Student Handbook

Let it be known to all who enter St. Mark School
That Christ is the reason for this school,
The unseen, but ever-present Teacher in its classes,
The Model of its faculty,
And the Inspiration of its students.

St Mark Logo

Mission Statement

Saint Mark Catholic School welcomes all students to a faith-filled rigorous academic environment. We are a center of evangelization that calls all to live fully the message of Jesus Christ. Our mission is to work together with parents and guardians to help our students grow both academically and spiritually, and to empower them to become caring and contributing citizens.

This handbook contains current policies and procedures of Saint Mark School. The school may change any of its policies and procedures and apply them as circumstances dictate. If you have a question about a particular policy or procedure, please contact the principal.


I. Administration Contact Information

Pastor: Father Dennis Mooney – (215) 788-2493
Principal: Mrs. Maria Sanson – (215) 785-0973
Administrative Asst.: Ms. Erin Melling – (215) 785-0973
Parish Office: (215) 788-2319
Business Manager (Tuition & School Finance): Mr. Fred Perazzelli – (215) 788-2319
Website:  www.stmarkbristol.org

II. Admissions & Registration

General Policies

No child will be denied admission to St. Mark Catholic School on the basis of creed, race, or ethnic origin.

Pre K to 8th Grade

Children must be 4 years old by September 1st to be admitted to Pre K.
Children must be 5 years old by September 1st to be admitted to Kindergarten.
Children must be 6 years old by September 1st to be admitted to First Grade.

All new students entering K-8 must have the following:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate (if not baptized in St. Mark Church)
  • Record of Immunizations
  • Registration Forms and fee
Re-Registration

Families registered in our school are required to re-register annually. All financial obligations must be current before re-registration can be processed. If financial obligations are not current and you have registered your child/children, the fee will be applied to your past due tuition.

Transfers

School and medical records will be forwarded to the child’s new school upon request from that school. St. Mark School may withhold Academic records if all financial obligations are not satisfied.

Tuition

The Smart Tuition Company provides the parents/guardians with information regarding the type of payments that are available. If there is a problem with Smart Tuition, please call the parish office at 215-788-2319 and ask for the Business Manager. All financial responsibilities must be satisfied in order for your child to receive his/her report card or attend class trips. Parents/Guardians may not attend Report Card Conferences if tuition is not up to date or arrangements have not been made with the Business Manager.

Legal Custody Issues

It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to inform the school in writing when legal custody of the child/children resides with one parent/guardian. It is important for the school to have a copy of the legal custody decree. This will help school personnel make decisions should the need arise. Custodial parents/guardians are likewise asked to supply the school wit copies of any restraining orders.

A child will not be released to a parent/guardian that does not have physical custody, without the consent of the custodial parent/guardian. To determine the custodial parent/guardian, all separated or divorced parent/guardians of children enrolled in the parish school must provide the school with a copy of the court order or custodial agreement adjudicating that determination of custody. This Court Order/Custodial Agreement is placed in a confidential file.

Those individuals who have legal custody of the student may attend school meetings, participate in educational decisions and review educational records regarding that student. Persons who do not have legal custody (including those with visitation rights but not legal custody) have no such educational rights and may not participate in these matters.

III. Expectations for Student Behavior

Saint Mark students are expected to be courteous and respectful to all members of the school and parish community. Most infractions consequences are at the discretion of the teacher. Infractions may include:

  • Out of uniform
  • Discourteous, disrespectful, and uncooperative behavior
  • Chewing gum

Serious infractions may include:

  • Smoking
  • Vandalism
  • Deliberate disobedience
  • Striking another member of the school community

If a problem is serious enough that the principal and pastor’s attention is needed, suspension may result based on the seriousness of the incident. Suspension may lead to dismissal if a student’s behavior does not improve.

IV. Academic Progress

Homework

It is mandatory that all students complete all homework assignments. Homework is a part of the students’ grades, a reinforcement of the teaching presented in the classroom, and a preparation for class. Parents/guardians are asked to help their child/children to develop good study habits and assume responsibility for supervising their child’s homework. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia recommends:

  • Grades 1 and 2: 30 minutes
  • Grades 3 and 4: 60 minutes
  • Grades 5 and 6: 90 minutes
  • Grades 7 and 8: 120 minutes

Report Cards

Class participation and assessments, as well as credit for class projects and activities in various areas, are combined in order to obtain a report card average.

Report cards are issued three times a year to students in grades 1 through 8. Pre K and kindergarten students receive progress reports for each trimester. Each student is responsible for his/her own report card grade by satisfactorily fulfilling the following requirements:

  • Assessments
  • Quizzes
  • Oral and written reports
  • Independent classwork
  • Active participation in classroom lessons and activities
  • Projects
  • Homework Assignments
Honors Criteria

5th – 8th Grades

First Honors

  • GPA of 92 and above
  • 90 and above average in all subjects
  • 3’s and 4’s in all other areas and subjects

2nd Honors

  • GPA of 85-91
  • 83 and above average in all subjects
  • 3’s and 4’s in all other areas and subjects

Conferences

Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences are scheduled at the first trimester report card for Pre-K to 8th grade. Conferences are only scheduled if teacher and or parent request the conference. 

