POLICIES

HANDBOOK

Each year, the Waldron Mercy Academy administration and Board of Trustees reviews and amends the Parent and Student Handbook with the most up to date policies and procedures appropriate for our school community. The current handbook can be found on this page once completed. Once published, please review the policies, discuss them with your child/ren, and then sign the three forms found at the end of the handbook. These forms should be returned to your child’s homeroom teacher when complete.

MORE POLICIES

ANTI-HAZING POLICY


UPDATED: July 28, 2016 Hazing involving students, student groups or any individuals at WMA is strictly prohibited.

DEFINITION
Hazing is defined by the State of Pennsylvania (Act 175) as “any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be ‘forced’ activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.” RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMPLIANCE
All School students, faculty, staff and recognized organizations are responsible for abiding by this policy, both on campus and off campus, including on privately owned facilities and/or property. Recognized organizations are responsible for any activity in violation of this policy by any individual or group affiliated with the organization (new member, member, auxiliary, or alumnus), unless it is proven that the group or individual activity was independent of, and occurred without the knowledge or consent of, the recognized organization. Such responsibility will apply equally to situations in which one or more members knew or should have known of the activity and failed to make every reasonable attempt to prevent or stop it. REPORTING OF A POSSIBLE VIOLATION
Anyone who witnesses or suspects that hazing has occurred shall immediately report what was witnessed, or the basis for the suspicion that hazing has taken place, to the principal. If the hazing has occurred in connection with a WMA club, organization or sport, then the incident shall also be reported to the person or coach responsible for the club, organization or sport. VIOLATIONS AND SANCTIONS

The principal shall have discretion to impose any discipline deemed appropriate for an incident of hazing against both the individual who engaged in the conduct and the School organization of which they were a member. Discipline and penalties shall include, but not be limited to, withholding diplomas or transcripts, the imposition of fines, restitution, probation, suspension, dismissal or expulsion. In the case of WMA organizations, penalties may include withdrawal of permission for the club or organization to continue to operate on campus or other school property or to otherwise operate under the recognition or sanction of WMA. Imposition of discipline by WMA does not preclude any criminal penalty which may be imposed for violation of criminal laws and WMA will fully cooperate, and share information, with law enforcement as part of any investigation.




OLWEAUS BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM


Waldron Mercy Academy employs the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), one of the most researched and best-known bullying prevention programs available, as a means to resolve conflict. OBPP has been recognized as a Model Program by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence and by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The program is designed for students in elementary, middle, and junior high schools. The goals of the program are to reduce existing bullying problems among students, to prevent the development of new bullying problems, and to achieve better peer relations at school.




KIDS SKILLS GUIDANCE


Good social skills are essential for everyday life and classroom success. We need to be able to talk appropriately to others, understand social boundaries and use appropriate gestures. In supporting the healthy development of social skills for our students, the WMA school counselor is running “Kid Skills” small guidance groups for the Lower School (grades 1-3). This group is geared toward working with students on problem-solving skills, developing friendships, feelings expression, impulsivity/self-control, cooperative play and anger management. Students can be referred by their teacher or a parent to join the group. These group meetings are brief in nature, 1x/week, and will last for 6 to 8 weeks, during the school day. The session will commence the week of October 17. If you feel your child would benefit from participation in the “Kid Skills” group, please contact your child’s teacher by Wednesday, October 12. You can also directly inform the school counselor, Grace Zorn. Please contact Grace if you have questions at 610-664-9847, ext 132.




FINANCIAL AID POLICY


Waldron Mercy Academy (“WMA”) has a need-based financial aid program which makes our school accessible to those who cannot afford the full cost of tuition. Our commitment to diversity includes socioeconomic diversity, and we strongly believe that our school community is enhanced by enrolling students from varied socioeconomic backgrounds. WMA’s financial aid policy follows the Principles of Good Practice for Financial Aid Administration established by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). These principles affirm the belief that the purpose of a financial aid program is to provide monetary assistance to those students who cannot afford the cost of attending an independent school. In addition, these principles reflect standards of equity and fairness, and an ongoing commitment to access and diversity. WMA operates within the context of both short- and long-range financial aid budget and policy goals. An amount for financial aid is approved each year by our Board of Trustees as part of the annual operating budget for WMA. The amount of financial aid takes into consideration the existing level of aid awarded as well as projected tuition increases. Sources of funding include donations through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (“EITC”) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (“OSTC”) programs, other restricted donations, income from endowed funds, fundraising activities, and operating revenues. WMA provides outreach, education and guidance to families on all aspects of its financial aid process through its website, published materials, and personal contact. WMA determines eligibility for admission without regard to a student’s application for financial aid. All financial aid decisions are based on financial need without regard to a student’s race, color, religion, ethnicity, or national origin. WMA commits to providing financial aid dollars to applicants who demonstrate that their family resources are insufficient to meet the total educational costs. Financial assistance is considered on an annual basis and must be reapplied for each year. Current families have priority over new families that apply for financial aid, provided that application deadlines are met. Unless there has been a significant change in the family’s financial circumstances, WMA commits to support a student through graduation at the same percentage of financial aid. WMA maintains the same standards of behavior and academic performance for recipients of financial aid as it does for non-recipients. WMA follows procedures that ensure a fair, consistent and equitable assessment of each family’s ability to contribute toward educational expenses. WMA strives to make and to communicate its financial aid decisions in a manner that allows families to make timely, careful and fully-informed enrollment decisions. WMA safeguards the confidentiality of financial aid applications, records and decisions.




