St. Anthonys Academy 2020-21 Handbook
- Technology (screens of any type) in the classroom is limited to the occasional video demonstration (for example, a YouTube clip) shown by the teacher to the class. We want our students to be actively engaged with the real world around them, speaking with their fellow students & teachers, & developing healthy brains.
- Students may not touch or use teachers' phones except in the case of an emergency, in which case a call may be made with permission.
- Students are not allowed access to any phones, tablets, televisions, video games or computers at any time during school hours or functions, including when traveling in vehicles.
- In situations where it is not a distraction from the class, and it may be pleasant to listen to music while working, music (classical, swing, or folk) may be played by the teacher over a radio or phone. Students are not allowed to touch the device or tamper with the music in any way.
- when traveling in vehicles of teachers, classical, swing, or folk music or appropriate classics on audio book may be played.
Families who join SAA should be aligned with our mission & cheerfully embrace a serious limitation of technology in the lives of our students - families who are willing & happy to put aside phones, tablets, computers, video games or any social media accounts for the good of the student. We ask that families encourage their students to spend their time engaging with people, nature, and in healthy activities and that any home screen time be had on the weekend and as a family, such as a family movie night.
- All families and students agree to abide by the no technology policy for the duration of the student's enrollment in St. Anthonys. If even one student is watching TV, playing video games, and getting caught up in pop culture at home, it brings a disturbing attitude & worldliness that effects the entire class negatively, and we also want to guard against the invasive onslaught of pornography.
- All students pledge to not own a smart phone while enrolled at St. Anthonys. Students who drive may own a dumb phone for emergencies, but it must be left in the care of the Directress during school hours, functions, and trips.
- All students pledge to not have social media accounts of any kind while enrolled at St. Anthonys.
"For desire of the real to rise up, there must be something real to arouse it, and gadgets, computers, and gimmicks used to hold attention, all taking place in the classroom environments technologically insulated from reality, are simply parts of the generally unlovable atmosphere of modern education - unlovable because they are all efficiency, utility, and no longer beautiful." - James S. Taylor, Poetic Knowledge
We have an almost-no-homework policy - usually no homework other than some Humane Letters reading assignments.. We want our students to have time to play, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the world around them after spending their day at school.
A focus on exams and grades alters the way students learn, making learning a means to an end rather than a good in itself. This contributes to a view of school as a necessary evil on the road to commercial success rather than a joyful discovery that forms the soul. In addition, student anxiety over grades and exams is on the rise nationwide, contributing significantly to the teenage depression/anxiety/suicide epidemic.
Rather than exams and grades, at SAA Parent-Student-Teacher discussions & progress reports will be scheduled for three times a year, with a written overall assessment for the parent at the end of the year. Both teachers & students will fill out progress reports, as student self-assessment is an important part of the adolescent's growing need for independence & taking on responsibility.
The student may also receive feedback on her work and how she is doing, especially if the student is ill prepared or not doing his/her best.
Emphasis is placed on honest, diligent work to the best of one's ability and the excitement of discovery.
Although we have no regular exams throughout the year, we are partnering with Classical Learning Test (CLT)* to assess the students and to mark their progress at the end of each year. We will not be "teaching to the test"; we believe our students will excel because they are learning how to think and they love learning. Through the CLT, parents can also see how their students are doing compared with other students across the nation.
*The Classic Learning Test (CLT) is the new standard for college entrance assessments. It is designed for high school juniors and seniors. The CLT takes two hours, and tests for grammar, literary comprehension, and mathematical and logical reasoning; it also contains an optional, ungraded essay portion.
The CLT10 is the official preparatory exam for the CLT. It is designed for high school freshmen and sophomores. The exam takes two hours and tests for the similar content as the CLT, at an age-appropriate level and with fewer questions of the highest difficulty.
The CLT8 is an assessment designed for 8th grade students preparing for high school. Some high schools administer the CLT8 as an entrance exam, and it can also be used to monitor academic progress (both individual and school-wide) for 7th and 8th graders. The exam takes two hours and tests for grammar, literary comprehension, and mathematical and logical reasoning.
POLICY ON EVOLUTION
The Catholic Position:
"What is the Catholic position concerning belief or unbelief in evolution? The question may never be finally settled, but there are definite parameters to what is acceptable Catholic belief.
Concerning cosmological evolution, the Church has infallibly defined that the universe was specially created out of nothing. Vatican I solemnly defined that everyone must “confess the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been produced by God from nothing” (Canons on God the Creator of All Things, canon 5).
