Students are expected be in proper uniform and to attend all classes to ensure academic success. All students are asked to adhere to the following procedures:

Absence Reporting  519-745-6789       Message Line available 24/7

Students who are going to be absent for the day are asked to have their parent/guardian call the school BEFORE the beginning of the school day.

Parents will be notified by a daily automated message system when a student is absent from one or more classes.

ASPEN Parent Portal

For online access to your child’s:  class schedule, attendance, mid-term & final marks, credits, EQAO scores go to or following the link on the school website.

If you are having any challenges getting registered for a portal access account, please contact the Aspen home support line 519-578-3677 ext. 2316.

Students over 18-years-old that have not given the school permission to contact parents will not have this service available to them.

Absence during Summative Assessment/Final Evaluations 

Extenuating circumstances that affect a student not being able to write exams during the scheduled time will result in the student completing their final evaluation(s) AFTER the scheduled final evaluation time frame. Students who choose not to write a final evaluation may lose the opportunity to repeat the course in the next semester. Placement consideration will be given to those who are registered in the course for the first time and those who completed the course but were unsuccessful.

Note: At Administration’s discretion, a doctor’s note may be required for a missed summative or final evaluation.  

Extended Absences 

Parents are encouraged to take holidays during designated school breaks so that students do not fall behind in their studies. If this is not possible, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Completion of an “Intent to Be Absent” form from the Attendance Office at least 2 weeks before the intended absence.
  2. Parents must sign the request.
  3. Each teacher must sign the form and indicate what work must be done prior to/during the absence.
  4. The form is returned to the Main Office and given to Administration for final approval.

Lateness

Students who arrive late to school may go directly to class. Parents/Guardians will be notified by a daily automated message system when a student is late for one or more classes. In keeping with the school’s progressive discipline policy, chronic tardiness will be reported to Administration.

Leaving School during the Day

Students should not be leaving the school campus during their morning or afternoon classes. They will arrive for class before 9:00am and are able to leave ONLY during their lunch break and expected to return to school on time for their afternoon classes. They will remain in the school until the end of day at 2:55.

Unexplained Absence

An absence which was not reported by a parent/guardian will be recorded as truant. The school may also require a medical note for extended absences.

Students Over 18 Years

In keeping with the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act, no calls will be made to report absences/ truancies for those 18 or over. Unless permission is granted by the student to share information regarding attendance and academic progress with their parent or guardian. The student is viewed as an adult. Those students who have extended absences are required to provide the school with a doctor’s note to cover absences or risk withdrawal. A student has one opportunity to re-initiate parental contact, by signing the appropriate form in the Attendance Office.

Parents of students who have not been given access to records will NOT be able to call in sick or sign out their students when needed. As well will not be able to validate absences or lates.

 

Athletes are charged a team fee for each sport played. This fee helps defray cost of league fees, transportation, officials and uniform depreciation. The initial cost is $50.00 which includes the Athletic Banquet. Subsequent teams are $30.00 each to a maximum of $90.00. Some teams may choose to buy spirit wear, or attend additional tournaments which will increase team fees. Team uniforms are distributed by the coaches. Uniforms must be returned on time, cleaned and in good repair at the end of the sport season. Failure to return a uniform by the return date may result in a loss of computer privileges until it is returned. Athletes must pay the replacement cost of a lost uniform. Refer to the section on OUTSTANDING MATERIALS for a list of further consequences. Once a commitment to participate is made, students are expected to attend all scheduled practices, games, and meetings.

Student Handbook 2023-2024 – pdf format – updated Sept. 1, 2023

The consumption or use of alcohol, the trafficking or possession of illegal drugs, or other banned substances will result in the following:

1. Immediate removal from a class, a dance, an excursion or other school function for any student who is in possession of, or, in the opinion of an adult supervisor, under the influence of any of the above substances.
2. Suspension from the school for a period of 7 20 days.
3. A student who is removed from a school dance or co-curricular school function, may be banned from future school dances or functions.
4. Involvement of the police.

Note: Students found to be in possession of paraphernalia which is for the use of consuming banned substances will also receive consequences.

