Family Handbook & Policies
The policies and procedures set out in this handbook will be implemented as we begin the 2021-2022 school year. The Academy will continuously monitor conditions, federal, state and local guidance, and vaccination availability and may adjust these policies and procedures to provide the least restrictive, most protective environment for our school community.
- COVID-19 Screenings
- Arrival at School
- School Day
- Dismissal From School
- Discipline Code
- Health and Medication
- Safety and Security
- Report Cards
The Academy has partnered with RUVNA, our crisis management system, to allow our families, faculty and staff to conduct daily self-screenings for COVID-19 symptoms and exposures. These screenings consist of a short series of questions, answered on a parent’s or employee’s phone and submitted to the school by RUVNA. The screening may be completed as early as the evening before but must be submitted to the school by 7:00 a.m. each school day. No student, employee, or visitor will be permitted to enter any school building until we have received the required screening. For more information, see the Parent Portal.
In an effort to minimize unnecessary crowding and congestion, we will continue a staggered drop-off system. Families will receive a time frame within which to drop their children at school. It is imperative that families drop their children off within the designated arrival window. Cars in the private arrival / dismissal lines should display family name in the windshield all year. School staff will verify that each student’s daily RUVNA screening has been completed before allowing them to enter the building. Students for whom a RUVNA screening has not been submitted will remain outside until the RUVNA screening has been completed.
As always, cars are to use the proper entrance and exit on the Church Road side of the property. At designated arrival window:
- SSM + any siblings – drop off at CHILD SAFE ZONE
- PS + K + any siblings in 1-8 – drop off at PRESCHOOL RAMP
- 1-4 only – drop off at CHILD SAFE ZONE
- 1-4 and 5-8 – drop off at CHILD SAFE ZONE
- 5-8 only – drop off at LINK
Families who miss their designated drop-off window are asked to wait until after 8:15 a.m. and follow the late arrival guidelines.
Bus Transportation for children attending non-public schools is provided under PA Act #372. We ask parents to familiarize themselves with the transportation policies of their school district as they may have been impacted by COVID-19. At the time of this writing, students riding on school buses are legally mandated to wear masks, and families are expected to comply with those mandates. Arrangements for bus transportation can be made through the school office. Students using bus transportation should be at the stop five minutes before the arrival of the bus and are expected to obey all bus safety rules, including any rules relating to wearing masks and physical distancing. Under no circumstances may a student ride a bus other than the one assigned by their home school district. Before students enter the school building, our staff will verify that each student’s daily RUVNA screening has been completed. Students for whom a RUVNA screening has not been submitted will remain outside until school staff are able to contact a parent to have them complete the RUVNA screening. We ask that parents using bus transportation for their children remain easily accessible by cell phone in the event the school needs to verify their child’s RUVNA screening.
Families’ assigned arrival windows begin at 7:15 a.m. and end at 8:15 a.m. The instructional day is from 8:30 a.m. to 2:55 p.m., and assigned dismissal windows are between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. Half-day Preschool children and half-day Stepping Stones into Montessori children dismiss at 12:30 p.m.
Students who arrive at school after 8:15 a.m. are to be dropped off outside the McCoy Center lobby. We ask that late arrivals remain outside and call the school receptionist to report their arrival. A staff member will verify the student’s RUVNA screening before accompanying them into the school building. These students will be marked late unless they are arriving by bus.
To report a child late or absent, parents are to call the absentee line (215-885-1637) before 8:00 a.m. and indicate the reason in the case of an absence. Upon returning to school from an absence, the student is to present the school’s absentee note signed by a parent or guardian to the homeroom teacher. The Absentee Note is available on the Parents’ page of the school’s website. Permission for an absence due to a family trip is to be presented in writing to the principal two weeks in advance for approval. It is strongly recommended that such trips coincide with student holidays and do not conflict with cumulative and standardized testing days. Upon returning, the student is responsible to make up missed assignments.
If a student needs to leave school early, a note stating the reason is to be sent in advance to the principal. Students who leave school early will be escorted out of the McCoy Center lobby to meet their waiting parent outside. Parents may not pick up students from the classroom.
There are 8 Temporary/Short-Term Parking spaces available along the front of the McCoy Center for visitors to the Academy and parents who have quick needs such as dropping off medication/forms, picking up students for early dismissal, etc. during the school day.