Concerning biological evolution, the Church does not have an official position on whether various life forms developed over the course of time. However, it says that, if they did develop, then they did so under the impetus and guidance of God, and their ultimate creation must be ascribed to him.
Concerning human evolution, the Church has a more definite teaching. It allows for the possibility that man’s body developed from previous biological forms, under God’s guidance, but it insists on the special creation of his soul. Pope Pius XII declared that “the teaching authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions . . . take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter—[but] the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God” (Pius XII, Humani Generis 36). So whether the human body was specially created or developed, we are required to hold as a matter of Catholic faith that the human soul is specially created; it did not evolve, and it is not inherited from our parents, as our bodies are.
While the Church permits belief in either special creation or developmental creation on certain questions, it in no circumstances permits belief in atheistic evolution."
Plagiarism is considered a very serious offense at every academic institution. It is a form of lying. At the 1st offense, there will be a phone call from the director and a meeting with the director, parent, teacher and student to discuss the seriousness of this offense. At the 2nd offense, the student will be removed from the school for the remainder of the year with no refunds and the usual payment schedules will apply, depending on the time of year. In general, be aware that plagiarism includes knowingly:
· turning in someone else's work as your own
· copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
· failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
· giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
· changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
· copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not
STUDENT ATTENDANCE & ABSENCE POLICY
If a student needs to miss school for some reason, parents should text the Directress & the Teachers as soon as the need for the absence is known with a valid reason for the absence.
Valid absences include those due to illness, doctor or dentist appointments, funerals, weddings, & other reasons may be excused on a case by case basis. .
Students should arrive for class between 8 and 8:15 am. If a student has three unexcused tardies, they will be counted as an absence.
If a student has more than three unexcused absences, a meeting will be called with the parents to assess whether or not St. Anthonys is the best fit for the family.
Students must be picked up between 3:30 and 3:45 pm. If you are running late, please text the Directress.
If you are consistently late, a meeting will be called to discuss a solution.
STUDENT SIGN-IN & RELEASE POLICY
Students will sign themselves in with signature and arrival time each morning. This attendance sheet will be checked by a faculty member.
Students will only be released to those parties listed on your enrollment form as verified for pick-up. If you want your student to walk home, you must fill out a separate permission form.
Students must sign themselves out when their ride arrives with signature, who is picking them up, and the time. They must shake hands with a faculty member before departing and let them know they are going.
NUTRITION & FOOD ALLERGIES
Students should eat a healthy, filling breakfast before school.
Students should prepare & bring their own lunches, snacks, & full water bottles to school each day.
Lunches should be healthy, preferably whole foods - no chips, candy, junk food or soda
Students will have the opportunity to eat their snack at 10 am each morning - snacks should be simple, small portions of nuts, fruit or vegetables that need no preparation.
If a student has a peanut or other serious allergy, please inform the Directress so that she can make guidelines for snacks/lunches & inform the other parents. This will be on a year to year basis, depending on the student body, but it is the parent’s ultimate responsibility to oversee this concern
Please read about our uniforms here. Uniforms must be worn each day. If a student arrives out of uniform, he/she will be given a uniform to borrow for the day & fined $5.00.
INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY
If St. Francis Montessori and/or the University of Dallas close for inclement weather, we will also be closed.
STUDENT RULES OF CONDUCT
- Students will be expected to show proper respect for adult authority at all times, in front of them, as well as behind their backs. Instructors and staff should be addressed with Father, Dr., Mr., Mrs., or Miss along with the last name.
- Students must adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church
- Students will refrain from bringing pop-culture into the classroom
- Students commit to not having social media accounts of any kind while studying with us
- Students will refrain from having/using smart phones, tablets or video games (100% at school, and very limited capacity at home other than family movie night) to foster a common culture unencumbered by the time-consuming and malforming influences of technology on the developing brain, and to promote time better spent engaging with others and nature
- Students are not to bring electronic equipment (iPods, laptops, cell phones, smart watches, radios, CD players, etc.) to school at any time, with the exception of the students who drive themselves to school; they may have a dumb phone that must be in the keeping of the Directress while on school premises, school trips, or at school functions.
- If students need to call their parents, they should ask an adult on duty and stay where the adult can see them while speaking on the phone.
- Students agree to pursue modesty & abide by the dress code
- Students are expected to exercise exemplary etiquette, particularly when out at museums, galleries, or other public places
- Students must refrain from complaining, as it poisons the environment for everyone. Any complaining will be balanced by a gratitude assignment.