Promotion or Retention

Student progress is monitored throughout the school year. At the first report card period, the parent/guardian is informed of the student’s academic, social, and emotional progress. The teacher will contact the parent/guardian of a student who continues to experience difficulty to discuss the possibility of retention and support services. If retention is indicated, the parent/guardian will receive an official notification, which must be signed and returned. Promotion or retention is at the discretion of the teacher in consultation with the administration.

Graduation

Eighth grade students who have completed the prescribed course of study and maintained a suitable discipline record are eligible for graduation if all financial obligations have been met. The administration and the eighth grade teacher determine procedures for graduation.

Participation in closing exercises is a privilege, not a right. The school has the right to deny any student from participating in closing exercises if, in view of the school, the student’s conduct, academic, or disciplinary record indicate that the privilege should not be extended.

Books and Materials

Each student must use a book bag. All lost or damaged books must be paid for in full. All books must be covered during the first week of school. Books must be covered throughout the year. If a cover is destroyed, the book must be replaced.

School Library

Students of grades Pre K – 8 have access to materials from the library. The students must observe the following rules when using the library:

  • All books must be returned within the prescribed time.
  • If a book is lost or damaged, it must be paid for by the parent/guardian.
V. Communication

School related information may be accessed through the school website: www.stmarkbristol.org

Change of Address, Phone Number, and Email

The school office must be informed in writing of any change in address or phone number. This also includes any emergency contact numbers. An emergency contact must be available during school hours.

Appointments and Conferences

If a difficulty should arise concerning your child’s conduct or academic work, please contact the teacher involved before bringing the matter to the attention of the principal. Parents/Guardians should write to the teacher to arrange a conference. Conferences with teachers must be scheduled before or after school. If held during school hours, it will be at the discretion of the principal.

Attendance

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.

Absences

Parents must call the main office in school by 7:45 a.m. to inform us that your 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 of absences.

The State of Pennsylvania requires a written note signed by the parent/guardian stating the reason and the 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 that 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”.

Lateness

Late students must report to the school office for a late slip in order to be admitted to class. A record is kept of all lateness. Lateness impacts on a perfect attendance record and prohibits a student from receiving a Perfect Attendance Certificate at the end of the year. School begins at 7:35. Students will be marked late if they arrive after 7:35. Five late slips will result in a detention.

Excessive lateness – late more than 25 times over the course of the year will result in the student required to complete assignments over the summer. Principal and teachers will communicate with any child’s family when the need arises. Working together is the goal of our school to form life-long habits of punctuality.

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. 

Perfect Attendance Certificate

In order for a Perfect Attendance Certificate to be awarded, the student must be present and on time each instructional day.

Vacation Policy
  • 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.

Standardized Tests

Students in grades K to 8 will be taking the standardized tests. If a student is on a trip during this time the student’s testing will be forfeited. Therefore, we ask that you do not make any plans during this time.

Telephone – School Office

The telephone in the school office is for school business only. If a child is detained at school for any reason without prior notification, permission will be granted to use the phone. 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 the day arrangements before arriving at 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.

VI. Student Dress Code

Neatness and cleanliness in personal attire is expected. All students in grades K-8 must be in full uniform every day. There will be Dress Down Days throughout the year. A dress code for such days is included in this section.

Girls

Hair Styles and Grooming
  • Outlandish hairstyles/colors and bleaching are not permitted; natural hair color is expected.
  • Nail polish or artificial nails are not permitted
  • No makeup is to be worn
  • Hairbands – must be plain and simple, without ornaments.


Simple hair accessories are acceptable.


Jewelry

The following may be worn:

  • A necklace with a cross or religious medal
  • A watch (no smart watches)
  • One pair of small post earrings (no dangling or cartilage earrings)

Summer Uniform – Grades 1-8
  • Summer uniform may be worn until September 30th
  • Optional in October and in April
  • Must be worn beginning May 1st through the end of the year
  • Cuffed, khaki shorts or skorts (no cargo shorts)
  • Navy Short-sleeved polo shirt, embroidered (must be tucked in)
  • White socks
  • Sneakers (predominantly white, no colored laces)
  • No “hoodies” or non-regulation sweatshirt/sweater of any kind may be worn during class.

