Board For Christian Education Handbook

Board For Christian Education Handbook

St. Paul Lutheran School

Utica, Nebraska

I.       Introduction

A.    Statement of purpose and goals

The ultimate objective of Christian education is to “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.  With this training the children will increase their knowledge and understanding of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.  They will also recognize God the Father as the Creator and Preserver of life, God the Son as their Savior from sin, death, and the Devil, and God the Holy Spirit as the Source and Strengthener of faith and new life.  We pray that the children are led closer to Jesus as a Friend here on earth – One with whom they feel free to share both joys and sorrows.  We also pray that St. Paul Lutheran School can help the children recognize themselves as sinners who have forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  In their forgiveness the children will be free to lead lives pleasing to their Savior and Friend.  We believe that St. Paul Lutheran School can aid the parents in this important task.

We believe that the basic skills of reading, mathematics, writing, spelling, and grammar are necessary for effective learning.  Consequently, a program will be maintained in our school challenging students to reach their potential in these skill areas.  The program of instruction should provide for a smooth transition from elementary school, to high school, and into future academic and life situations enabling the student to become useful citizens while remaining God fearing individuals.

B.     The curriculum

The curriculum of St. Paul Lutheran School complies with standards of the State of Nebraska and the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  Religion is taught not only as a subject but in such a manner that the children may apply it to their every day living having it become an integral part of their lives.  Instruction is also provided in reading, language arts, composition, mathematics, social studies, science, health, physical education, art, computers, and music.  We strive to make Christ and His Word the center of all school activities.

C.     Administration

St. Paul Lutheran School is a parochial school and is supported by the members of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Utica, St. John Lutheran Church of Waco, and Zion Lutheran Church of Thayer, all of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  The administration of the school lies with the Voters’ Assembly of St. Paul Lutheran Church.  Article VI section 6.1 of the constitution states, “The Voters’ Assembly shall be the governing body of this congregation and shall be empowered to administer and manage all affairs.  The establishment and conduct of all organizations and societies within the congregation or related directly to it shall be subject to the approval and supervision of the Voters’ Assembly.” A Board of Education has been established by the Voters’ Assembly to carry out the objectives set down by the congregation in regard to Christian education.  This board consists of three members elected by the Voters’ Assembly for three year terms.  Each member is eligible for one re-election.  After serving six years, an office must be relinquished by the member for one year before again being eligible for reelection.  (St. Paul Lutheran Church Constitution By-Laws, section 15.3).  Zion Lutheran Church of Thayer, Nebraska and St. John Lutheran Church of Waco, Nebraska each provide one voting member to the Board of Education.  The principal and the pastors are advisory members of the Board of Education. All major changes in the program or policies of the school are carried out only with the approval of the Board of Education and/or the Voters’ Assembly.

Immediate supervision of the school rests with the principal.  He, with the help of fellow faculty members, implements the policies of the Board of Education and the Voters’ Assembly.

II.    Responsibilities of the Board of Education as stated in the Operational Handbook of the       Constitution

The duties of the Education Board are:

1.      To be responsible for all phases of the Christian day school.

To this end, each Board member shall have the following duties:

a.       First Year:  Member-at-Large, Memorial Committee.

b.      Second Year:  Secretary-Treasurer, Endowment Fund

c.       Third Year:  Chairman

2.      To direct the activities of the faculty of the Christian day school, including periodic review of their duties.

3.      To see that the students are thoroughly instructed in the Word of God, conforming to the confessions of the Lutheran Church as subscribed to by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and to maintain academic requirements as set forth by the Nebraska State Department of Education through standardized testing.

4.      To prepare an annual budget for consideration by the Church Council and Voters and to submit an annual report to the congregation including income, the cost of operation, cost per student, etc.

5.      To purchase, within its budget, necessary materials and equipment.  All purchases above the annual budget and non-budget items must be presented to the Council for recommendation to the Voters’ Assembly.

6.      To annually review salaries of teachers and all other school personnel and make appropriate recommendations.

7.      To make recommendations to the Trustees as far as maintenance of the school property, keeping it in good repair, and any special seasonal work that may be deemed necessary.

8.      To supervise the school lunch program and make appropriate recommendations.

9.      Pending Voter approval, to obtain names of possible candidates for the position of called teacher in the Christian day school as needs arise and interview such persons as to their suitability for the position.  Contracts for non-tenured teachers shall be reported to the Council.

III.  Additional responsibilities of the Board of Education

1.  Attend monthly board meetings.

2.  Keep an up-to-date policy handbook and review this handbook yearly.

3.   To see that good discipline and order are maintained in the school.

4.    Assist the pastor and teachers in promoting Christian education.

5.  See that accurate records are kept for all students.

6.  Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional, and physical health and welfare of the called workers, other staff members, and the students.

