Click here to download the full 2020-2021 Handbook or browse the tabs below.
- Code of Conduct
- Diocesan Policies
- Dress Code
- Financial Policy
- General Policies
- Safety & Security
- COVID-19 Appendix
- Graduation Requirements
- Recommended Sequence
- AP & CE Courses
- Course Selection & Changes
- Grade Scale - Weighted
- Grading Policies
- Grading System
- Honor Roll & Graduation Honors
- Academic Probation
To be eligible for graduation each student must meet the following requirements:
|Modern & Classical Languages||2|
|Fine Arts (Music & Art)||1|
*All students must carry a minimum of 6 courses each semester.
The student must successfully complete a minimum of 26 credits. Tuition must be paid in full, all fees paid, and all athletic uniforms and books returned.
|Fine Art Elective||0.5|
The curriculum for the Advanced Placement (AP) Courses is determined by the College Board. All students enrolled in AP classes are required to take AP examinations for each class as a course requirement. The AP exams are administered in May and there is a fee for each exam. The exam fee is collected in September by the AP Instructor.
The curriculum for College Equivalency (CE) Courses is determined by the college or university granting credit for a course. All students who enroll in a CE course must enroll for college credit. To receive college credit a student must meet the requirements of the course and pay a fee as determined by the college or university.
Throughout the year, school counselors meet with the students in an effort to advise them on the appropriate selection of courses to fulfill their needs and goals. Effort is made to provide students with the most appropriate counseling available. In addition to the school counselor, students are advised to consult with individual subject faculty, parents, and professionals in the world of work and college representatives.
Course selections will be made in the spring of each year. The course selection process occurs online following presentations by the school counselors. After appropriate consultation with classroom teachers and others, courses are selected for the next year. Teachers make recommendations for classes based on academic and class performance. The Administration will intervene in course selection conflicts where any of the parties deem it necessary.
Course / Schedule Changes
Changing courses after the year has begun is a difficult process and may adversely affect planned class size and teaching assignments. However, there are circumstances that arise which may necessitate a course change (mechanical error, course needed for graduation requirements, add additional elective, etc.)
A schedule change may occur if a teacher decides that a student has been placed incorrectly in a class. If that occurs, the teacher will contact the school counselor and complete the online Course Change Form.
Schedule changes will not be made in order to accommodate a student’s work schedule, extracurricular activities, arrival or departure from school, preference for a teacher or time of class. Schedule changes initiated by the student or parent(s) should occur within the first two weeks of a semester. The student will input the necessary information and submit an online Course Change Form.
If a request is made to drop a class after two weeks, the request will be reviewed by the Administration. If the request is honored, a withdrawal (W) will be recorded on the student’s transcript. No credit will be granted for the courses from which a student withdraws.
*COVID-19 Update: Students will have three weeks (from the first day of class) to make course changes and withdrawal from a course. Course availability is subject to classroom capacity numbers that may change due to social distancing measures.
|Letter||%||CE / AP||Honors High School||College Preparatory|
1. An “I” (incomplete) on the report card will automatically change to an “E” (failure) if the student has not made up the work within 3 weeks after the start of the next grading quarter unless other arrangements have been made with the teacher and approved by the Administration.
2. A failure in any required course must be made up in summer school prior to the next school term.
3. A final grade in a semester course is an average of two quarter grades and the final exam for the courses.
4. A final grade in a full-year course is an average of the 1st and 2nd semester grades. The semester average is determined by 40% weighted average of 1st semester, 40% weighted average of 2nd semester, 10% weighted average of midterm exam, and 10% weighted average of final exam.
5. Any student who fails three or more courses for the year may not be permitted to return to Oakland Catholic.
6. Except for extenuating circumstances, any student who misses 36 or more class periods in a year-long course or 18 or more in a semester course will not receive a passing grade.
7. No student receives a cap and gown or participates in graduation ceremonies for Oakland Catholic High School unless she has earned a passing grade in all courses required for her graduation.
8. A senior with three full-credit failures or the equivalent, cannot receive an Oakland Catholic diploma.
Grades will be used to determine weighted grades and honor roll.
Courses will be placed in one of four categories to determine their weight. These categories are “Advanced Placement” (AP), “College Equivalency” (CE), “Honors” (HON), and “College Preparatory” (CP).
- The placement of a course within a particular category is based on the requirements of the course in relation to what is expected of the average (i.e., the numerical norm) high school student. For example, the college prep student is expected to take Religion, English, two years of a Foreign Language, Social Studies, Mathematics and Science. Accordingly, those courses would fall under the Category College Preparatory. Courses that have requirements which exceed what is expected of the college prep student would be placed in the Honors category. Finally, those courses that require work that is equivalent to work expected of a college student, or courses for which college credit is granted such as an AP or CE course would receive the designation College Equivalency/Advanced Placement.
OC Honor Roll cards are distributed at the end of each quarter. To qualify for the Honor Roll, a student must have attained the following, based on the weighted grading scale. Grade point averages are truncated, not rounded up.
- Highest Honor: 4.0 GPA
- High Honor: 3.75 GPA; minimum of 70% in any subject
- Honor: 3.5 GPA; minimum of 70% in any subject
Note: Honor Roll and Final GPA are computed differently.
COMPUTING HONOR ROLL
For Honor Roll purposes, each grade is weighted according to category. To calculate Honor Roll, add grade points for each course and divide by the number of courses.
COMPUTING FINAL GPA FOR A PARTICULAR YEAR
To calculate the final GPA:
*Multiply grade points by credit value
*Add the result
*Divide by the number of credits
*Truncate the results
The Valedictorian, Salutatorian, and Honors designation at graduation will be based on a cumulative GPA after the 3rd quarter of the senior year. Students completing 4 years at OCHS will be considered for Valedictorian and Salutatorian.
A student with a failing grade at the end of a grading period will be placed on academic probation for 2 weeks after grades are released. After 2 weeks, grades will be reviewed. If a student is still receiving a grade below 70 (in any subject) they will remain on probation until the next report card. During this time, the student is encouraged to improve grades. Students on academic probation will be suspended from all extracurricular activities until a probation review is conducted.
- Parent Communication
- Honors Convocation
- Midterm & Final Exams
- Progress Reports & Report Cards
- Service/Volunteer Activities
- Student Records
- Study Halls
- Transfer/Withdrawal Policy
Parents are encouraged to monitor their daughter’s progress and, if necessary contact teachers by either phone or e-mail. Please allow a teacher 24 hours to respond. The PowerSchool Parent Portal, described below under “Progress Reports/ Report Cards”, is designed to optimize parent/teacher communication.
Parent-Teacher conferences are available by appointment only after the first grading period. The date and time of the conference day is on the school calendar. Conferences after subsequent grading policies can be requested by teachers/parents/school counselors.
*COVID-19 Update: Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held virtually in November, 2020.
Students who have achieved academic and scholarship awards through various organizations, colleges, and universities are recognized at Honors Convocation, a ceremony usually held in April. This is not a recognition ceremony for achieving Honor Roll status at Oakland Catholic High School. GPA recognition at Honors Convocation for the JOA Society of Scholars is cumulative GPA, meaning a GPA that represents grades achieved across all years calculated after the 3rd quarter senior year.
Please refer to the school calendar for the dates when Midterm and Final exams are scheduled. Please do not plan vacations or doctor appointments for these days. Students must take exams on the scheduled day unless absent due to an illness. Administration must give approval for rescheduling an exam at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled test for extenuating circumstances.
*COVID-19 Update: Midterm and final exam dates are subject to change.
Students’ grades can be accessed on the PowerSchool Parent Portal, Oakland Catholic’s electronic Student Information System (SIS). Activation information will be distributed to parents/guardians and students at the beginning of the school year. Access will be given to families who are in good financial standing. Parents may request to have printed progress reports indicating poor progress mailed to their home if computer access is unavailable.
Grades are important tools for communication. Quarter grades will be issued electronically four (4) times during the academic school year, or every nine (9) weeks. No student or parent will have access to the PowerSchool Portal if tuition, academic or athletic financial responsibilities are in arrears.