Winter Uniform – Grades 1-8
  • To be worn beginning October 1st
  • Optional in October and in May

Grades 1- 5
  • “Black Watch Plaid” tunic with a belt (no more than 3 inches above the knee)
  • Long or short-sleeved white oxford blouse
  • Only V-neck or Cardigan navy blue sweater, embroidered (must be worn). No vests.
  • Navy blue knee socks or navy blue tights
  • Navy blue or black shoes with rubber sole (no colored laces or slip on flats)
  • No “hoodie” or non-regulation sweatshirt/sweater of any kind may be worn during class.

Grades 6-8
  • “Black Watch Plaid” kilt skirt (no more than 3 inches above the knee)
  • Long or short-sleeved white oxford blouse
  • Only V-neck or cardigan navy blue sweater, embroidered (must be worn)
  • Navy blue knee socks or navy blue tights
  • Dark blue, black, or brown shoes with rubber sole (no colored laces or slip on flats)
  • No “hoodie” or non-regulation sweatshirt of any kind may be worn during class.

Boys

Hair Styles and Grooming
  • Hair must be neatly trimmed and cut above the shirt collar, ears and eyebrows.
  • Outlandish hairstyles/colors and bleaching are not permitted; 

Natural hair color is expected.


Jewelry

The following may be worn:

  • A necklace with a cross or religious medal
  • A watch (No SMART watches)
  • Boys may not wear earrings
Summer Uniforms
  • Summer uniform to be worn until September 30th
  • Optional in October and April
  • Must be worn beginning May 1st through the end of the year
  • Khaki shorts (no cargo shorts)
  • Black or brown belt
  • Navy short-sleeved polo shirt embroidered
  • White socks
  • Predominately white sneakers, no colored laces
  • No “hoodie” or non-regulation sweatshirt/sweater of any kind may be worn during class.

Winter Uniform
  • To be worn beginning October 1st
  • Summer uniform is optional in October

Grades 1-5
  • Khaki slacks (no cargo pants)
  • Long or short sleeved white embroidered polo shirt
  • Brown or black belt
  • Only V-neck or cardigan navy blue sweater, embroidered (must be worn)
  • Brown, white or navy socks
  • Dark blue, black, or brown shoes with rubber sole (no sneaker type shoes)
Grades 6-8 
  • Khaki slacks (no cargo pants)
  • Long or short-sleeved white oxford button down shirt
  • Uniform tie
  • Brown or black belt
  • Only V-neck or cardigan navy blue sweater, embroidered (must be worn)
  • Brown, white, or navy socks
  • Dark blue, black or brown shoes with rubber sole (no sneaker type shoes)

Kindergarten Uniform

Kindergarten students wear the summer or winter gym uniform each day.

Gym Uniform – Girls and Boys

Summer Uniform
  • Summer uniform to be worn until September 30th
  • Optional in October and April
  • Must begin wearing May 1st until the end of the school year
  • Solid navy blue mesh shorts
  • Gray T-shirt with silk screened logo
  • White socks
  • Sneakers (predominantly white, no colored laces)

Winter Uniform
  • To be worn beginning October 1st
  • Summer uniform is optional in October and April
  • Navy blue sweatpants
  • Navy blue sweatshirt with silk-screened logo
  • White socks
  • Sneakers (predominantly white, no colored laces)
  • No jewelry may be worn on gym day
Pre-K
  • Students may wear play clothes dressed for the season
  • Sneakers should be worn daily
  • No flip flops may be worn

Flynn and O’Hara Uniforms

10905 Dutton Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154
215-637-4600

St. Mark logos and embroidery are also available at:

Great ID’s By Anne
255 Radcliffe Street
Bristol, PA 19007
215-785-2350

Dress Down Day Guidelines for K-8th
  • Pants – Appropriate fitting/no ripped jeans
  • Yoga and biker shorts are not acceptable
  • Leggings are not acceptable unless covered by appropriate length (mid-thigh) top, skirt or dress
  • Skirts/skorts no more that 3 inches above the knee
  • Sneakers or flat rubber healed shoes/boots only, no flip flops
VII. General Supervision on School Grounds

Arrival

Each child must go directly to their classrooms between 7:15 a.m. and 7:35 a.m. Students are to walk on the sidewalk beside the parking lot.
The school is not responsible for students on the premises during unsupervised times.


Regulations


Entry is not permitted into the school building before school, at recess or lunch, or after dismissal at any time, unless a member of the school staff gives explicit permission to do so. Students are not permitted to open the school doors.

No student may leave the school premises at any time without permission. No student may be left alone in a classroom. A violation of these regulations may result in automatic suspension. Every student must stay within the established boundaries when outdoor for lunch recess.

All visitors must report to the school office and sign in.

Dismissal

Students are dismissed from their classroom by their teachers at 2:00. Pre K students are dismissed at 1:55. Students are to walk on the sidewalk beside the parking lot. No child may leave the building prior to dismissal without the principal’s permission.

If a child is not picked up by 2:00 p.m., he/she will be placed in CARES, and parents/guardians will be assessed a fee.

