2023 – 2024 Parent and Student Handbook

 

Welcome to Romero Academy at Resurrection (“Romero Academy”)! This Handbook contains information regarding our school. It is very important that you read this Handbook and keep it as a reference during the entirety of the school year.

 

School Overview

Romero Academy embraces the fourfold purposes of a Catholic Education: Providing an atmosphere where the Gospel is proclaimed, community is cultivated, service is embraced, and thanksgiving to and worship of God are experienced.

 

Grounded in the rich tradition of Catholic education, Romero Academy strives to develop the academic, social, spiritual, and moral skills needed to prepare our students to successfully meet challenges.

 

Our Core Beliefs:

  • We believe each child is unique and precious in the sight of God.
  • We believe that the educational program is structured to meet the needs of the whole person intellectually, physically, socially, and spiritually.
  • We believe in working cooperatively with and supporting the rights and duties of the parents as the primary educators of their children.

Our Mission:

Romero Academy partners with families to form future saints by developing the intellect, forming the character, and engaging the faith of each student.

 

Our Vision:

Inspired to “Be More,” Romero Academy graduates will develop the virtue, knowledge, and academic skills necessary to thrive in a selective college preparatory high school, college, and beyond.

Key Contact Information: Office Phone: (513) 461-2044 /https://romeroacademies.org/

Parent Partnerships:

As a Catholic school, we believe that parents “must be recognized as the primary and principal educators” of their children and that “the family is the first school of virtues.” From this foundation, we view it as a blessing and a privilege to work alongside parents and families in the education of their children.  Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis), issued on October 25, 1965.

The partnership between families and Romero Academy is aimed at developing each child’s character, intellect, and faith. A family’s choice to enroll its child(ren) at Romero Academy represents a commitment to actively partner with our faculty and staff as we support one another in helping children become the very best versions of themselves.

To that end, we have scheduled Parent and Family Events throughout the year. We strongly recommend that you make every effort to attend these fun and informational events.

 

 

08/21/23

Meet the Teacher Night: Parents learn more about Romero Academy, priorities for the year, and have an opportunity to see their child’s classroom and meet the teacher(s) that will be working with their child.

11/09/23 – 11/10/23

Parent Teacher Conferences: Parents receive the opportunity to talk to their children’s teachers to learn more about their academic progress, school behavior, and success.

12/19/23

Christmas Pageant: More information to come

01/28/24

Re-enrollment: More information to come

05/03/24

Rock the Bloc: More information to come

Student Conduct and Expectations

Our approach to discipline is rooted in a belief that the learning environment is sacred. At Romero Academy, we will do whatever it takes to make sure that every child is safe (physically, emotionally, mentally, and intellectually) and that every child has the chance to learn without disruptions. We have very high expectations for student behavior, and we “sweat the small stuff” to create and preserve a focused learning environment.

Our teachers use a large variety of strategies to promote positive behavior and to correct problematic behaviors. Our faculty uses positive reinforcement whenever possible and recognize and celebrate student successes at every opportunity. We also use consequences and a problem-solving approach rooted in Love and Logic to help students correct behavior challenges when needed.

The student conduct and expectations apply to behaviors that occur on school grounds, at school-sponsored events, or on school buses. Additionally, students may be disciplined for behavior that occurs off school grounds if the behavior interferes with, disrupts, or adversely affects the school environment, school operations, or an educational function.

Consequences:

When students fail to adhere to the rules, policies, and expectations of Romero Academy, as the same may be created or amended from time to time by Romero Academy, school personnel will first seek to correct such concerns, review the correct behavior, and practice the behavior with them. However, if the behavior continues the students will face a series of consequences agreed upon and supported by the Romero Academy community. As Romero Academy deems appropriate, these consequences may progress in a hierarchy designed to deter a student from poor choices. In administering consequences, school personnel will consider, on a case-by-case basis, such factors as the severity of the offense, the age of the student offenders, histories of inappropriate behaviors, and any other factors deemed relevant.

Loss of Privileges:

Romero Academy offers students many privileges that can be taken away as a consequence for poor behavior. Privileges that can be lost include social time, enrichment performances/opportunities, participation in birthday celebrations, family nights, other school-wide celebrations, or field trips.

