XIV. SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Student Council

The Council is made up of student officers and representatives with teacher moderators. The Council encourages responsible decision-making, coordinates activities for grade K-8, encourages a sense of respect among students for those older or younger than themselves, gives students a wider view of the world by providing opportunities to work on projects to assist others as well as themselves, strengthens school spirit, and develops leadership potential among the students.


Yearbook

Annually, faculty advisors, with input from the junior high grade students, work to create the school’s yearbook to capture the year’s events and students in a special way.



After School Sports

The school’s athletic director coordinates programs for both girls and boys. Programs include volleyball, flag football, basketball, and track. Sign-up periods will be announced before each season. Appropriate fees are collected to cover expenses for equipment, uniform, etc.

Students on probation are NOT eligible to participate in the sports program.

Sports Fees must be paid BEFORE a student can report to practice and/or play in a game.

Parents and other volunteers coach and supervise the teams under the directions and coordination of the athletic director. All school parents who wish to volunteer as coaches must be fingerprinted and cleared before they may begin volunteering in that capacity. (Please be advised that the fingerprinting and clearance process can take several weeks to compete).

Parents are responsible for providing their child with transportation to games.
Parents of team members who transport students (other than their own child) for athletics need to meet the same requirements as for drivers for field trips (carry the required liability insurance, “clean” driving record, fingerprinting clearance, certificate of completion of the “Shield the Vulnerable” online training.-- See Field Trips for more information).

Coaches, team members, parents, and relatives are expected to exhibit self-control and good sportsmanship at all athletic events. Sports events are meant to focus on team cooperative efforts, not competition.



Fatima FEST Class Project

Fatima Fest Class Project-- The Parents’ Club will fund each class project up to $250.00 per class. Room parents select the class project, work within the given budget (and/or get non-monetary donations to complete), and organizes student work time with the teacher.



Classroom Parties

Classes may have four parties each year, usually Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and the end of the year. The room parents may be asked to assist with parties if the teacher desires.

Guidelines for room parents:
  • ANY communication (written or phone call or email) by room parents to families on behalf of the class must have the advance teacher/principal approval.
  • Simplify. Avoid the waste of food through excessive servings. Parties should be brief, e.g. 20 minutes. Parents are responsible for donating food items for the parties in their child’s class. (No soda)
  • If money needs to be collected for a class activity, advance teacher/principal approval is required. All money collected is to be given to the school bookkeeper. Receipts are required for reimbursementsExpenditures made without appropriate approval will not be reimbursed.


Birthday Treats in the Classroom

It is the teacher’s prerogative to establish the policy for his/her classroom regarding the celebration of birthdays. Classroom birthday parties are not permitted.  If a parent wishes to bring a treat (i.e. donuts, cupcakes, popsicles, etc)  for the class to celebrate a birthday, the teacher must be consulted first.  Birthday balloons will be held in the school office until the end of the day to lessen classroom distraction.  



Washington, D.C. Field Trip

Besides individual class field trips, seventh and eighth grade students are offered the opportunity to participate in a special field trip to the nation’s capitol. This week long trip correlates to the eighth grade study of U.S. History and is planned for every other year. Our next trip is scheduled for Spring 2018.

This trip is fast-paced and teachers need to know that students will cooperate fully with them for the safety of all. There are behavior standards required for students who participate in this trip. Students who fail to maintain these standards all year are not allowed to participate. Only OLF teachers and staff members serve as the chaperones for this trip. Seventh and eighth grade students who do not participate in this field trip attend school as usual.

Fundraising for the D.C. trip may be organized by the families of the participating families but must be done so in accordance with Guidelines for Fundraising Outside of Parents’ Club established by the school. Information on the guidelines specific to the Washington, D.C. trip is available in the school office.



Hot Lunch Program

The school’s hot lunch program is operated Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Menus and prices are included in the weekly communication. Meals will not be served on 12:00 p.m. dismissal days. In the interest of nutrition, no sodas are permitted for lunches served at school. Juice and milk are available.

Students who do not choose to use the hot lunch program need to bring a lunch to school each day. Parents may deliver lunch for their child. Please leave it on the cart outside the office with the child’s name clearly visible. Parents should not take their child's lunch to the child.  As with hot lunch, no sodas are permitted in the lunches brought to the school.

Hot lunch parent volunteers may NOT bring toddlers or non-school siblings with them when volunteering. The school’s liability insurance forbids this.



Catholic Schools Week

This week long celebration begins at the end of January. Special activities and events focus on the uniqueness of Catholic education and its part in developing strong, young Catholic people. A schedule of events is provided in early January.



School Mass/Prayer Services

The entire student body and faculty attend Mass together regularly. The Mass days are announced in the Principal’s Bulletin and also indicated on the monthly calendar issued by the school. Teachers guide their students in preparing for the Mass. Students participate as servers, lectors, and cantors. In addition, students and staff also gather for all school rosaries and special prayer services.