HOMEWORK ASSESSMENT & POLICY


HOMEWORK POLICY Written and study homework assignments are integral to a student's complete education. Assignments are designed to reinforce and enrich the lessons taught in the classroom and a realistic time allotment for homework is suggested per grade level. HOMEWORK GUIDELINES Written and study homework assignments are integral to a student's complete education. Teachers design assignments to reinforce and enrich the lessons taught in the classroom. Specific homework requirements for each grade/subject are communicated to students and parents at the beginning of the school year. Homework assignments are an extension and reinforcement of skills and activities completed during the class time and include independent reading. The following time frame should be used as a guideline for homework and study assignments each night: GRADE TIME FRAME Kindergarten -- 15 minutes Grade 1 -- 30 minutes Grade 2 -- 1 hour Grade 3 -- 1 hour Grade 4 -- 1.25 hours Grade 5 -- 1.5 hours Grade 6 -- 2.25 hours Grade 7 -- 2.25 hours Grade 8 -- 2.5-3 hours
We recognize that students complete assignments at varying rates of time. If homework time becomes a struggle, please discuss with your child’s teachers for strategies. ASSESSMENT Our students are assessed through textbook and teacher-made tests, projects, writing portfolios and classroom participation. Grades two through eight take the Terra Nova standardized test annually.




DRESS CODE


DOWNLOAD THE UNIFORM GUIDE PDF Dressing in the Waldron Mercy uniform is an important part of the school day. Teachers will enforce the uniform policy. If it is necessary for a child to be out of uniform, a note should be sent to the homeroom teacher. Dates for uniform changes are noted on the calendar.

Boys’ hair should be trimmed so as not to touch their collars and girls’ hair should be neatly groomed. Baseball or other hats, bandanas, and headbands decorated with big flowers, etc. may not be worn. Jewelry should be simple and not distracting. No body piercings are permitted, except pierced ears. Earrings should be no larger than 1 1/2 cm and without hoops.