On-Campus Health and Safety Practices
Our goal is to protect the most vulnerable in our community. We have adopted a number of new protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. Many of them, like daily RUVNA screenings and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices, may escape your children’s notice. We call your attention only to those practices which we know your children will notice and ask you to join us in making them feel as familiar and comfortable with them as possible. The Academy will adopt an instructional, but never punitive, approach to encouraging student compliance with COVID protocols.
Masks: Unless federal or local guidance dictates a change to the Academy’s masking policy, all Ancillae teachers and staff will wear appropriately secured masks covering their noses and mouths while inside the school building, and all students are asked to wear masks indoors, absent medical documentation of special circumstances. Students may bring masks from home, and masks will be available at school as needed. Students are asked to have a mask on their persons at all times and will be asked to wear their masks as circumstances and activities dictate. Masks will be optional outdoors, absent a change in federal or local guidance or changes to the Academy’s Health and Safety Plan.
Air: Current information about COVID-19 suggests that transmission of the disease is significantly less likely in well-ventilated areas. Our classrooms are well-ventilated and teachers plan to take advantage of out-door areas as much as possible. Please be sure that your children are dressed accordingly.
Space: The CDC has determined that COVID-19 is more easily transmitted between people who are clustered together. To encourage students to give one another as much space as possible, we will continue some of our temporary logistical changes, such as staggering drop-off times, redistributing and redesigning learning areas, reimagining extra-curricular activities, and redirecting students’ movement through the campus.
Cleanliness: Hand washing and sanitizing is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will be asking all of our students, faculty and staff to wash/sanitize their hands when they enter the buildings and classrooms, use the bathrooms, before and after eating, and frequently throughout the day. Hand sanitizers have been placed inside of classrooms and students in grades 1-8 are invited to bring hand sanitizers to school for their personal use.
In sculpting these health and safety practices, we have been very mindful of the fact that we are dealing with children. Emphasis on one practice or another may vary depending on grade and circumstance. Our ultimate goal is to protect, not only our students’ physical health, but their emotional well-being and academic growth.
Lunch & Snacks
This year in the Montessori Unit, lunch and snacks will be delivered to and eaten in the students’ classrooms, appropriately distanced. We are asking students to make their meal selections a month in advance to assist our dining staff with planning, preparing, and delivering meals. Meal selection forms will be posted on the Parent Portal.
Students in grades 1-8 will return to traditional lunch offerings and make lunch selections in the Student Dining Room. Students will eat, appropriately distanced, in one of three designated areas, including the Dining Room, outside tables, or the auditorium stage tables.
When possible, daily snack will be eaten outside. When eaten indoors, students will be seated and appropriately distanced.
Only water bottle refill stations will be in use; students in all grades are invited to bring reusable water bottles from home, labeled with their names and grades, for use throughout the day.
At outside recess, where infection is much less likely, we recognize how important it is for our students to be able to spend time with their friends from other classes. Grade cohorts will be grouped together in the same general area. Students are not permitted to bring toys, games, or activities to school unless invited to do so by a teacher.
Ancillae-Assumpta Academy remains fully committed to meeting the educational needs of each of its students and will continue to provide Resource Learning opportunities while maintaining health and safety protocols.
Students have a scheduled library period and at designated times, they may work on research, class assignments, or personal interest projects. Library resources can be accessed at any time via the student page of the school website.
A school supply list is available to parents prior to the start of school. Many supplies are provided by the school and will be on student desks on the first day of school. Miscellaneous supplies can be purchased at the school store or any store of your choosing. Ancillae specific items (pencil case, school bag, etc.) are available for purchase in the school store. Families will make school store purchases through email and FACTS. Please consult the parent page of the website for a list of available items and email contact information. Purchases will be charged to the family’s FACTS account and delivered to the student’s classroom.
All students will need these additional supplies specific to 2021-2022 school year each day.
It is important that you label each item with your child's name.
- 2 clean 2-ply minimum face masks. One worn into school and one placed in a clean paper lunch bag.
- 1 sit-upon approximately 20 x 30 in size for outdoor activity.
- 1 sealed leak-proof water bottle that students can open independently for use all day.