Students may choose to eat lunch in the cafeteria or off-campus. If you choose to eat or sit in the cafeteria, you must be in full uniform. Tables must be left clean when leaving. All garbage must be placed in the proper receptacles. If you leave the school for lunch, it is your responsibility to return on time for your next class.

STUDENTS WILL NOT EAT and/or DRINK IN THE HALLS, CLASSES, LIBRARY OR UPPER FORUM Except as follows:

  • Students and staff working together at lunch break (with teachers permission and supervision and within a confined area – not the halls)
  • At times other than lunch for legitimate reasons approved by the teacher (supervision within a confined area – not the halls)
  • For classroom celebrations (e.g. liturgies)
  • For alternate programs approved by administration (e.g. Milestones program, Program Support, reward)
  • Fund-raising (e.g. Mission collections – contained inside the classroom with supervision)
  • Component of course program (e.g. French, Hospitality programs)
  • Medical reasons (e.g. diabetes)

All five high schools in WCDSB are governed by a healthy eating policy: APH017 – Secondary School Food and Nutrition Policy. The purpose of the policy is to promote an environment that encourages and supports the development and maintenance of healthy eating habits.

All school cafeterias must adhere to the Eat Smart! School Cafeteria guidelines. Vending machines must also carry healthy nutritional choices. These must include water, 100% fruit juice and low fat milk and should be available in a variety of size options.

We are one of many high schools across the province involved in this provincial Eat Smart! initiative. The Eat Smart! Ontario’s Healthy Restaurant and Cafeteria programs offer recognition to restaurants and cafeterias that meet exceptional standards in safe food handling, healthy food choices and nonsmoking seating. In terms of secondary schools, cafeterias that meet the nutrition and food safety standards can earn the Eat Smart! Award of Excellence.

The Food Policy provides a guideline for healthy eating in our school. For more information, check out the Eat Smart! web site at https://eatsmart.net/. We encourage students to bring or purchase nutritious lunches and snacks. Please make healthy eating a habit.

Eat Smart! School Program is brought to you by Healthy Choices, cafeteria staff, Region of Waterloo Pubic Health, and the Together 4 Health Network.

Students who experience a change of information (address, phone number, contacts, etc.) at any time during the school year are to report the change to the Guidance Office. This will ensure that student records are kept up to date at all times.

In order to use a computer, all students must read the WCDSB Acceptable Use of Computer Technology and Internet Policy and return the Informed Consent form, signed by the student and parent/guardian. A summary of rules related to computer use follows:

FILES & FILE MAINTENANCE – Directories must be checked and files erased when no longer needed. Directories are checked regularly. Files, pictures, video or audio images on the network should be for educational purposes only. Anything deemed inappropriate will result in loss of the files and possible loss of computer access.

SOFTWARE – No personal software may be used or stored on the network. This includes games, executable files and programs of any sort. PIRATING – All software is licensed and therefore is not to be copied.

PORTABLE MEDIA – Only portable media (i.e., diskettes, memory sticks, CD-Rs) authorized by the computer teacher can be used. All portable media must be checked for viruses using the virus software located on the network.

LOGIN PROCEDURES Students are responsible for all files in their directories. Students must not share their login or password or risk losing computer privileges. Each student must use only the login or password assigned by the Computer Site Administrator.

LOGOFF PROCEDURES – Do not turn off the computer until you have completely logged off.

VANDALISM – Abuse of any part of the network, whether it be hardware, software or furniture, will not be tolerated. Any damage or problems should be reported to a teacher immediately. Students will be liable for any damaged caused by them.

PRINTING – Each student will have a limit on the number of printed pages that can be printed without cost. Once this limit has been reached students must purchase a minimum of $1.00 of additional print credit using the print forms available from teachers or the technician. Print credits can be purchased at the Main Office.

FOOD AND DRINK – No food or drink will be allowed in the computer rooms.

AVAILABILITY OF COMPUTER LABS – Computers are mainly available during class time. If you need access to a computer, but are not scheduled in a computer lab you must bring a note from your teacher. Students are not to be in a lab without teacher supervision.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board shares a Wide Area Network which links students and staff to a variety of electronic resources, including the Internet. The prime use of the Boards Wide Area Network and its connection to the Internet is to support the educational activities of students through research and communication opportunities. Students who use the Internet must abide by the Boards Acceptable Use Policy. Students are asked to accept the terms of the policy each time they log in. Students who do not abide by the rules will lose their computer access.