- Students should be absolutely honest in word and in action
- Students will refrain from excessive talking or any other disruptive behavior in the classroom
- Students will be expected to be respectful of other students and their property, as well as all class/eating areas and vehicles. When damage is accidental or otherwise, one ought to face up to the problem, apologize and offer to make up for or repair the damage.. Each person is responsible for cleaning up after himself in the class and lunch areas, as well as vehicles.
- Disrespectful and bad attitudes of students will not be tolerated.
- Inappropriate language, conversations, and boy-girl situations are not acceptable. Students will refrain from touching other students
- Pranks are not allowed.
- Birthdays/name days will not be celebrated during classroom hours, but a healthy treat may be brought to share at lunch.
- Repeated violations of the rules of conduct could result in suspension or expulsion
DISCIPLINARY ACTION POLICY
Violations regarding cell phone use or use of other electronic devices, including smart watches:
1st time: $25 fine and a conference with student and parents
2nd time: $25 fine and a conference with student and parents, plus a one week suspension from the school.
3rd time: expulsion from the school. Any remaining tuition must be paid.
Violations of the dress code:
1st time: verbal warning to the student
2nd time: verbal warning, $5 fine, email to the parents
3rd time: $10 fine, conference with student and parents
If repeated infractions of the dress code occur, the student's desire to participate in the mission of the school will be discussed, resulting in possible dismissal from the school if compliance is not forthcoming.
Disobedience, behavioral infractions, and inappropriate touching:
1st time- the teacher will address the issue with the student & an email will be sent to the parent
2nd time-parent conference with the Directress/Disciplinary head
3rd time-student is expelled for the remainder of the semester
The family will still be responsible for the rest of the semester's tuition.
At the discretion of the Directress, some offenses may result in immediate dismissal from the school, with no refund of tuition or fees. The Directress reserves the right to make final decisions.
REQUIREMENTS OF FAMILIES TO WORK SERVICE HOURS & MEET THEIR ANNUAL FUNDRAISING GOAL
Families registered are required to contribute 20 volunteer hours for the year or opt out by paying $400.00. Any volunteer hours not completed will be added to the final tuition payment at the rate of $20/hr.
In order to keep tuition reasonable, St. Anthonys Academy requires that each family participate in fundraising. Tuition is not tax deductible, but fundraising provides the opportunity for families to invite family members, friends, and neighbors to support SAA, or to make a tax-deductible contribution themselves.
Each family is required to fundraise $500 annually. Opportunities include getting monetary donations from local businesses/individuals, collecting donations for the Mayfest Raffle, selling raffle tickets, purchasing advertising space in the Mayfest program, contributing or collecting coupons for the Mayfest program, or completing the Beekeepers Youth Scholarship program & donating the beekeeping equipment to SAA.
FIELD TRIPS & TRANSPORTATION POLICY
If field trips are to be taken, parents will be asked to sign permission slips for each trip. Drivers will keep the permission slips and emergency contact forms for each student with them on field trips.
If a teacher would like to schedule a field trip, he or she should arrange it with the Directress & then the teacher will be provided with the necessary permission slips.
Parents will sign a general transportation permission slip for the purpose of weekly travel to and from St. Basil the Great Byzantine Catholic Church, St. Francis Montessori and Akathist House.
All teachers, assistants, and parent volunteers must complete & submit background checks through TX DPS (more information can be found on the Teacher Resources page)
We believe that vaccinating one's children is a personal decision that should be left to the informed judgment of the parents.
Vaccinations are not required to attend St. Anthonys. In accordance with state law, if you choose not to vaccinate, please turn in a copy of your Texas State exemption form with your application.
The following are signs and symptoms that should alert you to the possibility of a contagious disease. Please consult your child's physician as appropriate, and do not bring your child to school until an infectious cause has been ruled out.
If you visit a doctor's office, please wait 24 hours without symptoms before returning to school.
1) A fever over 100 F on the ear thermometer, under the arm, oral, or rectal.
2) Any type of rash or questionable bumps, and/or red spots. (Contagious infections frequently first manifest themselves as rashes in children.)
3) Green/Yellow/Brown Mucus coming out of the nose, mouth, or eyes. (As with rashes, allergies, viruses, or bacteria can cause nasal and conjunctival discharge. The viral contagions are easily spread by children and therefore should be quarantined quickly. Resolution of symptoms is generally when the child is no longer contagious.)
4) Uncontrollable coughing with or without congestion.
5) Loose stool or diarrhea more than once in a day. (The child should not come back to class until they have gone 24 hours without diarrhea. As long as the child has diarrhea they should be considered contagious).