Oakland Catholic High School encourages all students to share their blessings with those in the community who are in need. We ask that students give of their time and talent as volunteers in community/civic or parish programs. Information is available to students through religion classes, campus ministry, and through a roster of volunteer opportunities for students in the office of the Campus Minister. Interested students are encouraged and welcome to use these resources. Twenty-five hours of service are required during the junior year.
*COVID-19 Update: Service/volunteer activities will prioritize the safety of all students. Therefore, service opportunities/requirements are subject to change for the 2020-2021 school year.
Students are assigned to a quiet study hall when they do not have a scheduled class. Students are to report to study hall on time and are to bring homework or reading material to the study hall. Using a cell phone or watching TV shows/movies, listening to music, and playing games/cards is not permitted. Students, after signing-in with the teacher or proctor, may go to the School Counseling Office. No student should be in the hallways during study hall without an E-Hall pass. Students may not leave the school grounds during study hall or any class time. Seniors are not assigned a specific study hall teacher, but are required to remain in the designated senior study areas.
All textbooks are furnished by the school and are issued at the beginning of the year. Check the OC Course Description Catalog for detailed materials needed for each course. Any student who loses or damages a book issued to her is financially responsible for it. Transcripts and/or report cards will be withheld due to outstanding payment.
All grades from previous schools will be weighted on College Prep, Honors or AP values. Credit values for graduation will be evaluated on an individual basis. When a student is transferring to another school, an official withdrawal form must be completed in person in the School Office. All books and laptops including cords, sleeves and tags must be returned, and all debts must be paid before transcripts will be forwarded.
Since tuition payments begin on July 1st of the current academic year, students transferring from Oakland Catholic to another school after this date will be required to pay tuition due to date, plus an additional month’s tuition as a transfer fee before records will be forwarded.
*COVID-19 Update: Please check the COVID-19 Appendix tab above for more information regarding attendance policies and procedures for this school year.
- General Policies
- *Reporting via SafeArrival
- Absence Types
- School Closing/Delay
- Early Dismissals
- Late Arrival - Tardy
- Bus Passes
Oakland Catholic High School is responsible for all students registered to attend Oakland Catholic during school hours. Therefore, the following procedures have been instituted in order to ensure the safety and well-being of all students. The cooperation of students and parents/guardians is expected. Consistent, punctual, daily attendance is essential to the learning process. Any absence excused or unexcused from class jeopardizes the acquisition of skills, the development of mature understanding, and knowledge that evolves from interaction between students and teachers and from student to student. For these reasons, Oakland Catholic High School, in accordance with the Department of Education for the State of Pennsylvania, establishes the following policies concerning attendance:
1. Students absent 20 or more days may be required to attend summer school before being promoted or awarded a diploma. A student who misses 36 or more periods per year (18 for a semester course) may fail that course and must attend summer school. Exceptions to attendance policy due to special circumstances may be made only by the Administration.
2. If a student is absent from school for any reason, she may not participate in sports or extra-curricular events that may be scheduled that afternoon or evening. This includes activities at Central Catholic, such as, but not limited to, Masque and Marching Band.
3. All students must be present for every class and study hall to which they are assigned. All absences, regardless of the circumstances, become a part of the student’s permanent record. This document, including the attendance record, is used when providing references to colleges and prospective employers.
4. If a student is absent for 3 or more consecutive days a doctor’s excuse must be presented when she returns to school.
5. After five unexcused absences in one quarter, a student will be considered for referral to the Student Assistance Program (SAP) and parent(s) must come in to meet with Administration.
6. The Administration will review the attendance records of all students with ten (10) absences. When medical documentation cannot be verified, the Administration will notify the parents or guardian regarding the attendance record of their child. If the absences continue without medical documentation, the parents or guardians will be required to meet with the Administration.
To report an absence a parent/guardian must utilize SafeArrival. With SafeArrival, you are asked to report your child’s absence in advance using any of these 3 convenient methods:
Using your mobile device, download and install the SchoolMessenger app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store (or from the links at https://go.schoolmessenger.com). The first time you use the app, select Sign Up to create your account. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.
Use the SafeArrival website, https://go.schoolmessenger.com. The first time you use the website, select Sign Up to create your account. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.
Call the toll-free number (833) 456-8309 to report an absence using the automated phone system.
These options are available 24 hours/day, 7 days a week. Future absences can be reported at any time.
A parent/guardian contact will be initiated if a call is not made by 9:00am in order to verify a student’s well-being and safety. If no parent/guardian contact has been made by 10:00am to report a legal absence, the absence will be noted as unexcused.
Upon returning to school, the student must bring a medical note or a note written and signed by a parent/guardian to the office. The note must give the student’s first and last name, the date and the reason for absence. Absences are recorded as excused, unexcused, or illegal. Notes received after 36 hours upon return will not be accepted and the absence will remain unexcused.
ABSENCE – Excused
Although all absences are considered serious, the school recognizes that certain circumstances may prevent a student from attending school. The following are considered excused absences:
- Death in the family
- Family trips that have an educational value and that are pre-approved by the Principal with two weeks prior notice
- Illness, hospitalization
- Impassable roads
- College visits; three for Seniors, two for juniors - must present verification from college
- Absences due to student participation in activities/events in which the student represents Oakland Catholic
ABSENCE – Unexcused
An absence is considered to be UNEXCUSED if the reasons for the absence are other than the reasons previously stated. The following are considered unexcused absences:
- Car Problem
- Class cut day
- Missing the bus
- Parent neglect
- Unapproved family trip
If proper procedure for reporting the absence is not followed, or if the Administration does not give permission for the absence, the absence will be recorded as unexcused on the student’s record and disciplinary action will be taken as a result.
ABSENCE – Illegal
An absence is considered to be ILLEGAL if a student does not report to school and the parent/guardian is unaware that she is not in attendance or if the student falsifies a note or a call. The following are considered illegal absences:
- Falsifying a note or phone call
Truancy violates Pennsylvania law and is a major violation of Oakland Catholic policy. Repeated truancy will be reported to the student’s local school district truant office and may be cause for dismissal from Oakland Catholic. Students will not be given the opportunity to complete academic work/tests due to truancy.
If a student is absent illegally, the student will serve an In-School Suspension.
ABSENCE – Vacation
Trips and vacations during the school year are discouraged, especially during mid-term and final exam weeks. If it is necessary for a student to be absent due to vacation, the parents should fill in the Student Vacation Request form on the OC website at least two weeks in advance. The Principal will review each vacation request. Only approved vacations will receive excused absence designation.
All class assignments given during any vacation day absence are the student’s responsibility to ascertain. Class teacher shall determine assignment due dates. A paper or long-term assignment due during the time of the vacation must be submitted prior to the vacation. All tests, quizzes, and labs must be made up within one week of the student’s return. It is the student's responsibility to return to school prepared to continue with class work as if no absences occurred. The student must notify teachers at least two class periods before departure.
ABSENCE - College Visits
Seniors are encouraged to schedule college visits on free days but are permitted three excused absences to visit prospective colleges. Juniors are permitted two excused absences for a college visit. The student must present verification from the college of her visit.
Severely inclement weather or mechanical breakdown may necessitate school closing, delayed starting time, or early dismissal. Such emergencies will be announced and posted to the websites of the following stations: KDKA, WTAE and WPXI. Please follow the information that is given for Oakland Catholic High School.
(Please Note: We do not automatically follow Central Catholic High School’s or the Pittsburgh Public Schools schedules for closing and delays).
The information will also be posted to the Oakland Catholic website.
If your school district closes, and Oakland Catholic is open or delayed, your daughter is not obligated to attend school. However, she will be required to make up all her work. If your school district is delayed, follow your district’s delayed schedule. If a conflict occurs between what Oakland Catholic has announced and what your school district has announced, follow the schedule announced by your public school district.
Early dismissals are strongly discouraged and will only be granted for verifiable reasons, which are the same as for excused absences. Parents are encouraged to schedule non-emergency medical/dental appointments after school hours. If an early dismissal is required, please submit request via SafeArrival.
Students must sign out in the School Office prior to leaving school. Also, upon returning to school after an early dismissal on the same day, a student is required to sign in with the Attendance Secretary. Verification of the appointment should accompany the student upon her return to school. Students must follow proper procedures when requesting such release from school, or permission may be denied. Students who miss four periods will be marked absent for half a day. Students who miss more than four periods will be marked absent for the entire day. Students will not be granted an early release on the day of a Liturgy or assembly without special permission from Administration.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAY A STUDENT LEAVE SCHOOL DURING SCHOOL HOURS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM PARENT/GUARDIAN THROUGH THE ADMINISTRATION.
