School related information may be accessed through the school website:
Weekly newsletters are emailed to all families on Mondays. The weekly newsletter is also posted on the school website.
Change of Address, Phone Number, and Email
The school office must be informed in writing of any change in address, phone number or email. This also includes emergency contact numbers. An emergency contact number must be available during school hours.
Regular attendance is expected of every student in order for the student to make regular progress in his/her studies. Regular attendance of the student is the responsibility of the parents/guardians.
Parents must call the main office in school by 7:45 a.m. to inform us that you child/children will not be in school. Your child’s safety and welfare are of great importance to us. Please remember to call the office at 215-785-0973 even if you have informed your child/children’s teacher of the absence. The main office is the primary contact to inform absences.
The State of Pennsylvania requires a written note signed by the parent/guardian stating the reason and date(s) of the absence. A doctor’s note is required for an absence of three or more days. In accordance with the state of Pennsylvania, after numerous absences, a conference with parent/guardian, teacher, and principal will be held to discuss the child’s illness.
If an absent note is not received from the parent/guardian within 3 days after the child returns to school, a “1” will be recorded on the child’s roll slip, which denotes parental neglect.
Students who are absent more than 25 days a year will be expected to complete assignments over the summer before entering the next grade. The school will make the decision of the required assignments that must be completed. The only exception is a serious health issue, documented by a doctor. In that case the number of days absent is seen as “excused”.
Punctuality is crucial to your child’s success. A student who is consistently on time has the advantages of preparation for work and a positive attitude toward the school day.
A student in grades K-8 is considered late if he or she is not present in school by 7:35 a.m. and must report to the office for a late slip in order to be admitted to class.
Latenesses will be recorded. Students will receive a demerit each time they are late. Five demerits will result in a lunch detention. Chronic lateness will result in administrative review of the situation. Late bus arrivals do not constitute a late arrival.
Early Dismissal - Individual Students
Parents/Guardians or an authorized person must report to the school office to meet the student and to sign the student out. No student may leave the school building at any time without a parent/guardian or authorized person.
- Vacation during the school year is strongly discouraged.
- Classroom teachers and school office must be notified in writing of a family vacation during the school year.
- Teachers are NOT responsible to assign work before the rest of the class receives the assignment or is taught the work.
- Any tests, projects or assignments scheduled during such an absence must be made up within a week of returning to school or forfeit the grade.
- If a student fails such an assignment, it is due to the missed time and work. Therefore, there is very little a teacher can do to assist the child in such circumstances.
- If a family vacation occurs at the end of the school year, all assignments and tests must be completed before the final report card will be issued.
Telephone - School Office
The telephone in the school office is for school business only. Students will be permitted to use the telephone in case of an emergency. It is the student’s responsibility to check school supplies before leaving home. Urgent messages for students may be relayed from the school office. Messages can be given to the school secretary when necessary and they will be given to the appropriate teacher. Please make sure your child knows his/her end of day arrangements before arriving to school.
Cellular Telephone /Handheld Electronic Games / Smart Watches
The school is not responsible for any cell phones or electronic equipment. These items may not be used during school hours, must be turned off, and placed in the student’s school bag.
Behavioral Expectation of Students
The mission of Saint Mark School is to form Catholic leaders who are self-disciplined. The students are called to be caring, respectful, responsible and enthusiastic students. The observance of school rules is necessary to create an appropriate atmosphere for learning. Faculty and parents must work together to assist the students in their religious, academic, social, and physical development.
When students do not meet these expectations of behavior, the school staff will utilize interventions that enables students the ability to solve problems, and help them understand how their behavior impacts others.
The discipline policy applies to students and parents/guardians in school, at school sponsored events, in the school/parish community, as well as outside the school/parish community where the behavior is contrary to Catholic teachings.
The following guidelines are formulated to increase student awareness of personal responsibilities as a student of Saint Mark School. Students are expected to:
- Respect all persons, adult and peers, in word, action, and attitude. This includes any adult in the school building, schoolyard, or church. All students should treat each other with consideration and respect.
- Treat all personal and school property with respect.
- Obey all classroom rules established by the teacher.
- Be prepared for class.
- Complete assigned homework.
- Complete assigned classwork.
- Comply with the school dress code.
- Obey lunchtime and schoolyard rules.
- Act with reverence in church.
When appropriate, age-appropriate disciplinary consequences result from unacceptable behavior. In an effort to support the development of our students, the following steps will be implemented:
- Demerits – Demerits will be issued when needed.
- Conferencing – The teacher will interview the student(s) to discuss the behavior, its results and the consequences of their action.
- Disengage from the classroom environment – The student will be removed from the classroom for a brief, specific period of time.
