School Policies

Regular school attendance promotes the success of students. The educational process requires a continuous sequence of instruction. When broken by a period of absence, this instruction can never be fully regained by extra work. The regular contact of students with one another in the classroom and their participation in learning activities under the supervision of a qualified teacher will assist each student in attaining his/her maximum potential. The primary purpose of this attendance policy is to develop a sense of responsibility, to promote punctuality, to develop traits of good citizenship, and to enhance academic success.


Student is present 100% of the time. (No tardiness, no early dismissals, no days missed for any reason)


Absences will be marked daily by classroom teacher and school office. You will be notified by MSP if your child is not in attendance, even if you call ahead of time. Since the State does not classify absences as excused, unexcused, or truant, we will just be recording absences one way. It is still important for you to contact the school office and/or classroom teacher if your child is going to miss school for any reason.



For absences due to illness, medical or dental appointment, serious illness or death in the family the parent/guardian must send a note from home, call the office or provide a medical excuse. If a child is going to miss multiple days in a row for any reason please inform the teacher and the school office. Missed assignments/ homework may be given upon students return to school or while they are out.

Upon the 10th absence, a letter will be sent home to the parent/guardian notifying them of their student’s excessive absenteeism and reinforcing the importance of good attendance. Any absence beyond the tenth day must be for medical or dental appointments, serious illness, injury, or death to a member of the student’s immediate family. Extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration by the principal.

Severe cases of poor attendance may be prosecuted under Indiana’s Compulsory Attendance Laws.

Homework for days missed may be picked up in the office at the end of the day, sent home with a sibling/friend or upon a student’s return to school.

When it is necessary for your child to be excused from school for medical or dental appointments, please send a note to the teacher. The parent, or authorized adult, must meet the child in the office and sign the child out. When returning to school the parent or guardian needs to sign their child back into school.


Students arriving after morning bell or leaving prior to dismissal bell will be counted tardy. Students arriving 1 ½ hours after school begins or leaving 1 ½ hours before dismissal will be counted as ½ day absent (i.e. Arriving after 9:30 AM or leaving in afternoon before 1:15). It is important that students arrive to school on time.


The preferred time car-rider students should arrive at school is between 7:45 and 8:00 AM. We do offer morning care that starts at 7:15AM. Teachers also may invite students in their room before 7:45AM for extra tutoring, helping with homework, etc. Car riders should be dropped off by the curb in front of school. Kindergarten students arriving after 7:45 should be dropped off near the Parish Center. DO NOT allow students to cross the street without an adult escort. Those who must arrive before 7:45 because of bus transportation or parent work schedule should go directly to the library for morning care. Students arriving in the classroom after 8:00 AM will be marked tardy.


Cars arriving to pick up students should wait on Clay Street until the bus arrives and is parked in the school parking lot. Once the bus is parked, cars will make 3 rows of lines on Washington St. and put their car in park. Bus rider dismissal is at 2:40 PM. Car rider dismissal is at 2:45PM. The students will exit the school with their class and when released they will find their car and get in. After staff members make sure all cars are ready to go and no students are on Washington St. the car lines will be let out one row at a time. (See diagram in Appendix of Handbook).

All students that are leaving school are expected to leave the grounds at dismissal. The school will not accept responsibility for children who were dismissed, but remain after dismissal time, except for those in our Extended Care Program.



After school care is provided for students from dismissal time until 5:30. There is a fee for this service. Structured time will include snack, recreation and quiet study time. When picking child up use the main entrance of school and ring the bell to be let in. Make sure you report directly to the Library as they will be expecting you. Registration for extended care may be made on registration day or in the school office. All St. Mary’s School rules and regulations apply to Extended Care.



For weather-related closings, St. Mary’s follows the decision of the Jennings County School Superintendent. Weather closings are announced on the MSP phone call system and St. Mary’s School answering machine. An announcement of “No School in Jennings County” includes St. Mary’s School. Please keep your phone numbers updated with the school so you can receive all the phone calls.