If a student becomes ill during the day, she must report to the School Office or Nurse when onsite. If she is to be sent home, the office staff will call her parent/guardian and arrange for permission anddismissal. On particular days, a school nurse is available and will be in contact with parents. Students may not call or text their parents without permission from the School Office.
EARLY DISMISSAL – Sports
In the event that students are dismissed early from class to leave for a scheduled school sponsored game/match, they should change into their sport uniforms and remain in the building until the arrival of the bus for transport. At no time will students be permitted to leave the premises while awaiting the bus. The time for sport early dismissals will be announced. Students may not leave a class before the announced time. Students are responsible for work that is missed due to an early dismissal.
Students arriving after the 7:55am bell must first report to the School Office. No student may go to a classroom or a locker without first reporting to the office. Failure to follow this procedure will result in an after school detention.
If a late arrival is required for a medical, dental or optical appointment, the student must submit a written request from the parent and a doctor’s excuse prior to or following the visit.
If a late arrival is due to illness, an emergency, crisis or impassable roads, a note/phone call/email is also required. Upon late arrival to school, the student must immediately report to the School Office. This is the procedure whether she currently belongs in class, study or homeroom. She will be issued an e-hall pass to admit her to class, study hall or homeroom. This is an excused tardy.
Students who arrive after 11:00am will not be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities or athletic events for that day.
Tardiness is recorded as unexcused when students fail to submit an excuse for the tardy or if the reason for the late arrival does not meet the criteria listed under the ABSENCE-Excused policy.
Chronic lateness will result in more severe disciplinary action. Students who are tardy, excused or unexcused for school 5 times in one quarter will lose their parking permit and/or will be referred to the Student Assistance Program (SAP). After 4 unexcused tardies (after homeroom) in a given month students will schedule a Saturday detention with the Assistant Principal. Tardiness is excused in cases of illness, doctor appointment, bus delays, or extreme emergencies as determined by the building principal, and should be accompanied by documentation from a parent or guardian. Failure to submit a tardy excuse within three days of the tardy will be considered an unexcused tardy.
Students who live two miles or more away from the school and who are residents of the City are eligible for a ConnectCard. They are distributed to students the first week of school and reloaded every month by Port Authority’s Business Web Portal. If the card is lost or stolen, the student must report it immediately to the School Office at Oakland Catholic. The replacement cost is $5.00 and takes up to two weeks to be replaced by Port Authority.
The Student Code of Conduct reflects the core values of Oakland Catholic High School expressed in the Mission and Philosophy of the school. Within this code are expectations for behavior that are consistent with the highest Christian and ethical standards in both academic and non-academic areas. It is required that this Code of Conduct is understood, accepted, and followed by all members of the Oakland Catholic community. Both in and out of school, students are required to show respect for and protect the good name and reputation of the school itself, other students, and the faculty, staff, and administration.
Students who defame or portray in a negative light the school or members of the school community will be subject to disciplinary action including verbal reprimand, parent notification, demerits, detentions, suspension, and/or expulsion. At the end of the school year, a review of all student discipline records is made. As a result of that review, a student may not be invited to continue her education at Oakland Catholic High School or a student’s return may be made probationary.
CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY
Students are encouraged to take pride in Oakland Catholic High School. We expect that students cooperate in keeping the cafeteria, desks, books, and all school property in good order.
CELL PHONES/ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Cell phones, including, but not limited to iWatch, Samsung watch, etc., may not be used during the school day unless requested by the instructor. Electronic devices may not be used during the lunch periods or in the restroom. Cell phones must be turned off and kept in the student’s backpack.
- 1st violation of this policy will result in a one-hour detention
- 2nd violation will result in a Saturday detention
- Repeated violations will result in more severe disciplinary action, as determined by the school Administration
Inappropriate use of a cell phone may include, but is not limited to the following:
- Placing/receiving a call/text/other communication during instructional time. Note: Parents are encouraged to call the school for emergency situations rather than attempting to contact their daughter directly
- Use in locker room, restroom, or other areas where an individual would have reasonable privacy
- Taking, storing, disseminating, transferring, viewing, or sharing of obscene, inappropriate, or illegal images/videos
- Using any electronic device for purposes which are in direct violation of the Code of Conduct such as bullying, cheating, or harassment
Oakland Catholic High School students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in all academic areas. The school looks upon cheating on any test and all other class assignments or plagiarizing the work of others as extremely serious offenses. Cheating and plagiarism are unjust, dishonest, and in a very real sense, stealing. If a student is discovered to have carried out the dishonest action of cheating or plagiarism on any test or class assignment, the following steps will occur:
- The teacher or faculty member who discovers the dishonesty will inform the student and the Administration of her/his findings within 2 days of grading the test/assignment
- Notification will be given to the parent/guardian by the teacher
- The minimum penalty for cheating/plagiarism is a grade “0” (zero) on the test or for the work covered by the
- Cheating/plagiarism will result in dismissal from NHS or the JOA Society of Scholars
- Repeated incidence of cheating will result in further disciplinary action by Administration
Cheating/Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- The use of “cheat sheets” in any form at any time. This includes the use of calculators, cell phones, or other electronic devices to secretly store and use improper information during a test
- Any form of communication between students during a test or quiz (whether virtual or in-person)
- Sharing or receiving answers or questions of a test or quiz prior to the student taking the test or quiz
- Copying material from other students, whether the test is copied directly or altered by changing select words. This is also true for research papers, quizzes, or tests
- Any type of plagiarism including downloading or copying material from the Internet and submitting it as one’s own work
- Adding a name to a group project of an individual who has not made significant contribution to the development of the project
- Taking course material from a teacher’s desk, computer files, file cabinet, etc.
- Assisting another student to cheat in any way
- Tampering with a teacher’s computer system to steal material, alter grades, etc.
- Using foreign language translator applications contrary to a teacher’s directions
Homework - Cheating on homework includes, but is not limited to the following violations:
- Copying another student’s work and/or giving work to another student to copy on a subjective homework assignment. This includes utilizing a collaborative document such as Google Docs to exchange answers. Homework is usually done individually. To avoid confusion, the teacher will notify the students if the work is “group work” so that students may know when they may consult other students for advice on completing assignments. This included copying directly or altering by changing select words
- A teacher witnesses a student copying work from another student.
For both offenses above, a zero will be given for the assignment and the teacher must notify the Assistant Principal within two days of grading the paper. All parties involved in the incident will receive a zero for the assignment.
During the school year, students will have the opportunity to go on a variety of out-of-town trips with their classmates. It is a privilege to participate in these class trips. Students guilty of the following school violations will, typically, not be permitted to attend class trips:
- Students who are delinquent in tuition payments
- Students who have been suspended during the year
- Students who have been excessively absent from school
- Students involved in the consumption, possession, and/or sale of drugs or alcohol
- Students who have had serious, consistent and/or gross violation of school disciplinary policy
- Students consuming or found to be in possession of drugs or alcohol while on a class trip will have their parents notified and will be sent home from the class trip at parents’ expense. All disciplinary policies will apply.
*COVID-19 Update: Class trips are subject to change during the 2020-2021 school year.
Students who cut class forfeit the opportunity to make up missed work. Cutting class is a Level 2 infraction.
Cyberbullying is now a criminal offense under PA Act 26 (Cyber harassment). PA Act 26 makes it a criminal offense for a person to:
- Intend to harass, annoy or alarm a child
- Use electronic means to directly address a child or indirectly through social media
- Engage in a continuing course or conduct which either:
- Makes a seriously disparaging statement or opinion about the child’s
- Physical Characteristics
- Sexual activity
- Mental or physical health
- Threatens to inflict harm on the child.
- Makes a seriously disparaging statement or opinion about the child’s
Cyber harassment is considered a third degree misdemeanor. Cyberbullying complaints should be directed to law enforcement in the area where the child lives. Oakland Catholic will contact the police and advise of any cyber harassment occurring on school grounds and will refer the victim’s family to do the same.
