St. Monica Catholic School 2021-2022 - St. Monica ...

 
St. Monica Catholic School

                              2021-2022
RIGHT TO AMEND STATEMENT

St. Monica Catholic School and its administration reserves the right to amend this handbook.
Written notice of update(s) will be given to employees and families. Please be aware that this
handbook does not necessarily cover all policies and regulations. The school administration
reserves the right to modify existing policies or add new policies as necessary. These guidelines
replace any previous oral or written policies and practices regarding matters covered in this
handbook, and it supersedes all previous versions.

ACCREDITATION AND LICENSING

St. Monica Catholic School maintains the accreditation standards of the Texas Education Agency
(TEA) through the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department (TCCED) for grades PreK
- 8th. The school is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).
Re-accreditation occurs every seven years and will occur again in 2021.
St. Monica Catholic School: Firmly Rooted                                          August 2021

Dear Dragon Families,

We are excited to welcome you home for another year of being firmly rooted in academic
excellence, service, and faith. On behalf of the St. Monica’s team, I extend my gratitude for your
investment in your child’s academic and spiritual formation.

The revised handbook reflects the policies in place for our new school year. Please take some
time to read through the pages carefully to familiarize yourselves with our expectations. Edited
sections, important reminders and new additions are highlighted in yellow. Please sign the
family agreement on the last page and return a copy to each of your student(s)’ homeroom
teachers no later than August 31, 2021. For your convenience this handbook will also be
found online at www.saintmonica.net.

Come visit us! Join the Parent Teacher Council, to provide your thoughts or to be on the board,
plan events, cheer your students on at games, performances or pray with us at Mass. We want to
see you! Always know St. Monica’s is your home.

Our success is when you partner with us, together to communicate, listen, and patiently seek
understanding to help your student become their best version of who they are in Christ. I look
forward to hearing from you and supporting your families. We are a team, all part of the
incredible Dragon Team.

Together we are daring greatly in faith, academics, and service to make God known, loved, and
served.

Peace and Blessings to you,
Paz y Bendiciones

Sara Martinez | Principal
Saint Monica Catholic School

                             515 North St. • Converse, TX 78109
              Phone: (210) 658-6701 • Fax: (210) 658-6945 • www.saintmonica.net

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WE ARE FIRMLY ROOTED: SMCS FOUNDATIONS

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of St. Monica Catholic School is to provide all students a challenging academic
curriculum within a program where Catholic values reflecting God’s love are taught, practiced,
and ever present.

PHILOSOPHY
St. Monica Catholic School is committed to excellence in its educational ministry through the
objectives of a rigorous academic program, personal spirituality, social and physical growth, and
community service in accordance with the policies of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

The St. Monica community embraces students of all faiths and is enriched by their presence. As
declared by the Second Vatican Council, “While belonging primarily to the family, the task of
imparting education requires the help of society as a whole.”

St. Monica School faculty and staff encourage students to strive for academic excellence.
Instruction is based on the belief that students will progress to the best of their ability and make
responsible choices. We believe the education and guidance our students receive today will help
them become extraordinary citizens of tomorrow.

                           SCHOOL CREST
                           COLORS Red, Black, and White

                           SYMBOLS
                           Book for Academic Excellence and Holy Scripture
                           Flames for guidance by the Holy Spirit
                           St. Monica’s praying hands with tears as she prayed for her son, St.
                           Augustine’s, conversion
                           Dragon, school mascot voted by the student body. Symbol of daring
                           greatly in faith, academics, and service.

ROLE OF PARENTS AND SCHOOL

Pope John Paul IV affirms the role of parents in their child’s education declaring ” since
parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to
educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal
educators.” He further defines the role of schools, stating education institutions are
“designed not only to develop with special care the intellectual faculties but also to form

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the ability to judge rightly, to hand on the cultural legacy of previous generations, to
foster a sense of values, to prepare for professional life.”
                                                           Declaration on Christian Education
                                                                          OCTOBER 28, 1965

Our educational community takes our spiritual leader’s words as the foundation of our
profession. We are here to partner with parents, legal guardians and your family members
that are critical to the formation of your student. Thus, the proceeding section is critical
and essential in our partnership to support your student.

FAMILIES AS PARTNERS
As legal guardian of my student, I will partner with St. Monica Catholic School by:
    ● Setting expectations so that my student receives adequate sleep.
    ● Arriving with and picking up my student on time.
    ● Dressing my student according to the school dress code.
    ● Ensuring my student completes class assignments on time.
    ● Providing lunch money or a healthy sack lunch every day.
    ● Supporting the religious and academic goals of the school.
    ● Meeting all financial obligations to the school.
    ● Supporting and cooperating with the discipline policy of the school.
    ● Treating the St. Monica’s Team with respect and courtesy.
    ● Actively participating in school activities, including fundraisers.
    ● Reading school notes and newsletters, keeping current contact information with the
       office, and sending notes for tardies or absences.

                                  ADMISSION POLICIES

NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT
St. Monica Catholic School affords students equal opportunity and access to all programs and
activities without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, or gender.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
  ● PRE-KINDER 3: students must be at least three years old by Sept. 1 of the current
    school year and must be toilet trained.
  ● PRE-KINDER 4: student must be four years old by Sept. 1 of the current school year
  ● KINDERGARTEN: students should be five years old by Sept. 1 of the current school
    year.
  ● 1ST GRADE: students should be six years old by Sept. 1 of the current school year.
    Exceptions may be granted in the case of a student who has completed Kindergarten in
    another state where the entering age is lower, provided there is also a written statement
    from the prior teacher that the student is ready for the 1 st Grade and that the student can
    demonstrate readiness for our program with testing. Any exceptions to the above must be
    made with the principal’s approval.

