Student Handbook


The curriculum followed by Holy Family School is set by the department of Education in the Diocese of Harrisburg and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The curriculum includes religion, language arts (literature, writing, grammar, reading, and spelling), mathematics, social studies, music, art, physical education & health, computer science. Conversational Spanish is part of the curriculum in Grades 3, 4 and 5. Public Speaking is included in language arts in 5th grade.


Instruction in the faith and liturgical celebrations are among the highest priorities at Holy Family School. All students have an opportunity to prepare and participate in school Masses which are held weekly. Monthly opportunities to receive the sacrament of Penance are also present.

Admission Policies

Holy Family School does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin, or handicap (if the handicap can be accommodated). In order for a child to enter kindergarten he/she must be 5 years old by September 1st. The following items are to be presented at the time of registration:

  • birth certificate
  • baptism certificate (if applicable)
  • immunization records
  • social security number

School Board

The Holy Family School Board was established in accordance with the Diocese of Harrisburg to be an advisory council in the various responsibilities of providing a good Catholic education for children attending the school. The Board, working with the pastors and the principal, prepares the annual budget, evaluates educational policies and programs, and discusses the operations needed for the maintenance of the school.

Academic Policies

In accordance with the principles of good education, homework will be given to students each day. On weekends it is the discretion of the teachers. Homework may take the forms of written assignments, study and review, reading (imperative), math practice, uncompleted class work, and long-term reports or projects. An assignment book will be kept daily to help students and parents when discussing homework matters. The following is suggested as time allotments:

  • Grade 1 20 to 30 minutes
  • Grades 2 & 3 30 to 45 minutes
  • Grades 4 & 5 40 to 60 minutes

A Reporting System for grades is presently in the process of change. As of the 2008-2009 school year students will receive a formal, computer based assessment 3 times a year. Progress reports will be sent home midway between each marking period. Parent-teacher conferences are encouraged at any time during the year by making arrangements with the teacher. Scheduled conferences will be held twice a year. Parents will be kept informed about the inability of a child to progress satisfactorily. Recommendations for students struggling academically may include additional educational or psychological testing, (available through a school process), tutoring, or summer school.. The final decision to retain or promote a child will be made on an overall evaluation of the academic school year, keeping in mind the good of the individual student.

Financial Policies

A tuition scale will be presented to the parents before the beginning of each new school year. A student will not be deprived of a Catholic education due to financial problems. Arrangements will be made among the pastors, family and school board committee on this point. Scholarships and tuition assistance are available through EITC grants and from diocesan FOCUS grants. Tuition payments can be paid in full, monthly for 10 months, or monthly for 12 months. After 3 consecutive missed payments without direct contact with the principal or pastors, a child will not be accepted into a classroom until arrangements are made. Report cards and academic records will be withheld until arrangements have been fulfilled. Holy Family School cannot operate without financial support beyond that provided by parish assessment and tuition. Parents are asked to give some time of service to the school through volunteer needs and fundraisers.

Health Issues

School health records must be kept up to date according to state standards. A qualified nurse is in charge of the records and is available when needed in the building. No child who is injured or becomes ill will be sent home without the parent’s knowledge and authorization. No medication may be dispensed by school personnel. Parents must come to administer medication to a child. In the event a parent cannot be present, the medication is to be brought to school in the original container with a note from the physician and the parent. All medications are kept locked in the school office.

School Discipline

Students must develop a reverence for God and respect for themselves and others. Manners and respect taught at home are extended to the school community which includes principal, teachers, staff, volunteers, and fellow students. Courtesy and cooperation are expected at all times. The following points are to be developed and practiced by all students:

  • respect for all
  • honesty in class work and homework
  • respect for others’ property in and out of school
  • proper care of school materials, equipment, and furniture
  • proper conduct in school, in church, and on buses
  • responsibility regarding communications going home or returned to school
  • proper etiquette and good manners in the lunch room and playground

Classroom discipline lies basically under teacher control. However, the principal is available to assist when necessary. Tobacco products, drugs, matches, knives, guns, or weapons of any kind, are not tolerated on the person of any student on school grounds. Should a students be accused of a serious criminal violation apart from school, the student may be placed on home study until the matter has been resolved or other determination has been made by the administration. Students may be suspended for an accumulation of minor offenses or for any serious offence such as vandalism, insubordination, use of alcohol or drugs, or truancy. Parents will be notified of a suspension in a written communication. Parents must meet with school authorities in order for a student to be readmitted to class. Expulsion may occur after consultation by the principal with the pastors and the Diocesan Superintendent.. The following are examples of reasons for expulsion:

  • after two suspensions in a single year
  • proven moral delinquency which has a proven negative influence on other students
  • incorrigible behavior which undermines classroom discipline
  • persistent truancy
  • serious acts of violence
  • possession of dangerous weapons
  • use of or attempt to sell illegal drugs
  • Parents have the right to appeal the decision of expulsion to a special review board. This appeal must be made in writing within ten days of the expulsion. The expelled child may not attend classes during the appeal process.