The Acceptable Use Policy prohibits the following activities:

  • downloading of files from the Internet
  • unauthorized email usage
  • participating in chat groups, on-line games
  • sharing of logins and passwords

Only students who attend an in-service will be allowed Internet access. IT at the Board and the school level regularly monitor Internet access to determine appropriateness of use. Inappropriate use may result in loss of Internet privileges, school computer access, suspension or police involvement depending on the degree of inappropriateness.

FIRE ALARMS Fire emergency drills are conducted several times per year. The fire alarm is to be taken seriously at all times. When the fire alarm rings everyone assumes there is an emergency and responds according to the pre-determined and practised procedures.

LOCKDOWN By law, each school shall have in place a Lockdown Procedure. The procedure is reviewed regularly and is coordinated with Waterloo Regional Police. A lockdown is called when a staff member or student reports seeing a potentially serious situation where there is a threat to life posed by an individual due to guns, knives, explosives, etc.

In a lockdown situation, students and staff are directed to go to safe areas such as classrooms and remain there until there is an announcement made that the lockdown is over. Staff members are directed to lock all doors, close blinds and ensure that all cell phones are turned off. Note: During a lockdown, cell phones are NOT to be used for calling or text messaging to ensure uninterrupted communications with police. No door is to be opened to anyone unless identification is provided, slipped under the door.

During a lockdown situation fire alarms are to be ignored unless an announcement is made over the public address system or there is definite evidence of fire.

Schools practice lockdown procedures once each semester to ensure that everyone in the building knows what to do and where to go. Schools and police hope that there is never the need to call a lockdown. It is, however, extremely important that all students and staff treat lockdown drills seriously.

If the school needs to be evacuated, please note that the Activa Sports Complex is the off-site location where students will be directed.

The prom is a school event and a privilege. Its intent is to celebrate student dedication and hard work leading toward academic success. Efforts and perseverance toward following the rules of the school related to attendance, lates and behaviour will have an impact on whether a student is able to attend. Administration will determine who attends. Students who arrive to the prom under influence of drugs or alcohol will not be admitted.

There must be no loitering in the corridors, or washrooms, at any time . During lunch periods, classroom wings will be out-of-bounds 5 minutes from the beginning of the period until 5 minutes prior to the end of the period.

St. Marys has a staff of four Lunch Supervisors , whose role is to direct tardy students to their classes and to help enforce the school code of conduct and uniform. Students are required to treat them with all the respect and co-operation they would extend to any other teacher or staff member in the school.

A locker is assigned to you when you begin your schooling at St. Marys and will remain your locker while you are a student here. A student who occupies a locker not assigned to him/her will have the lock removed and locker contents held at the office.

Lockers are locked with SMH Locks. Only SMH supplied locks may be used (any other lock will be removed). Do not share your combination with anyone. If you experience difficulty with your lock or locker, please report the problem to the Main Office.

Students must carry all materials for the morning or afternoon classes to avoid having to return to lockers between classes. Please keep your locker neat and clean. Do not allow old lunches and junk to pile up. There will be periodic designated times throughout the year for locker clean out.

Graffiti and markings on lockers and/or locker doors are NOT permitted. Students will be charged an annual fee if cleaning or repairing is needed.

NOTE: Sizeable amounts of money should be brought to the office for safekeeping. Money should not be left in lockers, dressing rooms or classrooms. Handbags should not be left anywhere.

Lost and Found

Found articles are to be dropped in the lost and found bin outside the Phys. Ed. Office. Valuable items are to be brought to the Main Office. If you have lost an item, please check periodically. All unclaimed articles are donated to charitable organizations.

MP3, i-pods, touch phones and other devices used to listen to music are NOT permitted in the classroom. If you choose to bring such items, they are to be kept in your locker.

Each day begins with the national anthem and morning reflection. Students are asked to stand and remain quiet during these opening exercises in both the hallways and classrooms.