Academy Media Policy
During the school year, the Academy takes photos, video and voice recordings of students in classrooms, around the school, or on field trips engaging in various activities, events and programs. We use these images on our websites, on social and digital media, for both educational and publicity purposes. Parents may refuse to have their child/dren’s image used in these ways by notifying the school, in writing, of their desire to do so. Please see the full Academy Media Policy for further details.
In an effort to minimize unnecessary crowding and congestion, we will continue a staggered pick-up system. Families will receive a time frame within which to pick up their children at school. It is imperative that families pick up their children within the designated dismissal window. Cars in the private dismissal lines should display family name in the windshield all year. We ask that all parents and passengers in cars on campus wear masks while interacting with our staff.
- Half-day Preschool students dismiss at the Preschool ramp at 12:30 p.m.
- Half-day Stepping Stones into Montessori students dismiss from the SSM lobby at 12:30 p.m.
At designated dismissal windows:
- PS + K + any siblings in 1-8 – pick up at PRESCHOOL RAMP
- SSM + any siblings in PS/K – pick up at PRESCHOOL RAMP
- SSM only & SSM + any siblings in 1-8 – pick up at CHILD SAFE ZONE
- 1-4 students only – pick up at CHILD SAFE ZONE
- 1-4 and 5-8 – pick up at CHILD SAFE ZONE
- 5-8 students with 3:20 and 3:30 times – pick up on DRIVEWAY
To facilitate safe dismissal and alleviate traffic congestion, it is imperative to adhere to the pick-up times and not arrive before or after the times stated above. Children must be picked up on school property. No one may park on Royal Avenue, Church Road, or neighboring streets at any time or use Mulford or Gribbel Roads to access the major thoroughfares.
Students returning home via bus will be called directly from their classrooms to board their buses.
Parents must notify the school of any changes to the students’ regular transportation means by 1:30 p.m. in order to reach the child before dismissal begins.
Afternoon Extended Day
Any family needing afternoon childcare between 3:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. must register for their children’s full-time participation. Extended Day will be able to accommodate drop-in students this year. The per diem rate is $20 per child.
The primary means of communicating all school information is electronic. An email containing important information and links will be sent each Thursday to families who have updated email addresses on file with the school. Students who have an assigned email address are expected to check their accounts regularly. Messages requiring immediate attention are posted on the Academy’s website. Information about COVID-19 or changes to school policies or routines will be both emailed and posted to the Academy’s website.
Parent / Teacher Communication
Calls to the administration or teachers concerning school matters are to be made between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Requests for a return call will be answered at the administrator’s or teacher’s earliest convenience. In-depth discussions of grades or behavior are best conducted at a conference arranged outside class hours at a time mutually convenient to parent and teacher, rather than by telephone. Parents may also contact the staff via school email and Canvas.
Student Phone Calls
Students are not permitted to make phone calls home during the school day for any reason other than transportation changes and emergencies. Phone calls may not be made for forgotten items. Students who bring cell phones and other electronic devices to school must have a permission slip on file with the principal. This year, cell phones and other electronic devices will be stored in the students’ book bags during the school day. Students are not permitted to use their cell phones without a teacher’s permission. Under no circumstances may a student share his or her cell phone or electronic devices with another student.
PowerSchool is our student information system which informs parents and students of academic progress in Grades 4 to 8. Parents are strongly encouraged to check PowerSchool routinely for test and homework achievement and comments from the teachers concerning student performance. User ID and passwords are issued to parents and students in Grades 4 to 8.
Canvas is our learning management system which aggregates students’ digital course content. Through the parent app, parents can review upcoming or past assignments and receive course announcements. User ID and passwords are issued to parents and students in Grades K to 8.
Weather and Other Emergencies
In the event of any type of emergency, Swift K12 will be activated. Do not text back Swift K12 notifications, but rather follow the directions detailed in the message. In a weather emergency, information is available at www.ancillae.org. To learn whether school is canceled or if there is a two-hour delay, please use one of these sources rather than calling school. During a weather emergency, our phones must be free in order to contact bus companies.