Please use the School System as a guide to know when events at the parish will be canceled. If there is no school: St. Mary’s Daily Mass, bingo, RCIA, Word up, basketball games/practices etc. will also be canceled. We are concerned about you and your safety. We would rather you be at home longing to come to church, than risk your life or safety! There will always be Weekend Mass. These will never be canceled. However, you are not required to risk your life to attend Weekend Masses.

Daily Schedule

7:30-8:00         Algebra class – Gr. 8

7:15-7:45         Supervised Study/Morning Care

7:45-7:59         Arrival in classrooms

8:00                 Morning Announcements/Classes Begin

8:00-11:00       PreK 3 & 4 A.M. Sessions

9:00-9:40         All School Mass on Tuesday and Thursday

11:00-11:40     Lunch and Recess

2:00                 Gr. 7 & 8 Dismiss for JCMS

2:40                 K-6 Bus Riders Dismiss

2:45                 PreK-6 Car Riders/Walkers Dismiss



All students are expected to participate in the annual SMS Christmas/Advent program. All parents, relatives and friends are invited to attend.


Students riding bikes to school need to obey all bike safety rules and treat motorists with respect and courtesy. It is recommended that students wear helmets and lock bikes. Students riding bikes will be dismissed after car riders.



The students of St. Mary’s who ride the bus must observe the proper rules of safety and courtesy. If the privilege of riding the school bus is abused in any way by misconduct, the child may have to forfeit his/her right to ride the bus. If a bus driver feels that a student’s conduct warrants contacting our office, a notice of this will be sent to the parents. If the same child should be cited by the bus driver a second time, we may give a one-five day suspension from bus service. A third citation may be a three-day to end of year suspension from service.



  1. Walk facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.
  2. Arrive at the pick-up spot five minutes before the bus.
  3. Wait off the roadway, not in the street.
  4. Stay off people’s lawns.


  1. Wait for the bus to come to a full stop.
  2. Be polite and take your turn getting on the bus.
  3. Use the handrail.


  1. Follow the directions of the driver.
  2. Walk to assigned seat and remain there. Do not stand or move around while bus is moving.
  3. Do not talk to the driver unless it is an emergency. (Drivers need to keep their minds on driving and their eyes on the road.)
  4. Talk quietly so that the driver can hear traffic sounds.
  5. Keep arms, feet, and school books out of the aisles.
  6. Do not open or close windows.
  7. Keep hands and head inside the bus. Do not stick anything out of the windows.
  8. Loud, profane language or yelling is not permitted.
  9. Smoking is not permitted.
  10. Do not deface or litter the bus.
  11. Do not tamper with any safety device or any equipment.
  12. Eating or drinking on the bus is not permitted.
  13. The possession of knives or any weapon-like objects on the bus is forbidden.
  14. Tobacco products of any kind are prohibited at the bus stop and on the school bus.


  1. Do not leave your seat until the bus comes to a full stop.
  2. Take your turn; don’t crowd in front of others.
  3. Use handrails.
  4. Watch your step.
  5. Look both ways, and check for turning cars before you cross the street.



  1. Stay seated.
  2. Do not touch emergency equipment.
  3. Depend on the driver’s training to take care of the situation.

NOTE: Violation of the above rules and regulations may result in suspension of transportation privileges.

Bus drivers have the same authority on the bus and in bus loading areas as teachers do in the classroom.

St. Mary’s School will participate in sports to whatever extent we have the supervision and resources. The emphasis of the program will be on participation.

Students must have current physical forms on file in the school office before participating in practices or games. Students must have a passing grade in each subject at the end of the quarter in order to participate in games or practices, unless granted permission by principal. Grades will be checked at the end of each quarter. If requirements (grades) are not passing, students may not participate in SMS sports until grades are above an “F”, unless granted permission by principal.

Seventh and eighth graders participating in sports at the Jennings County Middle School will follow the JCMS eligibility guidelines; but adhere to the SMS grading scale.

**Important Information**

We have students with peanut and egg food allergies at St. Mary’s School. Please be considerate of the safety of ALL St. Mary’s students when packing a snack or lunch for your child.

