School Handbook

GSC Handbook

GSC Logo-Full Color-No Name Final

Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School Parent/Student Handbook

Let it be it known to every parent/guardian ~

Christ is the reason for Good Shepherd Catholic School– The unseen but ever present Teacher
in its classes;
The model of its faculty, and
The inspiration of its students.

**** *

Good Shepherd Catholic School MISSION STATEMENT

The mission statement of Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School is rooted in God, Scholarship, Community and Service. We model the Gospel values of faith, hope and love to lead our students to a deep and meaningful relationship with God. We challenge our students to value Scholarship as a life-long love of learning. We lay the foundation for our students to become caring, responsible membersoftheglobalCommunity. Weleadourstudentstoreachouttoothersthroughactsofcharity and Service in our parishes and neighborhoods.

**** *


School………………………..215-886-4782 School Fax………………….215-517-6708 Business Manager……..215-884-1591

School: Email… Advancement Office…215-886-0126

The school office is open before, during and after the regular school day.

**** *

Meetings may be arranged by notifying the individual teacher. These meetings must be held outside the school hours. Parents desiring conferences with any teacher are asked to make this request in writing so the records can be reviewed and be available at the time of the meeting (at least 24 hours in advance).

If a problem should arise between a pupil and a teacher, the parent should first approach the teacher. After the parent has met with the teacher, the parent can request an interview with the principal.

**** *


Good Shepherd Catholic School is an accredited elementary school according to the standards set forth by the Commission on Elementary Schools and the Middle States Association. An accredited school effectively advances the quality of the educational experiences offered to students.

**** *


Communication is an essential tool at Good Shepherd Catholic School. It is vital that open communication between home and school be maintained.

All communication envelopes are sent home on a weekly basis in a large envelope. Please look for this envelope which will be carried home by the eldest child; remove contents, sign the envelope, and return it to school on the following day. Please contact the Main Office whenever an envelope is lost or misplaced.

A tentative school calendar is distributed in June for the following year. A monthly calendar of activities is available in hard copy and on the school’s website. Periodic newsletters will be posted on the web site. All communications should be kept on hand for reference.



First Bell……………………..7:50 A.M.
Students in grades K – 8 are considered late if not entering school with their class.


Pre-K………………… 11:30 – 11:50 Kindergarten …………….11:30 – 11:50 Grade 1 to 4………………12:00 – 12:20 Grades 5 – 8……………….12:20 – 12:40



12:20 – 12:40 12:00 – 12:20

Grades K – 8………………First Bell: 2:30 P.M. Second Bell: 2:35 P.M.


Students living 1 mile or more from school and age 5 or older receive bus transportation to and from school provided by the township in which they reside. Students under the age of 5 are not permitted to ride the bus according to the Township regulations.

Students who ride bicycles to school should wear a helmet. Students must walk the bicycle when on school property and lock it securely for the day. The school assumes no responsibility for bicycles.



Admission is open to all active members of Queen of Peace Parish, Saint John of the Cross Parish and Holy Martyrs Parish.

The cut-off date for entering school is September 1 Catholic Students

  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • *  Immunization card indicating immunizations
  • *  A Baptismal Certificate to verify date of Baptism (This is not necessary if the child was baptized inone of the three parishes named above)
  • *  Students transferring to Good Shepherd must bring a current report card before they will be

admitted to the school

Non-Catholic Students

  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card

* Immunization card indicating immunizations
Registration fee is due at the time of registration and is non-refundable.

**** *


Our parish school admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at our school. Similar policies apply to the school staff. Our school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administrations of its educational policies, its admission policies, or in any school-administered program.

**** *


Incoming Pre-K and Kindergarten registration is held by appointment in. Students in other grades who are new to Good Shepherd must contact the school office for a registration appointment. See Admission Policy for requirements.

All students returning to Good Shepherd must re-registered. Re-Registration forms are sent home early in the school year via the oldest child in each family. The completed forms and fees are returned to school. Registration and Re-Registration fees are non-refundable.

**** * TUITION

The tuition is determined by the Governing Board in consultation with the Finance Committee. Members of the Governing Board include the Pastor, Principal and Business Manager.

All tuition collection is handled by a tuition management service. No tuition payments are accepted at school.

In the event of unforeseen financial difficulties, please contact the school business manager.

Withdrawal or transfer prior to September 1 – All tuition paid to date will be refunded. The registration fee is non-refundable.

Withdrawal or transfer after September 1 – Refunds will be pro-rated based on the day of withdrawal. If a child attends class even one day into the month, tuition is charged for the full month. The registration fee is non-refundable.