7.  Establish fees: book/registration, hot lunch, milk/juice, etc.

8.  The secretary will take attendance and prepare written minutes of all meetings for each member, the principal, and the pastors.

9.  The chairman or his designated representative shall give reports to the voters’ assembly and the church counsel.  He or his designate shall represent the Board of Education at eighth grade graduation.

10.  Organize and serve refreshments at kindergarten graduation.

11.  Organize and serve at the school/church picnic which is usually on the same day as eighth grade graduation.

12.  When a student transfers to another school for reasons other than moving out of the community or graduating from the eighth grade, then the chairman of the Board of Education or his designate will contact the family to discuss with them their motivation for the transfer.

13.  Meet with the principal and any nonmember family that wishes to enroll their child(ren) at St. Paul Lutheran School.

14.  Conduct an annual evaluation of the Principal and his duties.

IV.  The office of minister of education

A.  God has decreed that the Church should carry out its functions not only in private, individual actions and speaking, but also corporately by selecting individuals who meet God’s criteria and whom He then places into the office of public ministry.

B.  The offices of teacher and principal are auxiliary to the office of the public ministry.  They are conferred by God through calls of the Church which place individuals under special obligation for which they are accountable to God and to those who have called them.  It is a public ministry, that is, it is carried out on behalf of the Church.  Those who hold such offices by virtue of a call are doing service that is required by God in the extension of His kingdom.

C.     Members of the congregation are to receive the teachers as servants of the Word, to honor and love them as such, to keep their children in true Christian submission to their rule and training, and to support the work of the teachers among us with faithful assistance and prayer.  Members are also obligated to render the discharge of our teachers’ duties pleasant for them by peaceable conduct and in every other possible way, to encourage them by word and deed, to aid them in the maintenance of Christian discipline in school, and to provide for their maintenance according to the ability of the congregation.

D.    Rules governing teachers:

1.      Each teacher should be faithful in his/her use of Word and Sacrament.

2.      Each teacher should have his/her own “house in order” as a means of witnessing to Christ’s Lordship in his/her own personal affairs.

3.      Each teacher is to strive to be a productive, caring, sharing member of the educational team, and show Christian love to students, fellow teachers, and administrators.

4.      Each teacher is to minister to the families of the students entrusted to him/her as the opportunity arises.

5.      Each teacher is directly responsible to the Principal and Board of Education and will carry out all mutually-agreed-upon responsibilities.

6.      Each teacher will cooperate closely with the Principal and Pastor in coordinating and executing the school curriculum and activities.

7.      Each teacher will hold a current Nebraska teaching certificate.

8.      Each full time teacher will hold a Lutheran Teacher Diploma or will be working toward his or her Colloquy to receive this diploma.

9.      Each teacher will strive to insure a quality education through careful lesson planning and evaluation.

10.  Each teacher should be at the school from 7:50 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.  If a special need arises to arrive late or leave early, the Principal must be informed of this need.

11.  Each teacher should wear neat, clean, and appropriate clothing.

12.  Each teacher should attend all meetings required by the Board of Education.

13.  Each teacher should attend the annual Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Nebraska District Teachers’ Conference.

14.  Each teacher should function as a resource person for the entire congregation in the area of Christian Education.

15.  Each teacher should grow professionally by participating in some educational organizations and by taking formal course work.

16.  Each teacher should render such services in the community which time and ability permit.

17.  Each teacher should never unlawfully possess, use, or distribute illicit drugs and alcohol.  (This type of behavior exhibits a scandalous lifestyle and can result in removal from office as outlined in Article V section 5.2 of the Constitution of St. Paul Lutheran Church.  This type of behavior will also be referred to appropriate law enforcement agencies).

18.  Each teacher is to have all absences approved by the Principal and/or Board of Education.

E.  Duties of Principal

1. The Principal should be faithful in his use of Word and Sacrament.

2. He should have his house in order as a means of witnessing to Christ’s Lordship in his own personal affairs.

3. He should be a good steward of time, talents, and treasures.

4. He is to supervise and coordinate the entire school program in accordance with the policies of the Board of Education.

5. He is to act as a unifying force in the school by developing with the faculty a common philosophy of Christian education and a whole-school approach to educational objectives, curriculum selection, evaluation, grading, and discipline.

6. He is to attend all Board of Education meetings.

7. He is to conduct an annual survey/questionnaire of the parents/guardians regarding the effectiveness of the educational programs at St. Paul Lutheran School.

8. He is to have his Lutheran Teacher Diploma or be working towards his Colloquy.

9. He is to keep other faculty members informed of all Board policies and make recommendations at the regular faculty meetings.

