Parent- Student Handbook 2001



The mission of Holy Family Catholic School System is to provide all students with a Christ-centered education that is : future oriented, grounded in educational excellence and fosters a sense of community true to the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church.

Based on the four components of Catholic school identity: Message, Worship, Community and Service, we believe that:

" our Catholic school is an integral part of the church's mission to
proclaim the Gospel, build faith communities and celebrate through

" our commitment to academic excellence, which fosters the
intellectual development of faculty and students, is an integral
part of the mission of the Catholic school

" the spiritual formation of the entire school community is an
essential dimension of our Catholic school's mission

" our Catholic school is a unique faith-centered community which
integrates thinking and believing in ways that encourages
intellectual growth, nurtures faith and inspires action

" our Catholic school is an experience of the church's faith and
inspire action

" our Catholic school is an experience of the church's belief, tradition
and sacramental life.

" our Catholic school creates a supportive and challenging climate
which affirms the dignity of all person within the school community



We believe that parents have the first right and responsibility for the education of their children. It is essential that home and school be cooperatively involved in the educational process of each child. Also, it is our firm belief that the school assists the parents in the development of their children as religious, intelligent, moral and just human beings.

We believe that the school exists for the child. We believe that each child is unique and gifted and develops at his/her individual pace with individual learning strengths and weaknesses.

We believe that a healthy self concept is the child's most valuable asset which must be fostered at every step of his/her education. We believe that skill in developing positive interpersonal relations is a necessary part of maintaining a healthy self concept and that growth in the child's relationship with God must keep pace with his/her development in other areas.

We believe that the child's growth in this relationship is in direct proportion to the quality of his/her self concept and experience of Christian community in both home and school.

We further believe that the school has the obligation to implement a sound educational program which

" fosters a Christian community atmosphere

"aids the child in experiencing success and valuing oneself as
a worthwhile person

" aids the child in developing an ever maturing relationship with
God and in practicing Catholic Christianity in service to other

" teaches the child to appreciate the diversity in people and to
accept responsibility for others in a spirit of respect and concern

" promotes growth in self reliance and self discipline in adapting
to an ever changing world

" provides for the development of competence in the use of the
basic tools of learning

"provides for the development of aesthetic sensitivity through
involvment in the arts

" helps the child to grow in his/her ability to be happy, to relax and
to enjoy life to the fullest

" includes an on-going process of evaluation and development of the
educational program of the school




The educational system of the Archdiocese of Dubuque is an equal opportunity educational institution. It does not discriminate on the basis of color, sex or national ethnic origin in the educational porous or activities.


No person shall on the grounds of race color, age, sex, national origin or physical handicap be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity sponsored by this school.


The educational goal of the Archdiocese of Dubuque is to guide individuals to respond to God's call through the sharing of knowledge and culture enlightened and enlivened by Faith.


The faculty and students will give witness to Jesus through Gospel Values in order to grow as persons of faith in the following ways:

a. the school community will provide worship together
b. the gospel message will be taught
c. opportunities will be provided for involvement in Christian service


The school system will provide intellectual instruction and learning experiences to challenge the capabilities of the students and guide them toward independence and self-reliance by:

a. improving learning skills necessary for functional living,
b. providing students with opportunities and guidelines for
independent learning activities.
c. helping students become aware of instructional objectives.



The Guidance Program will foster the wholesome development of all students using Gospel Values as a foundation for self-understanding group interaction and decision making by:

a. planning experiences which lead to respect for self and others.
b. providing information to help students become aware of career
c. providing the opportunity for students to study and learn about
drug education and family life.


In all aspects of school administration, the principal and faculty are accountable the Dubuque Archdiocesan Office of Education both for the content and the process of the educational program. These are continually monitored by a representative of the Archdiocesan Office of Education who visits the school and is in close communication with the principal of the school. Every four years school administration and faculty are required to conduct a self-evaluation of its educational program. This is followed by a day of monitoring by a team consisting of principals, teachers and Archdiocesan Office personnel. A written summary of the team's findings and a list of recommendations for improvement are sent to the school for study and implementation.

In addition, the Metropolitan Office of Catholic Education coordinates the activities of all the Catholic schools in Cedar Rapids and Marion. This office serves as a liaison with the public school system and with the Archdiocesan Office.