6) Vomiting or stomach flu of any kind. (The child should not come back to class until they have gone 24 hours without vomiting. As long as the child is vomiting, they should be considered contagious). Please do not bring your child to school if he or she exhibits any of these symptoms. If you bring your child with these symptoms, you will be called to pick him or her up.
Please remind your student to practice good hygiene at home, as we will do at school, for the sake of us all:
- wash hands thoroughly using soap and water for 30 seconds
- cover mouth with the inside of the elbow when coughing or sneezing
- bolster the immune system, eat a healthy diet, and get sufficient sleep
It is the parent’s responsibility to inform the Director and Tutors if your student will be absent. Please text as soon as illness is known.
If your student requires any medication, please inform the Directress personally.
In the case of a teacher who is ill or who must stay at home with ill children, the teacher will:
- text the Directress as soon as the illness is known
- attempt to find a substitute teacher for her/his classes (the teacher will pay the substitute)
- provide a plan for the substitute to follow
It is possible, depending on length of the teacher's absence, that phone or video conferencing with the teacher may be done during class time in order to keep the students on track with their work plans.
In the case of contagious illness at Akathist House, one of two options will be decided upon, depending on the situation:
1.) the ill person(s) will be carefully quarantined upstairs & students will spend the majority of their time outdoors if possible
2.) classes will temporarily convene at the Christensen House
STATE HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
HEARING & VISION SCREENING
There must be a screening record on file for each 7th grade child enrolled. The following data must be recorded: Child's Name, Type of Screening, Date, Screener, and Screening Results, as we must submit annual screening results for vision screening activities to the Department of State Health Services online on the Child Health Reporting System by June 30 of each year.
Screening Procedures:For vision screening, a distance acuity for the right and left eyes must be recorded, e.g., 20/20, 20/30, etc. Approved charts for distance acuity testing include: (1) Sloan Letter Chart and (2) HOTV Matching-Symbol Test.Photoscreening may be used for individuals through five years of age and those with disabilities who do not respond well to other allowable screening methods. If automated screening device is used, pass/fail documentation of results should be recorded. (Muscle balance tests - Hirschberg corneal light reflex and cover-uncover tests - will be included in the certification workshops and are optional tests.)
For hearing screening, the results of the pure-tone audiometric Sweep-Check Screen must be recorded for both the right and left ears. A Sweep-Check Screen is to be conducted at an intensity less than or equal to 25 dB; at the following frequencies: 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hertz.
If your student is in his/her 7th grade year, you must provide St. Anthonys with a copy of your student's Hearing & Vision Screening results using the M-60 & the M-40 forms filled out by their doctor by 15 December of the school year enrolled.
The state requires that the results of examinations for spinal deformity should be on file for females at age 12 years, and males once at either age 13 or 14 years. If you have a 12 year old girl or a 13/14 year old boy, please have a health professional fill out form M-51 and submit it by 15 December of the school year enrolled.
The forms may be found on the parent resource page.
Alternatively, parents or guardians may provide signed statement that the vision, hearing or spinal screening conflicts with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination of which the affiant is an adherent or member.
STATEMENT OF GOOD HEALTH
The state requires documentation that each child has received a medical examination in the past year & has received a statement of good health from a health care professional, dated after 1 September of the previous school year.
If your student has had a well visit since September 1 of the previous school year, a signed doctor statement from the date of that visit will suffice; the doctor should mail one to you without an additional visit.
A signed and dated copy of a healthcare professional's statement must be submitted with enrollment paperwork or before 1 May.
Alternatively, parents or guardians may provide signed statement that obtaining a statement of health conflicts with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination of which the affiant is an adherent or member.
All families must provide St. Anthonys with one of the following:
- a copy of your student(s)' most current immunization record(s)
- an official notarized Vaccination Exemption affidavit excluding your student(s) from Texas immunization requirements for reasons of conscience (including religious belief). You must use the form developed and issued by the Department of State Health Services for each student. I understand this affidavit is valid for two years. (Exemption forms may be ordered at https://corequest.dshs.texas.gov)
- a letter from a physician stating that my student is medically exempt from state immunization requirements because the immunization poses a significant risk to his/her health
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS POLICY
TORNADO OR SEVERE STORM
In the case of a sudden onset of severe weather, the students & faculty will gather in the area under the stairs and in the hallway.
Fire exits will be marked. Students will practice fire drills periodically.
In the case of a fire, 911 will be called, and students will leave Akathist House and walk to the end of the driveway to await assistance.
PARENT VISITING POLICY
Parents are always welcome to come by and see what we are working on; however, please be aware that any unexpected visit does disrupt the student work time. If you want to visit, please be as discreet as possible.