From the Handbook



Whenever a child is absent, state law requires that a parent or guardian sign a written excuse for each absence. This note, with the date, reason and signature must be sent to the office on the child’s first day back.

* Legal excuses: absence due to sickness, sickness or death in the family, impassable roads or inclement weather, quarantine, court appearance or attendance at health clinics.

* Illegal excuses: unlawful detention which occurs when a pupil is absent with the knowledge and consent stated or implied of his/her parent, for other than legal reasons, i.e., vacations, shopping, needed at home, caring for a baby, work, no shoes, overslept, etc.

We urge parents to plan vacations, dentist appointments, etc., at times that do not conflict with their child’s learning process. Students do miss out when they are not in class. It is impossible for your child to make up work that is done in collaboration with the others in the class. Such educational processes cannot be replicated. For family vacations, it is our policy to make up the work when the student gets back.

If a student is absent from school, he/she will not be permitted to take part in extracurricular activities that evening. Decisions are made on an individual basis.


Bus Policy

Holy Family School follows the Malone Central School Bus Policy. Misconduct on the bus will be met with disciplinary action. Students who ride buses will not be allowed to leave or enter at another school or in town.


Bus Changes

If there is a permanent change of bus desired, the parent should send a letter to the Principal who will sign it and forward it to the bus garage. At least a 48-hour notice is necessary to implement change.


Latch Key

There is both an AM and PM Latch Key program for students in grades K-5 each school day. This program is run by the Malone Central School District. Registration forms for interested families can be obtained in our HFS Office.


Release of Students

A student may not be released from school to anyone other than the parent, guardian or person on the emergency card without the explicit written permission from the parent or guardian. This permission must state the name of the person to whom the student is released and the date and time this person will report to school. Identification will be required.


Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

Children should not arrive any earlier than 7:00 AM. There is no supervision for students who arrive earlier. When they arrive, they are to go immediately to the Gym. Dismissal is at 2:10 PM. Parents who pick up children should meet them in the school lobby.

If there is a change in the child’s destination after school, a NOTE MUST BE WRITTEN AND SIGNED BY A PARENT OR GUARDIAN. Unless we receive written notification (or a phone call from a parent or guardian, documented by office personnel), the child will follow his/her normal after school routine. Any child who leaves before dismissal for appointments, etc., is to be picked up and signed out in the office.


Emergency Closings

Holy Family closes for inclement weather when the Malone Central School District closes. Someone from HFS will reach you through School Reach. When the Malone Central School District closes for the day, students from surrounding districts are not to come to school. If school closings are due to inclement weather, a School Reach call will be made to families at Holy Family School. Closings are announced on the following local stations: WICY (1490 AM) or Channel 5 WPTZ. The radio station broadcasts a cancellation update at least every 15 minutes.


Unplanned Emergency Closings

In the event, an emergency necessitates early dismissal from school, each child at Holy Family School must have a definite plan to follow ensuring a safe, properly supervised place to go. On these occasions to keep telephone lines open for important communication from officials, telephones will not be available for student use. An emergency plan filled out by parents and kept in the office, will give us instructions as to where your child goes. Every effort will be made to see that every child arrives home sound and safe. A School Reach automated message will be sent out for these occasions.


Breakfast/Lunch Program

Malone Central School District provides meals. All students are invited to participate in the breakfast program. Students desiring breakfast should arrive no later than 7:35 a.m.

A hot lunch is provided at Holy Family School each school day. A menu is sent home to each family as part of the monthly newsletter.

We strongly urge parents who bag lunches for their children to pack nutritious lunches. Sodas will not be allowed in the lunchroom, and we recommend that snacks such as candy bars, etc., be left for after school treats.

Tickets for the week should be purchased on the first day of the week.

Holy Family School does take part in the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. If you feel that your family qualifies for this program, please call the office for the appropriate form.


Field Trip Policy

Holy Family School views field trips as an important component of the curriculum and your child’s education. Prior to attending a field trip off of the school grounds, Holy Family School asks all parents to sign a permission/liability release form. All forms must be completed and submitted before a student leaves the grounds.

Our school welcomes those parents willing to be drivers for a field trip experience. All parents who do opt to drive should be reminded of the School/Diocesan policy in this regard. In the event of a mishap, the driver’s personal insurance policy would be responsible for primary coverage. The Diocesan Insurance plan would cover costs above and beyond the parent’s own policy up to 10 million dollars.


Health Services

Holy Family School is fortunate to have medical services provided by Malone Central School. A registered nurse is available. When she is not in the school a nurse in one of the surrounding public schools is on call. Students in grades 1, 3, and 5 receive a physical each year by the school physician. If your child has received a physical from a family doctor, and you do not wish your child to receive another, please send a completed form to school from the physician.

It is illegal to take or administer medicine during the school day unless a physician authorizes it, in writing. Medication in a prescription bottle should be brought to the office accompanied by a form signed by the doctor and parent. Over the counter medicines (even cough drops) also require a physician’s signature and must be kept in the office.