10. He is to the business manager of all school expenses and receipts for the Board of Education.

11. He is to keep accurate school records and inventories.

12. He is to prepare all required school reports.

13. He is to conduct and report fire drills at least nine times per year as required by the State Fire Marshal.

14. He is to supervise all janitorial work and report any needed maintenance and repair work to the Board of Education and/or Trustees.

15. He is to see to it that the policies regarding discrimination are followed and published annually.

16. He is to hold or be working toward an Administrative and Supervisory Certificate.

17. He is to be the business manager of the school’s hot lunch program.

18. He is to keep an active list of substitute teachers.

19.  He is to conduct an annual evaluation of each teacher and support staff.

F.  The Pastor’s role in the school:

The pastor is the shepherd and overseer called and charged with the spiritual and doctrinal oversight of all members of the congregation.  Although the direct administrative responsibilities of the school are given to the principal, the ultimate responsibility for what is taught and for guiding the lives of the flock, remains with the pastor.  The pastor and staff must work together as a team in maintaining a thoroughly Christian environment within the school.

As a part of the faculty, the pastor provides confirmation instruction for the seventh and eighth graders prior to their confirmation.

V.    Para-Professional’s Role in the School

A para-professional is an individual who serves under the direction of the principal or a classroom teacher as an assistant in the educational process. Benefits from employing para-professionals include more teacher planning time, increased individual attention to students, improved teacher morale, increased organization in the classrooms and the office, and increased quality of instruction.

The following functions may be assigned to para-professionals:

A.    Correct papers

B.     Tutor students

C.     Operate copy/duplicator machines

D.    Lunchroom/recess duties

E.     Typing

F.      Laminating materials

G.    Average grades

H.    Prepare bulletin boards

I.       Handling of emergencies

J.       Library duties

K.    Other tasks as assigned by the principal

VI.  Parent’s/Guardian’s Role in the school:

Parental influence and attitude largely determine a child’s outlook.  Helpful and concerned parents greatly assist the smooth functioning of the classroom.  Below are a few suggestions on how parents/guardians can help their children have successful educational experiences.

A.    Attend worship services as a family at every opportunity.  God builds our faith as we participate in His Word.

B.     Pray for our students, teachers, pastors, fellow parents, the school, the church, and yourselves.  “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving, and pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the Word.”  Colossians 4:2-3.

C.     Make going to school a pleasurable experience.  Parental enthusiasm will help a child be enthusiastic.

D.    Have complete confidence in your child’s teacher, and let your child know you have this confidence.

E.     Always discuss a teacher, playmates, other parents, the church, or the school positively in the presence of your child.

F.      Make sure your child eats a good healthy breakfast. (St. Paul runs a breakfast program.)

G.    If your child has a fever or symptoms of an illness that warrant keeping him/her home from school, please telephone the school by 9:00 A.M. that your child will be absent and make arrangements for receiving your child’s homework.

H.    Be interested in what your children bring home from school.

I.       Please review the newsletter sent home on the first school day of each week.

J.       Make every effort to attend special school and classroom events.

K.    Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend bimonthly chapels on Wednesday mornings.

L.     Parents who bring their children to school or students who walk to school should not arrive before 8:00 A.M. unless arrangements have been made with the Principal.  To avoid congestion and disruption to the learning environment parents are asked to drop off and pick up their children at the school’s exterior doors.

M.   If a parent/guardian has any questions, misunderstandings, or grievances with their child’s teacher, discuss them with the teacher when classes are not being held.  Usually difficulties can be quickly and easily corrected when there is a good communication between home and school.  A parent/teacher communication form to help facilitate this exchange of information is sent home to each family at the start of each school year.  Extra forms are available in the school library and principal’s office.  “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.”  Matthew 18:15.

VII.          Nondiscrimination Enrollment Policy

St. Paul Lutheran 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 the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.

St. Paul Lutheran School believes that educational opportunities and programs should be open to boys and girls on an equal basis, and that employment opportunities be available to men and women equally.  This is also prescribed in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  We, therefore, do not discriminate on the basis of sex in administering our educational policies, programs, activities, and employment practices.  However, since most teacher education graduates are women, it may be that teacher selection practices result in a slightly higher majority of female teachers.

Inquiries about the nondiscrimination policies of St. Paul Lutheran School may be referred to Robert D. Brauer, Principal.  Any complaint determined to be valid will initiate steps toward modification.  If your complaint is ruled to be invalid and you are not satisfied with that ruling, you may appeal your case to the Board of Education.