Announcements are displayed throughout the day on Eagle Vision Bulletin Board via TV monitors in most classrooms, the upper forum, cafeteria, and on the schools website.

All students are expected to be in first period and be in proper uniform at 8:55am.

Students are loaned materials with the expectation that such are kept in good order and if applicable, returned after use. It is the students responsibility to return school materials by the time of the final evaluation in each course:

  • Textbooks (also in CD format)
  • Team/Club uniforms/equipment
  • Upgrade course fees

If items are not returned or kept in good repair or if replacement and/or repair costs are not paid by the final evaluation, the following will apply:

  • report cards and transcripts and will not be forwarded.
  • team involvement, class trips, and bus passes will be withheld.

The Ministry of Education and the WCDSB have adopted a Smoke-Free Environment policy. Our school community is focused on healthy lifestyle choices and we encourage students not to smoke. Smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaporizers and/or chewing tobacco is not allowed anywhere in the St. Mary’s High School buildings or on the surrounding campus, including the parking lot. Students will not be permitted to smoke in cars. Although we do not condone smoking we find it necessary to provide a safe, supervised area for students who choose to smoke, therefore, students are reminded that this activity can only take place in the designated smoking area at the front of the school behind the fence.

Students will not be permitted in the smoking area during or between classes.

Students violating the smoking policy will be suspended.

Every Wednesday students may wear St. Mary’s spirit wear tops to promote school spirit. Shirts may be worn instead of the uniform shirt. School uniform pants or shorts must still be worn.

Unfortunately, due to our enrolment, we are unable to provide parking spaces for students. All parking spaces at St. Marys High School are for the use of St. Marys High School staff and visitors. As well, designated Kitchener Public Library spots are clearly marked and for the use of library staff and patrons. Unauthorized vehicles in a specific area may be ticketed or towed at the owners expense by KPL & St. Marys High School by-law officers.

The Activa Sportsplex has generously agreed to have parking available for our students. Students are asked to park in spots designated by Activa personnel. This arrangement is dependent upon student care and available spots.

St. Marys High School is equipped with video surveillance equipment. Videos may be used in criminal investigations.

All thefts are to be reported immediately to the Main Office. A theft report should be completed. Administration will contact police if necessary. To prevent thefts, students are discouraged from bringing to school valuable items such as cell phones, I-pods, cameras, computers, etc. Valuables of any kind should be left locked in student lockers. They should never be left in change rooms. This includes Bus Passes.

The school will not take responsibility for the loss of personal belongings.

The Supreme Court concludes that A search by school officials of a student under their authority may be undertaken if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a school rule has been violated, and the evidence of the violation will be found in the location or on the person of the student. These grounds may well be provided by information received from just one student that the school authority considers credible.

The right to search extends to student lockers and student cars parked on school property.

Electronic devices are not to be used during the school day. They are disruptive to classes and may constitute an invasion of privacy to other students and staff. They are to be out of sight and turned off. St. Marys High School cannot assume any liability for lost or stolen electronic devices.

If a students cell phone is seen in the classroom, the student will be sent to the office with the cell phone. The students name is recorded and the cell phone is returned at the end of the day. The second time the student is sent to the office the students Administrator will keep the cell phone until a parent/guardian is able to pick it up.

For emergency situations, messages for students will be accepted at the main office or attendance. Parents/guardians are asked not to telephone or text message students during school hours.

McCarthy Uniforms – 2023-2024 Unform price list

All students are expected to be in uniform at all times from 9:05 am until 2:45 pm while in the school building and library. The uniform is to be worn on field trips unless specified otherwise. School Administration reserves the right to send students home whose dress is not in keeping with these guidelines and may result in disciplinary action.

The SMH uniform is supplied by R.J. McCarthys and is purchased by visiting the outlet, calling 1-800-668-8261 or online at www.rjmccarthy.com. Only those uniform items sold by McCarthys are permissible.