Head Lice

Head lice infestation has become an increasing concern nationwide. The school nurse does routine, random head checks. Students found to have nits (eggs) in their hair will be sent home for treatment. Siblings and other children who live in the same home will also be checked by nursing staff and sent home if necessary. Before students are allowed back into the classroom, they must have clearance by the school nurse. If you have any concerns or questions, please call the school office.



For the safety of the students and adults working in the building, all visitors are required to report to the office before going to any other part of the building.



New York State provides textbooks for use by the students. These books are very expensive and very costly to replace; therefore, students are asked to keep their books covered. They are responsible for the care of their books and will be asked to pay for the repair or replacement of a damaged book.


Lost and Found

Articles found around the school are placed in a box in the lobby. Parents are encouraged to check this box occasionally for lost articles.



All Catholic families are encouraged to participate in their parishes. Worship as part of your parish community is an integral part of the success of your family, church and school community. Faith is one of the most valuable gifts one can give to a child!

School Masses occur once a month. The dates appear on the monthly calendar as part of the monthly newsletter. Teachers and students plan and participate in the monthly liturgies. We are very fortunate to have several pastors in the area who come to celebrate with us. Please come and join these heartwarming, prayerful celebrations.


Code of Conduct

1. A spirit of Christ-like charity, respect for authority and cooperation are essential elements of the learning environment at Holy Family School. Students are expected to act with courtesy and respect toward one another and toward all members of the staff.*

2. Holy Family School recognizes the need for disciplinary action for behavior which disrupts the educational process of the school or endangers the health, safety or morals of any student A student who chooses to disrupt the good order of the school or to violate a policy or regulation will be accountable for those choices. Appropriate discipline is within the discretion of the Principal and may end in the expulsion of the student or denial of re-admittance to Holy Family School. The appropriate civil authorities will deal with any illegal activity.

3. A drug offense includes the use, sale, or possession by students of the following substances within the school’s jurisdiction: tobacco, alcohol, over-the-counter drugs or prescription drugs, illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, etc. or paraphernalia and imitation controlled substances (look-alikes) on the school premises or within the school’s jurisdiction





*Students who are in good standing may attend dances, parties, and special events. If a student is failing 2 or more subjects or has had disciplinary problems may be denied attendance.

For complete information on the Diocesan Code of Conduct contact the office.



Any act that endangers or violates the health, mental or physical, safety or morals of any student may constitute harassment. Holy Family School does not tolerate any behavior that shows disrespect for another person, whether it is physical, verbal or nonverbal. Specific steps on how to handle such situations are outlined in the Department of Education, Diocese of Ogdensburg Harassment Policy. A copy of this policy can be found in the school office.


Educational Technology Policy

Acceptable Use Policy for Holy Family School Internet Connection, Classroom and Computer Room Use

Computers are used to support learning and to enhance instruction. Computer networks allow people to interact with many computers. The Internet, a network of networks, allows people to interact with hundreds of thousands of networks and computers. It is a general policy that all computers used through Holy Family School are to be used in a responsible, efficient, ethical and legal manner. Failure to adhere to the policy and guidelines for the use of Holy Family School Computers and Internet Connection, as described below, will result in the revocation of access privileges.


Unacceptable uses of Holy Family School Computers and Internet Connection include:

1. Violating the conditions of the New York State Education Code dealing with student’s right to privacy

2. Using profanity, obscenity or other language that may be offensive to other users.


Other considerations:

1. The person who signs on to use Holy Family School Computers and Internet Connection is responsible for its proper use.

2. Because access to the Internet provides connections to other computer systems located all over the world, user (and parents of user who are students) must understand that neither the Holy Family School or any staff member controls the content of the information available on these systems. Some of the information is controversial and, sometimes may be offensive. Holy Family School does not condone the use of such materials.

3. Holy Family has a general policy that an adult monitor will be in the room during any access on the Internet.

4. Students will have other resources available to research projects or assignments.


Rules and Regulations:

1. The Internet account is free to users

2. It is a privilege to receive access

3. A responsible user of the Internet may use the account as long as the user is a staff member or student of Holy Family School.


A Responsible User:

1. May not use the Internet for any illegal purpose.

2. May not use impolite or abusive language.

3. May not violate the rules of common sense or etiquette.

4. May not send or receive copyrighted material without permission


NOTE: Holy Family School system operators will have access to all users’ files.

(We can check to see where students have been surfing)


By using Holy Family School Computers and the Internet Connection you acknowledge that you:

1. Understand the rules and regulations of Holy Family School Computers and the Internet Connection acceptable use policy.

2. Realize that, if rules are violated, your Holy Family School privileges will be canceled.



Read the Holy Family School Computers and Internet Connection Acceptable Use Policy: I have read the Acceptable Use Policy. If I follow the rules, I may use Holy Family Computers and Internet Connection. If I do not follow the rules in the Acceptable Use Policy, I understand that my privileges will be taken away from me. I understand that interpretation and enforcement of this policy are the responsibility of the Principal.

