Belts need to be worn with the shorts and pants.

The plaid uniform (jumper, skirt, or skort) may be worn in the summer, too.  The material is for all seasons. The green cord jumper, cord skirt, khaki shorts, and khaki skort are for the summer only.

Please do not shorten your daughter’s skirt.  Skirts may be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee.

 *Girls in Grades 6-8 need to wear either green tights (maroon tights with the old uniform) with the kilt or plaid skort in the winter.

The sweater is part of the winter uniform for all children.

All children need to wear the new uniform by September 2026. The old uniforms may not be worn with the new uniforms.  They do not match.  Ex.  Children may not wear a maroon sweater with the new plaid skirt. Please follow the guidelines listed in the handbook for the old uniform. All boys’ and girls’ shirts need to be tucked in their pants, skirts, shorts, or skorts if they are not the banded shirts.

Thank you for your cooperation during this transition.

 

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.

Make-Up

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.

 

Jewelry

  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 should be short.  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

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 school’s 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 (teacher-aides, lunch and recess aides, bus drivers, etc.).  This respect also includes property and personal belongings.  Any breach of these values in school will result in disciplinary action appropriate to the situation. For the purpose of clarity, “school” includes school buildings, school grounds, and school-sponsored social events, trips, sporting events, buses, and bus stops.

Discipline

A student enrolled at Saint Helena School assumes total responsibility for personal conduct. Discipline is considered an aspect of development, not a form of punishment.  Since there are times when a student may find it difficult to achieve appropriate self-discipline, it is necessary for the school to indicate specific unacceptable behavior for which discipline is necessary. An Incident Report or a Conduct Referral is issued when a student fails to obey school regulations in the classroom, schoolyard, cafeteria, library, hall, bathroom, gym class, church, or for misconduct anywhere in the school or school premises.

Incident Reports

Incident Reports may be issued for failure to complete homework and school assignments, not getting tests signed, lateness for class, improper use of technology, chewing gum, uniform infractions, as a warning for inappropriate behavior, or for incidents at the teacher’s discretion.  An Incident Report may also be issued to report positive behavior. An Incident Report is sent through FACTS and is a way for both the parent and all of a child’s teachers to keep track of a child’s progress during the school year. A child’s homeroom teacher is able to view all incident reports when completing a child’s report card. If a child continues to receive an incident report for the same infraction, a conduct referral will be issued.

Conduct Referral

A Conduct Referral is used for more serious infractions and may be issued for a child’s use of profanity, racial slurs, disrespect, harassment, bullying and/or teasing of any kind towards students, volunteers, teachers, or staff,  fighting, misbehavior at Mass, forgery, cheating, stealing, improper use of technology, throwing of food in the cafeteria, inappropriate behavior on the school bus, visibility of a cell phone or smartwatch on school property, after being warned several times to stop a certain activity during instruction, consistently receiving an incident report for the same infraction, and for incidents at the teacher’s discretion.

Contraband brought to school will result in immediate suspension or expulsion.  Contraband is defined as cigarettes, vapes, drugs, and anything that can be used as a weapon. The school reserves the right to search any property of a student on school grounds.

Students may not do anything detrimental to the school’s reputation or students at any time, whether inside or outside of school hours.  Serious offenses will require a parent conference with the principal. Incident Reports and Conduct Referrals are cumulative and totaled throughout the school year. A child’s Personal Growth/Conduct Grade will be a reflection of these reports.  A grade of 1 or 2 in Personal Growth/Conduct automatically disqualifies a student from school honors. A detention will be issued if certain behaviors persists. For serious offenses or for consistent misbehavior, it may be necessary to conference with the parents, student, teacher, and principal.

 Cell Phones, smart watches, 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, smart phones, and the use of social media.  All cell phones and smart phones brought to school must be kept in a locked box in the homeroom.  The cell phones and smart watches 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.