**** *


A physical examination by a physician is required for all incoming Kindergarten, 6th Grade children and students coming from another state.

Dental examination is required for Kindergarten, 3rd, and 7th Grade students, and students coming from another state.

Scoliosis Exam is recommended for 6th and 7th Grade children.
All children must have an immunization certificate completed and on file at school.

No one is to be admitted to school for even one day, unless fully immunized. If requirements are not met the child will be excluded from school until s/he meets the requirement. This is a State of Pennsylvania Law.


Each catholic student is expected to attend Mass every Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

In school, the Eucharistic Liturgy is celebrated each month. During Advent and Lent each class attends 8 o’clock mass on a selected weekday. Aside from this, liturgies or para-liturgies are held on various occasions to celebrate a particular holy day or special event.

Students have the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation with their class. Students are encouraged to avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation any Saturday, whenever they feel the need or desire to do so.

**** *

Schools, upon proper notification, allow parents or legal guardians to review the child’s complete record in the presence of the principal or his/her delegate.

If the custodial parent can show a court order denying access to the non-custodial parent, then the school may deny access. Otherwise, the records must be made available to both parents.

**** *

The school is not responsible for supervision of students before or after the times stated above, and the school is not liable for any injuries or accidents which may occur. This is required by insurance coverage and is done for the safety of the children. Parents are advised, therefore, to follow the times as stated above.

**** * CARES

The Good Shepherd CARES Program is provided for those children needing supervision after school (2:35 – 6 P.M.). This program is available every school day. The program consists of relaxation, study and recreation. Proper behavior is required. The fee is paid through the tuition management service.

**** *


Children who ride the bus will be dismissed first. Walkers and car riders are dismissed next. Teachers are assigned to supervise each line.

For safety, all car riders should be dropped off in the church parking lot. At dismissal, cars will be in lines on the school parking lot. Parents are requested to follow directives when entering and leaving the parking lot.


Textbooks are provided through government funding. All textbooks and workbooks are to be covered at all times. Every child must carry schoolbooks to and from school in a book bag. The student must pay for any book that is lost, destroyed, damaged, or deliberately defaced.


Each child admitted to the school must attend class daily in order to attain mastery of basic skills. Students must complete all assignments, and must maintain a 70% passing average in each subject. No child will receive a failure in any subject if judged to be working at full potential.


Computer Literacy and enrichment are offered to students in Grades Pre-K to Grade 8.

**** *

Students in Grade 5 may qualify for the Honors Math Program. The requirements are as follows: v CSI 125 or above

v Terra Nova Math Score 90% or higher
v Above average performance in Math throughout Grade 4 v Teacher recommendation

The goals of this program are as follows:
v To allow the students to accelerate to a level at least one year beyond the designated

chronological age
v To assure completion of Algebra 1 by end of 8th grade
v To provide the students continued participation in a diocesan school

**** *


A portion of Music Time is devoted to preparation of Music for Liturgies, Prayer Services and other school presentations. During the first two trimesters, concentration is on Music Theory, such as note reading, timing, and music terminology. The last trimester presents classical compositions and composers, and listening to and discussing today’s music.

**** * LIBRARY

Under the guidance of a qualified librarian, each student has the opportunity to visit the library at least once a week. As the student advances, each grade receives instruction in library and research stills appropriate to the grade level. Teachers and their classes always have access to the library for activities pertaining to class instruction.

New methods of information retrieval involving computer catalogs, non-print encyclopedias, and Internet research are now part of the library curriculum. The library has a complete computerized system listing its holdings and its organizational processes.


Homework is assigned as a strengthening device and as an extension of the learning experience in school. Parents are to supervise but never do the homework of the child. Time allotments for homework are as follows:

Grades 1 & 2 about 30 minutes Grades 3 & 4 about 60 minutes

Grades 5 & 6 about 90 minutes Grades 7 & 8 about 120 minutes
These time allotments are inclusive of written and study homework. If your child is absent, the responsibility for completing homework still exists. The assignments should be completed in a timely fashion. Incomplete homework has an adverse effect on the student’s grade.


Report cards are issued three times a year. Marks are based on tests, class work, homework, projects, class participation and teacher judgment. Parents will have access to their child’s grades at any time through an online grading program. Progress reports are issued mid-way in each trimester.

**** *


Terra Nova testing for achievement and aptitude takes place in all grades. This testing program is selected and required by the Archdiocesan Office for Catholic Education. Parents receive a copy of the test results. These standardized tests have no bearing on report card grades.