VIII.    Admission, Tuition, and Fees Policy

Any child of school age is eligible to apply for enrollment in St. Paul Lutheran School.  Applicants for kindergarten must be five years of age on or before July 31 of the current school year.  Applicants for first grade must be six on or before July 31 of the current school year or must have attended kindergarten.

Preference in admission is given to members of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Utica, Nebraska, Zion Lutheran Church of Thayer, Nebraska, and St. John Lutheran Church of Waco, Nebraska.  When the size of a classroom reaches 25 pupils, further admission of students into that classroom will be limited to children of St. Paul Lutheran, Zion Lutheran, and St. John Lutheran.  Nonmember families wishing to enroll their children when the classroom size reaches 25 will be placed on a waiting list.

Re-registration for the following school year will be sent home to all school families in March of the current school year.  Parents/guardians will be given three weeks to return the re-registration forms for the following school year.  After three weeks, if current families have not re-registered their children for the following school year, families on the waiting list may be contacted to fill available student spots.

St. Paul Lutheran School is solely owned and operated by the members of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Utica, Nebraska.  Zion Lutheran Church of Thayer, Nebraska, and St. John Lutheran Church of Waco, Nebraska, have agreed to pay the per pupil cost of educating children from their congregations who attend St. Paul Lutheran School.  No tuition is charged to any students be they members or non-members.  Voluntary contributions are encouraged to help defray the cost of this education.  A $250 per pupil book and registration fee with a limit of $500 per family is assessed to students in grades kindergarten through eight.

Where neither parent/guardian is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, they are urged to acquaint themselves with the teachings of this church by regularly attending worship services, Bible classes, and adult information classes.  Before enrolling their children, these parents/guardians are to meet with the principal and the Board of Education to discuss the goals and purpose of St. Paul Lutheran School.  All parents/guardians should also see that their children attend church and Sunday school regularly.

Student accident insurance will be made available to all students at a nominal fee.  Information on this insurance will be given with the other registration materials.

IX. School Calendar Policy

The school year for St. Paul Lutheran School will be defined as not less than 1,032 hours for students in grades K through 8.  Such instructional hours may include passing time, assemblies, study time and such student activities in which all students are scheduled under the direction of a teacher.

Time not to be counted in meeting the instructional time requirement shall be the scheduled time for lunch and student participation in inter-scholastic sports, clubs, and contests.

The school day shall begin no earlier than 8:00 A.M. with instruction beginning at 8:25 A.M. and end no later than 3:30 P.M.

X.  Student Attendance Policy

Regula and punctual student attendance is required.  A student who engages in unexcused absences may be considered truant as per state law, Neb.Rev.Stat. 79-201. The Board’s policies require such attendance, the administration is responsible for developing further attendance rules and regulations, and students and parents are responsible for developing behaviors that will result in regular and punctual student attendance.

Absences from school will be either excused or unexcused.

An Excused Absence is one cleared through the Principal’s office in advance whenever possible.  An absence, even by parental approval, may not be excused.  All absences, except for illness and/or death in the family, require advanced approval.  An absence for any of the following reasons will be excused, provided the required procedures have been followed:

1.            Attendance at a funeral for a member of the immediate family

2.            Illness which causes a student to be absent from school (Please call the school by 9:00 A.M.   the day of the illness and return a note to the school verifying the illness.)

3.            Doctor or dental appointment (verify this with a note from the doctor)

4.            Court appearances

5.            School sponsored activities

6.            Family trips in which student accompanies parent(s) or legal guardian(s)

7.            Other absences which have received prior approval from the Principal

The Principal has the discretion to deny approval for the latter two reasons, depending on circumstances such as the student’s number of other absences, the student’s academic status, tests or other projects that may be missed, and in the case of a family trip, whether the trip could be taken during non-school time and the educational nature of the trip.

An Unexcused Absence is any absence that is not excused.

Excessive Absenteeism

Students who accumulate five (5) unexcused absences in a quarter shall be deemed to have “excessive absences.”  When a student has excessive absences, the following procedures shall be implemented.

1.            One or more meetings shall be held between the principal, the parent/guardian, and the student to attempt to solve the excessive absenteeism problem.  If the parent/guardian refuses to participate in such meeting, the principal shall place in the student’s attendance records documentation of such refusal.

2.            Educational evaluation and/or counseling may be required, which may include a psychological evaluation, to assist in determining the specific condition, if any, contributing to the excessive absenteeism problem.

3.            A student who accumulates twenty (20) unexcused absences or the hourly equivalent per year shall be deemed to be excessively absent.  The principal shall file a report with the county attorney of the county in which such student resides.

4.            Advisory letters will be sent to the parent/guardians of a student when he/she has accrued four (4) unexcused absences during any quarter.