Student Council organizes and sponsors school dances. At any time during the dance, should the student’s behavior or attire be inappropriate, the parent/guardian will be called to take the student home. The student will be asked to leave the dance.
*COVID-19 Update: Dances and other Student Council sponsored events are subject to change during the 2020- 2021 school year.
ELECTRONIC LEARNING DEVICES
School issued Mac laptops will be used during the school day. Sites used must be appropriate for educational re- search. Audio and video recordings are prohibited, except as pedagogically indicated. Use of electronic devices in an inappropriate manner will be subject to disciplinary action by the Administration. Refer to Acceptable Use Policy, (page 42).
FIGHTING OR HARASSMENT
Fighting, verbal threats, or any form of harassment between students is a serious infraction. This behavior will not be tolerated during the school day, to or from school, at school functions, or as a member of an identifiable group from Oakland Catholic participating in outside activities. A student shall not act or behave in such a manner that could cause physical or psychological injury to another person.
This behavior can include, but it is not limited to, physical, verbal, written threats to another person, a person’s property, or to a relative of the person. Dependent upon the seriousness of the actions, discipline can result in suspension or expulsion as determined by the Administration.
A student shall not use profanity or obscene language, either written or verbal, in communicating with another student, staff member, or visitor. This includes, but it is not limited to obscene gestures, signs, pictures, publications, and any willful and/or grievous verbal and/or physical disrespect toward another student, faculty or staff member, or visitor. This behavior can result in assignment of demerits, suspension, or dismissal from school property.
According to State Law, it is not only illegal to SMOKE tobacco in schools, but it is also illegal to POSSESS tobacco products in the school. The use of ALL TOBACCO products including vaping products is prohibited on campus and at all school sponsored events. Electronic Cigarette or Vapes are defined as battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine flavor and other chemicals by turning the substance into a vapor that is inhaled by the user which simulates smoking. The term shall include any such devices and partial devices (ex. charger), whether they are manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, vapes, or under any other product name or descriptor.
This policy will apply to all students who are in the building, on the grounds, or within the vicinity of the building or grounds. A call may need to be made to the local legal authorities to report the incident. At any time, any Administrator/Faculty/Staff member may confiscate any tobacco products or any other illegal substance. The policy is as follows:
- 1st offense possession: 1 day in school suspension
- 1st offense use: 3 day in school suspension
- Repeated violations will result in more severe disciplinary action, as determined by the school Administration
The policies at Oakland Catholic are designed to help students develop responsibility and have respect for oneself and respect for others. Students are expected to know and abide by the policies and procedures contained in this handbook. If infractions occur, demerits may be issued by Faculty, Staff and/or Administration. This includes all technology policies and Oakland Catholic’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
Each time a student earns one (1) demerit, a notice will be emailed to the student and parent.
When a student accumulates three (3) demerits, a one-hour, before or after school detention is served.
Level 1 Infractions
Assignment of 1-3 Demerit(s)
- Chewing gum
- Disruptive behavior
- Dress Code Violation, including not having your school ID
- Eating/drinking outside cafeteria (other than water)
- Failure to follow cafeteria policy
- Inappropriate behavior in general
- In hallway without a E-Hall pass while classes are in session
- Loitering in restroom or other unapproved area
- Misbehaving at assemblies
- Public display of affection
- Talking during prayer/announcements
- Unexcused tardy to class, study hall, activity, or detention
Level 2 Infractions
Minimum of 3 Demerits
- Cheating, plagiarism, or copying work (See policy above)
- Cutting class, study hall, or required activity (Tardy over 10 minutes)
- Disrespectful toward teachers/staff
- Failure to fulfill private penalties assigned by a teacher or administrator
- Failure to report for detention
- Falsifying a phone call or message
- Forgery of note/excuse
- Minor Offense of the Technology Acceptable Use Policy
- Parking in school lot without a permit
- Removal from classroom, study hall, or school activity due to inappropriate behavior
- Tobacco, e-cigarette, vapes, vaping material, etc. possession or usage (See policy above)
- Use of an electronic device (See policy above)
- Violation of school attendance policies
Level 3 Infractions
No number of demerits is assigned to this level because consequences are more severe. Infractions will result in parents/guardians being notified. Administration will determine proper action.
Students who earn a suspension are automatically placed on disciplinary probation. All guidelines for disciplinary probation will be followed.
- Abuse: physical, psychological and/or verbal
- Bullying - verbal, written, social media
- Destruction or defacement of school property
- Fighting (verbal or physical)
- Hazing/Harassment - verbal, physical, written, or through social media (See Cyber Harassment)
- Leaving campus during school hours without permission from school office
- Loitering in restricted areas
- Major offense of technology Acceptable Use Policy
- Possessing and/or transmitting obscene material
- Possession, distribution, or use of controlled substance, including alcohol and drugs
- Possession or use of weapon
- Racial slurs and racial comments (on campus or off campus including school related events)
Discipline Review / General Comportment:
At the end of the school year, a review of all student discipline records is made. As a result of that review, a student may not be invited to continue her education at Oakland Catholic High School or a student’s return may be made probationary.
The Administration of Oakland Catholic High School reserves the right to discipline its students for off-campus behavior (including behavior on social media accounts) that is not in line with behavior expectations of its students during the course of the school day. This off-campus behavior includes, but is not limited to, cyber-bullying/harassment.
Detentions are normally held Wednesday afternoons from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. or in the morning from 7:00 to 7:40 a.m. with the Assistant Principal. Unexcused “cuts” from detention will result in an additional detention. A detention must be served at the assigned time unless arrangements have been made and approved by the Assistant Principal or Principal. Detention takes precedence over appointments, practices, lessons, tutoring, sports activities, work, etc. After the third detention in a Grading Quarter, a parent conference may be requested. A fourth detention results in an In-School Suspension. Saturday Detentions (8:00 - 9:00 a.m.) may be assigned by the Principal or Assistant Principal for certain infractions as noted.
Those offenses which could result in major or lasting harm to members of the school community are considered deserving of the most severe penalties while those with lesser negative effects on the learning environment would normally result in less severe punishments, notably the issuance of demerits. The Administration and school faculty will be the sole judge regarding the specific punishment to assign a student, depending upon the unique circumstances surrounding each case.
A student who has accumulated four (4) detentions or has received an in-school suspension in a grading quarter may be placed on disciplinary probation. This means that:
- A parent conference is required
- A student may become ineligible or possibly forfeit membership in National Honor Society, Student Council, JOA, Student Ambassadors or other positions of leadership
- The student may be ineligible to participate in all extracurricular activities including athletics, clubs, and social functions while on disciplinary probation
- A student will remain on disciplinary probation for a minimum of 10 school days from the date of notification
Depending on the severity of the infraction(s), students may be suspended by the Administration. Depending on the type of infraction committed, a suspended student may or may not be given the opportunity to make-up tests, quizzes, and homework. If a student receives an In-School Suspension, she must report to the school office before 7:50 a.m. on the day of the suspension. She will be given assignments and work by her teachers which must be completed during the school day. If a student receives an Out-of-School Suspension, a meeting will take place between the Administration and the family, and the student will be responsible for all academic material that is covered during the time of the suspension. Any exams, tests, or quizzes given during the time of the suspension, and permitted to be made up, must be made up within three days following her return to school. While under suspension, a student is absolutely not permitted to attend or participate in any school-related activity. No prior notice to parents is needed for a suspension. Students receiving a suspension will be placed on disciplinary probation and must be documented on the Common Application for college admission.
EXPULSION FROM SCHOOL
Expulsion is a permanent separation of student from attendance at Oakland Catholic due to persistent and willful disregard of school rules or a single serious incident, event, or situation. The following examples are illustrative but not exhaustive: chronic undesirable conduct detrimental to the physical and/or moral well-being of self or other students; continued malicious disobedience or disrespect for school authority; or continued refusal by parents and/or student to comply with school policies.
Single serious incident, event, or situation: An expulsion may also be necessary for a single serious incident, event, or situation involving disregard for or a clear violation of a school rule or regulation. The following examples are illustrative but not exhaustive: selling or using drugs or alcohol, arson, theft, indecent behavior, physical abuse of other students or staff or violation of the Weapons Policy.
An expulsion is a severe punishment and will only be applied in very serious circumstances. Every attempt will be made during earlier offenses, if any, to provide guidance and counseling to the student and parents under the direction of the Administration.