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ADMISSION RECORDS
Before acceptance all students need to provide the following:
   ● Official birth certificate
   ● Baptismal certificate (when applicable)
   ● Current immunization record
   ● Verification of academic record: current year and prior year report card.
   ● All standardized testing results.
   ● Any current legal court documents including divorce, restraining order, adoption decrees,
       custody agreements, etc.

SCHOOL COMMUNICATION
All families must provide an email to receive weekly Administration/Teacher newsletters and or
updates. Each Sunday evening starting at the end of the first week of school and ending the last
week of school, weekly school updates, sign ups and important reminders will be sent in one
communication to alleviate multiple emails throughout the week.

Families must have a current email address on file in Renweb or notify the front office in writing
if email access is not feasible. All changes must be emailed to bookkeeper@saintmonica.net or
given by signed/dated letter at the front office.

PROBATIONARY PERIOD
The school reserves the right to accept a student for enrollment; he/she will be placed on a six
week probationary period, if the academic performance and conduct are inconsistent with our
expectations, the principal will notify the family.

TUITION AND SCHOOL INCIDENTAL PAYMENTS
Parent/legal guardian(s)s must be enrolled in RenWeb/FACTS for registration, tuition, lunch and
other fees. Failure to complete any of the admission requirements will delay the student’s
enrollment.
Registration can be completed at https://online.factsmgt.com/signin/45CZ7

ADMISSION OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
St. Monica strives to provide the accommodations within the scope of our school’s resources for
students who are identified as having special learning needs. We will collaborate with
guardian(s), the public school, appropriate agency and/or professionals when providing school’s
services for the child. In some cases St. Monica School will not be able to meet the needs of
every child and the family will meet with administration to develop a plan of action.

ADMISSION OF STUDENTS FROM PUBLIC AND OTHER NON-PUBLIC STATE
APPROVED SCHOOLS

Admission of students transferring from public and other state approved non-public schools is
the decision of the principal based on testing records, observation and other assessments. This

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decision is made if it is deemed in the best interest of the student and the placement is agreeable
to both parents and the principal.

ADMISSION OF STUDENTS FROM HOME SCHOOLING AND NON - ACCREDITED
SCHOOLS.

Admission is the decision of the principal and shall be based on testing and records from
home-schooling.

ADMISSION OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND EXCHANGE VISITORS (SEVIS)
International students must submit an I-20 form. Before an I-20 form can be completed, the
student must be formally accepted by the school and in compliance with all of the school’s
admission requirements. The school bookkeeper, Ms. Rosa de la Rosa, will work with the
student’s parent/guardian to complete the computerized I-20 form via the SEVIS system.

MORALITY
St. Monica School’s mission is to provide a quality education while guiding student growth in
Christian values. At times the school will need to address issues concerning premarital sexual
relations, pregnancy, abortion, and marriage/cohabitation. Each situation will be handled
individually and confidentially in accordance with Roman Catholic teachings.

                                      DAILY SCHEDULE

ARRIVAL
Classes begin promptly at 7:45 AM. Students will be marked tardy starting at 7:46AM.

Morning Care opens at 7:00 am.

DISMISSAL
Grades PreK 7:15 am - 2:30 PM, Kinder 7:20 am -2:35 PM , 1st 7:30 am - 3:00 PM, 2nd
7:30 am - 3:00 PM attend classes Monday – Friday.
Grades 3rd - 5th attend classes from 7:35 am – 3:15 pm, Monday – Friday.
Grades 6th– 8th attend classes from 7:40am – 3:30pm, Monday – Friday.

After School Care (ASC) closes at 5:30 pm Monday – Friday.

EARLY DISMISSAL
On early release days grades PreK-Kinder attend classes from 7:15AM - 11:45PM
Grades 1st-8th attend classes from 7:45 AM to 12:00PM.

Lunch is not provided for students going home on early dismissal days. There is no cafeteria
service on early dismissal days.

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Students staying for the After School Care program will have lunch at 12:00 PM and 12:15PM.
Students not enrolled in ASC will be charged hourly as a drop in starting 15 minutes after early
dismissal.

AFTER SCHOOL CARE (ASC)
After School Care begins 15 minutes after dismissal. The ASC program provides services for
students who are in need of after school and/or summer care. Families can choose a monthly
program rate or choose to use the hourly rate on an as needed basis. Summer program
information will be available later in the school year. Students not picked up by the end of ASC
at 5:30 PM will be charged $5 per minute late.

AFTER SCHOOL CARE RELEASE OF STUDENTS
For safety reasons all students must be signed in and out of After School Care. Students will be
released only to an adult who has been authorized by the parent/guardian to pick up the student.
Authorizations must be made in writing at the time of registration. Any changes must be in
writing and given to front office reception or emailed to bookkeeper@saintmonica.net.

                                   ATTENDANCE POLICIES
Texas State Law requires that a student is in attendance for at least 90% of the instructional days
per year to receive credit. Therefore, 18 absences may result in a student repeating a grade or
attending summer school to make up their hours. When a student has accrued 10 absences, the
parent/guardian will be notified by a phone call and in writing of the student’s attendance status,
and administration will determine if any further action should be taken.

FULL DAY ATTENDANCE
To be recorded present for the full day, a student must be in attendance for at least four hours
between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. A student missing more than three and a half hours of the
school day, regardless of whether the day is a half or full day of instruction, is considered absent
for a half day.

TARDIES
Students are marked tardy starting at 7:46 a.m. Academic Success is dependent on regular and
punctual attendance, and tardiness disrupts the learning environment in the classroom. Prompt
arrival at school is expected of all students. Tardy students must report to the office before
entering class.

TARDY POLICY
  ● 5 tardies= 1 Absence.
  ● 25 tardies per quarter = 5 Absences
  ● Further tardies will necessitate a meeting between the family and the administration to
    determine the best course of action going forward, including summer school and/or
    retention.