Student Recognition Awards

Besides the academic awards already described in Chapter IX, the following opportunities are offered for student recognition:

1. Campus Conduct Commendation (K-8):  These certificates are issued on occasion by the faculty/staff to students (K-8) who, on their own initiative, demonstrate kindness, sharing, cooperation, respect, and service in their interaction with others. The names of the recipients are read at the weekly Monday Morning Assembly. This recognition is meant to encourage students’ Christian response in social settings.

2. Perfect Attendance Award (K-8):  This award is given quarterly to students who attend school every day for a full day and are NOT tardy. Any absence (excused absences are still absences and are recorded as such in school records) or tardiness disqualifies the student for this award. Therefore, perfect attendance is defined as:
  • No tardies (student is on time each school day, in the classroom by 8:00 a.m.)
  • No absences due to illness, medical or dental appointments, family necessity, funerals, family vacation.
Each trimester, students with perfect attendance will be awarded a certificate of recognition. Students who earn a perfect attendance award for all four quarters of the school year will be eligible for a special reward at the end of the school year.

3. Service Award (Gr. 4-8): A certificate of recognition may be given quarterly. Teachers may nominate students in Grades 4-8 who have demonstrated these qualities:
  • Student is spontaneous and consistent in offering to help and serve others, including classmates and adults.
  • Students show initiative in seeking ways to genuinely serve others.
  • Student demonstrates humility of spirit in service to others.
  • Student gives service to the school, parish, and/or civic community.

This award is meant to encourage students in choosing to be active Christians. This award will only be given in those trimesters when suitable candidates have been nominated.

4. Subject Area Pins (Gr. 8):  Graduating eighth graders wear a class ribbon on their gowns that displays the subject area pins earned in the eighth grade year. Academic requirements are explained to the students.



Families Program

The Families Program encourages community spirit among the students. Each Eighth Grader, as head of a school family, is assigned students from Grades K-7 to be part of his/her family. The families meet various times through the year for an activity together. Older students learn leadership and nurturing skills and the younger students learn cooperation. Cross-grade student friendships are built through these interactions.



Altar Servers

Students in Grades 4-8 are eligible to become altar servers. Those who wish to sign up should contact the Parish Center Office for the training schedule.



Msgr. DeGroot Christian Leadership Awards

These awards were established and funded by the DeGroot Family in honor/memory of Msgr. James DeGroot. It is meant to encourage and recognize student leadership. Each year, up to twelve students, Gr. 4-8, from Our Lady of Fatima School are selected to be recognized for their demonstration of positive Christian leadership. Recipients are invited to a special diocesan honors assembly and awarded a certificate.



Academic Competitions

In an effort to provide students with opportunities to apply their lessons and to recognize scholastic achievement, the school sponsors several academic competitions: county spelling bee, county science Olympiad, Catholic Daughters Education Contest, Geography Bee, Word Power Challenge, Cesar Chavez Essay Contest, etc.



Fundraising Outside of Parents’ Club

The school permits some fundraising outside of Parents’ Club activities. Limited additional fundraising may be undertaken for the following three events only:

  • Omelet Breakfast (eighth Grade): to cover Graduation expenses
  • Outdoor Science Camp (sixth Grade): to help cover camp costs
  • Washington, D.C Field Trip (seventh and eighth grades): to help cover trip costs
  1. This fundraising is completely separate from the OLF School Parents’ Club fundraising.
  2. Additional fundraising is permitted only for helping to fund the above three activities.
  3. A written proposal form (available in the school office) must be completed and approved before any publicity regarding the event can be released.
  4. No fundraiser may interfere with a scheduled Parents’ Club fundraiser or a school sponsored event such as Book Fair. The Parish calendar will also be considered.
  5. The number of approved annual events a class may hold is limited to two.
  6. Fundraisers cannot involve the selling of products, e.g. cookies, candy, magazines, cookie dough, etc.
  7. Fundraisers such as a restaurant night, a pancake breakfast, a spaghetti dinner, etc. are permitted. Car washes are not permitted for liability reasons.
  8. Ideally, the fundraisers should involve as many of the families in that class as possible. However, the proceeds from any fundraising will benefit each participating family equally in the class whether or not they volunteered time to the fundraiser.
  9. All fundraising monies will be turned into the office for deposit upon receipt. The monies will be held for that class until the event for which the fundraiser is imminent.
  10. Proposals for fundraising events must be submitted to the principal for consideration at least three weeks before the proposed date.
  11. Checks will be issued directly to the company sponsoring the 6 th Grade Camp week or Washington, D.C. trip on behalf of each student participating in the trip. For eighth grade graduation, checks will be issued to vendors, etc. to pay for all associated graduation expenses. Checks will not be issued to individual families.


Science Olympiad

Students in Grade 4-8 may participate in this annual science competition sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE). Students need to commit to after school practice times and collaboration with teammates. Events are held in March and April. A fee covers the costs of the competition, e.g. registration, t- shirt, lunch, materials. The fee must be paid before the student can join the practices, etc.