Harassment and/or Bullying

Saint Helena School is committed to creating a safe, caring, respectful learning environment for all members of the school community.   A safe, secure, and respectful educational environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards and build appropriate relationships with others. It continues to be the policy of Saint Helena School that harassment and/or bullying in school in any form is unacceptable conduct, which will not be tolerated. Bullying involves actions or words against another person for the purpose of inflicting physical or emotional harm or discomfort or damage to a person’s reputation that is intimidating or threatening and affects the learning and school environments.  Bullying is a pattern of aggressive, intentional or deliberately hostile behavior that occurs repeatedly and over time. Bullying behaviors normally fall into three categories, physical, emotional, and verbal, and may include, but are not limited to, intimidation, assault; extortion; oral or written threats; teasing; putdowns; name-calling; threatening looks; gestures, or actions; rumors; false accusations; hazing, social isolation, and cyber-bullying. If the bully is threatening harm, a student should tell a teacher or the principal immediately. Any acts involving a weapon will be reported to the local police.  Threats of violence and/or acts of violence through either technology or personal confrontation may also be reported to the local police. The principal and faculty will deal with any issues involving harassment, bullying, intimidation, hazing, or similar circumstances.  Bullying also includes cyber-bullying through social media and/or use of the internet, and this will also not be tolerated. Reported incidents of bullying will be investigated promptly and thoroughly by school administration. Anyone who engages in harassment and/or bullying and violates this policy will be subject to appropriate sanctions, up to and including expulsion. School personnel cannot monitor the activities of students at all times and eliminate all incidents of bullying between students, particularly when students are not under their direct supervision. However, to the extent such conduct affects the educational environment of the school and the rights and welfare of the students and is within the control of the school in its normal operations, it is the school’s intent to prevent bullying. Saint Helena will take action to investigate, respond, discipline, and remediate those acts of bullying.  There will be no retaliation against a victim, reporter, or witness.  Any student (victim or bystander, parent or another adult) may initiate a complaint by making the school aware of continued incidents. Reports of bullying are taken seriously and shall be dealt with quickly and effectively. A student under investigation will be suspended from school until the investigation is completed.  If a student is found guilty of bullying behavior, the consequences shall depend on both the results of the investigation and the severity of the incident. Consequences may include but are not limited to mediation, a parent conference, counseling, suspension, expulsion, or referral to local law enforcement agency.  Cyber bullying is included in this policy and will not be tolerated at Saint Helena School. Cyber bullying includes but is not limited to the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful email messages, instant messages, text messages, TikTok posts, digital pictures or images, or website postings, including blogs. It is also recognized that the author (poster or sender) of the inappropriate material is often disguised (logged on) as someone else. Students who believe they have been the victims of such misuses of technology, as described in this policy, should not erase the offending material from the system. A copy of the material should be printed and brought to the attention of the school who shall fully investigate all reports of cyber 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.

 

Suspension

If a child is suspended from school, it will be reflected on your child’s report card in the area of Personal Growth and/or Conduct. In school or out of school suspension may be used for serious infractions, such as stealing, fighting, vandalism, not following the Acceptable Use Policy for Technology, repeated student harassment, repeated infractions, or an incident at the principal’s discretion.

If a child is suspended, the child’s participation in CYO Sports/Dances or any other school-sponsored event is not permitted during that time period. Suspension automatically disqualifies a student from school honors.

Expulsion.

This action will be taken when it is necessary to protect the safety and good order of the school environment, or to assist the student in overcoming a serious disciplinary problem.

Transfers

We do accept transfers 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.  In an effort to encourage children’s responsibility for homework, -assignments, books, tests, and projects will not be delivered to a child’s teacher during the school day.    Classes may not be disturbed for these reasons.  Please do not come to school with your child’s work.   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.

 

Attendance

 

Absence

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.

WHEN TO KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME FROM SCHOOL 

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.

Lateness

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

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.

 

Telephone

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.

 

Communications

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.”