Cambridge Store
44 Saltsman Dr Unit #1
Cambridge, ON N3H 4R7

UNIFORM ITEM HOW TO WEAR IT
TOP
  • McCarthy white or blue golf shirt with eagle emblem, OR
  • McCarthy blue ¼ – zip with eagle emblem, OR
  • *McCarthy vest sweater or pullover V-neck sweater, OR
  • *McCarthy full-zip sweater – zipped up
    (no longer sold & to be discontinued Sept 2022)
  • *All sweaters must be worn with McCarthy golf shirt, or solid-colour white/black/navy blue T-shirt with no writing, underneath.
  • **Spirit Wear tops are only permitted on Wednesdays.
BOTTOM
  • McCarthy navy blue pants or shorts with eagle emblem
SHOES
  • Open-toes or open-heeled shoes may not be worn in Art/Tech/Science labs.
NOTES
  • The uniform is to be worn during class time and in the cafeteria.
  • Hoodies are not permitted to be worn under any McCarthy tops.
  • Long sleeved shirts are not permitted to be worn under short-sleeved golf shirts.
  • Hats, toques, and hoods are not to be worn.
  • Pants/shorts are worn at waist.

All physical education students are required to wear a uniform that consists of:

All physical education students are required to wear a uniform that consists of:

  • A grey St. Mary’s athletic uniform T-shirt
  • A pair of navy St. Mary’s athletic shorts
  • Proper running shoes for physical activities

Uniforms will be purchased from the Physical Education teacher within the first 2 weeks of a semester.

  • T-shirts and Shorts $15.00 each
  • Package $35.00 (includes 2 T-shirts and 1 pair of shorts)

Sweatshirts or loose-fitting jackets and trackpants worn over shorts are recommended for cooler days and outside activities. It is recommended that all students bring a towel to shower after class.

Students not having proper uniform will need to borrow a spare uniform from the Phys. Ed. Office. Persistant neglect of duty will result in contact with home and the administration in order to assist the student with this matter.

Vandalism of any kind, such as marking desks or lockers and walls anywhere in or around the school, will result in restitution or compensation on the part of the student and may result in suspension.

St. Mary’s High School has a zero tolerance policy with regard to physical altercations occurring between students. Students who are involved in such behaviour will be suspended from school from 3-20 days. In addition, the Police may be called to investigate.

All visitors must report to the Main Office. Authorized visitors (parents/guardians, guest speakers, volunteers) will sign in and be issued a visitor pass which will be returned after the visit.

Note: Former students are NOT permitted to visit friends at school during class time. Students may be held responsible for friends who visit during the school day.

St. Mary’s is committed to the preservation of a non-violent safe environment. Consequently all weapons or facsimiles are prohibited. Weapon possession issues will be referred to the Police. Students found with weapons in their possession (including in lockers) will face expulsion.

Please check current course calendar, also available through Career Cruising.

All students in grades 9 to 11 must take eight credits. Grade 12 and students returning for a fifth year may take fewer than eight based on their diploma and post-secondary requirements and personal health. This is determined in discussion with their Guidance Counsellor. Students may attend part-time (2 courses) only if it is their final semester at St. Mary’s and only with guidance and administrative approval.

Subject Change Policy: Changes in course selection and timetable will be considered for the following reasons only:

  • failure to complete a prerequisite course
  • changes in post secondary plans.

Check school calendar for the last day for student initiated course changes.

All changes must be approved by the parent/guardian and Guidance Counsellor and, in some cases, Program Head or Administration. Students will not be permitted to drop courses except for medical or other serious reasons. All such requests must be made to the Principal, through discussion with the Guidance Counsellor.

Some courses are over subscribed. Students who have never taken the course will be placed in the course before students repeating the course to upgrade, or students who have failed the course. Students may take the course as a new credit at summer school, night school or wait until the next year.

ACADEMIC AWARDS Each fall we honour students who have excelled academically the previous school year. Students in grade 12 are recognized at Graduation and students in grades 9 to 11 are recognized at an Academic Awards Evening in October. Subject Awards are awarded to the top students from each class of a subject discipline. Academic Excellence Awards are given to the top 5% of students in grades 9, 10 and 11.

HONOUR ROLL Students who receive an overall average of 80% or greater will be acknowledged on our Honour Roll and will receive an individual certificate.