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The following additional consequences may also be imposed to handle tardiness and absences:
Ineligibility for Honor Roll and/or for extra curricular activities, Retention, Summer School
and/or blocked enrollment. Excessive absences are taken into consideration for Catholic High
School scholarships and tuition assistance.

ABSENCES
It is the parents’/legal guardians’ responsibility to notify the office before 9:00 a.m. that their
student(s) will be absent.

Students are required to make up all work missed during absences. Acceptable reasons for
absences include:
   ● Personal sickness
   ● Sickness or death in the family
   ● Quarantine
   ● Weather or road conditions making travel hazardous
   ● Any other cause acceptable to the administration

Recreational travel is not usually considered necessary and may not be excused. Considering the
school calendar, summer vacation, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, and Easter weekend,
it is requested that parent/legal guardian(s) make every effort to work around the school
schedule. Absence due to travel where a significant family occasion is scheduled may be
excused. However, teachers will not be required to honor requests for work prior to a student’s
planned absence and will make an effort to do so at the parent/legal guardian(s)’s request. The
work can be made up upon the student’s return to school. The administration is the final arbiter
of what constitutes a significant family occasion.

RETURN TO SCHOOL AFTER ABSENCE
       ● A written excuse is required for a student to return to school following an absence
          including dates and reason for absence.
       ● After 3 consecutive absences, a doctor’s note is required indicating their clearance
          to return to school.
       ● Students that are absent from school due to fever must be med/fever free for 24
          hours before returning to school.

MAKE UP WORK
Students will be expected to make up any missed work or tests. Students will have a week to
complete missed assignments. After a week, any missing assignments will be counted as zeros.
           ● Homework requests should be made before 9:00 am to give teachers sufficient
               time to prepare.
           ● Homework assignments may be picked up at the school office after 3:00 pm
               unless prior arrangements have been made.
MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS
Families are asked to make medical appointments outside of school hours whenever possible. If
appointments must be during school hours, parent/legal guardian(s) must sign students out and
back in through the school office, and should bring a doctor’s note as verification of the

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appointment. The school calendar provides for extended weekends throughout the school year.
Missed assignments are the student’s responsibility.

RELEASE OF STUDENTS TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Schools and their officials shall not interfere in the official duties of law enforcement or
government officials. Police and other government officials shall communicate directly with the
principal when requesting an interview with a student. In the absence of the principal, the request
shall be directed to the assistant principal or administrator on duty.

Law enforcement and government officials shall be given access to a child without prior parental
permission under the following circumstances: (a) there is an arrest warrant, (b) the parent is the
subject of an investigation of abuse or neglect, or (c) there is an ongoing situation that poses an
immediate danger of causing significant harm. No police officer should ever be allowed to come
into a school and question a student about a prior, off-campus event.

A student’s parents or guardians shall be notified immediately if law enforcement or government
officials request to speak with the student unless it is stated that doing so would undermine the
efforts of law enforcement or the government official. In all cases, the Superintendent, or their
designee, and the archdiocesan attorney will be notified immediately regarding the presence of
law enforcement or government officials on campus.

                                     STUDENT RECORDS

EMERGENCY INFORMATION
St. Monica School requires that an emergency information sheet is filled out for each student at
the time of registration. It is imperative that this information is complete and up to date in case
of injury or illness. Please inform the office personnel immediately in writing of any changes in
address, phone numbers, emergency contacts, health information, pick-up authority, etc.
throughout the school year.

NON CUSTODIAL PARENTS
SMCS requires up-to-date information on file to abide with respect to the rights of non-custodial
parents. Disputes will be resolved with an official copy of a court order and/or custody section
of the divorce decree.

PUBLICATION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Any personal information re: students, parents/guardians, and school employees will not be
released or published without written consent.

USE OF STUDENT PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
Throughout the school year, school and yearbook staff will photograph and video students
participating in classroom and school events for educational and promotional purposes. You may
request to exclude your student from participation in photograph and video publication. A release
form is included with the handbook signature page.

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PERMANENT RECORDS
A permanent record of student grades, health information, summative assessment results, and
emergency information is maintained in the school office for each enrolled student. The contents
of this folder are forwarded when requested by a new school. A copy of the permanent record is
kept on file for all graduating or transferring students.

ACCESS TO RECORDS AND RELEASE OF RECORDS
Legal guardians have the right to request that statements in student files be amended. St. Monica
School will provide access to student records with a 24 hour written notice.

Student records are confidential and accessible only to legal guardians, students 18 and older,
school administration, and professional school staff with vested educational interest in student
support.

REQUEST FOR AND TRANSFER OF STUDENT RECORDS
Student records will be released to a receiving school when that school requests them from St.
Monica Catholic School in writing. A copy of the student’s records will be retained by the
school. Parents/guardians must sign a release of information form for the school to transfer any
special education, medical, or psychological evaluation information in possession.

            STUDENT SELF REGULATION AND DISCIPLINARY POLICIES

Our goal is to walk with students to develop their self regulation and self respect based on
Catholic values and the dignity of the human person. We are here to guide students to the
realization that their conduct should not infringe on the rights of others or in any way disrupt the
learning environment. The importance of motivation cannot be overestimated. Our team crafts
well planned lessons rooted in students’ interests to set the foundation for success.

Parents/guardians will be informed of, and in many cases, directly involved in the disciplinary
process of their child. In matters of school discipline, however, the school staff and
administration are the final arbiter of student conduct that occurs during school hours, on school
grounds, and/or affects students or the school negatively. Depending upon the severity of an
offense, consequences will be determined at the discretion of administration, faculty and/or staff.

School administration has the right to question and discuss situations with students without the
presence of a parent or guardian.

DRAGON RULES
    1. Show respect for yourself, adults, others, the St. Monica uniform, and all property.
    2. Be prepared for school and all activities.
    3. Allow others to work undisturbed.
    4. Follow directions.
    5. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
    6. Be honest.