Please be advised that if and when a two-hour delay is implemented due to inclement weather, school will not be open until 9:30 a.m. Homeroom begins at 10 a.m. Unfortunately, because bus service may not be available to accommodate AAA’s delay, families are asked to check with their school district to determine whether bus transportation is also on a delayed schedule. In the event AAA has a delayed opening, and either: 1) buses are running at regular times based on a school district’s decision, or 2) a school district is closed and will not be providing bus service, families are responsible for transportation to school. We ask families to honor AAA’s delay. It is important that you arrive no earlier than 9:45 a.m. since we need time to prepare the property for cars, buses and walkers. In addition, we cannot guarantee sufficient supervision prior to 9:30 a.m. since the delay applies to all faculty and staff. We are confident that the 2-hour delay will be ample time for snow removal thus ensuring a safe environment for all of us.
Bus Transportation Early Dismissal
During the school day, individual school districts may decide to close early due to weather conditions. When we are notified of an early dismissal by a particular school district, we will call the parents of each child who rides that district’s bus to ascertain whether the child should go home on the bus, private or extended day. We must contact a parent before we will permit the child to go home on the bus. Please be sure that your family’s emergency contact information is up to date so that we can reach you in the event of an early dismissal. School Events Check the AAA webpage for all closings and delays of events taking place on school property. This includes night and weekend events such as Fine Arts Performances, Intramurals, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and parent meetings. The website will offer the latest information and will be your best resource for learning when events are still on or called off.
Children are expected to act in a manner which demonstrates a respect and concern for their teachers, classmates, and all whom they meet. Each student should respect the rights of others and make a sincere effort to follow the directives of the school. Each trimester, a Student R.I.C.E. Award is given to two students from each homeroom in Grades 4 to 8 who demonstrate the values of R.I.C.E. The recipients are selected by the homeroom teacher (who has conferred with subject area teachers). A student must meet behavioral expectations in order to be considered for this award.
Students in Grades 5 to 8 will receive discipline points at the teacher’s discretion for failure to observe school regulations related to academic policies, behavioral expectations, and uniform requirements. In the area of behavior, conduct that infringes on the well-being and rights of others to a safe and productive learning environment, disregard for the truth, inappropriate language, intentional disregard for community property, lateness for class, leaving school property during school hours and events, and other infractions, such as chewing gum, will warrant discipline points. Points may also be issued any time the student is involved in misconduct, whether on school grounds or while representing Ancillae-Assumpta at any school event or school-related activity. Point notices are handed directly to the student who is then responsible to inform his/her parents and return the point to the teacher with his/her parent’s signature. All forms of bullying and harassment are prohibited at Ancillae, whether on campus, on the bus, or at school-related functions and activities. Complaints of bullying or harassment will be handled in accordance with the Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment Policies set forth in the Parent Portal on the school website. Behavioral difficulties of students in Preschool to Grade 4 will be handled on an individual basis and parents will be contacted directly. In the event that a child is extremely disruptive, it may be necessary for a parent to take the child home.
A student who receives an accumulation of five points in one trimester for academic omission, behavioral difficulties, and/or not wearing the full and proper school or gym uniform will have an email sent to parents arranging a detention. If a student accumulates a second set of five points within one report period, it will be necessary for the child and both parents to meet with the administration to determine the student’s future status. Detentions may be served during or after school hours, in the sole discretion of the school. When after school, detention will be scheduled during the week from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Parents are responsible for picking up their children after detention at 4:30 p.m. Detention always takes precedence over attendance at co-curricular activities and practices.
Students who are in academic or disciplinary difficulty will be subject to intensified teacher and administrative supervision, curtailed co-curricular activities and/or other corrective measures as necessary. The school decides the need and duration for intensified supervision. Afterward, each child’s case will be reviewed to determine whether s/he may regain full school privileges or continue with intensified supervision for an additional period of time.
Suspensions will be served in school. Suspension means that a student will be excluded from classes and any co-curricular activities for a period of one to five school days as determined by the administration. Students who receive two suspensions in the same school year may be expelled (permanently excluded from the Academy) after attending a review of their school records with parents and administration. Tuition and fees will not be refunded if a student is expelled.
Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or vaping use or possession are not permitted and will result in immediate consultation with parents, suspension, and possible expulsion.
Parental cooperation is expected in seeing that the children wear the complete, required school or gym uniform as described in this handbook until the last day of school. The homeroom and physical education teachers will issue notices for missing or incorrect parts of the school or gym uniform which may result in a detention. If there is a legitimate reason why a student is not wearing the regulation attire to school or in gym class, parents should communicate this in writing to the homeroom or physical education teachers respectively.