MERIT AWARDS Merit Awards are earned by students in each year who made an outstanding contribution to the school community. Academic achievement, as well as participation in various extra-curricular school activities, accrue points towards this award.

Co-op courses enable students to spend part of their school day in a curriculum-related community work setting. Students who choose Co-op courses, spend half-days for the full semester (mornings or afternoons) at a community work site. Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded two credits towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

The ONTARIO SECONDARY SCHOOL DIPLOMA (OSSD) is awarded to students who successfully complete:

  • 30 credits (18 compulsory and 12 elective).
    • Such credits will be based on discipline specific expectations and assessment as set out in the provincial curriculum policy. All courses are 1 credit and require a minimum of 110 hours except for the two half credit courses (Grade 10 Civics and Career Studies) comprising of 55 hours each and Co-op which is a two-credit program related to a course.
  • 40 hours of community involvement, and
  • the Grade 10 Literacy Test or Grade 12 Literacy Course.

NOTE: All students will take Religious Education courses in grades 9 through 12 as part of their commitment to Catholic Education.

Refer to the Course Calendar for more information.

Students are informed of evaluation methods at the beginning of each course. It is the right and responsibility of students to initiate communication with their teachers whenever aspects of their evaluation need clarification.

Two report cards are issued each semester — a mid-term report and a final report at the end. Midterm reports are issued in November and April and end-of-semester final reports are issued in February and June. Final marks are based on formative and summative evaluation.

Progress reports are distributed 6 to 8 weeks into the semester. Parent-Student-Teacher conferences are scheduled following the distribution of these reports.

Students who transfer or retire from St. Marys High School during the school year must complete the following procedures through their assigned Guidance Counsellor:

  • notification by a parent/guardian.
  • interview with a Guidance Counsellor.
  • return of all materials belonging to the school.

Official transcripts will not be issued to retiring or transferring students who have not completed these procedures.

Students wishing to transfer between high schools within the Region of Waterloo should contact their guidance counsellor for a Principal to Principal Transfer request. Transfer for students living outside of their home school boundary will be considered only under very rare extenuating circumstances and must be approved by the principals of both schools. Visit www.stswr.ca to determine school boundaries based on your address.

Students who wish an official transcript of their marks should contact the Guidance Department. Within the first year of leaving St. Marys, there will be no charge for producing the transcript. For all other graduating years, there will be a nominal charge. Please allow at least one week for a transcript to be processed.

All co-curricular activities are intended to enrich the education of the individual student. With the pursuit of excellence in these activities, students also enhance the reputation of the school and, through their effort and dedication, benefit all members of the school community.

CODE OF CONDUCT While deciding to participate in these activities students agree to meet the following standards as representatives of our school:
a) Students first commitment is to their studies. Eligibility for co-curricular activities is dependent on a students effort to be successful in all courses.
b) Students may not participate in a co-curricular activity on a day when they have an unexplained absence from any class. Students who miss more than a half day due to illness may not participate in a co-curricular activity on that day. Chronic absenteeism could result in students being denied the opportunity to participate in co-curricular activities. Participation in a cocurricular activity on the previous or the following day is never an acceptable reason for missing class.
c) Once a commitment to participate is made, students are expected to attend all scheduled practices, games, and meetings. Failure to do so may result in being denied participation in any club or team for a period of one year from the time of the infraction. Students who quit or are removed from a team have 5 days to appeal the one year athletic suspension. Appeal forms are available in the Phys. Ed. office.
d) Regardless of the outcomes, students who participate in competitive activities are expected to show respect for all officials, coaches, teachers, spectators, or opponents from any school, and for the rules of the game or activity in which they participate. We expect that students who represent St. Mary’s in co-curricular activities will be a source of pride to the school and to themselves. Actions or activities which detract from this premise, such as belittling opponents by word or deed, are expressly prohibited and will be consequence.
e) Students who attend games or activities as representatives of a school team or club are expected to travel in their school or team uniform. This applies to events during, before and after school hours.
f) Students who visit other schools and travel to and from activities are expected by their conduct and language to model the same behaviours which are expected in our own school.
g) Students who participate in co-curricular activities are required to have a Student Activity card and are expected to present it when signing up.