VIII. Health

School Nurse

The school nurse is employed by the Bristol Borough School District and provided to Saint Mark School by the Bristol Borough School District, based on the enrollment, on days and times selected by the district.


Illness or Injury during school hours

Teachers are trained and certified in CPR and the use of the AED machine, which is located in the gym. Care given in the school is limited to first aid in accidents or illness until the parents/guardians can be reached to take the child home, to the doctor, or to the hospital. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached, the school will call the paramedics if deemed necessary by the administration.

The school nurse is here to handle situations that occur during the school day while she/he is here. The school nurse is NOT here to treat lingering illnesses that have been noticed at home.

No faculty, staff, or administrator may administer medication at any time to a student. 


Medical Records

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has mandated that all parents of students entering kindergarten or first grade present documented proof that immunizations have been received.

After the basic series of three Oral Polio Vaccine, Diphtheria and Tetanus are due between four and six years of age. A Diphtheria-Tetanus booster should follow this between 14 and 16 years of age with a subsequent booster every ten years. Each child is required to have a Tuberculin Time test within a three-month period prior to entering school.
Please inform the school nurse, in writing, when boosters are given. Other immunizations may be required. Failure to provide records will result in a dismissal from school until records are received.


Emergency Contact Forms

The school requires the parents/guardians of each student to complete two emergency contact forms (per child) provided by the school. It is important that the information on these forms is accurate and up to date, so that the school can contact the parent/guardian in the event of an emergency. An emergency contact is someone who must be able to pick up your child due to an illness or emergency. Please notify the school if any of this information changes at any time. Please note any special directives regarding call order, otherwise primary guardian will be called first.

Medication

It is generally recommended that prescription medicines be given to the student before and or after school, in accordance with the physician’s directions. In those rare instances where the medication must be given during the school day, it should be given directly to the teacher by the parent. The teacher will then give the medication to the school nurse. Medication must be taken by the student in the presence of the school nurse. If the school nurse is not available other staff cannot administer the medication. The parent/guardian will be notified in such a situation. No medications should be placed in lunch boxes or school bags of students. Students may NOT self-administer medications.

It is not recommended that students carry a full prescription bottle to be taken back and forth daily. Prescription and non-prescription over the counter medications must be in the original container with a note from the parent/guardian and physician to include:

  • Name of medicine
  • Dosage
  • Time of administration
  • Dates to be given
  • Reason for medication

If your child has a specific medical problem, please notify the classroom teacher and the nurse in writing of the problem, including frequent trips to the bathroom. Medic-Alert bracelets are strongly recommended for any child with a medical problem (asthma, diabetes, seizures, and other chronic illnesses).

IX. Transportation

Before the school year begins, parents/guardians complete a form identifying their child/children’s transportation arrangements. Any change in these arrangements must be made in writing, even if it is a change for only one day.


Bus

The local public school districts provide bus transportation for students who reside at a distance greater than one mile from the school. Please Note: Bristol Borough does not provide bus transportation.

Students who ride the school bus are expected to behave in a safe and orderly manner at all times. Failure to do so will result in their being denied the privilege of riding the bus. Students must ride the same bus both morning and afternoon as assigned to them by the school district.
Bus riders are not permitted to walk home unless the parents/guardians send a not to the teacher and the principal asking permission for this exception.

Please do not request permission, written or verbal, from the principal or teacher for a student who is a non-rider to take the bus to any location on a given day. The school is not in a position to grant such a request. If you wish to pursue such a change, you must call the transportation office of the local public school district.

Bus stops and times are usually sent by postcard or posted on the respective school district’s website. St. Mark School is not responsible for arranging times and bus stop locations. That is at the discretion of the school district providing busing. If you have a question or concern about a location or time, please contact the transportation department of your school district.


Bus Safety

It is extremely important that all students realize their individual responsibility toward the safe transportation of students to and from school on the bus. For this reason, the following regulations, and any others instituted by the school district, will be enforced:

  • No student may stand while the bus is in motion
  • No student may throw anything from the window of the bus, nor may a child extend his/her head, arm or leg out the bus window
  • No student may deface the bus property in any way
  • No student may raise his/her voice on the bus above the tone used in normal conversation
  • Each student must answer the bus driver and student safety in a respectful manner at all times

Failure to follow the rules of the bus may result disciplinary action including loss of the privilege of riding a bus to/from school.


Car Riders and Walkers

Everyone’s safety is our concern. Everyone must cross at the crosswalk when crossing the street. Parent/guardians are NOT permitted to drive into the front schoolyard to drop off or pick up your children before or after school. This creates a hazardous situation and jeopardizes the safety of our students. 


Crossing Guards

Crossing guards are provided by the Bristol Borough Police Department. They are not employees or under the direction of our school. The school is not responsible for the conduct of crossing guards or for insuring that crossing guards are posted as scheduled.