Respect for School Property
Students are expected to be considerate in their use of all school property. Any student who damages or defaces books, furniture, equipment, technology or the school building will be disciplined and held financially responsible to repair or replace the item. This includes library books that are not returned after receiving late notices and/or discipline points. Students are also expected to use school-owned and/or school-issued technology appropriately and for educational purposes. Please see the Acceptable Use Policy listed in the full policy section of this page.
Honors are awarded for scholastic achievement in Grades 5 to 8. The criteria for Distinguished Honors is all As and one B+ in subjects receiving A, B, C, etc. The criteria for Honors require a majority of As in those same subjects with the allowance of B+s and one B. The classroom citizenship code reflects effort, participation, attitude, and other behaviors.
Grades 4 to 8 grade scale: A=93-100; B+=89-92; B=85-88; C+=82-84; C=78-81; D+=74-77; D=70-73; F=Below 70.
E=Exceeds expectations; M=Meets expectations; I=Improvement needed; U=Unsatisfactory
Progress in Grades 1 to 3 is assessed on a continuum from “reinforcement needed” to “applies skills independently.”
Students in Grades 1-8 will receive independent assignments designed to coordinate with and reinforce the learning experiences of the school day. Independent assignments are an extension and reinforcement of skills and activities completed during class periods. We recommend that students review and study each day’s work to ensure that they have understood the material that has been presented. Independent work will be checked for completion and understanding and may be assigned a grade. Students are responsible for handing in assignments on time, neatly, and completely and for communicating with teachers when an issue arises. Teachers will communicate with parents about independent work issues. Discipline points may be issued for multiple incomplete assignments.
Communicating Academic Status
Parent-teacher conferences for all students in Stepping Stones into Montessori through Grade 8 are scheduled during the first and second trimesters, presenting the opportunity to discuss the student’s goals and performance. Parent-teacher conferences may be held remotely. Parents of students in Grades 5 to 8 should routinely review the progress and grades of their child online through the use of PowerSchool. The information provided gives students the opportunity to improve their work, if needed. Any student in Grades 4 to 8 who is failing to meet academic expectations will be subject to intensified supervision. If careful monitoring and evaluation of the student’s progress warrants it, the student may be asked to consider such alternatives as attending summer classes, repeating the grade, or seeking a different school placement. This will be determined after an academic review with the administration, teachers, and parents.
The Health and Medication Policy is formulated according to the guidelines of Pennsylvania School Health Law, the Cheltenham Township School District, and the needs of our Ancillae-Assumpta school community. The school has implemented a policy specifically addressing known or presumed cases of and exposures to COVID-19. All of our health forms are available on the Parent Portal. Health policies addressing class trip medicine and food allergens are listed in the full policy section of this page.
All required health forms for new students and students in certain grades (health history, physical examination, dental) are due in the health office before August 15th. Ancillae follows the policy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with regard to routine childhood immunizations: “The policy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with respect to vaccinations, requires all children to be vaccinated against a wide variety of diseases. Exceptions are not granted, except for medical reasons.”
The Academy adheres to a strict food allergen policy. No food items can be brought to school without consulting the health office and the food service coordinator. Only non-edible treats are permitted for classroom celebrations.
For over-the-counter or prescribed medication to be given at school, both a physician’s note and the written permission by a parent/guardian are required. Medicines in the original, labeled container are to be delivered to the health office by a parent/guardian only. Students may not carry medicines to or from school or on their person during school. Only health office personnel may administer medications to students.
If a student arrives at school feeling ill or becomes ill during the school day and is recommended to be sent home by the school nurse, it is the responsibility of the parent, or an individual designated by the parent, to pick the child up at school as soon as possible.
Upon a student’s return to school from an absence, a note/email from the parent/guardian stating the reason for the absence is required. For any student missing five or more consecutive days of school due to non-COVID illness, both a physician’s note and a parent’s note are required to be given to the health office. Any student who has had a fever should remain at home until a normal temperature has been maintained for 24 hours without the use of medication (e.g., Motrin / Tylenol).
Health Office Phone 215-885-1636 x109
Health Office Fax 267-627-5181
We will not be offering a virtual option for the 2021-2022 school year. For brief or extended illness-related absences, students in grades 1-4 should contact the teacher for missing assignments. In grades 5-8 students will follow class materials in Canvas. For students whose ill-ness related absence extends beyond four days, parents should contact Amy Lintner for appropriate guidance. The option of remote learning will be reserved for students experiencing extended illness-related absences.