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DISCIPLINARY ACTION
In establishing appropriate disciplinary regulations, the following guidelines are used:
    ● In dealing with student behavior, respect for the personal dignity of the student is
        primary.
    ● Emphasis is placed on positive values, self reflection and problem solving rather than on
        punishment.
    ● Conferences and written communication between home and school regarding infractions
        and reasons for continued dissatisfaction are documented and kept on file.
    ● Guardians will be notified as soon as Administration and/or Teacher are able to ensure
        safety and provide thoughtful investigation of all parties involved.
    ● School team members can only share information with the legal guardian of the student.

The following disciplinary measures are forbidden:
   ● Corporal punishment (e.g., but not limited to: spanking, shaking, slapping,pinching, etc.);
   ● Language that is sarcastic or calculated to bring ridicule on the student, his/her
       parent/legal guardian(s), or background
   ● Sending a student outside the classroom where he/she is deprived of supervision;
   ● Using religious exercises or important class assignments as punitive measures;
   ● Any extreme or unusual form of punishment or any touching of a student in a manner that
       is considered punitive.

DISCIPLINE REFERRALS
Each teacher develops a firm, fair and consistent classroom plan with Dragon rules and leveled
consequences and reporting procedures to be communicated with guardians. All disciplinary
issues should first be addressed with the supervising teacher before turning to administration
unless the student receives an office referral.

OFFICE REFERRAL
A teacher or staff member may refer a student to the office for a conference with one of the
school administrators for moderate to severe and/or chronic infractions. Depending on the
circumstances, this referral may result in the issuance of formal discipline action and can affect
the student’s conduct grade. Parent/legal guardian(s) and student signatures on the discipline
form indicate that communication has taken place, not necessarily that the signers approve of the
administrative action. Discipline referrals will be sent home with the student, communication of
a phone call or email will occur and referral signed must be returned to the school office the
following day.

SEARCH AND SEIZURE
The school principal or his/her designee may search student desks, lockers and belongings
including, but not limited to, handbags, backpacks and other items in a student’s possession.

DETENTION
Detention may be assigned to students who commit offenses mild to moderate in nature and will
take place as scheduled by administration. A student who receives an after school detention will

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not be able to participate in school related activities on that day. Parents/legal guardians will be
notified of the date and duration of the detention.

   1) First infraction: Lunch and/or After School Detention from 3:45PM to 4:30PM

   2) Three detentions will result in a conference with the parent/legal guardian(s), student,
      administrator, and/or the school counselor to determine a plan of action for addressing the
      behavior.

SUSPENSION
An In-School Suspension (ISS) or Off-Campus Suspension (OCS) may be issued by the school
administration for offenses deemed severe or chronic in nature. Any student bringing prohibited
items to school, using obscene or offensive language or gestures, refusing to comply with
directives, exhibiting public displays of affection (PDAs), physical aggression, destroying
property or any other offense deemed serious enough by the school administrators can be
grounds for ISS or OCS.

Parents/legal guardians will receive written notice of the suspension and its duration which may
be assigned as deemed appropriate by the administration. A student who is issued a suspension
is not eligible for field trips or other school or extracurricular activities for the duration of the
suspension.

EXPULSION
Serious infractions warrant immediate administrative review with the possibility of expulsion
from St. Monica Catholic School.

Examples of offenses which may result in expulsion include, but are not limited to:
   ● Participating in disruptive activities by a group such as a gang.
   ● Possessing, using, delivering, or being under the influence of any controlled substance
      including narcotics, dangerous drugs or alcohol.
   ● Smoking or using any tobacco products on school property or at any school related
      activity.
   ● Possessing, using or concealing a weapon (any instrument which may produce bodily
      harm or death) on school property or at a school related activity.
   ● Threatening bodily injury or harm or assaulting a student or school personnel.
   ● Vandalizing school property or the property of others.
   ● Sexual, verbal, or physical harassment (please see harassment-free policy).
   ● Engaging in chronic or repeated behavior that disrupts the learning environment.
   ● Setting off false alarms.
   ● Serving multiple suspensions in a school year.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE
No student shall possess, use, or attempt to possess, use, or be under the influence of any of the
following substances on school premises during any school term or off school premises at a
school related activity, function, or event:

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● Any controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by law, including but not limited
     to marijuana, any narcotic drug, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, amphetamine, or
     barbiturate;
   ● Alcohol or any alcoholic beverage;
   ● Any abusable glue, aerosol paint, or any other volatile chemical substance for inhalation;
   ● Any other intoxicant, or mood-changing, mind-altering, or behavior-altering drug.

Definitions: “Use” means a student has smoked, ingested, injected, imbibed, inhaled, drunk, or
otherwise taken internally a prohibited substance recently enough that it is detectable by the
student’s physical appearance, actions, breath, or speech.”

“Under the influence” means a student’s faculties are noticeably impaired, but the student need
not be legally intoxicated.

Students who violate this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action including expulsion.
The transmittal, sale, or attempted sale of what is represented to be any of the above listed
substances is also prohibited under this policy.

CONDUCT & EXPECTATIONS FOR ATHLETICS & EXTRACURRICULARS
Students must also exhibit appropriate behavior and conduct by maintaining at least an “S” in all
classes in order to participate in extracurricular activities. Students receiving an “I” may not
compete in the activity for 2 weeks, but may be allowed to practice. At the end of the 2 weeks
they may return only upon receiving written verification from their instructor indicating a change
in conduct. Students receiving a “U” may only participate after the conduct grade has improved
to an “S” as indicated on the progress report/report card.

Students who are ineligible are not allowed to miss a school day to attend an athletic event
or extra curricular activity. Failure to follow rules on field trips or extracurricular events may
result in a consequence given by the teacher, sponsor, athletic director, and/or administration.