Students must attend school for half a day the day of any scheduled school activity in order to participate in the activity.  This includes sports contests, practices, field trips, etc.  Failure to attend on that day will result in a student being withheld from participation in the activity.  The principal retains the right to grant participation should exceptional circumstances prevail.

XI. Student Related Policies

A.    Pupil Progress Policy

St. Paul Lutheran School shall maintain a record of each student’s attendance, academic progress, and dates of enrollment in and withdrawal from the school.  This record shall be transferred to another school upon written request by the child’s parent or guardian.

Report cards will be issued at the end of each nine-week reporting period.  Parents/guardians may expect them on the Friday or second Monday following the end of each reporting period.  Report cards will be sent home with the children except when parent-teacher conferences are held.  These parent-teacher conferences will be held during or after the first and third quarters of the school year.

B.     Student Clothing Policy

St. Paul Lutheran School as a Christian school must avoid giving offense wherever possible.  Since modesty is a Christian virtue, it also applies to the selection of one’s clothing.

All dress should be appropriate for the season.  Overshoes or boots should be worn during wet or snowy weather, and/or a second pair of shoes should be kept at school for wear outdoors when weather is not the most favorable for keeping the floors of the school clean.  (We also ask parents and students to be aware of special school days such as chapel, field trips, etc., and on these special days to wear clothing appropriate to the occasion.)

For safety we ask that all footwear be sturdy and remain on the feet while at school.  Because the gym can be scuffed with black marks by many different types of shoe soles, we ask that each student have a pair of gym shoes ready for PE or recess that will not leave marks on the gym floor.

With the concern for modesty we ask that only shirts with sleeves and shirts that cover the midriff be worn to school.  A layered look can be obtained by wearing both sleeveless and sleeved shirts at the same time.  Please make sure that any printing or words on shirts convey positive messages.

Also with a concern for modesty, we ask that all shorts have at least a 4-inch inseam or reach the middle of the thigh of the wearer.

Violations in the dress code will be discussed with the student to determine a solution (changing into appropriate clothing).  If visiting with the student does not affect a solution, then the student’s parents/guardians will be contacted asking them to bring clothing to meet the dress code requirements.  A Student not meeting the dress code requirements may be kept from his/her regular classroom until the requirements are met.

C.     Bus Policy

Riding on the public school busses will be determined by the Centennial School District in accordance with the laws of the State of Nebraska.  All students at St. Paul Lutheran School who ride the public school busses are expected to adhere to rules and regulations for these busses as determined by Centennial Public School.

D.    Discipline Policy

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke.”  Proverbs 3:11.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is ignorant.”  Proverbs 12:1.

“He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.”  Proverbs 13:18.

“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.”  Hebrews 12:10.

The word “discipline” comes from “disciple” meaning “follower”.  We think of discipline not in terms of punishment but rather as the teaching of self-control.  Any one in authority, specifically parents and teachers, is to deal with his/her charges in accordance with the teachings of scripture.

Students are responsible for behavioral actions toward everyone in the school society.

a.       Whether students are younger or older, they must conduct themselves as good examples for fellow students.

b.      All students owe respect and obedience to everyone in authority.

Conduct as Christian students must not change because of where the students are (time and place).  Playground, lunchroom, washroom, hallway, classroom, library, bus, street, and home are all examples of where the Christian life must be practiced.  Let I Corinthians 10:31 be our guide:  “Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God’s glory.”

Each teacher is responsible for the discipline in his or her classroom.  The order in each room is to be such that the education of the child can take place, therefore, there should be no excessive talking, distracting noises, wasted time, chewing of gum, or eating candy and other food during classroom time unless the activity is sponsored and supervised by the classroom teacher.  A copy of each teacher’s classroom rules and procedures is sent home to all school families at the start of the school year.

The following will be used as a guideline in an attempt to solve on going behavioral problems:

a.       First the teacher will deal with the student individually.  The teacher may enlist the help of the principal.

b.      Next, the teacher, the student, and the student’s parents/guardians will work together.

c.       Next, the teacher, the student, the student’s parents/guardians and the principal will work together.

d.      Finally, the teacher, the student, the student’s parents/guardians, the principal and the Board of Education will work together.

Both pupils and parents/guardians must realize that the teacher is responsible for what happens in the classroom.  These teachers are to act as God would want His children to act.  If students and parents/guardians have a problem that arises with the teacher, they are reminded to follow the same steps as the teacher when addressing this problem:

a.       First, the student needs to talk with the teacher.

b.      Next, the student and the student’s parents/guardians need to talk with the teacher.

c.       Next, the student and the student’s parents/guardians need to talk with the teacher and the principal.

d.      Finally, the student and the student’s parents/guardians need to talk with the teacher, the principal, and the Board of Education.