School personnel may use loss of privileges during any part of the school day, including during meals/snacks, for violations of the any school rules or policies.

Serious Offenses and Accumulated Demerits/Conduct Referrals:

In case of a serious offense, accumulated demerits, or accumulated conduct referrals, a student may be issued a detention, suspended, or expelled by the principal or assistant principal. Parents will be notified in writing and may be required to come to school for a conference before the child is permitted to return to the school.

A single offense may also be cause for expulsion or suspension, in Romero Academy’s sole and absolutely discretion, regardless of prior actions or offenses. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to require Romero Academy to take any progressive disciplinary steps; however, Romero Academy may place a student on a behavioral improvement plan, which gives the child clear steps on how to improve their behavior. If the plan is not followed, the child may be suspended or expelled from Romero Academy.

The ultimate goal is the development of self-control, but teachers and other adults in the school are responsible to guide and direct each student in achieving this goal. The school staff seeks to maintain safe, secure, peaceful, orderly environment free from attitudes and actions that interfere with learning.

Romero Academy may review available security camera footage when making any disciplinary decision. All such footage will remain confidential and will not be shared with parents to protect the confidentiality of all students.

School Uniforms

All students must come to school each day in the Romero Academy uniform. If a student arrives at school out of uniform, parents/guardians will be called and asked to bring in a uniform and/or a temporary one will be loaned to the scholar while their own arrives at the school. If a family cannot afford to purchase the school uniform, Romero Academy will help seek a way to provide uniforms for the student. We have a required school uniform for several important reasons.

Uniforms Unite us as a Community

When you look at a group of students in the Romero Academy uniform, it is a powerful visual statement of our community. Students make a commitment when they put on the Romero Academy uniform; they are agreeing to live up to the school’s high expectations.

Uniforms Reduce Distractions and Clothing Competition

Often students spend more time discussing and evaluating what others are wearing or not wearing than they spend focusing on learning. Wearing uniforms eliminates this distraction.

Uniforms Make us all Equal

Regardless of income, students will come to school looking the same. A uniform policy allows our students to avoid concerns about the clothes they are wearing to school each day.

Uniforms Look Professional

Students look neat when they arrive at school with shirts tucked into their pants. The students come mentally prepared for school and “dressed for work.”

Please make sure your scholar is in uniform EVERY day and ready to learn. This means students must have their uniform shirts tucked into their pants, wearing the appropriate shoes, shirt, and uniform bottoms. Detailed uniform guidelines are available from the Main Office.

Dress Code Specifics

  • Jewelry: Stud earrings (no hoops or dangling) should be no larger than a quarter. All other jewelry should be of an appropriate nature/content. Necklaces must be tucked inside shirts. Staff will confiscate all jewelry that is not in compliance with  this Handbook.
  • Hats: Scholars are not allowed to wear hats, scarves, headbands, or bandanas in the classroom/building. Small hair clips or hair bands are permitted.
  • Jackets: Scholars may not wear jackets inside the school classroom/building. If you are worried about your scholar being cold inside the classroom/building, they may wear a plain black or blue sweatshirt or sweater. No hooded sweatshirts will be permitted to be worn inside the classrooms
  • Socks: Should be a plain and solid color (white or black).
  • Out of Uniform Passes (OOU) may be earned individually or as whole class incentives.

Parent Teacher Conferences

At regular intervals (especially at the end of grading periods), parent-teacher conferences may be

scheduled. This conference may be conducted virtually or telephonically, if necessary.

Phone Calls

Throughout the year, you may receive a phone call or note from a teacher or school leader. If the message requires a response, please contact the school either by phone or in writing within 24 hours. You should expect to hear from your child’s teacher at least once a month during the year.

Romero Academy cannot guarantee that families’ messages will reach students or teachers during the school day. Students and teachers may not receive incoming phone calls or messages unless it is an emergency that requires immediate attention. As such, messages for staff during school hours should be kept to a minimum.

In the event of an emergency, please call the school’s Main Office rather than your child’s individual teacher.