All students are expected to eat lunch. Children may take advantage of the hot lunch program at school or bring lunches from home. Children may not bring canned pop to drink with their lunches nor lunches from Fast Food Restaurants. Sack lunches should be packed so that they do not require refrigeration or microwaves.

Students may only go to restaurants for lunch if they are accompanied by a member of their family. The parents must send a note to the classroom teacher. The family member must meet the child at the office and sign child out and in when returning. SMS discourages taking students out for lunch.

Hot lunches from the Jennings County Middle School are available each day. Lunches must be prepaid. Accounts will be computerized with each child having an account number. Students eligible for free meals will be provided with a meal at no charge. By having every student in the school use his/her Meal Account Number the anonymity of children receiving free or reduced priced meals is assured.

Parents will fill out deposit slips provided by the school office. It is important that the following information be completed on the proper blanks.

  1. Students’ Name 2. Student’s Meal Account Number
  2. Check Number for Check Deposit 4. Amount Enclosed.

Cash or checks will be accepted for deposit. Payment into an account can be for one or more meals. Food Services encourages parents to prepay for a number of meals at once in order to reduce the need for frequent deposits and daily cash handling. See the chart below for multiple meal prices:

                                                          One Meal     One Week         One Month

                                                          (1)                    (5 meals)                (20 meals)

Reduced Price Lunch                   $   .40              $ 2.00                     $ 8.00

Full Paid Lunch (grades K-8)    $ 2.35              $11.75                       $ 47.00

Milk                                                 $ .50               $ 2.50                        $ 10.00

Households with more than one child at the school need to designate the amount of money to be placed into each child’s account. A parent can always ask for a detailed report on available meal money and meal transactions in a child’s account. To request this information, please call the school office.

Parents and other visitors, please report to the school office.   All school time must be devoted to instructional purposes. No one may interrupt classes, nor may teachers and students be called from their classroom, except for urgent reasons. If you wish to give your child something he/she has forgotten, bring it to the office. We will take it to the classroom at a time when it will not interrupt instruction.

You are encouraged to discuss matters with your child’s classroom teacher; as a matter of courtesy contact your child’s teacher for an appointment by email or phone.

Please make arrangements with child regarding dismissal before coming to school to alleviate number of message calls throughout the day. Messages on dismissal changes should occur before 1:00 and by telephone call to the office. If child is staying after school for tutoring, please meet child at office or wait in car.

As educators, we recognize and appreciate the deep and abiding interest that each of you has in the education of your child(ren). Your cooperation and interest are our greatest strengths as a school. However, since education is a human endeavor, there are bound to be disagreements. When you disagree with a grade, a punishment, or the way a particular problem was handled, first contact the teacher involved, then the principal, if the matter still is not resolved you may contact the Pastor.

Please recognize that your attitude toward the school will be reflected in the attitude of your children. Just as we would never negatively discuss you in the presence of your children, we expect the same courtesy and respect from you. In the event of a disagreement, contact the teacher involved when your child(ren) is(are) not around. Never call the other students to “check out” a teacher’s story. Such action not only undermines your child’s attitude toward the teacher, but also that of other students.

St. Mary’s School staff will help the students with our I.C.A.N. discipline approach. The school will focus on an area throughout the school year. Every classroom will have an area where a student can reflect on situations by writing their answers on our I.C.A.N. form.

What Students Need to Do:

  1. I = I know my feelings
  2. C = Calm down and breathe
  3. A = Accept my actions
  4. N = Now focus on a solution

Where school will focus on expected behavior:

  1. I = In class
  2. C = Church
  3. A = Adults
  4. N = Non-Structured time (lunch/recess, hallways, etc.)

Students who do not follow the expectations of the adult in charge may have to write an explanation of their feeling, what happened, and write a solution that will fix the problem.


The following is a brief summary of what is not allowed in our school (other violations could also fall into this category). Violations of these rules are not tolerated.