HARASSMENT-FREE ENVIRONMENT FOR STUDENTS

The schools within the San Antonio Archdiocese do not allow harassment of any kind. All
students of the Archdiocese are to be treated with dignity and respect. Harassment in any form
including bullying and cyberbullying is prohibited.

All employees and volunteers at SMCS are to be treated with dignity and respect. It is the
responsibility of all members of the SMCS community (all students, regular or temporary,
part-time or full-time employees; volunteers, instructors, and consultants) to ensure that a safe,
positive and productive working environment is established, where no person shall be subjected
to bullying, discrimination/harassment, cyber-bullying, or retaliation.

If a member of the St. Monica’s community threatens legal action, it is best advised to
discontinue the conversation and bring the matter immediately to the principal’s attention.

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REPORTING
To report bullying or harassment by any member of the SMCS community please schedule a
conference with school principal, Sara Martinez via email smartinez@ saintmonica.net or in
person or at https://saintmonica.net/dragons-against-bullying. When a bullying incident is
reported it will be immediately investigated by the school administration. Based on the severity
of the situation, the school administration may involve the pastor, the Department of Catholic
Schools, or the local law enforcement agency.

Definitions
Bullying means engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means,
or physical conduct that occurs within or outside of school property, during or outside of regular
working hours and that:
   1. Has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming an employee/volunteer,
      damaging an employee’s or volunteer’s property, or placing an employee in reasonable
      fear of harm to the employee’s or volunteer’s property; or
   2. Is sufficiently severe, persistent, and pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an
      intimidating, threatening, or abusive work environment for an employee/volunteer.
This conduct is considered bullying if it:
   1. Exploits an imbalance of power between the perpetrator and the victim; and
   2. Interferes with the victim’s ability to work and substantially disrupts the operation of a
      school.
Harassment is defined as physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct based on the employee’s race,
color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law that is so
severe, persistent, or pervasive that the conduct:
   1. Affects an employee’s or volunteer’s ability to work or participate in or benefit from a
      work activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive work
      environment;
   2. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the employee’s
      or volunteer’s performance; or
   3. Otherwise adversely affects the employee’s work opportunities.

Bullying, a form of abuse, can be defined as intentional acts of manipulation and/or aggression
by one or more persons against a person. For bullying to occur there must be an imbalance of
power or intent to harm. This prohibition against acts of harassment or retaliation of reported
bullying or harassment applies to all people engaged in all school related activities: all students;
regular or temporary, part-time or full-time employees; volunteers, itinerant instructors, and
consultants.

EXAMPLES OF BULLYING
Examples of bullying include but are not limited to:

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Physical: hitting, kicking, biting, scratching, pinching, pushing, pulling hair, spitting, throwing
objects at someone

Verbal: teasing, name calling, taunting, gossiping, mocking, spreading rumors, obscene
language

Social Intimidation: threatening gestures, obscene gestures, racial slurs, deliberate exclusion
from a group, damaging or hiding property

Cyber (email, social media, texting, etc.): name calling, obscene images, belittling messages,
spreading rumors, offensive language

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and
other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:
       1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition
           of a student’s academic success or achievement of any other nature.
       2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for
           decisions affecting the student.
       3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interference with a student’s
           school performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive school
           environment.

Verbal harassment may include derogatory remarks, jokes, slurs, and can include belligerent or
threatening words spoken to another.

Physical harassment includes unwarranted physical touching, contact, assault, deliberate
impeding or blocking movements, or any intimidating interference with normal school work or
movement.

It is the responsibility of the school to:
         1. Implement this policy through regular meetings with all administrators, including the
             Pastor in the case of a parish school, ensuring that everyone understands the policy
             and its importance.
         2. Make all staff members, students and parent/legal guardian(s) aware of this policy
             and the commitment of the school toward its strict enforcement.
         3. Remain watchful for conditions that create or may lead to a hostile or offensive
             environment.
         4. Establish practices designed to create an environment free from discrimination,
             intimidation, or harassment. To provide instructional and support services for
             students, which would include, but not limited to, available counseling services.
         5. Active and positive communication with parents and families regarding concerns of
             harassment and bullying.

It is the responsibility of the student to:

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1. Conduct himself or herself in a manner which contributes to a positive school
          environment;
       2. Avoid any activity that may be considered discriminatory, intimidating, or harassing;
       3. Consider immediately informing anyone harassing him or her that the behavior is
          offensive and unwelcome;
       4. Report incidents of discrimination or harassment to the Assistant Principal or
          Principal. If he/she is not available, report incidents to another school personnel, for
          example the counselor, a Team Leader or the After School Care director.
       5. If informed he/she is perceived as engaging in discriminatory, intimidating, harassing,
          or unwelcome conduct, to discontinue that conduct immediately.

The following procedures must be followed for filing and investigating a harassment claim:
       1. The person may first choose to tell the individual causing the harassment that the
          conduct is offensive and must stop. If the objectionable behavior does not cease
          immediately, the person must report the harassment to the assistant principal or
          principal. In the case of sexual harassment allegations, the person is free to raise the
          issue with another administrator if he/she prefers to do so.
       2. If the complaint is against the principal, the person must report the incident to the
          pastor or the Superintendent of Catholic Schools with the Archdiocese.
       3. As soon as the verbal report has been given, the school personnel must report the
          incident to the parent/legal guardian(s) and the Superintendent.
       4. The person alleging harassment will be asked to complete a formal, written
          complaint. The claim will be investigated thoroughly, involving only the necessary
          parties. Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent as is possible.
       5. The investigation will include a meeting with the person alleged to have harassed,
          sharing with that person the nature of the allegations as well as the name of the person
          bringing the allegation.
       6. Once the facts of the case have been gathered, the assistant principal or principal, in
          consultation with the pastor and superintendent, will decide what, if any, disciplinary
          action is warranted. The disciplinary action will relate to the nature, context, and
          seriousness of the harassment and can include disciplinary actions up to and including
          expulsion.
       7. If the complaint is against a non-employee such as a parent, legal guardian,
          parishioner, volunteer or vendor, the school will take steps, within its power, to
          investigate and eliminate the problem.