X. CARES Program - Children Are Receiving Extended Services

After school child care is available every day school is in session (including half days). Services are available until 5:45 P.M. There is a fee for this program.

XI. Emergency Drills

Shelter-in-Place, Lockdown, Evacuation and Fire Drills are practiced throughout the school year.

XII. Emergency Closing

Please visit our website, check emails, listen to phone messages, television scrolls for school closings, late openings and early dismissals.

Any time there is a possibility of emergency closings, late openings of school, or emergency early dismissal, parents/guardians must check the website and listen to the phone message. 

Please inform your child/children as to where they should go if an emergency closing should be necessary during school hours, especially if you are working parents/guardians. They should be aware of some prearranged destination.

It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to set up an emergency plan for their child if there is an unexpected closing of any kind at St. Mark School.


Field Trips

Field trips supplement class instruction and are most worthwhile. A faculty member assisted by other adults must accompany the students on any field trip. Signed permission slips and information slips are required from each pupil who goes on the trip. A complete information slip will have a plan for students in the event they return to school after dismissal.

A class trip is a privilege, which can be taken away if a teacher deems it appropriate. Students who are not permitted on a field trip either by their parents/guardians or by the teacher must report to school, as that day is not a school holiday.

XIII. Volunteers

The assistance of volunteers is greatly appreciated and encouraged. We recognize the valuable assistance given by our students’ families, which helps in building a strong learning community. Volunteers assist in some of the following ways:

  • Chaperones
  • Classroom helpers
  • Home and School events

All volunteers must report to the school office to sign in.

Volunteers must have updated Criminal and Child Abuse Clearances. All volunteers must also have FBI Clearance, and take the Standards for Ministerial Behavior Course.

XIV. Lunchtime

The lunch period is from 11:00 to 12:30.

The Nutritional Development Program provides all students with a free breakfast and lunch should they want to order it.  Soda, juices high in sugar, fast food, or candy is not encouraged.

XV. Health and Safety Plan During Covid 19 Pandemic

We have been busy working on how to reopen our school with a high priority on student and staff safety. Thank you for your feedback on our survey.

This document outlines the key components of our plan to reopen our school in September.  All decision-makers should be mindful that as long as there are cases of COVID-19 in the community, there are no strategies that can completely eliminate transmission risk within a school.  The goal is to keep transmission as low as possible to safely continue school activities.

Saint Mark School plans for total reopen for all students and staff on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 with the option of virtual learning for families that opt for distance learning out of safety/health concerns.

Pandemic Coordinator/Team

Maria Sanson - Pandemic Coordinator
Father Mooney - Pastor
Fred Perazzelli - Business Manager
Mrs. Amy DelRossi - Upper Level Teacher Coordinator
Mrs. Ashley O’Neil - Primary Level Teacher Coordinator
Mrs. Ronnie Walker - School Nurse
Mr. Ron Walker - Advisory Board Chairperson
Mrs Juanita Diamond - Building Operations
Mr. Tom Diamond - Building Operations
Mr. Pablo Berrocal - Building Operations
Mrs. Julie Balcer - School Families
Mrs. Kerilyn Walker - School Families


Pandemic Crisis Response Team Consultants

David C. Damsker,M.D., M.P.H. - Bucks County Department of Health
Dr. Mindy Ratini - Local Physician and Parishioner
Archdiocese of Philadelphia - Catholic Schools Onward Taskforce


Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfecting, Ventilation
  • Every classroom, restroom, nurse’s office, main office, hallways, and cafeteria will be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected every night.
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned frequently throughout the school day, such as doorknobs, remotes, desktops, and light switches by faculty.
  • Classroom equipment will be disinfected after each use.
  • Signage will be in each classroom and throughout the building reminding students and staff to practice good hygiene.
  • Frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer by faculty and students when students arrive to school, before and after morning breaks, lunch, recess, classroom activities and dismissal.
  • Air purifiers will be purchased for classroom with no windows.  Exhaust fan will run all day as well.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in the hallways near entrances and in other strategic areas.
  • Each student must provide their own supplies to reduce the need to share supplies.
  • No area rugs are permitted in the classrooms.
  • Windows will remain open throughout school day except for during inclement weather.
  • NO use of water fountains.  Students must bring water bottles to school.  We will have water bottles available for emergencies.