Cell Phones/Electronics

Students are not allowed to use cell phones or electronics during school hours. If a cell phone or electronic device is used, rings, or is seen by a staff member during school hours, it will be confiscated from the student and a parent/guardian will be required to retrieve the item from the school’s office. Additionally, the student in possession of the phone/electronic devise will receive a detention.

School Meals and Nutrition

Romero Academy will provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks to all enrolled students. Families may choose to send lunch to school; however, students will not have access to a refrigerator or microwave. We ask that children be sent to school with only nutritious foods. Unhealthy drinks (sodas, juices that are not 100% juice, sports drinks, and/or energy drinks) or unhealthy snacks are prohibited. Candy, gum, and soda are not allowed. The entire lunch must be in one bag or container that has the student’s name on it.

The meal must be packed in the student’s bag and shall remain stored in the child’s homeroom until it is distributed during mealtime. We ask that food not be sent during the school day, as it interferes with office operations.

Parents are required to notify the school of any food allergies and provide documentation from a doctor for the student’s health file.

Nursing Services & Medication

Being healthy helps children learn. It is important to have your doctor or health center look into any problem that your child may have. If your child requires medication during school hours, we will assist by administering medication. Families must complete a medication authorization form and can get a copy of this form by calling or stopping by the school office. The requirement to have a form on file applies to all medicine, including aspirin, Tylenol, and other over-the-counter medicines. All student medicines will be kept in a locked cabinet. The school will keep a detailed log of all medicines that are administered.

ROMERO ACADEMY BULLYING POLICY

Romero Academy is completely opposed to bullying and will not tolerate any bullying, harassment, or intimidation. It is contrary to the values and belief statement of the school. We believe that each child is unique and precious in the sight of God.

We believe that the educational program is structured to meet the needs of the whole person intellectually, physically, socially, and spiritually.

We believe in and recognize the rights and duties of the parents as the primary educators of their children.

We believe in working cooperatively in partnership with parents in helping the children to develop a good self-image.

The following section outlines specific actions that may be taken to address bullying, harassment, and intimidation by Romero Academy in accordance with The Archdiocese of Cincinnati policies.

Specifically, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has developed the following Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying policy, which is adopted herein by reference:

Definition of Bullying

Bullying is not: While this behavior is rude, it may, or may not be defined as bullying. Some examples include:

  • Name calling once, or infrequently, in response to others’ actions.
  • Poor communication skills of other students including raising voice or having difficulty sharing.
  • Not including someone in play, or a game, once or infrequently.

Bullying is:

1)    An Imbalance of Power: Students who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.

2)    Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Types of Bullying

There are many different types of bullying that can be experienced by children and adults alike, some are obvious to spot while others can be more subtle. The different types of bullying that we look at below are some of the ways that bullying could be happening.

  • Physical bullying: Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching, pushing, or damaging property. Physical bullying causes both short term and long-term damage.
  • Verbal bullying: Verbal bullying includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal abuse. While verbal bullying can start off harmless, it can escalate to levels which start affecting the individual target.
  • Social bullying: Social bullying, sometimes referred to as covert bullying, is often harder to recognize and can be carried out behind the bullied person’s back. It is designed to harm someone’s social reputation and/or cause humiliation. Social bullying includes:
    • lying and spreading rumors
    • negative facial or physical gestures, menacing or contemptuous looks
    • playing nasty jokes to embarrass and humiliate
    • mimicking unkindly
    • encouraging others to socially exclude someone
    • damaging someone’s social reputation or social acceptance.
  • Cyber bullying: Cyber bullying can be overt or covert bullying behaviors using digital technologies, including hardware such as computers and smartphones, and software such as social media, instant messaging, texts, websites, and other online platforms.
  • Abusive or hurtful texts emails or posts, images, or videos
  • Deliberately excluding others online
  • Spreading untrue gossip or rumors
  • Imitating others online or using their log-in

Administrative Steps to Address Bullying

Awareness of bullying issues is the number one factor in addressing the problem. If your student has sudden behavior changes at home, eating/sleeping changes, does not want to attend school, or is complaining of physical illness, bullying may be a factor in their behavior.