To help facilitate this process a parent/teacher communication form has been developed which is sent home to all school families at the start of each school year.  Additional forms are available in the library or school office.

On going behavioral problems may warrant an in-school or after-school detention.  The classroom teacher will be in contact with the pupil’s parent/guardian where details such as transportation for after-school detention will be discussed and agreed upon.

The following extreme disciplinary situations may warrant a suspension or an expulsion, which can be issued only at the discretion of the Board of Education.

a.       Gross unsportsman like conduct.

b.      Fighting.

c.       Lewdness.

d.      Willful destruction of school or church property.

e.       Gross disrespect for fellow students, teachers, Pastor or other school employees.

f.       Continued misbehavior that seriously interferes with the normal routine of the classroom.

g.      Continued use of profanity.

h.      Unlawful use and/or abuse of drugs and/or alcohol.

i.        Intentionally possessing, using, or transmitting a firearm on school property or at any school sponsored activity.

j.        Sexual harassment of fellow students, teachers, or staff members.

In situations where suspensions or expulsions are warranted the following procedure will be followed:

1.      The student will be given a hearing before the Board of Education where the infraction(s) will be heard and discussed.  This hearing will take place not more than three days after the incident has occurred.

2.      After reviewing the facts in the case, the Board of Education will determine if a suspension is needed and its length, or if the student is to be expelled from school.

3.      The student will have the right of appealing his/her case before the Church Counsel.

4.      In extreme circumstances where a student’s behavior endangers the health or safety of another student or supervisor, the principal may issue an immediate suspension after which steps 1 through 3 will be followed.

E.     Hot Lunch Policy:

St. Paul Lutheran School will operate a hot lunch program.  Free and reduced lunches will be available through the Federal Government’s hot lunch program for students that qualify.  Applications for free and reduced priced lunches will be sent to all school families at the start of each school year. The hot lunch program is self-sustaining, therefore the resources needed to meet financial obligations to the vendors and the hot lunch staff will determine its operating cost.  Fees for lunch tickets will be announced at the beginning of the school year and may be changed as needed.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

F.      Milk Program Policy:

Milk and Juice will be available to the children for their morning and afternoon breaks and for children who carry their noon lunches.  This is not a Federal program and the cost of the drink will be determined by the cost of the drink to the school.  Students will be asked to purchase milk/juice cards; classroom teachers will manage these cards.

G.    Music and Drama Policy

1.  Students in grades 5-8 are allowed and encouraged to participate in the Centennial Band Program.  Parents and volunteers will be organized to drive band students to and from Centennial for these classes.

2.  Each classroom (kindergarten, first and second, third and fourth, fifth and sixth, and seventh and eighth) makes up a choir.  These choirs may sing for chapel, congregational worship services, and other appropriate events.  Generally, practices for these choirs will be during the school day at regular music classes. All students are encouraged to participate whenever their choir performs.  If a child will not be able to perform, then the child’s choir director should be notified before the performance.  A written schedule of these performances will be sent home to all families at the start of the school year.

3.  Special musical groups (chime choir, Sing Around Nebraska, etc.) may be established with the approval of the principal to further student involvement in the arts.  Practices for these groups will generally be held before or after regular school hours.

4.  Spring programs will be presented by the classrooms (grades one and two, grades three and four, grades five and six, and grades seven and eighth).  Classroom teachers will organize these programs, and will at times combine grades for special events.

5.  Other events (Folk Tale Tea, Donuts For Dads, Grandparents’ Day, etc.) that showcase the talents God has shared with the students are encouraged and may be conducted with the permission of the principal.

H.    Sports Policy

An athletic program is useful only if it helps the school serve God, the parents, and the students.  Therefore the goals of St. Paul Lutheran’s athletic program are thus:

1.   To help our parents and students respond to Christ’s great commission to make disciples.

2.   To help parents meet their God-given obligations in rearing their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

3.   To help the children learn to know their God, to know themselves as God sees them, to develop their skills and talents for a life of love and service, and to live and grow taking their places in the community of God’s church, the Body of Christ.

A properly run athletic program is an important part of the curriculum because it can help to meet these goals.  It can promote growth in

intelligence, emotional control, social skills, and a spiritual life.  Athletics can also develop in the participants the physical skills of agility, coordination, speed, and body control.

An improperly run athletic program can be harmful to a child.  It can teach godless values and priorities.  It can result in physical harm to the child’s body through carelessness, poor discipline, or excessive pressures to meet some standard.  It can harm a child emotionally, or at least sour his/her attitude toward sports, coaches, athletes, or school.  It can make a child think less of himself/herself and of God.