RESPONSIBLE USE POLICY FOR TECHNOLOGY

 

Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

RESPONSIBLE USE POLICY FOR TECHNOLOGY
Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Revised August 2023
The heart of our curriculum is timeless ~ love, truth, beauty, mercy. We teach about
creation as well as the Creator. We educate on being in solidarity with those who
suffer and how to cultivate a prayerful life.
In his message for the 48th World Communications Day, Pope Francis said that
technology is a “gift from God.” The Pope challenged the Church to use this tool to
promote the faith, asking how communication can “be at the service of an
authentic culture of encounter?” Because of these things we are committed to
participating in society. And to be committed to such participation requires using
technology in appropriate ways.
We are interested in technology because of our faith.
We expect our students to utilize technology to think more critically, to
communicate effectively, to express their creativity, and to conduct research. Our
teachers have access to updated technology in their classrooms to engage our
students and challenge them to learn in ways not previously imaginable. We
empower students with the technical skills necessary to participate in a culture that
is increasingly dependent upon technology, while also challenging them to be
digital ambassadors spreading the Good News.
But it is our faith that guides how we use technology.
We teach our students about the ethics of technology and train them to be savvy
about things like Internet privacy and safety. We teach the unfortunate reality of
technology addiction. We remind students and parents that technology is
aggressively marketed and to be careful about getting caught up in the hype.
We also acknowledge that we sometimes need to “unplug” from technology as it
can cause us to become isolated from one another. We encourage family meals
without screen time and the importance of communicating face to face.
We greatly value technology in our schools. And what makes technology most
powerful, is when it serves to make our students better people!