According to the School Law of Iowa no child shall be admitted to school for the kindergarten year unless he/she is five years of age on or before the fifteenth day of September of the current school year. (Iowa Code 197-282.3) 2)


Children who are five years of age by September 15 are eligible to enroll for entrance into kindergarten. Children who are six years of age by September 15 are eligible to enroll for entrance to first grade. The school will accept students of any religious conviction. However, all students are considered a part of the total school community and will be part of the class day, and all required classes even those of a religious nature.


General registration begins the last week of January and the first week of February for the following school year. New students wishing to enroll during the course of the school year must contact the principal. Parents/Guardians need to make sure the following forms are on record and kept up-to-date at school: immunization, baptismal, health and emergency information.


All students are expected to complete the assigned tasks which the teachers deem necessary for a student to understand the content of the subject and/or to reinforce the information presented. If a student fails to complete these assignments in school he/she is expected to finish them at home.

There may be occasions when a student may need to spend more time than usual on homework. Other activities may have taken the study time, or a student may not have exercised responsibility in using his/her time well. If the latter occurs, parents are advised to confer with the teacher.

Occasionally, teachers may assign long term projects and assignments. The purpose of these projects is to encourage research and to teach children how to budget their time. If a student procrastinates, he/she may find that there is far more work on a given night than a teacher had actually intended.



Regular attendance is essential for students if they are to make progress in their school work. Therefore extended absences are to be discouraged unless the student is sick.


If a student is ill and will be absent from school, the school office should be notified either by note or by telephone between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. on the day of absence. If notification of absence is not reported to the school, the secretary will contact the parents to verify the absence. It is necessary for parents to report to the school any communicable disease such as strep throat, measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc. The school is required to report illnesses of this nature to the Linn County health Department.

In case of absence due to illness of extended duration, tentative class assignments for several days at a time are provided upon request of the parents/guardians.

Class work missed during a planned absence of a week or more may have to be made up after the student returns to school. While the teachers feel a responsibility to assist student to make up learning they have missed, they are not expected to provide the assignments and lessons in advance. Vacation during school days is discouraged. Work missed during the time of absence must be completed within a reasonable amount of time after the student returns to school.



If a student is truant, time must be made up, as determined by the principal and teacher, working in conjunction with the parents/guardians. Incidents of truancy are reported to the State Department of Education as prescribed by Iowa Code #229.1 and Archdiocesan policy #5144.


Students may not leave the school grounds during recess or at any other time unless they have permission from their parents and the principal. If a student must leave for an appointment, a signed note must be submitted in the office. The student must report to the office when leaving the building and again when returning.


The school provides a bike rack but accepts no responsibility for bikes parked on the school grounds. For safety reasons, bikes are not be ridden on school ground during school hours. Bikes must be locked in the bike rack.


The School system functions under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education. The Board membership meets monthly and is open to the public. Anyone wishing to have an item included on the agenda may do so by contacting the chairperson, the executive secretary or the executive officer at least seven days prior to the meeting.
The duties of the board are to:
" build understanding and support for Catholic education in all its
" develop the educational budget in collaboration with the Parish
Council in accord with the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council Guidelines
and Archdiocesan Board procedures;
" adopt and oversee the implementation of the annual educational
" retain personnel according to established policies of the
Archdiocesan Office and Board of Education;
" consult with and support administrators who operate parish
educational programs;
" work with the parish Council in planning, operating, and maintaining
facilities and in planning and building new educational facilities;
" serve as a liaison body with public authority as appropriate;
" insure that Archdiocesan and Board policies are being implemented
" periodically evaluate the accomplishments of goals and objectives
and evaluate the effectiveness of internal functioning as a Board of


Cedar Rapids Community School busing is available for all elementary students and middle school students living in the Cedar Rapids School District, who live two miles from school. If busing is not available in the area where you live, the Cedar Rapids Schools will reimburse you for transporting your child to and from school Request and completion of proper form is required for reimbursements.

College Community School busing is available for all elementary and middle school students living in the College Community School District who wish to attend our school system.

For information regarding the Cedar Rapids Community School busing, call 398-2318. For information regarding the College Community School busing, call 848-5204. For information regarding other busing including the city bus system, call the following number, 363-1027.


Students are to enter and exit the bus in an orderly manner. For safety reasons, students are to remain seated on the bus at all times. Inappropriate behavior will cause students to lose the privilege of riding the bus. Written bus conduct reports of incidences by a particular student on the bus will be filed in the school office.

The school administration will work closely with the Directors of Transportation of the districts which buses students to our schools in order to promote the safety of the students.