The safety of our students is a priority. Students are not permitted to bring dangerous objects such as matches, penknives, etc. to school.
Any language or behavior that can potentially endanger another person will result in immediate contact with parents, and appropriate action will be taken. Students are not permitted to leave school property while attending after-school activities.
Security measures are implemented to safeguard the students and staff. All doors are locked at all times. This year, the Academy is planning to welcome volunteers and visitors into school buildings, though that Academy reserves the right to alter that policy at any time. Any volunteers must be prepared to show evidence that they are fully vaccinated, complete the health screening, follow the Academy’s masking protocols, and have all clearances on file. Visitors must follow the usual security protocols, undergo health screening, and wear masks at all times. During the school day, teachers and classrooms are not to be interrupted for any reason including student deliveries. Only Academy staff deliver messages and forgotten items to students’ classrooms.
This year, we anticipate the return of some events. Parents and others attending indoor group events/meetings are expected to follow the health and safety protocols for those events.
Report cards for Grades 1 to 8 will be emailed in December, March, and at the end of the school year. Progress Reports for the Montessori Unit will be emailed in December and at the end of the school year. Parents of students in Grades 4 to 8 should routinely review students’ grades through PowerSchool.
All parents may meet their child/ren’s teachers and become acquainted with their academic and disciplinary expectations by attending these virtual classroom orientation meetings:
SSM through Grade 3 Thursday, September 23
Grades 4 through 8 Tuesday, September 21
Parent-Teacher Conferences (virtual) for all grades are held by appointment on the following dates and times:
Thursday, October 21
Friday, October 22
Thursday, February 17
Weather will be a factor in deciding between uniform pants, uniform shorts, kilt, jumper, gym shorts, or gym sweatpants but standard warm and winter uniform change dates will be published. All items can be purchased at FlynnO'Hara. School uniform requirements, including shoes and gym uniforms, are available here: School Uniforms 2021-2022 .
Students are expected to wear the proper uniform to school and in gym class. A neat appearance and personal cleanliness are to be maintained every day. Students are to pay particular attention to tucking in shirts and keeping shoes in good condition. School shoes must be worn until the last day of school. Boys must wear a black belt. Jewelry should be small, simple, and not distracting. Smart watches are not permitted.
Students may not wear make-up or fingernail polish. Hair should be neat and clean. Acceptable colors for hairbands are solid white, gray, navy blue, black, or school plaid.
- Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
- Eucharistic Celebrations and Prayer Services
- Sacramental Preparation
- Eighth Grade Retreat
- Service Learning
- Heart to Heart
- ACJ Associates
In the fall, second grade students prepare to celebrate the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. Beginning in the spring of first grade, their parents attend several meetings to assist them in preparing their children for these sacraments both of which are administered at the Academy.
Complete instruction for the sacrament of Confirmation is an integral part of the sixth grade Religion curriculum. Parents are to make arrangements for their child to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation in their home parish and notify the Religious Education Office with this information.
Students put their gifts at the service of others and engage in age-appropriate, meaningful service opportunities connected to Catholic Social Teaching in order to help them understand the call to Christian service and their identity as baptized Christians. Students connect with local groups and Handmaid ministries through education, prayer, reflection, and acts of charity.
A Mission Fund, supported mainly through donations on Mission Day in October, is used throughout the year to enable the Academy to respond to many requests for assistance from those in need.
Sneak Up On Hunger is an outreach program providing non-perishable foods to local emergency food cupboards. All families are encouraged to make food donations to this program on a monthly basis during the school year.
Heart to Heart, a R.I.C.E. networking program designed to actualize the ACJ Mission, networks with Handmaid missions throughout the world, enabling children to help other children. By sharing resources, Heart to Heart builds unity and promotes justice and peace. Families are encouraged to participate by making a donation to educate a child in impoverished schools served by the Handmaids.
- Office of Institutional Advancement
- Alumni Association
- Center of Life and Learning
- Volunteer Program
The Advancement Office promotes participation and financial support from our public in order to secure the overall growth and long-range plans for the Academy’s future. Membership in the Annual Sustaining Fund is solicited in October and January. An annual outreach to alumni and friends occurs in October. Gifts to the Academy may be made in cash, stock, real estate, gifts in kind or any negotiable securities. For further information, contact the Advancement Office. Anyone wishing to make a donation toward or seeking information about funding a Scholarship Endowment is directed to contact Sister Kathleen Helbig.