 HUMAN SEXUALITY
 REASONS FOR A POLICY ON HUMAN SEXUALITY
All entities of the Catholic Church are for the purpose of furthering the saving mission of Jesus
Christ and must operate in accord with the truth revealed by God in both natural law and divine
revelation. In particular, our Catholic schools must remain in the fullness of the truth in order to
carry out their proper mission:

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Since true education must strive for complete formation of the human person that looks to
       his or her final end as well as to the common good of societies, children and youth are to
       be nurtured in such a way that they are able to develop their physical, moral, and
       intellectual talents harmoniously, acquire a more perfect sense of responsibility and right
       use of freedom, and are formed to participate actively in social life. (Code of Canon Law,
       c. 795).

Catholic schools are committed to providing a safe environment that allows students to flourish
academically, physically, and spiritually. Catholic schools are obliged to provide an education
and resources consistent with Catholic teaching. The starting point for Catholic education is a
deeply held understanding that affirms the God- given irrevocable dignity of every human
person.

These truths extend into every facet of our lives, including-and perhaps especially--- our
sexuality.

Regarding sexuality and sexual identity, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "By
creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the
other. Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church ("CCC'), 2360-2363). By its very nature, sexuality is ordered
to the conjugal love of a man and woman within the bond of marriage (c. 1055). And marriage,
which is a partnership of the whole of life, is always ordered by its very nature to both the good
of the spouses and the procreation and education of children (Ibid.). All persons are called to
chastity, to be lived out according to one's state in life (CCC, #2337-2359).

Ultimately, "[w]e are creatures, and not omnipotent," and we must accept and respect our
humanity "as it was created" (Ibid.; see also Gen. 1:27, Matthew 19:4, and Mark 10:6). Pope
Francis stresses that "the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created," so
that "we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the
Creator" (Amoris Laetitia (“AL”), #285).

As Pope Francis notes, we must always respect the sacred dignity of each individual person, but
that does not mean the Church must accept the confused notions of gender ideology. We must not
demean or deny the sincerity and struggle of those who experience same-sex attraction or who
feel their true gender identity is different from their biological sex. Rather, we seek to
accompany them on their journey of life, offering them the light of the Gospel as they try to find
their way forward. These truths are not merely faith-based; rather, such realities are also
knowable through the use of properly functioning senses and right reason (Pope St. John Paul II,
Fides et Ratio, #22). We do not serve anyone's greater good by falsifying the truth, for it is only
the truth that frees us for the full life that God offers to each of us. Thus, when a person

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experiences same-sex attraction or some form of gender dysphoria, such struggles do not change
the biological fact of how God created that person, and it would be untruthful for the Catholic
Church or our Catholic schools to pretend otherwise. The policies of our Catholic schools,
therefore, must reflect these fundamental truths.

BULLYING/HARASSMENT/VIOLENCE AND HUMAN SEXUALITY
All persons have inherent human dignity and are thus deserving of innate respect as a person.
Bullying, harassment, or threats or acts of violence against any student based on that student's
perceived sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, will not be tolerated.

CHASTITY

All persons are called to chastity in accordance with their state in life. For purposes of the school
environment, chastity also encompasses modesty in language, appearance, dress, and behavior.
Accordingly, romantic or sexual displays of affection are generally not permitted at school.

SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND SAME-SEX ATTRACTION

Students may not advocate, celebrate, or express same-sex attraction in such a way as to cause
confusion or distraction in the context of Catholic school classes, activities, or events. When
discussing homosexuality or homosexual inclinations, the use of the term "same-sex attraction"
is preferred, as it is a more appropriate description in accordance with the truths of Catholic faith
and morals.

GENDER DYSPHORIA (TRANSGENDERISM)

All students are expected to conduct themselves at school in a manner consistent with their
biological sex. Schools shall consider the gender of all students as being consistent with their
biological sex, including, but not limited to, the following: participation in school athletics;
school-sponsored dances; dress and uniform policies; the use of changing facilities, showers,
locker rooms, and bathrooms (with rare exceptions only on a limited, case-by-case basis, to be
determined by the principal of the school); titles, names, and pronouns; and official school
documents (See Policy 3706 Official School Documents). If a student's expression of gender,
sexual identity, or sexuality should cause confusion or disruption at the school, or if it should
mislead others, cause scandal, or have the potential for causing scandal, then the matter will first
be discussed with the student and his/her parents. If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of
the school, whose primary goal must always be to uphold Catholic truths and principles, then the
student may be dismissed from the school, after the parents are first given the opportunity to
withdraw the student from the school.

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OFFICIAL SCHOOL DOCUMENTS

Diplomas, transcripts, school records, and any other official documents of the school ("Official
School Documents") shall be issued in conformity with the student's biological sex as based
upon physical differences at birth and at the time of the student's enrollment. Official School
Documents are historical documents and, as such, must accurately reflect the name and identity
of the alumnus/alumna during the time in which he/she was enrolled at and graduated from the
school. If after graduation an alumnus/alumna legally changes his/her name, for whatever reason,
and requests new versions of his/her official school documents, the Official School Documents
may be issued in the following format: "Original Name, n.k.a., New Legal Name."