The results of the Terra Nova testing are core components in determining eligibility of students for the Honors Math program in Grades 5 through 8. The results of Grade 7 testing and the student’s final 7th grade general average determine a student’s application for the Neumann Scholars Program. Students who qualify for this program must submit the necessary requirements. The recipients of the Neumann scholarship are awarded partial or full scholarships to an Archdiocesan high school of their choice.



Students in Grades 7 and 8 gain admission into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) by meeting the following requirements:

  • Cumulative average of 90 or above
  • Minimum of 10 hours of service
  • Demonstration of leadership
  • High moral characterAWARDSPerfect Attendance Certificates1. Student must be present on each instructional day.
    2. Students must present a note for any excused lateness.
    3. The students will be excused for absences due to death in immediate family.Academic HonorsGrades 4 – 8

    In order to be eligible for First Honors a student must have a 93 General Average for all Major Subjects and no mark lower than 90. In Minor Subjects (Art, Computers, Music, and Library Skills) no mark lower than a “3” may be attained.

    In order to be eligible for Second Honors a student must have an 88 General Average for all Major Subjects and no mark lower than an 85. In Minor Subjects (Art, Computers, Music, and Library), no mark lower than a “3” may be attained.

    **** *


  1. It may be advisable to repeat a grade, if a child shows evidence of emotional immaturity, or lack of ability in major subject areas.
  2. If a student demonstrates a failing average in two or three major subject areas, a conference will be held with parents to plan a future academic program for the student.**** *M C I U – REMEDIAL ASSISTANCE

The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit provides a counselor one day a week for all children. Referrals are made regarding individual counseling by the faculty and administration as well as through parental request. Students experiencing academic difficulty are referred and then observed by the counselor to determine if a psychological battery of testing is warranted. MCIU then schedules a testing session by a certified psychologist. A speech teacher is available to help with a particular speech problem.

A remedial language, reading, and math teacher provides small group instruction each day.


The Sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation are usually received during the elementary school life of the child. Because of the vital importance of the sacraments in the lives of all Catholics, guidance is offered to parents as primary educators in the faith. Helping parents prepare their children to celebrate the sacraments is a high priority of Good Shepherd School and the religious education staff. Children enrolled in Good Shepherd Catholic School will receive the sacraments in their respective parishes.

Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist:
1. Registry Form stating required information
2. Verification of Baptism
3. Rite of Presentation – formal acceptance of candidates by the Church
4. Parental attendance at the general sacramental meeting, family group meetings and retreat day.

1. Registry Form stating required information, including sponsor and Confirmation name. 2. Verification of Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist
3. Rite of Enrollment – formal acceptance of candidates by the Church
4. Sponsor eligibility letter
5. Completion of 20 hours service project
6. Retreat before Confirmation

7. Parental attendance at Rite of Enrollment, Sacramental meeting and retreat day.

8. Sponsor attendance at one Sacramental meeting and retreat day.

It is expected that the candidates for each sacrament participate in the full year- long program of catechesis offered by the religious education staff. In addition, parents are to assist their children in the various steps of the process.

**** * ABSENCE

Success in school depends on the regular attendance of the student.

School Laws classify unexcused absences illegal except for the following reasons: illness of the pupil, death in the family, quarantine and “exceptional urgent reasons” that affect the child.

Any pattern of suspicious absence will be reported to the Main Office. Consistent suspicious patterns, if not resolved, may result in retention in the grade or dismissal from school. Such patterns include repeated single day absences that particularly fall on Mondays, Fridays, or Test Days. If a student is truant, it will result in immediate suspension. Absence in an excess of 20 days will be reviewed by the administration and an excess of 30 days may cause possible retention. If a student has been absent for more than one-half of a report period, the teacher may not assign marks for that period. “Prolonged Absence” will be inserted instead of the grades.

Pleasure trips while school is in session are not excused absences, and are discouraged.

When the student returns to school after an absence, a note will be submitted to the teacher. This note will include the reason for the absence, and dates that the student was absent from school.

In case appointments must be made during school hours, a note stating the time of the appointment must be sent to the office prior to the appointment.

No student may leave school during school hours unless accompanied by parent or guardian. Students leaving school for any reason must be met by a parent in the main office. The parent must sign a release form.


For your child’s safety and well-being, we ask that you call the School Office by 9:00 A.M. on the day of your child’s absence. It is not necessary to call after the first day of a prolonged illness. If you are requesting homework for your child, a call must be received by 9:00 A.M. in order to afford the teacher ample time to gather necessary books and instructions. Homework may be picked up at the Office after 2:00 P.M.