Cosmetics should be sheer or neutral. Clear, sheer nail polish or a French manicure may be worn. Extreme hair coloring and visible tattoos are not permitted. Students may only wear Waldron Wear (no flannel pants) in place of their gym uniforms for physical education class. Standard Warm Weather Uniform for Girls
ALL-DAY MONTESSORI, KINDERGARTEN, GRADES 1 TO 4 -Khaki skort (with front panel) or short -Short-sleeved navy golf shirt with embroidered WMA logo -Navy socks -Fourth grade students can begin to transition to the fifth grade uniform as they outgrow the Lower School uniform -SHOES : Navy Mary Jane Straps or any brown, tied shoe that is not a sneaker
GRADES 5 THROUGH 8 -Khaki skort (with front and back panel) or short -Short-sleeved, banded bottom, navy golf shirt with embroidered WMA logo -Navy or black athletic socks (just showing or to the ankle) -SHOES : Brown Nubuck Merrell Jungle Moc, Sperry’s, or any brown, tied shoe that is not a sneaker Standard Warm Weather Uniform for Boys
ALL-DAY MONTESSORI, KINDERGARTEN, GRADES 1 TO 4 -Short-sleeved navy golf shirt with embroidered WMA logo -Black or brown belt -Khaki pants or khaki walking shorts -Navy or black athletic socks (just showing or to the ankle) -SHOES : Brown Nubuck Merrell Jungle Moc, Sperry’s, or any brown, tied shoe that is not a sneaker
GRADES 5 THROUGH 8 -Short-sleeved navy golf shirt with embroidered WMA logo -Black or brown belt -Khaki pants or khaki walking shorts -Navy or black athletic socks (just showing or to the ankle) -​SHOES : Brown Nubuck Merrell Jungle Moc, Sperry’s, or any brown, tied shoe that is not a sneaker Standard Winter Uniform for Girls
ALL-DAY MONTESSORI, KINDERGARTEN, GRADES 1 TO 4 -Navy plaid jumper or flat front khaki pant -White turtleneck -Navy cardigan sweater with embroidered WMA logo (must be worn with the pant option) -Navy tights or navy knee socks worn up to just below the knee -Fourth grade students can begin to transition to the fifth grade uniform as they outgrow the Lower School uniform -SHOES : Navy Mary Jane Straps or any brown, tied shoe that is not a sneaker
GRADES 5 THROUGH 8 -Navy plaid kilt or flat front khaki pant -White turtleneck/mock turtleneck or (grades 7 and 8 white dress shirt) -Navy crew sweater with embroidered WMA logo (must be worn with the pant option) OR navy vest with WMA logo OR Navy blazer with school emblem OR ¼ zip sweater -Navy tights or navy knee socks worn up to just below the knee -SHOES : Brown Nubuck Merrell Jungle Moc, Sperry’s, or any brown, tied shoe that is not a sneaker
Standard Winter Uniform for Boys
ALL-DAY MONTESSORI, KINDERGARTEN, GRADES 1 TO 4 -Long-sleeved navy golf shirt with embroidered WMA logo -Khaki pants -Navy crew socks -Black belt -SHOES : Brown Nubuck Merrell Jungle Moc, Sperry’s, or any brown, tied shoe that is not a sneaker GRADES 5 THROUGH 8 -White dress shirt (with WMA school tie) or white turtleneck/mock turtleneck -Khaki pants -Navy crew sweater embroidered WMA logo OR vest with embroidered WMA logo OR -Navy blazer with school emblem OR ¼ zip sweater -Navy crew socks or black athletic socks (just showing or to the ankle) -Black or brown belt -SHOES : Brown Nubuck Merrell Jungle Moc, Sperry’s, or any brown, tied shoe that is not a sneaker Year-Round Gym Uniform FOR ALL STUDENTS -Navy blue mesh shorts with WMA logo -T-shirt purchased at the Spiritwear school -White crew socks or navy or black athletic socks (just showing or to the ankle) -Navy blue sweatsuit with WMA logo -Spiritwear is also acceptable -Sneakers




SAFE2SAY SOMETHING


UPDATED: March 20, 2019 Safe2Say Something is one element of PA Act 44, which was passed in June 2018.
PA Act 44 PA Act 44 in general provides funding for safety-related initiatives in schools and mandates certain requirements. Participation in Safe2Say Something is mandated; all schools in the state must provide training on this youth violence prevention program. PA Act 44 was effective immediately upon signing on June 22, 2018. It was seen as a reaction, in particular, to the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February 2018.
What is Safe2Say Something? Administered by the Office of the Attorney General and in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise, Safe2Say Something trains students and adults in middle and high school environments to report worrisome or threatening behavior anonymously to a 24/7 "tip line". Trained staff monitoring the "tip line" will assess the reports and communicate back to school and local law enforcement. Trained school team members and local law enforcement together will decide how to react/proceed. Why this type of program? 37% of threats of violence and bullying are sent electronically; 28% over social media 80% of school shooters told someone of their plans; 59% told more than one person Most mass shootings are planned for more than six months 70% of people who complete suicide tell someone of their plans or give some other warning sign Teenagers display/present at-risk behaviors between the ages of 13-17 S2SS creates opportunities for early identification and intervention Students will be trained to recognize signs and signals (especially within social media) and will have the opportunity to interact with a trained responder who is conduction a two-way anonymous dialog to capture as much information as possible.
How Will it Work? Safe2Say something has an app to download on a smartphone, a website, and a 24/7 hotline Trained S2SS staff in Harrisburg will triage a call (or report on the app or website) as "life-safety" or "non-life safety" If "life-safety", within 1-3 minutes, S2SS will notify The school team via text, email and/or phone and County 911 dispatch, who will notify local police. The school and the police, following their plan, will decide next steps If "non life-safety", S2SS will notify just the school between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily The school may still want to notify police
HERE IS A LINK FOR A LIST ON LIFE-SAFETY VS. NON LIFE-SAFETY ALERTS False Reports Penalty - A person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if the person knowingly or intentionally makes a false report to the program Student Records - If a report filed with the program is determined to be a false report, inforomation about the subject of the false report shall not be made part of the subject student's record





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Waldron Mercy Academy

Waldron Mercy Academy, a Catholic school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, is a diverse, faith community rooted in the gospel values of mercy and justice. We are a school where the joy of discovery inspires serious study, social responsibility, and strong faith.

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