The emphasis in St. Paul Lutheran’s program will therefore be on learning.  We want our participants to learn all the things in athletics that our congregation intends to teach.  They are to learn about God, about themselves, about others, about their abilities and inabilities, about work and play, about winning and losing, about determination, practice, and recognition, about right and wrong, about the rules of the game, about techniques and skills, about teamwork, cooperation, sacrifice, humility, generosity, and other God-pleasing attributes.

So that our players can learn, we expect our coaches to be first of all Christian teachers and models.  Whether they are staff members or parents, they must embrace, demonstrate, and seek to instill all the qualities previously mentioned.  They should strive to excel even as we are encouraged by Scripture to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12), because we do not want to raise up a generation that will give only half of an effort either in a ball game or in a time of temptation.  But we expect them to win graciously with equal consideration for the opposing teams.  And if they lose, we want them to make the most of the opportunity to teach and learn those qualities mentioned earlier, so that while it may be a lost game it will not be a loss in the lives of the coaches and players.  Coaches not meeting these standards may be asked to step down by the Board of Christian Education.

We hold our coaches, principal, and teachers responsible in helping our parents and other constituents to learn, understand, and support these goals.

St. Paul participates in athletic contests with various schools and parishes in the area.  Football and track are offered by Centennial Public School, and students in grades 7-8 may participate.  St. Paul Lutheran offers participation in volleyball and basketball for students in grades 5-8 (down to 4th grade if players are necessary to complete a roster) who are members of St. Paul Lutheran Congregation and/or School.  Practices for these activities will be held after the regular school day has been completed.   In order for a student to participate in these sports, he or she must:

1.   Know and adhere to the Christian philosophy of St. Paul Lutheran and its athletic program.

2.  Maintain and display a Christian example of sportsmanship, respecting officials, coaches, teammates, opponents, and fans.

3.  Maintain a passing grade in all of their subjects.

4.   Attend all practices and games.  Absences must be excused by the coach.

5.  To participate in an athletic practice or contest, the student must attend at least ½ of the school day on which the practice or contest is held.

6.   Have fun!  Sports are meant to be enjoyed.

Finally, we remember that we can never achieve perfection in this life.  This means that the struggle to improve is the important thing.  The struggle is what learning is all about; it is the reason for teaching.  This struggle is epitomized in athletics.  Every competition is a model of this struggle.  Sometimes we do well and sometimes not so well.  It is because we frequently fall short that we need forgiveness, hope, new life, and another opportunity.  Therefore when we see in others the failure to abide by these goals, and practices, we will forgive them and try to help them in their struggle.  In this way we will work together as the Body of Christ, all of us running the race together, the race of life, a God-given God-pleasing life.  “Let us run with perseverance the particular race God has set before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, our Leader and our Instructor.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

I.       Testing Policy

St. Paul Lutheran School, in an effort to assess their students’ acquisition of competencies in especially reading, writing, and mathematics, will administer standardized norm-referenced achievement tests in grades 3 – 8.  In grades 5-8 this achievement test will also be criterion-referenced according to the standards established by the Nebraska Department of Education.

J.       Alcohol and Drug Prevention Policy

St. Paul Lutheran School develops a program of drug and alcohol prevention in several ways:

1.      Through curricular health studies which provide information on the misuse of drugs and alcohol on all grade levels.

2.      Through the Thrivent Financial For Lutherans which supplies films, videos, and print materials designed to inform students of the dangers of drugs and alcohol and encourages prevention of the use of drugs and alcohol particularly for elementary school children.

3.      Through cooperative efforts of the public school system by which our students participate in additional programs designed to inform and prevent misuse of drugs and alcohol.

4.      Through print material placed in the library by which students may avail themselves of further information on the bad effects of drugs and alcohol.

5.      Through the Association of Parents which will use trained individuals from amongst their group to make presentations on all grade levels.

Students that use or are in possession of illicit drugs and/or alcohol are in violation of school rules and state and federal laws.  This kind of use of drugs and alcohol is wrong and harmful.  Anyone, student or non student, participating in the unlawful distribution or use of illicit drugs and alcohol on school premises will lead to action by the Board of Education with the recommendation of suspending the student or forbidding the non student entry to the school building and grounds.  Furthermore, insofar as state laws are violated, guilty parties will be reported to the proper law enforcement agency for legal action.

Re-entry to the school system by the suspended student will follow the procedures as outlined in the school’s Disciplinary Policy.

Parents and students will become aware of the standards of conduct and statement of disciplinary sanctions through distribution of the school’s handbook.

Parents and students alike are notified through the school’s handbook.  Compliance with the standards of conduct in relation to the use of illicit drugs and alcohol in the school is mandatory.