The Academy’s magazine, FIAT, which includes an Annual Progress Report, is distributed to parents, grandparents, alumni, and friends. The school yearbook, Belgrame, is published annually. Community and curricular information is published on the school website. Pages found on the school’s website share curricular offerings at each grade level. The Academy’s social media includes Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which share the latest classroom and school happenings.
Graduates of the Academy are encouraged to attend reunions and various events conducted by the Alumni Association. Each year a graduate is inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. Current information about the activities and accomplishments of graduates is welcomed for publication in the FIAT magazine. Please direct communications to the Advancement Office.
Traditionally, the Academy welcomes and is enriched by volunteer services in the library, classrooms, Student Dining Room, and offices. A Volunteer Fair and orientation is held at the beginning of the school year. Ancillae Moms and Dads is a volunteer program of the Parents’ Association in which parents offer services to assist in class and school-wide activities. All school volunteers are required to obtain the necessary clearances mandated by PA State Law.
This year, we look forward to welcoming our faithful and supportive volunteers back to campus this year. All on-campus volunteers will need to be fully vaccinated, have clearances on file, complete the required health screening, and mask while indoors.
- Student Support Programs
- Health Program
- Bullying Prevention Program
- Student Opportunities
- Food Service
- R.I.C.E. Process for Students
- Fine Arts Program
- Athletic Program
In addition to the Academy’s school counselor, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit provides counseling services (Act 89) which are administered by a certified school counselor, and include educational evaluation, consultation with parents, staff, administrators, and students, and individual and group counseling. Through the Resource Learning Program, an instructional support team develops intervention strategies to assist students in need. A challenge component of combined enrichment and accelerated activities which assists students to develop higher level thinking skills is incorporated into all curricular areas. The Future Ready class period fosters student wellness, cultural competency, and digital citizenship while deepening student and teacher relationships to support individual and community growth.
The health office is staffed daily with nurses who prepare and assist teachers to implement medical care plans for students with medical needs. Cheltenham Township provides a school nurse to conduct screenings and oversee medical, dental, and immunization records; it also provides a school doctor to administer any required health examinations not done by a student’s private physician. The health office link on the school website provides complete information on the medical and food allergen policies. The Future Ready class and Wellness program are ongoing commitments to promoting a healthy lifestyle for our students.
The R.I.C.E. process in action (Respecting all Individuals by Caring for Everyone), based on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, is incorporated into the curriculum and school schedule to support the Academy’s vision of personal excellence in a warm, friendly atmosphere. In a school that emphasizes gospel values, the importance of a global viewpoint, and the interrelatedness of peoples, we are committed to educating the whole child and to teaching our students how to positively relate to one another through shared responsibility, human interdependence, dynamic creativity, and people empowerment. Classroom meetings, activities, discussions, and lessons support this aim. These efforts are further strengthened by the school-wide involvement of all adults and the school’s anti-harassment policy.
Elected officers and class representatives support the school by promoting school spirit, developing a positive student morale, learning to solve problems and make decisions, and sponsoring academic, service, and social activities. Regular student government meetings help to develop leadership skills.
Student Activity Teams
Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of clubs and activities including Green Team, Media Team, Reading Olympics Team, and Tech Team and Forensics. Offerings this year will be limited.
In addition to an outstanding academic program, the Academy offers a variety of co-curricular activities. Offerings such as arts and crafts, technology, cooking, and sports enable students to acquire skills and self-confidence in artistic as well as practical fields. Offerings this year will be limited.
At AAA, the performing and creative arts provide children with authentic learning experiences that engage and connect their bodies, minds, and hearts. As a result, these artistic experiences become meaningful for them and allow for the further development of cognitive, social, and personal competencies. While learning in other disciplines may often focus on the development of a single skill or talent, the fine arts consistently involve and incorporate numerous skills and abilities. In the classroom, art and music are provided weekly for all students. Outside of class, students can participate in individual and group offerings in dance, music, and art. Students have the opportunity to feature their talents through Music Recitals, Art Exhibits, Concerts, Accolades and Awards for the Arts, and the annual Spring Show production. Offerings this year will depend on health and safety protocols and available spacing and staffing.