PURPOSE
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, cyber bullying awareness and response to ensure
an appropriate use of technology, including video conferencing platforms. The
policy outlined below applies to all technology use including but not limited to
Internet use. The Responsible Use Policy for Technology (RUP) 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
and/or non-educational use of technology creates substantial disruption in school,
including but not limited to 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 Responsible Use Policy and may be
subject to the disciplinary measure found herein.
N.B. The types of electronic and digital communications referenced in this RUP
include, but are not limited to, social networking sites, cell phones, mobile
computers and devices, digital cameras, video conferencing platforms, text
messaging, email, voice over IP, chat rooms, instant messaging, cloud, and
web-based tools.
GOALS
The school’s goal is to prepare its members for a responsible 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, creativity,
and problem-solving skills.
• Facilitate evaluation and synthesis of information.
• Encourage ethical practices and provide education for Internet
safety, digital citizenship and the creation of a positive digital
identity.
• Provide a variety of technology-based tools and related technology
skills.
USER RESPONSIBILITIES
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 (AoP), 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: Responsible users will select online names that
are appropriate and will consider the information and images that
are posted online.
• Respect Others: Responsible users will refrain from using
technologies to bully, tease or harass other people.
• Protect One’s Self and Others: Responsible users will protect
themselves and others by reporting abuse and not forwarding
inappropriate materials or communications. Users will protect their
usernames and passwords by not sharing with others.
• Respect Intellectual Property: Responsible users will suitably cite
any and all use of websites, books, images, media, or other
sources relied upon or used in work created.
• Protect Intellectual Property: Responsible users will request
permission to use the software and media others produce and
abide by license agreements for all software and resources.
Under no circumstances is an AoP user authorized to engage in any activity that
is illegal under local, state, federal or international law while utilizing AoP-owned
resources, computers or networks.
TECHNOLOGY USE GUIDELINES
Educational Purpose/ Responsible Use: Technology is to be used to enhance
student learning. Students are able to access social networking and gaming sites
only under the guidance and supervision of the teacher for the educational
outcomes identified within the lesson and given appropriate age.
Copyright/Intellectual Property and Identity: All sources obtained for teacher
and student work should be properly cited. Users are to respect the rights and
intellectual property of others in accordance with Federal Copyright Law.
Transferring copyrighted material to or from a school without express permission
of the owner is a violation of Federal Law and could result in copyright
infringement claims.
Responsible Use of School Hardware/Devices: All AoP users are responsible for the
general care of School issued hardware/devices. Users must report any damage to
the school’s hardware/device. Local school policy may further define faculty, staff,
and students’ responsibilities and expectations Users may be held liable for any costs
associated with device repair or replacement.
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, school-issued email and/or phone number
• Teacher created, educationally focused networking sites
• Student Information System and Learning Management System
• Remind Communication app – or similar i.e. Class Dojo, Seesaw
Teachers, administrators or staff members in their normal responsibilities and
duties may be required to contact parents outside of the school day. A teacher,
administrator or staff member is free to contact parents or guardians using a home
phone or a personal cell phone. However, they should not 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 social networking sites, the teacher or administrator should immediately
report this to the administrator or appropriate authorities.
Digital Security: Digital security must be at the forefront of every user’s mindset.
Users should always enable the highest level of account security offered. Typically
this means enabling two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication to
increase security. Biometric security features such as fingerprints or face-id may
also be utilized to protect an account from unauthorized access.
Storage Devices: Use of external removable hard drives, flash or “thumb” drives is
strongly discouraged – due to the possibility of information loss, theft and other
digital security concerns. The limited use of external drives in special circumstances
may be allowed as long as specific attention is given to the security of these
devices.
Artificial Intelligence: Students are prohibited from utilizing AI software tools
such as ChatGPT for any academic or assessment-related purposes, including but
not limited to completing assignments, quizzes, or exams. A student may use AI
tools only if a teacher or school administrator explicitly gives permission and
supervises its use. The unauthorized use of ChatGPT or other similar AI programs
to complete school assignments is a violation of academic integrity and is subject
to disciplinary action.
Note – Many of these AI programs require users to be at least 13 years of age for
use. Schools should be thorough in their research of the AI programs’ Privacy Policy
to check for compliance with COPPA, FERPA, and CUPA laws before introducing AI
programs for student use. The AoPTech Team is happy to help evaluate any AI tools
or programs.
Electronic and Mobile Devices, Cell phone/Wearable technology: 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 an educational purpose, the school administration
and/or teacher will provide parameters for this use.
Smart Speakers: Primarily intended for at-home consumer use, these
always-listening devices are not directly intended for the classroom. Therefore,
smart speakers (Echo, Google Nest, etc..) are not to be used in the classroom nor
connected to the network on a permanent basis during the academic year.
Remote/Distance Learning: Remote or distance learning may be used to
supplement face-to-face instruction, or where appropriate, may be the primary
modality of instruction. To effectively engage in remote or distance learning, users
are expected to:
• Participate from an appropriate location in the home.
• To the user’s best ability, be in a well-lit and quiet area. Avoid having
windows or strong sources of light directly behind an individual when
engaging in teaching/learning on camera.
• Wear appropriate and respectful attire. (This may be more specifically