Social Distancing and Other Safety Protocols
  • Every day, parents are primarily responsible for monitoring the health of their children.
  • Teachers will be reminded to check the health of their students during a common activity.
  • School will implement random temperature monitoring.
  • Faculty and Staff will be responsible for taking their temperature each morning.
  • As people travel about the building, masks must be worn.
  • All non-essential furniture and materials will be removed from each classroom.
  • All students’ desks will face in the same direction.
  • Desks will be arranged 6 feet from the center of each desk to the center of the next desk. 
  • Overflow of students will all work in the gym.  This will be on a weekly rotating basis.   Masks must be worn if the number of people exceeds 25 in the gym.
  • There will be a faculty member in the gym that will work with the students. Students will have chromebooks and headphones so they will be part of virtual learning for that week. 
  • Teachers will let you know when it’s your child’s turn to attend virtually in the gym. 
  • You may also keep your child home that week and attend virtually from home.
  • Teachers will use face shields when working with students less than six feet away.
  • When materials must be shared, cleaning in between uses is essential.
  • Bathroom breaks will be staggered.
  • Limited number of students will be permitted in bathroom. Every other stall/urinal will be closed. 
  • All grades will eat lunch within classrooms.
  • NDS will provide packaged breakfast and lunch.  No pretzels will be sold this year.
  • Lunch recess will be staggered and students will only have recess with their cohort.
  • Each class will have a lunch moderator during lunch.
  • No shared food or snacks under any circumstances.
  • Student will not be allowed to bring any outside equipment from home to be played with outside.
  • Activities will be painted on the blacktop in the schoolyard for students to use.
  • Arrows will be placed in hallways to ensure proper social distancing and one-way direction when cohorts are moving.
  • All after school clubs will be suspended.  CCD classes will be on line.
  • The 21st Century Learning program will be held virtually.  (More information will follow)
  • CARES Program will be available and will provide a safe, healthy and sanitized environment for those students entrusted to our care.  Masks must be worn if the number exceeds 25 students in the gym.
  • Parents will not be allowed to enter the area where CARES program is being held. Parents will be met at the door when picking up their children.
  • Packaged snacks and drinks will be provided during CARES.  There will be no snack sharing.
  • Only virtual field trips will be planned.
  • No parent will be permitted to access the classrooms.
  • Back to School Night will be held virtually.
  • Dismissal will be modified to departure of one cohort at a time.
  • Flexible attendance policies will be in effect.  Students will be marked present when they are in school or attending the class virtually.
  • Face shields have been purchased for all students by the county.  At this time we do not know when we will receive them.  Face shields may be worn instead of masks if desired.
  • Cough/sneeze guards have been purchased for every desk.

Monitoring Student and Staff Health
  • Every day, parents are primarily responsible for monitoring the health of their children.
  • Inclusion of parents’ responsibility for students’ health monitoring policy will be included in school handbook.
  • Guidance will be provided for parents health monitoring.
  • Teachers will check the health of their students during a common activity.
  • School will implement random temperature monitoring.
  • Families will be notified of any COVID cases in your child’s classroom.
  • When students are experiencing discomfort or potential symptoms of COVID, they will be sent to the Nurse’s Office where they are isolated from others.
  • Personal Protective Equipment will be set-up upon entry of the Nurse’s Office.
  • Triage center will be set-up outside of Nurse’s Office for minor injuries and illnesses.  No medication will be administered to students at any time.
  • Masks must be worn at all times when visiting the Nurse’s Office.
  • We will provide necessary mental and whole health support along with interventions as needed for students to have a safe and effective transition to a new school year, as well as provide additional support as needed.
  • School counselor will meet regularly with principal and team to discuss specific student needs and effective strategies to support these students within classroom setting.
  • School counselor will meet with individual students and small groups to help students work on coping skills and resiliency.
  • Further interventions and resources will be recommended to teachers and families as needed.
  • Frequent announcements and reminders will be sent to families.



Symptoms for Monitoring and Reporting

Below is some specific guidance related to situations involving the school, community and COVID-19.

If a staff member or volunteer has a confirmed case of COVID-19

  • Notify the local health officials – ask for guidance.
  • Dismiss the staff or volunteer for 2 to 5 days until health officials can determine next step.
  • Consider dismissal of cohort, related to the suspected case of COVID-19, according to health official guidance.
  • Discourage the cohort from gathering during the initial period.
  • Communicate to staff and families that there was a confirmed case – without using a name or identifying information of the person(s) involved.
  • Close off the potentially infected area for 24 hours and clean the areas that may have been infected by the identified case of COVID-19.
  • During the initial 2 to 5 day period, evaluate if any other cases related to the case were identified and decide to extend or end the cohort dismissal.
The staff/volunteer can return after the following conditions have been met:

  • 3 days with no fever and
  • Symptoms improved and
  • 0 days since symptoms first appeared

If a student has a confirmed case of COVID-19

  • Notify local health officials to ask for guidance.
  • Dismiss the student(s) for 2 to 5 days until health officials can determine next steps.
  • The individual should be comforted in the Health Office or designated area until a parent or guardian can come and take them home.
  • Consider a dismissal of cohort related to the suspected case of COVID-19 using health official guidance for this.
  • Discourage the cohort from gathering during the initial period and the situation has been evaluated.
  • Communicate to staff and families that there was a confirmed case. Name or identifying information of the student with COVID-19 is not permitted.
  • Close off area the person was in and wait 24 hours. Clean areas related to the identified case of COVID-19.
  • During the initial 2 to 5 day period, evaluate if any other cases related to the case were identified and decide to extend or end the cohort dismissal.

