Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

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1 Church of Our Lady of the Rosary 1736 Burrstone Road New Hartford, New York Phone: Web: PARENT HANDBOOK: GRADES K

2 Contents Our Vision... 4 A Ministry of Welcome... 4 A Ministry of Hospitality... 4 A Ministry of Spirituality... 4 A Building Block: Learning the Catholic Faith Tradition... 5 Grades K-5 Curriculum... 5 Grades 6-10 Curriculum... 5 A Building Block: Practicing the Catholic Faith... 6 Regular Participation at Mass... 6 Service to Parish and Community... 6 A Building Block: Parent Awareness Meetings... 6 Preparation for the Sacraments... 7 Baptism:... 7 The Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Eucharist... 7 Sacrament of Confirmation:... 8 Sacrament of Reconciliation: Continuing Relationship with God... 8 Safe Environment... 9 VIRTUS Adult Awareness Training... 9 Circles of Care... 9 Campus Safety Registration Policies and Procedures General Policies Registration Process

3 Classroom Policies and Procedures School Calendar Last Minute Program Cancellations Attendance Rules of Conduct Health/ Medications Relatively Minor Accident/Illness Serious Accident or Illness Field Trips Technology: Telephone, Internet and Social Media Use of Photographs Preliminary Schedule Kindergarten through Grade Grade 6 through Grade Joining the Faith Formation Team

4 Our Vision A Ministry of Welcome Our Faith Formation is open to all families with children from Kindergarten until the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation in Grade 11. It is structured to provide catechetical instruction on the Catholic Faith, primarily to the youth of our parish but is open to children and youth from other parishes and those not formally identified with a specific parish. A Ministry of Hospitality We hope to deepen the faith and sense of belonging to the Catholic Church in our children and their families. A Ministry of Spirituality We strive to assist children and their families to commit themselves to a personal relationship with God and the church. 4

5 The Faith Formation Building Blocks Building Our Faith Community Together Parents are the first and most important educators of their children St. Pope John Paul I Our goal is to assist parents in the spiritual formation and ongoing moral development of their children through a formal program of continuous religious education. Our Catechists and parents form a team to provide a structure for God s love to touch each student s life. We acknowledge that it is only with God s grace, we will be able to form your child into a committed, active, and enthusiastic disciple of Jesus. A Building Block: Learning the Catholic Faith Tradition Grades K-5 Curriculum Our K-5 Faith Formation is based on a curriculum published by Silver Burdett Ginn Religion, called Blest Are We ( In Blest Are We, faith is developed through a spiral curriculum based on the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The four Pillars are taught in every unit, at every level, every year. The Four Pillars of Faith are: 1. What Catholics Believe 2. How Catholics Worship 3. How Catholics Live 4. How Catholics Pray Grades 6-10 Curriculum Our 6-10 Faith Formation program is based primarily on a curriculum published by St. Mary s Press called The Discovering Program ( Through The Discovering Program, based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, faith is developed through a series of grade-appropriate mini-courses that address real-life teen issues and learning styles. In addition, our program integrates a large group activity for all students in Grades 6-10 as part of each mini-course. 5

6 A Building Block: Practicing the Catholic Faith Regular Participation at Mass All Faith Formation students and their families should regularly participate at Weekend Mass. Students should sit with their families. Students in Kindergarten will always sit with their families. However, students in Grade 1 through Grade 5 will sit together as a class approximately once a month. The Sunday Liturgy will be focused as a worship experience geared to their age. Students in Grades 6 and above will sit with their families, unless indicated otherwise. (See Schedule) Service to Parish and Community Service to the Parish and the Community is an important element in living our Catholic faith. As service to the parish, we are inviting students in Grades 4 and 5 to volunteer as Altar Servers at Mass. In addition we are inviting students in Grades 6 through 10 to be Lectors and Ministers of Hospitality at Mass. For those in Grade 10, there is a required 15 hours of parish/community service. A Building Block: Parent Awareness Meetings While the essence of our Catholic faith tradition remains the same, the Church s self-understanding and awareness of its practices, customs and traditions has matured over the years. The Parent Awareness Meeting will provide you with an appreciation of our Catholic faith tradition that you can convey to your child, even if you are not Catholic yourself. These meetings are intended to assist your efforts to nurture your child s spiritual development so that your child is someone who lives by Gospel values and promotes God s kingdom in the world, not only now but throughout life. 6