Families should encourage their children to speak with or write a note to either Mr. Lane, Principal, or Ms. Robben, Assistant Principal. Additionally, parents/guardians that suspect their child is the target or aggressor of bullying, should contact either Mr. Lane (j.lane@raresurrection.org) or Ms. Robben (k.robben@raresurrection.org)  Both school leaders can also be reached by phone at (513) 461-2044.

When bullying is witnessed (or when behavior a staff member reasonably believes bullying is or has occurred) by the staff, or if a student or parent alerts staff to an incident, the following steps are typically taken to investigate and address the issue:

  • The school administrator first speaks with the alleged victim first to gather information about the incident(s).
  • The school administrator then speaks with all other parties including other involved students, teachers, or witnesses.
  • From there, a plan which may include restorative practices and/or consequences will be developed and communicated to the families and students involved.

Preventing Bullying

All students have a responsibility to respond appropriately to unwanted actions or words. Please reinforce these action steps with your child at home.

 #1 Be Assertive-Confidently tell the person that the behavior is unwanted without being aggressive.

Example: “I don’t like what you said/did, please stop now.”

#2 Leave the situation/area-Moving your body out of the space where others are aggressive tends to work best. By walking away, you take away the power of the aggressive person because they no longer have an audience.

 #3 Ask for help-Every child at the Romero Academy is told to seek an adult’s help if they cannot handle the situation alone, or it becomes an ongoing issue. Students are encouraged tell a teacher directly, write a note to a teacher, or place a note in the school counselor’s mailbox.

 #4 Be an “Upstander” rather than a “bystander”-If you see someone being bullied, you should let them know the behavior is unkind and unwanted, unless doing so places you in a dangerous or unsafe position. In doing so, please use common sense and evaluate the situation to determine an appropriate response, if any. Example: “That was mean, please don’t talk to my friend like that.”

PROMOTION AND RETENTION POLICY

Primary Grades—Promotion through the primary grades will be determined by the child’s proficiency in reading and math skills. If it is necessary for a child to repeat a grade, either because of social concerns or lack of progress on basic fundamentals (reading, phonics, and number comprehension), it is generally recommended to retain the child in one of the early primary grades.

Retention—Decisions concerning a student’s retention are made by the principal and grade level teacher(s) in collaboration with the parents. Parents will be informed in advance if retention is believed to be in the child’s best interest. Students who miss more than 20 instructional days in one year may also be retained.

Third Grade Reading Guarantee—Except for those with special circumstances, students must meet a minimum score on the state reading test or a nationally-normed alternative in order to move on to the fourth grade.

Homework

Research shows that the best way to improve a student’s reading skills is to have him/her read as often as possible. There is a high correlation between students who read regularly outside of school, and those who score highest on reading exams.

The more students read, the more likely they are to succeed in school and in life. Supporting students’ independent reading at home is the most important way to help them improve their speed, accuracy, vocabulary, comprehension, and overall reading ability. Although Romero Academy students have high-quality reading time during the school day, they should read at home every night for at least twenty (20) minutes, as well as during the weekends and while on vacations from school, to ensure they are building their stamina and reading skills. Families can support students’ reading by asking them to read aloud, and by stopping them occasionally and asking questions about what they are reading. This dialogue around reading encourages and enhances students’ comprehension and love of reading.

BUS INFORMATION                                                   

Bus service is provided for eligible students living the required distance away from school. A list of stops and times is provided at the beginning of the school year by the Cincinnati School Board. The phone number for yellow bus transportation is (513) 363-7433.

Those who ride the bus are under the supervision and authority of the bus driver. Romero Academy expects all bus riders to demonstrate the virtues of the school and meet all conduct expectations. Violating bus conduct expectations may result in the suspension or termination of bus services.

Per Cincinnati Public Schools’ Bus Vendor Policy, for the

1st write up: student receives a warning

2nd write up: student is suspended from the bus for one week

3rd write up: student is suspended from the bus for two weeks

4th write up: student is not permitted on the bus for the rest of the school year.