                                           DRESS CODE
St. Monica students are required to wear a standard uniform for school, which will promote
dignity, cleanliness, unity, respectfulness, and good health. Uniforms should not be altered or
adapted in any way. It is important that parents and students alike keep in mind that while in
uniform, both on and off campus, students represent St. Monica School. School uniforms serve
the family in three ways: it assures equality in dress and it reduces the cost of clothing for
children who are at a rapid stage of growth. Our school uniforms also unite us with a sense of
pride for our school. However, as the term “uniform” denotes, the dress must be standard; it is
not uniform if there is a prescribed article of clothing missing or substituted. All uniforms must
be sized appropriately; oversized uniform clothing may not be worn. Students are expected to
follow the dress code expectations of their biological sex throughout the school day and during
all school events, which include, but are not limited to, athletics, extracurricular and social
activities. Students out of uniform without a written an excusable explanation from a parent/legal
guardian(s) or medical exemption from a physician will be sent to the office. Parent/legal
guardian(s) will be called to provide the proper uniform before the student will be admitted back
to class. Information regarding the uniform vendor and pricing is available in the school office
or at https://saintmonica.net/school-uniforms or
https://flynnohara.com/shop/st-monica-catholic-school-tx036/ SCHOOL CODE: TX036.

The official uniform vendor is Flynn O’Hara. The school crest may not be reproduced and
the school official uniform may not be altered or changed.

BOYS UNIFORM- PREK
*Gray pull-on elastic waist pants or black pants (daily wear and Mass)
*White button down collared shirt and tie (daily wear and Mass)
*Black crew socks (daily wear and Mass)
Grey pull-on shorts or black shorts (optional daily wear)
Red or gray school polo (optional daily wear)

BOYS UNIFORM-KINDER TO EIGHTH GRADE
Black pants (daily wear and Mass)

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Black Belt (daily wear and Mass)
White button down collared shirt and tie (daily wear and Mass)
Black crew socks (daily wear and Mass)
Black shorts (optional daily wear)
Red or white school polo (optional daily wear)

GIRLS UNIFORM PRE-KINDER TO SECOND GRADE
Red plaid jumper (daily wear and Mass)
White collar blouse (daily wear and Mass)
Black crew socks or knee-highs (daily wear and Mass)
Red plaid skort (optional daily wear)
Black pants (daily wear)
Red or white school polo (optional daily wear)

GIRLS UNIFORM THIRD TO EIGHTH GRADE
Red plaid skirt (daily wear and Mass)
Black pants (daily wear)
White blouse with red sailor tie (daily wear and Mass)
Black crew socks or knee-highs (daily wear and Mass)
Red, white, or black** school polo (optional daily wear)
Black shorts (optional daily wear)
Black crew socks or knee-highs
**Black polo may only be worn with plaid skirts or skorts.

MIDDLE SCHOOL: SIXTH TO EIGHTH GRADE PE UNIFORM
The required PE uniform is the St. Monica’s PE T-Shirt, black mesh gym shorts no shorter than a
dollar bill’s width above the top of the knee, white or black socks, and tennis shoes. For the PE
uniform, only the t-shirt is required to be purchased from Flynn O’Hara.

UNIFORM SHOES
Uniform shoes do not need to be purchased from Flynn O’Hara. Solid black tennis shoes, solid
black loafers or black Mary Janes. Shoelaces must be the same color as the shoes and be
appropriately laced and tied. Students must change into tennis shoes for P.E. class. No high tops,
heels, sandals, boots, or “heelies” are allowed.

WINTER CLOTHING
When 50 degrees or below, girls may wear black tights.
All students may wear long sleeve undershirts that match the color of the uniform shirt or
blouse.
St. Monica sweaters, fleeces and jackets may be worn in the building, if necessary.
Any non-St. Monica external covering may ONLY be worn when traveling outside when the
weather is reported to feel like 50 degrees or below.
**ALL STUDENTS are to take off hoodies and fleeces for MASS.

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Only the red cardigan may be worn, if needed, at Mass.

PE WINTER CLOTHING
During winter on cold days, students may wear black sweat-pants (no yoga pants, leggings or
tight pants).

EXTREME HEAT CLOTHING
Any day that is reported to feel over 95 degrees, students may wear uniform shorts and crew
socks.

HAIR
Hair should be clean, natural color, neatly groomed, non-distracting and should not interfere with
vision.
Facial hair is not allowed.
Fad haircuts or hairstyles are not allowed;
Spiked haircut may not be longer than a half inch.
Hair may not be higher than 1 inch from the top of the scalp.
The differentiation between sections of hair should not be more than 2 clipper lengths.
Hair may not be artificially streaked, highlighted or colored.
No feathers or hair weaves are allowed.
Boys’ hair must be CLEANCUT, above the eyebrows; over the ears.
Hair may not cover a student's eyes.
Hair must be kept clean, neatly combed or brushed at all times.
The Principal or designee will be the final judge of what hairstyles will be acceptable.
Facial hair (7th & 8th grade Boys) such as a mustache or sideburns is not permitted. Students
with facial hair are expected to be clean-shaven.
Writing and drawing will not be allowed on any part of the person or any part of the school
uniform, including footwear, except on the field day t-shirt on field day.

Bows or hair ties should be simple and matching the colors of the uniform (black, white or red).
No decorative headbands (cat, bunny ears, unicorns, etc.) are allowed EXCEPT on uniform free
or designated school days.
Haircuts, hairstyles, or hair color that is deemed inappropriate by the Administration will be
subject to an immediate required change.
JEWELRY
Dangling jewelry--earrings, rings and bracelets-- can be dangerous during school activities and
should not be worn at school. A simple religious necklace no longer than the collar area may be
worn. Girls are allowed to wear one set of stud earrings on the earlobe –multiple and cartilage
piercings are not allowed. Boys may not wear earrings of any kind. Body piercing, body art,
and tattoos are not allowed. One watch may be worn (not Smart Watches or other watches with
internet capabilities). One ring and one religious bracelet may be worn.
The school is not liable for any misplaced/lost jewelry.
***Should items of jewelry become distractions from the learning process, teachers may ask
students to not wear them to school.***
No other jewelry will be permitted.