7 Preparation for the Sacraments Direct preparation for the Sacraments is distinct from the regular parish faith formation instruction and is the responsibility of the parish. Children must be baptized. A baptismal certificate is required. (Additional information for the preparation for specific Sacraments is available on the parish website) Sacramental preparation is a journey for parents and their children together. Baptism: Parents of students who reach Catechetical age and have not been baptized as a Roman Catholic should speak to Sr. Martha if the child is enrolling in Grades K-5 or Dick Vetere if the child is enrolling in Grades Students enrolled in Direct Preparation for First Eucharist and Confirmation must have a copy of their Baptism Certificate on file with the Faith Formation Program. The Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Eucharist General preparation will take place for Grades 1 and 2 during Sunday morning classes. These Faith Formation classes for Grades 1 and 2 are required for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. If your child did not attend Faith Formation classes in 1 st grade, speak to the Director. Students not attending classes at Our Lady of the Rosary must provide proof of participation in another program as a requirement to enter the Direct Preparation. Direct Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist also takes place during Grade 2. There are additional requirements which include events such as Parent/Child meetings, rehearsals, familiarization with prayers associated with the Mass and Sacraments. (See Schedule) The Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Eucharist are celebrated while the child is in the 2nd grade. If a child has not made their First Reconciliation and First Eucharist and is currently in Grade 3, 4, or 5, the child s parents should speak directly to the K-5 Director. If the young adult is in Grade 6 or above, the young adult s parents should speak directly to the Faith Formation Grade 6-10 Coordinator. 7

8 Sacrament of Confirmation: Direct Preparation for Confirmation is offered in the summer or fall following the completion of 10 th grade. Requirements for eligibility for participation in Direct Preparation are found on our webpage. Grades 9 and 10 Faith Formation classes are required for Confirmation. Attendance at all sessions is essential. Students not attending classes at Our Lady of the Rosary must provide proof of participation in another program as a requirement to enter the Direct Preparation. The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated when the young adult is in the 11 th grade. The schedule for the Sacrament of Confirmation will be available in the spring of Sacrament of Reconciliation: Continuing Relationship with God As children mature, their understanding of maintaining a loving relationship also matures as well as the fact that sometimes that relationship is broken or damaged. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an encounter with our loving and most compassionate God, inviting us to grow in holiness and love of God and neighbor. Therefore, each Advent (the weeks before Christmas) and each Lent (the 40 days before Easter), classes in Grade 3-10 will incorporate a reflection on fixing damaged or broken relationships with God and neighbor. Students will be invited along with their families, to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Schedule of Reconciliation Services will be made available before Advent and again before Lent. 8

9 Safe Environment VIRTUS Adult Awareness Training The VIRTUS Protecting God s Children training program teaches adults how to protect children by making participants aware of the signs of child abuse, the methods by which offenders commit abuse, the reporting procedures for suspected abuse and the steps we take to build and maintain safe environments. Parents and other interested adults are also invited to attend this training. All clergy, all religious, and all employees of the Syracuse Diocese, as well as any volunteer who comes into direct contact with children, are required to attend this training as well as complete a criminal background check. Recertification and an updated criminal background check are required every 5 years. In addition, parents should report any suspected child abuse to the Faith Formation Director K-5 or the 6-10 Coordinator. Further information can be located on the Diocese of Syracuse website ( Circles of Care The Circles of Care curriculum addresses age appropriate personal safety issues for children and youth. The name of the program is rooted in the universal symbol for wholeness, the circle. The circle signifies completeness, infinity and the sphere within which communication and dialogue happen best. The age-appropriate lessons of Circles of Care are intended to strengthen and complement the care that is already part of the Faith Formation ministry. Students will be introduced to foundational principles of living our faith, especially personal safety, making good decisions, developing wholesome relationships and self-esteem. One class period each year is designated to teaching Circles of Care. Parents will be notified in advance. Further information can be located on the Diocese of Syracuse website ( 9