  • Drugs, alcohol, pills, tobacco products
  • Cyber-bullying or posting/doing inappropriate things on internet, phones, or other forms of technology
  • Sexting
  • Guns, knives, explosives or any type of weapon (toy or real)
  • Engaging in any activity forbidden by state law
  • Cheating
  • Stealing, violence
  • Obscene language
  • Threats, harassment, intimidation of any kind, bullying, put downs
  • Interfering with the orderly operation of school
  • Tampering with school or other individual’s property
  • No gum allowed on school grounds.
  • Disrespecting other students or adults.
  • Interfering with the learning environment of others.


  • Call home
  • Meeting with parents, child, principal, and/or teacher
  • In school suspension (credit for work)
  • Out of school suspension (no credit for work)
  • Expulsion

All of the above apply to all students on school grounds, bus stops, before, during and after school hours. This also includes all school activities on and off school grounds. This could be on a school sponsored bus, athletic event, field trip, or any other school related activity. Violation of these rules in connection with school personnel or students, on or off school property, and includes not during school time, may be grounds a consequence.

Since suspension and expulsion are such serious punishments, students will be entitled to a fair process procedure with the principal before it is imposed. Also, parents will be entitled, and encouraged, to confer with the principal in the event of serious disciplinary action. St. Mary School follows the Archdiocesan Policy on Student Suspension, Expulsion, Exclusion and Fair Process. Other signs or acts unnamed will be left to the discretion of the administrator.


At St. Mary’s School, we believe that children learn best in a nonviolent community. Faculty, children, and parents are committed to a school environment in which they are treated like Jesus would treat others. We, therefore, do not accept any sort of bullying behavior. Bullying is when someone is subjected to behavior that is hurtful, threatening or frightening. It often is a conscious, planned, and repeated act. It can cause distress at the time or has the potential to be a threat in the future. It can take a number of forms: physical, verbal, telephone or email, extortion, exclusion, or a person with more power using his/her superior position to belittle, frighten, exclude, or harm another student. 

What will the faculty do in regards to bullying?

The faculty will not ignore bullying behavior. They will intervene when they observe bullying behavior or it is brought to their attention. The Faculty will take appropriate steps to stop bullying, including communicating it to appropriate people.

What will students do to prevent instances of bullying?

Students will recognize bullying when they observe it. Students will report bullying to a faculty member, to their parents, or to the school principal. If you are bullied or know someone who is, you will take responsibility to talk to a teacher or the school principal.

What will parents do to prevent bullying?

If your child talks to you about bullying, take him or her seriously. Contact the school principal or teacher immediately. Tell your child that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect him or herself and that adult involvement in matters of bullying is necessary. If your child is the bully, seek the school’s help.

What actions will the school take?

The school takes bullying very seriously. When the school is informed that a student is being bullied, the principal and teacher will investigate. They will talk to the child reporting the bullying and the child accused of bullying, determine if this is an isolated incident or an ongoing pattern, and proceed accordingly.

The following levels of action will be taken if it is determined that bullying has occurred. Each incident will determine what level it is based on the following categories: severity, how many it people it affected, and how many times it occurred.

Level 1: The principal or teacher will talk to the all students involved and discuss different ways of responding or treating others. The school will give the students the knowledge and power on how to fix the problem.

Level 2: The principal will talk to the students involved and the parent will be notified. A discipline action will take place.

Level 3: The principal will set a conference with the parents and child. The child will be required to talk to the pastor. The child may be suspended.

Level 4: The principal will confer with the pastor and teacher, and/or bully committee to determine if the student should remain in the school.

The school principal, in consultation with the pastor, reserves the right to determine the seriousness of the student’s actions, and therefore, the appropriate consequence for the action.