The student can return after the following conditions have been met:

  • 3 days with no fever and
  • Symptoms improved and
  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared

If a student or staff has a suspected case of COVID-19 or is demonstrating symptoms

  • Immediately separate staff and children with COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath) at school. The individual should be comforted in the Nurse’s Office or designated area until a parent or guardian can come and take them home. Individuals who are sick should go home or to a healthcare facility depending on how severe their symptoms are. CDC guidance for caring for oneself and others who are sick should be followed.
  • Provide an isolation room (The Nurse’s Office)
  • Call for home transportation, if necessary.

Can return when:

  • 3 days with no fever and
  • Symptoms improved and
  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared or, or if cleared by a medical professional.

If case is confirmed, please see aforementioned section (confirmed case of COVID-19)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology
  • Each classroom/homeroom is considered one cohort.
  •  Departmental instructions – Grades 6, 7, 8 students will remain in their classrooms.  The teachers will move to the cohorts at the scheduled class time. Mrs. Straiton will be teaching science to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, Miss Kosielowski will be teaching social studies to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, and Mrs. DelRossi will be teaching math to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.  All other cohorts will be self-contained.
  • All PE classes will take place outside except for extreme inclement weather.  Approved games will be provided.
  • The Technology Lab will be closed for the 2020-2021 school year.  Students will receive media instruction. The homeroom teacher will incorporate it into the classroom during the school year using the schools’ chromebooks.  All chromebooks will be wiped down before and after each lesson.
  • All co-curricular teachers (Music, Art, and Spanish) will go to the cohort at the scheduled class time.
  • Art Trailer will be used by CATAPULT for speech, reading and math support.
  • The school counselor will still use the CATAPULT trailers.
  • All students PK-8 will have a Google account.
  • All teachers PK-8 will continue to use Google Classroom.
  • All teachers are receiving professional development on the use of Google Meets. 
  • Classrooms will be equipped with devices for those students who are not in school so they can live stream instructions from home.
  • When possible, certain classes will be instructed outdoors.
  • Manipulatives will be packed for individual student use.

Virtual Learning
  • Students must have their own device.
  • School will try and help any family that will need a device.
  • Students must log on at 7:40 to participate in school wide morning prayers and announcements.
  • Students must be seated at a desk or table and dressed in their gym uniform.
  • Consider using a headset with an external microphone for best hearing and speaking capabilities.
  • Students will follow along with the classroom schedule.
  • Students will receive instructions in all subject areas including Spanish, Music and Art.  Technology will be incorporated in daily lessons. Activities for gym will be posted on Google classroom.
  • Teachers are being in-serviced on the entire Google platform.
  • Live streaming will be all day.  However, there are times that due to students’ privacy in the classroom the device may be muted and turned off when students are moving around the classroom. This will only be for a very short time.
  • Teachers will engage students working from home to participate in all lessons, and encourage them to ask questions.
  • Students will use Google Meet and Google Classroom for all digital learning classes.  Google Meet will be used in place of Zoom.
  • Parents will be able to pick up all students’ textbooks, workbooks and copybooks the first week of school.  More information will follow.
  • Parents will have the option of having their child participate in virtual learning when they are home due to not feeling well or are in quarantine.
  • Parents may chose to have their children opt for virtual leaning at any time.
  • Students that are attending school virtually have the option of returning to school at mid trimester (Progress Report Time) or at the end of the trimester.
  • If we are forced to close, all classes will be held virtually and students will transition to Google Classroom and Google Meet. 
  • All assignments and assessments will be turned in through Google Classroom.
  • Students will be instructed in all content areas with time allotted for independent work.



In Class Learning
  • All students must wear a mask to and from school, in the hallways and at certain times in the classroom.
  • Students are asked to have two masks with them. One to be kept in their book bag for emergencies. School will also have extra disposable masks for emergencies. Masks should be kept in a zip lock baggie or any type of case when not in use.
  • Students must bring water bottle to school, as all water fountains will be turned off.  We will have water bottles for emergencies.
  • Any parent that needs to pick up their child early must wait outside of school. We will walk your child to the door. The same applies for dropping off any school materials or lunches.  We will ask you to leave it on the table outside of school and we will come get it.
  • Students in grades 4-8 must have a drawstring bag that can hold extra books that do not fit in their desks.
  • If we are forced to close, all classes will be held virtually and students will transition to Google Classroom and Google Meet. 
  • All assignments and assessments will be turned in through Google Classroom.
  • Students will be instructed in all content areas with time allotted for independent work.