10 Campus Safety Our Faith Formation Campus Safety procedures are meant to prevent the unlikely, but still possible in today s world, actions that would threaten a child s physical safety. 1. Only the front doors will be used for entering and exiting the building. 2. On Sunday morning, parents in K-5 will bring their child to the classroom and check in with the catechist. Parents should either leave the building or relax in the cafeteria. No adult should be in the classroom wing hall without specific permission from the Faith Formation K-5 Director. An adult hall monitor will be present to ensure that the classroom hall wing is secured. 3. At the end of class parents should return to the classroom and check their child out of class. No child will be released to anyone except a parent or authorized representative of the parent. 4. On Sunday evenings, parents are allowed to drop their child at the front door of Notre Dame. The student will go directly to the classroom. After class, the young adult will leave the classroom and go directly to the front door to go home. If a parent does not wish their child to have independent dismissal, the parent should talk to the Faith Formation 6-10 Coordinator to make suitable arrangements. 5. After all students have entered the building, the front doors will be secured and a hall monitor will be present to allow entrance to the building. 6. In case of an emergency, parents may sign their children out of the class. An adult will be at the entrance of the building and at the entrance of the classroom wing to assist you. 7. In case of an emergency evacuation, all students will be relocated to a designated space behind Notre Dame. When it is safe to do so, students will return to Notre Dame or be brought to Our Lady of the Rosary Church. The Faith Formation staff will follow the directions of law enforcement and fire officials. Do not take your child from the campus until after you have signed your child out of the class. 8. All members of the Catechetical Team will wear Identification Badges. 10

11 Registration Policies and Procedures General Policies All are welcome! Students with special needs the Faith Formation K-5 Director or 6-10 Coordinator needs to be informed about any student who has a special condition or special need. Modifications will be determined on an individual basis. Custodial rights of parents are protected as these pertain to the child s participation in the program as well as release from the program. Both parents usually have the right to information about their child. In the case of civil orders of child protection, documentation will be reviewed. Registration Process This year, all students (both new and returning) must complete a Registration Form so that we can update our records. Faith Formation Registration forms are available on tables in the Church or may be downloaded from our website. Please return one completed form for each child attending the Faith Formation Program by August 30th. Forms may be put in the collection baskets, mailed or dropped off at the parish office Monday through Friday between 9 am 1 pm. 11

12 Classroom Policies and Procedures School Calendar Our Faith Formation calendar for Grades K-10 is provided to parents listing program dates and holidays. Parents will be notified promptly of all updates or any changes (including special events) in the schedule by , in the parish bulletin, and on the webpage. The School Calendar for September through December, 2015 will be available in August. The School Calendar for January through May 2016 will be available in the fall, Last Minute Program Cancellations Last minute cancellations will be communicated by local media, and a message on the parish office phone. Classes are cancelled only for significant reasons. Attendance Absences (and late arrivals) may require make-up work. Each teacher may develop a make-up plan to share with the families. It will be necessary for parents to explain excessive absences or late arrivals to the Faith Formation K-5 Director or the 6-10 Coordinator. Students in Sacramental Preparation may be delayed from receiving a Sacrament for insufficient attendance after a discussion with the parents. 12

13 Rules of Conduct Time together for Faith Formation classes is extremely important and valuable. The Faith Formation Program strives to assist children in committing themselves to a personal relationship with God and the church. In order for this to happen, students must: 1. Be prepared and participate positively 2. Listen to the ideas of others 3. Respect the rules of the class as shared by the Catechist Appropriate discipline is an aspect of providing a safe environment. Inappropriate behavior such as, but not limited to, disrespect, intimidation, bullying or harassment will not be tolerated. Incidents of inappropriate behavior should be reported to the Faith Formation K-5 Director or 6-10 Coordinator. Incidents will be discussed with parents. Students are subject to suspension or dismissal. Health/ Medications Parents are responsible to notify Faith Formation K-5 Director or 6-10 Coordinator and teachers of any special medical needs of the students. If a child must have medications on site, the parent will inform the teacher and record information on the registration form. Relatively Minor Accident/Illness If relatively minor accident/illness occurs to a student while attending the catechetical program, the Faith Formation K-5 Director or 6-10 Coordinator notifies the parent. If the parent cannot be reached, the catechetical leader follows instructions on the Registration Form for the emergency contact. Serious Accident or Illness If a serious accident/illness occurs to a student while attending the catechetical program, 911 is called immediately. The Faith Formation K-5 Director or 6-10 Coordinator notifies the parent. If the parent can t be reached, the Faith Formation K-5 Director or 6-10 Coordinator will follow instructions on the Registration Form for the emergency contact. 13