. *****


A hot lunch is provided by the Archdiocesan Nutritional Development Corporation. Students who wish to participate, may order for the month on the day specified. Orders and money must be received by the stated deadline.
In fairness to all the students, we respectfully request that NO fast food meals (i.e., Happy Meals) be brought to school at by a parent.

If it is necessary to drop off a forgotten lunch, it must be left with the office personnel who will see to its delivery.

**** *

The children are seated at the tables according to their homeroom. Lunch monitors are assigned to supervise the children and assist them if needed. An overall atmosphere of calm and good order is expected at all times.

Students are expected to:
– remain in assigned seats – leave table in order
– be respectful and courteous – dismiss in order and silence

All students are excused to the lavatory before and after lunch under the supervision of a teacher. A child who stays for lunch may not leave the school grounds for any reason.


Children will not be excused for early dismissal for any reason with the exception of medical appointments that could not be scheduled at any other time. The parent must sign the “Early Dismissal Register” at the time that the student is picked up at the Main Office.
A note must be sent to the homeroom teacher and approved in the office for the early dismissal.


Teachers will mark students late if they enter school after the first bell. Parents are asked to notify the School of any emergencies that could be honored and excused. Habitual unexcused lateness (more than 3 times per trimester) will result in a formal notification by the principal.

Once a student enters the school grounds, he/she may not leave for any reason without permission.

**** *


School emergency closing/opening is dependent on Abington and Upper Dublin School Districts. These districts provide transportation for the majority of our student population.

In case of emergency closing:
* A phone message is sent to all parents regarding closure or delayed opening.

1. Listen to KYW, or 6ABC for the school number 419

2. Visit the School website [].
3. When you hear “All Parochial Schools in Philadelphia are closed” it does not include the suburbs. Listen for the school number – 419.


At the beginning of each school year, “Emergency Forms” are sent home for each child. These forms are kept on file in the Main Office. It is imperative to have this information in case an emergency arises and the parent or emergency contact person must be reached. If contact information changes, please advise the office immediately.

Please provide an emergency contact in case of sickness or unexpected school closing. In cases where the parent cannot be reached, the emergency contact person will be there for the child.

Emergency permission is given and placed on file at the beginning of the school year. In the event that your child is seriously hurt and needs immediate attention, permission is given to take the student to a hospital and contact the parent as soon as possible


We at Good Shepherd believe discipline is a necessary reflection of the philosophy of a Catholic School. Good Shepherd Catholic School nurtures a positive sense of self-discipline in order to provide an environment conducive to learning. Effective discipline has as its end the development of students who respect themselves, other persons and those in authority. As a general rule, the classroom teacher manages the discipline issues of the class and enlists the help of the administrator in cases involving serious or repeated misbehavior.

Fair disciplinary policies are essential educational processes that should include procedures that are more helpful than punitive, yet include the necessary provisions that protect the common good of the school community. As part of any disciplinary program, it is important that a concise and clear policy be established governing student suspensions and dismissals.

Formal suspension is a serious disciplinary action taken by school authorities against a student whose actions constitute a major disciplinary infraction and are contrary to the good order of the entire school community. Suspension is a major step toward possible dismissal. The administrator must inform the pastor when a student has been suspended.

Procedures to be followed in student suspensions:
• Only the administrators and/or pastors have the right to suspend a

student. (Suspensions do not occur as a result of accumulated minor

infractions – such as chewing gum, incomplete homework, etc.)

  • The usual length of suspensions is from one to three days. All suspensions are the responsibility of the parent(s) and will be served out-of-school only.
  • The infraction for which a suspension is imposed must be major.
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student must be informed by phone andin writing of the school’s action.
  • A signed agreement by the parent(s)/guardian(s) and an incident report of the suspension are kept on file in the school office.Procedures to be followed in student dismissals:
  • Ordinarily a minimum of two suspensions during the academic year may lead to a student dismissal. In certain incidents, the seriousness of the offense may warrant immediate dismissal.
  • The pastors alone have the authority to dismiss a student from the school.
  • The student is given an indefinite suspension pending a thorough investigation. The dismissal from the school should not be formalized until the investigation is complete, allowing time for discussion, inquiry and evaluation by the administrators and pastors.
  • The administrator(s) and pastor(s) must contact the Office of Catholic Education about the case.
  • Parents are informed in writing of the decision and state the reason therein.
  • The school will keep all documentation concerning the dismissal.
  • Students who are dismissed may apply to the pastor for readmissionafter one full year.The following are considered major disciplinary infractions. However, this list is not limited to the following:Ø Immorality
    Ø Gross defiance Ø Truancy
  • Ø  Unauthorized leaving of school grounds or school sponsored events
  • Ø  Theft
  • Ø  Vandalism
  • Ø  Conduct failures
  • Ø  Possession and/or use of weapons
  • Ø  Verbal, physical or sexual harassment
  • Ø  Threats against the faculty, staff, volunteers, students oradministration
  • Ø  Possession and/or use of illegal substancesIn some circumstances, the seriousness of the offense may incur immediate dismissal. USE OF PERSONAL ELECTRONIC DEVICESThe use of cell phones and personal electronic devices is prohibited on school property without the permission of a recognized school authority. Violation of this rule may lead to an elimination of the privilege of carrying the device on school property.**** *DRESS CODEA student’s appearance, self -respect and performance have a tendency to complement each other. We encourage the students to take pride in their appearance, which includes neatness and cleanliness.