- Anti-Bullying Policy
- Anti-Hazing Policy
- Child Abuse Policy
- Family Education Rights & Privacy Act
- Substance Abuse
- Weapons Policy
All members of the Catholic School Community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict as reflected in the Gospel values. Bullying behaviors contradict Gospel values and may contribute to both short-term problems (i.e. change in behavior, drop in grades, frequent absences) and long-term psychological problems (i.e. depression, dropping out, suicide ideation) for the victims if persistent. In addition, bullying may contribute to involvement in other antisocial activities such as alcohol/drug abuse or gangs, while threatening the physical safety of others. Bullying contributes to a negative school climate, which interferes with spiritual development, academic learning, and social responsibility. In keeping with the teachings of Christ, Oakland Catholic High School will provide a safe, caring, and supportive school environment, free of bullying, for all members of the school community.
Bullying shall mean an intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act, or a series of acts that is directed at another student or students:
- occurs in a school setting
- is severe, persistent or pervasive; and
- has the effect of doing any of the following: substantially interfering with a student’s education, creating a threatening environment, or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.
School Setting shall mean in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop, or at any activity sponsored, supervised, or sanctioned by the school. A school entity shall not be prohibited from defining bullying in such a way as to encompass acts that occur outside a school setting if those acts meet the other requirements specified in the definition of bullying.
Cyber Bullying includes but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology: harassing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student or personnel employed by the school by sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs and social network sites such as Facebook). All forms of cyber bullying are unacceptable and to the extent such actions are disruptive of the educational process of the school, offenders shall be the subject of appropriate consequences regardless of the setting in which the cyber bullying takes place.
Catholic Schools and Staff are expected to:
a.) provide a supportive environment that upholds Gospel values and encourages positive relationships between students, staff, and parent
b.) increase awareness and understanding of the dynamics of bullying and develop a plan to implement anti-bullying strategies within their schools
c.) maintain an environment where bullying will be addressed age appropriately in a manner characterized by respect and civility
d.) use resources that will assist in developing appropriate social skills, positive relationships and discourage bullying as unacceptable behaviors
e.) encourage students to report incidents of bullying and support them in dealing with conflict resolution
f.) support, monitor, and act upon all reported incidents of bullying to ensure the safety of all students
g.) model appropriate language and actions for students
h.) emphasize intervention strategies that are preventative in nature
i.) recognize that some bullying behaviors may be more serious and require more comprehensive intervention
j.) keep open lines of communication between the home, school, and parish
Students are expected to:
a.) promote a positive and caring environment for all by developing an awareness of bully issues
b.) refuse to bullying others or to be a bystander to acts of bullying
c.) report all acts of bullying that they may experience or observe to appropriate school personnel
d.) assist and cooperate in the implementation of school-wide anti-bullying initiatives
Parents/Visitors are expected to:
a.) promote a positive and caring environment for all by developing an awareness of bullying issues
b.) inform the school if bullying is suspected
c.) encourage students to discuss any incidents of bullying and reinforce the need to speak out
d.) support the school when resolving identified incidents of bullying
e.) support the school through Catholic School Councils or the Student Assistance Program (SAP) in promoting local school anti-bullying initiatives
Any student who participates in bullying behavior shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action which may include among other measures:
a.) Counseling within the Intermediate Unit or school
b.) Parental conference
c.) Loss of school privileges
d.) Transfer to another school building, classroom, or school bus e.) Exclusion from school-sponsored activities
i.) Counseling/Therapy outside of the Intermediate Unit or school
j.) Referral to law enforcement officials
In keeping with the teachings of Christ, Oakland Catholic High School will provide a safe, caring, and supportive school environment, free of bullying, for all members of the school community.
Hazing has no place in the Catholic school experience. It is the antithesis of the purpose and mission of Catholic education where students are called to grow in their commitment to God, one another, the Church and the wider community. Hazing is defined as any intentional, knowing or reckless act meant to induce pain, embarrassment, humiliation, deprivation of rights, or that creates physical or mental discomfort, and is directed against a student for the purpose of being initiated into, affiliated with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization, club, athletic team sponsored or supported by any parish, elementary or secondary school in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. It does not matter whether such hazing practices were mandatory or voluntarily entered into by any student or organization in question.
The following are examples of hazing and may not only be limited to these offenses:
- Recklessly or intentionally endangering the physical health, mental health, safety, or dignity of a person
- Willful destruction or removal of public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into
- affiliation with, or as a condition of continued membership in any organization
- Forcing or requiring the drinking of alcohol or any other substance
- Forcing or requiring the eating of food or anything an individual who refuses toeat
- Calisthenics such as push-ups, sit-ups, jogging, and running as an initiation ritual
- Paddling or striking in any manner
- Treasure or scavenger hunts, road trips
- Marking, branding, or shaving the head or body hair
- Preventing/restricting normal personal hygiene
- Sexual harassment, indecent exposure or nudity at any time
- Physical harassment such as pushing, cursing, shouting, etc.
- Requiring uncomfortable, ridiculous, or embarrassing dress
- Requiring the carrying of items
- Requiring personal service or acts of servitude
- Treating a person in a degrading or demeaning manner
- Requiring New Members to practice periods of silence
- Conducting “interrogations” or any other types of questioning
It is the responsibility of students and supervising adults not to stand silently if they observe hazing. Silence condones these activities and may make the observer just as guilty as the hazers themselves. If a hazing incident is witnessed by a student or supervising adult, it is her responsibility to report the incident to the Assistant Principals. Individuals or groups found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action that could include suspension or expulsion from the school.
This policy approved by the Members of the Oakland Catholic High School Inc. Corporation concerns the reporting of child abuse and neglect in accordance with the provisions of the Child Protective Services Law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Act No. 124 of 1975 and the Regulations thereunder. It is the purpose of the Act and this policy to encourage and foster more complete reporting of suspected child abuse so as to ensure the child’s well-being and to preserve and stabilize family life wherever appropriate.
Any employee of any School in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, including Principals, Assistant Principals, Educational Consultants, Teachers and other professional staff including Federal or State Government personnel who have reason to believe that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is an abused child shall immediately report such case to the Principal and to the Child Abuse Hotline. It is not the responsibility of any employee of the Catholic School or Federal or State Government personnel to prove that the child has been abused or neglected or to determine whether the child is need of protection.
All school employees are mandated reporters and must report any suspected child abuse immediately.
Access to student records by parents and/or students is governed by policies in effect within the Diocese of Pittsburgh which is in compliance with the State Board of Education Regulations on Pupil Records and consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Act). Please contact the school for further information.
As a secondary educational institution within the Diocese of Pittsburgh, we recognize and affirm that we are a community of faith, responding to the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. We recognize that every person is uniquely created in the image and likeness of God, redeemed and enlivened by the Spirit. Therefore, we recognize that chemical abuse and dependency seriously impair the ability of individuals to develop their full potential. We also recognize that problems created by chemical dependency have an adverse effect on the ability of all members of each school community to achieve personal and educational goals within the diocese.
Our policy is based on the belief that chemical dependency is a life threatening illness that affects individuals in all areas of their lives. Because it is our conviction that chemical dependency is a treatable illness, the following policy is in effect:
The guidelines incorporated in this policy have been formulated for the effective enforcement of this policy in a fair and consistent manner. Recognizing that chemical use and abuse may be indicative of the disease process of chemical dependency, every effort will be made to offer the student the help and assistance she would receive for any other illness. Early identification and referral of a student evidencing problems with chemical use, abuse or dependency will be the primary goal. Disciplinary procedures will be administered with the best interests of the student and student body in mind. Due consideration has been given to the legal rights and responsibilities of the school Administration, staff, students and parents. These shall include but are not limited to: Section 1317 of the Pennsylvania School Code, which gives the school the “loco parentis” power, and the Civil Immunity Bill, Section 2, Title 42 as amended, which gives civil immunity to school officers and employees relating to drug and alcohol abuse.