14 Field Trips All field trips must be approved by the Faith Formation K-5 Director or 6-10 Coordinator. Permission slips with pertinent information must be completed by parents/guardians and returned promptly. No child will be allowed to participate in field trips, retreats, or service projects away from the parish campus/notre Dame without this information. Technology: Telephone, Internet and Social Media All contact with parents using the internet or s will be made through the authorized website to parents. Our website is: Authorized s have the following and will all end in: authorized or authorized No contact will be made directly through personal s. There will be no contact with students without a copy of the being sent to the parents. The parish does not use social media at this time. There is no authorized Facebook page, twitter account, etc. The Catechetical Team will only contact parents by phone, never the students. All s sent to the parish and to those on the Catechetical Team who have authorized addresses are monitored. If there is any deviation from this technology policy, parents should report it to Fr. Honold immediately. 14

15 Use of Photographs Photographs and/or videos of minors are taken periodically for use in parish publications and to celebrate your child s participation and accomplishments. In signing the registration form, you are granting permission to Our Lady of the Rosary to use photos and videos of your child with the following conditions: Child s pictures will generally appear unnamed in the photo. If names are used, only your child s first name will be published. Last names will not be used without contacting you and obtaining your specific permission for a specific photo. You may limit or disallow this by contacting the parish office and providing us with a written notice of what limitations you would prefer. Please note that the diocese, its parishes, schools and ministries have limited control over the use of photography or film taken by private individuals or the media that may be covering the event in which your child(ren) participate(s) You, eternal Trinity, are a deep sea: the more I enter you, the more I discover, the more I seek St. Catherine of Siena 15

16 Preliminary Schedule Kindergarten through Grade 5 OPEN HOUSE WELCOME SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13 10:00 AM to 10:40 AM NOTRE DAME All students and parents/guardians will begin the 2015 Faith Formation year with an Open House Welcome. Everyone should gather in Notre Dame School cafeteria no later than 10:00 AM. The meeting will start promptly. Please enter Notre Dame using the front doors only. Introduction and Welcome to Sr. Martha and her Catechetical Team will begin the meeting. The Parent Handbook will be distributed and reviewed. Questions about the new format will be answered. The School Calendar will be distributed. Catechists will meet with families to review the previously submitted Registration Information Form. Students and parents will visit the specific classroom where the student s class will be held. 16

17 Grade 6 through Grade 10 MINI COURSE 1: CLASS 1 SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM NOTRE DAME All pre-registered students will be directed to their assigned classroom. Mini-Course 1 educational materials will be distributed to the students. The themes in Mini Course 1 are: Grade 6 Becoming a Friend Grade 7 Understanding Myself Grade 8 Making Decisions Grade 9 Exploring the Bible Grade 10 Jesus: His Message and Mission, Part 1 Parents/guardians who have not completed the Registration Form should come to the Faith Formation Registration Desk in the lobby of Notre Dame when dropping their child off for class. Forms must be completed at that time for any student who has not been pre-registered. MINI COURSE 1: CLASS 2 And PARENT CONFERENCE SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 20 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM NOTRE DAME All pre-registered students will be directed to their assigned classroom. All parents will go to the Notre Dame Cafeteria for the first Parent Conference. As soon as the topic and presenter are confirmed, parents will be notified. There will also be a short review of the Parent Handbook and School Schedule. COMPETE SCHEDULE WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON 17

18 Joining the Faith Formation Team What a wonderful opportunity parents have to participate in parish ministry by volunteering to help in the Faith Formation Team while their child is attending class. Our Faith Formation team invites you to use your time and talent to assist in Faith Formation roles such as: Teacher: Substitute Teacher: Classroom Assistant: Office Assistant: Hall Monitor: Other: To obtain further information about what is required, please contact Sr. Martha Larkin, Director of K-5 Sunday morning Faith Formation Dick Vetere, Coordinator of 6-10 Sunday evening Faith Formation Last update July 25,

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