- Lunch detention – The student will serve supervised lunch detention for a time that reflects the nature of the infraction.
These interventions may be combined if the teacher or administrator deems it appropriate.
After school detentions may be issued for serious infractions including but not limited to the following:
- Physical Aggression
- Inappropriate Language
- Verbal Harassment
Detentions will be held from 2:15-3:15. Transportation for students is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Each student must be signed out by a parent/guardian. The teacher /administrator reserves the right to determine the time and day of detention, as well as the consequences for any major offenses.
Please note that immediate detentions, in-school suspension, removal from school, and expulsion can be a consequence for all students in any grade. In-school suspension is sometimes an option in lieu of out-of-school suspension. The determination lies at the discretion of the administration and is relative to the nature of the situation. On occasion and depending upon the situation, parents may be called to remove their child from school. A meeting will be arranged and conditions for return to school will be discussed with parent.
It should be noted that every effort is taken to follow a prescribed course of action in regard to consequences related to student’s behavior and responsibilities. However, each situation is handled on an individual basis taking all factors into consideration. Comparisons should not be made.
An inability of a student to work toward improved self-discipline can result in the recommendation of an alternative school placement. In addition, the student, if suspended but not dismissed, may be required to have psychological or psychiatric clearance before returning to school.
Serious infractions, including but not limited to the following, may result in the immediate removal of a child from school with the intent to permanently dismiss:
- Misuse of communication devices in school, at home, or off premises that target any student, teacher, or staff member
- Alcohol and/or drug possession or use
- Weapon possession
- Both physical and/or verbal intentional harm towards a student, teacher, or staff member
- Possession of materials or a display of actions deemed immoral by the Administration
At any time, the administration has the right and authority to impose consequences in keeping with the mission and philosophy of the school in order to protect and preserve the well-being and safety of the school community.
It is the intent of the school to provide an educational environment free from all forms of improper threats, intimidation, hostility and offensive and inappropriate behavior. Such improper conduct may take the form of unwanted verbal or physical conduct, verbal or written derogatory or discriminatory statements, and behavior not otherwise conducive to the educational and religious mission of the school.
This policy applies both in and out of the classroom, in the school community generally and outside the school community, where the behavior is contrary to Catholic teachings or could bring disrepute or embarrassment to Saint Mark School. Conduct by students and parent/guardians, or anyone acting on their behalf, incompatible with the educational and religious mission of the school is grounds for disciplinary action, including, but not limited to the immediate dismissal of the student, as well as reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities where appropriate.
The faculty and staff of Saint Mark School is committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment for their students. The faculty and staff recognize that bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation and detracts from the safe environment necessary for student learning.
Bullying means a communication or act that is intentional and delivered in electronic, written, verbal and physical form to another student or students, which occurs in or is related to a school setting or activity that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following:
- Substantially interfering with a student’s education
- Creating of an intimidating or threatening school environment
- Substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school
Bullying, as defined in this policy, includes communication delivered through the Internet, including social media (cyberbullying). School setting means in the school, on school grounds, in vehicles transporting school students, at any assigned bus stop, or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school. Saint Mark Catholic School prohibits all forms of bullying/cyberbullying whether or not the bullying/cyberbullying occurs during school hours, on school transportation or through the use of personal computer in the home setting.
A student who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action which may include school discipline, suspension, or expulsion. Investigation of complaints made by students, third parties and/or parents shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures listed below.
Reporting Procedures - Complaints alleging violations of this policy shall be reported to the principal or his/her teacher. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal or his/her designee. All other members of the school community, including pupils, parent(s) or legal guardian(s), volunteers and visitors are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy.
Investigation - The principal or his/her teacher is responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. The principal or his/her teacher shall conduct a thorough and complete investigation of the alleged incident. The principal or his/her teacher will maintain a record of each investigation regarding allegations of harassment, intimidation and bullying.
Response to an Incident of Bullying - Some acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be isolated incidents requiring the school to respond appropriately to the individual(s) committing the acts. Other acts may be so serious or part of a larger pattern of harassment, intimidation, or bullying that require a response either at the classroom, school building, or by law enforcement officials. Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for pupils who commit an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying range from counseling interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion. It should be noted that every effort is taken to follow a prescribed course of action in regard to consequences related to student’s behavior and responsibilities. However, each situation is handled on an individual basis taking all factors into consideration. Comparisons should not be made.
Reprisal or Retaliation are prohibited against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the principal or his/her teacher after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act.
Consequences for False Accusation - Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a pupil found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying range from counseling interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion.
Saint Mark School follows the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Policy prohibiting harassment, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment refers to any unwelcome sexual attention, sexual advances, or any verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated. Any student or parent/guardian who is determined to have violated this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal of the student.