The good name, reputation and personal safety of each student, faculty, staff member and adult volunteer is vitally important. In order to protect students, employees, volunteers, and the school/archdiocese itself, each student is expected to treat the good name and reputation of other students, school employees, volunteers and the school/archdiocese with dignity and respect and not engage in any activity or conduct, either on campus or off campus, that is in opposition to this guideline and/or inconsistent with the Catholic Christian principles of the school, as determined by the school in its discretion. Any derogatory, slanderous, hostile, or threatening remarks or actions directed toward any of the above by a student will be seen as a violation of this policy and will be viewed as an extremely serious matter, whether it is done physically, verbally, or electronically through the use of a home or school computer, phone, IPAD or other electronic media or by remote access during school time or after hours. Some examples include, but are not limited to, social media, text messages, blogging, images, pictures, etc. Any individual found to have made or participated with others in making any such remarks or actions will be subject to disciplinary action by the school, up to and including expulsion/dismissal.


Student lockers, desks and backpacks are subject to search at any time. Searches will include the student, administrator and at least 1 other staff member. Students may not bring items to school that are in violation of the law and/or school rules.


In keeping with the St. Mary’s School mission statement, the dress code has been designed to promote total education and social integration of the individual. We believe that there is a definite correlation between an individual’s personal appearance and self-esteem. When a student is appropriately groomed and dressed, he/she feels confident. A positive self-perception in turn affects other dimensions of the individual, such as behavior.

School is a child’s “place of business”. Each student is expected to report to school groomed and dressed for work. The work is the process of education, and expressions of individuality are not appropriate when they contribute to slovenliness, disruption, or distraction in the work. Fashion trends change frequently and are, therefore, poor standards of measurement in the determination for school-appropriate attire. We believe that trendy clothing that does not fall within the following dress code standards must be limited in its use to occasions outside the school environment.

Our dress code is designed to help both parents and students select comfortable appropriate clothing for the school day. We have worked to develop clear, concise guidelines that allow for individual choice. Dressing for the occasion is a lifetime skill. Learning this skill requires consistency and a cooperative effort from both home and school. We rely on parents as the primary decision-makers for their children, and are confident that they will agree that time spent in resolving dress code issues during the school day requires sacrifice of time devoted to the real goals of the educational process. We therefore recommend that a conservative approach in the application of the following dress code, allowing instructional time to be maximized.


When selecting clothes to be worn at school, we encourage you to make choices that promote Catholic values. Students’ clothing should be neat, clean, and in good taste. Garments must fit comfortably; they may not be too tight or baggy. Apparel should be in good repair (no holes, rips, nor raveled at bottom). Parents may be called and expected to bring a change of clothes in if clothing does not meet guidelines.

It is impossible to anticipate all varieties of apparel that may be worn by students to school. Therefore, teachers (with consultation of the principal) will determine inappropriate dress using the above guidelines. If it affects the learning environment, the student may be asked to leave and not return until the problem is corrected.


School polos must be worn at all school Masses. This usually occurs every Tuesday, Thursday and Holy Days of Obligations. No athletic shorts/pants allowed during School Polo days. The polos must be worn with dress, khaki style, or jeans pant/short/skirt.


Must be no shorter than 4” above the knee when one is kneeling.


May not promote violence, drugs, vulgarity, derogatory; etc. Midriff, halter/cut-off shirts (or other shirts that expose person’s midsection when arm is raised) are not appropriate. Tank tops and garments with spaghetti straps should not be worn. Sleeveless garments may not be worn unless with an accompanied garment with sleeves. Blouses and shirts must be modest, not revealing breasts.



Must be no shorter than 4” above the knee when one is kneeling. They can be worn all year round, but remember we do go outside for recess during the cold winter days. No writing and/or picture should be across the seat of the shorts.


Must be worn at the waist. Tight or baggy pants are not acceptable. No writing and/or picture across the seat of the pants. No pajama type pants. If you wear leggings or yoga style pants please make sure your shirt/sweater/covers your bottom.


Must have a strap or back around the heel. Flip-flops or slides without a back strap are not allowed. Gym shoes and socks need to be worn for P.E. No shoes with rollers are permitted.


Such as “hardware” belts, gloves without fingers, heavy chains, tattoos (including temporary tattoos), sunglasses, and hats that interfere with the learning environment are not allowed. Ears may be pierced with a limit of two earrings per ear. No other body parts may be pierced. Only traditional hair color is permitted. Hair should be trimmed and neatly groomed. Students may be sent home if the hair color or style is affecting the learning environment. Fake fingernails are not permitted. (This includes partial and full fake fingernails.)