The official school calendar is sent to each family at the beginning of the school year in the registration packet. This calendar meets the attendance requirements of the Iowa Department of Education and because of bus transportation, follows the Cedar Rapids Community Schools arrangements.



The Catholic School calendar coincides, for the most part, with the Cedar Rapids Community School calendar. The decision not to have school because of weather conditions is made by the Cedar Rapids School District and is announced on TV and radio stations WMT(600 AM and 96FM) and KCRG(1600AM)

Please listen for these announcements; do not call the school or church rectory. DECISIONS FOR THE CEDAR RAPIDS DISTRICT APPLY TO ALL CATHOLIC SCHOOLS. We will not specifically be named.

If weather becomes severe during the day, necessitating early dismissal, that announcement will also be made by the TV and radio stations. Parents are strongly encouraged to be aware of the possibility of early dismissal and make arrangements to provide transportation for their children promptly at the time of early dismissal.


A before and after school child care service is offered. A fee schedule may be obtained from the director of the program. For further information, please contact the child care director, 362-4312.


The Catholic School System participates in CITYLINE. The phone number is 319-363-7000, category 8780. To hear general school, lunch menu or sports information, call the CITYLINE number.


Students have additional opportunities to develop their gifts through their involvement in band, student council, choir and sports. Students who do not perform in accord with their potential or who have consistent behavior problems will not be allowed to participate until necessary improvement is shown.


Students wanting to participate and represent HOLY FAMILY SCHOOL SYSTEM in the sports programs sponsored by the Booster Club will need to meet certain academic requirements to be eligible to participate.

The teachers, coaches, administration, and athletic director feel it is very important that a student show proficiency in each academic subject while participating in extra curricular sports activities.

A student may be declared ineligible and withheld from competition by not completing the academic requirements as set by the classroom teacher, or by violating any of the rules as listed in the Metropolitan Catholic School League Constitution General Rules and Policies.

Beginning in the Fall of each year, boys football and girls soccer are offered. These seasons begin in early September and conclude in late October. In November boys wrestling and girls volleyball are held. These sports conclude with a tournament prior to the Christmas break. In January boys and girls basketball season begin. A full schedule of games is held both varsity and junior varsity teams. The season concludes with a tournament in late March. Beginning in April athletics conclude with boys soccer and girls softball. These seasons run through May, concluding prior to the closing of school. All 7th and 8th grade students may participate in all of the sports offered. A physical examination is required, in addition to a minimal participation fee. Athletes are required to meet scholastic requirements to maintain eligibility.


The students in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 may elect to participate in the instrumental music program. Students who are in 5th grade and interested in playing a band instrument are encouraged to attend an instrument demonstration. There they will be given an opportunity to try instruments. After an instrument is chosen, students attend classes and lessons throughout the year. The beginning students also perform at the Christmas and Spring Concerts.

Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students may continue their band experience. Advanced students have the opportunity to play more contemporary music, perform in concerts, participate in the city wide All Catholic Band Festival and participate in the Cedar Rapids music contest.

The instrumental music program consists of private lessons and group rehearsals. Parents/Guardians are asked to encourage home practice.


The daily schedule for the 5 1/2 hour school day will be determined by each educational center. The doors of the elementary centers open at 8:30 a.m. each day, except for student eating breakfast or riding the early buses. Students with permission to arrive early must go to the designated area until the 8:30 a.m. bell rings.

Students must leave the school building within one half hour after dismissal unless supervised by a teacher or coach or the school child care service.


" Twill, corduroy, or dress pant material in navy blue or black. (Dress
pants are defined as having no outside patch pockets and no rivets.)
" May be purchased from the designated company or purchased locally
as long as they meet criteria.
" Stretch pants and stirrup pants will not be allowed.
" Must be in good repair.


" Dress shirt/blouses, polo or turtleneck in solid white, white with
piping, red and green only. (White with piping, red and green shirts/
blouses must be purchased from the designated company.)

" Must have collar and sleeves.
" Must be tucked in.
" No contrast color details.
" Sweatshirts and T-shirts will not be allowed.


" Jumper, skirt or culottes in school Black Watch plaid from the
BlackWatch plaid from the designated company only.


" Navy blue, any style, available from the designated company.
" No insignias, except for the school emblem.


" Any style, non marking soles.
" No sandals or beachwear.
" Socks must be worn.


" Navy blue or black for boys and girls. May be purchased from the
designated company or purchased locally as long as they meet
" Girls may also wear school plaid culottes.
" Allowed only in the months of August/September and May/June.