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MAKEUP/NAILS
Nails must always be short and CLEAN. No fake nails or nail polish are allowed at any time,
except for 8th grade graduation for graduates only. No make- up may be worn, unless
designated by administration for a special occasion.

FREE DRESS DAYS
Some of these days will be school fundraisers, others may be awarded such as when a student
earns it for some achievement or their birthday.
The purpose of this is to raise funds to provide special events for the students throughout the
school year. Other non uniform (FREE DRESS) days are at the discretion of the school
administration.

FREE DRESS PARAMETERS
  ● Birthday (or half birthday of birth date falls during school holiday).
  ● Taking a picture of yourself in full, proper St. Monica gear out in the city at a local tourist
     attraction or historical landmark and emailing the picture to Mrs. Martinez
     smartinez@saintmonica.net (limit, one per month)
   ● Attending school meetings (Parent Conferences, PTC, etc) and after school events (Music
     concerts, designated home games/tournaments, Talent Show, etc.)
  ● Appropriate attire can include jeans, capris, dresses/skirts/shorts no shorter than a dollar
     bill’s width above the top of the knee with shorts under dresses/skirts. No skinny jeans,
     pajamas, jeggings, yoga pants or leggings are to be worn. All shirts must cover the
     midriff and completely cover shoulders – tank tops, spaghetti straps are not allowed.
     T-shirts may not contain inappropriate graphics, gang symbols, messages, or markings.
     Any torn/ripped clothing or extremely form-fitting clothing will not be acceptable.
     Undergarments must not be visible.
  ● Free Dress Shoes: Only flat, closed toe shoes with a back may be worn. No sandals, heels
     or wedges.

             ST. MONICA TECHNOLOGY APPROPRIATE USAGE POLICY

“Technology is one of the most marvelous expressions of the human spirit in history; but it is not
an unmixed blessing. It can enrich life immeasurably or make a tragedy of life. The choice is
(yours), and education has a powerful role in shaping that choice. (National Council of Catholic
Bishops, 1972 #33)

ST. MONICA STUDENT TECHNOLOGY GUIDELINES

All students should ask themselves when using electronic communication if he or she would be
engaging in the media together with Fr. Thumma, a parent, a legal guardian or grandparent. If the
answer is no, then don’t do it. Whether occurring within or outside of school, use of electronic
communication should never jeopardize the safe environment of the school or be contrary to
Gospel values.

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Good digital citizenship involves practicing safe, responsible, and legal use of technology. A
good digital citizen is someone who understands the rights and responsibilities that come with
being online and someone who uses technology in a positive way.

Teaching good digital citizenship to our students is EVERYONE’s responsibility, not just
our Technology Teacher. All SMCS team members will model positive digital citizenship and
help students connect their everyday actions with their choices in a digital society.

Students will never have “free time” on school devices. Teachers will always have approved sites
posted.

Students are not allowed to use personal electronic devices or communication (i.e. personal
email) at ANY time to communicate with our team members. Exceptions may be made for
summer credit recoveries as necessary with administration.

Students may NOT bring their own device to school to use.

SECURITY AND PRIVACY
The school employs filters that block 99.5% of all offensive materials, but some students may
still find a way to access something that offends them. We believe that the benefits to students
from access to the Internet in the form of information resources and opportunities for
collaboration exceed the disadvantages. But ultimately, parents and guardians are responsible for
setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and
information sources. Therefore, we support and respect each family’s rights to decide whether or
not to allow access.

Privacy- Administrators and or teachers may review activity to maintain system integrity and
ensure that employees and students are using the system responsibly.

The use of the Internet and school devices are a privilege, not a right, and will be revoked if
abused.

TECHNOLOGY DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP

   1. Technology is only to be used for learning directly tied to our curriculum. Students are
      not to view or display anything offensive. Any student using their device at school or
      home to bully another student will be subject to school disciplinary consequences.

   2. School devices must be cared for at all times as any damage outside of normal wear and
      tear will be billed to the student’s account. This includes but is not limited to running
      with the device, leaving the device on top of papers, carrying the device with less than
      two hands, or solely by the screen. Food and drinks are never to be anywhere near the
      device. All devices must be supervised and never left unattended.

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3. Absolutely nothing should be downloaded onto your school device.

   4. Students are never to employ “incognito” mode when using their browser.

   5. Students are not to stream music or videos on a device without permission from the
      supervising teacher.

   6. Students must never violate copyright laws.

   7. Students are not to share passwords with anyone or attempt to discover passwords that
      are not assigned to their person.

   8. Printing is only to be done with supervising teacher’s approval.

   9. Under no circumstances is any student to touch another student or teacher’s device.

   10. Students are to notify an adult immediately if, by accident, materials are encountered that
       are not appropriate for school.

   11. Students will be held accountable for their digital actions and for the loss of privileges if
       any of these rules are violated.

                                   DUE PROCESS/APPEALS

LOCAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES (NON-EXPULSION)

All complaints that do not result in expulsion or termination will be resolved at the local school
level. The Archdiocesan Council of Conciliation will not hear these matters.

Grievances may be heard from individuals, and parents, but in all cases the opportunity to be
heard shall be forfeited if the procedures outlined below are not followed precisely.

As used in this procedure a “grievance” shall mean a complaint regarding any action taken by a
teacher or administrator toward a student in the enforcement of discipline, policies, and/or
regulations.

OUTLINE OF REDRESS PROCEDURES: STUDENTS AND PARENTS

Prior to the initiation of a formal grievance procedure, parents who seek redress for their
child(ren) in matters of policy, regulation, or discipline MUST first confer directly (either face to
face or by telephone), with the teacher, staff member or administrator complained against, for
resolution of the situation.

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