May be worn in moderation by students in GRADES 6-8 ONLY. Make-up should be in shades/colors that are neutral. If a staff member feels the shade/color is a distraction they may ask the student to remove it.


No child is free to use the telephone at will. Calls are restricted to those which are absolutely necessary. Students who must make calls need permission from the principal, teacher or secretary. All calls must be made from school office.

St. Mary School encourages properly planned field trips for instructional purposes. In all instances, field trips shall be justified on the basis of educational gain in relationship to educational needs. Field trips must show instructional intent and exhibit adequate pre-planning which includes specific goals and objectives and effective evaluation to insure optimum use of the students’ academic time. All field trips will be properly supervised to insure positive student behavior that will reflect favorable on the goals and objectives of the school. When there is a student admission charge, the value of the activity must be carefully examined in relation to the cost.

Field trips must be planned by the teacher or teacher designee’ and approved by the principal before the plans for the field trip are made with the students and parents. Written or typed permission from a child’s parent is required before a child is permitted to go on a field trip. Permission by phone is not acceptable.

Students must have passing grade averages in each subject and maintain appropriate behavior in order to go on field trips.

  • Field trips made within the walking distance of the school in North Vernon must have written parent permission, as well as trips using vehicle transportation.
  • Generally, transportation should be by bus.
  • Cars may be used at the discretion of the principal with the following stipulations verified by the driver:
    • The driver must be 21 years of age or older.
    • The driver must have a valid, non-probationary driver’s license and no physical disability that may impair the ability to drive safely.
    • The vehicle must have a valid registration.
    • The vehicle must be insured for a minimum of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per occurrence.
  • The ratio of students to chaperones should be stated and have approval of principal.
  • Overnight field trips must have the approval of St. Mary’s School Commission.
  • Chaperones must have taken the Safe and Sacred Program provided through the Archdiocese before accompanying students on field trip.
  • Fund-raisers used to help finance cost of field trip must be approved by the principal.
  • A “Field Trip Record” must be filled out and kept on file in the office.

SMS requests balloons, flowers, cake, cupcakes, or any other type of food/treat are not to be sent to school for birthdays or special events. Please keep in mind the feelings of others when inviting other students to parties. Invitations should not be passed out in the school unless the whole class is invited.

All students in grades K-2 and special area subjects will be utilizing the Archdiocese Report Card and grading system. This report will be standard/domain based and in Grades K & 1 will receive letters E, M, P, N, X, Grade 2 will receive percentages. Grades 3-8 will use the same report cards and grading scale as past.


E = Exceeds Expectations

M = Meets Expectations

P = Progressing Forward with the Expectations

N = Does not Meet Expectations

X = Not assessed at this time

GRADES 3-8                        

A = 95 – 100

B = 86 – 94

C = 76 – 85

D = 70 – 75

F = 69 or below

Report cards are issued quarterly at St. Mary’s. Midterms will be sent four weeks prior to the issuance of report cards to students in grades 1-8.


We have an honor roll in grades 3-8. The requirements for Honor Roll:

  1. First Honors (all A’s)
  2. Second Honors (all A’s & B’s)


Graded papers will be sent home every week along with SCHOOL NEWS on Wednesdays. After looking at the papers and reading the SCHOOL NEWS, sign the cover sheet and return the empty folder to school.

Special Education and speech therapy is provided for students with this specific need through the Jennings County School Corporation. Jennings County specialists visit the school regularly. Students who are referred by their teacher(s) or parents can work with a specialist on a regular basis. If any parents feel their child may need help in the area of speech development or other special education services that affect the child’s learning, they should contact their child’s teacher in order to obtain an evaluation from Jennings County.

If your child seems to have very little homework, you may wish to require him/her to spend a specified amount of time reading. On the other hand, if your child seems to be over-loaded with homework, contact the teacher. There is probably a misunderstanding that can be corrected. Homework that is not turned in on the due date will receive the grade of “Zero” until it is turned in or quarter has ended.