Recognizing that chemical abuse is a serious problem, it is imperative that students must be chemically free to develop in the most productive and healthy manner. It is therefore, the Diocesan schools’ policy to prevent and to prohibit the possession, use, sale, distribution and/or intent of distribution of any designer, illegal or controlled mood-altering medication or chemical. These are prohibited on school property, at any school-sponsored events, on school buses and en route to and from school by any mode of travel, (including both Oakland Catholic AND Central Catholic events). Such prevention and/or prohibition shall occur through a program of education, prevention, intervention and aftercare, as the need dictates.
Violations of this policy may result in the following consequences:
- Appropriate disciplinary response consistent with the philosophy and policies of Oakland Catholic High School
- Notification of parents
- Notification of municipal authorities when appropriate
- Suspension or expulsion from school
- Referral of student to the appropriate drug and alcohol agency or professional counselor/psychologist
Any student suspended for violations of the above policy or whose behavior patterns lead to a reasonable suspicion of chemical dependency will be required to be evaluated by a certified drug/alcohol specialist or agency. A documented report of the evaluation and verification of treatment must be sent to the school counselor before a student may return to Oakland Catholic. Student/Parent must follow through with recommendation of treatment specialist. This policy will be implemented through the cooperative efforts of administration, faculty, parents/guardians, staff, students and community agencies. The Schools of the Intermediate Unit Consortium and the Diocese of Pittsburgh, recognizing that chemical abuse is a serious problem, adopt the position that students must be chemically free to develop in the most productive manner.
It is therefore, the intent of this policy to prevent and to prohibit the possession, use, sale, distribution and/or intent of distribution of any illegal or controlled mood-altering medication or chemical. These are prohibited on school property and at any school sponsored-event.
Violations of this policy may result in the following consequences:
- Appropriate disciplinary response consistent with each individual school’s philosophy
- Notification of parent/guardian
- Notification of municipal authorities when appropriate
- Suspension or expulsion from school
- Referral of student to appropriate drug and alcohol agency
This policy will be implemented through the cooperative efforts of administration, faculty, parent/guardian, staff, student and community.
*Download the complete handbook above for full substance abuse policy and corresponding disciplinary actions.
No weapon may be brought onto school property, including, but not limited to, the school building, outdoor areas, outdoor facilities, school buses, or to any school related activity. A weapon shall include but not be limited to any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, numchuck stick, firearm, rifle or any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting bodily injury, which is possessed under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful uses which it may have. This includes firearms, which are not loaded or lack a clip or other component to render it immediately operable. A person in possession of a weapon on school property violates state criminal statues and school regulations, and shall be subject to the following discipline and penalty:
- Parents will be immediately notified
- The local police may be called
- The student may be expelled
The dignity of each student is of the utmost importance at Oakland Catholic. The dress code exists to help maintain and foster this intention and focus. Students are expected to be in complete uniform at 7:50 a.m.
- White, button-down collared OXFORD blouse in long or short sleeves
- White POLO shirt (long or short sleeves) with banded bottom purchased from Schoolbelles
- Plain white T-shirts only are permitted under shirts
- Dress shoes that are below the ankle, and non-athletic may be worn such as loafers or flats in a solid color(black, brown, blue). Shoes must be made of leather or leather-like material. No canvas, moccasins, slippers, open- toed, or backless type shoes are permitted. Examples of unacceptable shoes include: Converse, Vans, shoes with fur.
- Boots are permitted during inclement weather. An announcement will be made when students can begin to wear boots and when Dress Code shoes must be worn in the Spring.
- If there is a medical reason that prohibits a student from wearing the required shoe, she must present a current note from a doctor stating:
- Length of time that the student needs to wear alternate shoes
- Why student is unable for medical reasons to wear the required shoes o Type of shoe that student is to wear
Please note: If a student does not wear the required shoes and does not present a doctor’s excuse, she will be assessed one demerit for each day that she is out of uniform. A doctor’s excuse is valid for only one semester.
- Plaid, double pleated skirt from Schoolbelles
- Solid grey, double pleated skirt from Schoolbelles
- Skirts are to be hemmed to mid-thigh or lower and worn at that length and allow for growth over four years
Khaki, flat-front pants purchased from Schoolbelles only. No other slacks will be permitted
- Leggings or Tights (not pantyhose) in grey, navy or black are permitted
- Socks must be 4 inches or more above the ankle. No ankle or “no show” socks permitted
- Socks may be any color or pattern, but may not be profane or inappropriate
Cardigan sweater, V-neck pullover sweater, and/or V-neck sweater vest (navy blue) with Oakland Catholic logo from Schoolbelles
*For the 2020-2021 school year only: Students will be permitted to wear Oakland Catholic sweatshirts/hoodies/zip- ups when cold weather approaches. Administration will announce when students are permitted to wear sweatshirts.
NOT TO BE WORN
The list of what is not to be worn includes, but is not limited, to the following:
- Any socks below the ankle
- Body piercing other than ears
- Boxers/shorts longer than skirt length
- Face piercing, including, but not limited to nose, lips, tongue and eyebrows
- Hair of unnatural color (left up to the discrimination of administration)
- Hats (baseball cap, snow cap, etc.), hair curlers, or neck scarves
- High heeled shoes that constitute a safety hazard
- Jewelry with metal studs or spikes
- Outerwear (sweatshirts, jackets, etc.) are not to be worn in the classroom, cafe, or inside a building unless exiting for a class in the other building
- Pins or patches
- Sandals, open toed shoes, or athletic shoes of any kind, and any shoe or boot that rises above the ankle (aside
- from boot weather)
- T-shirts with inappropriate messages that include but are not limited to drugs, alcohol, or sexuality
- Tight-fitting or suggestive clothes
- Writing or doodling on hands or any other body part
- Writing or drawing on skirts or pants
- Excessive makeup
CLOTHING FOR ALTERNATIVE DRESS DAYS
Modesty is the focus for alternative dress days.
Dress Down Days - Clothing is to be appropriate, neat, clean, and of proper fit and length. Jeans and cropped pants are acceptable as long as they are not too tight, low rise, or ripped/torn above the knee. Dresses/skirts must be mid-thigh or longer. Shorts are only to be worn on designated days, which will be announced.
Dress Up Days - Clothing is to be of the type worn to a dress up event. Jeans and shorts are NOT permitted on a Dress Up Day. Above restrictions also apply.
Inappropriate Dress Examples - Tight or suggestive clothes, sleeveless shirts, halter tops, low cut shirts, shirts with cut-outs, exposed midriff, pajama bottoms, flannel pants, yoga pants, leggings, any shorts other than those above, short dresses/skirts (even with tights), hats of any kind.
If a student violates the dress code for an alternative dress day, she will receive the appropriate disciplinary action and will forfeit her participation in any future dress down days for the remainder of the semester in progress.
Dresses are to be modest and within the boundaries of Catholic moral principles. Sheer material, dresses that reveal a great deal of skin, low-cut dresses, bare midriff, and high slits are considered unacceptable. Dresses with cut-out sections on the front, back, or side are not permitted. Transparent or mesh material is not permitted. Students are required to submit photos wearing the proposed dress for approval.
Financial Aid is available for students in need of financial assistance. Application must be submitted by March 15th for the following school year via the FACTS financial aid grant application. Once an application is submitted to FACTS, financial aid status will be confirmed upon review of the submitted tax return for that year and other financial information required by FACTS. Notification of financial aid awards will occur in early May.
TUITION/PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR 2020-2021
- Catholic Student (Registered member of a Catholic Parish): $15,600.00
- All Other Students: $15,800.00
- Senior Fee: $ 325.00
- Activity/Technology Fee: $ 450.00
- Administrative Fee: $ 50.00
- Late Fee: $ 35.00 per month
All families must enroll in the FACTS Tuition Management System.
Payments must be made in full, paid by semester, or deducted on a monthly basis, either over 10 or 12 months from a bank account, or charged toacredit card. Monthly payments begin in July and run through June for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. Seniors must fulfill all tuition and financial obligations by the end of April.
Late fees will be assessed at $35.00.