Local law enforcement and the Diocesan Education Office must be notified whenever a weapon is discovered on school grounds, on a school bus, or at a school activity. It is the policy of our school to notify the school to which a student transfers if a child has been expelled or withdrawn from our school because of offenses involving weapons, sale or possession of controlled substances, willful infliction of injury to another person, or act of violence committed on school property or while in the custody of the school.


Pennsylvania state law requires that parents have the responsibility to send their children to school every day that school is in session. Absense to extreme is the cause of many academic failures. Unless health forbids, or in case of an emergency, students should be in school. Absentees are to be phoned in to the school office between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. Every absence requires a note from home to the homeroom teacher on the day a child returns to school. A note from a physician is needed only if the absence is due to chronic or prolonged illness. Teachers will prepare the assignments missed by absent students. It is the responsibility of the parents to see that the assignments are picked up, completed, and returned to school. Tardiness is generally avoidable. It disrupts the school routine and endangers good development. The importance of promptness is an important phase in the student’s growth. Any student arriving after 8:30 a.m. must report to the office and will be marked late. Consistent tardiness may result in lunch detention or after school detention. If a child needs to be dismissed early, a note must be sent in to the teacher stating the reason and time of departure. The parent or designated person must report to the office, sign the child out, and accompany the child out of the building. Extended vacations are discouraged because students miss a great deal academically during these days. When it is absolutely necessary, the teacher and the principal must be notified ahead of time in writing. Responsibility for making up work lies entirely with the student. Make up work will be assigned when the child returns to school. Emergency closings and late opening will be announced on TV and radio. Holy Family School follows the decisions of Berwick Area Schools.


An emergency information paper will be sent home at the beginning of the year to be completed and returned to the school office. It is very important that the office maintains up-to-date records. The school should be notified immediately of any changes of address or phone number. ALL information sent home should be read by the parents. If necessary, replies should be sent back on time. Parents entering the school building during school hours must report to the school office. Teachers are not to be interrupted during class time. Teachers and students may not be called from class to receive phone calls. In case of an emergency, a message may be left with the principal or school secretary. Students are not to use the phone except for emergencies and with the principal’s permission.

Each class will have homeroom parents to help with various school activities. Some examples of their tasks are:

  • calling parents for special communications
  • helping teachers organize special activities, such as parties or projects
  • asking for parental help with school sponsored activities.

Arrival and Departure

Students coming to school by car are to be dropped off at the curb by the front door or in the school parking lot. The immediate entrance area is blocked off for the safety of the children. Students may enter the building beginning at 8:15 am. When the bell rings at 8:30. No parent or visit is allowed down the hall without the permission of the office. This is for the safety and concern of our students. At dismissal students will exit by the playground door. Kindergarten students are dismissed at 3:05, followed by all other grades at 3:10. Parents are asked to be on time and to wait outside of the building for the children. Any parent scheduled for an appointment with a teacher is asked to wait until all students are dismissed. Bus transportation is provided for students who live beyond the limit set by the public school district. The public school district provides transportation and bus scheduling. They have the right to keep students from riding a bus if the proper regulations are not obeyed. The following bus rules must be obeyed at all times:

  • students should be at their designated bus stop on time and may nor board the bus until it has come to a complete stop
  • students should board the bus in an orderly manner, be seated promptly and remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop at their designated stop
  • while on the bus children must keep their hands and heads inside the bus
  • while riding the bus students must refrain from getting out of their seat, playing around, using abusive language, avoid loud talking and noise that may distract the driver’s attention
  • students must maintain respect for other students and bus property.

Riding the bus is a privilege that must not be taken for granted.

Uniform Code

All students are expected to be in school uniform at all times unless specified by the school for special occasions. A note from the parent is required when this is not possible. The uniform code is as follows:

Boys Girls
Khaki pants (no fad styles) plaid tunic (Gr. K – 3)
Khaki walking shorts khaki pants / shorts
Maroon vest (Gr. 1-5) plaid kilt & maroon vest (Gr. 4-5)
White oxford or pullover shirt white blouse / button or pullover
Grey or white socks maroon or white socks / leotards
Shoes may be any color but must be comfortable with non-skid soles
NO sneakers, NO sandals, and NO backless shoes
NO long hair styles for boys, NO fad styles, nor dyed hair
NO makeup for girls – no excessive jewelry –
Post or small earrings are permitted for girls

Gym Uniforms

Girls and boys wear the same uniforms.
Pants: maroon or gray sweatpants with school name
maroon or gray shorts with school name (in warm weather)
Shirts: gray sweatshirt with school name
gray t-shirt with school name
Catholic Schools or Presidential Champion shirts
Shoes: sneakers

Non-Custodial Parent’s Rights

Holy Family School abides by the provisions of the Buckley Amendment with respect to the rights of the non-custodial parents. In the absence of a court order to the contrary, the school will provide the non-custodial parent with access to academic records and school related information regarding the child. If there is a court order specifying that there is to be no information given, it is the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide the school with an official copy of the court order.

School / Principal Right to Amend The Handbook

The school principal retains the right to amend the handbook for just cause. Parents will be given prompt notification if changes are made.