When you sign the acknowledgment form on the sign-off sheet at registration, you are affirming your cooperation with this policy.



Read the Holy Family School Computers and Internet Connection Acceptable Use Policy: When using computers and the Internet, I realize that students may read material that might be controversial or offensive, and I agree to assist the school in seeing that my child avoids such material. Holy Family School has my permission to give computer and Internet privileges to my child. I understand that my child may keep these privileges as long as the procedures described in the Acceptable Use Policy are followed. I further agree to take full responsibility for any acts, which my child could be held liable for in regards to his/her use of the Internet and or computers.

When you sign the acknowledgment form on the sign-off sheet at registration, you are affirming your cooperation with this policy.


Lockers and Desks

Each middle school student is assigned a locker and a lock. The locks MUST be left on the lockers when the lockers are not in use. The combination is confidential to the student and the homeroom teachers. The school desks and lockers are the property of Holy Family School and are subject to inspection by school officials without notice. If such a search discloses any evidence indicating a violation of a school rule, it may be used in connection with the imposition of a disciplinary penalty, and/or police notification.


Homework Policy

Homework is assigned routinely by Holy Family teachers in grades 2-8 to reinforce what has already been taught in the classroom. It is intended as a positive way to help our students learn important concepts and master vital skills. Parents are encouraged to support their children by providing adequate time and rest and by checking the completeness of their work on a regular basis. It is the general policy to give the following amounts of homework:

  • 2nd Grade – 20 minutes
  • 3rd Grade – 30 minutes
  • 4th Grade – 40 minutes, etc.

(The nature of the student’s work habits and speed should be considered.)


Report Cards

Report Cards are sent home four times a year. Both academic and personal development are considered on the reports. The grade given on the report card for each marking period is a combined result of testing achievement, class work, class participation and homework assignments.


Grading System



Middle School Numerical Grades are given for all subject areas. Below 69 – not passing.
Middle School Honor Roll posted quarterly.


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parents will be notified by the school regarding the date and time of the formal Parent-Teacher Conference, which is held at the end of the first and 3rd quarters. Report Cards will be given during that first and third quarter conferences. These conferences provide opportunities for communications between parent and the teacher thus enabling both to express the progress of the child.

Informal parent-teacher conferences are to be arranged by either the teacher or parent/guardian as the individual need arises. Parents are requested to notify the teacher by note or phone call to arrange a convenient appointment time.


Standardized Testing

Holy Family School participates in the standardized testing programs recommended by the New York State Department of Education and the Ogdensburg Diocese Department of Education. The results of all these tests are shared with the parents and students, when feasible, and are used to help plan effective programs.



Graduations take place after Pre-K, Kindergarten and Eighth Grade. The classroom teacher, administrator and parents plan the graduations. These simple, festive occasions celebrate the accomplishments of the children, their teachers, staff and the entire school family.


Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Consistent with provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, official records, files and data directly related to their children are available to parents. The school abides by the provisions of the Buckley Amendment with respect to the rights of non-custodial parents. In the absence of a court order to the contrary, the school will provide the non-custodial parent with access to the academic records and other school related information regarding the child. It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide the school with an official copy of the court order.

To examine records at the school, a parent/guardian must submit a written request to the principal 24 hours prior to reviewing the records. The principal will release the records to the parent or guardian for study in the office. These records may not be taken from the room.

The principal or authorized delegate shall be present while the records are being examined to help interpret test scores and answer questions.

Such records are confidential and may not be released or made available to persons other than parents/guardians without written permission of such parents/guardians.


Gym Days

Children will receive their gym schedules on the first day of school. Written requests to have their child excused from physical education class may be approved by the principal in consultation with the school nurse. An excuse from a physician is required for absence of more than one class.


Gym Uniforms

K-2 – Navy Sweats/Shorts Uniform shirt
Grades 3-5 – White tees, Navy shorts



It is the expectation that the children out each day that the weather permits. In the winter, it is important that the children have mittens, hats, ski pants and warm coats.


Peanut Allergies

Though Holy Family School is not a totally peanut-free school, peanut products are not served at lunch time and families are notified if there is a child in the classroom that has peanut allergies. Our families are urged to take that into consideration when preparing their child’s lunch, snacks, etc. We desperately try to make each classroom safe for each child, especially those with health threatening allergies.


Birthday Parties

Parents are welcome to bring in cupcakes or a birthday cake as a treat for the class when it is their child’s birthday. The long-standing policy of the school is hat invitations to birthday parties are not to be passed out in the classroom UNLESS EVERY CHILD is invited.


Ways to Help

Campbell Soup Labels – By saving the labels from the Campbell Soup Company and sending them to school, you are helping the school purchase items for the classroom. Labels from Franco-American, Pace Picante Sauces, Pepperidge Farm, Prego, Swanson, V8 Juices and Vlasic products are redeemable.