Pre-K and Kindergarten Orientation
  • Orientation will be conducted virtually this year at the same time as our virtual Back to School Night.
  • Mrs. Chapman and Mrs. Pekala will post on their school website all pertinent information.

While it is our intention to remain open for the entire school year, we are implementing these strategies to ensure uninterrupted, effective, quality Catholic education in either the best case or worst-case scenario. Please do not hesitate to call or email me with any questions.
As always, I am grateful for your love and support to our school and it’s mission. Please know that Saint Mark Catholic School continues to be an example of faith, hope, and perseverance because of our partnership with you. Let us all continue to pray for one another and for God’s healing and peace.

God bless all of you and your families.
Maria Sanson

XVI. Archdiocese of Philadelphia Student Release, Waiver, and Indemnity

Archdiocese of Philadelphia, updated 9.10.20

Student Release, Waiver of Liability, and Indemnity

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is highly infectious and has been declared by the World Health Organization to be a global pandemic.  In order to resume school activities, _Saint Mark_  (“School”) has established new rules and precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at School.  Even with implementation of these new rules and precautions, the School cannot guarantee that your child or anyone else, including family members, will not be exposed to or become infected with COVID-19.


Acknowledgments 

I acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19, and the inherent risks of exposure to those who may be infected with COVID-19 and that COVID-19 infections have been confirmed throughout the United States, including cases in the City of Philadelphia/County of ___Bucks_, as well throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
I voluntarily assume the risk that I/my child/my household members may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 as a result of or in connection with my child’s attendance at school and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and/or even death.

I acknowledge that the CDC and state and local public health authorities continue to recommend social distancing, cloth face coverings, and other protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which may be updated at any time. I understand that the School has therefore put in place new rules and precautions in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which may be updated at any time. While acknowledging that these rules and precautions may or may not be effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, I/my child/my household members agree to comply with such rules and precautions which may include, but are not limited to, wearing a face covering, hand washing, hand sanitizing, and social distancing.

I understand and acknowledge that the risk of I/my child/a household member becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 as a result of or in connection with my child’s attendance at school may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to, clergy; school staff; volunteers; students; and other parish, school, or archdiocesan workers, including their families. I recognize that the School cannot limit all potential sources of COVID-19 infection and due to the nature of the infection, cannot guarantee that I/my child/a household member will not become infected with COVID-19.  I understand that a school environment with young children could create challenges with social distancing such that social distancing of 6 feet per person among students and staff in a school setting may not always be possible. 
I acknowledge that, by sending my child to school, I am/my child/a household member is increasing risk of exposure to COVID-19. I voluntarily assume full responsibility for any and all risks of illness or injury associated with my/my child’s/my household members exposure to COVID-19.


Medical Treatment

In the event of a medical emergency, parents/guardians consent for their child to receive necessary medical treatment until the emergency contact person(s) on file with the School can be notified and that they are responsible for the payment of any such treatment.


Waiver and Release

In consideration for providing my child the opportunity to attend school, both my child and I voluntarily agree to release and agree to hold School (and its associated parishes), the Archbishop of Philadelphia, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and their respective clergy, employees and volunteers (collectively, the “Indemnitees”) harmless from, and waive on behalf of myself/my child, my heirs, and any personal representatives, any and all causes of action, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses and compensation for damage or loss to myself/my child that may be caused by any act, or failure to act of the Indemnitees, or that may otherwise arise in any way, whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after attendance at School or participation in School activities, to the fullest extent allowed by law.


Indemnity

I understand that this release discharges the Indemnitees from any liability or claim that I/my child, my heirs, or any personal representatives may have against Indemnitees with respect to any bodily injury, illness, death, or medical treatment that may arise from, or in connection to, my child’s attendance at school, whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after attendance at School or participation in School activities.

I certify and represent that I have the legal authority to waive, discharge, release, and hold harmless the released parties on behalf of myself and the student named below.

By acknowledgement and acceptance of the School’s handbook (including any addenda thereto), I acknowledge that I have read this Student Release, Waiver of Liability and Indemnity and fully understand its terms. 

Student Name: ___________________________________ 
         
Parent/Guardian signature: __________________________________    Date: __________________

XVII. Parent’s Responsibility for Student’s Daily Health Monitoring Policy During Covid 19 Pandemic

People with COVID 19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Any student with symptoms consistent with COVID 19 will be referred to the nurse.

Parents must screen their child/children for symptoms and temperature before leaving for school each day.

Students must stay home if they have one of the following.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose/congestion
  • New lack of smell or taste
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

Please follow the guideline stated in our COVID 19 Health and Safety Plan in our Handbook in order for your child to return to school.



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Oct
30
Free Dress Down Day
Nov
09
Faculty Retreat/No School
Nov
25
11:30 Dismissal
Nov
26
Thanksgiving Day / No School
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