All families are expected to pay tuition and various fees (including but not limited to the following fees: AP, lost book, athletic) as necessary. Non-payment will result in the following:
- Seniors will not receive a cap and gown, diploma, nor will they participate in Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises
- No student receives a report card. Parent/Student Portal access will be restricted
- No transcript of grades for any transfer or for college applications
- No attendance at the semi-formal dance, Prom or any extended school trips including Mission trips
- Student will be suspended from participating in sports and/or activities
- No transfer of grades issued at any time in the future
- No return to Oakland Catholic without fulfilling financial obligations of the previous year
An official withdrawal form must be completed in person at the School Office before the withdrawal process will be completed. Since tuition payments begin on July 1st of the current academic year, students transferring from Oakland Catholic to another school after this date will be required to pay tuition due to date, plus an additional month’s tuition as a transfer fee before records will be forwarded.
Announcements will be emailed to students every Sunday. Students are responsible for checking their email to be aware of upcoming club meeting and activities, and general school announcements for the week.
Assemblies are scheduled during the regular school day. Early dismissals will only be granted under special circumstances. Please refer to Senior Privileges on page 35 for additional information regarding assembly and Liturgy attendance.
*COVID-19 Update: Large gatherings/assemblies will follow CDC, state and diocesan guidelines.
Lunch hours are from 10:14 a.m. - 1:05 p.m. While in the cafeteria, it is expected that students will be respectful towards each other, the cafeteria staff, and the cafeteria furnishings. Rude or discourteous behavior will not be tolerated; nor will any defacement or destruction of school property. Students are expected to:
- Report to Cafeteria for their assigned lunch period
- Put all refuse in the proper container
- Return all trays to proper places
- Eat only in the cafeteria
- Remain in the cafeteria during the lunch period
- Maintain the SAME DRESS CODE regulations that are in effect for class time
*COVID-19 Update: See 'COVID-19 Appendix' tab above for cafeteria changes for the 2020-2021 school year.
CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY
Students are encouraged to take pride in Oakland Catholic High School. We expect that students cooperate in keeping the cafeteria, desks, books, and all school property in good order.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS
Parents must notify the school office of any change of address during the school year. Transportation should be notified several weeks before a move.
CCW (Collaborative Community Wednesday)
CCW’s are on the school calendar. Students are to report to school at regular time on these days and are required to sign up for two sessions each week. CCW sessions include, but are not limited to: academic assistance, club meetings, special interests, and guest speakers.
Flowers or other gifts may not be sent to students at school. Deliveries for students will not be accepted by the office regardless of the holiday or event.
Students are required to use the E-Hall pass system for traveling from place to place during the school day. Teachers will set classroom expectations of using E-Hall pass.
ELEVATOR USAGE POLICY
The elevator is to be used by students who have injuries/disabilities that prevent them from using the stairs. A doctor’s note must be turned into the School Office and an elevator pass will be given to that student. Students without elevator passes may NOT ride the elevator during school hours.
In order to obtain an employment certificate, the applicant must:
- Be at least 14 years of age
- Have a promise of employment (verbal promise is sufficient)
The office has applications for the students that live in the City of Pittsburgh. Students who reside in school districts other than Pittsburgh should contact their district for procedures on obtaining employment certificates. Oakland Catholic does not issue employment certificates; only the student’s public school district does.
The uniform is appropriate dress for school-sponsored events. Exceptions may be determined by the school sponsor. For field trips, parental permission slips (official diocesan forms) must be submitted three days prior to the event. A student may not attend a school-sponsored event without an official permission slip. Verbal permission from a parent will be accepted in an emergency.
*COVID-19 Update: Field trips during the 2020-2021 school year are subject to change.
School lockers are the property of Oakland Catholic High School, Inc. The use of the lockers is a privilege, not a right. Students shall have no exception of privacy therein as the school retains the right to conduct both announced and unannounced locker searches. Discovery of illegal materials in a school locker may result in discipline up to and including expulsion and/or referral to appropriate authorities.
Each student will be assigned a locker at the beginning of the school year. ALL LOCKERS MUST BE SECURED WITH A LOCK AT ALL TIMES. Locker combinations or extra keys must be given to the homeroom teacher. Students should provide their own locks for gym lockers.
Students are not permitted to switch lockers with other students without the approval from the Administration.
Lockers will be checked periodically by homeroom teachers and/or school Administration. Care of the lockers and of personal property is the responsibility of the individual student. The school is not responsible for the loss of property stored in lockers. Students caught tampering with another person’s lock or locker will face serious disciplinary measures. The Administration reserves the right to inspect lockers at any time. Oakland Catholic if not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Lockers must be cleaned out by the last day of school or report cards will be held and seniors will not receive their caps and gowns.
Lockers may be decorated for birthdays. Balloons are not permitted as decorations. Administration retains the right to remove decorations at any time. Decorations may remain up for one week.
*COVID-19 Update: Lockers will not be utilized during the 2020-2021 school year.
LOST AND FOUND
Students are requested to report losses to the School Office. Students are asked to turn in found items to the School Office. Items remain in “Lost and Found” for 30 days. After 30 days, items are donated to charity.
OC EAGLEWEAR STORE
Supplies and OC clothing are available in the OC EagleWear store. The OC EagleWear store is located on the 1st floor of the main building just outside the Donahue Pavilion. Hours will be posted at the beginning of the school year. Please refer to our website for order requests and inventory/prices.
To protect the privacy of students, parents may not sit in on classes. If an emergency situation arises, the parent should report to the office and advise the staff of the problem. If necessary, the student will be called to the office. Items that must be given to the student are to be left at the School Office. Parents may not pull a student from class other than for an emergency or pre-approved arrangement.
Parking is available to seniors and juniors who meet the qualifications. For more information, please visit the Oakland Catholic website: www.oaklandcatholic.org/student-life/transportation
If a parent/guardian needs to reach a student in an emergency situation only, they may do so by calling the School Office. We will notify the student as soon as possible. Students may not use their cell phones to contact parents during the school day. They may use the School Office phone with permission from the office staff or Administration. Parents should not call or text message the students during the school day.
POSTERS AND SIGNS
All posters and signs must be approved in the School Office before they are posted. There is a limit of five signs per event or activity. The signs may not be hung on dry wall or glass doors. After the event all signs must be removed within 2 school days.
EARLY RELEASE - As a privilege, any senior who has a study hall during the last period of the school day
may leave the school grounds at the beginning of that period, provided that there is no liturgy or assembly scheduled at that time. This does not apply to any other free period scheduled. A note from the parent/guardian allowing the senior to exercise this senior privilege must be on file in the School Office.
Seniors may not assume that they are free to leave the building in the event that the teacher is absent.
EARLY RELEASE PRIVILEGE IS RESCINDED ON DAYS OF SCHOOL LITURGIES OR ASSEMBLIES SCHEDULED FOR THE END OF THE DAY.
The Early Release privilege will be reviewed and may be revoked for the following reasons:
• Student is on Academic Probation
• Student has chronic unexcused absences
• Student has 3 or more unexcused tardies
• Student has received 3 or more detentions
• Student has received an in-school or out-of-school suspension
• Student is on Disciplinary Probation
If a senior chooses to stay IN the school building for an after-school activity, she must report to a silent study area.
**Seniors must have parental permission for Early Release.
SILENT STUDY AREA - Seniors who have a free period may use a designated Silent Study Area, provided that there is sufficient seating in the Silent Study Area.
Silent Study areas are located in the space outside the Academic Resource Center, the study tables outside the Donahue Pavilion, and the courtyard outside the cafe, when lunch is not in session.
Students are not permitted to eat outside of the Cafeteria. If a student is disruptive to the learning environment, the silent study area privilege may be removed for the remainder of the semester.
SHOES - Once boots are permitted due to inclement weather, Seniors can wear shoes of choice provided shoes are not open-toed, back-less (slip-on), or slippers.
Oakland Catholic High School attempts to provide a safe environment for all individuals. Verbal or written threats made against the physical or emotional well-being of any individual are taken very seriously. Students making such threats (seriously in jest or online) face detention, suspension, and/or expulsion.
Harassment of any type is not tolerated. The Assistant Principal investigates all complaints of harassment. Students involved in harassing behavior face detention, suspension, and/or expulsion.
Engagement in online blogs or social media platforms such as, but not limited to, Xanga™, Friendster™, Facebook™, Instagram™, Snapchat™, Twitter™, etc. may result in disciplinary actions if the content of the student’s blog/page includes defamatory comments regarding the school, the faculty, staff or other students or the Oakland Catholic community at large.
Please refer to 'Diocesan Policies' tab above on anti-bullying, anti-hazing, child abuse, substance abuse, and weapons.