    Girls -Winter Uniform:
    Grade Kindergarten through Grade 5 – Jumper: Maroon plaid (to the knee), white blouse (Peter Pan collar), maroon cardigan, maroon knee socks or tights

    Grades 6 through 8 – Maroon plaid skirt (to the knee), white oxford blouse, maroon V-neck sweater, maroon knee socks or tights

    Jewelry may include a watch, a ring, a religious medal and one pair of post earrings. Make-up and nail polish are not permitted.

    BOYS – Winter Uniform:

    Grade Kindergarten through Grade 8 – Khaki trousers, white shirt, sweater vest, brown belt and  maroon tie.

    Socks: No sport or tennis socks

    Hair must be neatly trimmed and kept at a suitable length – not over the collar or in the eyes. Earrings are NOT permitted.


Boys: Black or Dark Brown Sketcher-type shoes Girls: Tan canvas Sketcher or Bass-type shoes


The summer uniform may be worn from September 1st until October 15, and from April 15 until the end of the school year.


Grades K –8: Monogrammed maroon short-sleeve polo shirt, khaki shorts and belt.*

Grades 6 –8: May also wear the monogrammed maroon short sleeve polo shirt and the plaid skirt


Grades K – 8 Monogrammed maroon short sleeve polo shirt with khaki pants or khaki walking shorts and belt.*

* White sneakers with white crew socks are worn with this option.


Winter: Gray sweat suit with school emblem, all white sneakers with white crew socks Summer: Gray “T” shirt and maroon shorts with school emblem, all white sneakers with white crew socks

All students are to be in complete uniform every day. If there is an irregularity or emergency and for some reason the uniform cannot be worn, a written excuse must be presented to the homeroom teacher and forwarded to the Main Office.

The authorized uniform provider for Good Shepherd Catholic School is:

Flynn & O’Hara

Springhouse Plaza 901 North Bethlehem Pike

Ambler, PA 19477


**** *


Field trips, especially of an educational nature, may be taken at the discretion of the teacher and with permission of the Principal. Adult supervision and written permission of parent or guardian is required. Permission slips are to be completed by the parent and sent back to school.

If the slip is not returned, a child may not take part in the trip. A class trip is a privilege, which a teacher may take away if conduct warrants it.

**** *
One of the greatest dangers in a school building is fire. Therefore, students are urged to be safety

conscious and follow the fire regulations posted in each classroom exactly. Absolute silence and moving quickly but no running is stressed. Students remain outside in a given area until the signal is given to return.



A child who is too ill to remain in class, reports to the Main Office. If it is necessary that the child be sent home, parents or the emergency contact person will be notified through the school office. The child will leave under the care of the parent or emergency contact. The designated adult must sign the “Early Dismissal Register.”

No student may possess, administer or distribute medication – prescription or non-prescription. If non-prescription medicine must be given during school hours, a written note must be submitted to the teacher and the over the counter medication must be kept in the Principal’s Office.

Prescription medications may be administered with written permission from the parent or guardian. The medication must be in a properly labeled container from the pharmacy…name of the student, name of the medication, and instructions. Medicine not in its proper container will not be administered to the child.

Any student registering a temperature of 100 or having evidence of a rash or other visible symptoms of illness will be sent home.

HEAD LICE: The presence of head lice is a fact that can happen in any school. If detected, the student will be sent home and the parents notified. Please notify the Office if there is any suspicion or confirmation of head lice.

**** *


Parents must write a request giving reason for the transfer, their new address, the name of the school to which the child is transferring and sign a form giving permission for the records to be sent to the new school.


1. If you are moving, notify the office of the new address and the expected last day of attendance. The student will be issued a transfer card on the last day he/she attends school.

2. A Release of Records From must be signed by the parents before school records will be mailed directly to the new school as soon as we receive heir request.