Students have the opportunity to check books out of the school library every week. They are responsible for returning the book to the library in the same condition in which it was checked out. If students lose a book, they must pay for it so it can be replaced. This exchange must be approved by the librarian, Mrs. Teresa Genda.

SMS students do NOT need to bring extra money or other personal, expensive items (ex: personal electronic devices, toys, phones) to school. We accept no responsibility for loss, damage, or safekeeping. Extra-special or valuable toys or devices should be kept at home.

Cell phones may not be used at school. If cell phone is needed for after school activities, the phone needs to be turned off and kept concealed throughout the school day. If a phone is taken from a student by a staff member the parent may get contacted to come in and pick it up.

Any item brought to school that is not an essential school supply or that is used in a manner that is distracting to other students or the teacher may be confiscated by the teacher, principal, or adult supervisor. The student may request the return of the item at the end of the following school day.

Students bringing instructional electronic devices such as kindles or tablets must have parent sign the SMS Permission Form for using the electronic devices in school.

There will be a special announcement if it is necessary for a child to bring money (other than lunch money) to school. Any money brought to school is the student’s responsibility and should be kept in a safe, secure place (ex: deep pocket, purse, wallet).

All students are expected to be outdoors, engaged in active play during recesses. If a child is not able to be outside for some legitimate reason, a written excuse is required each day from the parents before he/she is allowed to remain indoors. However, every time a child must stay inside during recess, we have to provide some kind of supervision. Therefore, please do not request that your child be allowed to remain indoors unless it is absolutely necessary. When the wind chill temperature is too low during winter months, we will have indoor recess.



  • Use the restroom and get a drink before going outside.
  • Obey the supervising teacher or parent on duty.
  • Avoid any game or activity (i.e., throwing rocks or snowballs, tackling, fighting) that could result in injury.
  • Do not deliberately kick balls in the street or nearby yards. If a ball does land in the street, the teacher or parent on duty will retrieve it.
  • Seek permission from playground supervisor if there is a need to go inside.
  • First bell means to stop in place. At the second bell students walk quickly and quietly to the assigned area for their class. Students proceed to their classrooms in an orderly and quiet fashion when the playground supervisor gives the signal.
St. Mary’s Parent-Teacher Organization (P.T.O.) is a support group for the school. The officers for the 2014 – 2015 school year are:

  • President – Jennifer Watts
  • Vice-President – Lee Ann Mull and Misty Blackburn
  • Secretary – Shannon Palmer
  •  Treasurer – Sally Woods

The officers, along with the principal, comprise the P.T.O. executive committee which meets periodically to take care of routine matters and other business that must be dealt with before the general meetings.

General meetings occur approximately 4 times a year. All parents are encouraged to attend.

Without the donated services of parents, our school could not offer a broad enrichment program. All parents are expected to do their part in the Bingo fundraiser. If you cannot make your scheduled shift it is VITAL that you contact a sub so Bingo can continue to run smoothly. Volunteers are also needed for library work, teachers’ aides, office assistance, playground supervision, extracurricular activities and events, coaches, bingo and for the parish festival. Volunteers are asked to contact a teacher, the principal, or the school office to offer their services. All chaperones and regular volunteers are required to take the Safe and Sacred training provided by the Archdiocese.

St. Mary School is participating in the Indiana State School Voucher (House Bill 1003, effective July 1, 2011) and the Indiana School Scholarship Tax Credit Programs. The Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) for St. Mary’s is Choice Charitable Trust. A brief summary of both programs is located in Appendix F. You may contact the school principal for questions or clarifications.

In order to protect the health and welfare of children and school staff members alike, Indiana laws require that school personnel observe certain safeguards in administering prescription medication to pupils. If school personnel are to administer prescription medicine to your child, the following procedures must be followed:

  • A written request from the parent or guardian must be on file in the office.
  • The prescribing physician must provide a written order stating the amount of medication, the time(s) for administering, and the period of time the medication is to be administered (beginning date and ending date).
  • Medication that is brought to school must be checked in at the school office and kept in the pharmacy’s original container.
  • Students may not transport medication. This needs to be done by a parent or responsible adult.
  • Cough drops are permitted if accompanied by a note to the teacher.