defined by the local school administration.)
• Where able, only use first name and last initial to identify yourself via video
conferencing software.
• Students are not to use or preserve a photograph, image, video,
including-live streaming, or likeness of any student, or employee without
express permission of that individual and of the principal.
• Prior to recording any portion of a live classroom session, instructors are to
notify the students who are in the same session, face-to-face or online.
• Live class recordings are meant for internal school use only. Recordings are
to be saved locally on a network drive or the school’s GSuite for Education
Google Drive. Recordings are to be deleted at the end of the academic year
in which they were recorded. Recordings are not for promotional use, rather
solely for educational purposes.
• This Responsible Use Policy applies to students using personal devices for
remote instruction.
• Maintaining hardware/devices provided by the local school is the
responsibility of the student/family. (Local school policy may define further
students’ responsibilities and expectations.)
Examples of Unacceptable Uses –
Users are not to:
• Use technology to harass, threaten, deceive, intimidate, offend,
embarrass, annoy or otherwise negatively impact any individual.
• Post, publish, disseminate 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 or disseminate false information about any
persons, students, staff or any other organization.
• Use a photograph, image, video, including-live streaming, or likeness of any
student, administrator, employee or volunteer without express permission of
that individual and of the principal.
• Create any site, post any photo, image or video of another individual except
with express permission of that individual and the principal.
• Attempt to circumvent system security, blocked sites or to bypass software
protections.
• The following activities are strictly prohibited, with no exceptions:
• Effecting security breaches or disruptions of network
communication. Security breaches include, but are not limited to,
accessing data of which the user is not an intended recipient or
logging into a server or account that the user is not expressly
authorized to access, unless these duties are within the scope of
regular duties. For purposes of this section, “disruption” includes,
but is not limited to, network sniffing, pinged floods, packet
spoofing, denial of service, and forged routing information for
malicious purposes.
• Executing any form of network monitoring which will intercept
data not intended for the user, unless this activity is a part of the
users normal job/duty.
• Circumventing user authentication or security of any host,
network or account.
• Any virus or phishing protection software installed on school or
school issued devices must not be disabled or bypassed .
• 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 / hard drives, 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 school employees
• Harm the goodwill and reputation of the school or system in the community.
This includes, but is not limited to: the mis-use of school images and logos,
creation of unauthorized accounts that suggest they are school-sanctioned, or
accounts targeting or impersonating school community members.
• 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.
• Attempt to modify software and/or hardware configurations on a school
issued device without proper permission and direction.
• Any attempt to alter data, the configuration of a school issued device, or
the files of another user, without the consent of the individual, building
administrator, or technology administrator, will be considered a violation
and subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the local school
policies.
• Load personal software onto a school device or school-issued device without
proper permission or direction.
• Attempt to remove covers or protective shells to make repairs to hardware.
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 supplement this
policy at any time without notice.
All school personnel are reminded that all computer, network, and Internet
use will be monitored and there is no assurance of privacy or warranty of
any kind, either expressed or implied.
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, Instagram, Tumbler, Ask.fm,
Snapchat, Discord, Twitch, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
Teachers and students may not mention members of the school community on
social media without their consent unless the subject is of public concern and the
speech falls under applicable constitutional protections. This includes: Posting or
sharing a teacher’s, school personnel’s, or another student’s confidential
information on public sites, or any other unauthorized sharing with the intention to
harm/harass.
● Examples:
○ Posting teacher’s personal information – such as their personal email
address, personal phone number or address.
○ Sharing a fellow student’s phone number without their knowledge and
consent in order to harass, threaten, deceive, intimidate, offend,
embarrass, annoy or otherwise negatively impact any individual.
○ Manipulating or editing a teacher or student’s photo in an
inappropriate manner.
“Friending” or “Following” of current students by teachers is forbidden on a
teacher’s personal social media site. Teachers should also not ‘friend’ former
students unless and until such student has attained the age of majority. Personal
and professional posts must use appropriately respectful speech, and refrain from
harassing, defamatory, abusive, discriminatory, threatening or other inappropriate
communications.
Teachers are encouraged to have professional social media accounts, separate
from any personal account. Parents are encouraged to follow those for
announcements and resources. Teachers are to inform local administrators as to
any class utilizing social media, which should be for educational purposes only. In
order to ensure the privacy and security of all students, teachers should refrain
from posting on social media any audio, photo or video recording that captures a
student’s face or voice without prior parental authorization.
Permission must be obtained in advance from school administration for recording
on school grounds, outside of the school day and / or school sponsored events with
the intent to post on personal social media accounts or non-sanctioned school
accounts.
Social media postings from school sanctioned accounts should refer to students by
using their first name, last initial. Schools should avoid linking posts to students’
personal accounts.
School sponsored organizations must obtain permission from school
administration to create any social media accounts related to the organization.
Such accounts should be created with a school issued account. Accounts should be
maintained and controlled by a minimum of two school appointed adult
moderators.
In regards to student athletes and coaches:
● No coach, teacher or administrator is permitted to have access to or control