In case of an emergency that requires partial or complete evacuation of the campus, procedures have been put in place and explained in detail to all faculty, staff, and students to ensure the safety of the Oakland Catholic community. Evacuation procedures will be drilled at specific times during the school year. It is imperative that students react calmly, quietly, and quickly to any safety directives issued by the adult overseeing them at the moment of evacuation.
LOCKDOWN PROCEDURE - In case of an emergency that requires a lockdown of the campus, procedures have been put in place and explained in detail to all faculty, staff, and students to ensure the safety of the Oakland Catholic community. Safety procedures will be drilled at specific times during the school year. It is imperative that students react calmly, quietly, and quickly to any safety directives issued by the adult overseeing them at the time.
FIRE, EVACUATION, AND OTHER EMERGENCY DRILLS
An alarm will sound or announcement will be made when Oakland Catholic is holding a drill. Each classroom or area of the school is equipped with Fire Evacuation Instructions posted by the entrance/exit of that particular room or area. Students are to leave from and return from their assigned area at the time of the drill in absolute silence. Students are to obey any requests or directives given by an Administrator, faculty member, or staff personnel during the drill. Drills are held on a monthly basis. Drills are considered to be serious operations and are to be treated as such by students. Disruptive behavior during a drill will result in disciplinary action.
Students, faculty, and staff are required to wear their identification key tags at ALL times during the school day. Key tags are essential to each student’s safety and security. The entire school is locked at all times; key tags provide students with quick and easy entrance to all approved doors/entrances to the building. At no time is it appropriate for a student to open a door for someone trying to enter the building, to share her key tag with someone else, or to prop open a door for easy access later on.
Whenever a key tag is used, the name of the holder and time of entry is recorded in the computer system. (Video cameras at the entrances of the building and in the interior of the building also record entry to and activity in and around the building.) Should a student lose or misplace her key tag, she should notify the School Office immediately since she will be held responsible for any misuse of the tag as long as it is activated in her name. There is a $5 replacement fee charged for any missing key tag to cover the new tag, the deactivation of the old tag, and the new activation.
Students can access both Oakland Catholic buildings with their key tags during the school year during the hours listed below. Hours for the summer will be adjusted to the times that the School Office is open.
- J Building: Mon-Fri 7:20am-4:00pm
- Main Building: Mon-Fri 7:20am-5:00pm
IF YOU ATTEMPT TO ACCESS THE BUILDING AT A TIME OTHER THAN LISTED ABOVE, YOU WILL TRIGGER THE ALARM SYSTEM. (YOUR NAME AND THE TIME WILL BE NOTED IN THE COMPUTER SYSTEM.)
Staff members and students shall be responsible for informing the building principal regarding any information or knowledge relevant to a possible or actual threat or act.
REMOVAL OF A STUDENT
If it becomes necessary to remove a student from a school area due to a danger to her, others, or property, that student will be treated safely and respectfully. The student’s parents/guardians will be notified in a timely manner.
A recorded video system utilizing video cameras that are stationed in the parking lot, at entrances, and throughout the school building to ensure the safety of all students and visitors is in effect 24 hours/7 days a week.
It is school policy that all visitors to the school must enter the school via the Welcome Center on N. Craig Street. They are expected to leave when their business is completed. All visitors, whether routine or occasional, must sign in and receive a Visitor’s Badge before proceeding to any other area of the campus. Student Visitors are permitted for the purpose of potential enrollment. These visits should be arranged through the Admissions Office. If a student from a different school wishes to visit for another reason other than enrollment, permission must be obtained from Administration. Any student visitor must be dressed appropriately and must follow Oakland Catholic’s policies and procedures.
Under NO circumstances should students open any door to guests/visitors. If a student sees a person without an official ID key tag or a Visitor’s Badge, she should go directly to the nearest faculty or staff member and report the incident. She should NOT approach the individual.
*COVID-19 Update: Please review this appendix for more detailed information regarding policies and procedures for the 2020-2021 school year. Visit our 'Reopening Plan 2020-21' page for further details.
ATTENDANCE POLICY AND PROCEDURES
LATE ARRIVALS - Students are expected to arrive by 7:50AM and be in their 1st period classrooms by 7:55AM. If a student arrives after 7:55AM they are to enter by the main entrance and report to the main lobby to have their temperature checked, then report to 1st period. After 8:30AM, students who arrive late should enter via the main entrance on Craig Street and report directly to the School Office for a temperature check and check in with the attendance secretary.
STUDENT ABSENCES - If your student is sick and is unable to report to school or participate in remote learning for
the day, please follow attendance procedures outlined on page 14 of this handbook utilizing SafeArrival. Due to the challenges associated with transportation, students will not be penalized for tardiness.
Students can arrive no earlier than 7:20AM
If students must arrive before 7:20AM due to transportation arrangements, they will proceed to the cafeteria through the Courtyard door where their temperature will be checked.
Students will enter the building based on where their 1st period class is located. Once a student has had her temperature checked, she will report directly to her first period classroom.
If a student arrives late (after 7:55AM), but before 8:30AM, they will report to the main lobby via Craig Street or the Campus Entrance to have their temperature checked, and then report to their first period class. Any student who arrives after 8:30AM will report directly to the School Office for a temperature check, and then proceed to their 2nd period class.
Breakfast will not be served in the mornings. Cash will not be accepted. All students should utilize payforit.net. *If unable to utilize payforit.net with a credit card, a check made out to the school will be accepted. The amount of the check will be credited to the student's dining account as soon as the check has cleared. (Typically 3-5 business days.) Vending machines will not be available.
Students will immediately exit the building based on their 9th period class location, unless staying for an after school sports practice or extra-curricular activity. See entrance information above.
Face coverings are to be worn at all times indoors when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be ensured. Mask breaks are permitted if an individual is outside and 6 feet or more separated from others. In addition, The Department of Education defines the order for face coverings as: "Face covering" means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. A "face covering" can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen, and, for the purposes of the order, can include a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth. "Face coverings" may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or improvised from household items, including but not limited to, scarves, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. While procedural and surgical masks intended for health care providers and first responders, such as N95 respirators, would meet these requirements, these specialized masks should be reserved for appropriate occupational and health care settings.”
Face coverings can be of any color or pattern and must be school appropriate. Words/phrases are not permitted, unless it is an Oakland Catholic face covering.
Recognizing that some families travel during the summer and possibly even right up to the start of the school year, as well as during the school year, it is important to note ways that families can help to mitigate the risk to others upon their return. Where you go, how you get there, and what you do there will determine your need to quarantine or ability to attend school immediately upon your return. The Oakland Catholic community will rely on the good judgment of each of its members to keep other students and teachers healthy should your family have the need to travel. The following questions are important to determine whether self-quarantine is required after travel.
If your family is planning to travel or has traveled at all, and especially if you have traveled via airplane or via other forms of public transportation (i.e., you’re not traveling in your personal vehicle) to a location designated as a “hot spot” by the PA Department of Health, please ask yourself the following four questions upon your return home.
Did you practice essential health and safety protocols while traveling? Specifically, did you wear a mask in public places, practice social distancing, and frequently hand wash/sanitize while avoiding touching your face?
While travelling, did you avoid large groups (>25 individuals) and/or if you were around larger groups, did you practice essential health and safety protocols including wearing a mask, frequent hand washing/sanitizing, and social distancing?
Are you free of COVID-19-like symptoms including a cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell, and body aches?
While traveling, did you avoid exposure/contact with any individual that was exhibiting COVID-19- like symptoms or that is positive or suspected for COVID-19? Exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or more.
If your answer to each question is “Yes,” then students can attend school upon their return. Be sure to monitor your family members for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from the date of your return and be diligent about wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance consistently during those 14 days.
If your answer to any of the above questions is “No,” then please call the school office to speak with the Principal. Your student may be required to self-quarantine according to the Exclusion From/Return to School Form in the Reopening Plan.
If you have any questions or are unsure about your family's exposure during travel, we encourage you to contact the Principal to review your situation.
RIGHT TO AMEND
Oakland Catholic High School has the right to amend the above policies and procedures outlined due to COVID- 19 based on updated CDC, state and diocesan guidelines.
*last updated 9/3/2020