Certain behavior may result in immediate suspension of bus privileges, regardless of the number of write-ups received. Parents will be notified of all bus infractions and consequences. Please be aware that in addition to the foregoing, behavior on the bus may also result in other disciplinary actions taken by Romero Academy.

Religious Instruction

Beyond promoting academic excellence, Romero Academy is dedicated to the spiritual and moral development of all students.

Towards this end, we keep in mind the two great commandments: “You shall love God with your whole mind and heart,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” Through example, we strive to teach and practice this consideration for others.

Children in all grades partake in formal religious classes and in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, along with various forms of prayer. On Fridays and other designated dates, students will attend Mass together.

Catholic students in grades 4-8 are encouraged to be servers.

Sacraments

Reconciliation

Students in grades 3-6 have the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation at least twice each year. Students in the second grade may receive the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time at a date prior to First Communion. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to participate in the sacrament.

First Communion

First Communion will be celebrated for all Catholic second grade children who have a sincere desire to receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This is usually celebrated on the first Sunday in May.

Confirmation

This sacrament is received in grades 6-8. A special preparation is required of all Catholic students desiring to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

All students who attend Romero Academy will receive religious instruction and be invited to participate in community worship.

Emergencies

WEATHER EMERGENCY

School will be canceled in the event of weather emergencies. School cancellations and delays will follow the announcements of Cincinnati Public Schools. Closures and delays will be announced on the local news channels. Please do not call the school to inquire about delays or cancellations.

We practice a general monthly emergency drill including natural disaster, acts of violence or threats, and loss of power, heat, or water. This includes monthly fire and tornado drills conducted with students and staff.

In the event that a general emergency should occur, students will be transported to a safe location, which will be shared with parents/guardians using the contact information on file with the Main Office. Additionally, in the event of either loss of heat, power, or water, or any other situation that makes it impractical or impossible to remain open for the rest of the day, Romero Academy will contact parents/guardians to notify them of relevant details related to picking their children up from school.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES, TOYS, GAMES, AND GADGETS

Students in Kindergarten and above are only permitted to carry electronics, toys, games, and gadgets to school for show and tell and/or when they are turned off, kept in the students’ backpack or purse, and out of sight.

Parents/guardians should contact their students’ homeroom teachers in advance if their child is bringing an electronic device, toy, game, or gadget. School staff will confiscate all electronics, toys, games, and gadgets in plain view and take them to the office and require the student’s parent/guardian to retrieve the item(s). Romero Academy in no way assumes any responsibility for, and will not replace or repair, any damaged, lost, or stolen personal devices.

SEARCHES

To protect the safety of all students, school staff, and visitors, Romero Academy reserves the right to search a student, a student’s personal property, and school property assigned to a student when there is a reasonable suspicion that the student has violated school policy, local or federal law, or if the search is part of the overall effort to maintain the security and safety of the school. Student and school property includes, but is not limited to, lockers, cubbies, backpacks, purses, and cell phones. All searches shall be authorized and conducted by a member of the school leadership team in the presence of a witness, except where the circumstances render the presence of a witness impractical, such as in the case of an emergency or other exigent circumstances. A reasonable effort will be made to conduct searches out of the sight and hearing of other students.

SECURITY FOOTAGE POLICY

Romero Academy prioritizes the wellbeing and safety of students and staff.  To this end, the Romero Administration secures the tools and resources to maintain the wellbeing of our community. One of these tools is a high-quality security camera system. The footage of this system is digitally stored over time and may be accessed by the Romero Administrative team. To further ensure the wellbeing of students and staff captured on this footage, Romero Academy does not allow parents or guardians access to the digital footage. If an authorized organization (Child Protective Services, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Police Department) requests access to camera footage through the proper means and channel, Romero Academy cooperates and complies. 

 NO CONTRACT RIGHTS; MODIFICATIONS

This Handbook is not a contract or legally binding document.  Accordingly, nothing contained herein shall establish an obligation by Romero Academy to take any action or refrain from taking any action. Romero Academy may amend the terms herein at any time and from time to time in its  sole and absolute discretion. All such amendments shall be effective upon the same being publicly posted or delivered to you electronically.