" Brownies, Campfire and Scouts may wear their uniforms on meeting




" Twill, corduroy, or dress pant material in navy blue, black, gray
or khaki. (Dress pants are defined as having no outside patch pockets
and no rivets.)
" May be purchased from the designated company or purchased locally
as long as they meet criteria.
" Stretch pants and stirrup pants will not be allowed.
" Must be in good repair.


" Dress shirt/blouse, polo or turtleneck in any solid color.
" Must have collar and sleeves.
" Must be tucked in.
" No denim shirts.
" No insignias or hoods.


" Jumper, skirt or culottes in school BlackWatch plaid from the
designated company only.


" Any solid color, any style.
" No insignias, except for the school emblem.


" Any style, non marking soles.
" No sandals or beachwear.
" Socks must be worn.


" Dress shorts in navy blue, black, gray, or khaki. May be purchased
from the designated company or purchased locally as long as they
meet criteria.
"Allowed only in the months of August/September and May/June.




" Athletes may wear uniform on game days.
" Other groups may wear uniforms on meeting days.


" Make-up and hairspray must be applied before coming to school.
" Dangling earrings will not be allowed.




Discipline is that control exercised in order to have respect for oneself, for other persons and for property. Discipline comes from both inside and outside oneself. The more self-disciplined a person becomes, the less need for external disciplinary measures.

Students are expected to:
" show respect and courtesy to other students, administration,
and staff
" cooperate with teachers in regard to behavior and academic matters
" show respect for property
" foster the well-being of the school by their behavior
" promote by their behavior an atmosphere and environment in which
the teacher and the student can each perform his/her role without
unnecessary disruption and disturbance.

Consequently, actions which are considered unacceptable and which constitute reason for disciplinary action are:
" rudeness, disobedience, disrespect and harassment to teachers,
students, and all school personnel (for example fighting);
" actions or manners which seriously disrupt class procedures (for
example profanity/abusive language);
" actions, even minor in nature, whose repetition make teaching and
learning difficult;
" possession and/or use of any object which is disruptive (for
example, water guns, rubber bands, and similar objects);
" throwing of objects which may injure others;
" theft and/or vandalism of school or other students' property:
" use of tobacco;
" use or possession of alcoholic beverages or any controlled



Certain guidelines limit the punishment for violations:
" punishment must fit the age of the student and the seriousness
of the offense in kind, frequency, and duration.
" no student shall be kept after school for more than ten minutes
for any reason, without informing the parents.
" students who ride the bus must receive permission from their
parents if they must stay after school;
" manual labor/jobs around the school is acceptable punishment
as are theme papers and added assignments related to the offense.


Four methods, depending on the seriousness of the situation, may be used to correct inappropriate behavior. These include the following:
1. verbal warning: followed by elementary and middle school
discipline procedure guidelines.
2. in-school suspension (reserved to the principal's use).
3. out-of-school suspension (reserved to the principal's use).
4. expulsion (reserved to be Discipline Committee).

A more detailed procedure for application of disciplinary measures is outlined in
the Archdiocesan Policy Book (#5144.3)


Breakfast, lunch and milk tickets are available at school. Tickets may be purchased prior to the start of school each day. Meal menus are provided to each family, via the messenger envelope, on a monthly basis. Students may bring their own lunch if they prefer. Free or reduced price breakfast or lunch is available through the Federal food program. Forms are given to all families. Those who qualify should return the form to the office and it will be given to the cafeteria manager. These tickets are the same as all the other tickets.


Any money sent to school MUST be put in a sealed envelope and labeled with the student's name, grade, amount and purpose.



The tuition for students is determined by the Board of Education. Statements are sent to each family as tuition payments become due. Parents/Guardians are offered three different payment methods:
"full tuition payment at the beginning of the school year (first day of
" quarterly payments (August, November, February and April)
" nine monthly payments (September-May)

Tuition for students from other parishes will be based on the guidelines established by the Archdiocesan Board of Education.

Tuition costs for students of other faiths is established by the Board of Education. The per pupil cost is used as a basis for determining this amount. Information on exact costs for tuition may be obtained by calling the school offices.


The Board of Education is aware that certain factors may make it very difficult or impossible for some parents to pay full tuition for a Catholic education for their children. Recognizing this fact, the Board of Education has set up a fund for educational grants. Eligibility for these grants is only by application. Forms may be obtained from the principals. After completion and return of the application to the principal, you will be notified of the amount of tuition grant monies you are to receive.