Team members involved in league sports are selected on the basis of skill development sufficient to compete successfully in the Catholic Academy League’s interscholastic competitions. A fee payable at the beginning of the season is charged for participation in a sport. All forms and fees must be received before a student may participate. Parent Orientations for parents of students involved in specific sports are held at the beginning of each season. The annual Sports Awards Ceremony recognizes both team and individual achievements during the year. Boys and girls in Grades 3 to 8 are eligible to participate in the school’s Intramural Basketball Program. Student spectators must be supervised by a parent at all athletic events. Offerings this year will depend on local and state COVID-19 conditions and health and safety protocols.
Participants in league sports (except football, field hockey, and lacrosse) are covered by the special rider on the school insurance form. For sports not covered by Student Accident Insurance, the parent is to sign a form stating that the child has private health insurance. Lacrosse players must be registered by U.S. Lacrosse.
In cooperation with the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Board of Trustees of Ancillae-Assumpta Academy serves as the custodian of the mission of the school and as a resource for its strategic vision. The Board serves at the discretion of the Provincial of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, embracing their charism, values, and ministry of education in service of the Gospel. The Board works with the Director and full Administration to ensure the continued vitality of the school, to set its long-range directions and policy, to monitor its progress and effectiveness, and to offer support as requested. Ancillae-Assumpta Academy’s Board of Trustees is a working Board. The work of the Board is primarily performed at the Committee level, and the purpose of the full Board meetings is to elicit a discussion that draws on the skills and expertise of the Trustees to address selective issues.
The Academy’s Board of Trustees is composed of five Committees:
Executive: reviews and discusses the actions of the Finance, Trusteeship,
Institutional Advancement, and Long-Range Planning Committees
Finance: reviews financial plans/budgets and recommends action as appropriate
Trusteeship: focuses on the mission and vision of the Handmaids and the Academy and Board formation and involvement
Institutional Advancement: maintains and enhances institutional image and awareness and makes recommendations to attract maximum philanthropic support
Long-Range Planning: monitors the progress of the strategic vision and assesses strategies for continued improvement at the Academy
The purpose of the Parents’ Association is to provide an effective structure to maximize parent participation in the life of the school community. All parents or guardians of children attending the Academy are members of the Association. Members are encouraged to attend the general meetings of the Parents’ Association.
Compass: Diversity and Inclusion Group
Parents are invited to join the school’s Compass group. The purpose of this group is to bring families together and support the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. They work to bring broader awareness and education to our school and to our children about family types, cultures, races, national origins, religions, and abilities. Compass partners with the school to build and sustain an environment at AAA that is supportive and respectful of the whole school community. This group provides support and resources for diversity and inclusion curricula and co-curricula across the school.
Within the Association, members of the Parents’ Council serve as a representative leadership team. The Council promotes maximum participation of parents through the areas of Development, Family Network, and FIAT Connect.
The FIAT Connect Area encourages Christian values within the Academy and outside community. The activities of this area are focused on addressing the issues, needs, and concerns which pertain to promoting and achieving a global awareness of the gospel message.
The Family Network Area designs and implements activities which foster family unity and social involvement. This area is responsible for assisting with school activities and events which involve family (parent/child) and/or student participation.
The Development Area actively promotes a strong level of financial support to the Academy. To this end, this area develops an extended community network, engages in long-range planning, and assists in the development and implementation of methods which result in the attainment of the Academy’s financial goals and obligations.
The Parents’ Association is committed to:
Responsibly sharing in the development of a faith learning community so as to benefit our students’ education as members of the global, civic, and ecclesial community.
Interdependently working with the administration and faculty/staff in the planning and implementation of programs and activities so as to develop an effective network of people.
Creatively assisting in the long-range planning, financial support, and on-going evaluation of the school’s programs and offerings so as to effectively utilize the resources of the school community.
Empowering its members through on-going education and active involvement so as to maximize the skills of the parents and others for the benefit of the school community.
Though the Academy promotes practices to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 on campus, we cannot ensure the health of members of our community. All families accept the requirements of the Academy’s Health and Safety Plan, which may be altered as circumstances necessitate, and will be asked to sign a pledge committing to a heightened level of community responsibility.
Read and sign the Family Community Commitment Pledge.