Hearing and vision screening tests are provided annually by the Jennings County School nurse. After the testing is performed, a form is sent home to the parents of those students whose screenings or tests indicate problems.

St. Mary’s School is required by law to require immunization of ALL STUDENTS, kindergarten through 8th grade. The law states that when a student enrolls for the first time in a school district, the parents or guardian must furnish a written statement of the child’s immunization, with physician or health department certification. The state law requires that a child be excluded from school if his/her parents do not supply this record. Immunization requirements are available, upon request, in the school office.

Please inform the school office if student has any known allergies. Some of our classrooms might be peanut or another ingredient free due to student’s allergies. If this is the case you will receive notice and we NEED everyone to abide to keep the safety of all of our children.

State of Indiana and the Federal government have required the formation of a Wellness Policy for schools. The Office of Catholic Education has formulated an Archdiocesan Wellness Policy for our Catholic schools which provides the basis for actions to be taken by individual schools. St. Mary’s School has implemented a Wellness Policy. Purpose of policy is to provide framework to address health and future well-being of children. It provides knowledge of the effects of diet and exercise on health. Focus is placed on the following categories.

  • Health and nutrition education
  • School nutrition
  • Physical activity

A few of the recommendations and highlights from policy are listed below.

  • Emphasis will be placed on caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise).
  • Health education will include advertising, including marketing goals versus nutritional truth.
  • SMS will support parental efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.
  • Parents are encouraged to obtain BMI (Body Mass Index) information during the child’s annual physical examination.
  • According to state law, beginning in September, 2007; at least 50% of the food and beverage items available for sale at a school, or on school grounds, must qualify as “better choice” foods, or beverages.
  • A positive contribution to children’s diets and health is made by serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks with water as the primary beverage.
  • Every effort will be made to educate parents and students concerning healthy choices for lunches brought from home:
    • Parents and students will be encouraged to include fresh fruits and other healthy items, rather than packaged chips, etc.
    • Soft drinks may not be brought to school.
  • Elementary students are not to have access to vending machines during the school day.
  • “Fast food” meals may not be brought to school.
  • SMS requests that food items not be sent to school for birthday celebrations.
  • Students going out to lunch with parents during school time will be limited to only special occasions or in connection with doctor appointments.
  • Classroom education will complement physical education classes by reinforcing the knowledge and skills needed to maintain an active lifestyle and to reduce time spent in sedentary activities.
  • Children will take part in recess activities or physical activities each day.

St. Mary’s School has a policy and guidelines regarding the use of pesticides. Pesticides are not allowed to be used when children are present and must be heavily documented when used. If you would like to view this information please request to do so at the office. If your child has an allergy to any pesticides, please inform the office.

St. Mary’s School, North Vernon, of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has complied with the EPA School Rule (1982) and AHERA (1986). The management plan for meeting the requirements of AHERA is available upon request in the school office.

The initial required inspection of this school was completed on July 9, 1988, by an accredited inspector/planner. The asbestos-containing building materials identified, if left undisturbed, do not present an immediate danger to building occupants. All response actions and preventive measures called for from the first inspection, have been taken in accordance with the management plan.

In May 1999, Environmental Abatement Inc. removed all asbestos insulation piping from basement area. TEM (air sampling) was taken after removal to ensure complete removal and safety. In June 2005, floor tile was removed from a basement classroom by DHA, Inc.

Furthermore, periodic surveillance of asbestos-containing building materials is completed every six months to ensure that the materials are undisturbed and remain in good condition.

On November 30, 2010, a representative of the United State Environmental Protection Agency conducted an inspection of the Saint Mary School and determined that it was in compliance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).

St. Mary School complies with the Indiana Indoor air Quality Program as established by the Indiana Administrative Code, Rule 410 (IAC 33), April 2011 and administered by the Indiana Department of Health.