of a student’s personal social media account.
● Students should never include their email nor their cellphone number in their
social media bios.
● Coaches should never tag a student’s account when posting social media
messages. Coaches may want to post specific highlights, game / season
achievements or accolades on either the coach’s professional page or on a
school’s social media page. Students should be mentioned by name only.
● Per the PIAA bylaws, students, teachers and coaches shall not use social
media to criticize contest officials or to promote rumors of questionable
practices by opponents. Failure to follow this policy may result in disciplinary
action.
Esports/Gaming Clubs
Esports — “electronic sports” — refers to the world of organized, competitive video
gaming. Unlike traditional sports, esports are virtual events. Though relatively young
compared to other popular sports, the esports industry may be a viable career
option for avid gamers, and is gaining participation at the collegiate level as schools
seek to recruit student-athletes and join new competitions. Many colleges offer
scholarships specifically for students interested in playing esports at the collegiate
level.
School sanctioned programs and gaming sessions should have, at minimum, one
adult coordinator supervising the session both if the team is meeting in person and
when the team is meeting virtually.
Games rated E for Everyone or E 10+ are recommended for the Elementary grade
level. At the Secondary level, games with a rating of – E, E10, and Teen may be
considered. Caution should be used when selecting games with a Teen rating as they
may contain content that is only suitable for students ages 13 and over. Games rated
as Teen, may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, and
the infrequent use of strong language. Parents/Guardians should receive advance
notice of game titles that will be used in the esports club – Game title, ESRB rating
and link to Common Sense Media review or the ESRB rating review.
Games rated higher than Teen are not recommended for Elementary school students.
For students playing esports at the Secondary level, games with a Mature (17+) rating
must be cautiously evaluated by school administration, and the club supervisor and /
or students’ parents and guardians prior to approval. Collegiate level esports
programs often compete and may offer scholarships for games that are rated Mature
(17+). These games often contain content that is only suitable for ages 17 and over,
and content may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and strong
language. Extreme caution must be exercised if selecting a game that is either
unrated or rated Mature.
Some examples of popular esports games include:
(The following are examples only, and their appearance here should not be
considered as approval or endorsement.)
Game Title ESRB Rating School Level
Call of Duty (COD) Mature (17+) Secondary
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Mature (17+) Secondary
Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) and DOTA
2
Teen Secondary
Fortnite Teen Secondary
Hearthstone Teen Secondary
League of Legends (LoL) Teen Secondary
Just Dance (2023) Everyone Elementary/Secondary
Mario Kart Everyone Elementary/Secondary
Minecraft Everyone (10+) Elementary/Secondary
Overwatch Teen Secondary
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Teen Secondary
Pokemon (Sword & Shield) Everyone Elementary/Secondary
Rainbow Six Siege Mature (17+) Secondary
Rocket League Everyone Elementary/Secondary
Super Smash Brothers Everyone (10+) Elementary/Secondary
Sports Titles Including: MLB The Show,
Madden, FIFA/EA Sports FC, NBA 2K Everyone Elementary/Secondary
For ratings of all games, please visit the ESRB Website at esrb.org.
All school sponsored esports activities should have appropriate parental consent
forms in relation to the activity.
The following permission forms are offered as templates that schools may use, and
maybe customized for their specific needs.
Link to Sample Permission Form (Elementary)
Link to Sample Permission Form (Secondary)
Link to Sample Permission Form for specific games (K-12)
Parent permission must be granted for titles outside of the recommended ratings,
and for any game with a Mature rating. Permission for specific game titles is in
addition to obtaining parent permission for overall esport club participation.
Schools may decide to allow students to bring in their personal gaming systems or
components for use in school in connection with an approved esports program.
Schools must consider security of the devices when they are not in use, the ability of
the device to access the school’s network and to be mindful of the possibility for
potential damage or theft of student’s personal gaming devices.
Schools should be aware that many of these games are hosted on platforms such as
Discord or Twitch that are not designed for schools and often contain areas, boards,
and / or posts that are not school appropriate. School coordinators should make
every effort to limit access to their esports space so that only school members may
access the site and that school sites are not accessible by general members of the
public.
Club advisors should configure game settings, whenever possible, to reduce or
disable violence, gore or language settings.
Network security, web filtering, and firewall configuration must be reviewed by the
AoPTech Senior tech team prior to the start of any esport program. The setup and
network configuration process takes both considerable time and planning to ensure
the safety of all participants. Each new game added will require additional network /
firewall setup and configuration. Please allow a minimum of three weeks for the
AoPTech senior techs to configure and test the school’s firewall and network
settings prior to deploying the game to the students.
Schools should adopt a Code of Conduct for the esports Teams/Clubs based on the
Code of Conduct for the Network of Academic and Scholastic Esports Federations
(NASEF). To review the NASEF Code of Conduct, please refer to the following links:
● NASEF Code of Conduct (PDF Download)
● Code of Conduct NASEF (Webpage)
Within their esports code of conduct, schools need to include the following topics:
● In-game chat, game message boards, screen names and player avatars must
be school appropriate, may not contain language or images that are harmful,
defamatory or otherwise offensive.
● The mis-use of school logos is a violation of the RUP, and students and advisors
should exercise caution when developing their avatars or team logos.
Policy Violations
Inappropriate use in contradiction to the above rules will be addressed 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 and/or in an offline work
environment.
• Issuance of demerits/detentions, if applicable.
• Removal from the esports club or limited from participating in public
esports competitions
• Possible financial obligations for the repair or replacement of damaged
school devices.
• 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!