XII.     Multicultural Educational Policy

It is the policy of St. Paul Lutheran School to utilize the resources of curriculum, instruction, in-service, counseling, and guidance to reflect the racial, ethnic, language, and cultural heritage of both historic and modern day United States of America.  This is accomplished by observing the following objective as found in Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

XIII.    Bloodborne Pathogens Policy

To promote safe work practices, and in an effort to minimize the incidence of illness and injury experienced by employees at St. Paul Lutheran School, an Exposure Control Plan has been implemented.  This plan is implemented to reduce occupational exposure to Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and other bloodborne pathogens that employees may encounter in the workplace.  A copy of the Exposure Control Plan is on file in the school’s office.

XIV.    Visitation Policy

Parents are encouraged to visit on any day school is in session.  The administration, however, reserves the right to limit visits to what is reasonable so as to not substantially disrupt the school’s learning environment.  All parents wishing to visit are to contact the principal and their child’s teacher at least one day in advance of the visit.

XV.     Firearm Policy

In compliance with the Federal Gun-Free Schools Act, Title XIV, St. Paul Lutheran School of Utica, Nebraska, will expel for a period of at least 1 year any student who knowingly and intentionally possess, uses, or transmits a firearm on school property or at a school sponsored activity.  The expulsion will begin as soon as the infraction is discovered, and will follow the procedures as outlined in the Discipline Policy.  Parents of the student who are expelled have the right of appeal also through the process as outlined in the Discipline Policy printed in the handbook.

The possession, use, or transmission of a firearm on school property or at school sponsored activities will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

XVI.    Sexual Harassment Policy

St. Paul Lutheran School is committed to an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.  Each individual has the right to be educated in an atmosphere which promotes equality and is free from discriminatory practices.  We are so committed because God views our bodies, souls, and all that makes us up as sacred to Him.  He calls us “Temples of the Holy Spirit” and people who belong to God (I Cor. 6:19-20).  We have been purchased with the blood of Jesus, and set aside to honor the Lord in word and deed.  Most particularly as people who now love the Lord and desire by His Spirit to honor Him, there is not to be even “a hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity” among God’s people (Eph. 5:3).  Therefore St. Paul Lutheran School strongly condemns, opposes and prohibits sexual harassment whether verbal, physical or environmental.  Anyone who violates this policy and the charge is substantiated will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination or expulsion.

For this policy, “sexual harassment” will consist of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1.   submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education, or when:

2.   submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual, or when:

3.   such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment.

XVII.  Field Trip Policy

Every field trip must be cleared with the principal.  The following rules for field trips must be followed:

1.  All drivers must have a valid drivers license and car insurance.

2.  All drivers must follow all driving laws.

3.  All children must wear seatbelts.

4.  All cars must stay together unless otherwise directed by the teacher.

5.  There is to be no smoking at any time during the field trip, including in the cars.

6.  No other children/siblings are to attend the field trip with the driver.

The teacher is responsible for sending notes to the parents/guardians regarding these field trips.

XVIII.School Wellness Policy

The Board of Education has established a Wellness Policy for St. Paul Lutheran School that meets or exceeds the objectives established by the Nebraska Department of Education for nutrition education and physical activity.  A copy of the complete policy is available upon request from the principal

XIX     General Information

When inclement weather, unsafe roads or another emergency prompts a decision to close or delay the start of school, the following media will be notified:  KZKX – 96.9 FM, KAWL –1370 AM, KOLN-TV – Lincoln, KLKN-TV – Lincoln, KFAB-1110 AM, and KZEN-100.3 FM.  St. Paul Lutheran School will follow the decision made by Centennial, namely, if Centennial cancels or dismisses school early because of weather, St. Paul will cancel or dismiss early also.  Please listen for “Centennial” on the radio or TV because St. Paul will not be mentioned.

Make-up Assignments:  Daily scheduling commitments require our teachers’ attentions before the start of the school day.  Therefore, student make-up assignments will be prepared and ready for parents at the end of the school day.

Association of Parents:  Parents or guardians with children enrolled at St. Paul Lutheran School are automatically members of the Association of Parents.  This organization meets at the start of the school year and in November, February, and April.

Asbestos Management Plan:  St. Paul Lutheran School has been properly inspected and has an asbestos management plan in place that can be viewed upon request.  The building has no asbestos with the exception of non-friable floor tiles in the west wing: the library, the hallway, the fifth and sixth grade classroom, the seventh and eighth grade classroom, and the health room.  This non-friable floor tile poses no health risk when maintained properly.  St. Paul Lutheran School’s janitor has been trained in the E.P.A.’s asbestos awareness program and is qualified to care for the floors.  All questions concerning asbestos in our school can be addressed to the school office.