A field trip is an excursion for the purpose of initiating or supplementing learning experiences in the classroom. A worthwhile educational tour calls for setting up definite goals and systematic procedures.

Permission for field trips is obtained from the principal by the teacher. The teacher must obtain written permission from the parents in order for the student to participate in the field trip. Return of the signed form before the trip is required for each student to be eligible to attend. Field trips are chaperoned by at least one faculty member and a sufficient number of adults. The assistance of parents is solicited in the supervision of students on field trips and for transportation.



Educational field trips are a privilege, not a right. Students who participate in field trips are to act in a respectful manner. All school rules apply. They are to obey the chaperones and refrain from anything that may jeopardize the safety of the other students or the reputation of our school.


The guidance program is formulated and approved by the Dubuque Archdiocesan Office of Education. In addition the following has been incorporated into the guidance program:
" Health Education
" Drug and Alcohol Education
" Human Sexuality Education
" Quest: Skills for Growing Program (grades K-5)
" Quest: Skills for Adolescents Program (grades 6-8)
These programs are always available to parents for study and examination. Parents who do not wish their children to participate in these programs must notify the principal regarding this decision. (See Policy #6144.3)


The guidance counselor meets with students individually and in groups to aid them in school and life's challenges:
" making choices and accepting responsibility for those choices
" learning to solve their own problems,
" developing positive attitudes, values, and work habits,
" gaining basic understanding of the work world,
" increasing their human relationship skills, and
" learning to adjust to the demands and responsibilities of family,
school, and community life.


Because of the problems involved when gum is not disposed of properly, students are not permitted to chew gum in the school building or on school grounds while school is in session.



It is the policy of the educational programs governed by the Archdiocesan Board of Education (#4116.1) to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment. No employee, volunteer or student associated with these programs shall be subjected to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may include but is not limited to the following:
" verbal harassment or abuse
" pressure for sexual activity
" repeated remarks to a person, with sexual or demeaning implication
" unwelcome touching
" suggesting or demanding sexual involvement, accompanied by
implied or explicit threats concerning one's grade, job, etc.



Whenever a child is ill or has a fever he/she should be kept at home. A child should not return to school for at least 24 hours after a temperature has returned to normal. A health department permit to reenter school is required for all students who have been absent because of a communicable disease.


If a student is injured at school or becomes ill during the day, parents will be notified and are encouraged to pick up their child. Since schools do not have a full-time nurse, sick or injured children cannot remain in school for any length of time. Only simple first aid will be administered at school. It is essential that every parent submit to the school office an emergency card which contains data as to whom to call in the event of an emergency or illness. Information on this card should be kept up-to-date.

In case of emergency, and/or when an ambulance is necessary, school personnel will make decisions until the parents can be reached.



Any medication that a student is to take must be dispensed from the office by certificated personnel. No student may keep any medication in his/her personal possession, either in the desk or in the locker. Aspirin and other medications will be dispensed ONLY if a PERMISSION FOR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION FORM is filled out and signed by the parent.
Medication will be dispensed only for the time stated on the signed medication form. NO MEDICATION WILL BE DISPENSED WITHOUT A SIGNED FORM. Prescription drugs must be in the original container labeled with the child's name and detailed instructions as to the time and frequency of the administration.


By law, every student attending school must have on file in the school office, a record of his/her immunizations. It is recommended that parents check with their family doctor regarding the possible need of booster shots for their children.

All students who participate in organized sports are required to have a physical examination and/or a health permit before they may participate in these sports. It shall be the obligation of the athletic director to verify.


Our policy on staff or students who may contact AIDS is contained in the Policy Book (Policy AB 5141.2). should you need any specific information on this, please contact the principal.



A student nurse from Mount Mercy College is assigned to the school for each semester. This student is at the school one-half day each week. His/Her assignment includes the following:
" teaching health units in the classroom as requested by the teachers,
" conducting scoliosis screening for students in grades five through
" keeping student's health records up-to-date,
" carrying out other health related activities.


Grant Wood Area Education Agency conducts hearing and vision screening annually. A school psychologist, speech clinician, and itinerant hearing teacher are available for a period of time each week. These services may be obtained by completing referral forms which can be obtained in the school office.


The liturgy is an important part of a student's Catholic Christian formation. Students celebrate the Eucharist once weekly and are usually involved in the celebrated throughout the year.




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